Should I really never talk about negative office experiences with anyone in my small office?

In a small office of 7, it can feel lonely to not get to share negative work experiences that involve other office mates. But this is the best thing, I'm sure.

mmcconkie's picture

To answer your question, it is not the best thing to talk negatively about coworkers. Anyone you complain to will wonder what you say about them when they aren't around. It'll impede your effectiveness, and lower the trust others have for you. 


steve smith's picture

Hello everyone

I am new here and i also work in a small office so i can understand you well.

best regards

steve smith

SeaGal2015's picture

Hi there,

I've worked in both, and I get it. It is tough. There are many upsides to a smaller office - more of a sense of "we're in this together," more room for creativity and idea-sharing and innovation - but one of the downsides is that you *really* can't gossip or vent. Not that you should anywhere, ever. 

I'll tell you that I now work in an office of 1200 where my department alone has about 65 people, and even *then* it's a terrible idea to vent about work. Does it happen? Yes, quite often in my office, as there's been some downsizing and it's incredibly competitive at the moment. It's the main reason I quit going to happy hours - I know it's not a great thing not to go, but I had to stop, as all they were becoming was one massive vent session and I wanted to distance myself a bit.

That said, I've had situations where coworkers wanted to vent and got angry at me for seeming "too positive." My response? "No, I hear what you're saying; my personal rule is just that I don't vent at work because it's gotten me in trouble in the past!" Like Wendii says, you can't really argue with someone's "personal rule." It's a good way to get out of the situation without looking like the bad guy or feeling forced to vent. 

Good luck with it, and don't be too hard yourself if you do make a mistake. Life is all about learning from our errors! :)