Before starting my business one of the things I loved in my job was the friendships I made. Unfortunately like most people I had to learn how to cope with backstabbers too.
Recently I had lunch with an old colleague of mine who asked my advice on how to cope with backstabbers. She told me about one person in particular who seemed to be out to cause as much trouble as possible for her.
Melanie is fantastic at her job in my opinion, she is well respected and liked by others in her department. However, she can be a bit too honest rather than “corporate”. She is certainly not afraid to speak her mind. Her honesty has made her unpopular with some colleagues who feel threatened by her.
I’ve had the misfortune of working with back stabbers too, I know how difficult it can be to deal with at the time. Looking back they all had one thing in common, they were insecure.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing
Many people viewed my backstabbing colleagues as confident because that was the way they acted at work. With the benefit of hindsight and what I’ve learned from studying psychology, NLP etc. I now realise that anyone who is confident in their abilities does not need to put other people down.
One thing that should always be accepted gracefully is feedback, whether it is positive or negative. But not everyone has the ability to give negative feedback in a constructive manner. So if you get genuine feedback simply say “thank you” and take it on board.
Choose how to react to backstabbers
You can choose whether the feedback was justified and useful, or you can choose to ignore it. If you made a mistake… big deal, that’s what makes us human. Just learn from your mistakes rather than being defensive.
Backstabbing could be about something you did that didn’t turn out well or it can be totally unjustified. Either way if someone is saying negative things behind your back firstly look to see whether you could have done anything differently. Secondly forgive the person who is saying it.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned -Buddha
I know that it’s hard to forgive someone who has hurt you but give it a go anyway. If they need to put other people down they are not happy… they are insecure and feel better about themself by criticising and backstabbing others.
Next time you cross paths with that person don’t feel angry just smile at them and think “I wonder what screwed you up so badly”
Oh and a final added benefit is, in the words of Oscar Wilde “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”.