Why Do Some Women Feel the Need to Gossip at the Expense of Others.

Updated on April 30, 2010
J.P. asks from Georgetown, TX
11 answers

So I found out about 3 weeks ago that I’m pregnant and since then I’ve been very nauseous. I work full-time so I have to run to the bathroom 3-4 times a day from being so sick. Anyhow, my boss, whose office is in the back, had no clue and I wasn’t planning to tell her until I felt like I had to as I knew she wouldn’t be very supportive. My boss has a friend that works in another office down the hall in our building. She and her co-worker friend like to come by and visit, gossip, etc. They happened to be in our office the Friday afternoon before my boss was to go on her week long vacation. I had planned to tell her when she got back. Her friend and co-worker noticed that I was wearing sea-bands (which I normally keep hidden) and asked me about them. And then the co-worker asked me straight out if I was pregnant – she apparently saw me running to the bathroom looking sick. I have a hard time lying so I said yes and please do not tell my boss. I told them that I was going to tell her when she came back from vacation. They both agreed that they would not say anything.

My boss gets back a week after and that Monday morning I go into her office and tell her the news. She, of course, is telling me to watch my time and that my insurance will be negated if I take any leave without pay – this is separate from the family leave. My husband doesn’t receive a lot of vacation/sick time so if our daughter is sick, I normally have to take off to care for her. I have yet to run out of sick or vacation due to this but my boss felt the need to warn me about taking off so much. Also, my boss said that she already knew I was pregnant before she left because of the way I’ve been acting. I found out later that day from my co-worker that my boss told her, her friend told her the Friday before. The same day that my boss’ friend told me she wouldn’t say anything until I told my boss. So not only did my boss lie to me but her friend felt the need to tell her something that I would have thought too personal to tell. I’m so upset and all I want to do is confront her friend. What kind of person uses this kind of information as gossip? Yes, I know they are friends and we are not, but she is a woman, with a child of her own and a career. How would she feel if I someone did the same to her. I’m trying hard not to be so upset. But I find that if it wasn’t for the insurance and stability of this job, I would go find another. This might sound petty, but I can’t stand it when someone touts how important it is to say what is on your mind and being honest (my boss) yet, lies to my face.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the replies. In the end, I will just keep my head low and avoid any unrelated work conversations with those two and keep to myself. I guess every workplace has its drama/gossip queens.

More Answers



answers from New York on

Women talk b/c we have a need to connect. Unfortunately for some people it doesn't matter if that "connection" hurts others.

Just play by the rules with respect to the sick time and insurance. I know it's upsetting and incredibly inappropriate on the "friends" part, but try to move forward and enjoy your pregnancy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Corporate America is the pits sometimes! I worked for a large company almost 3 years ago and had to deal with an awful boss who gossiped about me all around the office. She lied, even tried to get me in trouble with HR telling them that I took 2 hour lunches a day and was at least an hour late to work each day and that I left an hour early each day. Truth is, she had no idea when I left work since she left daily at 2pm to go to her "chiropractor" from an accident she'd been in literally 20 years prior. When I got pregnant and told her, I heard all the same stuff. I ended up quitting shortly after I announced my pregnancy because things got so bad. This woman was breaking every kind of HR/privacy rule known to man but she was super tight with the HR Assistant and Director so there was nothing I could do.

Doesn't sound like there is much you can do either. There are some women that are petty and immature and gossip just for the sake of something to talk about. If you took the matter to HR where would it really get you? Probably just make you an enemy and that isn't what you need. My only advice is to keep quiet on anything personal. Unfortunately you got bullied into telling your secret too soon. I'm not a good liar either so I would have done the same thing. I got screwed over so many times when I worked because I felt I could trust people. People that I thought were my friends. When those girls come by to gossip, just smile and nod. Sounds stupid but I tell ya, it's a jungle out there! Women are ruthless!

I'm very sorry to hear that you are having these problems, it isn't what you need being pregnant. Good luck to you, hope it all works out. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Because great minds talk about ideas, small minds gossip about people. I know how upsetting this is to you, but try to calm down. Don't try to be like one of them by reacting or confronting that friend, it could only get worse. Acknowledge that they are gossips and for whatever reason YOUR information was SO important to them, accept that it is "out there" now. Try to research what your company policy has to say about pregnancy/insurance etc so you are not just relying on what your boss says - especially now that she is probably "offended" you didn't tell her first and will use it against you. Otherwise, go about your business, you have a baby to nourish and take care of and them knowing you are pregnant can't change the fact that you are anyway. Just limit now what and when and where you go for your appointments. Schedule them when it will not affect your work, etc. Good luck and sorry this has made you so upset.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sorry about this, but I don't think there's really much you can do that wont aggravate the situation. Fact is, she's your boss so she's got the power to make this period even harder on you if she wants. She has a relationship with her friend that is beyond your control, no matter what the friend promised you. It's not a great environment, but they dont owe you anything. All you can really do is make sure you're covered in terms of insurance, and doing your job so that no one can dock you for it. Hopefully in the future you'll be able to find a working environoment that is more supportive and understanding! Like P.O. said, just take care of yourself, and try not to let this stuff get to you. For now, focus on you and your impending baby!



answers from New York on

they're friends. she's your boss. nobody should have been told before your boss was told. how did that make your boss feel to hear form someone else that her employee is pregnant.
you have no reason to confront anybody. also this was not gossip, this was telling the truth from friend to friend. next time, try to lie :) and say i have a stomach virus. you didn't owe this woman tom tell her anything. not her business, and asking someone are you pregnant without the luxury of being close to that person is rude. i would have made her feel awful by saying why do i look fat? heheheh (she'd be blushing like crazy)



answers from Austin on

Welcome to the world of office politics! Changing jobs would do no good because there are gossipers in every office. Some are just better at hiding the fact that they're enhancing the details about some incident to make it seem more interesting or important. You should take comfort and pride in the fact that you are not so lonely & insecure that you have to talk about others in a malicious manner to increase your self importance.


answers from Dallas on

I know you are hurt and frustrated, and you have a right to be. That these women lied is just wrong. Even if the friend slipped and told your boss they could have fessed up and apologized. but.......it doesn't sound like there is anything you can do about it so do your best to just let it go and remind yourself that there are people in the world that are better than this. Sounds like YOU are!

It's unfortunate you have to work under these conditions. I know your life is full right now and you are expecting a new addition. CONGRATULATIONS! I do want to tell you a snippet about what I do. I am a Shaklee Independent Distributor and I work my own business from home. Shaklee is a natural nutrition company that is extremely reputable and has been around since the 50's. If you think doing what I do would be an interest to you and/or your husband then I would be happy to talk to you and tell you more about it. I am in a very supportive group. I work with a couple that have been doing this 17 years and make a six figure income.......from home without working full time. I'm not suggesting that would be easy to do quickly, but lots of people make a decent living in just a couple of years.

Take a peek at my websites:

Do your best to ignore these silly gossips. I know it's hard, but you have wonderful things happening in your life and lots to be happy about! Forget Them!

Yours in Health,



answers from Detroit on

I think you shouldn't say anything at this point. I'd let it go. You know where you stand with this co-worker and your boss now, so I would be very careful what I say and do because they cannot be trusted to look out for your best interests. Trust is earned too, so be cautious. From my work experience, the workplace is survival of the fittest. There are no friends or loyalty amongst lateral co-workers anymore even more now because of the bad job market and economy. Everyone is out for their own career advancements. You really do have to be careful what you say and do if you value your job and cannot afford to lose it. Your co-worker probably doesn't care how many toes she has to step on to get ahead in the company and if browny nosing to the boss puts her in her boss's good graces which seems like they have a friendly bond here, she'll do it.




answers from Los Angeles on

Honey, this is just the kind of person your boss is and will always be. There are always those who feel the need to embed theirselves in other people's life because their own lives are too pathetically boring. I know it annoys you to no end but I would say let it go and know that your life is obviously so exciting to these women that they need to talk about it on a regular basis. Congrats to you w/your pregnancy!!!!



answers from Detroit on

I can fell your pain. I believe that this is the problem when working with lots of women. I work in an office with some of the most petty and moody women there are. They constantly talking about people behind there backs and are very clickish and unfriendly. I stay to myself if I'm not talking about a work issue because I'm not one to talk to people and then talk about them behind their backs. And I don't want to be around anyone who I see doing it. We have a new employee and you would think that some of these women would talk to her. I believe I'm the only one who has tried to make her feel welcome.

So, I understand why you would be upset about your situation. Also, I would never go up to someone and ask if they were pregnant. I feel like if they wanted me to know the person would say so. Otherwise it's not my business. Your boss sounds similar to my ex-boss. A person who gets too freindly with certain employees. And has a hard time treating everyone the same.
I would not confront this women who told your boss. You have nothing to gain from it. The only thing that would happen would be that your confrontation would be blown all out of porportion because she would go to your boss and tell her what a rotten person you are for "getting in her face" and you are out of control because you are pregnant. Then you would have those false rumors going around the office.

Just let it blow over and devote your time and energy to working a full time job while coping with morning sickness. I've been there and its not easy. The last thing you need is to get involved in the office foolishness.



answers from Austin on

I don't mean to sound harsh and or rude, but you opened the door for her friend to say what ever she wanted when she wanted, once you told her you were pregnant. So it is crazy of you to get upset after the fact because you didn't owe her friend the truth in the first place. It doesn't matter now, everyone knows so move forward. Get mad at the morning sickness not your boss and her friend.

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