SINGAPORE: A Singaporean employee took to an online forum on Saturday (June 8) to ask others how she should deal with a colleague who is notorious for spreading rumours and gossip.

In her post, she described her colleague as someone in her 40s who seemed to enjoy sharing stories about others, including minor mistakes made at work, regardless of how inconsequential they were.

“She is also really good at taking what you say out of context to make you look bad,” she said. After being targeted by her colleague, she expressed that she now feels extremely unsafe or anxious around her.

“Honestly, I do not know why I’m one of her targets when I did not do anything to her. She has ruined my reputation at work (new colleagues have a bad impression of me).”

“How would you deal with such a colleague?”

“Report to HR that you feel unsafe/anxious.”

In the comments section, one Redditor advised her to take the high road and not engage in gossip or negativity, as her competence and professionalism would eventually speak for themselves.

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She added that if she hears her colleague gossiping about others, she should say she’s not interested or leave the conversation.

Likewise, suppose she catches her colleague speaking negatively about her; in that case, she is advised to address it directly and tell her it’s unprofessional and that HR will get involved if it continues.

Another Redditor recommended going directly to HR and reporting her colleague’s behaviour.

However, they cautioned that presenting factual information without emotion is essential, providing specific dates, occasions, and apparent issues.

He added, “Once you report to HR that you feel unsafe/anxious or it’s a poor work environment, they will take action.”

A third Redditor chimed in and assured her that the new colleagues would eventually see through her colleague’s behaviour. “One day they will kanna her BS as well. Then you all will be friends already.

“Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is that if you make a mistake, think of a solution to rectify it. Don’t make a mistake, then hide it to give people the impression that you’re damn perfect.”

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How to deal with workplace backstabbers

According to the Washington Post, an American news platform based in Washington, D.C., when dealing with workplace backstabbers, it’s important to assess the situation carefully and analyze whether what they’re saying behind your back is true.

For example, if they’re telling people that you slacked off on a project, note all the work you did on that project. If HR or someone higher up asks you about it, you can show them what you’ve accomplished and shut down the backstabbing.

You can also try confronting them about this and letting them know you’re aware of what they’re saying about you behind your back.

You can calmly tell them about your evidence of their behaviour, how it’s affecting you, and what might happen if they keep it up. You could also talk to your mentor about it, but make sure to do it in a professional way that doesn’t make you look bad.

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Focus your efforts on performing well in your job. Let your colleagues see the passion and dedication you bring to your tasks. This shows that you’re a true professional and shuts down any gossip or attempts to undermine you.

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Featured image by Depositphotos