A young lady recently stormed her husband’s office accusing him of frequently sleeping out, claiming he was on duty, or doing field work.
She not only shouted for everyone to hear, but even complained to her husband’s bosses. Needless to say, the man was a victim of gossip at his workplace.
In today’s work environment, it is common for one’s personal and work life to overlap. Issues related to relationships, family and other private aspects can spill into one’s assignments, and even cause unwanted gossip.
Your personal life can invade your job in many aspects. For instance, financial problems can interfere with an employee’s ability to concentrate on their work. One will automatically lose concentration if for instance they slept with an empty stomach.
Research shows that workers at the age of 18 to 35 are more likely to have issues regarding relationship and marriages. And those who are over 35 and above will suffer from midlife crises, reflecting on earlier decisions they made.
Then those over 50 might be disturbed over their retirement. Questions like, ‘will I be able to support myself when I am no longer working?’ will top the list among other issues.
This is obvious that your private life is interfering with your work. For other workers, this is an opportunity to gossip. What is important here is to learn how to cope with gossip by doing your best.
If you feel you are victimized by gossip, ignore the negative remarks you overhear and focus on your positive attributes.
Gossiping is part of human nature. You just have to accept it positively. If you pay so much attention on it, you will begin seeing yourself in a negative light, and this will depress you.
It is quite notable that people only gossip about individuals who are significant and ignore the insignificant ones.
However, workers should closely listen to the gossip they hear about themselves, and use it to check any bad habits they may have developed. Sometimes where there is smoke there is fire.
Are they gossiping about the phone calls you make to your girlfriend, the way you dress, or the long lunch break you take? Just take a look into your life and re-evaluate your behavior.
If the gossip is about your personal life and has nothing to do with your work, you have every reason to complain to your boss.
However, when your private life interferes with your work, you are likely to become a topic of discussion.
Some of the things you should avoid are;
Avoid using your partner’s workplace as a way to humiliate them. If you suspect they are having an affair, tackle the situation through your marriage counselor, but not their boss.
Be cautious about problems that can hurt your concentration and productivity. But make sure you set time for everything.
Finally, use office gossip as a way to check yourself and then strike a balance to act more professionally. Things will indeed work out for you.
The author is a teacher at Kagarama secondary school