How to Cope with a Backstabber

“Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice.” Woodrow Wilson

Being victim to backstabbing is downright painful. Backstabbers put on fronts that appear accommodating, loyal and even sacrificial. Then, without warning they strike. There’s many reasons why backstabbers act as they do. They’re selfish, have a lack of self-esteem and a sense of powerlessness. They’re also likely hiding feelings of inadequacy and feel resentful of what you have that they don’t. Whatever the cause, there’s no good or right reason to be a backstabber.

Sometimes, having a backstabber in your life is unavoidable. You or your spouse may work with one, or perhaps a close friend associates with one and you find yourself crossing paths from time to time. Does this mean you are doomed to be a victim? No. There are several things you can do to disarm backstabbers before they strike, and we are sharing those tips today.

1. Watch your back

This may seem obvious, but it’s pertinent. If you suspect a backstabber is running loose around your office or close circle of friends, then be cautious with the things that matter most to you. Be careful who you share your deepest thoughts with. Only share personal matters with those who have proven to be trustworthy in your life. Remember, backstabbers can be sneaky, slick and seductive. They may seem like just the person to share your secrets with – that’s the way they want it.

2. Stand up for fellow victims

When you see backstabbing happen to someone else, try to stop it. A coworker may say to you “Tom makes a mess of every sales meeting he attends.” What’s your impulse? If you are like many, you may want to chime in with some of your own negative thoughts about Tom. But if you want to help curb backstabbing, then resist the temptation. Say firmly that you don’t agree. Or point out something good about the person who is being backstabbed. After all, someday you may need Tom, or someone else, to do the same for you.

3. Build a network of trust

One of the most important preventative measures you can take is to make a favorable impression on the people and relationships around you. This goes for co-workers, friends, family and beyond. Support these people in your life and show your loyalty as well.

It’s also important to have a trustworthy confidant, a person who can act as a mirror and reflect the truth. You can ask this person “does it seem to you that so-and-so is trying to make me look bad?” Your confidant will be able to shoot straight and let you know if you are being paranoid, or if real danger is on the horizon.

4. Let go of revenge

Lastly, it’s important to remember that revenge never gets you anywhere good. It’s understandable to still feel pain if you’ve been backstabbed in the past. But storing up pain and plotting revenge will eventually punish you more than it does the backstabber. So, do yourself a favor and let go of revenge.

Remember, if you have been backstabbed in the past, or if you fear it’s on the horizon, there are ways to move on gracefully and avoid being victim. Make the best of your life and enjoy yourself to the fullest. Don’t seek revenge. After all, living life well is really the best route to take.

Have you or your spouse been victim to backstabbing? How did you overcome this, and what did you do to protect yourself in the future?


  • Maren R Breitwieser says:

    I so appreciate your work!

  • Janel Lind says:

    What if the backstabber is your husband who is divorcing you after 36 years together for no articulated or apparent reason.

    • Unknown says:

      Me too. I would like guidance. My ex husband and best friend back stabbed me after my husband’s affair when I put two and two together. (Not with each other though).

    • Darlene Hurlbert says:

      I am so sorry Janel. My husband left me for the 2nd time after 30 years and i was devastated. He had me believing it was all my fault which took me many years and lots of classes and of course God to reveal that it takes 2 to tango. I was able to forgive him and release all of the betrayal, pain and hurt. It has been 7 years and I am remarried to an amazing Godly man, who my daughter says we are the same person in a male and female version. I used to say that marriage is soooo hard and I remember people saying no it isn’t. Now I understand. When you are married to someone who you are compatable with and you both want to serve and obey God ,marriage is a beautiful thing. Don’t get me wrong, blended families can be very difficult and complicated. We are still in court hearings after 4 years, but our marriage is strong and the things we are learning are helping us to help others. God will get you thru victoriously if you continue to obey and serve Him. I guarantee it! From a sister who has been there. ,

  • Darrelyn Coats says:

    Our backstabber is my husband’s sister and only sibling. She has told their elderly father that we want to put him in a care facility and take his house. This is absolutely not true. He and my husband have never been close but now his dad will not take our calls. He recently took a bad fall but told a cousin not to tell us. We are sure his sister is behind that. This is just one of many things she has told other cousins not to tell us.

    • Christina says:

      This happens A LOT and almost in every family because of jealousy or other reasons. All you can do is pray for your Dad and Sister. If your Dad won’t take your calls, all you can do is pray for his mind and heart.

      Deception in family can be hard to bear and the epiphany that the one you trust has been hurting you the most can be devastating. Pray to God that your Dad will be receptive to other family members who know the truth and can speak your case, if needed.

      Whatever happens, don’t hold the guilt that it’s your fault. Continue to love and pray for your Dad in spite of these current circumstances; He will make a way!

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