Workplace Survival: Dealing with Backstabbers at Work


dealing with workplace backstabbers

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

Unbelievably, backstabbers are much worse than workplace bullies. They’re like a disease that attacks your immune system unknowingly. Their moves may be slow, but are deadly enough to ruin your job and reputation at once, especially if you’re an unsuspecting prey. But don’t fear them, instead think of the ways of dealing with workplace backstabbers so you’ll emerge unfazed despite the criticisms thrown behind your back.

How to Determine Backstabbers

It may be difficult for you to pinpoint colleagues doing harmful and unfair acts against your reputation or career 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 behavior and taking note of the following common bad traits among them:

  • shirk responsibilities or pass 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 derogatory 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. 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 insulted.

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 tarnishing your character with fabricated stories.


They’re not inviting you to lunch anymore and they have fun during your absence.

Tips on Dealing with Workplace Backstabbers

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 out of these quick tips:

  • Don’t entrust to them your tasks, files, or any stuff they can use against you.
  • Bullies celebrate 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 important to remain respectful and kind even to the meanest person to you. You just have to stay calm and vigilant when dealing with workplace backstabbers. But if things become uncontrollable, you have the option to seek a new job. Read our professional resume writing services reviews and choose one of the best resume writing companies to help start your new career.


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