How do you deal with backstabbers?

How to deal with backstabbers

It can be very hurtful and frustrating to realize that someone you trusted or cared about has betrayed you, especially if it happens repeatedly. You may feel angry, sad, confused, or even guilty for letting them do it. You may wonder how to cope with the situation and whether you should forgive them or cut them off.

It is absolutely normal and valid to feel hurt and angry when someone betrays you. Don’t try to suppress or deny your emotions, as they may build up and affect your mental health. Instead, find healthy ways to express and process them, such as talking to a close friend, writing in a journal, or doing something that makes you happy, such as taking a trip, going fishing, meditating, working out, or any other physical activity.

Try to understand why the person stabbed you in the back and what their intentions were. Was it a one-time mistake or a pattern of behavior? Was it intentional or accidental? Was it personal or professional? Was it motivated by jealousy, insecurity, greed, or something else? Knowing the answers to these questions may help you decide how to respond and whether to give them another chance or not.

Should you decide to confront the person who stabbed you in the back (and I would), be clear and assertive about how their actions affected you and what you expect from them moving forward. Don’t be rude or aggressive, but don’t be passive or vague either! Let them know what you are willing to tolerate and what you are not, and what the consequences will be if they cross the line again. For instance, you may say something like “I was very hurt and disappointed by what you did. I value our relationship (if that’s the case, of course), but I can’t trust you if you keep lying to me. If you want to continue dealing/talking to/working with me, you need to be honest and respectful from now on.” Make sure you communicate your boundaries clearly yet diplomatically.

Whether you choose to forgive or cut off the person who stabbed you in the back, make sure you take steps to protect yourself from further emotional harm. This may include setting boundaries, limiting contact, avoiding gossip, documenting evidence, seeking support, or reporting the incident (say to Human Resources, if you trust them, of course) if necessary. Don’t let them manipulate, intimidate, or guilt-trip you into doing something you don’t want to do. Remember that you have the right to stand up for yourself and your interests.

As painful as it may be, being stabbed in the back can also be an opportunity to learn and grow. It’ll make you stronger! You may discover new things about yourself, such as your strengths, weaknesses, values, and goals. You may also learn new things about others, such as how to spot red flags, how to deal with conflict, and how to build trust. Use this knowledge to improve yourself and your relationships in the future.

What if it’s your boss who stabbed you in the back more than once?

This can be a very tricky and stressful situation, as your boss has a lot of power and influence over your career and well-being. You may feel trapped and helpless, as quitting may not be an option for you. However, there are still some things you can do to cope:

-Document everything to cover your back: Keep a record of every instance where your boss betrayed you or treated you unfairly. This may include emails, texts, memos, performance reviews, feedbacks, etc. This will help you have evidence in case you need to escalate the issue or file a complaint. For example, if they’re asking you to do something unethical or in violation of company policy just to get you in trouble, make sure that you follow up with an email to them and possibly to another colleague or concerned stakeholders to document their dubious request.

-Seek allies: You don’t have to suffer on your own! Find out if there are other people in the workplace who have experienced similar issues with your boss or who can support you in some way. This may include co-workers, peers, mentors, HR representatives, union leaders, etc. They may offer you advice, sympathy, or advocacy. Be careful though as some of them may be brownnosers!

-Consider your options: Depending on the severity of the situation and your goals, you may have different options available to you. For example, you may try to resolve the issue with your boss directly or through mediation; you may request a transfer to another department or team; you may look for another job within or outside the organization; or you may file a formal complaint or lawsuit against your boss and/or your company if they do not take action.

Take care of yourself first and foremost. Dealing with a backstabbing boss can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Make sure you prioritize your self-care and well-being by getting enough rest, eating well, exercising regularly, managing stress effectively, and seeking professional help if needed.

If you are someone who has been consistently working on improving your skills, you might be surprised by how many opportunities are waiting for you in the market. Whether you are looking for a new job, a promotion, or a freelance project, or just shunning a toxic working environment, having a strong skill set can give you an edge over the competition. Do not hesitate to showcase your skills and find the best opportunities for your career goals.

Have you encountered people with a Machiavellian personality in your life? Please share your comments below on how you have dealt with them to reduce their negative impact on your life. Remember that you are not alone in this struggle, and that there are many people who share your values and goals, and who can coach and support you along the way.

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