Being Paranoid About Office Politics Makes You A Target, Study Shows

If you think you’re a victim of office politics, it’s better to ignore it, a new study shows.

In science-talk, people who were “chronically…or temporally…high in the motivation to acquire relationship-threatening information (MARTI) made more sinister attributions in ambiguous situations and entertained more paranoid cognitions about their coworkers. Other group members socially rejected those high in MARTI because they angered them.”

Or, in other words, people already paranoid about negative gossip tend to seek out more information to confirm or deny their fears, which results in their annoying coworkers and increasing the likelihood that they’ll be gossiped about.

In a related study, people were asked who they’d rather work with, and they were more than 16 times more likely to prefer working with someone who asked about group dynamics as a whole, rather than someone who asked specifically about their own alleged mistreatment.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best way to avoid office politics is not to play, but for those “chronic” paranoids, this is perhaps food for thought.