r/LifeProTips 11d ago

LPT: Keep your mouth shut at work, avoid gossiping about colleagues and try not to get into workplace politics. Even if you think you can trust a coworker, it will mostly likely backfired on you Careers & Work

Edit: “Most likely backfire on you” damn auto correct

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u/keepthetips Keeping the tips since 2019 11d ago

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u/handsome_and_flyer 11d ago

Yep. It happened to me. I will never let my guard down like that again.

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u/scrivenerserror 10d ago

Yep. My former manager became my colleague under the same supervisor after 2.5 years. She spent a lot of time trying to be friendly with me and I was told to seek her advice for leadership development. Nope. She sold me out repeatedly to our director/supervisor and now has been moved into an associate director position and acts as if she is going to be my supervisor again. Our director left and now this person is under our VP and based on conversations with our VP I can tell she sold me out as well as our old director.

It’s not worth the risk of trying to commiserate with anyone for the most part. People just want to use you as leverage or gossip fodder.

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u/[deleted] 10d ago edited 9d ago

[deleted]

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u/therealtrousers 10d ago

This right here. Talking is good. Talking shit is not good.

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u/EthFan 10d ago

Understand your reasoning but disagree. I've unfortunately tried that tactic and even commiserating about work can be twisted into "Ethfan is super frustrated and not doing a good job, etc..." Some coworkers will find any means to discredit you. Best to avoid at all cost and not give ANY ammunition to them.

I've found the best way is to be super quiet and don't engage at all but when approached or engaged, be super nice and polite. Let them come to you but they'll eventually get tired and move on to other people for the drama.

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u/X0AN 10d ago

That's exactly it.

When I'm dealing with complaints I always tell staff I want facts, not opinions.

Don't tell me what you felt, tell me what was done and what was said.

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u/FireflyBSc 10d ago

Question, how can you tell the difference between sharing and bonding with someone like a mentor and then going to sell you out? Like I have a fairly close relationship with my manager and definitely see them as a mentor and as such, share more, but is there any way to determine someone’s intentions? Or is it just always going to be a risk trusting anyone?

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u/scrivenerserror 10d ago

I think unfortunately there is always inherent risk, which is what this LPT is talking about. To me, generally it’s likely you can tell someone’s intentions if you’re close enough to them for a while.

The person who sold me out was generally sort of a tattle tale and sucked up to our director a lot when she started working for my organization. I had thought if I talked to her in a certain way she would be less inclined to share if I was having an issue or was upset/irritated about something, but she was not. Her relationship with this director was pretty toxic and inappropriate anyway, but it got her a promotion before the director resigned so I guess it worked in her favor.

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u/darth_5kywalk3r 10d ago

How would not talking to her have changed anything? Wouldn't she have thrown you under the bus all the same.

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u/scrivenerserror 10d ago

Probably but she would have less fodder for it. Our respective work areas barely overlap, we just happen to have our team set up under that structure/the same supervisor.

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u/OrganizationSome1585 10d ago

Same here. I'm experiencing it now. Going to keep quiet from now onwards.

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u/AnneJedonia 10d ago

I’m so sorry it’s this common but feeling better that I’m not alone

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u/misscopypasta 10d ago

I've experienced it firsthand. OP is totally right

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u/Tokemon12574 10d ago

Seconded. I opened up to someone who I thought was a friend, and he went and blabbed to the rest of the team. He opened the conversation sympathetic, he could clearly see I was struggling, and was purely there out of concern for me.

I learned a very valuable lesson that day.

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u/tirwander 10d ago

Sadly, happened to me before as well. I think it is important to point out that this can also happen non-maliciously. You can trust someone, they can be a really decent and well-intentioned person... But they also can be a pretty aloof person and just forget or not realize how private the information actually is, or they maybe accidentally let it slip.

I say this to point out that you should be aware of the kind of information someone shares with YOU about others. Some nice people still overshare about others because they just don't realize how private a conversation was meant to be. Some people overshare out of a desperate to feel needed and important. I wouldn't call either of those malicious necessarily. If they overshare about others with you, even in a non-malicious way, you can be pretty certain they will do the same about you to others.

Basically, be incredibly selective with your "inner circle", whether at work or not.

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u/reallylovesguacamole 10d ago

A good rule of thumb I use is to speak/text with coworkers as if everyone could see and hear us. I’ve had coworkers complain about things to me through text, and I comfort them while seeming neutral. I’m always imagining how my text would seem if the boss or anyone else were reading it. It sucks because I can’t be fully transparent, but you can’t trust people to not blab or show screenshots.

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u/shhsandwich 10d ago

I'm this person sometimes and I need to work on it. I shared something somewhat private with a relative about another because I felt special having been told the information. It wasn't malicious but it wasn't right, either. Luckily no harm came of it but it easily could have and my intentions wouldn't have affected the result.

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u/tirwander 10d ago

Hey, at least you are aware of it and have a desire to be better than that moving forward.

There are a LOT of pieces of me that I have been pretty unhappy with over the years. Many things I've done that I've been ashamed of. But I am at a point in my life, late as it may be, where I am making daily efforts at being a better person... Especially to my loved ones.

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u/Ready-Funny4963 10d ago

Same!! I hate this trait of me. Trying to work on it but it’s hard

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u/Wim_Wam_Bronze_Medal 10d ago

Honest question: why is it hard to keep sensitive things to yourself? Is it something that flows out of the way your family was growing up? Some families respect privacy; some expect family members to have no privacy at all.

Or is it regional/cultural? For example, the northeast US, people value “minding your own business” as a form of respect. Here in the Southeast US, gossip and talking behind people’s backs seems to be the accepted norm.

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u/last_rights 10d ago

For me, it used to be a need for acceptance. I needed to know everything and be "the person" to come to for information.

Now I couldn't care less, and because I don't put any mental time into thinking about people's personal lives other than recalling a part of their weekend plans on Monday (how was your barbeque with your granddaughter this weekend?) People bring me MORE of their personal news. I think they just feel the need to tell someone, but their personal lives do not affect my personal life, so usually I just file it away in my brain under useless information.

Also as you get older, people's secrets become less sensational. Divorce? Whatever. Seen it a hundred times. Open relationship? That's kinda new, but okay, whatever works for you. Dave from accounting is gay? So what? He's still Dave. Gary is a crossdresser in his spare time. Weird hobby, but that's just my opinion. Maybe he has made some really good friendships. I'll have to ask for makeup tips.

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u/Alarid 10d ago

The trick is to lie so that only cool rumors can circulate.

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u/turbotank183 10d ago

What's up Bill?

I'm just having such a hard time having to carry this thick hog around 😭

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u/Aickrastly 10d ago

HR needs you to come in regarding a comment you made.

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u/turbotank183 10d ago

Is it in regards to my thick, hefty hog? Because I said that in confidence to literally everyone I saw

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u/SchmooicidalTendency 10d ago

I’m just raising it to slaughter for bacon. Jeez what is the deal?

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u/p_s_i 10d ago

But only because Linda in HR is aching for a breaking.

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u/kicksonfire84 10d ago

Let's cut the crap, Susana. Someone is spreading rumors around and it was not I. Call Judy she always know who was spreading it.

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u/Alarid 10d ago

Ever heard of micropenis? Well I got macropenis. They said only a truly dedicated person could handle taking it in.

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u/ramblinroger 10d ago

And insurance won't cover a wheelbarrow :/

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u/shhsandwich 10d ago

Just be careful telling people you have a macropenis in the South. The way we say macro and micro can sound pretty similar here at times and somebody might walk away from that conversation with the exact opposite idea from what you intended. :(

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u/Alarid 10d ago

I told them I was artistic and they just pat me on the back and said they could hardly notice.

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u/yolandaslemons 10d ago

Did we get stabbed in the back by the same person? 🤨

It was one of the hardest things I went through work wise. I genuinely thought I was good friends with him and his wife. My ex and I did couples weekends away with them, and had double dates. It crushed me to find out that he threw me under the bus at work every chance he had. I confided in him about mental health issues I was experiencing (attempted suicide was one of them), and I found out later that he was using my mental health struggles as some weird workplace gossip currency. I was the butt of his jokes for years. Never again.

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u/BanditaIncognita 10d ago

I hope their house gets infested with termites.

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u/Electric_Guitar 10d ago

Nah, bed bugs.

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u/[deleted] 10d ago

Did you ever confront him?

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u/THIS_ACC_IS_FOR_FUN 10d ago

It doesn’t even have to be malicious, either.

Someone could’ve noticed something bothering the person you opened up to. Maybe they were genuinely concerned for you.

“What’s wrong, Steve?” “Aw, man. I was just talking to Tokemon and they’re having a really hard time”.

No ill intent and you’re still fucked.

EDIT: “ill” not “I’ll”

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u/siccoblue 10d ago

Literally just got warned about this today, and immediately realized what was happening after, but on the more malicious side. Have a dude who's very obviously gunning for my job and fishing for information, I didn't even think about it before one of my actual friends mentioned it, but he's super blatantly fishing for any information or dirt on anyone he can find to get himself an edge in getting ahead, even if he's probably on the very bottom of the list of people who deserve it, or have the skills to take it on, workplaces and the desire for more money and more power is absolutely cutthroat, and you need to be extremely careful with what you divulge to who

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u/somecasper 10d ago

Where the hell do you people work? I feel like I'm the only one in this thread whose workplace isn't an FX drama.

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u/young_shizawa 10d ago

Right? I'm a software engineer and I've never had to deal with this game of thrones workplace people keep talking about

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u/Yoshistar94 10d ago

Seriously, all these LPTs emphasize how collegues and the workplace is constantly out to get you or would let you go at the drop of a hat. How can you work peacefully with that mindset? I work in a small office, and we have a community like attitude with everything. We talk and are open with each other, but never would we use it as fodder against each other nor would our boss fire us out without due cause.

Yes, you shouldn't put all your stake in one workplace, not seek higher salery, or put up with excessive work without compensation, but stop thinking all workplaces have constant drama and all bosses don't care at all.

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u/AromaOfCoffee 10d ago

Do you work on a large team?

There a lot less of this the more people are involved.

The smaller the team, the more they tear each other to pieces to be the one who gets the next promotion.

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u/Jackle935 10d ago

Yup, I love it. Stay strong and what I like to do is exude "Quiet Dignity". I don't fuck with you and you don't fuck with me. I'm here to clock in and clock the out but the job has my full attention. You break that attention and there better be a good reason. Stay firm and focused.

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u/carlgorn 10d ago

What the fuck? You guys can't tell people you are having a bad day at work? What dystopian hell hole do you all live in?

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u/angry_old_dude 10d ago

I never say I'm having a bad day. I might say it's a tough day or I may even just say I'm feeling a little under the weather.

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u/RedditModsAreCancer1 10d ago edited 10d ago

I fucken hate office politics and culture. It’s the same in any workplace.

Last gig I had in the restaurant biz was super toxic. Servers of the staff would come up and gossip about each other, tear each other down, ask my opinion etc etc. And I ignored it for months. Finally the most toxic person in the place came up and was talking shit about me, and the next person that came up was talking shit about the person who was talking shit about me. Of course I said something like l, “ god I hate her fucken guts”. And it spread like wildfire.

All of a sudden I’m the bad guy. Eventually they all banded together and got me fired. They still all hang out and talk shit about one another, it their claims were just terrible. Honestly defamation of character doesn’t begin to cover it. Saying I was going to beat up one of the women and things like that. They somehow got that from, “I need to talk to her after work, it can’t continue like this”, because we were busy as fuck and I couldn’t take it anymore. It was a lot of false things like that.

I was denied unemployment during the pandemic because of it.

We had started our own business because my wife and I were both in toxic workplaces and had enough. We launched it just a few months before COVID hit and made it out just fine. We’ve been working our asses off this year since we couldn’t find employees, finally took a night off to go out to a nice dinner. As we were being led to the bar to wait for our table one of my accusers ran up to me, “Oh my god I’m so happy to see you! How have you been?!” And then hugged me. She and I were never huggers. If we touched each other it was because it was busy behind the bar and accidental in passing and that was it. I was frozen in place. This was a very nice restaurant and it was out of place for an employee to hug someone I’m sure. My wife just stood there looking at us and she saw my face.

We continued our dinner and that bartender had bought our drinks and the staff was weird as hell to us.

Anyhow, OPs advice is solid. If it’s a toxic workplace? GTFO as soon as you can or you’ll eventually get sucked into it.

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u/Waste-Associate5773 11d ago

Its a lesson I'm slowly learning

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u/klem_kadiddlehopper 10d ago

I'm retired now but in all of my working years I have never worked with people who didn't gossip. It's just what people do.

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u/SQUID_FUCKER 10d ago

I was gonna say, it's sound advice but I just can't do it. Bitching and shit talking gets me through the day lol. But my personal policy is that I'll only talk shit about things that I would say to that person if confronted.

"Hey I was talking to Bob and he said you don't even know what I do all day and that I'm always skipping meetings, what the hell man?'

'Yeah...I don't and you do.'

Things like just personal attacks or vague strawmans, no way. Criticisms? I'll let them fly BUT I've been with my company for a long time and know the people I talk to well enough that I'm not worried about it.

Anything beyond that, like general idiocy or incompetence, I'll call a friend and unload on them.

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u/whatevercuck 10d ago

This is the best philosophy. I learned years ago not to say anything behind someone’s back that I haven’t or wouldn’t say to their face. Only took me being on the receiving end to figure it out, but I tend to learn everything the hard way

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u/SQUID_FUCKER 10d ago edited 10d ago

Yeah exactly, you can join in on some of it but know where the line is. Also a lot of it is just about knowing who you're talking to. And don't be the one starting it up all the time, you can join in but don't be the guy leading the shit talking charge all day.

We used to have a guy who would come in and goad you into shit talking someone because they would start it up and then go, 'right, don't you agree?' or something along those lines, then they would immediately go run to that person and say you said all the things he did. I hated him and wouldn't engage.

But yeah, just walk the line carefully. You can say things about co-workers, everybody vents. Just make sure it's nothing you wouldn't say to them or wouldn't mind being out there, if a worst case scenario happens. Imagine if the boss were recording every conversation and treat it like that. But don't get into brutal personal attacks and things like that, that's where you'll get in trouble.

Also, keep this stuff out of chat logs, texts and emails, and even phone calls. Lots of people talk on speaker phone, you have no idea who is around. Keep it personal and deniable. And do not be that guy that runs and tells other people what is being said, that's a great way to get things you've said dragged into it.

But the whole, 'just keep your mouth shut at work?' Nah. That's not fun and it's a great way to be on the outside of conversations.

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u/exscapegoat 10d ago

I had a coworker who trash talked everyone. And we worked closely together, so I couldn't avoid her. I handled it with diversion The Tonya Harding story was big at the time, so I'd just bring that up. She'd talked about Tonya Harding instead of our co-workers. I was still seen as sociable and I didn't have to worry about people thinking I agreed with her

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u/Azarashe 10d ago

Not too long ago I worked at a place where the workers were very tight-knit. We had each other's backs no matter what, and the work was on retail so I appreciated the camaraderie. I liked these people and trusted them wholeheartedly. Foolishly.

A few months in, some serious drama came from upper management and from the workforce in another area. There were threats of repercussions or even outright firing by the CEO if we didn't pander to him or his group of bootlickers, and several of those people didn't like me for some reason and started targeting me for general harassment. In the meantime we were still being forced to sign worthless NDAs, work overtime without compensation, and being given duties that weren't ours to begin with under threat of consequences if objectives weren't met. We were being dragged through the coals for a month and a half, but we kept it together because we stuck together. Or so I thought. I didn't see the signs of people revealing their true colors until it was too late.

I broke down one day and talked with a friend of mine about this. I loved working with my coworkers but hated how everything else went down the shitter. He went on the warpath and called them out on social media. The company and my friend started bickering, and apparently it ruffled some feathers behind the scenes. I had accidentally kicked the hornet's nest, which I never intended to as I was just venting to someone I trusted.

A former coworker, one which I appreciated, asked my friend how he knew all this stuff. He foolishly told them I was his source. They then went to the boss with said information. The bosses threatened other workers I was close to with termination if I didn't stop my friend from calling them out. I am barred from returning there ever again, some people on the team refuse to speak to me, and the local manager actually wants to beat the shit out of me.

Boy, have I learned my lesson. From now on I am keeping my mouth shut unless I plan to raise hell and incinerate any and all bridges. And even then I might reconsider, one never knows who might show up again in the future.

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u/[deleted] 10d ago

[deleted]

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u/Azarashe 10d ago

He's a good dude, but gets enraged easily. The person/worker who reported the information to the company was also friends with him, and used said friendship to get the info and rat me out. I guess they felt like they had to choose between loyalty to the company or to their fellows. Speak up or keep quiet. And they made a choice indeed.

My friend and this person are no longer on speaking terms, of course.

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u/ACL_Tearer 10d ago

Man I'd goad the local manager into attacking me while on the clock then sue the pants off the company lol

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u/olbaidiablo 10d ago

Sun Tzu - the art of war, should be read by any office worker who doesn't want to be done in by office politics.

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u/birdwatching25 10d ago

I watched a Chinese drama recently about concubines in the Forbidden City scheming and plotting against each other while pretending to be nice and classy on the surface, and all of them trying to win the favor of the Emperor using all kinds of strategies. Strange how much it reminded me of the workplace lol.

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u/kapsama 10d ago

Santa Zu, the Chinese Prince Matchavelli.

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u/HarithBK 10d ago

Man I have had general banter over workload backfire on me. Basically we were a man short since the boss gave someone time off while an other was training for an other position. Just said if we are short just have X come here rather than training. Not mean or anything just banter over the work.

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u/Fangletron 10d ago

How did this backfire? You were asking for help, not trying to take someone down.

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u/exscapegoat 10d ago edited 10d ago

Manager might hear it as a criticism of management skills. Since its often part of the job to make sure there is proper staffing. A good manager would listen to the feedback. Bad ones take it personally and punish the person who notices it. And there are also diplomatic ways to bring it up. Tone and context are important.

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u/JackInTheAux 11d ago

It is, however, a great idea to gossip positively about people, because they end up hearing about that, too. I found out a colleague described me to someone as "wicked smart—like scary smart" and I never told the colleague about it, but I treated him like a prince from that moment on.

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u/imadethisforonething 10d ago

"I would never say this to her face, but she is a wonderful person and a gifted artist" - Michael Scott

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u/1piece_forever 10d ago

But why wouldn’t you say that to her face?

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u/meltedcandy 10d ago

The way Oscar says this always makes me laugh, just dumbfounded at how surprisingly kind and unsurprisingly stupid his boss just was

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u/Robertsongaming 10d ago

Ma boys wicked smaaat

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u/AnglerJared 10d ago edited 10d ago

Hey, you like apples?

Well, you’re a frickin’ genius! How ya like dem apples?

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u/siddharthsingh_7 10d ago

They don't make movies like that anymore

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u/UprootedLandfill 10d ago

Why would they? They already did!

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u/jmcstar 10d ago

I came here to post this same thing. Leaked positivity gains favor.

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u/Wereno 10d ago

I can't praise anyone above me in the chain of command, because you know, brown nosing or what-not, it'll never seem genuine. But I'll always talk up the achievements of my peers and underlings. If someone is being a baller, you need to make sure they get credit and compensation for it, because coworkers like that make life easier.

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u/cpt_ppppp 10d ago

You can say that you enjoy working with somebody, or they're inspirational. It's not brown-nosing unless it is inauthentic, and people still see you as somebody that speaks well of others

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u/Thylek--Shran 10d ago

I've had some awesome management and mentorship in my career. I've had bosses who have fought hard for me and for what's right. I absolutely sing the praises of these people.

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u/JosephSim 10d ago

This.

Coworkers love to tell other coworkers things only they know. If what they know is that you said really nice things about them, that's what they'll say.

But since you didn't tell them yourself, it adds an extra bit of genuineness and makes them feel better than a normal compliment.

Just say nice things about everyone. I mean, if you can't stand the fucker just don't say shit, but if you're indifferent, just a simple "she's such a help around here" or "he seems like such a good father" does wonders.

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u/DevinSevenTen 10d ago

Restaurant workers have entered the chat:

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u/preciadodj 10d ago

Work in food service. Can confirm. If you tell one person, everyone else in the store knows in 24 hrs, and most of them will know a distorted version of the truth.

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u/DevinSevenTen 10d ago

Let me tell you what putting a dick in someone will do

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u/Dynasty2201 10d ago

But if you don't include yourself, you're excluded from social circles within the workplace. You're cast out and left alone.

Christ, I left school and went to Uni, finally getting away from the childish crap that goes on socially. Only to enter it again when I started working.

The amount of bitching and snide comments and snake-in-the-grass and scheming crap that happens in an office. What are you, 4 years old?

50 year olds leaving mugs in the sink for someone else to clean, or leaving the toilets in a shocking state.

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u/lolpostslol 10d ago

Yeah you can’t run from that game. If you can’t play the politics in a given workplace it’s best to move to another one. You can play politics in a fairly neutral way and survive well, or take the risk of allying with a specific major player so that you get a career push if they win. But ignoring everything will make you a non-priority when it comes to e.g. promotions.

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u/TheIowan 10d ago

Right? It's a part of life and it takes balance. 99% of it is literally just being nice, respectful, and socially warm. The rest is just standing up for the right people at the right time, or firmly calling something out when its wrong.

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u/carolnuts 10d ago

That's exactly right. Politics is literally a requirement to advance in my work place, it's part of the deal and I knew when I chose my profession.

Just be a nice person and do not gossip maliciously and you'll be fine. Listen to people when they open up to you, open up to them a bit if you can in non compromising ways. It's how the wheels turn and how you network.

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u/slowmotto 10d ago

Don’t get involved is Boomer mom advice. And they talk the most shit in the workplace. They might as well tell you to ignore bullies and don’t make friends with people who have fun.

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u/Crick_Elf 10d ago

"Don't get involved" only ever meant "gossip viciously"

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u/Waste-Associate5773 10d ago

You never truly leave high school

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u/GuiltyM20 10d ago

High school never ends 🎵

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u/ryannefromTX 10d ago

The whole damn world is just as obsessed

With who's the best dressed

And who's having sex

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u/this_knee 10d ago

Reese Witherspoon: she’s the prom queen

Bill Gates: captain of the chess team

Jack Black: the clown

Brad Pitt: the quarterback

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u/BadManor 10d ago

Seen it all before I want my money back!

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u/Rauchgestein 10d ago

I got fired from a job recently because I was the outcast. Not in a negative way per se, but the workplace will move on and won't take you with it if you're invisible to the inner core of the company. At least in my case, this was a big factor.

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u/Quattron 10d ago

You guys are aware that you can socialize without gossiping right?

Like you can be a positive person, a reachable person, a reliable person that people can count on you and want you beside them.

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u/lifeofsandandsea 10d ago

I didn’t get fired, but I left because I was the outcast too. I could write a freaking wall of text about the injustice. I’m still kinda bitter about it.

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u/Donahue2 10d ago

Gossip and Negativity are like a currency, and it buys you into the conversation, unfortunately. But, it’s expensive to be at this party. And it’s crowded.

Positivity and building people up are also currencies, but they get you into a much smaller party. But that party is far less expensive and actually pays you back in feeling good about yourself.

I’ve always envied the people at the second party, so that’s the party I’m striving to buy my way into.

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u/ashcatmeow 10d ago

You can be part of the social circle and only say positive things or not take direct part in the gossip. I have a coworker currently who I REALLY like but she talks about someone pretty negatively. And there are some really negative things about this person for sure. But I always find something positive to say and she ends up agreeing calming down and then saying a few nice things too. Sometimes people need to vent. If you can steer it away from straight trash talk they usually are able to feel better after saying their frustration and move on.

I've learned to be the positive person in almost every social setting. Sometimes yes, I need to vent too. Rarely do I do it with coworkers when I do it's usually generic and I always bring it back to positive. People have a hard time disliking you if you're always so positive and happy! And plus side, when you're always trying to find the good you tend to be happier for real!

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u/muuuuuuuuuuuuuustard 10d ago

I can’t do this. Some people at my job are fucking idiots and need to be fired or written up for being fucking dumbasses

Source: I work at a restaurant.

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u/rahoomie 10d ago

Not having work colleagues wanting to hang out with me outside of work is exactly how I like it. I do not have time to make friends at work. It’s always awkward turning down invites to hang out outside the work place.

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u/41cheese 10d ago

My trick is to just get to know everything about everyone, so I seem interested while keeping the focus off myself. People love talking about themselves, asking them questions and retouching on things that happen in their life distracts them. The last place I worked no one knew jack shit about me but I'd still always be hanging out with the 'popular' groups. Everyone loves a good listener.

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u/mollypop94 10d ago

Honestly, I genuinely welcome social exclusion in the workplace lol. It's my intention.

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u/CanarisGuarani 10d ago

My work place has 2 breakrooms. One is attached to the boardroom and the other is for the rest of the workers. For years we could use both with no problem. But more recently, we started to hire new workers straight out of college, very young people. Well, the breakroom next to the boardroom was getting so filthy that the director decided to shutdown. Now all the dirty mugs and dishes are popping in the main breakroom. Instead of causing a scene or leaving notes over the sink, I just hide them or throw them in the garbage.

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u/holytriplem 10d ago

Jesus the corporate world sounds tough. In academia people gossip about each other all the time

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u/pottymouthgrl 10d ago

My partner works in a high school and it’s the most drama filled place. The teachers have so much beef and drama with each other and they keep hooking up with each other and ruining marriages.

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u/sadcoffee 10d ago

Makes me think some of the teen dramas should be more focused on the teachers rather than the teens.

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u/almostinfinity 10d ago

I'd watch a show like that. Forget the student drama. Give me faculty drama!

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u/almost_useless 10d ago

Don't forget that many LPT's aren't necessarily a good reflection of the world. Usually someone had something bad happen to them, and they assume this is something that happens everywhere, all the time.

There are plenty of workplaces that are not toxic or filled with people that are just waiting to stab you in the back. Most people are fine and trustworthy, but of course there will be some assholes out there. Which is the same as in academia.

If you realize this you can interpret "keep your mouth shut" as "think about what you say, and don't trash talk coworkers, because it might backfire", which is a much better approach to the workplace.

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u/[deleted] 10d ago edited 10d ago

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u/Bibabobibabo 10d ago

LPT your boss is literally the devil and will sacrifice your soul and dignity for the benefit of the hair on his toes.

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u/drawing_a_blank1 10d ago

This is more reflective of reality than the original post lol. My work place really only has one toxic individual, whom everyone kind of watches what they say. Not all work places are filled with snakes waiting to get you fired (some may be that case). I’ve created some of the best friendships I’ve ever had at my workplace. And it’s been that way for years. Like you said, everyone should practice not shittalking or gossiping. Brings your mood down anyway.

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u/Alemya13 10d ago

Work in a higher ed setting. Can confirm. I'm insulated from it, for the most part, but what little bit I'm not? It's worse than high school. Five minutes with anyone from another department and I know who's sleeping with who, who got caught in someone else's office and which department they think will get axed. Like other people said - I'll only talk positively about people (no, not that I'm positive they're idiots - most of the time). Unless, of course, one of my employees gets cussed out on the phone for no good reason. That's the point I need a shovel and an alibi.

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u/holytriplem 10d ago

Oh definitely. And a lot of senior faculty members have no concept of their own power and will bitch about other senior faculty members to PhD students.

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u/chakan2 10d ago

I've seen as much backstabbing and blood in academia as I've seen in the real world... More so since the tenured academics can build empires of echo drones for their little slice of fantasy.

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u/Dash_Harber 10d ago

Added tip; if you ever see someone act nice to someone only to start shit talking them to you the minute they are out of earshot, they are doing the exact same thing to you.

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u/freehiker_74 10d ago

People who gossip to you will gossip about you

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u/sharkbait-oo-haha 10d ago

If your partner is cheating on their partner, they will cheat on you too.

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u/[deleted] 10d ago edited 8d ago

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u/DroolingSlothCarpet 11d ago

Yeah, that does not work.

People can't keep their mouth shut.

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u/scoopzthepoopz 10d ago edited 10d ago

People will in fact talk shit no matter what you do

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u/squixx007 10d ago

I will in fact talk shit no matter who you are. If you are deserving of shit talking. Just do it in a way that is tactful.

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u/SimpoKaiba 10d ago

With all due tact, our boss is an incompetent dickhole

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u/rclonecopymove 10d ago

I'm great at keeping secrets, it's just those people I told that can't keep their mouths shut.

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u/klem_kadiddlehopper 10d ago

They can't. It's human nature.

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u/sshiels 11d ago

Do not keep your mouth shut about wages though!! Or about anything that is actually important.

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u/BangBong1212 10d ago

I was significantly underpaid in my last job. When contract renewal came around I told my boss I was off if I didn't get the same wage as the other people in my team. Wage increase was approved before the end of the working day. If I didn't know what other people were on I wouldn't have got the increase.

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u/suxatjugg 10d ago

Protip, you can say this even if you don't know. Either it works, or it turns out they pay everyone shit and then you know you need to leave to get more money

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u/LukewarmApe 10d ago

I just found out that I make £5 less a day as someone 3 years more experienced (5 total years in industry) and far more talented than me. Really hope he gets the raise he deserves. Employers don’t want you talking about wages for their benefit, not yours.

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u/RonstoppableRon 10d ago

Yep that is LEGALLY PROTECTED SPEECH in the US, well established in the courts. If you’re ever terminated or reprimanded for discussing your wage or income(assuming its in an appropriate setting, no you cant complain to the customers how little you make!), document the occasion in detail and consult a lawyer.

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u/Waste-Associate5773 11d ago

Yes that is very important!

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u/RegalKillager 10d ago

Keep your mouth shut about workplace politics except for these things that are obviously a subset of workplace politics.

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u/Half_Man1 10d ago

Keep your mouth shut unless it’s about pay or someone harassing people.

No need to spread the name of the people getting harassed. Just those doing the harassing. Let’s people know they aren’t alone in thinking someone else’s behavior is out of bounds.

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u/45ghr 10d ago

Half of the conversations I have at work are talking about salary, inflation, upcoming pay raises, maxing out 401k, and creating financial planning spreadsheets so people know what’s going on. I publicly post the pay ranges according to our company site in the toolkits so people can see where they fall on the compensation tables and why and know to ask for more if they qualify.

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u/imaginewagwans 10d ago

I hate it when two people talk in the same room then suddenly they whisper to each other. It’s so rude.

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u/Chop1n 10d ago edited 10d ago

Damn, the IT world must be some kind of a bubble in this respect. Virtually everyone I've ever worked with was cool, met some of my very closest friends as coworkers, and the only people who weren't cool weren't actually IT people themselves, but managerial types. Taking this advice to heart would have robbed me of so many precious experiences and relationships.

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u/AccountReco 10d ago

So true. My best mates from previous companies, with whom I am still very much in contact with, are those with whom I bitched, moaned, criticised every thing from our managers to salaries to work environments and all.

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u/EulsSpectre 10d ago edited 10d ago

This feels like the team I'm on currently. The 3 of us survived a power-obsessed, abusive manager until they were made redundant along with 2 other team members (bringing us down to 3 from 5 + manager). We walked through hellfire as a team because of them & bitching about it between ourselves was the only thing that got us through. I would 100% have more mental health concerns if we didn't talk to each other as an outlet & I'm sure the others would agree.

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u/CaveteCanem 10d ago

Yeah, I agree - I'm a software dev and the only arseholes seems(that I've experienced so far) to be, as you mentioned, non IT/dev folks

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u/CanWeNapPlease 10d ago

My friend/colleague told me a dev at our old workplace invited other devs to his house once and they found out he was potentially abusing his wife.

I guess workplace and life can yield different types of assholes.

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u/ViralRiver 10d ago

Hmm, the last startup I worked at was toxic af. Constant comments about a certain co-worker who was always asking for help/direction and actively saying how 'stupid' he was at work parties when he wasn't present. Even in front of team leads/HR. He found out through someone else, reported the two main culprits, nothing came of it and 2 weeks later he had a 20% salary decrease citing "financial difficulties" when others got a salary increase. Absolute shit show, it was fairly obvious he needed a mentor and not a public ridiculing.

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u/Leashed_Beast 10d ago

Oof. As someone who needs help and advice fairly often, I feel this. I’m like 90% sure that some-if not most-of my coworkers think I’m a complete idiot :(

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u/dragon-storyteller 10d ago

That is incredibly toxic even for a startup, wow. At least most of the two-faced techbros still realise that a junior dev asking for guidance means the work gets done faster and better than letting them bash their head against a wall.

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u/SathedIT 10d ago

DevOps here (former developer). I think it depends on the company and team culture. I've seen it go both ways. Right now, everyone I work with is like you describe. But I've seen other teams and departments within our organization that are just toxic af. And I think a lot of it has to do with poor leadership.

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u/kaeldrakkel 10d ago

Ditto here as well.

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u/HertzaHaeon 10d ago edited 10d ago

While my personal experience working in IT has been positive, I know plenty of people who've had bad experiences.

There's no shortage of sexist techbros and asshole bosses in IT.

The big difference is that I can walk out if I don't like it and have employers lining up to hire me the next day. Sensible bosses and colleagues know to be nice to each other when that's the case.

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u/amoocalypse 10d ago

If I had to guess its because people in IT generally are a) relatively young and b) solution orientated.

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u/LifeSimulatorC137 10d ago

Also the pay is good and career advancement is common because the field is growing. Those are big factor's to workplace happiness.

Being in IT it's easy to forget not everyone is in a field with such crazy good growth prospects and pay. Usually the tradeoff is overwork is common and it can be high stress depending on team.

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u/EvilKittyBoy 10d ago

I got a lowish pay programming job, honestly pay is okay, just most other programmers make a lot more. But the amount of free time I got is silly and it's quite an easy job.

I think overwork is rather more common with the highly paid, because expectations are higher, but my experience is limited on those regards.

I work with some other guys that are also very smart, who could easily get more salary, but a lot of them come back; a lot have only left this job with their own business; what you do with the free time?...

Which is what I am myself doing :)

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u/DrWilliamHorriblePhD 10d ago

What kind of job and what do I need to know to get it? Free time and ok pay is all I want in life

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u/EvilKittyBoy 10d ago

Same sector IT.

But it's not a fancy job, it's a small town with a small local business.

Pay isn't the best of the world, but I can enjoy nature and still have enough left to buy a house since cost of living isn't too expensive around here either.

I don't think my salary would suffice in a place like USA nevertheless, I am in Finland.

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u/LifeSimulatorC137 10d ago

I think it is very wise to have good work life balance. A job you enjoy that pays enough is better than being a slave to your work and having great pay.

I'm living in Sweden and have taken that balance decision several times in my career.

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u/Supermunch2000 10d ago

IT Bros all have a common punching bag, that one "end user". We all have that person that are usually so dumb we ask ourselves how the hell they don't die brushing their teeth.

It's our shared experience... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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u/brutalanglosaxon 10d ago

The thing about IT is that there's so much knowledge out there, and there are many ways to find that knowledge. The people at the top of the game are those who genuinely are passionate about the field and have spent a lot of time understanding things. Things are also much easier when your colleges are knowledgeable too, so there's an incentive and a culture to share knowledge.

Many other sectors, the knowledge isn't that technically complex, anyone can understand it if told, but knowing it gives you a massive advantage over others that don't. So there's an incentive for people to withhold information from others to maintain an edge of social status in the workplace.

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u/Waste-Associate5773 10d ago

Maybe I should get into IT

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u/quick20minadventure 10d ago

If you don't gossip, you'll not network and not promote. :(

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u/Urizen1793 10d ago

And in IT, networking is very important

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u/IlIIlIIlllIllIIlIllI 10d ago

Networking definitely helps you LAN a better job.

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u/BeerMagic 10d ago

I’ve never experienced this in IT. It’s been gossipy and cut throat.

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u/space0watch 10d ago

The problem is then that it's hard to make friends at work. Some people want to because they don't have the privilage of already having friends outside of work. But of course there are caviets with having work friends. Their loyalty is usually to the company and themselves first.

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u/JonnyManhattan 10d ago

Had the best review of my life with a nice raise and tried to use that capital to stop a bully from making my work life hell. You are so right. Keep your mouth shut and your head down until you a boss or the boss.

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u/curryfart 10d ago

Do the opposite, talk positively about people even if you don't like them then nothing will backfire on you.

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u/vagara 10d ago

This can also have. negative effects. If someone comes to you with complains about a coworker, if you try to defend the other coworker, that may cause the one doing the complaining angry for various reasons. This is not as bad as the OP situation but it is not good either. I am not talking about situations where you are the manager and have to do something. I am talking about simple gossip.

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u/Fappo90 10d ago

In what shitholes of environments are you guys working, wtf?

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u/JakeRobber 10d ago

In the kitchen at Meals on Wheels. Even when all your work goes toward making people's day better, a coworker can manage to ruin your day.

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u/wooztheweb 10d ago

Literally every good friend I've had since leaving school is a coworker or former coworker. Sure I've worked with bad people, but they get weeded out or I just ignore them.

Here's a real life tip: these people you spend the majority of your waking hours with aren't the worst and no one likes working with a paranoid asshole who thinks everyone is out to get them.

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u/The_dog_says 10d ago

Seriously. I lead a team at a mental health clinic and everybody is always venting to each other when they're stressed or need help with something. It helps to share things honestly in this field. I have a meeting with the team in a couple weeks going over survey results on the business and you best believe that I'm going to rip into the new dress code along with them.

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u/scrobes 10d ago

Here we go again with this bullshit sub. Every fucking post now is,

"Don't ever do anything you want to do. Let everyone around you dictate your life for you. Your opinions and desires don't fucking matter at all."

I swear to God you people treat this sub as an excuse to police others because most of you are desperate to have power over literally anyone, even if it's fleeting and even if it's through a computer screen. Pathetic.

LPT- Keep your fucking mouth shut at work

This riveting pro tip was brought to you by the Anti Union Lobbyist Group

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u/R_i_o_m_a_a 10d ago

Shitty LPT: Make sure your gossip is unique and keep track of who you tell what. Then you can know who says what and tell others that they're terrible at keeping secrets. Thus keeping the circle of gossip ever flowing.

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u/Waste-Associate5773 10d ago

Lol I've thought about doing that

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u/migrations_ 10d ago

Happened to me. I didn't even gossip I was just really talkative and and made jokes about doing more advanced work. It really bothered an older man that I worked with and I started getting a talking to from my boss for things that didn't happen. Eventually I was fired for a very simple mistake that happens very commonly in my business. Every one I worked with was shocked that I was fired except the old man, who somehow knew.

I've come to realize you don't have to be friends with everyone. Just do your work the best you can. At my new job there is a group of three guys included my boss who are always talking and joking. In the past I would have felt left out not trying to get into the conversation and making jokes with them, but now I consider it a badge of honor that while they are taking and making jokes to I am still at my workstation getting stuff done.

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u/Lazy_Pen_1913 10d ago

Going through this exact situation right now. Genuinely makes me feel better about it. Thanks for sharing.

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u/WaltDisneyWhite 10d ago

I’ve learned to use this to my advantage. We have one person in the building who will run right to the GM if there is anything they feel the GM should know. Like Randal from Recess basically. If there is something I want the GM to hear, but I don’t want to be the one to bring it up, I just grab a co-worker, and go blab about it in front of Randal. Works every time.

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u/StephanieKaye 10d ago

Also remember that people who gossip TO YOU will have zero qualms gossiping ABOUT YOU.

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u/dfreinc 10d ago

i usually try and pass off an excuse for why they might be acting whatever way. if i know the other person and can think of one. i'm always trying to deescalate everything. it's hard for me to hear or see a stressed out person and not try and pass off whatever small fraction of my calm to them. 🤷‍♂️

we're all getting paid. act like a professional. this isn't high school.

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u/fatbunyip 10d ago

"try not to get involved.in office politics"

This is kinda stupid advice. Everyone else is playing office politics. You might not like it, but it's real.

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u/FastWalkingShortGuy 10d ago

This is actually not good advice.

Everyone plays the game.

You don't advance by being the quiet one who just does the work and doesn't speak up.

If your peers suck, call them out to your superiors. Point out the mistakes they make that you don't.

Career advancement isn't based solely on merit. It's based on how good you make yourself look.

And if you don't like confrontation, you don't even have to throw anyone under the bus. Just focus on assignments with the most exposure to the most senior people that will get you the most recognition.

If your main competition is Mike Tryhard who puts 100% of his energy into meeting all of his daily targets, you're going to have a leg up if you meet just one target that is on the radar of your boss's boss.

Politics are a part of the workplace.

If you don't play, you don't win.

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u/SteamSpoon 10d ago

Ah yeah there it is, the reason millions of full time workers hate their jobs.

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u/Kimaneous 10d ago

that is actually an underrated comment. basically what op is saying is : to avoid the fear of fucking up a baseline workplace environment do not interact with it. what this argument says is: in order to have a better work environment, meddle with it with brains so you get ahead, but by no means stay frozen by fear.

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u/kautau 10d ago

And both of these are super subjective. If your workplace is purely numbers oriented, you'll definitely get ahead by putting in the work. The reports of who's doing well will make it to your boss's boss. If it's not, and is more people oriented, being front and center and seen as the "go to" person will make a huge difference. When it comes to how to advance in your career, one size does not fit all.

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u/sbirdo 10d ago

Stuffen hell I'd be a sad human if I followed this. I just try and have a good time with everyone at work. I've got life friends from my workplaces.

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u/flyingfluffles 11d ago

Three rules: don’t gossip, don’t date people you work with and don’t trust anyone at office (no one is your friend)

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u/SuperShineeCoinToss7 10d ago

Yep, hard lesson learned. Never say anything you wouldn’t want repeated. The walls have ears.

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u/JakeRobber 10d ago

Both of my best relationships were started while being coworkers. If you have a strong bond, don't let being coworkers stand in the way. Five and a half years later with the one I'm in now, and it's stronger than ever.

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u/TigreDemon 10d ago

Well then I'll die alone since all I do is work lmao

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u/TheRedMaiden 10d ago

Fuckin' right? People here profess "coworkers can NEVER EVER EVER BE FRIENDS NUH-UH!" Like it's friggen gospel, and THEN complain how hard making friends as an adult is.

Well maybe if they didn't socially condemn the people they spend most of their day with.

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u/Areia25 10d ago

The 2nd and 3rd rule are just people that had bad judgement being salty.

I dated someone i worked with - we were both sensible, didn't let it get in the way of our work and it continued to be fine after we split because we were mature about it. I've also met some of my closest friends at work. If i didn't trust them, i would have never have had the chance to connect with them.

I feel like the first rule is the overarching one here where people have gossiped to someone they dated or someone they thought they could trust.

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u/[deleted] 10d ago edited 8d ago

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u/Darthmalgus970 10d ago

I’m convinced that most people that believe you shouldn’t be friends with coworkers are actually the asshole in the situation and get screwed over because everyone else hates them

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u/Rainyreflections 10d ago edited 10d ago

My (hopefully) life partner of 9 years I've met at my previous job, crushed hopelessly, pursued them, dated and the rest is history. Also met the world bestest family-in-law along the way. Got new friends because of my partner. One of my closest friends is from a previous job, another close one stuck around for very long and I never ever had my trust in my colleagues betrayed. Not once.

So you see, life experiences are very different for different people.

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u/Telemere125 10d ago

Omg get a job at a company worth being with. Not saying my coworkers gossip about each other a lot, but the idea that I’ll have to “watch my back” and guard my words around the people I work with is just awful.

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u/TheRedMaiden 10d ago

And the idea that "coworkers can NEVER be friends?" That's complete bs.

If someone thinks everywhere they work everyone is an asshole backstabber, there's only one common denominator...

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u/Telemere125 10d ago

Agreed; if everyone’s out to get you, maybe you’ve done something worthy of the attention

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u/Sweet__kitty 10d ago

Even a different location within the same company can make a difference!

My employer operates countywide and my coworkers and I have a good idea of where we should and shouldn't transfer if we want to have it as good or better. Places with micro-managing supervisors, super busy / understaffed, high turnover, locations that lack coverage putting us in a position to pick up the slack, discipline issues within the ranks.... Those are NOPE! even if it is closer to home.

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u/theleftkneeofthebee 10d ago

I disagree. This is most certainly not always true. There are many cases in which gossiping may actually lead to something getting done and changing a workplace environment for the better.

Case in point: we recently had a manager who was just being plain awful to their underlings. It was so bad that they were too frightened to speak up to any higher ups about it, and the only way they could deal with it was by gossiping. Well it turns out they gossiped to someone on a different team who was concerned with this and reported the managers behavior to the higher ups. Higher ups took notice and reprimanded the manager after which things changed for the better.

You just have to really be good at picking who you gossip with, but it is by no means a black and white rule.

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u/Lusterkx2 10d ago

100% agree with you. My department have many various team. We all congregate in one lounge in the morning for coffee.

All you have to do is really act curious to something that’s bothering you.

I remember just happened to chat with some guy in another department how our boss doesn’t give us our 15 minute break. Yes, we should be taking it, but our boss makes us run pass the break time.

So just genuinely asked the other guy if they are getting their break, he said yes. Then I said we don’t get ours. He was shock. Next two days out of now where our boss been literally so demanding to give us our break. Apparently he ended up in a meeting and was told he was violating rules, which we knew he was.

It does change things if you talk about it to the right people.

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u/tHIRSTY_Wok 10d ago

When I was promoted to Supervisor at my job, the first thing I said to the workers is that negative gossip will not be tolerated. There is zero reason for it. But, workplace politics about the workplace itself should be discussed, that's the only way the workplace can be better for everyone.

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u/lightninhopkins 10d ago

Nah. Don't do that.. Part of a career is learning to work with others. What people often call "politics" is people that have good interpersonal skills.

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u/fishbiscuit13 10d ago

Do I get to post this tip next week?

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u/RedditCanLigma 10d ago

or a better LPT....stop giving a fuck and walking on egg shells at work. The worst thing they can do is fire you, and damn near every company on the planet is hiring right now.

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u/Dandibear 11d ago

Good advice outside work, too. There's no reason to talk nasty about people behind their backs. Complain about specific policies or personality quirks, but trashing a person entirely makes you look mean. If you absolutely must go off about a person, do it with someone you're particularly close to who knows you just need to vent and aren't actually a jerk.

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