Religion is a really personal thing, and a lot of people are incredibly sensitive about their faith. You don’t have to hide your religion or pretend that you don’t celebrate certain holidays, but don’t flaunt it. Don’t go into depth about your own beliefs and never share an opinion about other beliefs (you never know who believes what).
No matter what you do, never try to convert your coworkers to your religion.
People can be even more sensitive about politics than they are about religion. Political conversations have ended relationships, and when you still have to work with the person every day, that’s not something you want to risk.
Even just mentioning who you plan to vote for can be risky, so just stay away from politics in general. Unless, of course, you work for a political candidate or party because, then, talking politics is probably encouraged.
No one needs to know about your sex life. Talking about it will make people incredibly uncomfortable. If someone feels like you are creating an offensive work environment, they could file a sexual harassment complaint against you.
Problems at Home
If you share your personal problems with your coworkers or your boss, they might think you’ll be distracted from your job (even if you know you won’t be). They might question whether you really should be on that big project right now. Sharing your problems at home could also cause you to be the subject of water cooler gossip, which always ends up blowing things out of proportion.
Your Career Aspirations
Maybe you see your current job as a stepping stone to something bigger. That’s great – it’s good to have goals. But, you don’t need to share that information with your coworkers. Someone might have the same job as you and is perfectly happy staying there for most of their career – they might start to resent you if you see your job as a step to something bigger.
If you plan on moving up the ladder in your current company, sit down with your boss (privately) and discuss your aspirations. They can help you figure out how to achieve your goals.
If you plan on moving to a different company, don’t let anyone know until you’re ready to leave. If your boss finds out (and in a small business, your boss will find out), then they might start looking for reasons to let you go.
How Much Your Paycheck Is
A lot of people base their value to the company on the size of their paycheck, and it can get really competitive if you start sharing how much you make.
If someone finds out that they make more than you, they might feel smug and feel like they can boss you around a little bit.
You might do the exact same job as someone else, but make more because you have more experience or have been with the company longer – you never know the reason. If a coworker finds out that you make more, they might start to resent you.
Finances in General
Speaking of money, just avoid the topic altogether. If you’re having financial problems and tell your coworkers about them, they might feel bad, but they won’t be able to do much to help. They might even feel like you’re fishing for a handout.
They might unconsciously judge you. Maybe the coffee shop keeps “messing up” their morning coffee, so they bring you the cup they got for free. Or, maybe they’ll stop inviting you to lunch because they don’t think you can afford it. Either way, you’ll feel singled out and left out.