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TOPIC: Should people talk about their personal lives at work?

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September 19, 2011 7:28 AM
People talk. There are times when I’m at work, especially on Mondays, where we’ll just sit for a few minutes and catch up on what has happened in our lives. You hear conversations at the coffee bar, in the breakroom, hallway, etc. We’re with the people we work with 8 hours a day for 5 days (or whatever your schedule may be) ; naturally, you’re going to talk them. But, how much talk is too much? Do you think it’s a good idea to tell your co-workers, personal and/or private things that are going on in your life? Why or why not?
September 19, 2011 7:29 AM
I dont...Im there to do 8 hours and go home.
September 19, 2011 7:30 AM
It depends on the relationship you have with particular people at work. I work with a variety of people. There is one person I work with who I would tell just about anything to, and most people here I wouldn't give more than a hello. Most people fall in between. I'm generally not a super private person though.
September 19, 2011 7:30 AM
to a certain extent sure. I would talk about my weekend bike ride or where I went out to eat, if I went to some fun event, etc.

That builds camaraderie and lets people get to know you.

Don't bring up the marital strife and or bedroom antics though.
September 19, 2011 7:31 AM
I pick and choose who to tell personal things to. Not everyone is trustworthy with a secret and unless you want to be gossiped about you should always be careful.wink
September 19, 2011 7:31 AM
It probably depends on where you work. Where I work, we're all a family, so it's okay. Where you work....I would have only shared personal information with people I considered close friends.
September 19, 2011 7:31 AM
I knew this was you! lol, but to answer your question, there are VERY few people I tell certain things to. I do not wish to divulge all of my personal life to others, but there are a few co-workers I consider friends. Anyone else gets a "good morning, how was yur weekend?" and I mov along. I try not to talk to others too much, juts mind my own business and get my work done (or at least appear to be working). I don't think everyone at work needs to know everytihng.
September 19, 2011 7:31 AM
If you are the type of person to regret telling people too much then i wouldnt start at all....
Depends how personal - if you need to get something of your chest and have someone to listen for just that moment in time i would only tell a close close friend and it may be that i work with them or not
I always talk to people at work as i have met some of my best friends there who i see outside of there so its an added bonus :)
September 19, 2011 7:32 AM
When you spend so much time together, a trust, and friendship develops. But, timing, talking about it at the office, on work time, is actually interfering with productivity. But, lunchtime, breaks, that's fine.
September 19, 2011 7:32 AM
I do because I see these people the most LOL. I get together with friends, but not every weekend or anything. And sometimes my IL's do stuff that is so unbelievable I must share! LOL
September 19, 2011 7:32 AM
To an extent. When I used to work I'd make one or two real close friends at work and chat up a storm with them about any and everything... They were my friends outside of the work place too so it's a little different. The chatting I'd do with the people who weren't my friends outside of the work place was a lot less personal, but still friendly and fun. I to think certain topics are off limits at the work place though. No bedroom talk, no potty mouths, and NO talk of how much you hate your boss... It's just not okay to talk about certain things in a work environment!!
September 19, 2011 7:33 AM
I think talking about personal lives at work is fine, as long as it is kept light and kind- of course there are exceptions such as illness or death when sometimes colleagues really should just know because it is affecting you significantly. But being nice, light and sharing a nice, funny story about your kids or husband is completely appropriate. Talking about overly personal or private things isn't always appropriate, and things do get around- it isn't really appropriate to share the fact that maybe your husband is having an affair or your kid is pregnant at 15 or that you have daddy issues or something like that- work is for working, if it were for sharing deeply personal things it would be called therapy.
September 19, 2011 7:34 AM
I am in the middle. I do not come to work to make friends, I want to just do my job and go home. But there is always 1 or 2 people I will have a lot in common with that will become my friends. Those people I will talk about my live with. Other than that, it is niceties.
September 19, 2011 7:34 AM
I only talk about kid activities and things that keep us busy. Never talk about marital stuff.
September 19, 2011 7:35 AM
i'm retired now but when i did work there were two really good friends i knew i called talk to about anything.
i knew they would not discuss my business with other people.
i would not discuss my business with anyone else at work, unless i wanted it to go round the office.
September 19, 2011 7:38 AM
My coworkers don't even know my birthday.
September 19, 2011 7:39 AM
This has a variety of answers - but HR has a huge influence on this.

If your HR has a policy where you are competing against your peers for your very job - anything you say can, and will be used against you by your co-workers; to hurt your review and futher their careers. Been there, was on the receiving end, got the T-shirt.

If you have a company where HR is in place to encourage company growth, help your grow professionally and you are judged on your merits - then sharing personal information helps build your team.

Company policies can kill morale and make work a miserable place to be, far more harsh than any group of backstabbing gossip-monders would ever hope to be able to accomplish.
September 19, 2011 7:40 AM

My coworkers don't even know my birthday.

Had a job with a company where I didn't even announce that I was getting married - just showed up after a week's vacation with a wedding ring - never said a thing. Miserable people, miserable job, miserable place to work.
September 19, 2011 7:40 AM

My coworkers don't even know my birthday.

wish mine didn't - we're expected to bring cakes in on our birthdays!
September 19, 2011 7:42 AM
for me, it depends on the people I work with, and what exactly I'm sharing. trials and tributes with my kids.. absolutely. we all talk about our kids.

Personal matters with my soon to be ex spouse? not so much. a good deal of my coworkers are my sole support system. I know about them and they know about me. - to a certain extent. I think i'd shock the heck out of them if they really knew me.
September 19, 2011 7:44 AM
Depends, I have several where I work that are friends and we are friends outside of work. I don't know mind sharing personal things with them. Just random people not so much, but when you work with people sometimes they become friends as well.
September 19, 2011 7:48 AM
I'll tend to say hi and how's your weekend/evening and get on with my work. Then maybe chat at lunch or during a tea break. Else I'm pretty private. However I'm in an open office and I still have to listen to everyone else talking about their private lives throughout most of the working day. It's so distracting and management don't seem to care when I complain about it. There's one of the women who works there just calls up her husband and children and spends ages moaning and arguing with them in a loud Jack Bauer whisper. It makes me feel really embarrassed to hear it. :S
September 19, 2011 7:49 AM
At my previous job, yes I would but it depended on the person and how close I was to them. At my current job, which I have been at lees than a year, everyone is kind of up tight and don't really fit in with my sense of humor or lifestyle. So I just stay to myself, do my 8 hours and get out. I do say "hi" and be friendly, but that is about it.
Edited by CountryDevil On September 19, 2011 7:50 AM
September 19, 2011 7:49 AM
Nope. That's how gossip starts and how people judge others.
September 19, 2011 7:55 AM
Should people be on MFP at work?

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