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When people talk behind your back

Updated on November 1, 2011

Hatred. Disappointment. Rejection. Sadness. Anger. Trauma. Distress. Envy. Weakness. Defeat. Giving up. Revenge. Depression. Let down. Annoyed.

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

People will talk behind your back throughout your life. Not because you are weak, but because you and your life are worthy of being talked about
People will talk behind your back throughout your life. Not because you are weak, but because you and your life are worthy of being talked about | Source

Why people talk behind your back

1) You are an achiever

In many cases, people will talk behind your back when you've achieved something that they can't. It is enviable progress that 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. 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 take the classic example of Justin Bieber. We are not going to debate about whether he is a good singer or not. But haven't we seen the millions of "I hate Justin Bieber" posts on the internet? That's because Justin has managed to break, or should we say, flout many of the generally considered norms of traditional music.

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

Let's begin this with another classic example and scenario. Mr. X joins ABC Ltd. In less than 6 months, Mr. X gets promoted and becomes a manager. Mr. Y and Miss Z have been working in the company since the last 2 years and have been eagerly waiting to be promoted to the same post. But this newbie, Mr. X beat them to it. Mr. Y and Miss Z keep talking about Mr. X behind his back all day long.

Being promoted at the workplace was just an example. The hard fact of life is that when people become jealous of the something you've done or received, they will talk behind your back.

3) They've got nothing better to do

The fact that people are talking about you means that they've really not got anything better to do. Surely we'd all want our lives to be more productive and more meaningful than gossiping and bitching about others. This leads to one simple fact. Their lives are miserable and pitiable.

What to do when people talk behind your back

1) Do nothing

One of the first things you have to acknowledge and understand is that there's nothing you can do. You may be able to silence or convince one person who talks about you when you're not listening. But how many people in the world are you going to try to convince? Do you know that even a person like Steve Jobs had a lot of critics who dismissed his management and marketing style, and even his personality? The point that we're trying to get across is that no matter what you do and how good you are at anything in life, there will 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'd be on your side, wouldn't they? Your true happiness lies in the progress and well being of you as an individual and that of your loved ones including family and friends. What everyone else has to say, think or feel 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

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 a notch up, put some zing into your step and walk as if you are the happiest person in the world when you walk past the people who talk behind your back.

4) Laugh it out

One of the biggest blow that people who talk behind your back can receive, is your happiness in the overall scheme of things. The fact that you are not affected or bothered by their talks is a big defeat to them in the first place.

5) Don't feel victimized

As you may have realized by now, a situation when people talk behind your back begins when you have achieved or done something that others are jealous of. All this really points out to only one fact - You are the victor from the very beginning. Play your role of being the victor, celebrate and rejoice about the fact that people find you worth talking about.

6) Build up your own support system

Yes, we all have friends and colleagues who will watch out for us. If you don't, there's no reason to panic because we all have to start somewhere, don't we? Start by being nice to the people around you who really matter. Make a conscious effort to be nice, every single day. This will rub off and you will lay the foundation of having your very own following. 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 over reacting in a situation like this is not going to help your cause. It will only prove the fact that you have been mentally affected by what people are talking about you, behind your back. Be relaxed and most importantly, show that you are unperturbed by the rumors and gossip that's been going around. If you must react or confront to a situation, plan it well. Talk to those responsible behind closed doors so there is no audience.

An eye opener

For those of you who are still in doubt, here's a quick look at a few who are, or have been criticized and ridiculed by people who talked behind their backs.

Barack Obama

Kim Kardashian

Julia Gillard

Justin Bieber

Steve Jobs

Paris Hilton

Mohammed Ali

Michael Jackson

Do you now understand this eye opener, and realize what they all have in common? Besides 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. How they've achieved their dreams and whether that is the right way is a separate debate we are not going to get in to. Bottom line is that they are achievers.

The only way to win

No, you're not going to win the battle by arguing with each and every individual who talks behind your back. No, 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 will win is by progressing and continue doing what you have been doing for your own happiness. The only way you are going to win is by beating the odds and achieving greater heights. Go for it!

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    • profile image

      May 5 weeks ago

      so basically everytime i meet someone new they trash talk me the first thing. i do absolutely nothing and i just act normal, but some how they still trash talk me

    • profile image

      Craycray 6 weeks ago

      Every day I get bullied behind my back and because of this I lost all my friends and tomorrow the first day of a new grade and I don't know what will happen always depressed and no one outside of school knows about it some days during school I can't hold my head up.

    • profile image

      Aleksandra 7 months ago

      This is a very good article. Today during guitar class, we had to do this group guitar playing thing. I'm not so good at guitar and this girl would laugh and then pretend like I'm an idiot or something and scream to my face. Whenever I played my part wrong her and another girl would laugh behind my back, as if I couldn't hear them, or they would roll their eyes. All I was thinking is that some people take longer then others to learn some stuff, and that they should not be judged. This article helped out thanks!

    • profile image

      Tan M 12 months ago

      Thank you! I'm always very concerned about what other people think of me. I do not want my Reputation to be damaged by people who try to make me look unprofessional or worse, as if I lack integrity. Because I pride myself on integrity. But reading your article is great! Your article reminds me that as long as I walk on straight paths and I'm not doing anything wrong, only God's and my own opinion matter to me.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Good points indeed! Happens everywhere specially in the work place. One word for them: "insecure".

      Well, what's the saying again? "Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” --

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Some useful tips and discussion that one can share with children who are both sensitive or suffering with back biting.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      I hate office intrigues, where people put down others whom they consider a threat and it goes on and on. It can be such a ridiculous game and it's sad that people think they have to do this to get ahead. Your observations, statements and advice are spot on. One thing I learned -- in the Philippines we have this term, parinig, which means we don't just gossip behind your back but in front of you without mentioning your name. I guess in the States they call it heckling. I have found that if you can completely ignore it and they see that their shenanigans are not working, they finally give up. But it's very difficult to do.

    • MichelleNatalie profile image

      Michelle Natalie 3 years ago from California

      Hey Princess...this happens at work too. With many people I may add. Me, friends, and others. It's true people when people talk behind your back they are just jealous. Ignore and move on. Great tips!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am a freshman in highschool and I have been going to the same school my whole life with the same people. I live in a small town with a lot of talk and my family isn't the most well off family ever. Anyway there are these girls in my grade who talk about me behind my back and it really got to me when one said "She thinks that she has money because she wears Miss Me jeans." So now I am not only afraid to walk past these mean girls at school but I am afraid to wear the kind of clothes I want.

    • profile image

      jeen 4 years ago

      like like like

    • profile image

      Jahmila 4 years ago

      Great points. Usually when people talk behind someone's back is because they are either a) bored with their own life and have nothing else to discuss with other people b) you had/have an impact on them in some way. I mean think about it. Who is actually taking their time to converse about someone else behind their back when they could just go and say it to their face and settle it. i guess it is just hard for some people do that. I think it is best for people to use their words to either a) discuss growth, things they can do with their life, and etc of that nature b) good things about others/events/etc...

      I know gossip seems fun and the media makes it seem that way but really all it does is give one side of the story and exposes someone's life. There are better things to do that hate/discuss what someone did. Get a life. lol..really tho. :)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      What great advice! You're so right...the best revenge is living well. We can't stop the criticism but we can learn to cope with it. A belated congrats for HOTD, too. Voted up!

    • Forever Inspired profile image

      Forever Inspired 5 years ago

      thanks I enjoyed reading this article. Very true about the reasons why people talk behind your back. Maybe if they spent more time focusing on their own progress they would not even care what other people are doing.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      This is an extremely well-written hub with an equally eye-catching topic that syncs well with this engaging subject being tackled very well by you! We should ignore others who gossip about us and do our own work. It do a lot of good for us! This is much well-deserved hub of the day! Well-done! I like your examples under the eye-opener. I often use examples as well as enjoy reading other example-based hubs.

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up.

    • profile image

      grace+georgia 5 years ago

      i found this hub very interesting.. its helped us a lot.. thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      thanks for sharing this...it is sad that some find it necessary to 'talk behind someone's back' and what is sadder is that others listen. shame on them.

      if one is not thickskinned, it can be very painful and stressful especially if what is being said is mean spirited.

      your suggestions of how to deal with it are sound ones...well said.

    • skys profile image

      Samad Aslam Khan 5 years ago

      It is one of the best hub I read yet while I'm on Hubpages. It's quite informative and interesting. Title is awesome.

    • Shauntforever profile image

      Shauntforever 5 years ago from San Bernardino, CA

      I already know I'm admired. So I expect it!

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      lzlpio90

      You are right, jealousy is a common reason why people talk behind your back. The fact that you don't care about all this shows that you are much above these dirty tricks. Well done, you sure seem poised for bigger things in life.

      Princesswithapen

    • lzlpio90 profile image

      lzlpio90 5 years ago

      What i say when i know someone is talking behind my back? I would just put in mind that "I don't care because they don't matter to me..." LOL.

      Really, the most common reason for these is yes, if you are an "achiever". People getting jealous over you and starting to find some of your faults... If they can't find, then this is when the rumors start.

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi moiragallaga

      Your comment means a lot especially because your thoughts agree with the points mentioned in this hub. It is great to see when people can relate to what you write, isn't it? I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Princesswithapen

    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I loved this hub, very relevant topic and you share some wonderful insights and thoughts about how to deal with this situation. I wholeheartedly agree with the points you raise. Thank you for sharing this.

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi Super Single Mom

      Thanks heaps for the feedback. I love it when readers like what they are reading. Especially when it comes to such a sensitive topic.

      Princesswithapen

    • profile image

      Super Single Mom 5 years ago

      This is GREAT! Thank you! All so very true.

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi TransferOnTheSpot

      "..life is too short to worry about people who don't matter.." Very true! Family and friends are indeed out pillars of support.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Princesswithapen

    • TransferOnTheSpot profile image

      TransferOnTheSpot 5 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I completely agree that most people who crap are just jealous of what the other person has achieved and life is too short to worry about people who don't matter. All you need is family and close friends.

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Wow! reeltaulk you've really put up a solid post which lays out a lot of key points. For one, I have to agree that these people will always be on your back. Second, people often talk behind your back to deter or break you. And that fact should be used as motivation to keep going and eventually succeed. Most successful people really don't need to fight situations like these because their success itself is enough to silence the critics.

      Your comments have added a lot of value and wisdom to this topic. Much appreciated and thanks for taking the time to dissect this topic!

      Princesswithapen

    • profile image

      reeltaulk 5 years ago

      Hi again princess......Anupa I agree with your post! The only thing I have to say about back biting is it is a means to a way of allowing that person to break you and deter you from being who you were meant to be. If you notice, they are always on your back, mainly trying to scold you and make you just as insecure as they are. That's why it is very important to recognize these types. They are never consistent with their behavior(outside of being negative) they never have great advice to give and when they do, they try to make it seem great with their approach (showing concern/sincerity )but in all essence doom is written all over what they have to offer. They are never sincere and strings are always attached to everything they "share" and do for you!

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      frugalfamily

      On a general basis, we all should try to avoid being a part of this. You are right. Thanks heaps for commenting!

      Textured Ideas

      Wow I'm humbled by your comment. It is heart warming to read the appreciation. Thanks a ton.

      Denise Handlon

      Thanks!

      rogerwaters

      your comment is like the words of a wise man. Thanks for adding value to this hub.

      arusho

      I'm glad you've gotten over those phobias and notions you had earlier. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      rorshak sobchak

      It feels great to receive feedback from you fellow hubbers like yourself. Thanks for stopping by.

      DzyMsLizzy

      You've made a solid comment. I love your line "..We each choose our own path, are are responsible for our own happiness. It is not up

      to others to 'make' us happy.."

      reeltaulk

      "..from reasons not even a rodent can understand.." Haha that was epic!

      htodd

      I'm glad you liked it.

      anupma

      If only life was that simple! But you're right. It happens to most of us and there is no need to be upset.

      tanvon

      Thanks!

    • tanvon profile image

      tanvon 5 years ago

      nice...

    • anupma profile image

      Dr Anupma Srivastava 5 years ago from India

      Great Post..... It mostly happens in everyone's life. Backbiting shows that you are special, so one need not to become upset. It is the time of merriment that people are talking about you........

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the great post..nice

    • profile image

      reeltaulk 5 years ago

      I forgot to add princess, Yes these people are sooooooooooooo unimportant but for some strange and distant reason their bulls shit somehow becomes priority. Every time I see someone I don't care for that I have to deal with "professionally" I'm like Hey!!! Just to be "mature" and carry on.....but some times I really want to be like...Oh Boy You again!!! But then there are those times I just let them have it so they can keep their distance and I don't have to entertain "bipolar behavior" by "being nice" and know damn well I don't want to! It just feels better to keep your distance from someone who doesn't like you for reasons not even a rodent can understand. Just the thought of who they are overall is repulsive especially if they can stoop so low with things that are so simple and trivial....Ok Ok I've said enough Good night! lol

    • profile image

      reeltaulk 5 years ago

      May be so DzyMsLizzy, but the folk I'm talking about are the "normal ones" that are constantly smiling but are really frowning!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      RE: reeltaulk's 1st paragraph: ... ... Ummmm... don't they call those folks

      "politicians?" ;-)

    • profile image

      reeltaulk 5 years ago

      It NeVER fails.....some people are so low and bored with their lives they will trump up and make up things about others just to have something negative to say. (I believe this is called reflection/projection...whatever) They do this so the individual they envy will be on the same scum level as they are. Then they turn around and convince another bored fools into believing a lie that they will also live to tell and revel in as well. It just never ends. My best suggestion to anyone that has to entertain these type of people as well as be in their midst on a day to day basis, sensing and having to breath whatever negative energies that are spewing from their pores...Ignore them! This is not a tactic to get back or make them feel any way because they can't feel any worse than how they are feeling. Igonore them as though they don't exist and carry on your merry way. There is absolutely NO need to pay anyone as such attention. Whatever little you give them them will take that opportunity to do more damage than they already think they are doing! lol You have to laugh at this because somewhere inside their shallow head they believe their actions should affect you.....Ciao

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Excellent points, all. It reminds me of the old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." You could simply substitute 'words' for 'names' and have the same meaning.

      If you are hurt, jealous, angry, etc. over what someone says, it is only because you have, within yourself, allowed them to hurt you--in effect, given them permission to have that kind of power over you.

      The choice remains yours: ignore it and go your merry way, or give it power and life and let it destroy you. It's up to each of us to decide for ourselves whose opinions matter, and whose do not. We each choose our own path, are are responsible for our own happiness. It is not up to others to 'make' us happy.

      That is why I feel that all this hoopla about 'bullying' (especially so-called 'cyber-bullying') is such a crock of --shall we say, for decorum's sake-- nitrogenous waste material! Each person who allows that sort of thing to 'get to them' has, in fact, given power to their tormentors. 'Nuff said!

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 5 years ago

      Excellent hub! Well written, great detail. You deserve hub of the day! Congratulations!

    • arusho profile image

      arusho 5 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      This is great advice! When I was in junior high, some friends of mine talked behind my back, and I was crushed. I became very afraid and thought everyone were talking behind by back. That lasted a long time for me as I developed phobias. I'm strong today, thank goodness. I think it really boils to down to confidence, and as a teenager I didn't have much. I will definitely pass this advice on!

    • rogerwaters profile image

      rogerwaters 5 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Bullying is a social disease. No seminar, talk show can control this. It is the only way to avoid all talk backs. As I think, it is better to think that when someone is talking behind you, it is confirmed that you are doing something right. In my personal life, whenever my relatives (not my parents)or my so called well-wishers said something against my own view of life, I got more strict on my track and finally when success has come in my life, I have seen those very people are just licking my feet for getting some advice of success for their children. I just want to forgive them. A neglecting laugh is enough for their mental punishment...

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Good article with useful info. Congrats on the hub of the day. Looks like you are really going strong in just 4 short months.

    • profile image

      Textured Ideas 5 years ago

      Congratulations on being hub of the day! It is well deserved. I agree its important to instead try and focus on our own lives and not let negative people get to us, if possible. A joy to read and such a positive article!

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      Excellent tips, I especially like your list of reason why people do this to each other. Just as everyone has experienced someone talking about them, they have also participated in this type of activity once or twice in their life. Its important to put a stop to it when you find yourself in the middle don't you think? I've heard myself say "Come on guys, [yes, guys]he's not here to defend himself."

      Congrats on being featured, it's a hub worth reading!

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      That's wishful thinking, Simone!

      On a serious note, it is generally considered that the people who can eliminate the effect of such things are generally happier and more successful in their lives. Yes, it is easier said than done. But who said anything about easy when it came to living a happy life?

      I'm glad you liked this hub!

      P

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      What an excellent Hub. If only these things couldn't get to us!

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi ytsenoh

      The unfortunate part about these situations is that such insecurities often get to the best of us. As annoying as they may be, some people always seem to have all the time in the world to indulge in some such. I'm glad you liked this hub!

      P

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi AureliaMilani

      You've got the perfect attitude! "I don't care and smile" is one of the best weapons against times when people talk behind your back.

      P

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Really good hub. It's interesting how childish behavior and the effects of insecurities stay with certain mindsets. I also equate this to gossiping, which I find very annoying, but never let it overshadow my goals. Thumbs up to you.

    • AureliaMilani profile image

      AureliaMilani 5 years ago

      The most importantly the right attitude of all those things that say behind your backs!!! You can say: "I don't cary and smile", such reaction you should have guys)))

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      TH

      You're right. People happy in their own skin have little to worry about what others have to say behind their backs. It may be a bit hard for a younger person to implement this. But that's the whole idea, isn't it? The quicker that we all realize that happiness comes from within, and not from what others have to say about you, the better.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      P

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Very thorough and reasonable advice about how to deal with this situation. Helpful Hub.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 5 years ago from home

      pWp,

      good advice but-hard to complete as a younger person for sure- not until kids-people are happy in their own skin will they be truly happy- its tougher for the younger folks for sure

      TH

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Husky

      Great elaboration on the existing example! I definitely agree that this is very common. And there's really no point wasting time and energy behind putting much thought into what others have to say, unless it hurts you professionally or financially. You've made a solid comment which adds a lot of weight to this hub. Thanks!

      P

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi lady rain

      "..Life is too good to worry about other people who are jealous of what you have.." You've made a beautiful statement. Life is indeed, too good to be worried about what others have to say about you.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      P

    • profile image

      Husky1970 5 years ago

      People talking behind others' backs is incredibly common, both socially and in the workplace. You have brought up some excellent points and provided some very sound advice, princesswithapen.

      In the case of the workplace, the problem can sometimes be headed off. Mr. X could immediately meet with both Mr. Y and Miss Z, alone and separate, to let them know that he is aware of their disappointment and that it was not his fault that he was selected for promotion, but rather his abilities and expertise. He may win them over or they may still harbor resentment and talk behind his back. If they chose the latter, it only supports the decision to pass them over for promotion.

      Another excellent and useful hub, P. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 5 years ago from Australia

      Princess, great advice. I have people talk behind my back all the time. That does not bother me at all because I am in control of my own life and I like to do things my own way. Life is too good to worry about other people who are jealous of what you have.

    • princesswithapen profile image
      Author

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Slightly Bonkers

      I'm sorry you had to go through bullying but really glad that you came out stronger.

      I've stated Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson because they've been successful in their own right. Whether or not they did good or bad, well, that's a separate moral debate. From an individual perspective, they got what they wanted despite being bitched about.

      A lesson we can take from these people is to keep going and never be put down when someone talks behind our backs.

      I'm glad you found this interesting!

      P

    • Slightly Bonkers profile image

      Slightly Bonkers 5 years ago from Ireland

      Hi there, interesting article. I was bullied at school too and have to say it only made me stronger. However there were a few nights I have to admit where I cried myself to sleep wondering why I am the odd one out.

      However stating Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson in your article I don't think they came out the strongest from being bullied. In my opinian they are and were very troubled people and lonely souls.