By Merryl Lentz
We’ve all encountered two-faced people at one time or another — those individuals who smile in your face and act like your best friend, while they’ve got a knife poised at your back. They pretend to be your best buddy, only to try to use you, or to spread lies and gossip about you behind your back. The two-faced person wants to obtain something from you, but is either too jealous or lazy to get it for themselves. The thing they want from you may vary, but the motivation won’t — they have chosen deception in order to get it. They behave in a manner that is not Godly, but that is petty, deceitful, and self-serving.
It’s hard to acknowledge and accept that someone who you consider a trusted friend is actually the exact opposite. You must come to terms with the fact that you are in a relationship with someone who is false, dishonest and two-faced. This type of person is definitely not a friend, and it’s best to stay on your guard when dealing with them. They are manipulative and have no friends, but possess a chameleon-like ability to fit in with others, even if this means speaking ill of you in the process.
Two-faced people are not secured people
You’d think that two-faced people are supremely confident and even arrogant, but they’re actually insecure individuals who fear your strengths. The person fears losing something or being unable to gain favors. Feeling insecure in your presence, they will enjoy demeaning you, instead of seeing you as an inspiration or someone who can help them grow. No matter how badly the two-faced friend has tried to undermine your reputation, remember that your strengths are still your strengths — respond with your strengths, allowing your respectable actions to do the talking.
If you can break ties with the two-faced person who has been speaking negatively about you, then do so. If the individual is a family member or a work colleague, then this is not always an option. If you must spend time around that person, make sure to set boundaries as to the type of conversation you’re willing to listen to. If the backstabber attempts gossiping about other people, ward them off by telling them that that type of talk isn’t interesting to you, and don’t offer any of your own opinions on the subject matter.
Along those lines, when you’re in the company of someone who is a two-faced gossip, be certain not to disclose any information that’s personal or sensitive. People who enjoy talking negatively about others do not keep secrets, and any information you give them is just as at risk as information given to them by someone else. A two-faced person will intentionally use information that they gather as a weapon to use against other people — or even against you.
Never stoop to the level of a Two-faced person
Resist the temptation to beat the gossip at their own game. If you seek revenge by gossiping about the two-faced person, the only thing you’ll accomplish is reducing yourself to their level. You don’t have to conduct yourself in a negative manner to “even the score” with the backstabber. Instead, be the better person by addressing them directly and calmly about their behavior.
If the backstabber happens to be a work colleague, steer clear of sharing your ideas with them. Deceitful people excel at stealing other people’s ideas and passing them off as their own. If you distrust your co-worker, keep your ideas to yourself, or only share them with those whom you trust implicitly.
Wherever competition exists, backstabbing will also flourish. This is true in situations where such things as bonuses, promotions and special relationships are on the table. If you watch any reality show where contestants are positioned as rivals against each other, backstabbing is not only taking place, but is candidly admitted to by those who are committing it. If you are working, living or even socializing in competitive circumstances, it’s a given that you’ll probably have to encounter backstabbing. Be prepared for it and alerted to it as a distinct possibility.
Detect the signs of two-faced behavior as soon as possible
The longer a backstabber is free to spread their lies, the harder it will be to stop them and prevent an injured reputation. If you can distinguish the signs of backstabbing early, you can nip these acts in the bud before they increase.
Trust your gut — if you believe that someone is behaving in two-faced conduct toward you, look for facts to back up your feelings. Watch this person more closely and withhold trusting them with any information that could get contorted. And steer clear of the backstabbers’ acquaintances, as well, since they may be “spies” collecting information for the two-faced friend.
Keep a watchful eye on the other person’s work ethic. If they’re lazy or irresponsible, remove yourself as far from them as possible where hard work is concerned — because the backstabber won’t hesitate to pass off your hard work as their own.
Note how the alleged two-faced friend treats the items that you care about. For instance, if you take great care to keep your apartment clean, and you’ve explained this to them, beware if they simply drop their coat on the floor or track dirt in when they visit you. This absence of respect could easily spread to them lying about you elsewhere regarding other things behind your back.
Don’t rely on the backstabber for anything at all — even the most miniscule of things. This way, you can sidestep situations where they may browbeat you for a favor in return. This method may be difficult at first, because it goes directly against your generous, caring nature, but be sure to stick with it.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop trusting everyone — you just may have over-trusted in certain situations. Find a balance between being gullible and completely untrusting. Trust is an important component of living happily, so hone your instincts to detect possible problems while still trusting most of the people you mingle with.
Try not to take the disparaging actions or words of the two-faced individual personally. When someone gossips about you behind your back, it’s a reflection of their lowly nature, and not a reflection upon you. And despite all of your actions to the contrary, you cannot change the personality of the conniving backstabber. The only thing you can do is to try to make sure that they pick on someone else the next time they display their two-faced personality.