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How to Keep Coworkers Out of Your Business

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The average person working a 40-hour work week can end up spending more time with her coworkers than her own family. When you are around people for this long, it's easy to become overly familiar with them. Keeping coworkers out of your business requires a balance between self-restraint and assertiveness. Think before you speak and put a few strategies in place to ensure that you keep your business to yourself.

Limit Online Exposure

Social networking is a popular way to get the word out about anything from the birth of your child to what you ate for dinner. If you want to keep coworkers out of your business, monitor how much you reveal about yourself online. Be cautious about keeping blogs or online photo journals that capture the totality of your life. You don't have to keep yourself from enjoying an online presence at all; just don't reveal too much of your overly personal business.

Friends and Family Only

If you do choose to have an online presence, go one step further and keep your coworkers out of it. Be sure that people at work don't know anything about your personal matters by reserving your social networking and online messages for your friends and family only. It can be hard to say no when someone wants to share online information with you, but not being careful could spread the news around the company and to people you'd rather not know. It's sometimes best to keep fellow employees out of your business by not including them at all.

Stick to the Work

Another way to keep your coworkers out of your business is to not talk about your personal matters while on the job. You may need to find one confidant at work who you trust when you really need to talk, but otherwise keep your private thoughts to yourself. Show a steady nature while at work. Don't get overly upset and give coworkers a reason to dig into your life. It may not be easy to accomplish, but in the long run it will pay off when you don't have to deal with the aftermath of being upset or sharing more than you should have.

Nip It in the Bud

If you are with a company long enough, it's inevitable that a personal matter will leak out. When this happens, be assertive and say that you are not going to elaborate on the matter. When someone becomes the object of office gossip, it can be hard to get out of the rumor cycle. One way to cope is to do your best to ignore it until someone else becomes the object of a new rumor. If it remains an issue and interferes with work, your privacy may be something that you have to bring up with a supervisor.


Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

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