Building Boundaries: Things Not to Share to Your Workmates

It’s a lot easier to get things done when you’re surrounded by people who care about you and your work. To be pleasant at the workplace is one thing; to be friendly outside of the workplace is quite another. The dividing line is how much of your darkest secrets you should be willing to disclose with others. But remember that even though you may be pleasant and have a solid connection, business and friendship are two distinct entities.

Things Not to Share With Your Workmates:

  1. Just keep the details between you and Human Resources as to how much money you make. Disclosement suggests that you cannot maintain a secret.
  1. It’s normal to feel like an imposter from time to time. Don’t let anybody know that you’re unsure about your own identity. You’re capable of doing the job.
  1. Becoming a whiner, even if you don’t have any complaints about your job, will give you a terrible name in the workplace. The more nasty things you say about a colleague, the more likely it is that you’ll be seen as untrustworthy.
  1. Politics and religion are two subjects that elicit strong feelings from people. In doing so, you may alienate a coworker or be seen as a negative influence on your career. You should never make the assumption that your colleagues reflect your political or religious views, no matter how well-informed they seem to be.
  1. The workplace is not the place to air your frustrations about your personal relationships. Because they can’t help, they’ll either be embarrassed by your situation or think of you as a romantic trainwreck because of it.

The unwritten rules of sharing at the workplace are distinct from those you’d hear on the street. Taking a minute to think about what may be irritating your coworkers may help you avoid aggravating them, too.

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