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Whats the best way of trying to avoid bad mouthing/gossiping staff while at work?

Updated | Posted

Specializes in ACE.

I don't like being mean and all but some PSW's and other Nurses are nasty with each other. they will bad mouth each other to me. Like they will ask me what I think of this situation and what they did and I am just blankly staring at them like what do you want me to say. But it's getting more and more common nowadays due to Covid and hiring new staff. I just don't want to get in their business cause then if there is a problem with management they will bring up my name and such even if I have no involvement.

I don't want to be that quiet guy in the room cause staff like to approach me for help but I also don't like gossiping. I feel if there is a problem the other staff should be there to defend themselves in front of a manager.

One time a PSW went on break and the other Nurse was like she barely works why does she need a break.

You have posted something similar to this before, and I think my advice to you then was the blank stare is your best defense against getting dragged into what could be trouble for you down the line. Practice it. The blank stare then turn on your heel and walk away. Just a little word of advice from a nurse old enough to be your grandma.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

6 hours ago, sevensonnets said:

You have posted something similar to this before, and I think my advice to you then was the blank stare is your best defense against getting dragged into what could be trouble for you down the line. Practice it. The blank stare then turn on your heel and walk away. Just a little word of advice from a nurse old enough to be your grandma.

^^^ this.  As I am even older than sevensonnets, I must add a tweak.  Add the shoulder shrug  body language into your response. You are smart to not get into petty squabbles, but sometimes, co workers just need to vent and they want to think you are listening. As long as you don't pass it on.. you are doing fine.

 

If someone comes up gossiping to me I'll usually either ignore it, tell them directly that I don't want to get involved, change the subject, or give a different perspective on the situation.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

"I don't participate in gossip. Have you directed your concern to the parties involved?"

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

I find garlic and a crucifix wielded properly get good results.

love2banurse89, BSN, RN

Specializes in Educator, COVID Paperwork Expert (self-taught). Has 32 years experience.

Blank stare (as suggested above), shoulder shrug (as suggested above) and add an eye roll for added affect. 🙂 remember that if these people talk about others behind their back, they’ll also talk about you, so don’t give them any ammunition. They might do it anyway but don’t make it easy for them. 
 

if appropriate, ask them if they’ve talked to the person, written the person up, talked to the DON about it, etc. In my experience that have not, but continuing to give this as a solution repeatedly might make them stop. On the other hand it probably won’t... so go back to blank stare, shoulder shrug and/or eye roll. And THANK YOU for not adding to any negativity! 

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

I say, "I always try to find the good." Then I say something pleasant about the person who has been targeted.

If necessary, change the subject.

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

We all have moments when we get fed up for one reason or another. But making a pattern of it is not good for the environment. I usually just say something like "I've really only got time to worry about my own assignment right now" Good luck. 

FashionablyL8, CNA

Has 15 years experience.

Great advice given. Remember that people who talk about everyone else will also talk about you when you walk away. Anything you say, even if you are just trying to blend in with others, can be repeated and used to stir up drama. You're always safer not saying anything if you're unsure of what to say. 

Also, especially if you are looking to move up in your company, remember that those in charge notice who participates in gossip and unprofessional behaviors, and you'll stand out in a good way by refusing to go along with that. I've had a manager mention in a review that she observed me walking away from situations like that, and that really gained me respect and trust.