The air around most work spaces is stiff, but not so stiff that you feel uncomfortable. You are not in a freaky black and white film where everyone marches to the same beat. But there is a sense of seriousness within the walls of the work area. You know that at the very moment you walk through the company’s doors you leave your personal problems, outrageous weekend tales, and loud personality outside. You are there to work. You are there to make money for the company, therefore making money for yourself. Unfortunately, there is minimal laughing and chit chatting. You sit at your desk, type on your computer, plan meetings, or whatever else your job entails. Basically, your workplace is not your home. You shouldn’t be so relaxed that you feel you can prop your feet up and gossip with your coworkers.
Don’t get me wrong. Work can be fun too, especially if you really enjoy your job. People make friends at work all the time. There are opportunities to bond with your co-workers during lunch, during team projects, and even during after work happy hour. But there is a line that must be drawn when getting friendly with your colleagues. There are just some things you shouldn’t bring up at work. Mixing your personal life with your job can get pretty messy and you really don’t want that to happen. Here are seven personal problems you shouldn’t share at work.
1. Marital Issues
No marriage is perfect. That is a fact. You are going to fight and argue about meaningless things. So what if your husband leaves the cap off the toothpaste or your wife forgets to turn the television off before she leaves. Those problems are tiny compared to other things you have to deal with. For that reason, you shouldn’t bring your personal marital issues into work. Talking about your problems with your significant other makes you come across as easily agitated and whiney. Both of which are not qualities a successful person should have. You marital problems are between you, your lover, and possibly a marriage counselor. Actually, you definitely need to talk to a marriage counselor if you feel the need to air all of your dirty laundry out at work.
2. Health Issues
Talking about your personal health problems doesn’t get you in trouble but it can change how people perceive you at work. Once your colleagues now that you are sick, they will assume that you can’t do your job. You will be seen as fragile and therefore can’t keep up with your responsibilities. You will become the toddler of the office who needs to be cuddled and checked up on. Your entire career that you’ve built will become nothing as soon as you announce your health problems. You will probably have to move to a different company, maybe even a different town in order to wipe away your new image. People talk. Things get around. You don’t want to be the weak link within the company, so don’t talk about your health issues at work.
3. Financial Problems
It’s understandable to think that your coworkers would understand your money troubles. They probably make close to the same amount of money as you do and could very well be going through the exact same struggles. But that doesn’t mean they have decent advice to give you. They don’t want to hear about your financial problems, just as you don’t want to hear about theirs. Talking about your mutual depression about not making enough money to pay your bills could turn into a cry fest. I’m pretty sure crying uncontrollably is not part of your job duties. Another reason why you shouldn’t talk about your financial troubles is because you give the impression that you are irresponsible. Do you really want your boss and colleagues to lose faith in your capabilities? Things can go south really fast if you let them.
4. Family Issues
No one’s family is flawless, including yours. We all have our issues with our mom, dad, sister, brother, cousins, grandmother, or evil distant relative. The last thing any of your co-workers want to hear is your family problems when they have some of their own. They don’t care that your daughter is sneaking out of the house or that you son is hanging out with the wrong crowd. Your family issues should stay within the walls of your home. Do you really want your family issues to be the center of office gossip? Definitely not. It would feel like you just had an unauthorized book published about your life and I’m sure people will embellish the truth to sound more entertaining. Keep work and family separate.
5. Dating Problems
I’m pretty sure there is an unspoken rule in the workplace about having relationships with colleagues, so that also means that you shouldn’t bring your personal dating stories into work either. If you really feel the need to tell someone about how Brad took you to a junk yard for your first date or how Lindsey complained about everything, scurry off to the bathroom and call your best friend. Keep your personal dating problems outside of your work environment because you don’t want to be seen as immature, needy, and lonely.
6. Drug Addiction
Your place of work is not where your alcoholic anonymous meetings take place nor is it where you score your favorite drugs. Your cubicle isn’t the creepy corner where you wait for your drug dealer. Although your mind may be getting things mixed up, you should not talk about your secret drug addiction with your colleagues or superiors. If you are capable of being a raging alcoholic on the weekends and a functioning adult during the workweek, then good for you. Keep your wild social life to yourself. If your coworkers ever found out, they would never look at you the same way and you could possibly be fired.
7. Issues With Politics
Sometimes you may disagree with the way your country is being ran and all of the new rules that are being proposed, but you should not voice your opinion at work. Scream and shout all you want when you are on your own time, but not during work hours. Politics is one of those sensitive topics that should be avoided when trying to maintain a functioning environment. It falls under the same umbrella as religion. You just don’t openly voice your opinion about them because you never know who you could be offending. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be able to speak your mind. You should just refrain from doing so within hearing distance.
They say some rules are meant to be broken, but these rules are not those rules. Don’t try to be the office rebel by discussing these personal problems at work. You shouldn’t hint or dance around the subjects. You should keep your focus on your job and maybe throw in something funny about the television show you watched last night. Keep your personal problems to yourself, period.
Have you ever shared a personal problem with your coworkers?