Everybody would like to have a dream team at work where cooperation is the fundamental principle; however, only some are lucky. Unfortunately, many people face hypocrites, enviers, and even those who feel satisfaction when others experience problems or mishaps. The phenomenon has a name – schadenfreude. It may sound ominous, but backstabbing co-workers are a brutal reality with which people must deal daily.
In case you’ve noticed the slightest sign of backstabbing, you should never remain silent and turn a blind eye to it. You have the right to work in a healthy environment, and you may be the one who will contribute to creating it. Keep reading our article to learn more about how to deal with backstabbing coworkers, detect and react to their inappropriate behavior, and handle them professionally.
Backstabbers are real villains, whose kindness serves just as disingenuous window-dressing for crude meanness and unscrupulousness. They are often parasites who either feed their sick ego or aim to move up the career ladder on account of others. There are several types of backstabbers to know about:
Whatever the malicious action is, this is extremely unethical and even indecent; it can lead to severe implications for the victim. Firstly, it’s the element of surprise – once a trusted friend has turned into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Such an incident may significantly undermine one’s confidence and cause trust issues in the future. Second, if backstabbing coworkers sound plausible, their victim’s reputation may also be damaged. Finally, the reaction is unpredictable and may result in a merciless war at work, thus turning into a real hotbed for office gossip, bias, dirty looks, and even exclusion. If you’ve fallen victim to backstabbing, the best thing you can do is, first and foremost, to remain calm. Try to win the backing of supportive co-workers to strengthen your position and ensure job security.
You have nice and friendly communication with somebody, and suddenly boom! They’ve sabotaged you out of the blue; why would they do that?
Don’t rush into labeling your colleague as a backstabber; they may just have made a mistake or acted mindlessly. However, a real red flag can be if you track some kind of consistency in their actions. So, to ensure your colleague is plotting against you, follow our recommendations below.
Backstabbing coworkers are visible from afar if you’re aware of the surefire signs they typically give. To track those, you should observe their behavior with others and not make conclusions based on only how they treat you. It may just be a mask to be able to establish an atmosphere of trustworthiness between you two and deflect any kind of suspicion. So, consider the following streaks when checking your colleague on being a backstabber:
To be able to thwart their vicious plans, you have to understand what their genuine aim is. Often, it’s a means to get ahead at work. In this case, try to outrun them by establishing trustworthy relationships with other colleagues and your management. Try to win your position and build a strong reputation that cheap provocations cannot affect. Another common reason for backstabbing is inner conflicts. Such people are highly likely to have traumas and choose the easiest way to cope with them – draw their attention to other people’s flaws. If this is your case, find out what you can do below.
When dealing with toxic people, either your family, friends, or co-workers, establishing boundaries will be crucial. Your mental health should be your priority, not vice versa. It’s a therapist or at least an HR representative who has to be getting to grips with their issues. Your task is to stay calm and let them realize it.
Having demonstrated that you stand your ground and aren’t going to succumb to provocations, see what happens next. If the situation escalates anyway, consider asking for a personal meeting with your HR, manager, and the hero of the occasion. Stay calm, and don’t shower them with your accusations from the doorway. The more gracefully you handle the situation, the more chances you have to win your boss’ and HR’s support.
Even though backstabbing coworkers try to affect you, it’s actually them who have real issues. Try to concentrate on positive people and generate positive vibes around yourself – negativity will have no other choice but vanish with time.
The less you react to provocation, the less power gossip has over you. If you ask the “author” to provide further details or proof, in most cases, they will just lay an egg. If people see that you don’t get hurt by gossip, they will likely forget about it the next day.
It will definitely be harder to do if negative people are your co-workers; however, there are no hopeless situations. If you have a good rapport with your boss, discuss it face-to-face with them and come up with a solution. It could be a transfer to another team, project, or department or an opportunity to remotely work some days during the week.
You should be really careful will this not to violate the rules and human rights of backstabbing employees even though they’ve already violated yours. Check if you can somehow document their behavior and present it as evidence during the “hearing.”
The more transparent your reaction is, the more chances you have to get support from your surrounding. Most people feel what kind of intentions you have on your mind. Be bold, speak up, and let everybody know the real root of the problem.
Having close friends at your workplace is cool, but you should consider distinguishing between work and personal matters. Therefore, you eliminate the chance of somebody using your personal information against you.
Facing a backstabber at work is not a bed of roses for sure. However, there is no room for panicking and desperation. If you’ve fallen victim to a stabber, remember that the truth is on your side. Start with talking to this person directly to sort it out. If it makes no sense, seek support from positive coworkers and your management. The worst-case scenario that might take place is that the villain wins; however, it’s not your defeat. It might be the sign to move on and land a new position, right?