Workplace Gossip – A Type of Office Violence

Published 19 Aug 2017

Workplace gossip is an extremely harmful activity that not only negatively affects your productivity level but your self esteem and may even cause you your job. Thus, it’s important to clearly understand and identify with this dilemma, discipline ourselves from engaging in such harmful activities, and mostly learn how to deal with it if you become the victim of workplace gossip.

To many, gossiping in the workplace is pretty common. Most of us have either been victims or even the workplace gossiper ourselves. What many of us fail to acknowledge is that gossiping at work is a type of work violence. Many people mistakenly assume that violence is a term solely for physical violence. Violence is a certain act that causes fear, harm, and pain to others. Gossiping is a non-physical act that also cause fear, harm and pain. The pain, however, lies in the emotional level of a person versus the typical physical level that is usually associated with violence. Workplace gossip is a common office act that a lot of us are guilty of committing. It is a common office problem that is rarely brought out into the light due to the public’s perception of its low level of importance in our typical everyday lifestyle. However, workplace gossip is not an issue that should be taken lightly. It can cause a great deal of harm to both the attacker and the victims as well.

We all do the things that we do for a reason – whether or not we are consciously aware of what we do is another measure. This is no different when it comes to the office “drama nobility (kings, queens, princesses, etc.)”. Workplace gossip exists because people either feel insecure or have a strong emotional need to fit in. Gossipers, usually the most active at the office may have low self esteem or the strong need to fit in. Gossiping is then used to conceal the blemishes of their insecurities and low self esteem by casting out some members by ways of bad mouthing, and other activities.

What many workplace conspirators do not know is that this negative and unhealthy behavior is bound to backfire by affecting not only the attacker’s productivity, but the company’s efficiency as well. When activities like this carry on for long periods of time, employers will start to take notice and everyone will become responsible for this lack of productivity.

By knowing how workplace gossip can be harmful to all the parties involved, it is thus necessary to discipline yourself to not be a participant of the office gossip conspiracy. It may be tempting to get trapped in workplace gossip. However, by understanding the negative effects of workplace gossiping, it is necessary to use self discipline and stop yourself from stepping into this perpetual cycle of violence. Understand that it takes your decision to decide not to participate in this type of behavior at work. It requires discipline to stand your ground and directly let others know that you aren’t interested and will not take part in workplace gossip.

Finally, the most important thing is to learn how to deal with being a victim of workplace gossip. If you find yourself at the other end of the spectrum, the best thing to do is to be straightforward about how you feel about the situation. By letting your attackers know that you will not tolerate their inconsiderate behaviors, you will not only win their respect but those of other people in the workplace who understand what is going on inside. If the situation doesn’t improve, write a letter and have a few people confirm what is being said and done at the office and submit it to your supervisor or whoever is in charge. This will stop the “main office gossip” in their track and ensure you will be working peacefully from that day forward. Know your rights in the workplace and exercise it when necessary to ward off these office gossipers and keeping them from causing harm to you and your company’s productivity level.

Thus, it’s important to understand and learn about workplace gossip and the harm that it may cause through the knowledge and identification of it, the discipline that we must have to ensure that we levitate away from such behaviors and how we should practice our rights should we become the scapegoat of such activity are crucial to your success at work.

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