Sabotage in the Workplace

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We all have our career experience, education, talents and skills that we attain; the difference between “us” and “them” is that the saboteur has developed their own skills in manipulation and deceit, while we have attained our skills in marketable qualifications and education. The advice that people have always told me to deal with someone sabotaging me was “oh, don’t even pay attention to them, they will crave more attention and move on”, but this advice has been dead wrong! I spent many years very confused by these peoples behavior, when in fact; their behavior was not confusing at all. It was my wanting them to just go away or stop doing what they were doing that wasn’t working. These people are serious and they stop at nothing to get ahead or to make someone else look foolish. They have spent a lifetime cultivating these maneuvers, so you do need to take the attack serious even if it has just begun by a small incident. 

The reason that “this someone” is sabotaging you is simple, because you somehow landed in their territory. Maybe you are just working across a desk from them. Maybe you are not even in the same department or maybe you work closely with them. But, for some reason this person has you in their radar and that is not a good place to be. You should be concerned because this is not just an impolite jester from someone. It does not matter what you did or did not do to them. They perceive something in their head. When insecure/inadequate people feel threatened, they are afraid for their survival; they will pull out all the stops and rely on any behavior they see fit, to squash you like a bug. The reason you do not see the situation the same way, is because you are not good at seeing things the way they do, as a threat even though none exists. You didn’t get ahead that way, and you shun underhanded behavior before it can even be suggested. I learned this the hard way, I have had many of these type people stab me in the back over the years, but at the time I really did not understand this dynamic: That this person and I will never see eye to eye and I should not give them the benefit of the doubt, they will conk me over the head with it. 

These days, I see them quicker; I am much more alert for their behavior so that I can be ready to react accordingly when someone is sniping at me and I don’t know from which direction. I have learned to acquire my own set of prevention and detection skills, so I am not at a loss when it happens again. Because you can bet your life on it, there is always someone who wants to get ahead by manipulation and trickery instead of plain old hard work and honesty.


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