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How to Deal with Gossip at the Workplace

Foram Mehta
Gossip is that one thing which is considered as entertaining as long as the gossip is about someone else. But when you are targeted it can be hurtful and shattering. Read more to find ways in which you can deal with gossip.
Gossip is an integral part of every work culture. At some point in our lives either we have been a topic of gossip for people or we have someone as a topic for your gossip.
Gossips about you at your work place can be very disturbing, upsetting and depressing. But that's not how you deal with gossip. I will give you ways which are tested and proven to be effective in dealing with gossip issues at work.

Share Personal Details Only With Trusted Friends

There are times you are in distress and all you want to do is speak it out to someone and lighten yourself. But please never do it with your office colleagues. Because, they are not your friends, they don't know you and your history well and moreover they don't really care.
If you are desperately in need to talk to someone about something personal, call up your best friend or wait till you get home and talk it out with anyone at home (family or close friend).

For, if you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. - Kahlil Gibran.

Work = Competition

Always remember that at work people are fighting with each other to reach the top before anyone else does. So, people will not really leave a chance to drop you down. Always remember that you have competitors around you.
They are those people who will be pleased when they see you fall than watch you succeed. This is a rule of thumb.

"When you are in trouble, people who call to sympathize are really looking for the particulars." - Edgar Watson Howe

Don't Gossip About Others

A very famous proverb says that, "Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you too." So, please don't gossip about others if you don't want to be gossiped about in bargain. You can never trust a person who gossips about others and derives pleasure out of it; you never know when you could be the next target.

Ignore It

When you hear a lot of gossip about you, the best way to deal with it is by ignoring it. People are going to say a thousand things, without knowing and assuring the truth behind it; you can't really stop them from doing so. So be it! Don't bother and keep improving your work and skills while others are busy talking about you. Though, if it crosses a limit don't stop yourself from reprimanding the gossiper.

Confront the Gossiper

If you get to know that someone is spreading some really crappy rumors about you and which are not true, confront that person. Find the gossiper alone and ask him/her to stop doing so.
If the rumors have been spread widely and has caused you big trouble then you can also confront him/her in front of everyone so that even others hear will you out.

"Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own rules." - Douglas Adams

Give The Gossiper a Dose of His/Her Own Medicine

A few people don't change until they suffer. So, backfire whatever happened to you and that's the only way to teach a lesson to an obstinate gossiper.

Keep Things to Yourself

In case of a few incidents, it is best when you keep things to yourself. For there are situations and circumstances that no one else will be able to understand at that point of time; as they have not gone through it. So like Napoleon I said, "The best way to keep one's word is not to give it."

Gossip is Good!

When you are being gossiped about, be sure that people are either jealous of you or curious about your life. Look at the positive side, it makes you popular.
This is certainly because people who gossip about you, their lives are not as interesting as yours and so, by merely talking, guessing and discussing your life they are trying to add some spice to their own lives. You shouldn't care less.

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."- Oscar Wilde

There is Truth Associated With it

Like you can't have smoke without fire, you also can't have a gossip that is absolutely faux. People are curious by nature so, they will talk and discuss on things. Either reveal the truth or let the people continue talking (Thank God! They don't know the entire story).

Don't Deal with Gossip (?!)

This is the final way, I'd advise you to deal with gossip at work. By 'don't deal with gossip' I mean be an open book so that there is nothing that you are really trying to hide from anyone.
"It's life and shit happens!" When you are very clear and open about yourself and your life, others will not really have much to talk about you.

So, like Will Rogers said, "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip".
The word gossip is commonly associated and related to women. But how true is that? It is not true! Because men gossip too. The major difference is that women usually gossip about other women and even men gossip about other women. Gossiping has its own good and bad effects.

Advantages Associated With Gossiping

1. Gives the gossiper and the 'gossipy' (person who is the topic of gossip) popularity
2. Releases stress
3. It's entertaining
4. Helps people bond
Yes, these are the advantages. You can gossip but associate yourself with good gossip. Never gossip about someone in a way that can harm or hurt the other person. There are many disadvantages of gossiping which I really don't want to list here, because this article is for those who are already trying to deal with gossip.