a girl dealing with backstabbing coworkers

Workplace Survival: Dealing with Backstabbers at Work

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

Job hunting isn’t all about making resumes and getting job interview invites. As a job seeker, you have to prepare yourself with the many personality types that you might have to deal with once you get hired and work in an office setting. One of the worst people you’d meet in the workplace—but you may not know it at first—are the backstabbing coworkers. Read on to know them well and learn how to handle backstabbers at work who are out to destroy your reputation and career.

Backstabbers are as bad as bullies. They’re like a disease that attacks your immune system without you knowing it. Their moves may be slow, but are deadly enough to ruin your job and character at once, especially if you’re an unsuspecting prey. But don’t fear them, instead think of the ways on how to deal with backstabbers so you’ll remain unfazed despite the criticisms they throw behind your back.

What Do Backstabbers Do?

It may be difficult for you to pinpoint colleagues doing harmful and unfair acts against you when you’re not around. But being keen observant can help you tell apart which among them are backstabbers.

You can spot them in a group by noticing everyone’s conduct and taking note of the following common bad traits among them:

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

Signs of a Backstabber at Work

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


They tell you half-meant jokes that leave you either perplexed or upset.

Cold treatments

Some of your friends at work suddenly avoid you, disregard you during group chitchat, or stop talking when you’re around.


They call you mean names such as “stupid”, “dork”, “lame”, etc.


You’ll know why everybody is being cold to you, because someone is ruining your character with made-up stories.


They no longer invite you to have lunch with them (and you’ll know they had fun during your absence).

How to deal with “snakes” at work?

Tips on Dealing with Backstabbing Coworkers

It’s normal to feel threatened (or angry) after you find out someone mocked or betrayed you. Keep things sane and save your job, reputation, and personal life with these quick tips on coping with backstabbers in the workplace:

  • Don’t entrust to them your tasks, files, or any stuff they can use against you.
  • Bullies rejoice your distress and the best way to give them nothing to work with is to hide your pain.
  • Prove them wrong. You heard them call you “lazy”? Show them you’re not.
  • Document voice mails, text messages, chats, or any evidence that could attest to your claims of backstabbing.
  • Confront them in a professional manner and correct their false perceptions toward you. Remember, don’t do it when you’re at the peak of your emotions.
  • If the confrontation fails, seek protection from your supervisor or manager. Present to him/her the proofs you gathered to help you with the case.

As a professional, it’s vital to remain respectful and kind even to the meanest person to you. You just have to stay calm and alert when dealing with backstabbing coworkers.

Now, are you ready to face the challenge of working with diverse people whose different traits may not match yours? In such a case or if you’re in this situation already and it seems things get out of control, you have the option to seek a new job. Read our professional resume writing services reviews and choose one of the best resume writing firms to help start your new career.

Sources: Monster Worldwide, CBS Interactive Inc., Career Rocketeer, Personal Excellence
Image by Barbora Franzová from Pixabay