A crazy list: 25 Perfectly Evil And Satisfying Ways To Get Revenge On Someone Who Did You Wrong! If someone does you wrong, cheated on you or betrayed you, getting over it and living a happy life is often said to be the best revenge on the person.
But sometimes, it can be very hard to just leave the culprit without any form of retribution. You may want to see him punished for what he did to you and when it comes to inventing new ways to revenge on someone, people can be surprisingly creative and mischievous.
To see some of the sweetest revenge people have come up with, check out these 25 perfectly evil ways to get revenge on someone who did you wrong.
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Last Updated on August 6, 2019
- Let the world know about his wrongdoing. Hopefully, the kiss-cam noticed.
- Destroy his true love
- Put their name on every spam mail list you can find. All of them.
- Make sure he gets to know you are better off without him.
- A lying mom also deserves a lesson.
- How to Deal with a Back-Stabbing Friend
- Beware of Backstabbing Co-workers:
- How to Respond to Backstabbing?
- How to Deal with Backstabbing Employees?
- 9 Signs You Can’t Trust Your Co-workers:
- Ways to Handle Backstabbing Colleagues:
- 1. Do not share your heart:
- 2. Keep ideas and plans to yourself:
- 3. Be alert during changes:
- 4. Do not let them pull you into the gossip pool:
- 5. Avoid backstabbers:
- 6. Don’t give in:
- 7. Hang out with supportive co-workers:
- 8. Select your battles with caution:
- 9. Be a better employee:
- 10. Make it a habit to document:
- 11. Do not appear to be ‘holier than thou’:
- 12. Be a good friend to everyone:
- 13. Learn to read people:
- 14. Stick to one-liners with the backstabbers:
- 15. Learn to be shrewd:
- 16. Do not be weak or rather expose your softer side:
- 17. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst:
- 18. Create a group around you:
- 19. Beware of the backstabber:
- 20. Try to put the record straight:
- 21. Do not pay back in their own coin:
- 22. Backstabbers are not aliens:
- 23. Confront the right way:
- 24. Talk to your boss – the last remedy:
- 25. At the end of the day, do what you think is right:
- You won’t want to miss these most-read articles:
- Backstabbing Quotes
- Best Backstabbing Friends Sayings
- Top Backstabbing Quotes about Fake Friends or Family Members
- What Backstabbing Coworkers Do
- How to Deal with Backstabbing Employees
- Make the Best Out of Your Career Despite Backstabbing Challenges
- Your Coworkers Are Not Your Friends
- Backstabber Guide: 8 Tips to Deal with Backstabbers
- How to Deal with Backstabbers
- 2) Fact check the story
- 3) Do damage control
- 4) Clarify with the person if you can. If not, cut this person away
- 5) …Let go
- 6) Correct false perceptions through concrete actions
- 7) Self-reflect
- 8) Look at the big picture
- How About You?
- Don’t Backstab Others – It Leads to a Sad Life
- When People Backstab Others, The World As A Whole Becomes Less Trusting
- Your Reputation Is More Important Than Money
- Tips For The Person Who Has Been Backstabbed
- Go vent in healthy ways
- Always fact check
- Be slightly more cautious with ideas and plans
- Confront the backstabber in a non-threatening and professional way
- Please Don’t Backstab Others!
- 3 Ways to Battle the Office Backstabber
- 1. Choose Your Words Wisely
- 2. Build an Army
- 3. Use Confrontation as a Last Resort
Let the world know about his wrongdoing. Hopefully, the kiss-cam noticed.
Image: www.firstslice.com 24
Destroy his true love
Image: www.epicfail.com 23
Put their name on every spam mail list you can find. All of them.
Image: blogote.com 22
Make sure he gets to know you are better off without him.
Image: breakuprewind.com 21
A lying mom also deserves a lesson.
SEE ALSO: Biggest Rip Offs That You’ve Probably Been Tricked Into Buying ”
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Don’t just think about it. Let ’em know what’s on your mind!
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How to Deal with a Back-Stabbing Friend
In my opinion, the worst type of enemy is a back-stabber or anyone who betrays me, for that matter. I see trust as the cement to all relationships. Even in work relationships, there must be a level of trust and knowing someone has your back if there is going to be cohesiveness in the work place. Even more so in friendships and romantic relationships.
So here goes a HARD lesson today…are we called to “LOVE” the back-stabbers too!!?! How can God expect us to love people that betray us? Is it even possible to love them? Let’s look at some scripture and see. Read this story & let it soak in a few minutes!
John 13: 1-15
1Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.* 2It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas,* son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,* to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
What really got me as I read this story again:
Jesus even washed the feet of Judas… the one who was to betray him in just hours! Jesus knew Judas was the one who would betray him! Jesus knew he was about to get stabbed in the back!
BUT get this…
He served & loved Judas anyway.
Jesus did not skip over him. Jesus did not smirk and mumble while washing his feet…He served & loved regardless.
Think about it! Jesus was giving up all his glory, power, and majesty he could have demanded from them. He gave it all up to serve in the lowest position for His friends and Judas, His betrayer!
Now I know me and I am not sure, I could …. or WOULD do this for someone who had betrayed me! Not only was Jesus being nice, He was serving Judas and the others by performing the task that was given to the lowest servant on the totem pole!! Washing feet was entry level and just downright nasty back then! It would be much easier for me to call Judas out & tell everyone of the injustice. The “Judases” deserve to be shamed and held accountable, right??
Jesus says no, not by you Sheila. Ouch .
It is easy to serve & love the ones who appreciate our efforts but not the “Judases.” It is humanly impossible to love those who betray us, but with God all things are possible. Jesus example is a hard one to follow when the last thing we want to do is good to those who hurt us and therefore ‘do not deserve it’ in our eyes.
The moment we deem the “Judases” unworthy of love will probably be the moment the Holy Spirit reminds us that we did not deserve salvation either, but Jesus didn’t withhold it from us. (Another punch to the heart!)
So HOW can we LOVE one who has betrayed us? Christian agape love is different than a friendship love or romantic love. Christian LOVE means you work diligently to forgive the offender, through prayer, godly council and obeying what God leads you to do to overcome this hurt. Christian love doesn’t mean you must invite them to dinner or do lunch on a regular basis.
This choice to LOVE the “Judas” is between you & God more than between you and the offender, really. It doesn’t mean what the offender did is excused, it only means you want a growing relationship with God MORE than you want revenge.
To love and serve requires that we forgive. Can you say H.A.R.D? But remember, with God all things are possible!
I can promise that change will come when you begin to work through the hurt and anger, going to God in prayer, and a willingness to be obedient to what He tells you! He will begin to change your heart and the way you think of that offender. It won’t be easy or overnight, but He will make it happen if we truly want it.
He begins with us. He grows our heart’s ability to see what Jesus did for us as we betrayed Him. Only when we understand that forgiveness, can we begin to forgive and love others in that Christ-like way!
The more I study the Bible and get to know my Jesus, the more I see how amazing He is! The night before he was to be crucified, he didn’t ask for a special event. He didn’t fall into a pity party. He didn’t make it about himself at all!
Jesus used his last night with the disciples to serve them. Jesus humbled himself by washing the disciple’s feet. He showed them by example on his last day of life what they were to do for others.
Jesus taught them that night to SERVE & LOVE even the betraying back-stabber.
Jesus showed us – you SERVE & LOVE Me & others, God takes care of the rest.
“Most people want to see you do better, but not doing better than them.” – London Mond
It’s funny how people are nice in front of you, but talk negative things behind your back. They feel insecure and angry with themselves, so they make up stories or exaggerate it to pull someone down. Some of them are overly friendly and will feed you with flattery for no apparent reason. They are fond of wearing mask and can make a show about being friends with you, but indulge in poisonous gossip about you.
One thing I learned about dealing with backstabbers is that, they are only powerful when you got your back turned. At first, it wasn’t easy to deal with them and I admit that there are times when everything they said really got into my nerves. However, I realized that there is no reason to degrade myself by making me hate them because I know myself better than them.
Since, I’ve learned how to handle it, allow me to share some smart ways on how to deal with backstabbers.
1. Stay calm.
No matter how pissed off I am hearing all those misleading stories, I make sure to keep myself calm before I make an action. A mad person will only commit irate actions and might say things he or she will regret in the end. So, inhale, exhale and take an hour to digest the information. Once you feel calm enough, proceed to the next step.
2. Keep yourself from retaliating.
Well, this has been one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made when dealing with backstabbers. I just can’t help myself from fighting back at them. I keep on posting negative things about them to piss them off. However, this is not the right thing to do. If you don’t want to step unto their levels, better keep quiet and just laughed at whatever lies they are spreading about you.
3. Assess the situation carefully.
Take time to assess the situation first before you react about the issue. Find out whether the story is true or exaggerated.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of a backstabber.
Never ignore the behavior of a backstabber or offend the person more, because you don’t know what they can do once you push them to their limits.
5. Listen to the other person’s story.
It’s not always right to keep your side only. There are times when you probably mistaken the situation or it is more complicated than you thought. The best way you can do is to allow them to tell their side of the story without interrupting or getting mad at them. Perhaps, they did not really do the backstabbing intentionally, so you have to hear them out.
6. Calmly confront the backstabber.
Some people might say it’s better to go straight to the source and confront the backstabber rather than to stay quite. This is quite true since you don’t have to backstab a backstabber, because if you do that, you will not be different to that person. So, try to confront your backstabbing friend but do it calmly and maturely with the goal of solving the problem without getting into trouble.
7. Choose your words wisely.
It’s normal to get pissed off by your backstabber, but you better choose your words wisely when you talk to them. Backstabbers are just waiting for the opportunity that will give them the reason to use against you.
8. Prove them wrong through action.
Correct those rumors and false perceptions through concrete actions. Remember the saying “actions speak louder than words” So, whatever gossips or false claims your backstabbing friends are inventing, show them the truth to prove them wrong. It will make everyone around you realize that those things being accused to you are all false.
9. Drop them out of your life and let it go.
You don’t need to have a relationship with people who will pull you down, so you better cut them off. Just accept the fact that there are people who are not meant to be your friends. Remember the saying that “bad company corrupts good character”. So if you want to keep your good character, keep away from fake friends and stick to the real ones.
10. Learn from the experience.
I always believe that there is something to learn from every situation. Being a victim of backstabbers will help you learn more about your haters and also about yourself. Recognizing these things will also help you grow more.
People often have to deal with backstabbers everywhere. If you want to know how to catch a backstabber, here’s a clue. They want to gain something for themselves and gain power over you. You might have friends who smile at you but behind your back, they attack you. You also have to be very careful about who you hang out with because you don’t know who are real and who are not. They love to stir up conflict and enjoy seeing people going to each other’s throats. They always deny their role in spreading lies and are skillful at making you feel like the guilty party.
When dealing with backstabbing friends, it is important to maintain a positive sense of self and never reflect on what they are doing towards you. Nobody wants being the unwitting target of someone’s aggressive actions. However, there are also positive things you’ll learn from it. Soon, you’ll learn to keep away from over friendly people, empathize with gossipers, and realize that going behind someone’s back can make matters worse.
So to wrap things up, you don’t have to worry about those people who talk behind your back and spread rumors, because they are behind for a reason. It might be a bit challenging but as time goes by you’ll learn how to overcome them.
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Mitch is a writer and photographer. She also does screenwriting for independent film producers and joins various film competitions. Mitch believes that “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
Who can forget the line uttered by Julius Caesar, ‘E tu Brutus’?
His shock and anguish at the backstabbing by a trusted friend is very visible in the line.
Though Caesar was literally stabbed, at the modern workplace, you can find many who do that figuratively. They may badmouth you or break your trust. They may even try to spread gossip about you on something that you must have shared personally.
Backstabbing co-workers are a reality and happen in all kinds of workspaces. The more efficient or the more you are liked in your office, the more are the number of backstabbers.
While it is wise not to fight them often, it is important to handle them well. Here’s how you can do it:
Beware of Backstabbing Co-workers:
Corporate jobs are a dream for most of people. There are many individuals who try hard to get noticed and gain a job in the corporate job market as the advantages that come along with it are huge.
But one should also have an idea about the other side of the corporate world, the negative sides like office politics, backstabbing etc.
“Backstabbing is something most people will have to deal with at some point“, says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.
This not only happens in corporate companies but you can also see it everywhere, whether it is a mid-sized company or any startup. The only thing you can do is to identify such employee and stay away from them.
Some of the types of colleagues who you need to beware of are,
Belittlers– who passes displeasing remarks and comments
Slackers – run from their duties and post their work on others
Credit thieves – who steal others ideas
Scorched-earth managers– fire employee who are capable enough, to avoid any threat
Finger pointers – who are masters in blaming game
Rumourmongers – the ones responsible for gossips and other things
How to Respond to Backstabbing?
Every employee in his career faces backstabbing kind of issue at least once. If you are not one of them then, you must be lucky enough to have good colleagues around you.
Identifying workplace saboteurs is the primary and initial thing that you should do. Here are a few steps you need to follow in this process.
- Talk to the person directly
- Think thoroughly about the issue
- Escalate the issue
- Ignore the issue completely
How to Deal with Backstabbing Employees?
Avoiding such people or employees and maintaining a distance is the best and only solution if you need to deal with backstabbing employees.
Ways to thwart backstabbing in the future:
- Send your manager updates
- Prepare a documentation
- Avoid gossiping
- Be aware even in casual settings
9 Signs You Can’t Trust Your Co-workers:
Trustworthy employees are like a boon for other colleagues and the company, whereas untrustworthy employees act as a hindrance on the way to success. Workforce acts an imperial role in achieving company goals and vision.
Let’s discuss a few signs that help you locate an untrustworthy employee easily.
3. Always get to gossip
4. They undermine others
5. They can go any far to win
6. Buttering up nature
7. Symptoms of a negative work environment
8. Don’t bother about others work-life balance
9. Disrespect others
Ways to Handle Backstabbing Colleagues:
At the workplace, beware what you are talking about or what information you are sharing.
When a co-worker shows too much interest in your personal matter or your opinion about another colleague at work, refrain from being honest. In fact, avoid such questions with a smile.
2. Keep ideas and plans to yourself:
Take care not to divulge any ideas that you have about a project you are handling with a colleague who is a backstabber.
Disclose your ideas only in the presence of a superior. You can even request your boss to divide project responsibilities so that you get the credit for what you have put in.
3. Be alert during changes:
When there is a sudden change in the office or there are rumours about firing some, be extra alert because it is during such situations that people try to pull down others just to protect their position.
At such times, just avoid talking too many personal or professional matters with anyone.
4. Do not let them pull you into the gossip pool:
The first stage utilised by backstabbers is essentially the sweet one. They may try to befriend you and say nasty stories about a colleague that you dislike.
Do not encourage such sessions and just do not add fuel to the fire. Whatever you may say can be used to get back at you.
5. Avoid backstabbers:
Whatever happens or whatever way, the backstabbers might try to incite you, remain calm. Avoid them as far as possible.
They may whisper into each other’s ears looking at you or they will smile sarcastically while you are passing. Remember by doing all these, they want you to react and attack them. Don’t fall into their trap.
6. Don’t give in:
Giving away physically or emotionally won’t solve your problems. Talk to your family or close friends about the situation. Their words of support will act as armour against bullies.
Remind yourself that you are talented and a valued employee and that is the reason why these backstabbers are behaving the way they do. So smile and keep your distance.
7. Hang out with supportive co-workers:
Try to build good co-worker relationships at work. Always have good caring co-workers at your side. Talk to them on all topics but never broach any topic concerning the backstabbers. Talk about fun things, laugh and have fun.
Backstabbers will automatically retreat when they see that you are not intimidated but are having fun.
8. Select your battles with caution:
React only when a problem escalates and that too in a way that is calm and restrained.
When you become aggressive, lose temper and shout at the backstabbers, you are also becoming a part of the problem and you will not be able to sort out the situation.
Hence when you confront, do so with dignity and self-restraint.
9. Be a better employee:
No matter how much some backstabbing co-workers are trying to belittle you or are spreading rumours about you, you should focus on your work and try to become better at your job.
Go beyond the call of duty and put in your best. Just concentrating on your work will be able to put the stress and such people away.
10. Make it a habit to document:
Whenever you have to communicate to such co-workers, instead of verbal communication, send e-mails. If they are rude to you in any work matters, tell them to send the details and reasons by mail rather than informing you verbally.
Keep note of all your work, your project details and meetings. Be extra careful and cautious so that whenever any allegation is made against you, you have evidence to prove that they are wrong.
11. Do not appear to be ‘holier than thou’:
Though you should not be a part of office politics, you should know what is going around. The key here is to listen to gossips but do not spread them.
Maintaining a ‘holier than thou’ attitude only makes you more distant even from others, which will give the backstabbers an upper hand.
12. Be a good friend to everyone:
If you get a chance to help someone or guide a newbie, do that. Even if one of the backstabbing colleagues come asking for help, try to help them out.
These helping gestures will put you in a favourable situation and secure from any harm that these people might try to impose.
13. Learn to read people:
This is a trait that will come only with practice. Learn to read non-verbal communication and study people.
When you are good at reading people, you will automatically save yourself from backstabbers.
14. Stick to one-liners with the backstabbers:
Be it professional matters or personal matters, when you communicate with backstabbing co-workers, then stick to either single words or one-liners. In this way, neither are you snapping at them nor are you encouraging them.
15. Learn to be shrewd:
Whenever you are dealing with such colleagues professionally, be shrewd and extra cautious. Check and do follow-ups.
For example, if you have to hand over important files to them, then take a receipt note from them, or hand it at the presence of a witness. If you have to email an important note, send a Cc to another colleague in the department.
16. Do not be weak or rather expose your softer side:
Be strong in front of the backstabbers. Even if you feel bad about what’s happening or you feel anxious about how the next day would be, do not express it.
Display a stronger exterior and go about your work quietly and more effectively whenever possible.
17. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst:
Try to find information on the activities of the backstabbers discreetly and gather all the pieces of evidence you need one by one so that when things go out of control, and you need to stand up to these bullies, you are prepared and you have the proof ready.
18. Create a group around you:
Gather whoever you can around you. Let these people be those who you trust well. Give them an idea about what’s happening.
Hence when lies or rumours are spread about you, these people will know the truth and they will be of help.
19. Beware of the backstabber:
The backstabbers are not easy people, they know all the tricks of the trade. Most of them have deep issues. Never underestimate them.
Do not take their actions lightly and be aware of them at every step. Know what they are up to and devise ways to be on the safer side.
20. Try to put the record straight:
If the backstabber is spreading rumours about you or has told some colleague that you do not like him or her, then go to the person directly and try to talk it out.
Also, confront the rumours and if anything can be amended, do it. And the ones which you can’t help, ignore.
21. Do not pay back in their own coin:
Sometimes you may get tempted to badmouth about backstabbers to others or try to do nasty things to them.
If you will resort to these things, what will be the difference between you and them? Hold your dignity and go about your work, with a smile and a positive attitude.
22. Backstabbers are not aliens:
Anybody can be a backstabber. Nobody is born with such an attitude. A person ready to stab you in the back can be the sweet intern or the person who diligently wishes you every morning or even the one sitting next to you with whom you share lunch and jokes.
The moral is not to trust anyone completely and consider only those as friends who you have tried and tested.
23. Confront the right way:
Confrontation is not all about fighting it out physically. You can confront a wrongdoer in a non-violent way too.
If you have all the evidence with you, then you can take your boss or an HR representative with you. Put the proof before him and ask him politely the reason for his behaviour.
24. Talk to your boss – the last remedy:
Take the matter to your boss only when all other solutions do not work. But before you present the matter to your boss, try out all the above points.
Keep proof ready and also see if any colleagues who know the truth, will speak in support.
Tell your boss that you regard this as a small matter, you still want an amicable situation. You should create an impression that you are not complaining but since you need a cordial working atmosphere, this issue should be resolved in a friendly manner.
25. At the end of the day, do what you think is right:
If the boss does not stand by you, and the backstabbers succeed, don’t sit back blaming yourself.
You know you were right so why bother? Start looking for a new job and say goodbye cordially with dignity. Good things definitely happen to the right people, believe that.
You will find unethical people in all walks of life and especially at work, backstabbing co-workers are a reality. It is of no use, running away because the problem is going to persist.
Hence it is important to learn to handle these backstabbers in an intelligent and smart manner. These steps will help you handle backstabbers in a dignified manner, a method that does not hurt but is impactful.
First and foremost, what is a backstabber? Well, a backstabber is a hypocrite of a person who pretends to care about in order to jeopardise your life, reputation, achievements, relationship and so on when you least expected it. In other words, they’re simply a traitor. Backstabbers come in all forms like co-workers, friends and in some cases, even family.
Either way, the effect of being backstabbed can be a painful experience but not impossible to get over. Here are 10 tactful and effective ways to handle backstabbing people.
Avoid the backstabbers
You’ll find that they’re making it obvious that they’re gossiping about you while giving you sarcastic smiles. Just ignore them. They just want you to react and trust me, don’t waste your time. You let them win once you retaliate.
Surround yourself with caring & supportive people
During bad times, you are sure to find people whom are supportive so surround yourself with such people. You’re less likely to be intimidated by your backstabber and it makes the backstabber retreat to see you talking and having fun with a group of people.
Keep your brilliance to yourself
Backstabbers love to steal great ideas and plans so beware. If you have ideas and plans that you wish to act on, make sure only to disclose to your superior.
Confront with dignity
Only do this when the situation has escalated to the point of being a huge problem for you, then you make react. However, do react with grace and poise. Behaving aggressively towards your backstabber will only flame the fire so you don’t want to add-on the damage. Instead, resolve the situation with dignity. Stay calm and remember self-control.
Be sure to document conversations and conflicts that you’ve had with your rude co-workers or group mates, and instead of having them inform you verbally, tell them to email you whatever problem they have with you and reasons for them wanting to lash out. Take note of all the details of your work and project. So whenever you’re accused of something, you have proof to back you up.
Treat everyone with equal respect
In order to avoid being a target of backstabbing, this is very crucial. You don’t want to seem like a teacher’s pet or a kiss-ass, so make sure you treat everyone from the CEO to the cleaning lady with equal respect. You will be less likely to be disliked and become a target of bullying.
Avoid innocent but personal questions with a smile
It happens. A new acquaintance will ask you what seem like innocent questions but are also personal in a way. Sharing these kind of information can sometimes be used against you, so be very careful what you share to others. If you don’t want to answer, just respond with a smile. Then divert the topic to a more general and friendly conversation. It has worked for me many times!
No need for pay-backs
When someone backstabs you, the last thing you want to do is take revenge. Honestly, I know it makes you very angry and hurt but pay-backs won’t solve anything. What makes you any better from the backstabber if you do the same?
Just continue being better
Do not let the backstabbers and the rumours they spread be a distraction. Instead, continue focusing on self-improvement and being better at your job or studies. You already know that whatever people are saying about you are not true, so do not feel guilty about anything. Just do your thing, honey. The rumours and gossiping will eventually die down.
Be a ninja
Actually, what I mean here is to subtly be aware of whatever that is going on around you especially through gossips. Pretending to not be listening to gossips is one way (make sure you don’t comment or contribute to them). You need to know things so that the backstabber will not have the upper hand against you. If they do, you will be defenseless.
Top Image: wong yu liang / .com
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While backstabbing friends are a part of life, profound and eye-opening betrayal quotes will help you heal from it and inspire you to move forward.
If you’re searching for best quotes ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of famous fake friends quotes, disappointment quotes images, and quotes on healing.
Backstabbers specialize in saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. – Les Parott
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it. – Epictetus
Your life must be filled with such incredible loneliness that your only joy comes from destroying everyone else’s happiness. – Mary Margaret
Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They’re only powerful when you got your back turned. – Eminem
You know that you have been stabbed when you feel the deep pain of betrayal. – Les Parrott
Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you. – Sherrilyn Kenyon
False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us when we cross into the shade. – Christian Nevell Bovee
To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal. – Malcolm X
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. – William Blake
You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise. – Maya Angelou
There are many backstabbing friends who in your hard time will ignore you, without to ask something from them. You just are filled with sadness and they don’t confide in you anymore. The downside of your hard time is being considered rude, negative, boorish and insistent. – Camelia C.
All trust involves vulnerability and risk, and nothing would count as trust if there were no possibility of betrayal. – Robert C. Solomon
Be certain that he who has betrayed thee once will betray thee again. – Johann Caspar Lavater
Backstabbing, gossiping, greed and power games are a sign of an unhealthy organization. – Rhoberta Shaler
No one ever really pays for betrayal in silver…. The price of any betrayal always comes due in flesh. – Stephen King
I know of one man who spent his best energies backstabbing. – George Mazzei
Betrayal is never easy to handle and there is no right way to accept it. – Christine Feehan
Betrayal does that betrays the betrayer. – Erica Jong
Bestfriends has 11 letters, but so does Backstabber. – Wiz Khalifa
I’ll bet you would not list gossip, backstabbing or negativity as one of the desirable values you hold dear. – Rhoberta Shaler
Best Backstabbing Friends Sayings
- It’s hard to tell who has your back, from who has it long enough just to stab you in it? – Nicole Richie
- Although I’m proposing these two rules to strengthen your ability to deal with backstabbing, you’re still going to have to protect yourself – you don’t want to get stabbed in the front for your troubles. – Ronny J. Coleman
- Backstabbing occurs when a coworker lies low on a project and then grabs credit when it’s nearing completion. – Les Parrott
- Trust is a fragile thing once earned, it affords us tremendous freedom, but once trust is lost, it can be impossible to recover of course the truth is, we never know who we can trust. Those we’re closest to can betray us. – Mary Alice Young
- Be careful to whom you trust. Betrayal always come from the persons you trusted. – Anurag Prakash Ray
- Backstabbing occurs when a friend agrees with you when the two of you are alone but later sides with your opponents in a social setting. – Les Parrott
- We can tolerate our true enemies, but not the back stabbers and betrayers. – Sanji Paul Arvind
- Backstabbing occurs when you share a confidence with someone at church only to learn later that the person has told your story on the prayer chain. – Les Parrott
- Betrayal is the only truth that sticks. – Arthur Miller
- Backstabbing is nothing new. In biblical times, King David experienced the pain of betrayal. – Les Parrott
- I would never betray a friend to serve a cause. Never reject a friend to help an institution. Great nations may fall in ruin before I would sell a friend to save them. – Edward Abbey
- Backstabbing, by the way, is not to be confused with a minor slipup like canceling lunch at the last minute or neglecting to return a phone call. – Les Parrott
- FIDELITY, n. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed. – Ambrose Bierce
- When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself. – Isaac Bashevis Singer
- One of the favorite pastimes of Backstabbers is recounting slights and grievances they’ve carried for years. – Les Parrott
- There are three signs of a hypocrite: when he speaks he speaks lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is trusted he betrays his trust. – Muhammad
- I am grateful to those who have betrayed me… They thought they were just stabbing me in the back, but they were also cutting me free from their poisonous life. – Steve Maraboli
- Better to have an enemy who slaps you in the face than a friend who stabs you in the back.
- We have to distrust each other. It is our only defense against betrayal. – Tennessee Williams
- Never trust on unknown hands, you will never know how they stand by you and back stab with their brains. – Debolina Bhawal
Top Backstabbing Quotes about Fake Friends or Family Members
- If you are protecting yourself against a backstabbing co-worker or underling that is another matter. No one should feel bad about staying alive when under direct attack. – George Mazzei
- An open enemy is better than a false friend. – Greek Proverb
- Stab the body and it heals but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime. – Mineko Iwasaki
- One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though … betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope. – Steven Deitz
- Sometimes your dearest friend whom you reveal most of your secrets to becomes so deadly and unfriendly without knowing that they were not really your friend. – Michael Bassey Johnson
- They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience. – Joseph Conrad
- If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. – E. M. Forster
- Don’t worry about the people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.
- There must be love, and understanding, to betray. Most men haven’t the wit or the honor for betrayal: not to know it when they see it; not the stomach to apprehend it as they do it. Most men, blind and dumb in their self-centeredness, don’t betray they merely disappoint. – Janet Morris
- Sometimes it’s not the people who change, it’s the mask that falls off.
- People are complicated creatures. On the one hand, able to perform great acts of charity. On the other, capable of the most underhanded forms of betrayal. It’s a constant battle that rages within all of us. – Mary Alice Young
- Watching my back is the perfect opportunity to stick a knife in it. – Holly Black
- It’s particularly hard to take being stabbed in the back close to home. There’s always a feeling of betrayal when people of your own group oppose you. – Catharine MacKinnon
- To understand loyalty, you need to experience betrayal. – Thomas
- It wasn’t the knife your friend stab me in the back with that hurt me. It was the dagger of your silent acceptance.
- You stabbed me then pretend you were the one who was bleeding.
- Looking for your knife? You should try my back, that’s where I’ve last seen it.
- Many times, you are the single most significant and glorious thing that has ever happened in the lives of some people; they sit around and talk about you over and over again throughout the years while you are out there living your life, every step that you take and every kiss that you make having absolutely nothing to do with them, at all! – C. JoyBell C.
- A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken. – Cally
In a job search, it’s vital to write a compelling resume to help you land your target job. However, it doesn’t stop there. To amp up your job hunt, you must also prepare for the common practices and behaviors in the workplace. This gives you a glimpse of different situations and people you may encounter. One of the worst workplace encounters is dealing with backstabbing coworkers. Even if they are common, you shouldn’t become one of them. Further, you mustn’t tolerate this kind of behavior once you’ve snagged a job. Instead, think of ways on how to deal with backstabbers in the workplace, so you’ll maintain your professionalism despite the criticisms they throw behind your back.
What Backstabbing Coworkers Do
It may be difficult for you to pinpoint colleagues doing harmful and unfair acts against you when you’re not around. Being keen, however, can help you tell apart which among them are backstabbers.
What are the signs of a backstabber at work?
Spot backstabbers at work through some of their common traits:
- Envy colleagues
- Disrespect workers of all levels
- Lie to anyone
- Put blame on others
- Gossip around
- Steal others’ ideas
- Belittle others through displeasing remarks and comments
With these signs, learn how you should handle backstabbing coworkers with the following tips.
How to Deal with Backstabbing Employees
So, how do you deal with a backstabbing coworker? Heed these tips, inspirational quotes, and reminders to help you maintain your good character through this situation.
1. Be the bigger person.
Take the high road; it’s far less crowded. — Warren Buffett
As uncontrollable situations like this may be, you better take the high ground and do great at what you do. That way, you’re handling the situation with utmost professionalism and integrity.
2. Be alert during changes.
Changes in the workplace are inevitable. However, change is challenging and may open new doors to backstabbing and other workplace issues. Guard yourself. Be open to change, but don’t open yourself too much.
3. Make it a habit to document.
The single most important ingredient in the recipe for success is transparency because transparency builds trust. — Denise Morrison
As much as possible, make all your work activities documented. Talk to your coworkers through emails. Doing this helps your employers track your correspondences easily. Most importantly, it avoids backstabbers from using your own words against you.
4. Be cautious about what you tell others.
Backstabbing coworkers prey on every single detail they can get from you or those you talk to. Who knows, your simple question of who’s who and who does what may be taken against you. That’s why you must be mindful of your everyday conversation with your officemates.
5. Be careful in pitching ideas and plans.
Ideas won’t keep; something must be done about them. — Alfred North Whitehead
Ideas are intellectual properties. So unless you fully trust the people around you, be careful with whom you share your ideas and plans with. Backstabbing coworkers may act nice to get your trust, but before you even know it, they have stolen your ideas to their advantage.
6. Don’t join or start gossips.
Ask yourself: What good will it bring you to talk badly of others? Will it improve your work history? Will it contribute to a better workplace? Gossiping makes one’s situation worse and doesn’t help resolve things.
7. Don’t trust easily.
If you give your trust to a person who does not deserve it, you actually give him the power to destroy you. — Khaled Saad
Trust must be earned, not given to just anyone you meet. In the workplace, not everyone is your friend. Maintain professionalism when discussing work and personal matters. Keep office conversations as work-related as possible. Don’t give too much and unnecessary information about your opinions and personal life to random coworkers.
8. Do what’s right and continue doing your best.
Lastly, it all boils down to how you react to these situations you can’t seem to control. Continue doing what’s right and give your best. Besides, you must deliver your tasks well and produce results for your employer.
Make the Best Out of Your Career Despite Backstabbing Challenges
Remember, not all common workplace practices are normal and should be tolerated. Backstabbing is one of them. Despite this, don’t stop taking steps to improve your career. As a professional, it’s vital to remain respectful and civil in the workplace. Dealing with backstabbing coworkers mustn’t cost you your work by compromising your integrity. If you’ve experienced being backstabbed by your coworkers, you have the option to seek a new job. Let us help you snatch your next job with a professional resume! Read our best resume writing services reviews and choose the one that suits your needs to help start your new career.
Your Coworkers Are Not Your Friends
Just because professionalism calls for being friendly with everyone, does not mean that everyone is your friend.
I recently had a conversation with a young woman whom I mentor who was very disappointed in a colleague’s behavior. The two, in my mentee’s words, “enjoy a good relationship and are friendly toward one another.â€ The two were also recently working jointly on a project. My mentee was coordinating with an outside vendor and the colleague was managing the project with a senior level executive internally. Apparently both had casually agreed on their roles as the ground work was being done. When it came time to execute the project, the colleague called the outside vendor (my mentee’s contact) secured the deal and then promptly wrapped up the assignment with the senior level executive. Her reasoning: It was late (6:30pm on a Monday) and my mentee had already left for the day. The colleague didn’t want to disturb her evening. I’m not a sports person, but I believe that’s what they call an intercepted play — or as my mentee saw it, a foul.
My mentee was angry for a number of reasons: At her company there are no off hours. Everyone has a BlackBerry and so even if you don’t want to disturb someone with a phone call, texting and e-mail are always appropriate for matters concerning urgent business or communication etiquette.
The other breach was in their perceived friendship. But I firmly reminded my mentee that there are no friends at work! Sure, there are folks with whom you go to lunch, share jokes, and exchange birthday and holiday greetings. There may even be colleagues with whom you share family information (children’s graduations, parent anniversaries, etc.) You may have even invited them to your wedding. But as Renetta McCann, former CEO of advertising giant Starcom MediaVest, reminded me in an interview, in a competitive work environment “a friend today is a foe tomorrow.â€ The goal for most individuals at work is advancement. How do you achieve that? It’s increasing your visibility, gaining the right exposure and being noticed by the right players inside and outside of your organization. Of course, there are perfectly legitimate and integrity-based strategies for achieving those goals. But for some, it’s accomplished by any means necessary.
Some of these people are quite obvious in behavior. Others you discover in your interaction with them. Will they disappoint you? Certainly! Should you be surprised? Never! Does this mean you should be guarded and paranoid in your place of work? Not at all. You should, however, be clear and deliberate about all your actions and interactions at work. As for my mentee’s colleague — now she knows how her colleague operates. One of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou is, “When people reveal themselves, believe them.â€ Here are some guidelines for managing relationships on the job:
You may love your job and all the people you work with, but at the end of the day you are in a business environment where the goals of the organization are driven by business decisions.
It is absolutely necessary to build and develop relationships at work. This is not a social exercise. There will be people that you genuinely enjoy and like and colleagues with whom you will develop genuine friendships–that will happen effortlessly. But the goal of building workplace relationships is to accomplish your professional and business goals. Even if you don’t feel this way, know that your colleagues do.
Clearly outline goals and objectives in writing. Instead of verbal discussions, document through e-mails.
Stop getting emotional. If someone has disappointed you, take it as a gift. Now you know how they think and how they operate. Your job now is to be smarter about how you interact with them.
Always act with integrity — even if you feel others with whom you have a relationship don’t.
Sonia Alleyne is an editorial director at Black Enterprise magazine.
Backstabber Guide: 8 Tips to Deal with Backstabbers
Recently I learned that a good “friend” backstabbed me by badmouthing me in a malicious way. It wasn’t your innocuous, everyday gossip — it consisted of vindictive statements that cast doubt on my character.
When I heard it, I was furious of course. What kind of “friend” speaks of friends like this behind their backs? How about values of loyalty, trust, and respect? Have they been thrown out of the window?
However, after feeling angry about it for a short while and realizing that this was simply ridiculous and a waste of my time, I began to turn this around and move on. If you’re dealing with a backstabber at the moment, I feel you. Here are 8 tips to deal with backstabbers.
How to Deal with Backstabbers
Stay calm. No matter how pissed off you are, gather yourself first. An irate person will only commit irate actions, and sometimes you may say things that you regret later. Take a few minutes, even a few hours, to digest this information first. If needed, sleep on it. Once you feel calm enough, proceed to the next step.
2) Fact check the story
Sometimes rumors can balloon out of control as people add their own interpretations to events. Worse still, some people may make up stories to sow discord between you and your friend. Hence, you want to fact check the story first before jumping to conclusions.
For me, when a third party told me that my “friend” said certain bad things about me, I then asked for explicit information, like what exactly he said, the context he said it, and why he said it. I then asked for the third party’s permission to see the messages, and saw for myself the whole conversation thread, along with the backstabbing comments. It was clear beyond doubt that this was real, and the next step was how to deal with it.
3) Do damage control
Then, I did damage control by rectifying the statements made. I shared my side of the story to whoever they were aired to. While it was still up to the person to make his/her conclusion, at least I have said my piece about this situation rather than leave things hanging.
If you have been backstabbed, take a step back and evaluate your situation. Has there been any “damage” done? Yes? No? If yes, what is this damage? Is it damage to your reputation? Damage in terms of potential business deals? Damage in terms of friendships? For the damage caused, what can you do to reverse it? Address the damage as best as you can within your locus of control, and then…
4) Clarify with the person if you can. If not, cut this person away
For this friend, this wasn’t the first time such an issue occurred. For the past few months, I had dealt with a variety of misunderstandings and issues with him. So when it came to this situation, especially the gravity of it (outright attacking my character in front of a business acquaintance), I decided that it was time to cut off the friendship.
So I cut him away. It wasn’t just this one incident, but the series of incidents that led up to this (a lot of negativity, angry outbursts), that made me realize that it was time to move on. The friendship was clearly not what I thought it was, and I had wasted too much time trying to make it work.
If you have been backstabbed by a “friend,” evaluate (a) how important this friendship is to you and (b) whether the offending act is forgivable. If it’s a highly important friendship and the offending act is something you can overlook, then air the grievance to that friend, trash things out, listen from his/her side of the story, and give the friendship another go. If the friendship isn’t of much weight to you and the offending act is not something you can overlook, then perhaps cutting the person away is the best course of action.
I wrote more about handling betrayals by friends here: What To Do When You Have Been Betrayed by a Friend. And here’s an article on when it’s time to end a friendship: Why I Parted Ways With My Best Friend of 10 Years
5) …Let go
One of my biggest qualms is that people might have bought into what the badmouther said and used those words to form their impressions of me, thereby making it impossible for me to ever form a true relationship with any of them. My life mission is to connect with everyone in the world, and to know that some people might have closed their hearts from me because of comments made by another was truly devastating.
Where damage control is concerned, I can rectify the statements made to people I knew the statements were aired to, but I don’t know if the statements were made to anyone else. These people might well have passed on the comments to people they know, of which the latter group might have done the same thing, thereby making it an irrevocable damage.
To address this, I simply learned to… let go. Sometimes you can’t control everything, and the only way to be “in control” (= stay calm and happy) is to be okay with not being in control. Rather than obsess about something I cannot effect, I would do better by letting that go and focusing on the things I can effect. (Read the next tip.)
Read: 10 Timeless Principles to be Happy
6) Correct false perceptions through concrete actions
Actions will always speak louder than words. I can explain my side of the story all I want but at the end of the day, it is simply one person’s words against another. Who’s to say one is more right than another? Everyone always has his/her side of the story, and both parties will always be right in their own world.
So, I decided to correct the false picture not through words, but actions. How? By ensuring my behavior is true to my core values of Excellence, Love, and Truth, something that I already strive to do every day.
Recently I met an esteemed business investor and he told me, within our first few meetings, that he was very impressed by how I walk my talk, something he doesn’t see often in other people, if at all. I thought it was a huge stamp of approval coming from him as he is already in his 60s, has set up and IPO-ed countless businesses, and has worked with countless people in the 40 over years he has spent in the business world.
His comment reminded me that as long as I do my thing and live true to my conscience, people will naturally know what I stand for as a person. You show people you are a good person not by saying you are one or even putting down others, but by taking actions consistent with what you define as being a good human being.
At the end of the day after you live true to yourself, people are still free to make their own conclusions. Some may choose to negatively judge you despite everything you do. However, as long as you know your values and take actions consistent with them, your actions will shine more brightly than whatever people try to say about you. Don’t serve to please others; live your life in a way you can be proud of.
For more on values, check out Day 15: Identify Your Values of my 30-day program, Live a Better Life in 30 Days.
I always believe there is something to learn from every situation. This incident is no different.
From this episode, I learned quite a few things about myself, surrounding my fears, anxieties, and treatment of friendships. I learned to be more appreciative of true friends who have always been there for me. I learned to be more sensitive to others’ feelings. I also learned that I can be dead wrong in my judgment sometimes, and what I think is my intuition can just be a bad oversight.
Above all, I learned to stick to my guns and stay true to what I stand for, instead of shirking myself out of fear of non-conformance with the world.
If you are serious about creating an impact, you are bound to ruffle some feathers here and there. Here’s what: ruffle those feathers anyway. Know that your job here isn’t to please everyone, but to stay true to your mission and create the largest, most positive impact to as many people as you can. Other people can put you down but you will always have your voice.
I shared this Winston Churchill quote before in the take credit post, and I’m going to do it here again before it’s such a wonderful quote:
(Quote image: Personal Excellence. Photo: Winston Churchill)
8) Look at the big picture
While I was appalled when I found out about the “betrayal,” I got over it after a few hours. In the big picture of things, the incident was just insignificant. There are too many things I need to do, too many goals I have to achieve, to be bogged down by one person’s vendetta.
For example, we have a meteorite that just hit Russia, injuring over 1,000 people. Up north, we have North Korea doing secret nuclear tests. Down south, kids in South Africa are dying every day due to famine and diseases. Then over in America, fundamental social issues beg looking into. The number of homeless people in New York City continues to rise every year. Schools in the U.S. continue to be plagued by shootings, now becoming an almost weekly occurrence.
I reckon if you just found out that you got “betrayed,” you must feel pretty miffed. Shocked. Surprised. Angry. Livid. Feel those emotions, vent to your friends if you have to, and then get over it. There are so many other things to concern yourself in life. Why let yourself be bothered by something as tiny as this?
Rather than harp on the negative, why not divert your energy to the positive things in your life and build on them? What are your long-term goals? What are your short-term goals? What do you want to achieve this month/year? What are your Quadrant 2 items that you have been procrastinating on? How about getting started on them right at this moment?
Read my series on addressing anger, starting with part 1: My History with Anger and How I Let Go of It, Part 1: Growing Up in a Household of Anger
How About You?
Have you ever been backstabbed? What happened, and how did you address it? Or are you undergoing a backstabbing episode right now? How can you apply the 8 tips above?
Also check out:
- What To Do When You Have Been Betrayed by a Friend
- How to Deal with Backstabbers
- What To Do When People Take Credit For Your Work: 7 Tips To Be the Better Person
Don’t Backstab Others – It Leads to a Sad Life
It saddens me to talk with or hear of any situation where one person puts their trust in another person only to get backstabbed.
I am not speaking of a scenario in which a person took a known risk and lost. I am speaking of situations where an entrepreneur makes promises they know they will not follow through with and takes advantage of another human being.
In this title, I mentioned that when a person does backstab others, that it leads to a sad life. I should say that it leads to more than 1 sad life.
- The person who is backstabbed is sad.
- The person doing the backstabbing will discover their life is sad at some point. Karma does catch up.
- And people like myself who learn about the backstabbing are saddened.
When People Backstab Others, The World As A Whole Becomes Less Trusting
As entrepreneurs, we have to build trust in the people we are approaching. Every single case of an entrepreneur backstabbing makes that job more difficult.
“Eric, you seem like a good person and at one time I would have trusted that your software would be a good investment. But 2 months ago, I met a man who offered a system that he said would help me grow my business. He was nice too. He told me I could give my credit card info and he wouldn’t process the payment until a 2 week trial period was completed. 2 days later, my credit card company called to tell me my card had been maxed out. The kicker was, there was a hidden term that said the business would charge me for 5 years of the service at $330 per month.”
This is just a fictional story, but it has happened.
That other entrepreneurial “con-man” had destroyed this woman’s credit and she had no recourse because of the fine print. And now she will probably never trust another entrepreneur again.
Your Reputation Is More Important Than Money
Don’t backstab others because your reputation will soon catch up to you.
The laws of the universe stand tall in this matter. We have seen it down through time. You may get away with it for the moment but in the end, it will damage you and lead to a sad life.
Tips For The Person Who Has Been Backstabbed
It would be nice to think that every person who may backstab others will read this post and will STOP in their tracks.
But that is probably not being realistic. In most cases, it takes backstabbers being brought to their lowest before they realize the errors of their ways.
But for those of you who have been or are being backstabbed, I will offer some timely tips.
Go vent in healthy ways
While “sweet revenge” may be the first temptation, is it truly the answer?
But it is important that you release that frustration, anger, hurt, etc. in a healthy way.
- Hard exercise – Run, bike, lift weights, etc…
- Find somewhere you can scream and yell where no one will hear.
- Confide in a person you can trust with your deepest “stuff” and will just listen.
Always fact check
There are times a perceived backstabbing could be just an error.
I remember years ago when a friend was seen with a girl in a car by his girlfriend’s brother. Immediately it was assumed he was backstabbing.
After getting beat up the truth came out that the girl was his step sister who was visiting from out of State. Their parents were in a store.
Be slightly more cautious with ideas and plans
It is sad that I have to say this, but anything that could be used against you or taken from you should be handled with caution.
Much like your billfold or purse, you cannot just leave it out in the open tempting a person.
If you cut down the ways a person could backstab you, you will be safer.
Confront the backstabber in a non-threatening and professional way
A large percentage of people who backstab are not prepared to be confronted with their deed. If handled professionally and in a non-threatening manner, there is a good chance the person will see their wrong and will make moves to rectify the situation.
In today’s world, it does seem that many “would-be” entrepreneurs are more willing to backstab others to get further ahead. What they need to know is, it actually puts them further behind.
I am hoping that many people who are tempted to backstab other or people who have been backstabbed read this post.
It is something that needs to stop. Not only is it harming the victim and the perpetrator, backstabbing is hurting the reputations of good entrepreneurs everywhere.
Please Don’t Backstab Others!
If you have been backstabbed and are willing to tell your story, feel free to do so in the comment section below. And please do not try to get revenge… The law of the universe will do it for you.
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3 Ways to Battle the Office Backstabber
A couple of years ago, I got a call from an old high school friend. We went to the same college but lost touch, and now she was considering whether to apply for a job at my company, with my boss. Given our history, I felt she deserved my honest assessment: The hours were long, the expectations were high, the bosses were tough—but the experience was invaluable.
A few weeks later, my boss approached my desk to get my thoughts on my friend. I told him she was a great candidate, one he should strongly consider. What she lacked in experience she would make up for in drive, I said. “She’s the kind of person who would do all she could to succeed here.”
How fitting. Because then my boss smiled and said, “Well, during the interview, I asked her what you had said about me.”
My boss then proceeded to repeat the lowdown I’d given my friend, during what I assumed was a confidential, off-the-record conversation, just one old chum to another. When I heard him repeat the words “hard ass,” I blushed violently.
My first thought: Anger. I want to scream. I want to call up and confront this conniving, so-called friend right now. I want to renege on my recommendation.
Second thought: Denial. Maybe she didn’t mean to say it. Maybe he caught her off guard. Maybe she got home from her interview, played it back in her head and realized, “Wow, I shouldn’t have sold Caroline out.”
Third (and final) thought: Acceptance. She knew exactly what she was doing.
While I stammered efforts at damage control, he just laughed. (Thankfully, he’s the type to relish that depiction. But, of course, my dear old “friend” of a decade wouldn’t have known that.)
It’s sad to say, but there are just some people in this world who think that throwing others under the bus is necessary to get ahead. And whether someone spills something you said in confidence, blames you for a mishap, or “forgets” to put your name on an important presentation, her office backstabbing not only messes with your emotions; it messes with your career and your credibility.
But while you can’t change these unpleasant, unpredictable people, you can build a game plan that will stop them in their tracks. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned.
1. Choose Your Words Wisely
This is the lesson I learned the hard way: Don’t give anyone the ammo (or, er, the knife) to stab you in the back. When meeting people for the first time (or, in my case, giving the uninitiated the 411 on the office), don’t offer too much information too soon. This is also true in informational interview or networking-type scenarios, where you may feel particularly inclined to be helpful—but where you don’t know much about the person you’re sharing information with. Learn from my mistake and disengage.
And when it comes to the steady pipeline of workplace rumors, you can listen, but don’t perpetuate. Train yourself to save personal assessments of your workplace and colleagues for your inner sanctum: your significant other, parents, and closest friends (who don’t work with you). A simple “Hm, that’s interesting,” is a good enough reply for most office gossip. No need to be paranoid—but it’s a good idea to make pseudo-guarded your norm.
2. Build an Army
There are countless reasons why having an army of supporters throughout your company is good for your workplace well-being, but in this case, it’s also the best way to counteract a backstabber’s ploys—and even prevent them in the first place. If you have authentic relationships with everyone from your bosses to your peers to the assistants, they’ll defend your reputation, even when you don’t know it’s at stake.
That said, this isn’t just about “be nice to everyone”—keep people in the know about what you’re up to. Take ownership of your work, especially in group settings, and regularly seek advice from and run ideas by your team members and manager. I regularly seek advice from my superiors, share my latest projects, and discuss what I’m excelling in, as well as how I hope to improve. Doing that shows initiative and earns respect.
Then, if Mr. or Ms. Backstabber questions your dedication, “forgets” to put your name on a project, or monopolizes time in the conference room, it won’t sting you—because you’ve already communicated to everyone the awesome work you’re doing. You save face, and you nip the two-timer’s antics in the bud.
Another worthwhile tactic: Be generous when giving others credit, whether those people are bosses, peers, or even backstabbers themselves. This is good for two reasons: First, some backstabbers may back off if you’ve been kind to them in the past. And secondly, if a backstabber targets you nevertheless (like in my case), you boss and co-workers already know about your kindness. So if a random person tells them something off-color you said (ahem), hopefully they’ll take it with a grain of salt. When the backstabber’s fangs come out, the person they’ll trust is you.
3. Use Confrontation as a Last Resort
Some people will advocate that in a back-stabbing situation, you should go straight to the source, confront her shady dealings, and tell her you’re not going to put up with it anymore. But I’m more inclined to take the non-confrontational route, unless absolutely necessary. For one thing, some people thrive on knowing they stirred the pot and that they could wield power over you with just a few strategic conversations. In my case, I figured I wasn’t going to scare this girl straight. In fact, if I told her that what she said was totally inappropriate and could have cost me big, I’m pretty sure she would have struck again.
But if it does come to confrontation, keep it sterile, void of emotion, and with the goal of problem-solving. A simple, “Hi, I saw my name wasn’t on that presentation. Please send it to me, so I can add it before sending it on.” Or, “There must have been some misunderstanding about X, so I wanted to clear the air.”
Unfortunately, the more important you become in the office, the greater target you are for backstabbing. (Just look at Mark Antony and Caesar, one of the greatest backstabbing tales of all time!) So learn to handle it now. Then as you climb the ladder, your defense will be your best offense.