The wound is usually deep, wide, bleeds for a long time and is very hard to get over. I’m sure you have known a person who finds pleasure in inflicting this type of terrible pain on others. No? Sure you do! We call them backstabbers.

A backstabber is “A traitor or hypocrite, such as a co-worker or friend assumed trustworthy, but who verbally attacks when one’s back is turned.”


These people may claim to be your “best friends” or a co-worker who has “got your back,” but they are really mean-spirited, gossiping liars. Backstabbers have a goal of personal gain or power and can cause real damage. Whether it is in your social circle or at work, the lies told by this type of person are damaging and often can’t be undone even if confronted and proven to be wrong.

When I was married to my first husband, we were able to have lunch with each other almost every day. He would pick me up at the door and then we would drive to the parking lot of the nearest bank, park under the trees and eat our lunch. At the time, he had a tiny little truck and the big cooler we used to keep our lunch fresh barely fit between us.

Most people thought that our young love was “so cute” or “just beautiful.” All I knew was that I enjoyed our times together. I was too young and naive to understand the harm of backstabbers in the workplace.

On one bright, sunny day, my manager called me into her office. She was young and had never been a manager before and in retrospect, I bet she was nervous.

“How are you doing today?” she asked.

Thinking it was a weird question considering I only had about an hour before my “day” was over, I said, “Fine, thank you.”

“That’s good,” she said while looking down and slightly shaking her head up and down. “Did you enjoy your lunch?”

Now I knew this was a very strange conversation. “Yes, very much,” I said.

“The whole building is buzzing and it is because of your lunches with your husband. You have to stop eating lunch with him,” she boldly stated.

The building where I worked was a LARGE building with MANY floors. I had absolutely NO IDEA why anyone was talking about my lunch, nor did I understand why she thought I had to stop eating with my husband.

“I’m not going to stop eating lunch with my husband,” I replied just as boldly.

“If you do not stop having lunch with your husband, I am going to fire you.”

Completely confused and quite angry I said, “You CAN NOT fire me for having lunch with my husband! Why are you saying this to me!?!”

In a very calm voice and looking me straight in the eyes, she said, “Everyone is talking about how you go down to lunch with your husband and have sex in the parking lot of the bank every day. That is very bad business behavior.”

I think my jaw probably dropped to the floor, but just as quickly my redheaded anger shot to the ceiling. At the time, I did not control my temper at all. In fact, my temper controlled me which is why I yelled, “I DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH MY HUSBAND IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE BANK! WHERE DID YOU GET SUCH AN ABSURD IDEA! WE BARELY FIT IN HIS TRUCK WITH THE COOLER BETWEEN US!!!!”

That is when she made her mistake. She glanced out her “all glass office wall” behind me. I whipped around to see her staring straight at the older, redheaded woman in my department who was looking straight at us. Suddenly, it all made sense and my stomach sank.

“I’m going to consider this conversation over, but first I want to tell you something,” I said barely containing my anger through gritted teeth, “I have never had sex in the truck in front of the bank. My husband and I are newlyweds and we enjoy talking as we eat our lunch each day. We don’t go out to lunch because we do not make enough money to do so which is why I pack our food in a giant cooler. You obviously have believed a liar and I highly advise you to let her know that I am getting an attorney. I am going to sue her for slander and you for falsely accusing me.”

Now it was my manager’s turn to have her jaw drop. I knew that we did not have the money for an attorney to sue such a larger corporation, but it sounded good anyway. I calmly stood up, opened her office door and stood briefly in the doorway looking at everyone in the large open area. My eyes stopped and rested on the gossiping, backstabber. She squirmed in her chair and looked down at her desk.

Seething, I walked to my desk, grabbed my purse and went straight to the Human Resources department.

Although both the redheaded backstabber and my manager had to apologize to me, the rumors were very much alive and in my face the entire time I worked for the company. I was so embarrassed for such a very long time and cried many a tear over the humiliating lies.

I know that I am not the only person who has suffered from the words of a backstabber, so here are a few tips to help you avoid being in situations that can be quite unpleasant:

  • Beware of people that “seem” ingenuous and believe your gut reaction.
  • Remember there is a difference between friends and acquaintances. Especially recognize pushy people who want to get something from you all the time or have you do something for them constantly.
  • Pay attention to the things that are going on around you.
  • If you hear a rumor about yourself, immediately confront the people who are talking about you.
  • Do not tell secrets to people who are known to have “loose lips” and can not keep a confidence.
  • If someone betrays you, beware of ever trusting them again.
  • If the backstabber goes too far with the slanderous gossip at work, speak to your boss, the human resources department or the backstabber’s boss. If the person is in your personal life, consider staying away from them and don’t mingle in the same social circles.
  • Do not confront the backstabber face-to-face alone or in a secluded location.
  • Do not under estimate the power of a backstabber.
  • Since backstabbers are manipulators, be aware of how much you are doing for someone who doesn’t ever reciprocate in an equally helpful way.

I have many knife scars in my back as I’m sure you do too, but I think I’m a better person because of them. Lessons learned the hard way are never forgotten, so I chalk it all up to that now. I also laugh a lot about how jealous that woman must have been of my very handsome husband. Just remember this…We can not change other people nor can we control their actions, but we can rise above them if we stay in control of our own actions.

Just to prove I’m totally over it all, I think I should have sex in front of the bank tomorrow.

(Hysterically laughing at the thought of doing such a thing!)

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous November 24, 2010 at 6:37 am

mom remembers this, and that ole boss did loose her job eventually,lol. sorry, I know I should not laugh at someones musfortune, but this one deserved it.



2 CJ November 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I had a wonderful (wordy!) comment written and it disappeared. Instead, I'll just say, I can relate to this story and you've done a wonderful job putting it together. Very well written!


3 katlupe November 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I am so proud that you stood up to the manager! You should not have been shedding tears over that incident at all, the manager and the backstabber should have been. You had every right to eat lunch where you wanted and with him. Could you imagine what they would have been saying if you were just eating with a male friend or co-worker in your truck? I have done that many times at various jobs. This is one of the reasons I am so thankful to not be working in the job world!


4 Anonymous November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Oh the backstabbers we all endure throughout life. I say it constantly to the "innocents" at work, remember the difference between co-worker and friend. A co-worker can be very ambitious and, you, their stepping-stone. Don't assume they have integrity. Nice post and excellent writing!


5 Tim King November 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm

You should have started having lunch in a conference room, with the door closed. And be sure to muss up your hair and pull out a corner of your shirt before you return to your desk. And if anyone looks funny at you, stare directly into their eyes and say, indignantly, "What?!" 😀 -TimK


6 PJ November 24, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Hey Gal! I am beginning to think they must plant someone like that in every place of employment. There has been a gossipy troublemaker every where I have ever worked. It's sad, but some people just aren't happy unless they're causing havoc. They need to get a life. You know?

God Bless,


7 Stephanie November 25, 2010 at 12:10 am

Yes… alas… I have been the victim of such vicious rumors. They suck. So do the people who spread them!


8 Teresha@Marlie and Me November 25, 2010 at 2:40 am

These are great words of advice. I am so sorry that you had to experience this horrible slander to learn a valuable lesson. I have many knife scars on my back to inflicted by people who I thought loved me. I will never understand why some people get a kick out of being cruel. I refuse to become jaded and hard, but I am mire cautious about who I let in.


9 Joan November 25, 2010 at 2:59 am

Redhead Riter, I just loved your cartoon drawings. It was so primitive and that is why I found it so charming! I cannot draw and it got me to thinking, "Golly, I can draw like that too — what fun it would be to draw my own cartoons of Paul and me for my blog!" Oh, the ideas you give to me — now not only are you my writing muse, but you are also my artist muse! Of course, I haven't drawn anything yet — but I'm thinking about it now since seeing your artwork!

Great post! I really enjoyed reading it and it totally held my attention — and the advice that you gave to avoid backstabbers was excellent. It was filled with a lot of wisdom!


10 Tyla November 25, 2010 at 5:00 am

You go, girl! Good for you for standing up for yourself!


11 Cinnamon November 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm

If I stand in front of a lighted window you can practically see through me because of the holes in my back…LOL Yes, it's a lesson to be learned, but what a shame that I'm still naive enough to continue to let it happen. My worst experience is still on-going. People I worked for spread all kind of lies about me after I worked my brains out for them with the promise of pay "down the road". Seven months later, not only did pay not come, but they lied and said horrible things about me. I refuse to get so hard and cold that I don't give people a chance, but I am much harder because of the experiences. Good for you though !!!


12 Doreen Lombardo December 3, 2010 at 3:56 am

It's amazing how people jump to conclusions then believe their own twisted reality. I'll never forget being at a wedding as a teen. After the church, the bride and groom went to get into their limo and it wouldn't start. I'll never forget a group of great aunts discussing the problem and one saying "you know, they probably got cheap limos" and discussing how they didn't have much money! I remember overhearing such complete nonsense made my blood boil. In realty, the limo driver left the lights on and the battery had died. The lights had been on all day and he didn't realize it, so the battery happened to die while they were getting married. They were at the church about 2 hours between arriving, getting married, greeting guests afterwards and them pictures. Wouldn't you know it was going all around at the reception that they got cheap cars (whatever in the world that nonsense means, I've never figured it out all these years.) To this day, I just shake my head at the crazy thinking; that they got cheap cars that's why it wouldn't start. Not to mention the assumption they didn't have much money, which was totally wrong and to start such a ridiculous rumor. Even sadder are those that jump on the bandwagon.


13 JTR January 3, 2011 at 3:44 am

Good for you for standing up to your accusers! "The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them. The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand. A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised." Prov. 12


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: