Backstabbers - What to do about the backstabber in your life
What is a backstabber?
According to WordWeb: A traitor; someone who betrays you behind your back.
According to Les Parrott: An angry, sneaky, slick, seductive, saboteur.
What motivates a person to backstab others?
- A need to be recognized. Just look at the queer behavior of toddlers who do not get the recognition and attention they need. They will try all techniques in the book to get that, even backstabbing their siblings. Parents rewarding backstabbing either negatively or positively actually encourage their children to acquire this technique as a habit that will make them unpopular in school and for the rest of their lives in all environments. Habits acquired and not immediately kicked during the first seven years of a child’s life get stuck in the unconscious mind, ready to be reacquired whenever needed. Backstabbing can become a habit at any age.
- A sense of powerlessness. Backstabbing may be, in the mind of the backstabber, the ONLY method to achieve his/her goal.
- Backstabbing may be an act of retaliation – the way of a vindictive person to clear his reputation, or to avoid punishment or defeat he/she may or may not deserve. This person will produce testimony in a Court of Law, proclaiming to be a spectator of a crime committed by his co-criminals. In times of war he will betray his country and fellow soldiers in order to be recognized as a human being with the right to live.
Who is the backstabber?
- A person with a low self-esteem.
- A smooth operator, twisting others round his/her little finger, in particularly those who have the power and influence to give the wanted recognition and reward.
- A self-centered, selfish person, stepping on his fellow-man on his way to the top step of success.
- The crawler, crawling up the ladder of success, using other people as steps, instead of climbing up, using his own skills and professional accomplishments as steps.
- Perhaps your best friend, your colleague, your superior, your husband/wife, your child, your neighbor, your mother/father, brother/sister, cousin.... anybody you trust who wants the recognition you have and they don’t have, or who are afraid that you might get the recognition they want.
- Les Parrot’s quote: “In all likelihood, Backstabbers are quite pleasant and supportive on the surface. But that's a mask.”
What does a person actually do while backstabbing?
- Subtlety, or not beating about the bush, backstabbers sow distrust, pretending that they are the only ones able and capable of meeting the expectations of others.
- By using any information given to them, or obtained by them, they manage to turn the spotlight away from others and onto themselves.
- Via subtle gossips and slanders, they damage and/or destroy others' good reputation.
- Hypocritically concealing their true feelings and emotions, others may never recognize the evil in them, until it is too late.
- Les Parrot’s quote: “They put on a front that appears accommodating, loyal, and yes, even sacrificial. Then, without warning, they raise their knife, and by the time you see the glint of the blade, it's almost always too late.”
- Another quote of Les Parrot: “One of the favorite pastimes of Backstabbers is recounting slights and grievances they've carried for years.”
What kind of statements behind your back can you expect from the backstabber?
- Most adult backstabbers are too clever to give anyone the impression that they are backstabbers. They will humbly fake befuddlement and despondency regarding the work or actions of others: “Sorry to bother you, Sir, but I really don’t know how to handle a delicate situation in our office. It seems to me that poor Victim, has some personal problems, for she/he keeps on doing this-and-that in spite of the fact that I’ve explained the policy and procedures how-many-times to him/her.” While Sir investigates the matter, Ms/Mr. Backstabber provides more negative information, destroying Victim's opportunity to prove their innocence completely.
- Husbands and wives backstab each other when they discuss their personal disagreements with non-professional third parties, pretending that they seek advice while they actually seek recognition in the form of sympathy, praise, encouragement or love. “I truly don’t know how to approach my husband/wife, for I can do nothing right in his/her eyes....” Telling this to a marriage councilor or psychiatrist may have positive results.
- Best friends stab each other in the back in order to get the recognition they need. Your husband/wife may (for all you know) easily be seduced by your best friend. “Why do you look so sad today, dear husband/wife of my best friend? By now I know you so well; I can easily sense your moods. Is there perhaps something I can do for you? I care for you, you know? You are such an extra-ordinary person; I’m actually in awe of you. You deserve a medal, for loving my best friend is not always easy, or what am I talking?”
- Teenagers may backstab their parents and teachers in order to dodge some kind of punishment or defeat. “They never told/taught me that.” Seeking recognition, they may submit complaints and grievances are indeed rooted in the truth. “My parents are getting divorced; I am too stressed to prepare myself for tests.” Or it may not be rooted in the truth: “Mister So-and-So molested me.....” Of course, the latter may be true, in which case it may not be regarded as backstabbing, but statistics of court cases actually prove that many teenagers in serious need of recognition hoist the flag of sexual assault.
- Kids will run to Grandma’s, crying, “Mommy spanked me!” - Innocent backstabbing in their quest for recognition in the form of sympathy and love.
- Les Parrot’s quote: “You know that you have been stabbed when you feel the deep pain of betrayal.”
How to conquer the backstabber
Les Parrott’s quote: “Storing and nurturing your pain and hurt, plotting revenge - all these punish you more than they do the backstabbers.”
- In the workplace you may request a meeting with the backstabber and the superior involved. During this meeting you should be honest, admitting your mistakes and shortcomings, and reveal your feelings regarding the issue. If the superior is wise and honorable, he will get the picture. If he is on the same level as the backstabber, report him to his senior by following the procedures of your company regarding the airing of grievances. If he is the only superior, you may take legal action via an attorney or any institution that protects the rights of employees.
- Don’t descend to the level of the backstabber by discussing them with co-workers. For moral support confide in a trustworthy friend or a counselor.
- Never trust the backstabber; don’t take them on ‘in private’, for whatever you do or say will be ‘held against you.
- Don't lower yourself to the level of a backstabber. Keep their motives in mind – they desperately need recognition.
- A friend who tries to seduce your husband/wife should be identified a.s.a.p. You may throw your cards on the table, asking them politely to respect your marriage. If necessary, you may even draw their attention to the fact that you have the Law on your side. You may take legal steps. Then save your marriage and give your husband/wife the recognition and love they deserve.
- Teenagers showing the habit of backstabbing need counseling and recognition. Don’t let them enter adulthood with a craving for recognition and the idea that backstabbing is the way to get it.
- Kids should be firmly discouraged to use backstabbing as a means to an end. They should get the recognition (and love) they deserve from all their loved-ones.
- If you are a Christian, remember Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus. (Matt. 26-27, Mark 14, Luke 22). Jesus blessed him! Somehow betrayers always hang themselves, if not literally, metaphorically.
- Matthew 27:3-6 Then Judas, which had betrayed him (Jesus), when he saw that he (Jesus) was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” And they said: “What is that to us? See thou to that.” And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, “It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.”