You overhear your coworkers talking by the water cooler, “Did you see what he was wearing?” For some, it might be tempting to join in, especially if you also thought those neon green pants your co-worker was wearing were outrageous! But, before you join in, remind yourself this—there is never an upside to gossiping at work. Keep these things in mind before engaging in gossip at work:

  1. When you talk negatively about others, studies show people associate negative characteristics with you. Some people talk bad about other people to try to make themselves look better than—but it often has the opposite effect.
  2. The people you gossip with won’t trust you, and you can’t trust them. Odds are those same people are talking about you behind your back, and they will think the same of you.
  3. You have no idea what that person is going through. Maybe that guy with the neon green pants had to sell all of his clothes to pay off his kid’s medical bills, and those were the only pants he could afford at the thrift store. You never know what someone else is going through, and wouldn’t you feel terrible if you said something bad about someone who was really going through a hard time?
  4. Gossip breeds toxicity. It puts everyone in a bad mood to hear negative comments. Don’t be the reason your work environment is toxic.