There has never been a shortage of political and social drama for tongue wagging around the office water cooler. But this year it seems our cup runneth over. My clients tell me they are spending, and wasting, more time than ever in conversations- quite often heated ones- on subjects ranging from the US election to immigration policies, and of course, those relentless office rumors that now spread faster than ever with the evolution of texts and tweets. For some, it may be tempting to jump into the fray; for others, it is equally difficult escaping involvement. But abstaining from these types of discussions at the office not only allows you to circumvent tensions with coworkers who may have differing opinions, it may even prevent you from becoming a subject of office gossip yourself. Most importantly, it allows you to remain focused on your work, which is, after all, the reason you’re there. But, how do you avoid getting sucked in to these discussions without alienating your coworkers or feeling left out? Read my tips from my NY Daily News article, How to deal with toxic talk in the workplace.