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5 Things You Should Never Say At Work!

five things to never say at work


Finding a good job is difficult. Keeping that job can be even harder. Let’s be honest – today’s workplace is a money focused, deadline driven, productivity magnified ball of stress. Throw in constant change and a dash of uncertainty and it’s enough to grind down even the hardiest of workers.

Given the dynamics of the modern workplace, it’s understandable that you might want to release some tension during a coffee clutch with your fellow co-workers. Who can blame you? But are there some things that you should never say at work because the risk is too high?

The answer is a bigtime YES.

What follows are five things that should never escape your mouth at the workplace, regardless of how stressful your job might be. Doing so could seriously put your career at risk and potentially cost you your job. Are you ready? Let’s jump right in.

1. I hate my job!

At some point, all of us get stressed out at work, meaning both men and women.  When things get really rough, you might even feel overwhelmed. When this happens, it can be very tempting to reach for a phrase that contains these four words – I hate my job. While it may feel good in the moment to say this to your cube-mate, keep in mind that someone else could be listening in! This could be a person in close proximity or even someone from afar, dipping into your conversation via a workplace camera replete with a microphone.

Do not assume that what you are saying to your friend in the next cube is sacred. Sadly, many people violate confidence as a way of currying favor with “higher ups”. If someone can use information about you to advance their position, they most likely will. The end result? You are toast. Be very careful about how you characterize your feelings about your job with others. It is far better to release your stress in counseling, where the information you discuss is completely confidential. Sharing elsewhere can spell trouble.

2. My boss is a jerk!

This point is related to the previous. Never, ever talk crap about your boss at the workplace. Sure, everyone else you know may seriously think your manager is a jerk but that does not mean you should join in on the chorus. Let them be the ones to get into trouble for having a negative attitude. Your task is simple – sing your bosses praises whenever possible. If you can’t muster up the stomach to do this, don’t say anything at all.

If you must vent about your boss to someone, consider doing it with a friend who does not work for your organization. Other non co-worker sources include people like family or your career counselor.

FYI: An unsafe place to vent is social media. Do not, under any circumstances, use social media to vent about your boss or workplace. Too many people have been fired for doing this. Don’t think it will happen to you? Time to think again carefully and review the evidence!

3. My client sucks!

We have all had accounts that we do not like to service. This is true for lawyers, folks in IT and people working in finance. While it may be true that the person you are assisting is a real piece of work, it is vital that you not tell others (co-workers) your true feelings. The reasons for keeping your mouth shut relate to points #1 and #2.

When you go around venting about your client publically, you send the message that you are a negative person and that you don’t like people. It may be absolutely true that the client you are trying to help is a stinking moron however, your statements about this person are a reflection on you – not them. Again, find safe, confidential sources to vent that does not include co-workers or social media.

4. I hope this place goes under!

Yep – some people actually say this one.  This is particularly true for folks who work in highly competitive industries, such as retail and technology. And while it is understandable that you are totally over your job, know that you are doing yourself great harm by vocalizing your frustrations at the workplace.

If your organization is currently cutting costs, they may be looking for the slightest reason to let people go. That means you! Why give them a reason to push you out the door?

5. I can do better elsewhere!

Statements like this one may make that “elsewhere” you are talking about the unemployment line. While it may be true that you hold a number of impressive skills and abilities, that does not mean employers are waiting in the wings to hire you. The sad truth is it can take up to a year or longer to find a new job (one with similar pay/benefits). That amount of time only increases with age. Don’t have a college degree? Add on more time.

Yes, you may be able to do better elsewhere but there is no need to broadcast your feelings at the workplace. Doing so will only make you seem arrogant and bitter. How long do you think you will keep your current job with such an unpleasant reputation?

Final Thoughts

If you have a job today, you should do everything you can to keep it. Be extremely mindful about what you say at the workplace and on social media. If you lose your job, it can take a long time before you become employed again. Think about how you deal with workplace stress and find appropriate outlets. Whenever possible, try to get on your bosses good side.

I’ve seen too many people over the years lose their job in a moment of frustration or anger. If the information shared here helps to prevent even one person from getting canned – great!

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5 Things You Should Never Say At Work!

John D. Moore, PhD

Described as folksy and down to earth, Dr. John Moore infuses current events and pop culture into his posts as a way of communicating wider points on issues related to wellness and goal attainment. His work has been featured in nationally syndicated media, including Cosmo, Men's Fitness and CBS Market Watch. He is a consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Moore is author of Confusing Love with Obsessionand Editor in Chief at: Guy Counseling.

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APA Reference
Moore, J. (2014). 5 Things You Should Never Say At Work!. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Nov 2014
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