Too much gossip

Started as an analyst last summer and have been feeling really good about my group’s culture so far. Lately though, the usual shit-talking has gone beyond just bad associates/seniors and people have been gossiping/talking shit about others in our cohort as well. The job’s obviously gotten much more intense, but I also can’t help but feel that the junior culture has gotten more tense as well. We all still hang out and are on good terms, but it feels much more competitive now. Is anyone else having a similar experience?

For my part, I’d like to stop sharing in office gossip, but I feel like this has become ~50% of the conversations with coworkers. Tough to talk about much else when all we do is work… Any tips to get out of this slump and start having better/more meaningful conversations?

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I had the same ick in last team. It was particularly bad since it was around beginning of RTO and deal flow was pretty intense.

I completely stayed out of it. Not for my own strategic rationale or discomfort, but because I didn’t want to become like the people who did so. Look closely at the types who thrive from conversation of putting peers down or maintain ultra critical of others- you’ll notice something.

The cheesy cliche that people who excessively talk about others are the most insecure with themselves is pretty true I’ve found. Often times, they’re sour / hurt internally / have some strange inferiority complex so they feel a need to publicly put someone down to an audience. I’ve witnessed some of my own friends who have been on the job for 1+  years —who were formerly happy and kind guys to the core— souring themselves into critical assholes who are pretty insufferable to hang out with now; much like the seniors/mid level bankers we so often lament about.

I came into this job as a happy, whole and well intentioned guy. Call me pussy but my nickname was literally golden retriever in my pledge class. When I saw that my office culture pretty much revolved around relentless gossip/mistreatment of others I knew it was way off my vibe and not one I wanted to inherit. You can totally connect in other ways- as I see you’re not a fan of gossip I’d wager you’re totally confident to bring up other worthwhile conversation 


Agree with this. The worst thing to happen to me in this industry was participating in gossip. When I started working, I had a strict policy of not talking shit about anyone. Even if I had a problem with someone, talking behind their back wasn't gonna help it. But my coworkers and even seniors were addicted to this and I managed to keep quiet for a year or so before getting sucked in. Gossip is equivalent of added sugar for the brain - no developmental value at all. I've gone back a lot to my former self now but some strategies include politely changing the subject after someone is done ranting, empathizing with the gossiper (if they are the aggrieved party) or the person being discussed ("I'm sure they have their reasons", laugh it off). To tell you the truth, you don't need to participate at all in these conversations because most gossipers just like the sound of their own voice and aren't really interested in a conversation so shouldn't be too hard


Hey man, I think everyone in the comment section is in agreeance that gossiping sucks. Everyone also knows that is rampant in the IB industry. I share that sentiment with you and after multiple high-school melodramas I swore to stay away from anyone who gossiped too much. Worked out in college as I only hung out with a solid crew of guys although that is also a generalization which doesn't hold true much.

I'm going to give you some alternate advice to what's already been brought on. You are in a very social business. You can be the most technically advanced analyst in your class but if you just "tune out" every conversation your peers are having, you will be deemed a square. In no way am I saying "Gossip == More Social", but people like to include others in "meaningful conversations" when they develop some level of trust and repertoire. One of the fastest ways to do that is to share a mutual dislike for someone based off of some characteristic. 

Now this may seem like I am encouraging you to partake in gossiping. Absolutely not. If your entire analyst class is socializing over doing rails of blow, you absolutely would not have to do that to fit in. Instead, all I'm saying is be a presence. Crack a joke. Sometimes you can even argue the other side and standup for the person being bitched out. Don't be weird about it, just list some redeeming quality. If you don't wanna roll the $ bill, roll some tobacco and light it up so they know that you're atleast one of them. The bottom line is, people will talk shit about others because everyone is frustrated. When you see your fellow analyst x leaving at 8PM everyday when 3 of you have been in the pen till 2AM everyday, there is bound to be some resentment. & that's fine because it will flip too. BUT if you're the quiet scrub sitting in the corner with headphones on, boy you best believe that if your lifestyle in any way shape or form is better than the rest, you will get smothered. 

This isn't great but I had someone on my team who was somewhat like that. Pretty cool guy tbh and interesting to talk to but never was interested in any of the ongoing stuff in the office. He slowly started becoming more and more detached to the point that he wouldn't ever communicate in the teams chat, react to random memes we sent or just plain complain about the god awful job we have. Dude had a couple weeks of chill nights out and would head out early to grab dinner with his girlfriend. He was never treated like a fellow analyst again. If he asked for a comp spread or some reference mats, no one really helped him out. Now obviously this is a much longer-term scenario fueled by the persons lack of attempt at connecting with anyone way more than his ability to gossip, but these things do add up.

I guess in summary what I'm saying is that your contempt for gossiping can easily transform into plain dislike of hanging out with your peers. If that happens, you will just stop socializing with them. You're in this job for maybe another year and a half and if you're here longer you're probably going to start focusing your attention to a significant other. I know this isn't the ideal "always stick true to your morals" kind of advice most people would give on here, but it is what is real and what would work for a greater than average % of the population.

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