“Et tu, Brutus”, went the famous refrain spoken by Julius Caesar, when he found out that two of his most trusted “friends” had stabbed him in the back. Such people have been a part of society, and workplaces, since time immemorial. At the workplace, backstabbers are those, who would go to any extent to rise up the professional ladder. They may be sugar (saccharine) sweet on your face, probably the last ones, anybody would suspect of spreading malicious rumours about anyone. Well, they need the veneer of extra sweetness to disguise all that malice! They should, however, not be a cause for your vexation. Such people need to be handled with cautious indifference, causing them to lose the confidence of others, in the workplace. Read on to find more about how to deal with backstabbing colleagues.
Tips For Dealing With Backstabbing Co-workers
Keep your interaction with the person concerned strictly professional. This may not put an end to this person’s bad behavior, but the fact that you are unruffled by his/her unprofessionalism will make him small in front of others, in front of whom he might have spoken ill about you.
Don’t Get Trapped
In case he/she tries to instigate you into an argument, which might spiral into a dispute easily, be extremely carefully. Handle the situation with control. Remember, exercising control over your emotions and not getting too heated about his/her words will make him look like, someone devoid of gravity in front of others. In case he/she invites you to join in a gossiping spell, politely refuse, and say that you are busy.
Do not give this person any material to talk about. Be extremely secretive about your personal details – your family, your personal life, and so on. Devoid of any leads on facts about your life, he/she will be forced into cooking stories, an act that will make him smaller in front of others.
Be Disinterested, Not Uninterested
You may not really want to participate in the gossip mill yourself, but it might do you good to keep yourself updated about what is being said about you, or anybody else. The logic here is, if you know what is being spoken about you, you know how to deal with it, better.
This may or may not work, to begin with. Confront the person point blank and ask him what his/her problem is. Do not, however, run to him and catch him by the collar! Strike up a conversation and then say something like “I understand you have a problem with me. Would you like to tell me about it?” Be positive in your approach instead of accusing him/her, or being judgmental towards him/her. In case he/she denies having said anything, leave it at that, and change the topic.
This way of dealing with a back stabber should be kept only as the last resort. Telling the boss too frequently would not only irritate the boss, but also make you a tattletale in front of your colleagues.