In an ideal world everyone would express their true opinions of others directly and openly. Unfortunately this world is not an ideal place.
Most people will encounter more than one unscrupulous, two-faced individual during the course of their lives. So how do you handle someone who spreads rumors and gossip about you behind your back in a dignified manner?
1. Acknowledge that you are dealing with someone false and dishonest
There are certain measures you should take when you are dealing with someone who is two-faced. The first step is to acknowledge that you are dealing with someone false and dishonest.
This person is definitely not a potential friend. Hence it is a good idea to remain on your guard when dealing with someone you know is two-faced.
2. You should be assertive rather than aggressive when confronting insincere people
If you know that someone has been gossiping behind your back, then you should confront them about it without being hostile or violent. Instead be assertive by letting them know that you’re aware of what they’ve been doing. Also tell them that you’re offended by their behavior.
When you confront the two-faced individual, make sure you have someone else there to witness exactly what is said. That way the back-stabber cannot lie or fabricate parts of the story when recounting the event to others later on.
3. Be civil towards the person that said bad things about you
Once you have cleared the air, be civil towards the person that said bad things about you. Holding a grudge is allowing the person to become a personal issue for you, and that’s emotionally unhealthy.
Continuing the hostility also gives the offending person a certain power over you. If you are courteous and pleasant rather than unfriendly, you will disarm your adversary.
4. Avoid the duplicitous person that has been talking negatively about you
If you can avoid the duplicitous person that has been talking negatively about you, you should. Of course this is not always possible, especially when the individual in question is a family member or work colleague.
If you have to spend time in that person’s company, set clear boundaries concerning what kind of conversation you are willing to listen to. If the two-faced individual tries to gossip about other people, politely tell them that that kind of talk doesn’t interest you. Do not offer any opinions of your own.
5. Avoid divulging any personal or sensitive information
When forced to tolerate the company of a two-faced gossip, it is a good idea to avoid divulging any personal or sensitive information. People who like to talk negatively about others do not usually keep secrets. Instead they like to use the information they collect against other people.
6. Avoid being physically aggressive at all costs
Just as there are certain measures to take when dealing with a deceitful gossip, there are also things you should try to avoid. While is important to confront the person who has been gossiping, you should avoid being physically aggressive at all costs. The only exception to this rule is if they attack you and there is a need for self-defense.
7. Resist the temptation to play the gossip at his/her own game
If you gossip about your adversary by way of revenge, you will only debase yourself and come down to their level. You do not have to behave negatively in order to even the score with a back-stabber.
Instead be direct, honest, calm and assertive in your dealings with them. That way you will be the better person.
8. Avoid sharing your ideas, goals and aspirations with them
If the deceitful back-stabber is a work colleague, avoid sharing your ideas, goals and aspirations with them. Duplicitous individuals are more than capable of stealing other people’s ideas and taking credit for them. If you don’t trust your co-worker, you’d be better off keeping your ideas to yourself or sharing them only with those you trust.
9. Try not to take the negative actions and/or words of the two-faced person to heart
Taking it all personally is the worst thing you can do. The person who gossiped behind your back did so because of the type of person they are. It is no reflection on you.
What’s more you cannot change the nature of a cowardly, back-stabbing rat. The only thing you can do is take the correct actions to ensure that they pick on someone else the next time.