With nearly 800,000 divorces filed each year across the nation, it can be hard to believe that post-divorce drama and gossip still exists. Not only do they exist, but they also have the ability to cause a lot of problems in both your personal and professional life if not handled properly.
Going through a separation is exhausting and challenging enough on its own. Having to deal with work gossip following your divorce will only make things that much worse. So, what can be done to deal with and end the office chatter?
Be Open and Willing to Explain
One of the most beneficial things you can do following a divorce is to be open about it. This does not mean that you should be telling those who are gossipping every detail of your divorce, nor should you feel the need to give them any information at all about your personal life.
Explain to Your Boss
However, what being open does mean is keeping your boss in the loop with how your situation is coming along. Feel free to explain as much or as little as you feel comfortable with sharing. As we stated earlier, work gossip can harm your career if not handled. Be sure you speak with your boss about what’s really going on, and how you are dedicated to your position and will continue to do everything that is asked of you.
Employers often worry that their employees will lose focus while going through a separation. Keeping them updated will help avoid this common misconception.
Also, since you are losing someone in a divorce, it should be treated in the same way that the passing of a family member or another major life crisis would. Explaining your situation will allow your boss to make the proper adjustments in the workplace (mental health days, days off for court, etc.) in order to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
How to Deal with Your Co-Workers
After explaining your situation to your boss, it’s up to you on how you present your personal life to your co-workers. Many places of employment are based around a healthy group dynamic, meaning that you will be working closely with many of your co-workers, and will be chatting and bouncing ideas off of each other daily.
Maintaining a healthy group dynamic is often crucial for success in the workplace. However, the emotions you may be experiencing following your divorce can make it hard to do so. This is why it’s important to show everyone in the office that you won’t let your personal life change your capabilities in the office. If you’re not letting your emotions show at work, and continue to produce and collaborate, gossip and rumors will likely die down quickly.