Workplace Survival: Dealing with Backstabbers at Work

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animated illustration of an employee being stabbed by another in the back

Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back. They’re behind you for a reason.
– Anonymous

Believe it or not, backstabbers are much worse than workplace bullies. They’re like a disease that attacks your immune system without noticing it. Their moves may be slow, but are deadly enough to poison your job and reputation at once. But don’t fear them, because when they smell it from you, they’ll crave for it and you’ll be their favorite prey.

Backstabbers can be spotted in the group or office when they…

shirk responsibilities or force their tasks onto another
steal credits or ideas and claim those as their own
point fingers at anyone for a mistake or when a project fails
belittle or offend people with offending remarks or comments
discredit or undermine a more capable colleague who they think a threat to their success
fill up the rumor mill and stir up drama to destroy someone’s reputation

Signs of Backstabbing

These “office snakes” are best at lurking around the cubicles and pretending they’re your friend. But if you notice these signs, then you’re likely to be hanging around with a two-faced person.

Sarcasm – They tell you half-meant jokes that leave you either perplexed or insulted.
Cold treatments – Some of your friends at work suddenly avoid you or give you cold treatments.
Aliases – They call you mean names such as “stupid”, “dork”, “lame”, etc.
Gossips – You’ll know why everybody is being cold to you, because someone is tarnishing your rep to them.
Isolation – They’re not inviting you to lunch anymore and they have fun during your absence.

How to Handle It?

It’s normal to feel threatened after you find out you’re being disparaged. Keep things sane and save your job, reputation, and personal life out of these quick tips:

• Don’t trust them your tasks, files, or any stuff they can use against you.
• Bullies jolly in your distress and the best way to give them nothing to work with is to ignore them.
• Prove them wrong. You heard them call you “lazy”? Show them you’re not.
• Document voice mails, text messages, chats, or any evidence that will testify you’re being ‘stabbed’ in your back.
• Confront them in a professional manner and correct their false perceptions towards you. Remember, don’t do it when you’re at the peak of your emotions.
• If the confrontation fails, seek protection of your supervisor or manager. Give him/her the evidences you gathered to help you with the case.

As a professional, it’s important to remain respectful and kind even to the meanest person to you. But if things get out of hand, you can always prepare for a new job. Read our professional resume writing services reviews and choose one of the best resume writing companies to help you start your new career.

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