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Home  > Article

Six Topics to Avoid Discussing at Work

By S. Thompson
Associated Content

When at work, your main objective is to remain professional in everything that you do. While you might have friends at work with whom you like to confide, save personal conversations for after-work drinks.

  • Even if you are an ardent believer in a religion, it isn't something you should discuss at work.
  • You don't need to preach about your political beliefs to your coworkers.
  • No one wants to hear about what you and the missus did last night in bed.
When you make personal rules about discussions at work, you save yourself the trouble of entering into needless debates and creating enemies. Not only that, but office gossip can be vicious, and you don't want your personal information spread from cubicle to cubicle. Following are six topics to avoid discussing at work.

If you are an ardent believer in a religion, that's great, but it isn't something you should discuss with your colleagues at work. Religion is an intensely private subject that should only be discussed outside of work. Even if you know that your colleagues are like-minded, you run the risk of offending someone who overhears what you're talking about. Further, talking about religion can instigate needless debate that will keep everyone from doing their jobs. It opens the company (as well as the employees) up to possible lawsuits and creates havoc where none needs to be.

I don't really see a problem with discussing the latest legislation passed by Congress, but you don't need to preach about your political beliefs to your coworkers. First, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and you don't want to offend anyone. Secondly, politics is as personal and as hotly debated as religion and it will detract from your work. Keep your political affiliation to yourself and concentrate on other matters.

No one wants to hear about what you and the missus did last night in bed. I guarantee it. Sex should never be a topic of discussion at work for two reasons: First, your partner probably wouldn't be happy that you're sharing intimate details of your sex life; and second, you might mention something about sex that makes another colleague feel uncomfortable. Even talking about sex or sexual preferences can be construed as sexual harassment, which is something you obviously want to avoid.

While it might be okay to talk about your family vacation or to tell your coworkers about family traditions, you definitely don't want to share personal information about family members. Your relatives wouldn't appreciate it and you'd be violating their privacy. Further, your colleagues have problems with their own families and don't want to worry about yours, so don't discuss family at work.

It is always a rule of thumb to never discuss salary at work. You might be making more (or less) than the guy at the next cubicle, and you don't want to start a wave of jealousy or anger. Not only that, but you shouldn't talk about benefits, potential raises or anything else work related other than your specific job. If you're planning on leaving your company for a better job, keep it to yourself until you've handed in your resignation. You don't want things like that getting back to your boss, who probably won't appreciate your big mouth.

Haven't you ever been in an office with someone who can't stop talking about his surgeries, his medications and his urinary tract infections? Nobody wants to hear about your health problems and they aren't your coworkers' business, anyway. The only time you should discuss your health at work is if you need to tell your boss about why you require time off for health-related concerns.

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This article was reprinted with permission from Associated Content, The People's Media Company. Visit today to publish your own content and explore AC's growing multimedia library.

© 2008 Associated Content, Inc.

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