You know how it is: the juicier the gossip is, the faster it spreads across the office. Time and again, you have promised yourself that you will no longer participate in gossip, but it seems to chase you around and you have a hard time keeping all the juicy details by yourself. So how do you deal with those officemates who want to gossip without appearing standoffish?
Be professional at all times. Learn to distinguish the difference between the professional and the personal. If the topic at hand is too personal and you are not that close to the person being talked about, mind your own business and instead, concentrate on the task at hand, and soon you’ll find yourself too busy to be distracted by gossip. The reason that gossip thrives is because there are just way too many idle times. Whoever said that an idle mind is the devil’s playground is right. Focus on your tasks, and don’t allow yourself to be thrown into the fray.
Never repeat or confirm anything you’ve heard from a source. I’m sure you have encountered a lot of tattletales in the workplace who constantly fish for information or confirmation of what they already know. Ignore the lot of them.
Realize that there are two sides to every story. Do not be judgemental or self-righteous. This will help put things into perspective and as such, you would rather keep quiet and wait for both stories to come out before drawing to a conclusion.
See the positive in every situation. Make it a habit to see the good things on people and compliment them on it. Somebody who attracts positivity will drive the whiners and complainers out, because these people prefer the company of the same ilk.
Don’t be afraid to be the odd man out. The minute you notice that a meeting has come to a close and it has now turned into a griping session, don’t be afraid to excuse yourself out of a room. It is tempting to engage especially if the topic is something close to your heart, but if you know that it is gossip, stand your ground by not speaking at all.