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Taboo Conversation Topics at Workplace

Wong Shu Lee  


  April 17, 2021

We spend at least 8 hours a day, side by side, with our colleagues. So, there’s no surprise that many see their colleagues as their close friends. It seems okay to share your life events, your thoughts and emotions with someone you see almost every day, and many see nothing wrong in doing so. 


We’re not saying that you shouldn’t be friends with your coworkers. However, it’s highly important to keep boundaries between your professional and private life to avoid the backfire effect. 


There’s a certain number of topics that should not be discussed at the workplace. Not only touching upon these topics may damage your professional reputation, but it also may put under threat your successful collaboration with the company. 


Below are topics that we highly recommend you avoid discussing at the workplace to stay on safe bets. 


#1 Religious Views


We live in a multicultural country, everyone is free to have their own religion. However, discussing religion at the workplace isn’t the best idea. No forms of religious discussions are appropriate, from sharing your own religious views to asking about those of your colleague and giving your opinion on their belief. And, of course, it’s inappropriate to try to persuade anyone to convert. 


#2 Political Views


Just like religious views, political affiliation is another subject people take seriously and are unwilling to change their opinion about. Hence, don’t try to impose your point of view about the political situation on your coworkers. If your colleagues support different parties, bringing up such discussions will turn your relationships becoming tense. 


You should be even more mindful to avoid topics about political views when in front of upcoming elections. 


#3 Sexual Life


Firstly, it’s none of your coworkers’ business what happens in your sexual life. Secondly, people may feel awkward when listening to details of what happens between you and your partner. Lastly, by sharing such private facts, you’ll likely become a subject of gossip and this can harm your career in the long run. Let’s keep your private facts private. 


#4 Family Issues


Do you have problems with your parents, kids or spouse which are driving you mad and you can’t wait to share them with someone? Try to keep those stories for your close friends or a qualified therapist as revealing your own inside stories at work isn’t a good idea at all. Keep in mind, people who are not your good friends won’t really care about how you feel. Sometimes, sharing too many personal issues at the workplace will make you become a hot topic for gossip among other coworkers. 


#5 Your Attitude to Your Coworkers or Boss


It’s normal that we sometimes don’t get along well with some coworkers. However, you don’t have to share your comments of your colleagues or boss with the other colleagues. By saying things like “He is stupid, I wonder how he is still working here”, or “This company sucks, I can’t wait to leave it”, you can, first of all, spoil the relationships with your colleagues which will negatively reflect on the workplace climate and productivity. Secondly, such statements can poorly reflect on your career and even become the grounding for you to be fired.


Of course, the relationship between you and your colleagues may become stronger day after day, and they eventually become your close friends. In that case, you may share more things with them during conversations. Just remember to be more mindful during conversations and avoid these sensitive topics. 


We wish you have a harmonious workplace relationship with your coworkers.


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