Do you have a sneaking suspicion that someone you know has an intense dislike for you?
Don’t worry, you can’t please everyone–this is just one of the universe’s unwritten laws.
Have you seen the comment section of even the most wholesome of Instagram posts? People will always find something to hate on, even when the negative energy is completely unwarranted.
Usually, this negative energy is a reflection of a person’s internal issues more than anything.
Regardless, when someone secretly hates you, they often make it known through microaggressions, such as the comments they make behind your back.
In this article, I’ll go through some of these hurtful phrases. Once you get the idea, you can act accordingly. Let’s dive in!
1) “They’re just lucky”
It’s pretty insulting when you think about it, particularly when you know you’ve put the work in. They’re saying your success is akin to winning the lottery.
This is quite common in the workplace, where employees are constantly vying for promotions and higher positions.
They may act happy in front of you, even congratulating you. But deep down, the jealousy is eating them away like a parasitic infection.
Years ago, when I started to expand my business, one of my former employees and an old friend, would tell other mutual friends how “lucky” I was to have made it that far.
She claimed that I actually lacked the tools to run a successful business.
We shared the same social circle, and gradually, we distanced ourselves from each other.
She resented that I was doing well without her, and I was disappointed she had to yammer on about me without my knowledge.
2) “They’re just trying to show off”
When you’re truly secure within yourself, you don’t feel the need to put down others regardless of whether they are showing off or not.
I remember Nelson Mandela once saying: “Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
So the next time you feel the urge to dismiss or belittle someone’s personal achievements as bragging, think twice.
Accomplishments should be celebrated.
If you’ve opened a business or run the first marathon of your life, feel free to boast! You’ve earned it.
Just remember, moderation is always key, so you can keep those haters at bay and, more importantly, avoid conceit.
3) “They’re a fake”
Here’s the thing: coming across as “fake” is purely subjective. Ask yourself, are you genuine with your interactions or are you overly concerned about your image?
If it’s the former, then chances are this hate-spewing peer of yours has something against you that goes beyond your perceived plasticity.
And if the negative sentiment comes from someone within your circle, as in the case of my old employee/friend, this could just be a ploy to turn people against you.
Maybe you snubbed them at a party or you didn’t offer condolences when their cat passed away–people can get triggered for a whole bunch of reasons.
You can speculate all you want but unless you confront them directly, it’ll be hard to decipher the real truth.
4) “They always think they’re right”
Real talk: When someone thinks you’re a know-it-all, chances are they might feel threatened or inferior by your capabilities and intellect.
They might consider you arrogant or self-centered even though this isn’t necessarily true.
Who knows, maybe they’ve experienced past trauma from an arrogant relative or former partner and are now easily triggered by people they feel share similar traits.
If you feel their opinion of you is a stretch or altogether untrue, then don’t let it get to you, it’s not your fault you’re smarter than they are!
5) “They’re only out for themselves”
Have you ever dealt with a narcissist? If so, you might’ve used this phrase or some variation of it when discussing them with other friends.
If you don’t necessarily feel like you’re an inconsiderate egotist and you catch wind of someone harboring these feelings about you, chances are they simply aren’t too fond of you.
Maybe they don’t really know you well and have seen you do or say something they misconstrued as selfish.
From my experience, you can’t really judge a person from a brief encounter. But this is the unfortunate reality: we’re collectively quite a judgemental species.
6) “I can’t stand them”
When someone uses this one, they’re not exactly being subtle about their disdain for you. Think back, perhaps you’ve wronged them in the past.
If you can’t think of anything, then I’ll bet they’re just feeling insecure and jealous of you and your position in life.
If the latter is the case, try not to lose sleep over it. As we’ve established earlier, you can’t please everyone.
Humans really can be a complicated bunch.
How to deal with someone who talks behind your back
I know… conflict can be stressful and challenging… and having to address that volatility even more so. But if the latter involves someone you value, then taking things a step further can be beneficial to all parties.
Here are some steps you can take to address the situation:
Step 1: Verify the info
Before you even make a move, confirm that the information is accurate.
People like to talk and spread rumors and half-truths.
Miscommunications and misunderstandings come up all the time, so it’s crucial you dig deeper and know the real story before taking action.
Step 2: Take a step back to reflect
Instead of acting rashly, take some time to process and absorb the information you’ve been given. Acting out on emotion alone can make a bad situation worse.
Step 3: Methodically plan the approach
Think rationally and consider your options on how to tackle the situation. Maybe it doesn’t even warrant the hassle and you can consider dropping it, hence saving your energy for more important things.
Ask people you trust for advice, if necessary.
But you also may want to get it over with–in which case you should consider having a direct, one-on-one conversation with the other party to iron things out.
Step 4: Communicate your thoughts clearly
If you do opt to speak with this person face to face, try to be the bigger person by speaking in a calm, respectful, and rational manner.
Employ “I” statements to express your feelings, i.e. “I felt betrayed when I heard you said that…”. This can make the dialogue constructive and not antagonistic; and as a bonus, you’re showing plenty of class.
Step 5: Hear them out
Remember, there are always two sides to every coin. Maybe there’s been a monumental misunderstanding or maybe you’ve wronged them unknowingly.
Provide them with the opportunity to explain their actions.
Step 6: Assert those boundaries
Just because they have their reasons and appear apologetic, asserting your boundaries is still the right thing to do.
Let them know what types of behavior you find to be unacceptable.
Step 7: Evaluate the relationship
If they react defensively and don’t have an adequate reason for talking behind your back, then it may be high time to strongly reevaluate your relationship with this person.
If they refuse to change their behavior, it’s in your interest to keep your distance.
Step 8: Don’t overlook self-care
Don’t let this situation consume you as this can take a real toll on your mental health.
Continue partaking in activities that bring you joy and regain balance such as fun workouts or spending quality time with loved ones.
Step 10: Forgive, but do not forget
Sadly, if you don’t choose to forgive, you’ll never really have closure. This toxic cloud will be hanging over you for God knows how long.
So forgive them–this doesn’t mean you have to stay best buds but letting go of negative feelings will have a powerful effect on your peace of mind.
Consider the outcome of the relationship a valuable lesson as you move past it.
To recap, I’d like to put things into perspective. Most of the people in life we come across are likely there temporarily.
If someone you know has gone to the extreme of shit-talking behind your back, consider it their loss.
When it comes to our relationships, time has a way of weeding out unnecessary people and keeping those that matter. It’s as simple as that. Quality over quantity always–this mindset has become more and more relevant to me each day.
Having said that, it’s still a shame if someone you value went has spoken ill of you.
It’s often worth looking into; maybe things are still salvageable or, as mentioned, there was some glaring miscommunication. Communication is key.
Context is critical too. Often, we say things we don’t mean out of frustration rather than genuine hatred. Regardless, it’s up to you to decide if things are worth fixing. Sometimes things aren’t even worth the time.
Let’s face it: we’re all on our own paths, with our own respective dreams and goals… anything more can just be a distraction.