As the saying goes, some things are better left unsaid or, untouched. The break room at work is the place for people to briefly escape the stresses from work. Interesting topics that can get the conversation going are always welcomed with open arms and a little bit of humor here and there wouldn’t hurt too; but some topics should be avoided as it may trigger an awkward situation between you and your colleagues. So, unless if your goal is to alienate yourself from the rest of your colleagues, then you should really avoid these discussions:
1. Your personal problems
You have problems. I have problems. Everyone has problems, but don’t just go pouring your heart out to everyone at the office about the problems in your life as you’ll paint a picture of a desperate person who needs a shoulder to cry on and the notion that “my problem is bigger than yours”. Unless if your problems are big enough that you truly need someone to talk to (i.e death in the family, internal problems), don’t bring your personal issues to your colleagues as they already have their own problems to deal with.
2. Your bedroom life
Straight off the bat, what happens in your bedroom should strictly remain in the bedroom. Don’t gloat about how wild you and your partner were last night or talk about any of your dreadful sexual experiences in the past because quite frankly, no one really wants to know not to mention it makes those around you downright uncomfortable. Furthermore, Asian cultures tend to be a tad bit more conservative so there are boundaries of what is more – should I say, “appropriate” to share.
3. Bad news
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news guys but… ” You don’t want to be the person that brings bad news to the table, especially during a conversation in the break room because it’s the place where people generally chill and take a moment to escape from work. Naturally, the last thing that they want to hear during a conversation is news that someone would be laid off or the complications of a business deal.
4. Political/religious views
Everyone has different opinions, ranging from fashion to sports to which OS is superior and yes, including political ideologies and religious beliefs.
But unlike most conventional topics, religion and politics are usually very controversial topics that divides people as they’re usually sensitive about it. Bringing up and imposing either your political or religious views spells trouble and is likely to create friction among you and your colleagues.
5. Bad mouthing your colleagues
Anything that you say will and can be used against you. We’ve all heard it countless times before on television, whenever the police make an arrest they will utter these words – known as the Miranda warning – to an offender. Bad mouthing your colleagues in front of your other colleagues, is like shooting yourself in the foot. In addition to that, your words might be used against you in the future if word managers to reach the ear of your superiors it could cost you your job.
So there you have it folks, 5 things that you shouldn’t bring to the break room. Remember, the break room is meant for a place to relax, it’s where interesting topics, light-hearted conversations and humor occurs.
Of course, that’s not to say that we can’t talk about the topics above, but it largely depends on many factors ranging from the level of friendship with your colleagues and of course, timing as well.
You may not have the intention to offend somebody and maybe it’s part of your personality to speak your mind or to express yourself, but to those who might not know you too well, it seems offensive.