5 reasons not to discuss politics at work today (or ever)
We know the presidential debate was only a few days ago. So does everyone else. (If you didn’t watch) Unless you work for one of the political campaigns, or for the American government, you don’t need to talk about politics at the office. So don’t. Why not? A few reasons:
It’s going to make you feel bad.
Talking about politics at work, studies show, makes workers ages 18 to 34 in particular feel awful: You’re apt to feel isolated and report more hostility around the office following political discussions at work.
Your older coworkers will assume you’re emotional and ignorant.
“We’ve got everything in our face. One of the things that is contagious is emotions,” Curtis Reisinger, director of the Northwell Employee Assistance Program in Manhasset, New York, told CBS News. “[People] in their 20s – not to disparage – the cognitive part of the brain is not fully developed. So there’s more reactivity, physiological arousal and the inability to deal with conflict.”
Your coworkers will avoid you.
One in five workers says they avoid at least one other colleague based on his or her political beliefs.
You’re going to get into an argument, which could eventually be an HR issue.
“The workplace brings people together from different backgrounds who might not ordinarily interact with each other. When you add politics to the mix – a deeply personal and emotional topic for many – there is potential for tension, conflict and problems for both employees and the organisation,” David Ballard, director of the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence, said in a statement.
You’re not changing anyone’s mind.
If you think you’re swaying your colleagues when you talk about politics, take a look at your Aunt Cheryl’s Facebook feed. If you can’t convince her that Barack Obama isn’t a Muslim or that cartoons comparing him to a primate aren’t funny, good luck getting Joe in accounting to understand why your idea of a successful economic system or strategy to stabilise Syria is better than his. Save it for at home or at a campaign rally — or preferably, the voting booth.