How to Avoid Workplace Drama
Don't Bring Me Your Drama
Employee #1: “Did you hear Margaret is married and is sleeping with Bill from Finance on the 5th floor?”
Employee #2: “What? I heard Bill used to be a Belinda. I wonder if Margaret knows?”
Employee #1: “What?! Bill had a sex change? When was this?”
Employee #3: “What are you two talking about?”
Don’t let Employee #3 be you! Asking “what?” will get you involved where you don’t need to be. If you see two or more people hunkered in some suspicious circle not letting their voices go above a whisper, that’s your cue to keep it moving. So many times we want in on innocent conversations just to stay in the loop but is it really worth it? Those “innocent” conversations might not be as innocent as you think. Here below I’ve listed a few ways to keep your nose and record clean while at work.
1. Avoid the Drama Queen/King
You’ve seen them. Eyes jetting from side to side, assessing the situation around them. Ears on the alert for any given gossip they can get their hands on. And they can’t wait to pass this info on to you. But what you don’t realize is that in their half-assed process of shoddy detective work they have managed to completely catch the tail end of a convo or have totally rearranged what they heard to where it doesn’t even resemble the truth. So how is this source to be trusted? It can’t. And why do they do it? Because their own miserable lives are in shambles and they want others around her/him to suffer as well. It is your job to know who these offenders are and go the other way when you see them.
Or they're the ones that constantly talk about everything that goes on in their lives. "I can't afford to buy crackers." , "My car ran out of gas." or "I cut my finger and no one cares." Boo-freakin-hoo. I've got my own problems and my own situations. I don't need to come to work and be bombarded and depressed by your torturous life. Leave me out of it. Most of these people that complain like this have put themeselves in those situations. Why bring me down with your sinking ship?
2. Lock Down Those Ears
Don’t let those strands of “he say, she say” float their way between your ears. When you enter a room and they’re in mid-whisper, ignore it. And definitely look the other way when you see smoking coming out of someone’s ears combined with angry glances. No doubt what they’re talking about will turn your high into a low. It’s in your best interest to not even acknowledge the on goings. So when your boss starts interrogating everyone one by one over a situation that has gotten out of hand, you will be an innocent. You can honestly answer you have no idea what they are talking about.
3. Keep Your Nose to the Grind
Staying productive at work will keep you out of trouble as well. Make little projects for yourself that keep you busy. Do things that don’t require you to hang out with the goof troop quite as much. And in the process you won’t have heard anything and you might even get a promotion out of all the diligent work you’ve put forth.
4. Let Them Know Gossip Isn't Your Thang
If you don’t want to be in the middle of the madness, straight up let them know. Just say, “I don’t want to be rude but I don’t want to know what you’re talking about. Thanks for wanting to include me but I’ve got to go organize my M&M’s by color.” Or maybe come up with a better rejection line. Nothing will shut the gossip from making its way to your ears like putting your foot down and letting them know you’re not interested in that mess. Chances are the next time they will know you don’t enjoy partaking in that type of thing and they will leave you out of it.
5. Take It In But Don't Spit It Out
If you do find yourself being told the juicy deeds of someone else’s life by either that person themselves or by others. Listen to it, make your comments to it if you feel it’s necessary and dump what you have learned. Don’t pass it on. Don’t mull over it in your mind. Just let it go. There’s no sense in spreading the nonsense even farther. It might boomerang and come back on you, claiming that you were the fire starter. Plus you never know who you are hurting in the process. Whether it be yourself or the subject.
6. Munch by Yourself
I’m not saying run from it. And I’m definitely not saying be anti-social but every now and then take a break alone. Get away from that negativity. Or hopefully, you will have other co-workers that you can have lunch with that feel the same as you. And you can have at least half an hour to an hour of peace.
7. Use Those Boots for Walking
Plenty of times I have been in the workstation with my co-workers and we’ll be having a good conversation about something not relating to work. All of a sudden the gossip begins. It’s as if people just run out of things to talk about so they just have to start on something. Or someone comes in with a negative attitude about something. Bringing everyone down. If it’s something that brings down my mood and I don’t want to hear about I just get up and walk away. They’ve got 5 other people to listen to their crap. They don’t need my two ears to complete the gripe session.
Personally my definition of drama isn’t just gossip. It’s something that causes a negative vibe throughout the workplace. It can be something negative that is spread as a rumor or something negative that comes directly from a person’s mouth about their own home lives. Or perhaps something gets them upset at work which in turn creates a negative working environment for everyone else. And that soon becomes the topic of the gossip. Drama at work is always going to be there. It’s up to you to stay clear from it. Most of the time it can’t be helped but if you can find a way to stay ignorant about the drama, do it. Like I mentioned before, people have nothing better in their lives to do but to spread their misery and stir the pot. Let them stew in their own drama and drown in it for all I care.