If you are going to spend most of your day with people who are not your family or friends, it is only normal to want to make that time as pleasant as possible and share some ideas and events, and maybe offer some basic advice.
I haven’t had a good friend at work for the longest time, I had people that I went for lunch with, people that I hanged out with, but no one that I’d talk about my personal life, problems or insecurities. This is because I need to be very sure that the info that I share with someone at work will stay with that person, and that is really hard to find.
On the other hand, there is people that share a little bit too much. To help this type of person, I offer some basic rules that can prevent you from becoming the girl that everyone runs away from when she opens her mouth:
– If someone asks about your significant other, and they are not close friends with you, you should only offer a short answer that has two parts, the first one: “he/she is OK” and maybe, you can add a second one with a fact: “he/she went on a trip, got a new job, learned how to ski, etc”. Thank you, that is enough. Please avoid telling people how much you are fighting because of your house guests and have to hide from them to fight; how you are having a crisis because you can’t get pregnant, or how little sex you have now.
– Family issues, see above. I don’t want to know a detailed list of the people in your extended family that you love, the ones that you hate and the reasons why; I also don’t want to know that one of your children is from your husband’s first marriage and you love him a little bit less than your own children.
– If a member of your family has been ill and your co-worker asks how they are, you can explain a few details like a fever and a fer symptoms or the medicine that they’re taking. Thank you, that is enough. Please don’t talk about bodily functions that are not working normally; it is never OK to show me pictures of a rash and the fact that I am eating when you show me the picture only makes things worse.
– Worse than TMI is TMC (too much closeness), please respect my personal space. Don’t sit too close, don’t leave YOUR things on my desk and please don’t tell me that you looked for a fact on my notebook when I was gone because you remembered me writing it down the day before.
– I also fear TMS (too much smell). If you are a workaholic and have decided to stop having a life to do more work everyday and you eat at your desk and avoid drinking too much water so you don’t have to get up to go to the bathroom too much. Please, pretty please if you choose to eat smelly food such as sea food or things containing curry, DO NOT use the public microwave close to my desk and eat at your desk. Smelling curry for an entire afternoon (smell that didn’t go away with air freshener) is not my idea of a fun afternoon at work.