Backstabber Guide: 6 Tips to Handle Someone Who “Stabs” You in the Back

A Backstabbing Knife

Recently I learned that a “friend” stabbed me behind my back by badmouthing me in a pretty malicious way. It wasn’t just your innocuous, everyday gossip either—it consisted of pretty vindictive statements which cast doubt on my character and my integrity.

When I heard it, I was infuriated of course. What kind of “friend” speaks of friends like this behind their backs? How about the values of loyalty, trust, and respect for others? Have they been thrown out of the window in this time and age?

However, as with every unpleasantry in life, I began to turn it around through the six steps below.

#1. Cut this person away

For me personally, there is no place for hypocrisy in my life. I had more than my fair share of hypocrisy when I was in primary school (a separate story for a separate day), which is why I decided that I’m done as far as unauthenticity and shadiness of character are concerned. Whenever I meet someone whom I feel is unauthentic, I would cut the person from my life because I have no wish to deal with misgivings, distrust, disloyalty, etc.

So I cut this person away. It was depressing enough to be backstabbed by someone whom I thought was a trusted comrade, much less learn about the depressing opinions this person had been harboring against me. I felt like I had been totally wrong in my judgment and the friendship was never what I thought it was; it was just an illusion in my mind. I felt I was infected by a virus in my soul and I needed to cut it away, pronto.

If you have been backstabbed by a “friend”, evaluate (a) how important the friendship is to you and (b) whether the offending act is forgivable or not. If it’s a highly important friendship and if the offending act is something you can overlook, then air the grievance to that friend, trash things out, and give the friendship another go. If the friendship isn’t of much weight to you and the offending act is not something you can overlook, then perhaps cutting the person away is the best course of action.

I wrote more about handling betrayals by friends last month: Ask Celes – What Do We Do When We Have Been Betrayed by a Friend?

#2. Do damage control

Then, I did damage control by rectifying the statements which had been made. I shared my side of the story to whoever they were aired to. While it was still up to the party to make his/her conclusion, at least I got to say my piece in this situation, rather than leave things hanging.

If you have been backstabbed, take a step back and evaluate your situation. Has there been any “damage” done? Yes? No? If yes, what is this damage? Is it damage to your reputation? Damage in terms of potential business deals? Damage in terms of relationships? For the damage rendered, what can you do to reverse it? Address the damage as best as you can within your locus of control, and then…

#3. …Let go

One of my biggest qualms is that people might have bought into what the badmouther said and used those words to formulate their impressions of me, thereby making it impossible for me to ever form a true, authentic relationship with any of them. My life mission is to connect with everyone in the world, and to know that some people might have closed their hearts from me because of certain comments made by another is truly devastating.

Where damage control is concerned, I can rectify the statements made to people I knew the statements were aired to, but I don’t know if the statements were made to anyone else. These people might well have passed on the comments to people they know, of which the latter group might have done the same thing, thereby making it an irrevocable damage.

To address this, I simply learned to… let go. Sometimes you can’t control everything, and the only way to be “in control” (read: staying calm and happy) is to be okay with not being in control. Rather than obsess about something I cannot effect, I would do better by letting that go and focusing on the things I can effect. (Read the next tip.)

For more on letting go, read Day 28: Let Go of Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program.

#4. Correct false perceptions through concrete actions

Actions will always speak louder than words. I can explain my side of the story all I want but at the end of the day, it will simply be one person’s words against another. Who’s to say one is more right than another? Everyone always has his/her side of the story, and both parties will always be right in their own world.

So, I decided to correct the false picture not through words, but actions. How? By ensuring my behavior is true to my five core values, something which I already strive to do every day.

Recently I met an esteemed business investor and he told me, within our first few meetings, that he was very impressed by how I walk my talk, something which he doesn’t see often in other people, if at all. I thought it was a huge stamp of approval coming from him as he is already in his 60s, has set up and IPO-ed countless businesses, and has worked with countless people in the 40 over years he has spent in the business world.

His comment reminded me that as long as I do my thing and live true to my conscience, people will naturally know what I stand for as a person. You show people you are a good person not by saying you are one, but by taking actions consistent with what you define as being a good human being.

At the end of the day even after you live true to yourself, people are still free to make their own conclusions. Some may choose the negative judgment despite everything you do. However, as long as you know your values and take actions consistent with those values, your actions will shine more brightly than whatever people try to say about you. Don’t serve to please others; live your life in the way you can be proud of.

For more on values, read Day 15: Identify Your Values of Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program.

#5. Self-reflect

I always believe there is something to learn from every situation. This incident is no different.

From this episode, I learned quite a number of things about myself, surrounding my fears, my anxieties, and my treatment of friendships. I learned to be more appreciative of true friends who have always been there for me. I learned to be more sensitive to other people’s feelings. I also learned that I can be dead wrong in my judgment sometimes, and what I think is my intuition at work can just be a neurological dysfunction in my left brain.

Above all, I learned to stick to my guns and stay true to what I stand for, instead of shirking myself out of fear of non-conformance with the world.

If you are serious about creating an impact, you are bound to ruffle some feathers here and there. Here’s what: ruffle those feathers anyway. Know that your job here in this world isn’t to please, but to stay true to your mission and create the largest, most positive impact to as many people as you can. Other people can put you down but you will always have your voice.

I shared this Winston Churchill quote before in the take credit post, and I’m going to do it here again before it’s such a wonderful quote:

Inspirational Quote: “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston Churchill

More Winston Churchill quotes at Personal Excellence Quotes

#6. Look at the big picture

While I was appalled when I found out about the “betrayal”, I got over it after a few hours. In light of the big picture of things, the incident was just totally insignificant. There are too many things I need to do, too many lives I need to get to, and too many goals I have to achieve, to be bogged down by one person’s petty vendetta.

For example, we have a meteorite that just hit Russia, injuring over 1,000 people. Up north, we have North Korea doing secret nuclear tests. Down south, kids in South Africa are dying every day due to famine and diseases. Then over in America, fundamental social issues beg looking into. The number of homeless people in New York City continues to rise every year. Schools in U.S. continue to be plagued by shootings, now becoming an almost weekly occurrence.

I reckon if you just found out that you got “betrayed”, you must feel pretty miffed. Shocked. Surprised. Angry. Livid. Feel those emotions, vent to your friends if you have to, then get over it. There are so many other things to concern yourself in life. Why let yourself be bothered by something as tiny as this?

Rather than harp on the negative, why not divert your energy to the positive things in your life and build on them? What are your long-term goals? What are your short-term goals? What do you want to achieve this year/month? What are your Quadrant 2 items which you have been procrastinating on? How about getting started on them right this moment?

Read my 4-part series on addressing anger, starting with part 1: My History with Anger and How I Finally Let Go of It, Part 1: Growing Up in a Household of Anger

How About You?

Have you ever been backstabbed? What happened, and how did you address it? Or are you undergoing a backstabbing episode right now? Share your experience in the comments below!

Here are some related pieces to check out:

Image: Alexander Bolotnov

  • http://www.ricocompagnie.com Rico Compagnie

    I’ve read a quote somewhere. I think you will like it. “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”
    I know this has nothing to do with the badmouthing behind your back. But while reading your blog post, that quote immediately flashed in my head.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Rico! Thanks for sharing! Actually that quote relates to badmouthing as well, since it *is* a form of criticism. I personally have no issues with criticism as I’ve written in this article before: http://personalexcellence.co/blog/why-criticism-is-good/. The biggest qualm I *had* from this episode was that it was done by someone whom I thought was a “friend” and the things said were pretty malicious plus made with a sabotaging intent, but that’s fine now as I’ve processed the episode and moved on from it (with the 6 steps in the post).

  • http://selfstairway.com/ Vincent Nguyen

    Great timing with this article. Just this Saturday I felt like I’ve been “stabbed” by a friend. This happens very rarely in my life and I took this very personally.

    What I’ve learned from my situation.

    1) I’m not cutting them away, but I am distancing myself. No more confiding, no more genuine exchange of philosophical ideas. My trust has been stripped away. It can be won back, but that’s only 5%.

    2) There are damages because there were other friends as witnesses. It was a hit in my pride and I’m not sure if I can do anything in terms of damage control.

    3) As a result of #2, I am just going to let it go while executing #1. No use in dwelling over words in the past. It’s been said and I can’t do anything about it.

    4) My favorite point, Celes. I am used to having to back up my actions with words because a part of me is insecure and has the need to have people think I’m great. It is much better to simply do the actions that amaze others. If it truly is amazing, no words need to be said.

    5) I always self-reflect and saying so has become a motto for me. Perhaps there were some truths to the words that injured me? I still don’t agree but I am self-reflecting to understand if there is an ounce of truth. As of right now, I think I’ve been wronged but I hope I don’t discover there is truth to it.

    6) I’ve definitely reflected all these negative emotions into something good. I started playing Tennis again after a few weeks break. It felt good to hit the anger out.

    I also poured a lot more work into my project and started working more towards my career. It’s not good to sit and get eaten up by thoughts.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Vincent! I’m so glad that you have applied the six steps from your situation to move on. On #2, perhaps the biggest form of damage control you can do now is through #4, which would be taking actions to address the damaged perceptions. I like that you are seeing the situation positively and not letting yourself be dragged down by it.

      If you don’t mind sharing, what was the “stabbing” that your friend did? Perhaps not the specific details, but just a broadline gist?

      • http://selfstairway.com/ Vincent Nguyen

        Hi Celes! I’m still working on number four actually. Slowly it is just going into the back of my mind though so I’m not sure if I need any damage control. I’m a big fan of James Altucher and something that has always stuck in my mind is “Bring those who bring you up closer and cut out those who bring you down.” That’s exactly what I’m doing, although somewhat modified.

        I’d rather not go too deep into details like you said because you never know what may come up and bite me in the future. The only thing I can say is that it was verbal and was made worse by my friend using bitter sarcasm in an attempt to “recover.” Wow, that was difficult to make sense of while being vague.

        • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

          Hi Vincent! I actually really like the quote you have shared. It totally resonates with this post I wrote before about how You are the Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With. Surround yourself with people who elevate you while removing the people who bring you down. It’s also the same principle I talk about for Day 19: Create Your Success Network of Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program.

          • http://selfstairway.com/ Vincent Nguyen

            Thanks for the link! I’m actually incredibly glad I stuck around with the group that I did from middle school all the way to the end of high school. My friends and I often joke that we were an “overpowered” group which basically means that we’re a bunch of individuals difficult to find elsewhere.

            When I think about how amazing it is, I can understand why I turned out the way I did. I had philosophical thinkers that were crazy intelligent with a mix of laziness in to balance it. The last year, before I moved to Arizona, shaped me the most out of them all. I learned from people I never thought would be my teachers or even close friend for that matter. The importance of a good group of friends is often overlooked and I really miss it, but I am making the best out of it here. Thanks, Celes.

  • Lina

    Hi Celes,

    Thank you for sharing this article with us.

    We are (frail) humans and we make mistakes. For a long I had thought that I was always the “poor victim”, when I realized that I managed to hurt sy’s feeling because I … backstabbed someone.

    Thus I would be interested in reading about the story of the “offensive” part as well in order to make this picture full. Could you support us to share your thoughts regarding the penitent counter-side?

    I mean … what if…. I backstabbed somebody, and I was not aware of doing that, but I did and I already regretted, I feel sorry and I am ashamed myself. And I even know “why” I did it, what motivated me to do that, but it doesn’t help, since it seems or there is no chance to talk over the happening with the “victim”, so now all alone I have to solve it, to let the remorse go and reconcile myself.

    Thank you.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Lina, I love your question (or rather, request). I actually do have a childhood story to share with regards to this; it’s probably part of what made me so staunch about being authentic and truthful today. I might share it in a future post, so stay tuned for that.

  • http://begeneticallydifferent.blogspot.com capepharoah

    Beautiful post! I love the Churchill quote there, it is so true. I believe backstabbers are a sign that you are doing something extraordinary and perhaps some jealousy is involved…

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey capepharoah! There is definitely jealousy involved when it comes to backstabbing. Jealousy of the person’s success, the person’s life, the person’s social network, etc. It’s a different case for different situations. I’m glad you love Churchill’s quote; I do so too!

  • http://www.CoachingWithChristina.com Christina

    Hi Celes,

    This is a great article–really love your honest sharing! I also really loved your point at the end that big things are happening in the world that can make our feelings seem insignificant. They’re not insignificant, but they can feel too big sometimes. So I agree that it’s helpful to have that world perspective and shift from being overly preoccupied with the self and think about what others are dealing with too.

    ~Christina

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Christina, thanks for your comment! :) I’m glad you appreciate the honest sharing. I decided to go ahead and share this story because I figured that there could be people who would benefit from the lessons (which there are) and if I can help just one person with this story, then my job here is done.

    • Bob

      I think our world will always be affected by external factors which are International, National and Local too, it is up to us all to see what we can do to improve each others difficulties. There is a new film “The Impossible” which is based on the true story of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. I agree Christine when we have to deal with such an event like this our life comes into perspective and we deal with what matters most immediately!

      • http://www.CoachingWithChristina.com Christina

        Thank you Bob! I will have to check out that film–I didn’t know there was one about the 2004 Tsunami. It definitely sounds worth seeing and understanding, as that was such a devastating and unexpected event.

        ~Christina

  • Floydash

    Yes !! I’ve been backstabbed like always……:(… it is bad.. First of all u give people the value of your trust and then they go out of their way to harm you like this……I say “If u don’t have the guts to say it to my face, you’re a loser .. can’t even stand up for your own perceptions about me”….

    As usual Celes helps all the time… beautiful article Thanks :) :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Floydash, no problem! :) Remember to apply the tips the next time (IF) the situation happens to you again. Being backstabbed is not something to victimize about, but rather something to grow strong from. Remember when you start to self-pity with a “woe is me attitude”, you are giving your power away to other people (including the backstabber); you are not doing yourself any good.

      • Floydash

        Hmm… what you are saying is absolutely right…and I will remember to apply each of the tips you have given. :) :) :) :heart:

  • Steve

    I wasn’t quite backstabbed. It felt like it when I found out about my best friend’s true feelings about the relationship. But after thinking about it over a few weeks, the fact that she could walk away from a friendship that “meant” so much to her, I don’t feel it’s backstabbing. It’s more that I feel sorry for her and disappointed that she won’t take the chance at something that she has always wanted. Trust, love and respect.

    The quote “Nice guys always finish last” is so true. But I’m not going to cheat to get to the front. If any woman can’t see past the jerk who cheated and finished first, then that’s her issue. All I ever hear from women is “why can’t i find this knight in shining armor, or where are all these good guys”. Well, take a look at the all guys who competed for your attention. Take a chance a look at the one’s who went the distance, even if they do finish in last place. Just remember the guy who finished in first place, all they think about is themselves finishing first…. In everything.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Steve, I hear you. But I’m not sure what merit is there to subscribe to the belief that “nice guys always finish last”; it’s a very terminalistic and self-destructive view, because you are conveniently boxing yourself to a “last” menality, and in a way, embodying a “woe is me” attitude (as what I mentioned to Floydash’s comment), which I’m sure that’s not your fundamental personality at heart.

      Sure, maybe it didn’t work out in this situation, and that’s the other person’s loss. It also simply means that the person isn’t compatible with you. If she can’t appreciate your qualities as someone she would want to spend her life with, then you guys just aren’t for each other. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to finish last. Instead, think about the kind of women you’ll like, what they are looking for, and look for relationships where there is a match (in terms of what each other is looking for in each other) and work to create those. Whether “nice guys” do finish last or not is irrelevant; it’s merely a subjective view (I personally don’t think so for that matter).

  • Bob

    I sympathise Celes,
    I wonder what turned the “friend” away from you. There is a word spectrum on my thesaurus that goes from friend -> foe.

    It goes from FRIEND, companion, soul mate, confidant(e), compadre, bosom buddy, chum, pal, sidekick, playmate, classmate, associate, colleague, comrade, teammate, player,

    - competitor(in middle)-

    Contestant, contender, opponent, opposition, opposer, challenger, rival, adversary, antagonist, belligerent, combatant, hostile party, other side, opposing side, enemy, FOE.

    I noticed that you used the word comrade which is very close to the tipping point from positive to negative. I understand that such situations make us all sharpen our senses and be more careful in how we evaluate our friendships. The Art of War by Sun Tzu is an excellent (quick) read, especially section XIII. THE USE OF SPIES.

    Thank you for your tips Celes, you have admirably changed the negative into the positive.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Bob! I would say there was never a changing point; I would say the person saw me (at the very least, subconsciously) as an adversary quite early from the start. The expose revealed the truth, help to make sense out of everything that has happened in this “friendship” and corrected my (flawed) perception; it didn’t change the reality. The reveal made me more intelligent (as with every revelation of truth), so it is a good thing in the end.

      Interesting that you made the observation about comrade — I did use it on purpose as I saw this person as someone I wanted to support and ally in life. Unfortunately not anymore. I may have to check out The Art of War soon—heard many great things about it as a kid from teachers but have never read it. Have you read the book before, and what do you think about it?

      • Bob

        Hey Celes,

        I’ve read The Art of War many times (not recently) it is a brilliant book on strategy and instructs in a simple terms just about everything you need to know in life about strategy. It is a quick read easily digestible and will take you probably around half an hour to read. The Art of War is a book of reference to be consulted and dipped into on a regular basis. You can listen to it on Librevox, read it on http://classics.mit.edu/Tzu/artwar.html, or get an introduction from History.com on http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=erZ2YidTZp4. Check it out today!

        • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

          Hey Bob, thanks for the links!! For the MIT URL, is the information a direct republication of the book itself? Or are the lessons just distilled lessons from the book, and the book is actually much longer?

          What’s Librevox by the way?

          • Bob

            Hey Celes,

            I’m not sure if the information is a direct republication of the Art of War, but it appears to be the same as all the other versions available online. Librivox have a collection of podcasts of various well known classics read by the general public. The website is http://librivox.org/ sorry I spelt it incorrectly above. They have plenty of podcasts available on iTunes for free, the standard of reading isn’t as good as a professional of course, but they are free, very useful if you are interested in a particular type of book.

            Another good source is Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17405 where you can download books in almost any format you want. If you have kindle on your phone you can listen to it with librivox and read it at the same time.

  • Elton

    Hi Celes,

    I must admit I have many personal feelings coming to this topic and admire your thoughts on how you turn negative into positives.

    There are several incidents where I was betrayed of the customer twisted my words to other people on what I have said and caused misunderstanding to others on my perception. So I have to do correct false perceptions through concrete actions.

    There is also one close business associate, who didn’t bother to pay and run off with money, which has to be dealt with legal actions as his actions forces me to break promise to others, and it wasn’t nice feeling to the party involved and I have to do apology to them and doing necessary.

    The part of forgiving youself is a strong practice that I am trying to cultivate, although easily said than done, it is helpful to help to understand yourself and enlighten good people around you to support. My take is following, firstly learn to identify characteristics of such persons that may betray you (there’s several scientific method I learned from body language, eye movement and patterns of thoughts). I have read this from ‘Reading People From Book’ and constant self reflection of myself. I realized that I am not perfect on my end as well, and my personal characteristics to be adjusted to fit the environment , yet not comprising my integral as person. Hopefully, if there’s future article insight on this, I can do updates on outcome of my sharing.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Elton, thanks so much for sharing your story. It couldn’t have been easy being on the receiving end of the stabs but I’m glad you have overcome them / are overcoming them. The one with the business associate running off with money is terrible. The worst thing one can do in business is to break trust because it destroys any basis to work again in the future. And the fact that he caused your relationships with others to be implicated is like adding salt to the wound.

      Funny that you mentioned body language, as I’m currently learning about body language myself too. There’s this website I’m currently studying which you might find interesting: http://www.centerforbodylanguage.com (Their free-for-public information is probably preliminary compared to what you are reading from your material though.)

      • Elton

        Hi Celes,

        No worries about it, speaking from experience, though, I have to overcome the major one ongoing and hopefully able to resolve that. I guess what doesn’t kill makes people stronger.

        I think your material here helps to complement my understanding, thank for sharing that. And I am not as complicated as what you think and hope you can understand why sometimes I am reserved in thoughts and not say much :)

        I did some experiment with some students in Hong Kong University for a new product possibility around the ideas we are talking, during the same time that we meet during PE Meetup. Share with you next round when we meet.

        • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

          Hey Elton, I never thought that you were complicated. ;) I think you were the one who kept thinking I’m more complicated than I really am! I’m as transparent as a sheet (in how I express myself and how I deal with people at least).

          Sure, will love to hear about what you have been discussing with the Hong Kong University students. Will be interesting to hear what you have in mind.

          • Elton

            Well i think now we understand much more now than previously, actually it just that we didn’t talk much so takes time for me to know you in person. I shall stop treating you as complicated and more like open friendship discussion :)

            Sure, will let you know when we meet. In fact, am in progress in returning to Hong Kong 2nd round for business speed up activities and other things that I have mentioned to your in email.

            • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

              Thank you so much Elton. :D Okay, very happy to see that things are moving so quickly ahead for you. I’m also working hard on my business myself; look forward to the new video channel that I want to get running in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be publishing my video interviews on PE, so stay tuned for them.

              • Elton

                Will wait and see, I think I got your full meaning of being productive. Now need to be more balanced. Can’t afford to waste time unnecessarily and do what’s necessary to achieve the goals and lifestyle desired.

                Gambate for both of us and hopefully we can have room to support each other too.

    • Bob

      Hi Elton,

      I am working on forgiveness as well. I understand how difficult it is to forgive, especially when you feel really peeved at a business associate. I think that it is hard to move on sometimes and we continue to hurt ourselves and others on a regular basis by talking about past wounds. Here are some excellent resources to supplement Celes’ Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, Day 25: Forgive Yourself:

      Oprah
      Iyanla Vanzant on How the Ego Can Block Forgiveness – Oprah’s Lifeclass – Oprah Winfrey Network
      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b4-cFoEolp4

      Bishop T.D. Jakes Says Unforgiveness Is Like a Cancer – Oprah’s Lifeclass – Oprah Winfrey Network
      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JA8PRMacArU&feature=relmfu

      Bishop T.D. Jakes on How to Forgive a Repeat Offender – Oprah’s Lifeclass – Oprah Winfrey Network
      http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=relmfu&v=TJ8-zsu3nRk

      Terri Savelle Foy Podcast – 4 part series on forgiveness

      • Elton

        Thanks Bob, really appreciate your input on your materials.

        • Bob

          You’re welcome Elton!

  • Helen

    “Know that your job here in this world isn’t to please, but to stay true to your mission and create the largest, most positive impact to as many people as you can.”

    Love this! I definitely need to set more time aside to think about self improvement and how best to make a big positive impact.

    Awesome article as always, and I’m so glad that you scatter your articles with links so I can read even more of your words of wisdom ;)

    • Jules

      The worst backstabber as of yet has been my mother. For years I’ve carried the pain and each time, argued to screaming at her. She’s 80 now and my compassion outweighs my anger and hurt even though she still does it. For six years now, I’ve been living with a man much like her. He talks negatively about me to his friends when he disapproves of something I said or if we’ve had an argument. I don’t know what to do. The other times, he says nice things to his friends about me. Many think we’ve got a great relationship, but he will not stop with the criticism of friends, family, politicians, humans in general when he starts on a rant. He’s generally docile but full of pain, masked as anger. Same goes for my mum…critical, buried pain, disappointment with the cards life dealt her / him (really, much of which they each chose), and stuck in a rut of self-pity that they deny. What else is it, if not self-pity? I need help understanding people like this. Their care seems genuine but it’s often misguided and duplicitous.

      • Michael Nellany

        There is no help..They are miserable people period. The only way out is to reject them and thats hard to do. Ive been through this and wanted to run away. You cant run away but whatyou have to do is make a plan B and live the plan. You need a ton of courage to do this its not easy. I speak to no one about this stuff and just live my life. I have excluded everyone and Im making new friends

  • Kae

    Hi Everyone

    Celes, this is a very timely article for me, because in the last week or so i have decided that I really needed to move on from my past and learn to enjoy being around people more.

    I too have experienced being backstabbed….unfortuntely, more than once :( . The first time was the worst because it was my best friend of nearly 18 years…we went to primary and high school together and worked in the same place for a while. We would spend all weekend together doing all of the the things that teenagers love to do. Then one day she seemed to just turn on me. She ignored me and was saying untrue things about me to others. I very quickly cut this person from my life, because I realised how bad I was feeling.

    The second time, was when I introduced a friend number one to friend friend number two….only to find out that friend number one was seeing friend number two behind my back. I dont mind sharing my friends, but please dont do it sneakily.

    As an impressionable teenager these events helped to prevent me from getting too close to anyone (although I do have a loving and caring partner)….and to this day I still dont allow myself to get too close. Nearly thirty years later, I have decided to take the bull by the horns and start putting myself out there again and start letting people into my inner sanctum. :dance:

    Warm wishes and all the best to everyone
    K

    • Michael Nellany

      Amazing how damaging the consequences of a few backstabs early can have..Thirty years to get rejuevenated, wow that is crazy. Took me four and it was hell. Hope your getting it done cause life is way to short for this crap. I had never been backstabbed by a friend in my life only once and that was enough. Will never happen again no way, Ill always be prepared now cause i know ti can happen..Best of luck

  • Keith

    Good article. I have been stabbed a few times before and it is a not a good feeling at all.

    However, never believe everything at face value. Words may have been misinterpreted or the person telling you about the backstabber may be the malicious one instead (unless he/she is extremely reliable). Doesn’t hurt to confirm anything. I would usually confront the “backstabber” when I have the opportunity, and a lot of times I found out it was words lost in translation rather than any true malicious intention. We then have a few laughs over it, and the friendship grew stronger.

  • Nisanee

    This article rings with truth. I just had my best friend move out on me after 2 months of living together because of her petty hatred of my dog who she has neglected profusely in favor of her own dog. Ive been nothing but accomodating and ive tried so hard, put 100% effort in to right wrongs, apologise for things that were beyond my control or so miniscule that they should not need an apology. My dog isnt aggressive or loud or problematic and is better trained than hers by a long shot. Cant even take her dog out for a walk without her barking at every vehicle that drives past. So she’s screwed me over with an apartment I cant afford after i got her out of her living situation with her abusive exbf and has used my dog as a scapegoat for her insecurities and dramatic bs. Has turned all our mutual friends against me and I have to say this feels like deja vu from my last exbff. Moral of the story is I am now fully incapable of trusting anyone anymore. But this article has helped me realise that I need to let this friend go and the greatest revenge i could possibly achieve is to move on and become more successful than her. Show her that she was holding me back from being all I can be.

    • Michael Nellany

      Yeah excellent idea but so sad you had to go through that and how they could nto appreciate your efforts. Youll grow from this for sure

  • Karen

    I can nearly always tell when someone has been backstabbing as they adopt a patronizing or insincere tone during conversation, mind you the most skilled liars/backstabbers are usually the most seemingly kind/ sincere…you have to really listen hard to the intonation in the voice and what is coming through.
    Most people backstab because yup, they are jealous, or they are unhappy in general and complain about everything, or they want something from you which you can’t give, ie favours or a relationship. Then, on the other hand, some seem to backstab BECAUSE you did a lot of favours from them, ie they are taking the p*ss.
    In the past year I attracted 2 prominent backstabbers, one was a boyfriend who spoke about our relationship to everyone (I spoke about it to no-one) and who, when he dumped me for someone else, I lost no time in exposing for the liar and hypocrite he was. I even slapped him repeatedly and that did feel good. He knows he is a liar and has admitted it himself, obviously not slapped enough as a child!!!
    The other one had broken up with someone else a while ago and was searching for a replacement. I did not fancy him back but we stayed friends for a while until he started constantly making snide remarks and come to think of it, his friends were making comments about “people using other people” early on in the friendship, which given I hardly knew him at the time, was just dumb. I have since opted out of any activities he suggested we do together because I just can’t stand him now and have no desire to see him as a friend or otherwise again, he is an ageing saddo who frankly gives me the creeps!!!

  • Eliza B

    Yes I too have been backed stabbed by someone who was supposed to be my best friend even had and still has the cheek to send me special friend cards at Christmas. How it is to reveal your personal matters to someone else and go about some cloak and dagger campaign against you which you can see before your very eyes and they still pretend to be your friend. I think they didn’t expect the receiver of information, their so called friend to grass them up to me! All I thought was how funny it was to watch her go about her evil business with me watching was almost comical and how childish and pathetic it all was. In the end I accepted it and moved on you don’t need these people in your life if they think so little of you to do these things to you. I never had it out with her I didn’t see the point, I had proof it was true and the damage had been done trust had been lost forever. I think she knew as she has never asked me why I don’t see her anymore.

  • Michael Nellany

    So true and awesome ariticle. I am cutting people out of mylife I should have cut a long time ago. Im 51 and had never been backstabbed in my life by anyone until I meet this person who I loved hanging out with. It was so baffling and so repulsive that I was in complete chock. Took me a long time to figure out the only way through this was to reject this person outright. Based on yoru article and what you have written, no there is no way i can overlook the action ever. The friendship is destroyed and I needed freinds, thats what made cutting this person out so hard, they had a strong connection to people from my past. This truly was the hardest decision for me to make as I knew Id never see them again. The damage from this relationship was so extensive it affected my work and how I treated others. I will never forget the harm done or that person but I know I wont think to much of them anylonger. I put a block on any messages texts or calls from them and I plan on blocking any sneak attempts through any other numbers. I will never explain my actions either, they will be as cold and indifferant as they where to me when they first happened. Case closed the only way to get over it and past it sometimes is to simply cut them out. What is really crazy is how the person thinks they can still have the friendship. Totally sickens me the level of stupidity of people at times..Bye bye I am free at last thank God. Best of luck to all those who have been backstabbed it is truly one of the hardest things youll ever do is to resolve it let go or leave. I never had such a hard time with such a decision in my life till i realized it will never ever be ok again,,Sad. time to make new friends and memories. I will never ever forget how evil and outright violent this person was. its simply amazing and it was unprovoked

    • J C

      I was also back stabbed in a similar way and resulted in how you describe it – it turned out the person was actually mentally ill and had psycosis and ptsd. In their mind it was revenge for ‘crimes’ I had committed to them but in reality these crimes didn’t exist. I was glad to cut him out in the end – but the shock as you describe is immense and has totally affected the way I relate to people completely.
      I am grateful to have learned to be very careful how close I get to people ( ie how much I tell them and let them into my personal thoughts and life) BEFORE knowing who they really are, sometimes it takes a while to know I can trust that individual and before I was trusting of everyone – which is no good really and left me open to being attacked by people.
      There were some warning signs I ignored at the time also – and if I could have my time again – they would be listened to and acted upon fully- I have them down now completely. Betrayal can be a really difficult thing to overcome but you can do it and eventually the truth does come out no matter how well people try to hide it from others or how crafty they have been suppressing your real identity – maybe not straight away but you’ll be surprised sometimes years later. The problem is with betrayal – that they can say things that you have actually said – so you can feel very guilty for something in reality you never actually said to that person because you were blowing off steam or stressed or in a moment of being human and making a mistake in that moment and knew it – like we all do. That guilt then if you are not careful can feed how we behave around our accusers making them believe the betrayer.
      You just have to get on with your own life, focus on the things you need to do – elsewhere with people who do not make you feel bad for things you have not actually said – and let them work it out on their own – if you can’t talk to them about it – sooner or later people will start to realize your actions/behaviour do not match what they have been saying. It can take some people a long time to realize this – years – but have faith and in the meantime get on with your life without them. I am now free also. Love and sunshine.

      • Michael Nellany

        Yeah wow amazing..Well I suppose finding out they where mentally ill helps somewhat ? The amazing thing is the friend I made belonged to a support group in which I was involved in. Ate at my house, I even went to his wedding ? How do you ever trust people after that lol Well Im doing much better now. I have not returned any text messages and I do not plan on. Thank you for sharing how you went through something similar, it really helps to understand this very bizzare behaviour. Took me a long time to get past this stuff. Practically had to re create my self, I only have one word for that, Scary lol To think someone can come in the guise of a friend and be hating all along is very disturbing. What was that saying beware of wolves in sheeps clothing, wow! Yeah I get it now. You cannot be happy in untruth, thats why they have to go and your right you just have to pick up the pieces and let the truth come out. Down the road it will and it takes time..Lose lips sinks ships is another one. Nevertheless the emotional damage of the event which was absolutely unecessary and unprovoked is long standing. You end up learning a great deal from this, your right again. I was the same always very trusting, not so much anymore. I guess thats the last piece of the puzzle now letting others back in. Im starting to feel like Ill be able to do that but Ill never forget this. Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish you the best. My goal is to be Happy Joyous and free and anything that gets in the way of that will be cut out, life is short and I cannot and do not want to hate or dislike anyone, takes way to much energy and is not me..

  • kitty 332

    I was pretty great friends with two other girls years back. Shortly after my boyfriend proposed to me they completely turned against me. One even told me that I wasn’t engaged, even though the ring was on my finger lol. They asked if they could come over one evening and see our new apartment together and hang out. Well that evening they showed up late and handed me a nasty letter they had written together saying what an awful person I was (I had just made cupcakes for them that morning, talk about irony) and there were many false statements in it claiming i had said bad things about each of them to the other which was not true. It was like an episode from the twilight show.

    Well forward 1 year later one of those girls flew off to another country to marry a man she met on the internet and the other ex friend that was still here suddenly wanted to be friends again, being the forgiving person I am I forgave her and invited her to my wedding which she did attend. Then she started badmouthing her friend to me who moved away, saying she was a terrible mother to her kid and step kids, how she had the ugliest baby she had ever seen and laughed about that. How all they ever did was play video games and how pathetic that was. I refused to join in on her ranting because I was seeing a real pattern there.

    Over the next couple years we became decent friends again and had many good times, but when my husband and I became pregnant with our first child in the last year she started saying the most awful and bizarre comments, saying if I did exercise in the first trimester I would give my baby brain damage etc, even had her bf text my husband saying I was risking our child’s life by doing so. It got more bizarre from there, not to mention her rude behavior at my baby shower, and how she made fun of my sons appearance in the hospital after I had to deliver him by c-section.

    Now that other ex friend has moved back here with her husband and suddenly I don’t hear anything from her anymore, and on her facebook feed I see tons of posts of them being the bestest of friends and how they complete each other bla bla. One can only imagine the terrible things she is saying to her “bestest” friend about me now. To be honest I feel free, I am very done with all the high school drama, we’re in our 30′s now and I have a little man I need to raise in a healthy environment away from cruel gossip and mean behavior that I do not want influencing him. I’m just not going to talk to her anymore and I feel completely satisfied in that decision. I only wish I had done this for myself sooner.

    • Mel

      I wish I had done the same. I was blinded. My mom told me that one of them are a bad person, two-faced and a sly person. So I was quite surprised how she said indirectly to me that by selling my body (being a prostitute) can be enough for everything.

  • Marie Flor Adviento-Raymundo

    i learned alot from this. I was backstabbed by an inlaw about work and job telling bad things about me to get the client from me. It’s hard for me because she just live with her husband next door from me. I became silent bout this but showing her how mad I am. She can see through my actions. She got the client and they were making business.

  • Mel

    At least these tips can help me get through my problem right now. I don’t even know why they backstabbed me. One of them is two-faced and the other is influenced by her boyfriend which made the controversy first. They said they have a problem with my attitude but I didn’t feel that I have done anything that hurt them. And now they asked me to apologize? What for? I can stand their bad attitude towards me and others but they just can’t stand my attitude? Come on, I don’t always show that in front of everyone while they keep bullying others and badmouthing them. One of my friend had went through the same like me before but ironically she is the one who asked me to apologize and also joining the other 9 to badmouthing me. When I talk about the others with her, she always said, “Just ignore them.” And now when they talk about me, she didn’t stop them! I feel so betrayed and disappointed.

  • Tubby

    I actually found out yesterday that I was being backstabbed by a “friend” yesterday. This friend of mine was someone I honestly thought was somewhat true to me. I was not very close to him, but that didn’t matter. I hate the feeling of him telling all of my closest best friends to turn against me (which of course they didn’t). He was one of those people I could just have fun with. I never knew that he thought of the things he did when he thought about me. It sucks. Alot.

    But if theres one thing I have learnt it is:

    Dont worry about the people who talk behind your back, they’re behind you for a reason.

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