Sometimes you just need to SHUT UP!

I’ve always been known for my ability to be a social butterfly, but being a social butterfly isn’t a good thing within the workplace. Sometimes we (me) just need to shut up. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, there are many times when saying NOTHING is better than saying anything.

Let’s talk about the 7 times you should keep your mouth shut in the workplace.

  1. When you’re in a bad mood. 

    If you know you’re upset or irritated, nothing beneficial will come out of you mouth. When it comes to talking during a bad mood, your perspective is skewed and we aren’t looking or thinking rationally. Your attitude should not override your better judgement. There will be times people will still try to talk to you while you’re in this made mood, but ask them to table it because you need to think on the matter. Don’t get into an emotionally charged conversation because your mood is off kilter.

  2. When you have a big goal set. 

    You probably think that telling your coworkers about your plans to apply for a new role, or that you are relocating for a better opportunity will help things, but it’s actually be shown the opposite. There was a recent study that found announcing your plans make you less motivated to accomplish them. It also gives your coworkers a chance to step on your toes. Keep your relationships in tact by not giving that a chance to happen. Keep your goals to yourself, shut up and focus on them yourself, everybody isn’t in your corner.

  3. When you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I was always taught “It’s better to be silent & right than loud and wrong.” That’s where this one comes in. If you aren’t 100% sure about what you’re about to say, don’t say it. You’ll make yourself look ignorant, and you could’ve avoided it solely by keeping your mouth shut sometimes. They may not mention to you that you’re wrong, but they won’t ever forget it. I recently read a quote that said ‘Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”

  4. When nobody is interested. 

    I often find myself telling stories that are pointless. It’s been an intentional point in my day to day to pay attention to the body language of those that I am talking to. Everybody isn’t interested in your stories. They don’t want to listen, but they also don’t want to be rude and ignore you. A few ways to know if people are interested in what you are saying is to pay attention to their body language, are they looking around, checking their watch, or otherwise distracted? If so, change the topic or quickly wrap up the story you’re telling.

  5. When you’re about to complain.

    We often like to complain to our coworkers because our experiences are so similar. It’s too cold, we’re working too much, something is wrong. It’s probably not a lie, but shut up about it. Nobody likes somebody constantly complaining.

  6. When you want to gossip. 

    If you want to talk about someone behind their back, just don’t. Nothing about this is good. It makes you look childish, petty, and immature. People are noticing how you talk about other people, and in turn it will make them weary of you. You can burn bridges all because you want to be a gossiper or office “popular”

  7. When you’re busy. 

    This is a big one. Don’t talk when you’re busy. You have work to do and so do th epeople around you. Consistent talking about nothing that has to do with work gets annoying and frustrating because you are consistently taking time away from the projects/items that they are working on. You can talk…. when you’re all taking a break. 

There are many time that being quiet will help you in the long run. You’ll be better off for it if you just “close your mouth sometimes” as my papa used to tell me. 

Talking may be your favorite form of communication (it’s definitely mine), but there’s a lot to gain from a few minutes of silence each day. Sometimes you may feel like you can’t shut up, and that’s okay too. Remember to pick and choose your battles. These extra techniques in knowing when your voice isn’t needed will help you in the long run. 


When have you needed to shut up in the workplace? 

Set your free career coaching consultation to find out more about this technique and others to yield you career success. 

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