How to Deal with Backstabbing Coworkers: Your Workplace Survival Guide

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 00:20
Going to work every day is hard enough, but it can become really difficult when you deal with coworkers actively rooting against you. Thankfully, there are a few different ways you can deal with the backstabbers at your workplace to focus...
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Going to work every day is hard enough, but it can become really difficult when you deal with coworkers actively rooting against you. Thankfully, there are a few different ways you can deal with the backstabbers at your workplace to focus on doing your job. Keep reading to learn how you can avoid negativity and toxicity from the people you work with.


Set boundaries for yourself.

  1. Let the backstabbers know they can’t walk all over you.
    Don’t let them tell you what to do, and call out abuse or inappropriate behavior.[1] The more you call attention to what they’re doing, the better.[2]
    • For instance, if your coworker constantly tries to tell you what to do, you might say, “Actually, you’re not in charge here, Jessica is. Why don’t we run this by her first?”
    • Or, if your coworker blames you for every mistake in the office, you might say, “Henry, you know that was a collaborative effort between all of us. It’s not fair to point fingers at one specific person.”
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Stay calm and keep your emotions in check.

  1. If you don’t react to the backstabbers, they’re less likely to target you.
    Backstabbers want you to get emotional and worked up. Although it might be tough, try to stay calm and don’t give them what they want. If you feel yourself getting upset, take a deep breath and count to 10. Then, walk away until you feel like you can talk clearly and rationally.[3]
    • You could also repeat a mantra to yourself, like, “I am calm, and this is not going to make me angry.”

Diffuse minor situations with humor.

  1. Sometimes you can stop a backstabber in their tracks.
    If something little comes up at work, you might be able to make a joke out of it. Don’t do it at anyone’s expense, but see if you can use humor to deal with toxic people.[4]
    • For instance, if you walk into a room and catch your coworkers talking about you, you might say, “Oh, no need to stop on my account.”
    • Or, if you hear a coworker blaming a mistake on you, you might say, “Well, I’d say it was more of a team effort.”
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Don’t participate in gossip.

  1. If people talk bad about others, they’ll talk bad about you, too.
    Your backstabbing coworkers might try to draw you in with juicy gossip, but don’t take the bait. Try to remember that they’re going to say mean things about you later.[5]
    • You can stop gossip in its tracks by changing the subject. Say something like, “Oh, I hadn’t heard about that. Did you guys notice the new coffee maker in the break room? Pretty swanky!”

Surround yourself with positive coworkers.

  1. Try to work with the people you know you can trust.
    [6] You don’t have to make it super obvious, but you can favor your nice coworkers and go to them for extra help or with projects. The more you can get away from the backstabbers in your work, the better.[7]
    • This might not always be possible. If you can’t choose who you work with, try to spend time with your nice coworkers outside of work, like at office parties or happy hours.
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Distance yourself from the backstabbers.

  1. If you can, try not to interact with people who might backstab you.
    [8] Find a reason that you need to work somewhere else, or transfer to a different department. If that isn’t possible, take your lunch breaks away from them or wear headphones while you work. The less you can interact with them, the better.[9]
    • If you want to transfer elsewhere in your workplace, it might be worth talking to your boss about the backstabbers.

Talk to your boss if you need to.

  1. If your coworkers are causing issues, it might be time to escalate things.
    Set up a meeting with your manager or boss to chat about what’s been going on. Hopefully, they can help you figure out your next steps or discipline your backstabbing coworkers.[10]
    • It may be helpful to have a record of everything your coworkers have done so far. Try keeping a journal or a list of offenses you could bring to your boss.
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Start looking for an exit strategy if you have to.

  1. Sometimes, it’s not worth staying at a toxic job.
    If your boss won’t talk to your backstabbing coworkers or you can’t see a way to avoid them, set your sights elsewhere. Getting a new job isn’t the best option, but it can remove you from a bad work environment.[11]
    • If you do decide to look for a new job, keep that information to yourself until you actually land one.

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