Scallywag

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

~ Oscar Wilde ~

What Do You Do With Two-Faced People?

January 20th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 9 secs

Sick and tired of two-faced people in your life?

Two-faced people are disappointing, aren’t they? All sweetness and light to your face; spitefulness to your back. How do you deal with people like that to prevent their malice overwhelming you?

If you have definite evidence that what they are doing really is deceptive, then you need a strategy. As two-faced behavior is typically internalized, people might not even realize what they are actually doing. Instead, they use this maladaptive behavior to achieve their own ends because it “works” enough for them to keep doing it.

So, be aware that, although they may seem to be “winning” by their deceit, two-faced people have a dysfunctional habit. They simply don’t know how to “win” by relating to people in an even-handed way.

Dishonest People Have a Weak Spot

Two-faced people trade on deception, getting their power from being sneaky and underhanded. Therefore, speaking the truth in a plain way calls their bluff. Leaving no room for ambiguity and talking in factual terms is liable to either rile or silence them (e.g. “I noticed you were praising Joanne at the meeting, but later on, you were saying she was totally incompetent and insane. Maybe it’s time to let her know how you really feel…”}.

Deceitful people trade on getting away with their double standards, partly because we allow it (and sometimes, even feed it). So speaking in a gentle but matter of fact way about their disparities will obviously alter the atmosphere.

Of course, this tactic may well be threatening to them because it challenges their method of control. Chances are, you will be next on the roasting plate. But that’s not as bad as it seems, given they’ve probably already been roasting effigies of you over hot coals anyway.

As much as you can, work together with others to create a zero tolerance towards two-faced behavior. Without a willing-eared fan base, sniping people find their undermining technique less effective. Gradually, they are either obliged to find other ways to think, or else they choose to move on.

Admittedly, quick tips make this seem easy (which it certainly isn’t). Yet, adopting a direct and positive approach is much more humane and effective than playing their own game. Besides, stooping to their behavior level merely proves their two-faced behavior is “best” and that doesn’t make sense.

Taking a matter of fact approach that rests on facts, and refusing to attack the person puts you in the best position. Ultimately, if destructive people can’t keep plying their vindictive ways, the onus is on them to change.

Nevertheless, choosing to be frank yet open, and non-judgmental takes effort. But when two-faced-people dig in and start hurling dirt, you are always best to conduct yourself with dignity. Better still, if everyone adopts a unified stance, manipulative people loss their power.  As hard as it may be doing this, the alternative of doing nothing can still risk everything. Whether it’s happening in your workplace, school, family, faith group, or club, two-faced behavior is real and it matters.

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