There are many situations in which the management, esp of the small medium business domain, organize events such as sports matches and frequent outings in the name of team bonding. Instead of bonding, these activities tend to create interpersonal passive aggression within the team, because due to not being from sports background no one is coached about harmony and mutual appreciation. Its rather seen as a competitive arena with lots of aggression and venting out frustration at work in sports in a clever way or lead others down to claim superiority.

Also, people discussing each other's social media activities in front of your appraisers/ team leaders is many a times extremely excruciating. Its not justified to observe some person's social media activity in order to manipulate and control him.

How to voice out appropriately to be excluded out from such a phenomena in order to not damage one's personal space at work?

  • 2
    You mention "people discussing social media accounts". I don't totally follow what you describe, but if your company is in any way "looking at your social media", just walk away.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 15:07
  • @Fattie : Indeed! Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 9:21
  • Discussing accounts means talking about where the concerned person was, with whom, where, etc, who is in friendlist, why etc Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 9:33
  • "organize events such as sports matches" are you going to an event to watch it, or are you participating? I thought watch them, but "claim superiority" doesn't fit with that. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 15:44
  • @j.chriscompton participation , not watch Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 18:35

4 Answers 4


I always say, "treat optional work activities as mandatory".

And if an activity is mandatory, just smile and do it.

Trying to get out of teambuilding activities will AT BEST get you slapped with the label of "not a team player". Even worse, you might succeed in getting out of then and will likely be viewed poorly by your coworkers as well.

If you're not satisfied with the teambuilding events, move to get yourself on the planning committees and voice your concerns there. Failing that, you may want to approach management with ideas on how to improve the activities.

Your present approach, however, would definitely be a CLM (career limiting move)


You're describing two separate issues here, so I'll go with the first one.

It might be tempting to either opt out or to stop these team-building activities, but that would be detrimental to the people who actually enjoy them. This also leads to the implication that if someone complains about something that other people enjoy, it'll just get stopped.

Yes, these events promote competitiveness to some extent but should do so in a positive and not a confrontational manner.

Do this by giving praise to good performance/skills/attitude (regardless of what team the person is playing/participating with) and ignore bad comments as much as you can. Try to encourage others to do the same. If someone is obviously struggling, then go out of your way to help them - encourage or teach as appropriate.

In summary, these events should be inclusive and collaborative, and not divisive/destructive in nature.


Regarding the outings, if these are taking place during working hours then you are likely required to go. If they are scheduled for non-working hours simply decline, say something like:

I am not available at that time to attend the outing

Regarding the social media, if you don't want people to discuss your social media activities then don't allow them to view your social media activities. Most social media has features to allow/disallow viewing to specific people. Use those features so that your co-workers can't keep track of you to social media.


events such as sports matches and frequent outings ...

These things are sickening and you should refuse to take part in them.

If you can not refuse, I'd suggest finding a different company.

Another point:

  • if these things are expected outside of work hours, i would just leave the company immediately with no further discussion.

  • if these things are expected inside work hours, it's "their money", they can put on such things if they like, but would urge you to find a new job.

In future centuries, looking back this will be seen as the era of "job slavery". Bullshit like "team outings" will be seen as the yes-massa bullshit that it is.

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