Most of us have been taught to always tell the truth. Yet, sometimes we may find ourselves in situations where spilling the beans is not the best option. Telling the truth can tarnish your reputation. Sharing your secret may send you kicking and screaming to the slammer. You may tell the truth and end up sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge, sucking all the joy out of those around you. Sharing your opinion when you have nothing nice to say may leave you alone, without any more friends. Admitting your deficiencies may feel liberating, until your boss sends you packing. Keep a filter on your mouth and weigh your words carefully. Otherwise, you may be sorry you ever said anything at all.
1. You're Having an Affair at Work
So you may feel virile like you’re channeling Don Juan as you romance that hot coworker or have an affair with your boss. Kudos to you, but that doesn’t mean you should tell tales all over the office. Some things are better left unsaid. Savor that feeling of having clandestine meetings in the storage room or after hours in your office. Just don’t tell everyone. If you’re in the middle of an office romance with a coworker, you don’t want word to spread to your boss—especially if there is a no fraternization rule.
Now, if you’re having an affair with your boss, guess that rule is a moot point. However, the minute you start blabbing to colleagues about the affair, and word gets back to your boss, looks like your relationship is probably over. Not to mention, you may then have to work for a boss who is looking for any reason to retaliate and terminate you for ruining her reputation. Ok, so she had a hand in ruining her own reputation. It takes two to tango after all, but as they say hell has no fury like a woman scorned.
2. You Live a Secret Life of Crime
So maybe you’re not a wise guy in the mafia or an art thief on the side. Yet, you have some secret life of crime that no one should know about. You might have a police record from your wild and free college days. Unless your boss has done a criminal background check on you, that might not be something you want to lead with during your first meeting with him. Maybe you have violated video pirating laws when you were frequently downloading movies. You can’t help yourself recording them and sharing the videos with friends or selling them online. Be wise who you share this information with. You may think it’s cool and everyone else will think so too.
However, you may have a goody two-shoes coworker who doesn’t like you and will use any ammunition he can find to damage your reputation or get you in trouble with the law. Watch how much you drink during the next Happy Hour with coworkers. The last thing you need is to get drunk and start spilling the beans about how you frequently shoplift and have never gotten caught. Sure, other drunken coworkers may laugh it off and think you’re hilarious. Just watch out for those sober ones who heard your tales and make you the topic of discussion at the water cooler on Monday.
3. You Don’t Want to Be a Killjoy
Positivity in the office is a good thing. It can help to keep everyone productive and actually motivated to come to work. Being a killjoy is the nemesis of positivity. At your next holiday party when everyone is enjoying a festive atmosphere, that’s not the best time to tell the truth and kill the mood, simply because you hate celebrating holidays. Save your depressing monologue of horrible family holiday memories for the bartender when you drink away your sorrows after work. No one wants to hear that you never believed in Santa Claus as a child, disliked singing Christmas carols or hated the presents your parents gave you for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
So the next time you’re brainstorming with coworkers, don’t enjoy being a killjoy while you burst everyone’s bubble simply because you think their ideas are crappy. There’s a better way to tell the truth in that type of situation than by being a killjoy of the creative atmosphere. When your boss acts like a kid on Christmas morning, excitedly sharing details on working for a major new client, that’s not the time to stand on the table and shoot down his idea. Don’t relish telling everyone you think he’s making a bad decision and you refuse to work on the project. Are you trying to commit a career suicide?
4. You Have Nothing Nice to Say
Of course we all have opinions about people’s appearances and their behavior. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to be an open book and start telling the truth when you have nothing nice to say. Ok, so if you thrive on being the office villain, lash out all you want. Just be prepared for the consequences. You’ll probably have no friends and will only be hero worshiped by a bunch of people with low self-esteem who wish they could be like you. They probably need their head examined if they love the office villain.
When your colleague asks you what you think about her new haircut, choose your words wisely. You may hate it and think she looks like she has a bird’s nest on her head. That’s probably not the best way to handle the situation. You may feel like vomiting while giving her a compliment on her hair, but that’s better than the alternative—to leave her crying in your wake. Then everyone will think you’re mean and start labeling you the villain. Except of course, for your band of loyal misfit followers.
5. You're a Complete & Total Slacker
Sometimes slacking off is a relief from the pressure of the workday. Slacking off all day long can get you fired. Yet, if you have learned the ins and outs of slacking off without getting caught, that may not be the best thing to start sharing with everyone. Ok, so maybe you’ll make an exception for your best buddy in the office. Just make sure you can trust him with your secret.
Telling the truth to fellow coworkers that you’re a complete and total slacker will quickly backfire on your master plan. The last thing you need is for your boss to come checking on you every 30 minutes because your secret came out that you’re a career slacker. You don’t need to have a lenient boss become a micromanaging maniac overnight. Your life could then become a living hell in the office. So much for living the easy life while slacking off and playing video games or surfing the net all day long!
See Also: Is it Acceptable to Lie on Your CV
So the next time you’re afraid of your nose growing because of the Pinocchio Nose Syndrome and having lied, think carefully before you speak. Maybe it’s better to have a slightly larger nose, than dealing with the consequences of telling the truth all the time. After all, you don’t want to become the target of a woman scorned because of telling tales of your Don Juan experiences. Don’t you want to protect your professional reputation and leave your life of crime a secret? Becoming the office villain simply because you have to tell the truth and be a killjoy can leave you in a very lonely place, except for your minions. Even if it kills you, give a compliment rather than start a war over a haircut! Don’t spill the beans about your master plan as a career slacker. Some things are sacred and no one should ever know about them.
Have you ever told the truth in one of these types of situations and regretted that? Let us know in the comments section below...