Backstabbers: How Do They Think And Plan

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Backstabbers hide in plain sight. They often work silently until they have reached their criminal motive. These determinants follow a modus operandi. After reading this blog, you will identify how they think and plan their moves against you.

While specific traits define a backstabber, it is worth noting that there is a psychological reason behind every act of betrayal. The first step in understanding how to spot one is to understand backstabbing. 

In this blog, we will explore backstabbing psychology to identify glaring signs and help you determine if someone is a backstabber.

Photo by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash

What is backstabbing?

Backstabbers undermine their close friends, colleagues, or loved ones without realizing the harm they cause. Furthermore, backstabbing can lead to long-term damage in relationships like trust and loyalty issues. Backstabbing is malicious intent involving someone trustworthy harming or spreading lies about you.

It happens in many ways, trying to sabotage someone’s reputation or trying to take credit for someone else’s work. 

The consequences of backstabbing are serious and include damaged relationships, lost trust, and betrayal.

Understanding the psychology of backstabbers

Yes, backstabbers tend to stab their partners in the back. They are selfish, cruel, lie, and gossip to gain the upper hand. But before we discuss the psychological traits of backstabbers, let’s understand why it occurs.

Sometimes people might act friendly to your face but then say mean things behind your back. This is called backstabbing. Backstabbers feel jealous, angry, or upset with you but don’t want to tell you directly. Instead, they try to hurt you by talking about you.

Backstabbers think that they can get away. But, in the end, they suffer.

Also, it is a social offense involving manipulations, lies, and deceit for selfish reasons – usually for money or power. Backstabbing plays on emotions such as guilt and shame to win over an individual’s trust and confidence. 

Backstabber may have an emotional appeal because it speaks of betrayal and dishonesty. But backstabbing is damaging for everyone.

4 Glaring Traits of a Backstabber

  1. Trait 1: Two-Faced Behavior

    Some people say one thing to your face, but something different behind your back. They might act like your friend but then say mean things about you.

  2. Trait 2: Gossiping and Spreading Rumors

    Backstabbers might gossip or spread rumors about you. They might talk about things that aren’t true or share information that they shouldn’t be telling others.

  3. Trait 3: Turning People Against You

    Some backstabbers might try to turn other people against you. They say bad things about you or makeup stories to make others dislike you.

  4. Trait 4: Acting Differently Around You

    Some backstabbers might act differently around you than they do around others. They might be friendly to your face but then be mean or say hurtful things when they’re around other people.

What motivates a backstabber?

Backstabbers have many motivations stemming from their insecurities and desires for personal gain. 

Here are the common motivations of backstabbers:

The desire for power and control

Backstabbers crave power and control over others. They will stop at nothing to achieve it. They may see you as an obstacle standing in the way and will do whatever it takes to eliminate you.

Jealousy or envy

Backstabbers may also be motivated by jealousy or envy towards you. They may feel threatened by your success or popularity and try to bring you down to elevate themselves.

Fear of being exposed or losing status

Backstabbers fear losing their status or position. They may feel you are a threat and try to discredit or undermine you to protect their interests.

Resentment toward the target

Finally, backstabbers hold a personal grudge or resentment towards you. They may feel you have wronged them and will seek revenge by trying to undermine or discredit you.

Planning Strategies of a Backstabber, like a whisperer

Backstabbers often use strategic planning to achieve their goals. 

Some of the most common planning strategies used by backstabbers include:

Building alliances and manipulating others

Backstabbers try to build alliances with others to gain support for their actions against you. They may manipulate others into believing negative things about you or use charm and persuasion to win others to their side.

Spreading rumors or lies

Backstabbers may also spread rumors or lies about you to damage their reputation. These rumors may be based on half-truths or outright lies and spread through gossip or social media.

Creating a false narrative

Backstabbers may try to create a false narrative about you to discredit you. It may involve twisting the facts or presenting a one-sided view of events to make you look bad.

Sabotaging the target’s reputation or work

Finally, backstabbers sabotage your reputation or work to undermine your success. It may involve stealing credit for your work, spreading negative feedback about your performance, or taking actions that directly harm your ability to do the job.

How does backstabbing happen in a professional setup?

Backstabbing behavior can manifest in many different forms, including on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

Unfortunately, the ease and anonymity of these platforms can make it all too tempting for individuals to engage in backstabbing behavior, spread negative information about others, or engage in office gossip from behind a screen. 

This behavior is damaging, as it can spread quickly and widely, potentially damaging your reputation in and outside the workplace.

In addition to online behavior, backstabbing can occur in person, with team members or coworkers engaging in manipulative tactics like flattery or whispering negative thoughts about others. 

These tactics create conflict or division within a team or workplace or advance the interests of the backstabber at the expense of others. Body language and other non-verbal cues can also send negative messages about others.

Despite the negative impact of backstabbing behavior, remember that kindness and positivity are always good ideas in the workplace. Treat others with respect and compassion. 

If dealing with backstabbers in the workplace, address any misunderstandings or conflicts directly rather than resorting to negative tactics or engaging in similar behavior. 

Ultimately, the only way to combat backstabbing is through open communication and honesty. Clearing out any misunderstanding is an obvious choice and must be the first option.


A backstabber is someone who uses people to achieve his goals. They are deceitful and crafty. 

But the best way to protect yourself from a backstabber is to know how they think and plan. If you can decode their thinking process, you can prepare for them.

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