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Defend Yourself against Troublemakers at your Workplace

Updated on January 18, 2009

Every organization has various types of employees. Some are serious and hardworking; while some are taking things easy. There are also troublemakers, backstabbers, office politicians as well as incompetents. These people are always on the lookout for victims.

Always be careful as you maybe their stumbling block. They are trying to do all they can to dethrone you from your position. It is puzzling to think how these people are capable of causing serious damage to your reputation.

How do you adapt to the working culture with these people as co-workers?

Identify this group of people

This group of people consists of troublemakers, backstabbers, office politicians and incompetents. At certain times, there is only one person playing all the roles. Other times, they come in a group.

Knowing who they are will make your work easier. By doing so, you will know how to react to their tactics. You also know when to avoid them.   

Identify what these people want from you

If you are a recruited from outside (not promoted from within the organization itself), then you should have an idea what these people want from you. They are after your position. They know the only way to win is to make you look bad. They will do anything to be successful.

Maintain a good relationship with your boss. If your boss trusts you, chances are these troublemakers will not be so successful in their ploys. 

Check your attitude

Your attitude can make or break you. Do not show your anger even if you are angry. Do not even think of confronting the person(s) openly in front of other co-workers. You will be considered as a bully if you do so.

However, do not allow them to bully you all the time. Talk to one or two of them privately. You do not have to let go of your anger at them. Just get your message across calmly to halt their negative behavior. 

Seek help from other co-workers

Usually, troublemakers and backstabbers have enemies in the same workplace. They would use the same tactics against anyone they dislike. You do not have to look high and low for any alliance. If you are a victim, you know immediately you have friends in others.

Exchange news quietly and find ways to teach these troublemakers lessons. Do not attack them openly as this may jeopardize your reputations.  

Avoid being made a scapegoat

Even if you are a righteous person, you are capable of being make a scapegoat whenever there is a chance. Be reminded that these people are experts in their own games. If you are caught, get a good and trusted alibi. Nobody likes to contradict with trusted co-workers.

Make periodical reports to your boss about the progress of your assignments. Do not allow them to pinpoint you for the failure of their own projects. It is better to have all your assignments clearly defined and made known to your mutual boss.  

Be practical about your excuses

If you have to take leave from your organization for some personal matters, make practical excuses. It is possible to discuss with your boss and get his/her written consent to take a few hours of leave. Most bosses would not mind as long as you hand in your work on time.

Do not allow the troublemakers to catch you slacking at work. Sometimes, you may put your guard down and do something shocking. Always remember you need to prepare some good and practical excuses to counteract against them.

Use technology to protect yourself

Although you are not allowed to use spy-cams in the office, but spreading the news that there is a spy-cam somewhere can help you to get rid of these people from your back for a while. Troublemakers are the only people who are afraid of being found out.

If you are dealing with someone you do not trust, use a voice recorder or a camera to record the incident. These days, your mobile phone has the capabilities to do the recordings for you! Should anything happen that puts you in the disadvantage situation; you can prove to your boss your innocence. 

Avoid gossipers at all costs

Yes, avoid gossipers. Have you heard of the saying ‘People who gossip about others also gossip about you’? These are people who like to stoke up small sparkles. They love to listen to stories about others and then spice up the stories and pass them on. Once you realize what have happened, it is too late to do anything concrete for yourself!

Another reminder …. Do not gossip about others. Once you have started, there will be no end. Backstabbers will like you very much as you can be made into scapegoats all the time! 

Be nice to everyone 

Frankly, it is difficult to be nice to everyone including those who cause you troubles. However, that is life. Just be nice to them. Do not avenge them openly. You will have your chance. So, while waiting for the day to come, be nice to everyone! 

Remember, good people are always in trouble. So, be nice but shrewd. Know your friends and foes. Learn to protect yourself. Never retaliate openly. Remind your co-workers that you are as tough as them!


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for the feedback.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You hit it on the noise exactly there plot, which we are not allow it to become a habit...focus on what you do and needed for at the work place. It is for more than a Corp. point of view, its in every company big or small.

    • profile image

      poor victim of backstabbers 

      8 years ago

      this is very useful. Thank you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      these materials provided r really a catalyst in co-orporate life


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