Avoid these conversations in the workplace

by | 12.05.23

There is an art to conversation and that is knowing just what to say to whom and how to say it. Think of the times someone at work has drawn you into a conversation that you are really not comfortable having. Here are some of the conversations you should avoid having and definitely avoid starting…


Do the recent antics of some famous people including Princes of the Realm offend you? Or indeed do they make you laugh? They should do one or the other. Either way you do not want to divulge private information or talk in an abstract way about your sex life and offend or amuse your workmates. Never ask a question about anyone in the office that relates to sex either. Remember that there are sexual harassment laws for a reason.

How much things cost

Unless you are comparing prices or what you are ordering for lunch do not talk about costs. Do not say how much your mortgage is, how much rent you pay, how much your house is worth, how much your dress cost or how much your gym membership is. What you spend, have or own is no-ones business.

Your wonderful social life

Do not be on the phone at work planning your social life. Don’t talk about all the great things you do with your friends and all the invitations you have for the weekend. Not everyone has a life like yours and this could create jealousy. Keep it to yourself, don’t let everyone know everything about you.

Body parts and functions

This is different than talking about sex which you know now you should never do. Don’t talk about your infected toe. This is not polite. No one needs to know either that you need to eat more fibre because you can’t poo. Don’t gross people out with your personal health issues.

Your weight or anyone else’s weight

No one needs to know about your weight. Do not ask anyone how much they weigh. Do not compare your shape to anyone else. Weight is a very personal thing and some people are very sensitive about their weight. Joint diets or daily weigh-ins in the office are not acceptable. Just do not go there.

The good old days

No-one wants to hear about when you were young. They are not interested in your all-nights or drug infused weekends. People are interested in the now and don’t want to picture a 50 year old waving a joss stick and worshipping Danny Osmond. Those days are over and you will look like someone who has never grown up.

Moan about a workmate

Never badmouth anyone at work. do not disparage someone you work with, spread gossip or rumours or even talk about a co-workers performance in a negative light. No one likes someone who is two faced. The only thing you should discuss about your workmates are nice things and expressions of appreciation.

Who you voted for and why

I’m sure you have heard this so many times so we should not need to remind you of this. Your political views are no-one’s business. Keep politics out of your work life. Even if someone asks directly – do not tell them. Say you prefer not to talk about politics. Keep people guessing, you do not want your politics to affect your career do you.

Your love life

This is slightly broader than sex. But you do not have to share the romantic encounters you have even if they are completely innocent with others. Coming into work on a Monday with a story about how your latest boyfriend/girlfriend swept you off your feet by taking you to Paris for the weekend is not the way to kick of the week. It’s the way to pee people off.

Family troubles

Every so often you may have a row with your parents, your siblings or your kids. Your wife/husband may also decide to be awkward or you have had a big bust up. No one needs to know the gory details or your rows. Stay silent on this. As you know family troubles rarely last so why talk about them and have people judge you.

So there you go, there are a lot of don’t here, please steer clear of these there is an infinite pool of topics you can discuss. Work is the main thing you have in common with your colleagues but there are many other conversations you can have that are fun, innocent and you can’t be judged on so just watch what you’re saying!

Angela Burton