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The How-To Lounge: Coping With Office Gossip

Office gossip is inevitable, but you can find yourself in deep water if you're in the middle of it, so here are some tips on staying out of the firestorm at work.

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  • Remember that the people you work with are your co-workers, not your best friends, so always maintain a level of professionalism.
  • Drinking too much at your office party or acting out of control at your work picnic are surefire ways to have people talk about you, so keep yourself in check.
  • Make it a policy of yours not to gossip about others in your office, or else you will find that others will gossip about you.
  • Gossip is typically false or fabricated information spread through the grapevine, so take everything with a grain of salt and before you act on something you've heard, always confirm that your information is accurate.
  • The only way to keep something a true secret is to stay mum, so don't tell even a trusted co-worker anything that you wouldn't want everyone in the office to know.
  • If you catch someone spreading office gossip about you, the best thing to do is nip it in the bud ASAP before it gets to the wrong ears and damages your credibility at work.

Have any of you been affected by office gossip? Or do you have any good recommendations you can share?


Join The Conversation
maddiemay maddiemay 9 years
It's tough-- I'm in sales and my co-workers are all very outgoing sales-y people. Most of them socialize outside of work and even call their co-workers their good friends. I do have a couple friends at work- I think it's healthy to do so in order to enjoy your work, however, I try not to get caught up in the drama as there's ALWAYS drama! You defintely don't leave behind the gossip when you enter the 'real world'!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Let me tell you how I avoid office gossip, and I work in a very large office. 1) I don’t associate with anyone outside of work, therefore there is no chance that any of them could sneak around my apartment, or my outside friends or otherwise 2) I don’t hang around the hallways, instead choosing to do my work with my office door halfway closed and listen to audiobooks. This gives a big old sign of “she doesn’t want to socialize” 3) I don’t gossip about anyone, so I am not involved in those conversations. If anyone tries to start a session with me, I usually just cut them off and say “sorry got to run” 4) I don’t care if these people think I am a snob, or that I don’t like them. I am here to make money, do my job and help the clients not discuss whether or not Susie social worker is getting a divorce. 5) Since I implemented these rules I have been less stressed, a better worker, I have gotten a raise and more respect.
lilwildone1202 lilwildone1202 9 years
last year i was leaving a job to move in with my boyfriend, some three hours away. well, safe to say that noone actually believed that was my reason to leave, and there was this nasty rumor going around that i really wasn't moving, but just couldnt handle the job and thats why i was quitting. ok, if i was going to make something up about me moving, why would i be so plain and simple? why wouldnt i of said 'im actually joining the circus and traveling around the world with my new lover, the bearded lady?'. it was soooo ridiculous, safe to say that my last day i barely said goodbye to anyone, i was so hurt.
vmruby vmruby 9 years
I'm definitely not into those cliques of people that do nothing but sit around and gossip about others misfortunes.When I was working, I always avoided the drama by walking away when the gossiping started, keeping my mouth shut and by keeping my private life private.Taking the high road has helped me avoid getting caught in the middle of all that crap and i can honestly say that I have never had a single problem with any of my co workers.
gooniette gooniette 9 years
One of my co-workers has a motto: "Don't say anything about someone that you wouldn't say to their face." Seems to work. There are ways to make friends with co-workers without gossiping though. Talk or ask advice about stuff you know they are interested in. Or if you have a common interest, you can talk about that. I work in such a small office that everyone knows everyone else's business anyway. I'm usually one of the last to hear it, but I hope the stuff I don't hear about myself is good...
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Ugh...every single person in my office always wants to talk about someone else. I just smile and listen. Its fun to hear all of it, I just don't repeat it.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
My boss likes to gossip. I don't like to encourage it because what goes around comes around. Plus the way he does it about others, I wouldn't respect it if he did that about me behind my back.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Haha yea same here. I barely have a relationship with any of my co-workers. Basically, we grab coffee sometimes but really none of us talk about our personal lives. I like it that way anyways. If they know too much about me, they can gossip, and then I won't enjoy work half as much as I do now. Gossiping sucks to start with, why do I need it at work too?!
SummerBaby SummerBaby 9 years
to be honest.. i don't really talk to many people at work.. just the usual hello how are you kinda thing.. i figure if i don't really establish a relationship with them.. they don't know anything about me.. so how can they possible gossip about me besides saying I'm a bitch or something like that.. which doesn't really matter.. I'm sure everyone is called a bitch at some point.
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