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What to Do When People Talk Behind Your Back

I've been an online writer for over nine years. From relationship advice to self-help, I like to write about it all!

Hatred. Disappointment. Rejection. Sadness. Anger. Are you dealing with any of these feelings and emotions simply because someone is talking behind your back? It is time you put a stop to all that. Here's a helpful and no-nonsense look into why people talk behind your back—and what you can do about it.

People will always gossip: You can only change the way you think about it when they do.

People will always gossip: You can only change the way you think about it when they do.

Why Do People Talk Behind Your Back?

1. You are an achiever.

People often talk behind your back when you've achieved something that they can't. Enviable progress often sparks conversations behind your back. People who are extremely successful often have to break out from the shell of the norms of society and culture in order to reach their position, and this very fact may be the reason why people are gossiping behind your back, whether it is in school, college, or at the workplace.

Let's look at Justin Bieber, for example. We are not going to debate about whether he is a good singer or not. But haven't we seen the millions of posts saying "I hate Justin Bieber" on the internet? That's because Justin has managed to break or circumvent many of the norms of traditionally good music.

2. They are jealous of the good things in your life.

Let's begin this with a classic workplace scenario. Mr. X joins ABC Ltd. Less than six months after joining the company, he is promoted and becomes a manager. Mr. Y and Miss Z, on the other hand, have been working in the company for the past two years, and have been eagerly waiting to be promoted to the same post. As a result of Mr. X's promotion, Mr. Y and Miss Z keep talking about Mr. X behind his back all day long.

Being promoted in the workplace was just one example. Unfortunately, when people become jealous of something you've done or received, they will talk behind your back.

3. They want to fit in.

According to anthropologists, gossip may have had a role in our evolution as a species—it helps humans bond with each other and helps members of a group identify those who don't support the group. In a modern environment, gossip still serves as a way to identify those who are and aren't "in" with the main group, whether that be in the classroom or at the office.

4. They've got nothing better to do.

The fact that people are talking about you means that they haven't got anything better to do. We all want lives that are more productive and meaningful than just gossiping and bitching about others. This leads to one simple fact: Their lives are miserable and pitiable.

What people say about you when you're not around says more about them than it does about you.

What people say about you when you're not around says more about them than it does about you.

How to Deal With People Who Gossip Behind Your Back

1. Silence is the best response to a fool.

One of the first things you have to understand is that, most of the time, there's nothing you can do about gossip. You may be able to silence one person to stop talking about you when you're not around, but how many people can you really convince?

Steve Jobs, for example, had a lot of critics who dismissed his management style marketing tactics, and even his personality—and you probably do too! No matter what you do and how good you are at something in life, there will always be people who think otherwise. They will talk behind your back in an attempt to pull you down.

2. Understand that they don't matter.

The people who talk behind your back obviously aren’t important in your life. If they really were, they wouldn't be talking about you! Your true happiness lies your progress and well being as an individual, as well as that of your loved ones. What everyone else has to say, think, or feel about how you live your life does not and should not affect your happiness or state of mind. Realize this before it's too late.

3. Smile confidently when you walk past them.

The biggest blow to anyone gossiping behind your back is the sight of you walking by with a confident smile that says "I know you talk behind my back, but I don't care." And if you really want to take this battle up a notch, put some zing into your step and walk as if you are the happiest person in the world. The person who keeps talking about you will be sure to notice.

4. Laugh it off.

One of the biggest blows you can give to the people who talk about you is your happiness. The fact that you are not affected or bothered by their talk is a big defeat to them.

5. Don't feel victimized.

As you may have realized by now, people might begin to talk about you when you have done something that others are jealous of. It's not you that they hate—it's your success. They would do the same to any other person in your position.

6. Build your own support system.

We all have friends and colleagues who watch out for us. If you don't, there's no reason to panic—we all have to start somewhere, don't we? Start by being nice to the people around you. Make a conscious effort to be polite, courteous, and respectful every single day. Show people that you're a good person, and their friendship will follow. Creating a following and a support system takes years, so be patient and treat every day as a challenge.

7. Plan your confrontation well.

Throwing a fit or overreacting in a situation like this is not going to help your cause. It will only show that you've been affected by what people are saying about you. Be relaxed and show that you are unperturbed by the rumors and gossip that have been going around. If you must react or confront a situation to clear up a rumor or misunderstanding, plan it well. Talk to the people you have to behind closed doors so there is no audience.

No matter what people say about you, keep doing you.

No matter what people say about you, keep doing you.

Don't React to the Negativity

Anybody who has achieved fame, wealth, or any other kind of success will have people talking about them behind their back—and to their face. Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Steve Jobs, Mohammed Ali, and Julia Gillard are just a few of the many people who are or have been criticized and ridiculed by people behind their backs.

Despite the fact that they were criticized and talked about by millions around the world, they were all successful in their own right. They are all living their dreams. Whether you agree with how they've achieved their dreams and whether that is the right way or not, they are still achievers.

Success Is the Best Revenge

You're not going to win this battle by arguing with each and every individual who talks behind your back. You are not going to win by throwing punches. And you're definitely not going to win by feeling disappointed and slouching in your chair at home. The only way you can get past this is by continuously improving your self and doing what you have been doing for your own happiness. Beat the odds and go for greater heights. What have you got to lose?