Don’t Share Your Business

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I had this (awful) hair once.Apparently some of you work in high school because I GET A TON OF EMAIL ABOUT OFFICE GOSSIP.

Really. I know. It surprises me, too.

You work with a harpie who overhears you on the phone with your ex-husband and tells everyone about it. Some of you work with a dude who is clearly bitter about his station in life and talks shit about you. Or you work with a Human Resources chick who shares salary information. (God, I hate that bitch.)

Office gossip unites us and divides us in a weird way — but the best way to keep your private life ‘private’ is to keep it out of the work environment.

You say — Laurie, I can’t be two people. I can’t bifurcate my life and behave one way at work and another way at home. I believe in a harmonized reality. I hate the idea of going to work and being someone who I’m not. I want to work with people who respect me and respect boundaries.

Okay, fine, I get it — but grow the fuck up.

Here are my tips on office gossip.

  • If two people know a secret, four people know it.
  • If your coworkers are gossipy, don’t give them something to talk about.
  • If you don’t like what’s being said about you, speak up.

I think we overstate the gossip in our office environments, and I also think we overestimate how much people really care about our lives. And I do want to share with you that some gossip is unintentional. One person’s gossip is another person’s honest attempt at conversation.

So if you find your reputation being tarnished in the office, spring into action. Have an honest conversation with the person who is smearing your name; find the source of the gossip and let him know that he’s violating some serious boundaries; or feel free to tell that person to shut the hell up.

Most importantly? Professionalism and integrity are boring. Do your job, do it with gusto, and go home to your family. After all, no one judges you like your family. It’s their opinions that matter.

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