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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello Kate Are there any lessons you can give me in the workplace

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Hello Kate Are there any lessons you can give me in the workplace on nice behaviour? My mom told me don't gossip about anybody at work. To mind my own business. She told me to do my work and don't worry what the others are talking about. She said you will see it will make a world of difference. She also told me if I can't say anything nice about somebody don't say it and for me to look after my own problems and not the co workers. For me not to tell my employer about the troubles the other co workers have been having with the night supervisor as it is up to them to come forward and tell, not me. A coworker told me with namecalling, don't worry unless he comes to my face and says it. To limit my time spent with someone I dislike and for me not to open up a conversation with someone I dislike unless it is work related. My mom also said for me to be the bigger person. If someone is running me down, for me not to lower myself to his level by talking back to him or not to run him down to another co worker as it will make me look as bad or worse than him. Are these all good rules or lessons to follow in the workplace in order for me to be nice and have proper behaviour in the workplace? Are there more lessons I should follow in addition to these? Thank you.


I agree with your mom (she's a smart lady!), gossiping is only going to cause you more trouble. It puts you in the same category as those that gossip about you. It also takes away from your credibility so when you do say something important, no one hears you anymore or puts any stock in what you say.

In order to deal with gossips, it's always good to have a "ready to go: response. Something neutral like "I'm sorry to hear that happened to that person" or just changing the topic helps a lot. As time goes, you will find that you can almost automatically respond to gossip with something neutral.

And it's a good idea to keep to yourself unless you are talking about something neutral. sharing or helping someone and just saying hello or good bye.

Being friendly without participating in the gossip, bad talking and insults is a way to establish yourself as the person everyone trusts. Others will see how you act and see that you don't respond to the negatives at work. And that will help them see that they can tell you something and you won't spread it around.

You can also get to know others you work with by being interested in their lives. People appreciate when you use their first names and ask about their lives. Be interested in their children, spouses, thoughts about life and anything in their personal lives. Be careful to ask only about things they would want to share with everyone, like their child being on the basketball team for example. Don't inquire about personal problems unless they tell you first. Then you can ask about it again. Do your best to remember details about others so you can go back later and say, "how did Johnny's game go over the weekend"? Everyone feels special when someone remembers important things in their lives.

(If it helps you, make a point to write down the different details about others in a small notebook in your car so you don't forget.)

Most of all, try to remember to keep your cool, especially with the supervisor that causes trouble. If you can, smile at him and say hello. Then avoid him as much as you can. Tune out what he says about you by thinking of him as someone to pity. It is sad that he doesn't feel better about himself and that he has to hurt others to feel better. That is someone who needs your sympathy.


Just to let you know, JA has changed it's system. You now have to click three or more stars in order to accept. It's confusing, I know! Sorry about that.

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