The workplace can be a competitive, toxic environment, and even feel like a warzone at times!
Managing coworker relationships can be tricky, to say the least.
If you’re not prepared or equipped to deal with two-faced coworkers, you risk getting pushed out, steamrolled, or taken advantage of.
Today, all of that stops!
Here are 10 tips for dealing with two-faced coworkers:
10 Tips For Dealing With Two-Faced Coworkers
1. Never Confront Them in Anger
If you’ve ever seen two coworkers shouting or arguing in the office in front of everyone, you’ll know how bad it looks.
You never want to be that person, no matter how much a two-faced coworker is winding you up.
When you’re feeling anger towards a two-faced coworker, take some deep breaths, walk away, and come back when you’ve calmed down.
You can deal with the situation much better with a clear head and you’ll end up looking like the bigger, more professional person for it.
2. Make Sure You’re Sure of What They’re Doing
Before you go and confront a two-faced coworker, make sure you’re 100% positive that they are actually being two-faced.
There’s nothing worse than wrongly accusing someone and then having to backtrack and apologize.
If you’re not sure, ask a trusted colleague for their opinion. Ideally, you’ll get two independent sources to confirm your suspicions, journalistic-style.
You absolutely have to be 100% sure you know someone is being two-faced before saying anything.
3. Note Down Any Evidence
If you’re sure that a coworker is being two-faced, start noting down any evidence or instances where they’ve exhibited this behavior.
This could be anything from them saying one thing to your face and then another behind your back, or making promises they don’t keep.
Having this evidence to hand will help you when it comes to confronting them.
Plus, if the situation ever escalates, you have a record of their two-faced behavior to show to your boss or HR department.
4. Always Keep Your Cool and Act Professional
When you confront a two-faced coworker, it’s important to always keep your cool and act professionally.
This isn’t personal, I’m sure it’s just business on their side.
You want to be the bigger person here and act like an adult, not a child having a tantrum.
Keep your emotions in check, speak calmly and clearly, and don’t get defensive.
This isn’t about winning an argument or proving a point, it’s about solving a problem so you can both move on.
5. Let Them Know You’re Aware of What They’re Doing
Once you’ve calmed down and are ready to talk to them, let them know that you’re aware of their two-faced behavior.
You’re never going to find a solution and put a stop to their behavior without talking to them about it.
It’s not going to be an easy discussion to have, and you might even find they deny everything and it makes them target you even worse afterward.
But you have to try. It’s always going to be better if you get your feelings out in the open and not keep it all bottled up.
6. Talk with Trusted Coworkers to Confirm Your Suspicions
If you’re still not sure whether or not a coworker is being two-faced, talk to some other trusted coworkers.
See if they’ve noticed the same things you have and get their opinion on the situation.
It can be really helpful to talk to someone else about any issues as it gives you some outside perspective and helps lessen the burden.
Just make sure you pick people you trust, who will be honest with you and aren’t two-faced themselves!
7. Don’t Hold a Grudge or Look for Revenge
If a two-faced coworker has wronged you, it can be tempting to look for revenge or hold a grudge.
But that’s not going to solve anything and will just make the situation worse.
You’re going to have to work with this person day in and day out, so it’s in your best interest to try and let it go.
Also, it’s just bad for your mental health to hold a grudge or resentment towards someone, it’ll boil over into your personal life if you do, I can guarantee it.
8. Talk to Your Boss About It
If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be working, it might be time to talk to your boss about the situation.
This should only be done as a last resort as it’s going to upset the balance in your workplace, but sometimes it’s the only way to get through to someone.
Your boss has a duty to make sure no employees are being toxic and causing issues within the workplace, so you can only hope they take action.
9. Distance Yourself from Them
If the situation is getting worse, the best thing you can do is distance yourself from the two-faced coworker.
This might mean avoiding them as much as possible, or even asking to be moved to a different team if you work in the same department.
It’s not going to be easy and it might make you feel like they’re winning, but it might be the only way to protect yourself from their behavior and stop them from impacting your work.
Either way, they’ve revealed their true intentions and personality and it’s clear they’re not a good person, so distancing yourself is only going to be a good thing.
10. Outperform Them!
One of the best ways you can show a two-faced person that they’re not affecting you while also making them feel small is to outperform them at work.
Prove to them that their behavior and words mean nothing by continuing to work hard, being the best you can be, and reaching your goals.
Hopefully, they’ll get a wake-up call that they’re wasting their time and energy playing two-faced games, and look up to you as someone who is better at their job than they are!
Image credits – Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.