How to Deal with a Gossipy Co-Worker

How to Deal with a Gossipy Co-Worker

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How to Deal with a Gossipy Coworker. Listening to gossip is fun — unless they’re
whispering about you. Here’s how to shut down the office busybody. You will need Tolerance to counter her pettiness
Determination to stop the gossip and willingness to fight fire with fire. Step 1. Gossips act out of insecurity. So the next time the office tattler starts
to share her suspicions that the new girl is bulimic, make a complimentary transition
like, “Have you lost weight? You look terrific.” She’ll be so flattered she’ll completely forget
what she was saying. Step 2. Totally aggravate her by playing Susie Sunshine
to her Nasty Nelly. If she growls, “Doris snuck out at four yesterday,”
say, “Good for her! She works so hard” (even if you, too, think
Doris is a deadbeat.) Step 3. Don’t encourage her. Even if you’re dying to ask her how she knows
that two married colleagues have embarked on a torrid affair with each other, grit your
teeth and change the subject. Don’t think that being friendly with the office
gossip will keep you safe — gossips talk about everyone. Step 4. Trap the big mouth by telling her a lie about
yourself that you emphasize is top secret. Then tell your co-workers what you’ve done
so they can report to you when the fake rumor has reached them—and then confront her when
it does. Step 5. Make a pact with other employees that when
the town crier gets going, you’ll all get going, too. She won’t be able to gossip if no one is listening. Step 6. Her lips are still flapping? Take her aside and ask her to really think
about what she’s doing. With as much tact and diplomacy as you can
muster, ask her to refrain from talking about others to you. Step 7. As a last resort, talk to your supervisor. Stress that you tried handling the situation
yourself. And don’t make it personal — drive home
the point that the gossip is affecting productivity. Did you know According to a British survey,
teachers are the worst workplace backstabbers, with a full 78% admitting to bitching about
their colleagues.


  1. Awesome advice! But what if it's your supervisor who is the gossip and the person above them partakes in it also? How can you go to your superiors if they're all in on the whole gossip train?

  2. If someone is comfortable gossiping to you, that simply means she/he is gossip about you too. The best thing is to stop entertaining them

  3. My first day in my new work area a woman started gossiping about her best friend gossiping about her. So I gently pointed out that she now knew the effects of gossiping, she hasn't spoken anything but business with me in two years. When I hear gossip start, I turn and walk away. Remember, if you are seen just listening to people gossiping, you have become a participant, even though you have said nothing. Just make it clear you never even listen to gossip. Soon enough, the word gets out, during gossip, I'm sure, that you don't like gossip and no one will try to gossip to you. It is freeing. Do I feel left out? Nope. If you gossip, you are not a nice person and I do not need your friendship, I know you will gossip about me.

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