How to Remain Civil When Dealing with a Backstabbing Co-Worker

As a human being, you might find it hard remaining civil when others do not behave in a proper manner. You may encounter such people anywhere, including the workplace. For one reason or another, a co-worker may choose to backstab you and consequently damage your reputation. If you are a victim of backstabbing, you may feel the urge for retribution. Although such an action may make you feel good, it is not always the best course of action. Sometimes, being civil may bring about more positive results than being vengeful. Here are some of the ways in which you may remain civil when dealing with a backstabbing co-worker.

Don’t Get Involved

Keep a distance and avoid confrontation, says Office-Politics’ Rona Maynard. Some people may consider it escapism or cowardice, but it enables you to maintain control over your emotions. Showing this resolve will serve to show that you possess the leadership quality of stability. However, you should not detach yourself completely; instead, it is advisable to be alert for any more backstabbing from your co-worker. Backstabbers usually thrive when the person being badmouthed is not around. If you are the last person to know, you will be more vulnerable.

Be Patient

You should avoid doing things that may play into the hands of the co-worker who may be trying to manipulate your actions. To avoid such instances, you should try to be patient as much as possible. Impatience may cause you to make rushed decisions that you may regret later. For example, you might decide to physically confront your nemesis, which may result in you losing your job. Such a development would play out exactly as your co-worker wants.

Be Tactful

Rather than fuel a backstabbing co-worker, you should avoid giving him or her things to say. Many of them use your own words to damage your name. When you talk to such a person, you should be careful with what information you give him. If you keep saying negative things about yourself, people may use them maliciously against you. You might not be able to stop them if the information is true. Therefore, it is advisable to dwell on positive issues when you are at work. It is easy to identify a backstabbing co-worker when they twist your words to suit their selfish agenda.

Public Confrontation

If you decide to confront a backstabber to clear your name, you should do so publicly. Backstabbing individuals may be lost for words when they are forced to back up their negative claims about you. However, keep disparaging vocabulary from the conversation; otherwise, you might appear defensive, and your words might appear to justify the claim—whether or not they are true.


Backstabbing colleagues may appear friendly when they are with you, but you might be stunned to hear what they say about you behind your back. Instead of reacting negatively, you should consider the advice given here. These tips may help you keep your job and dignity.

Image source: CareerRealism