If you just got a new job, you know that you are going to be the bottom guy in the rankings and there are going to be a lot of things you are going to have to learn and a lot of different people that you don't know that you are going to have to get to know in order to be able to have a pleasant working environment or you may end up on that job search again. So with all that going on with your new job, how do you handle or get a long with that co-worker or employee that is catty or loves to gossip? You can spot them right away, even the first day on the job and every office and workplace has at least one. So how do you handle these kinds of people especially if they sit somewhere in your immediate area?
To begin with, don't write them off the minute you see them. You might want to first try to take a little bit of your time to actually get to know who they are. Being the new kid on the block you more than likely already feel like you are totally out of the office loop so let go of your insecurities and simply introduce yourself to that person, because there may come a time later on down the road when you will need their help with something at work.
If this person wants to take up a lot of your time however; to sit there and yack and yack about this and that and you know want to gracefully get out of the conversation, very politely tell them you need to get some coffee or that you need to go to the restroom. If you do this every time they try ti sit down and start gossiping with you, they may get the idea and stop talking about other people, at least to you anyway.
You should also try and take a few steps in their shoes. Stop and think that maybe there is a reason why this person is such a gossip. There could be a variety of different reasons why they do this. Try sitting them down during lunch or on break and show some interest in their personal life and be genuine. Sometimes if you show interest in them this will divert them from gossiping about others. A lot of times gossips are simply lonely and feel that no one cares about who they are so they talk about other people.
Make sure that you try and stay positive around them and if for example they might be bad mouthing the boss try not to get caught up in that and get out of the conversation by politely letting them know that you would rather not get into any kind of conversation that has to do with the boss. If that doesn't work then just tell them you need to get back to doing something important that you were working on.
Try and make the area that you work in as pleasant as possible. If you are allowed to decorate your area, be creative and if music is allowed to be played make sure to add some music to the atmosphere, the more pleasant your work area is the less likely a person is going to want to sit down and chit chat about negative things about other people. Pleasant environments help promote a better atmosphere and people will get a long better.
If everything you try doesn't work and the person is in your opinion out of control with their gossip and you think the gossip could hurt someone, there is nothing else you can do then but to take the problem to your boss. Of course you don't want to be thought of as the snitch but there are times when you must draw the line to protect yourself as well as others.