Nov 27

7 Effective Ways to Deal with Backstabbers


How do you handle your two faced backstabbers?

“Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They’re only powerful when you got your back turned.”
― Eminem

I’ve been at the receiving end of some nasty backstabbing.  I was new to this team I joined and I was supposed to be just an engineer or support staff (which was what I applied for) and I was but only for around 2 weeks before my new boss decided that he can get more out of me by making me a team lead.

The team I joined had mostly senior technicians who have been there for more than three years and some of them didn’t take my sudden promotion that easily.

We were civil when we crossed paths.  We even cracked jokes most of the time and we were all friends in Facebook but I heard a different story every time I’m not around.

I was given different names whenever they have their “anti-Noel discussions”.  I’ve been labeled an amateur, inefficient, and some took it a notch higher by branding me “stupid”.

On the one hand I did understand where they were coming from.  How can you take orders from the new guy right?  They’ve been there for the longest time and they knew all the ins and outs of the job and here I am, barely a month into my new role already running the show.

The thing I didn’t get was that the same position was offered to them and they refused.  Now that I took it, they can’t accept it.  Talk about sour graping huh?

You know what they say about being the subject of rumors when you’re not around?  That is absolutely true especially if the people talking about you are in the same wavelength.

It wasn’t easy for me and I would admit that there were times when the things they said really got in my nerves but I’ve learned how to deal with it and this is what I’m going to share with you.

1. Drop them out of your life

You don’t need to have a relationship with people who are hell-bent on bringing you down so just cut them off.  You don’t need to be friends with everyone be it co-workers or acquaintances. Accept the fact that there are people that were not meant to be your friends.  That’s a fact of life.

Unfriend or block them from your social media accounts, remove their phone numbers from your address book, don’t be all chummy with them when you’re with them face-to-face.

You don’t need people like these in your life so don’t waste your time trying to win them over.  You know who you are and what you are so don’t let the rumors they’re spreading about you get to you.


2. Keep yourself from retaliating

This is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made when I dealt with these backstabbing.  I just can’t keep myself from getting right back at them.

I remember posting quotes about negative people as a way of “blindly” getting back at them and I made sure I didn’t mention any names though it was almost clear as daylight who that post was for.

They pissed me off so I’m gonna piss them off too.  WRONG!

If I can do it all over again, I never would have resorted to those tactics.  Why?  Because by doing that, I am no better than who they are.  I just added fuel to the fire.

I should have kept quiet and laughed at whatever lies they were spreading about me.  So if you ever get into the same position as I did, don’t get affected.

As the law of attraction states, think more of what you want than those of what you don’t want.


3. As much as you can, try not to talk about it

As tempting as it may be, try not to talk about it with your friends or known allies.  Doing so will only make the situation worse and will make you look defensive.  If you need to vent, do it outside of work or away from the “crime scene” so to speak.

It is natural for us to seek the solace of someone close to us when we are being oppressed.  It’s usually the first thing that comes to mind but you have to consider the person you will be talking to and the venue where you will be having the conversation because you will just be mirroring what your backstabbers are doing if you’re not careful.


4. Let it go!

I know this is easier said than done because in times like these, we have the tendency to get consumed by our anger.  We tend to get more focused and sometimes become even more creative in crafting our comeback.  I learned that doing this only made me a lot angrier.  It lessened my productivity and happiness.  it ruined my mood.

It’s natural for us to get hurt especially if the rumors that are being spread against us are as nasty and and as insulting as they come but you can’t let those things get in the way of your happiness.

Just like what Elsa from Frozen said, “let it go.”  Taking away all the hate and all the negative thoughts will make you feel better.  TRUST ME ON THIS!


5. Take the high road

I firmly believe that you cannot right a wrong with another wrong.  Fighting back will never resolve anything.  It would just escalate the problem and make it bigger than it already is.  What was once a war of words behind each other’s back may eventually lead to a full-blown, face-to-face fight.

Be the better person and just walk away.  Don’t waste your time trying to defend yourself or fighting fire with fire because it’s not worth it.

Turn the other cheek.  Smile, and get on with the more important stuff.


6. Prove them wrong through action

Remember what I said about not getting back at your backstabbers?  Well, you don’t wanna get back at them with words or justification but rather, with action.

You don’t have to do anything special.  Just being gracious and composed throughout the whole thing already speaks volumes about you.  It will make everyone realize that the things you are being accused of are absolutely false.

I love the TV show House MD and one of his most memorable quotes that resonated with me when it came to this topic was:

“If nobody hates you, you’re doing something wrong.”

7. Learn from the experience

My philosophy in life is that every experience, good or bad, has valuable life lessons it leaves us with.  In this case, being the victim of backstabbing will definitely help you learn more not only about your haters but also about yourself.

Some of the things I learned from my oh-so-great backstabbing experience are the following:

  • People are different from one another.  Some has conscience, some don’t.
  • I didn’t have a lot of patience in me.
  • I was the tendency to retaliate.
  • I can’t shake negative feeling off that easily
  • Sometimes I have a big mouth.

By recognizing these things, I believe I experienced growth.  I can now say that if I ever get into another backstabbing incident again that I will be ready and I will know what to do and what not to do.


Over to You

When was the last time you’ve been backstabbed?  How did you deal with it?

I would love to hear your stories so please share them here by leaving a comment.


You can also share this content via twitter

Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions


Skip to comment form

  1. Pamina Mullins

    Great way of handling situations like these Noel – well said! Starving the negativity of “oxygen” is important, as you found out, and focusing your energy on proving them wrong with action is the way to go. I have always liked that quote “success is the best revenge”. People who operate at this level depend on you “playing the game” i.e. responding – whether negative or positive, so if you don’t respond they eventually get tired of the game :-)

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Pamina! What I learned about this experience is that the moment you let these people get under your skin, you’ll end up on the losing end. The best thing to do is let them talk and let them get tired doing it (just like you said) until they feel stupid talking continuous non-sense and no one’s paying attention.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. jennie lockley

    I always think that the aggressor in this sort of situation must feel pretty inadequate to feel the need to have a go at me. If they only knew how hard I struggle to keep my head above the water they would not feel threatened, but that’s a different story of my own limiting beliefs lol.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Your point is valid Jennie. People who take pleasure in ruining people’s lives by spreading rumors and nasty things about someone are mostly those whose hearts are filled with envy and insecurity which is why simply ignoring them and laughing at their stupidity is the best way to deal with them.

  3. screwthesystemjoe

    These are some great points Noel. You’re right, in the end you just can’t expend a lot of energy dealing with these people. We have bigger things in our life that deserve our energy and attention and we need to direct our thoughts towards these.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      I couldn’t agree more Joe! That is exactly what I want to impart in this blog post. We need to focus on things we can benefit from and not dwell on the things that will ruin our day.

  4. Sandra

    I have been betrayed by people I trusted in business only once, but that really took me a long time to get over and stop being angry about. I do agree with all your points here. Be the better person. Not for them, but for yourself.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Yes Sandra because you’ll only be giving yourself something to be mad about. Ignore them and don’t give them the pleasure by entertaining the garbage they’re throwing at you.

  5. Pamina Mullins

    Lots of smart comments, learned I suspect from experience as we all do :-)

    As you say Noel, if you don’t hook into the “game” emotionally, you will handle it fine. In fact there comes a time when you don’t even notice people like this, because you’ve become immune. But the moment you let your emotions engage in the game, you’re toast! That of course is exactly the object of this behavior.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      You hit it right in the head Pamina! Emotions! The moment you get emotional and you take these people seriously, it should be downhill from there. You have to stay focused on what’s good for you so just ignore, keep your chin up and smile. They will get tired bashing you eventually the moment they realize that they are looking stupid already.

      Thanks for sharing Pamina!

  6. Alex

    Don’t remember the last time I was backstabbed. But I did love your post! Got so much from it, as occasionally I’ll run into someone with bad energy. I have to be honest that most times I handle it and sometimes I don’t. But that’s ok… it’s all the beauty of growing :)

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      I completely understand Alex. No matter how positive you are sometimes our emotions can get the best of us and make us retaliate instead of just letting it go but like you said, it’s the beauty of growth!

      Thanks for stopping by bro!

  7. Sheena Yap Chan

    thank you for sharing these tips. ive had a fare share for sure

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Of course Sheena! Glad you liked them. Cheers!

  8. Annalize

    Noel, a symptom of backstabbers; if they say they are your friends but cannot celebrate with you when something good happens to you, they are Judas’s. Ignore and let everything roll off your back! You have the Holy Anointing oil upon you.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Absolutely agree Annalize! I’ve had my share of backstabbers so yes, everything you said accurately describes them!

  9. Stephanie D'Laroy

    Great post Noel, as I was reading the song “LET IT GO” from Frozen popped up in my mind lol. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      hahaha I feel you Stephanie. My daughters watch it over and over I almost memorized the dialogues already but seriously, the song echoes the message of this post. Just let it go and move forward.

      Thanks for stopping by Stephanie!

Leave a Reply to Sheena Yap Chan Cancel reply