Office politics can be awful but the next time you feel that people are scheming behind your back, keep it to yourself. New research has shown that people who get paranoid about office politics more likely end up becoming a target themselves.
Researchers say that fearing that others are trying to sabotage you makes you want to seek out the "real" information about these plans. However, this behavior only annoys people around you who would then either reject you totally or start scheming against you.
“It may be best to ignore impulses that tell you that you’re the victim of office politics,” said Karl Aquino, professor at University of British Columbia and lead author of the study.
According to researchers, people will try and get as much information on office politics as they can and especially if they know that being accepted by people around them will be rewarding as opposed to people who work in offices where being socially accepted isn't tied to promotions.
“However, our research shows employees should do their best to keep their interactions positive and ignore the negative. As the expression goes, kill them with kindness," Aquino said in a news release.
There were three experiments in the study. One experiment showed that people who readily accept any negative information are more likely to take part in gossiping and spying.
Another experiment showed that people who wanted to seek further information or to find evidence about a rumor of sabotage ended up angering their colleagues that lead to people rejecting the person.
In the third experiment researchers found that, people prefer working with a person who'd want feedback about quality of work rather than a person who worries without a reason.