Getting friendly with your coworkers really is a great thing. Not only does it make the day go by faster (which in some cases can be a serious plus) but it just makes it easier to get up in the morning (or at night) and go to work. But sometimes these chummy relationships can become dangerous as they start to drift toward the unprofessional end of the spectrum. I don't want to discourage you from making friends in your workplace, just remember that some aspects of your personal lives and opinions should be saved for after hour drinks with your close (non-work) friends. Here's a list of them:
“I’m so hungover”: Obviously, you should avoid putting yourself in this situation, but it happens! You went out and had four too many shots on a work night and wake up the next morning with the worst headache of life. It happens to the best of us. But it’s definitely not something that needs to be vocalized as it makes you look very unprofessional.
“I’m gonna call out sick tomorrow”: Yes, Americans are overworked and sure, you’d probably be much happier living in a European country. Every now and then you need a break. But that’s not something that anyone needs to know. What if your coworker gets jealous of your free day and slips your real whereabouts to your boss? Just call out sick and be done with it.
“Working here sucks” or “I’d rather work at XYZ”: We all get it and probably most of us experience it at least one time in our life: you don’t like your job. But outwardly saying that can be really demoralizing to the person you’re telling; no one wants to feel like they work in an undesirable place. Or maybe they really enjoy your job and you’re making them feel bad for actually liking what they chose to do with their life. Rude. And anyway, what if your boss catches wind of this and lays you off? I think a sucky and most likely temporary job might be just a little better than the unemployment line.
“_____ is so annoying”: First of all, you don’t want this ever getting back to the person you’re bad-mouthing even if they’re the the worst person in the office. Secondly, this kind of gossip could alienate the friend you’re talking to because any human would wonder ‘if they’re talking about so-and-so, then they could be talking about me behind my back.’ Just save the bashing for your journal and ignore that person.
“I had an interview at XYZ”: You never want to tell people you’re actively seeking another job. What if your boss finds out you plan to leave, you don’t get the new job and wind up unemployed? ...Awkward. Additionally, never EVER tell anyone you’re taking a new job until you’ve told your boss. This is just common courtesy.
“If _____ happens again, I’m quitting”: We all get frustrated. Just don’t verbalize those frustrations. What if it got back to your boss? (Are you seeing a pattern here? Just don’t let your boss hear!) Instead, take the mature route and go talk to your boss directly. Keep it professional; don’t attack him or her. Just vocalize your concerns and brainstorm ways that you both can keep it from happening in the future.
“How much do you make?”: I know it’s so tempting, but unless you make the exact same amount (which is pretty unlikely), it’ll never end well. Either it’ll make you feel bad if you end up making less and it’ll make the other party feel bad if you make more. Just avoid this topic altogether because your self worth shouldn’t be evaluated based on your salary anyway and certainly not in comparison to someone else’s.
“The doctor said I have _____”: Um, ew. Contagious or not, people don’t wanna be around someone who could get them sick. And no one wants to hear about your medical issues. I don’t care if it’s a common cold or zika virus, NO ONE WANTS TO KNOW!
I’m sure there’s more you probably shouldn’t be disclosing to your coworkers but for now...