September 11, 2007 12:02pm CST
Why do ppl stab you in the back? I've just had a person who has been a very good friend for the past few years just turn around and stab me in the back for no reason that I can see. I've just found out that he's been spreading unsavory rumors about me for the last few months. I've had people act like they thought I was a leper because of these rumors. Now I find out this guy who was supposed to be a friend started them. Why would he do this and what do I do about him now?
• United States
11 Sep 07
Wow, I could just imagine the kind of consuming anger you may understandably have for this backstabber right now. As to your first question regarding the reasons behind backstabbing, though, I feel that, to be sure, there are actually many, but to my mind, the main reasons perhaps are: deviation from norms (societal or otherwise), envy/insecurity, deceptively strategic tool to achieve a desired outcome, or crab mentality. In a society where there are established, albeit unwritten or tacit, rules of good conduct or proper decorum to be observed, one may perhaps easily logically conclude that, as much as possible, all the members of such a society would obviously try their darn best to abide by such rules or norms, if only to belong, or be considered as respectably decent and obedient members (perhaps even worthy of deportment awards) of that particular society. In other words, they would opt to adhere to such unwritten rules of conduct simply because it would be in their best interest to do so. Now, if one of the unwritten rules in the specific society I'm talking about is not to be too straightforward or very blunt about things, or not to be confrontational in expressing things or opinions of others to the particular person/s concerned, then members of such a society would, as much as possible, definitely try to obey such a rule, given my explanation in the previous paragraph. To be sure, many would try to faithfully obey the rule wholeheartedly, and they would just keep to themselves whatever they want to say to others, especially if such are negative, if only to maintain the harmony in the society, and if they cannot really keep it to themselves, then they may perhaps express it in a manner that would not, as much as possible, offend the other person (ever wonder why double talk/speak seems to be prevalent?). Obviously, though, not all members of the society are blessed with the necessary discipline, strength of character, or fortitude to religiously obey the unwritten rule of cordiality and courtesy in the society, without resorting to devious ways to vent out their true opinion of others. So, the back stabbers, who still want to make it appear that they are, in fact, cordial/courteous individuals, or project an image of being rule-abiding, given the particular context I've painted, would still tend to suppress their true opinions of others, be it negative or not, but would resort to underhanded or crude methods such as backstabbing to really express what they truly feel about others, while shrewdly preserving their image of being rule-abiding in the society. Backstabbing, undoubtedly perhaps, could also result from insecurity or envy. How so, you may ask? When a person is envious/insecure of/with another, there would be greater probability that the insecure/envious one would resort to any conceivable wicked means such as, but not limited to, spreading nasty lies/rumors/gossips and back stabbing the person he/she is envious of in order to gravely tarnish, if not totally destroy, the image of the latter. By tarnishing or destroying the image or reputation of the person mr./ms. insecure is envious of, then he/she would perhaps feel a sense of superiority over the person he/she was initially envious/insecure of/with, since he/she has perhaps already reduced such person to the kind of despicably deplorable being he/she wants to reduce the victim to--one who is not worthy of being envied anymore. The other reason for back stabbing I've earlier stated, which may still be quite nebulous for you, was its being used as some kind of a deceptively strategic tool to achieve a desired outcome. Understandably, you may ask, what exactly is this animal? What precisely am I talking about? Kindly allow me to explain. As Aristotle rightly acknowledged, man is a political animal. Now, to be sure, whether we're aware of it, politics is present even in our daily lives--at home, in school, at the workplace, in government, and the long list goes on. Why does back stabbing come into the picture? Simply because it's perhaps one of the most convenient and easily accessible tools to reduce the power or influence of others and increase yours. To illuminate my point, I would consider how politicians act during elections. Naturally, politicians would drown the voting public with colorfully attractive promises to pander to them, and they would certainly project an image that is absolutely beyond reproach to get votes and win, of course. So, when they're in the presence of their political rivals, and knowing that they're under intense scrutiny and watchful eyes of the media and the voting public, they would amazingly be the most cordial and courteous human beings alive, even constantly praising the "moral integrity," "unrivaled statesmanship," and other BS (of course, couched in friendly terms) of their political opponents. However, once media is not keenly watching their every move, and they are with a small number or a sectoral group of voters already, for instance, lo and behold! The devil immediately comes to life. Endless mudslinging and back stabbing become the order of the day (this is what I meant when I said that backstabbing could be used as a deceptively strategic tool and the resulting votes, in turn, would be the desired outcome. As to why politicians would think that they would get votes by backstabbing, though, to be fully honest, escapes me). It goes without saying, however, that the employment of backstabbing as a tool to gain more clout or power could certainly always backfire. By the way, before I continue sharing my thoughts on this highly interesting discussion, I would just like to say that, to be fair, in my example about politicians, I am not, in any way, generalizing, since there may surely be "good" politicians who are hopefully still out there. Finally proceeding to the final reason for backstabbing I've initially stated, I feel strongly that, sadly, there are simply just some, if not most, who have crab mentality--an evil mentality where the crab essentially pulls down his/her fellow crab just to see him/her fail or not succeed. Extremely saddening as it may seem, others resort to backstabbing simply because they perhaps could not stand the idea that others are steadily climbing the ladder of success, while they remain stagnantly in the abyss of their shadowy existence. Simply put, they would rather see others fail than succeed and, as a result, they back stab them. Concerning your friend, on the other hand, I really feel that the most prudent thing to do right now is to confront him, and try to know from him exactly why he did this to you, especially if you still want to restore or recover your friendship, provided, of course, that you're already ready to come face to face with him, given the revolting thing he has done to you. If, on the other hand, you're so disgusted with him and with what he did to you, and you truly think that he would not ever change, or if he ever changes, you could not consider him as your friend anymore, then just try to totally forget about him for your own sake. However, if he still continues to back stab you and spread reputation-damaging lies or rumors about you, I strongly suggest that you carefully contemplate about filing a case of libel or any other pertinent cases against him in court to make him stop, and to, at the very least, be vindicated and even perhaps justifiably compensated for the humiliation he may have caused you. In the end, I could really only hope that everything would eventually turn out well for you, GalateaGoddess.