Why Do People Talk Behind Your Back? (60 Reasons)

What Do You Call Someone Who Talks Behind Your Back?

Most people have experienced being talked about behind their back at some point in their lives. Whether it’s gossip at work or rumors among friends, it’s never a pleasant feeling. So, what do you call someone who talks behind your back? There isn’t one definitive answer, but there are a few terms that are commonly used.


This is a person who talks about other people’s private lives, especially to damage their reputation. Gossips don’t care if the information they reveal is positive or negative – as long as it’s interesting, they’ll blab about it without a second thought.


A traitor spreads malicious gossip intending to damage another’s reputation and improve his position in comparison.


A slanderer is similar to a traitor in that both individuals share salacious information about others behind their backs. However, the term “traitor” implies a higher level of malice than the term “traitor.” When you hear someone referred to as a slanderer, you can assume that the damage that person has done to another person’s reputation is quite significant!


A busybody is someone who likes to stick their nose into other people’s business and regularly shares what they learn with others. They usually tend to exaggerate and enjoy getting themselves and others into trouble with malicious gossip – and unfortunately, since gossip is contagious, these busybodies often find plenty of willing takers!


A chatterbox is someone who just likes to hear themselves talk without thinking about what they’re saying or how it affects those around them – even if it results in them talking badly about others behind their backs! These people aren’t necessarily malicious, they’re just not very good at filtering themselves when it comes to choosing their words wisely!

What Does It Mean When Someone Talks Behind Your Back?

Have you ever heard someone speak negatively about you in your absence? Did it make you feel bad? Was it upsetting to know someone was saying mean things about you without you being there to defend yourself? Did it make you angry or frustrated? If so, it sounds like someone was talking about you behind your back.

The term “talking behind your back” means talking about the person in an unflattering or derogatory way in their absence. It can be used in a variety of situations and scenarios, from very minor disagreements between friends to serious workplace infractions.

No matter what type of situation it’s, people who talk behind each other’s backs are often not acting ethically, as this practice is considered unprofessional and disrespectful. So if you’re wondering why people talk behind others’ backs, here are some reasons why others choose to behave this way.

1. They Want Attention

Humans are social animals who need the attention of others to feel significant. If they don’t get enough attention themselves, perhaps because they’re introverted or don’t have a large circle of friends, they may bitch about you. 

While it’s tempting to think that people don’t care about your opinion or the opinion of others when it comes to getting attention-that those who talk behind your back just want more for themselves-in reality, it usually works both ways.

Gossip is a great way for someone who doesn’t have many friends or an opportunity to connect with other people to get attention for themselves while belittling their target. They can say things about you without having to address you directly. This way they can avoid confrontation and still get noticed by everyone else.

2. They Are Jealous of You

Has a friend ever told you that someone is talking about you behind your back? In this case, it’s often because the person is jealous of you. Jealousy can take many forms, so let’s explore a few possible reasons why someone might be jealous of you.

Maybe they envy what you’ve accomplished in life. Maybe they feel inadequate compared to your accomplishments and successes or feel the need to put down successful people to make themselves feel better about their failures in life. This comes from a lack of self-confidence and insecurity about who they’re as a person. They may also be jealous of the attention other people give you for your successes and accomplishments.

They might also be jealous of your skills or talents. Perhaps you’ve honed your skills over time, while others haven’t put as much time and effort into developing their skills and talents as you have which can cause them to become envious when they compare themselves to others who’re different from them.

They may also want to own some of the possessions that you have, such as material goods like cars, clothes, jewelry, electronics, etc. Their desire for these things is stronger than the money they currently have, so they choose to engage in negative behaviors such as gossiping instead of trying harder at work or investing their money wisely so they can buy these things when they want to.

Finally, they might be envious of what nature has given to others but not to themselves, leading to resentment of those born with certain characteristics such as natural beauty (e.g., hair color), height/weight ratio (also called BMI), and so on.

3. They Are Unhappy With Their Own Lives

If a person is dissatisfied with their own life, it’s much easier to project that dissatisfaction onto others. They may feel that the success or happiness of others justifies their dissatisfaction or lack of success; you’re happier than them, so why shouldn’t you suffer?

Or maybe it’s not about them wishing ill on anyone at all – maybe they just believe that the successful people don’t deserve it, they do. Whatever the reason for their unhappiness, talking about others can be a way for an unhappy person to divert their attention from themselves for a while.

4. They Don’t Trust You

Sometimes people talk behind your back because they don’t trust you. Maybe you did something in the past that broke their trust. Maybe you have lied to them or betrayed their trust before.

Maybe there’s something about your personality that makes them feel like they can’t trust your words. Maybe you have done something to them that you don’t want to be done to you, so they treat you the same way you treated them.

This scenario is much more difficult than the previous three because it requires a lot of self-awareness on your part and a lot of work on the part of both parties to restore the broken trust or resolve the problem that’s arisen between the two of you. It’s not impossible, but it’ll take time and effort from both parties to get things back to normal between the two of you.

If this sounds like a relationship dynamic where people are talking behind the other person’s back, here’s how you can fix things.

Think about why he or she is doing what I described above. Is there any way that your actions could have caused this? If so, consider how to best approach the person and apologize for what happened to rebuild some level of trust with him or her.

5. They Have Low Self-Esteem

People with low self-esteem often have difficulty asserting themselves when it comes to expressing their needs and wants. They’re afraid of being rejected by others, which causes them to be passive and keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves.

This lack of self-confidence can lead them to seek the company of others who they believe are similar to them or who they like in other ways (even if these people are toxic or unhealthy for them) so that they aren’t alone or judged.

When someone has low self-esteem, they can think negatively about themselves in many different ways – believing that other people don’t respect them, being overly critical of their actions and appearance, and so on. This can lead someone with low self-esteem into a vicious cycle of feeling bad about themselves because they don’t feel good enough for anything!

In situations like this, I highly recommend you seek professional help from a therapist/counselor before it gets any worse than what you’re already experiencing!

6. They Compete With You

It’s not only okay to compete with others, it’s natural. But sometimes that competitiveness can do real damage. Some people are more competitive than others and that’s okay. It’s just a matter of how you manage your competitiveness.

Competitive thinking can cause you to be jealous of the other person because they can do something better than you or because they got something you wanted but couldn’t get because someone else got it instead of you. Jealousy is a normal reaction that everyone experiences from time to time.

However, when others see you as a threat, they may try to put you down by talking about you behind your back to feel better about their situation by comparing themselves favorably to you.

7. They Are Insecure

There can be all kinds of reasons why someone is talking about you, but they all have one thing in common: they’re insecure.

When people are insecure, they tend to belittle others to make themselves feel better. If they are having a bad day and trying not to let it show, they may talk about you to get rid of their negative feelings. This is especially true if they don’t want their supervisor or co-workers to know what’s going on inside them.

It may also be that they are insecure because of the way you act, although I doubt that’s the case in this instance because we’re talking about someone who’s worked with you before and shouldn’t be intimidated by your imposing presence again!

Still, you should think about whether she didn’t feel uncomfortable or threatened by your behavior towards her. Maybe she didn’t understand why? In any case, hopefully, she’s outgrown this behavior by now and no longer feels the need to belittle other people just so she can puff herself up again!

8. They’re Nosy and Want to Know Everything

Do you know what kind of person I’m talking about? The one who wants to know everything about everyone. The ones who can’t stop asking questions and giving “advice” or even telling their stories when they did the same thing, only without the tragedy that happened to you.

Sure, there are several reasons why people like to gossip – boredom, self-aggrandizement, and fun – but some people do it because they just want to know what’s going on with other people. They want to know about your love life (or lack thereof), your education, your health, your finances – whatever it is.

And why? Because there’s a strange kind of power in knowing such personal details about other people’s lives. Of course, they can’t share that information with others (because you’re friends), but maybe… they can. Maybe they’re itching to use it to harm you in some way.

Or maybe they just want to know everything about everyone around them. Not necessarily because they want to use the information against them (although that could be the case), but because knowledge is power and they have an advantage in certain situations if they know more than others.

So if someone is asking too many questions about your life or telling their own stories without being asked first – and especially if it makes you feel uncomfortable or like something is wrong – you may be dealing with a nosy person who’s doing everything they can to avoid getting behind the gossip by getting as much information out of their environment as possible!

9. You Pose a Threat to Them

People are talking behind your back to bring you down. Maybe they feel threatened by your success and feel inferior because of it. They may even be envious and angry that you’ve something they’d like to have themselves.

To make themselves feel better, they will often try to make you look bad, belittle you, and drag your name through the mud. The best way to deal with this is to acknowledge that it doesn’t show what kind of person you are, but rather is a sign of their insecurity, envy, and jealousy. Don’t take it personally!

It’s also important not to stoop down to their level and do the same because that would only exacerbate the problem by turning it into an underhanded battle for dominance between two people.

10. They Are Haters

Haters are people who’re angry about your success and don’t want to know about it. They’re mean, vindictive, unhappy people. They’re bullies who’re happy to see you down and dragged down to their level. They lie, cheat and sabotage you to make you as miserable as they are.

Haters don’t just happen to successful people. They happen to anyone who is doing better than they are. They’re the people who are always looking for an opportunity to bring you down.

If you’re successful, you’ll have haters. It’s just a fact of life. But don’t let them get to you. Don’t let their negativity drag you down. Keep doing your thing and eventually, they will get tired of trying to bring you down and they’ll move on to someone else. So what do you do when you encounter haters? Here are a few tips:

  • Ignore them: the best way to deal with haters is to simply ignore them. Don’t engage with them, don’t respond to their negativity. Just let it roll off your back and focus on the positive people in your life.
  • Don’t take it personally: it’s not about you, it’s about them. They’re just unhappy people who want to bring others down to their level. Don’t let their comments get to you.
  • Focus on your happiness: don’t let haters steal your joy. Focus on the things that make you happy and don’t let their negativity ruin your day.
  • Rise above: the best way to deal with haters is to simply rise above them. Show them that their negativity doesn’t phase you and that you’re better than they are.

No matter what haters throw your way, don’t let it get to you. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

11. They Find Your Personality and Behavior Offensive

Your personality and behavior often go hand in hand, which is why offensive people will talk about you behind your back. If you have a strong personality, that’s perfectly fine and doesn’t mean you’re offensive. It’s how you act that matters.

The main reason people talk about others behind their backs is that they find them offensive – the way they act, their attitude, or the things they say. Even if these are personal preferences, there are things everyone should avoid to prevent negative gossip:

  • Keep an open mind when talking to others and try to understand other viewpoints and opinions that may differ from yours.
  • No one likes a know-it-all; be empathetic instead of aggressive toward those who disagree with you.
  • Avoid trying to win arguments by any means; it’s better to agree on an issue than to cause drama for no reason.

If you’re positive and spend your energy building others up rather than undermining them, everyone will like you much more.

12. The Talker Needs Validation

Affirmation. We all crave it. It’s why we gravitate so much to social media and why we love being the center of attention (even if we pretend we don’t). And your adversary is no different. He or she needs validation from someone else to feel good about themselves.

There are many healthy ways to get that validation. But talking to other people who talk behind someone else’s back isn’t one of them, and you should avoid that kind of person if you can help it. If you can’t (which is often), remember: don’t take it personally! This person is probably talking about everyone behind their back, not just you.

13. They Are Afraid of You

While some people gossip to get something good, like affection or attention, others gossip to protect themselves. Often, they’re afraid of you taking something away from them or that someone else will notice them and not pay attention to them in the same way. Here are a few ways this fear shows up in their conversations:

  • Failing at what they’re trying to accomplish.
  • Succeeding at what they’re trying to accomplish.
  • Losing what they have.
  • Being alone or rejected by others.

These are just some of the fears we all share as humans. And when it comes to talking about yourself behind your back, there are some more specific fears:

  • The future is different than expected.
  • That they won’t get their way when you know they want something from you.

14. They Are Mean and Selfish

Mean, selfish people are unhappy with themselves and don’t like the current circumstances of their lives. Maybe they hate their job or their relationship. Maybe they are behind in school or feel inadequate with what they have (or don’t have). Whatever it is, there’s something that’s brought them to a place where they’re unhappy instead of happy.

This dissatisfaction carries over into other areas of life and contributes to a negative attitude. People with such an attitude tend to be envious of others who’ve what they want – and not just the material things (although those can play a role, too), but also those who are happier, more successful, more fulfilled, or more confident than they’re.

Everyone wants to be happy in one way or another, but someone jealous might feel threatened by your happiness because it reminds them that what you’ve is something they want for themselves but can’t achieve.

15. They Want to See if You React to the Gossip

Another reason people talk behind your back is that they want to test you. They want to see how you react to the gossip. This way, they can find out if you react or not. When you do that, you prove that the things being said about you’re true, and that can give them something else to use against you.

But if nothing happens when they talk about you, it means that you don’t react and your behavior proves that what they say isn’t true. People love gossip because it gives them social currency in the form of information.

Whether it’s finding out something “juicy” or finding out someone’s dirty laundry, gossip provides valuable information to people who like to know more than others. In other words, those who gossip do so because it makes them feel powerful and well-informed in a social setting, which often leads to feelings of happiness and satisfaction, as well as a sense of belonging to the group they happen to be in.

16. They Are Bullies

Bullies are deeply insecure and immature people who don’t feel good about themselves. They bully because they think it makes them feel powerful or because they want to fit in with certain people. Bullying is meant to hurt you, but the roots of bullying lie in the bullies’ low self-esteem and poor social skills. You should never blame yourself for someone else’s bullying behavior.

17. The Culture in Which They Grew up Condones Backbiting

If you’ve ever been backbitten by a coworker, neighbor, or friend, you probably weren’t surprised to hear them gossip about someone else. In most cases, when one person is gossiped about, there’s a good chance that others are also being gossiped about behind their back.

Backbiting is everywhere in society, but it’s more common in certain cultures where people are brought up to believe that it’s acceptable to talk behind others’ backs – which is why you often see groups of co-workers talking during breaks or at lunch.

The same is true in neighborhoods, where neighbors often congregate outside each other’s homes, sometimes exchanging rumors about other residents without addressing them directly. This type of behavior is usually practiced because there’s no social stigma in these communities.

This means that people aren’t ashamed to gossip about their neighbors or colleagues because everyone does it so often that it’s accepted as normal and not frowned upon like other types of bad behavior, such as stealing from your employer or cheating on your taxes.

18. You’re “Too Much” for Them

In some cases, the people who talk about you behind your back aren’t right for you. Maybe your personality is too brash for them or too quiet. Your sense of humor may be different than theirs. You value different things than she does. Your work ethic isn’t the same. You just don’t match up with them on every level – and that’s okay!

Pay attention to how you feel when you’re with someone who doesn’t seem to like you for no reason. Does it make you feel small? Do they belittle your feelings? If so, maybe the two of you should go your separate ways and avoid each other in the future.

19. They Feel Threatened by Your Success

When people are insecure, they feel threatened by someone whose qualities they lack or successes they want to achieve. You can be the best example of kindness, compassion, and generosity, but if you have a great figure, you’ll receive various comments from others because of their insecurity about their physical appearance.

They’re not happy with how you look, so they have to make sure everyone notices. They talk behind your back because deep down they know that being physically attractive is more important to most people these days, even if you’re kinder and more compassionate than they are.

And behind all the flattering adjectives you hear from other people is an ugly truth: these people are deeply unhappy with themselves for not being as pretty or good-looking as you are.

20. You Have Something They Want but Can’t Have

This is a similar reason to the last one, but with a stronger note of resentment. This time, it’s not just that you’re more successful than them or even more talented – here, they feel that you’ve something they can’t have themselves.

Maybe it’s your job or your salary. Maybe it’s your body type or your spouse. Or maybe you’re popular and well-liked in their circle, while they don’t make friends as easily as you do – or maybe not at all.

Whatever it’s that makes them think, “I wish I had what she has“. This often leads them to think badly of you and talk about you behind your back as a way to take out their frustrations on someone who can’t stand up to them (yet).

21. They Have a Self-Destructive Personality Type

You will find that this type of person is attracted to conflict or even causes it. They also tend to suppress themselves before others can do it for them. Some people with a self-destructive personality are also attracted to negative situations or pessimistic people. They may also engage in self-destructive behavior, such as abusing alcohol or other substances.

If you know such a person in your life, you may notice that they often criticize themselves in front of others and sometimes project their self-hatred onto the people around them. You’ll notice that they’re rarely satisfied with what they’ve achieved and are always setting new goals for themselves, which inevitably disappoint them.

If someone like this is talking behind your back, they may well be saying negative things about you too – perhaps without realizing it! These statements aren’t necessarily true (they are more a reflection of how the person sees themselves).

22. They Want to Impress Others With Their Stories About You

People often talk behind your back because they feel the need to impress others. They think they look better or more interesting when they talk negatively about you.

People with low self-esteem are more inclined to indulge in gossip. So if someone is gossiping about you, it’s probably because they don’t think very highly of themselves.

Here’s what could happen: You work with Susan and she needs her boss’s permission to go to a friend’s wedding next month. She asks her boss on Monday and he tells her he’ll let her know by Friday. On Tuesday, Susan starts complaining to other colleagues about how inconsiderate and rude it is that the boss hasn’t answered her yet (even though it’s only been a day). Then she rants about how he doesn’t give her enough autonomy at work and makes her feel like an intern instead of a full-time employee. She downplays his performance as “lucky breaks” and insinuates that he was hired because of nepotism (which isn’t true at all).

23. They Are Bored

This may be a shocking realization, but one of the reasons people talk about you behind your back is because they are bored. Sometimes people have nothing else to do.

Boredom can be the reason someone you thought was your friend suddenly stops talking to you – because they had no good reason to. To avoid feeling bored or empty, many people resort to talking about someone else. Talking about others is much easier than doing something productive with their lives, and it provides them with an easy way to connect with other people who may also be looking for entertainment.

24. The Person They’re Talking About Is an Easy Target

Maybe you’re a nice person. Maybe you’re one of those people who are always there for their friends and family. You can’t imagine why people out there are talking bad about you. The truth is that people often talk about you behind your back when you’re too nice or trusting.

This may seem like an unfair reason to talk about someone behind their back, but it’s true. If people feel they can take advantage of you, they won’t hesitate to do so – and then talk badly about you when your back is turned.

25. They Have Low Self-Esteem

People who talk about you behind your back usually have low self-esteem. They don’t love themselves, lack self-confidence, and have a hard time believing in their worth and abilities. As a result of these problems, they may be jealous of you and your life because they’re dissatisfied with their own.

They may want to feel better about themselves by talking about you. In this way, they can distract themselves from the pain of dealing with their insecurities. If they can make you the “bad guy” in the story they tell others, they can save face while feeling good about attacking (and maybe even rebuking to some extent) someone else.

26. They Want to Be Like You

Sometimes people just talk about you behind your back because they look up to you and want to be like you. If someone is jealous of you, the reason is that they want what you have or what they think you have.

If a person looks at your life and thinks it’s perfect, her opinion of your life is probably higher than her own opinion of herself. She may want to have the same success that you have in your career or a certain area of your life.

The other person may also envy you for what she thinks is an ideal family life, which includes a supportive partner and close relationships with friends or relatives. You may even be envied for living in a certain area or having a certain lifestyle.

27. They Feel That You’ve Wronged Them

Maybe you’ve done something to them in the past and they’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to retaliate. Whatever it is, your behavior has made them bitter and resentful.

Maybe you made a mistake, but somehow your motives are unclear to them. It is possible that you didn’t mean to hurt her on purpose. But their feelings about the situation may be so strong that they’ve displaced reason and logic. They’re convinced that you intended to do exactly what you did!

Perspective taking is a key component of emotional intelligence (EQ), which refers to the ability to accurately perceive emotions in oneself and others, understand those emotions, use that information to guide behavior, and effectively manage emotions in oneself and others.

If someone feels they have a grudge against you – or if they feel they’re being unfairly criticized by others – it’s probably because they believe they’re being talked about badly behind their back, too!

Regardless of whether their concerns are valid or not, people with a low EQ will always see things differently than those who can rise above themselves without getting angry about every little thing someone does (or perceives as being done) wrong.

28. They Think They Are Entitled to Your Personal Information

Some people think they have a right to your personal information. But this isn’t the case. If someone hasn’t shared it with you, it’s inappropriate for you to share that information. The details of your personal life should remain private unless you choose otherwise. It’s a breach of trust to reveal sensitive information about others and their lives.

It’s best to be discreet with others’ confidential information because that’s how they’d have wanted it. It doesn’t matter if you consider them friends or fake friends. If they didn’t tell you something, it was meant to be private information and not public knowledge.

Even if they told you the details without asking you for discretion, that doesn’t mean you get to reveal all their secrets and facts about their lives! And even if they did ask for discretion, maybe the information wasn’t just for you – maybe others needed privacy on the subject! So do everyone a favor and don’t be a gossip by telling everything about a person just because they share some things with you.

29. They Were Asked to Do So by a Third Party

It may be that the people who are speaking negatively about you don’t have a problem with you personally – they’re just doing what someone else is asking them to do. This is a classic conflict of interest, and it can be difficult to tell if another party is involved or not. If you suspect this may be the case, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is the person talking about me someone I know?
  • Have I seen them in the company of certain other people recently?
  • If I’ve recently hurt someone, could that person be retaliating against me?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it might indicate that what others are saying about you isn’t their idea at all, but rather an attack by a close friend or family member who wants to get back at you for an insult they think you committed.

30. They’re Vicious and Unkind

When we talk behind someone’s back, we are unkind and vicious. We often gossip about the shortcomings of others, and this can cause jealousy or insecurity in the person who hears these negative remarks.

Gossip is often spread by people who are insecure themselves because they don’t have enough confidence in themselves or in their relationships with others to express their opinions or feelings honestly. If you talk about another person behind their back, you’re also being unkind and malicious!

You may think that speaking negatively about a person is justified if they have done something wrong to you; however, if someone else finds out what you said, they may feel betrayed because they trusted that person more than any other person in the world. If it feels wrong for someone else to say a bad thing about another person, why would it be okay for you to say the same thing?

31. They Don’t Embrace Positivity

One of the greatest joys in life is seeing the people you care about succeed. The thrill and satisfaction of witnessing friends, loved ones, or colleagues excel are unmatched. Those who do this regularly and authentically are perceived by those around them as trustworthy individuals. The reason for this is the positivity inherent in them.

However, it’s important to know that positivity can take many forms. Some people associate positivity only with happiness and joy, but a person can also be positive without displaying cheerful behavior 24/7. A person living a positive lifestyle can have different feelings at different times – they just accept what they feel and don’t judge it; they just “let it go” after it’s run its course.

This brings me back to my original point: people who talk about others behind their backs aren’t positive about themselves or others. They’ve nothing good to say about others or themselves, are jealous of others, are negative by nature, and are only happy when they put others down (and even then it doesn’t last).

32. They Have a Negative Mindset

Watch for signs that your friends are jealous of you. Often, a person who’s a negative mindset will become jealous of you when they see that you have it better in life than they do. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is always jealous of the things you have or do, he or she’s likely jealous.

Be careful about bragging to negative people. While there’s nothing wrong with being proud of an accomplishment and sharing it with others, you should be careful about bragging too much around a negative person or a person who’s easily hurt by criticism.

Know that people with a negative attitude are more likely to talk behind your back because negativity often leads to low self-esteem and insecurity in relationships. Low self-esteem can make people feel inferior to others and more likely to talk badly about others behind their backs to make themselves feel better.

33. They Enjoy Creating Drama, and All the Attention Makes Them Feel Like Someone Important

Some people just love to gossip about others, spread rumors, and create drama and chaos around them. And that gives them power over other people and the situation itself. People will talk about what they’ve been talking about so they feel validated as a source of information. Gossip is a way for some people to climb the social ladder and get the attention of their peers because they are the center of attention.

In many cases, people who talk behind your back enjoy creating drama, and all the attention makes them feel like someone important. They get a kick out of stirring up drama and watching other people squirm. What’s more, all the attention they receive makes them feel important. As if they’re the ones in control.

34. They’re Toxic People and Talking About Others Is Their Way of Boosting Their Moods

Toxic people try desperately to maintain control in every aspect of their lives. They’re jealous, envious, and constantly looking for ways to improve their self-esteem. In many cases, this is because they’re unhappy with themselves – and so they feel the need to talk about themselves behind other people’s backs.

Even if someone doesn’t have much self-esteem and doesn’t know why they’re unhappy, they may have a hard time repeating something when they feel better about themselves for a moment. And talking behind your back makes them feel good, even if it only lasts for a moment. Here’s why:

  • It makes them feel superior
  • It helps them feel justified
  • It lifts their spirits because it gives them a sense of power
  • It feels like they’re going up against you
  • They get attention from others who agree with them or join in the conversation 

35. They’re Afraid of You or Feel Inferior to You

Sometimes people talk behind your back because they’re afraid or intimidated by you. They may be jealous of you or feel inferior to you. If the people talking behind your back feel that way about you, they may be afraid that you’ll take away something they want or that you’ll talk about them behind their backs.

If that’s the reason people are talking behind your back:

  • Don’t be too hard on them – if someone is saying bad things about someone else to make themselves look better, it’s probably because they’re lacking something in their own life.
  • Don’t retaliate by talking about them behind their back. It never ends well for anyone involved when people start defining themselves by other people’s actions (or reactions).

36. They Don’t Like You or Trust You

The harsh reality is that many people who talk about you behind your back aren’t even trying to be mean. They just don’t like you or trust you. This is a hard pill to swallow, but it happens. The good news is that you can change the way people think about you by taking responsibility for the situation and addressing the problem directly, rather than passively sitting there waiting for it to go away.

People also talk behind your back because they’re envious or wish they could be like you. It’s not exactly a compliment when someone says something rude about you, but it means he or she’s in some way envious of what makes you unique. Take comfort and keep being yourself!

37. They Have No Friends of Their Own

Some people who gossip don’t have friends of their own for some reason. They’re lonely and often desperate to build relationships with others. Sometimes gossip just reflects how badly the person feels about themselves, but sometimes it’s a cry for help – a way to get attention and invite others into a conversation that could lead to more meaningful interactions later.

If you notice people gossiping about you, you should talk to yourself first: is this something that needs your attention? If not, then ignore it. If the answer is yes, you might consider addressing it first – being the bigger person shows confidence and allows you to set standards for how you want to be treated by others. This can also open up an opportunity for better communication between everyone.

38. They’re Incapable of Being Happy for Others

Some people know that talking about others distracts them from their problems. They don’t want to be happy for you because if they were happy for you, they’d have to come to terms with the fact that others are more successful than they are.

Their envy starts with comparing what you’ve to what they don’t have. To be envious is to desire something that belongs to another person. It can also be defined as being pained when you see someone else’s happiness or joy.

Envy is a reflection of people who seem to be unhappy about you only when good things happen in your life. They may seem nice and friendly on the outside, but deep inside they’re full of envy and contempt because they know your successes are greater than theirs will ever be.

39. They Want to Control You

Many people with control issues talk behind your back to control either you or the other person so they can get what they want. They try to exert their power over you by trying to control your life, causing you pain and hurt.

In this way, they control your relationships, whether they are friendships, business partnerships, or even romantic relationships. They cannot bear the thought of you being happy without them and have no qualms about destroying anything good that happens to you.

40. They Owe You Money

If the person who owes you money keeps avoiding signing a check, they’ve likely been conspiring behind your back to avoid paying you. If you asked them to pay you back and they didn’t, they may be trying to talk others out of trusting you so they have an excuse not to pay them back. People who owe money to others or have owed money to others in the past often talk about their financial problems.

If someone owes you money, don’t be afraid to ask for it back. You don’t deserve to be talked about because you have this problem.

41. People Love a Good Story, Even if It’s Not True

People love scandals, dramas, and other forms of entertainment. People even love a good story so much that they’ll even lie to make it sound better. The whole world is a stage for gossipers to say whatever they want about others to make themselves more interesting.

Although there are many different motivations for gossip, one thing is certain: most of the time it’s done out of insecurity or jealousy. Example:

  • The girl who spreads rumors about her former friend might be jealous of how popular she was in high school and how intimidatingly beautiful she still is today.
  • The boy who brags about being the most popular boy in school may be hiding his low self-esteem by talking big about himself and his accomplishments (even if they don’t exist).
  • A person might spread rumors about you because they’re upset about something you said or did (and were too cowardly to confront you in person).

42. They Could Think That Gossip Is a Great Way to Build Connections and Friendships

Sometimes people engage in gossip because they think it will help them build connections and friendships. After all, if you’re talking about someone else, it gives you something in common with the person you’re talking to. And, if you share juicy details about someone, it can make the other person feel closer to you.

There may be some truth to this – if you gossip a lot, you might end up with more friends. But, it’s important to remember that these friends are likely to be shallow relationships based on gossiping rather than anything more meaningful. In addition, people who gossip a lot are often viewed as untrustworthy and disliked by others. So, while you might make some friends by gossiping, it’s not likely to be the best ways to build lasting relationships.

43. People May Use Gossip as a Means of Self-Protection

When people feel threatened by another person, they use gossip to try to undermine that person’s status or show themselves superior to them. This is called malicious gossip and can be defined as “information that’s personally demeaning or belittling.”

The gossip may present their accomplishments positively while speaking negatively about the target. In this way, malicious gossip can be used to avoid viewing others as more desirable than yourself. If you observe someone talking about others behind their back and you’re not sure why he or she’s doing it, you should ask yourself how the information directly benefits them. If it makes them look good or seems to bring them something (e.g., attention), it may well be malicious gossip.

44. They Think You Are Competition

This is a very common reason why people talk behind your back. People may think you’re competing with them. This can be the case in any area of life, whether it’s competing for the same job at work, for the affection of the same person, or even competing for the same scholarship.

They feel they’ve to take you out of the running by talking about you behind your back and saying things about your character. They do this because they’re afraid that if you aren’t taken out of the competition, you’ll win and beat them out for what you both want.

45. They Assume That You’re Talking Behind Their Backs

“If I gossip about other people, it means they’re gossiping about me.” While this is a common misconception, it’s no basis in reality. Many people gossip about others, but only because they’re insecure and have low self-esteem. Talking behind others’ backs can be seen as a sign of weakness because it’s a behavioral projection of your bad behavior onto you.

A person who gossips all the time cannot be considered a true friend or trustworthy companion if they focus on making others feel bad instead of cheering them up and supporting the people around them.

46. They Don’t Have the Same Appetite for Personal Growth That You Do

You may think that most people want to grow and advance in life just like you do. If that’s true, why would anyone talk behind your back? Isn’t it more likely that they’re talking about someone else?

In reality, most people don’t have the same appetite for personal growth that you do. They have no intention of improving themselves. It’s not a priority for them. Their disinterest in self-improvement has several implications:

  • You can assume they’ll continue to talk behind your back. They won’t change their behavior because they see nothing wrong with it; they have the illusion that they’re perfect the way they’re.
  • You must protect yourself from negative influences if you want to continue to grow and learn from life’s challenges. You can do this by finding friends who support you and share your passion for learning and personal development, or by joining a group of like-minded people (e.g., Toastmasters International).

47. They Want to Show Off Their Superiority

Threats to the ego can tempt us to speak behind others’ backs. When we exaggerate, embellish, or makeup gossip about another person, it can be an attempt to portray ourselves as superior.

This may be a conscious or unconscious attempt: we may think our partner is cheating on us because we feel inadequate, or we may tell others that a colleague is “stupid” when we’re just envious of his or her success.

Either way, if you find yourself speaking badly about others frequently, it’s worth doing some soul-searching to find out what aspects of your personality might be making you feel insecure.

Ask your friends for feedback – have you ever used them to vent your feelings? It may be painful at first, but once you develop more self-confidence and self-esteem, your relationships with others will improve as well.

48. They Don’t Like Your Attitude Toward Them or Other People

Sometimes people talk behind your back because they just don’t like your attitude toward them or other people. The way you treat other people and the way you talk to them reflects how you think about them and what kind of person you’re.

If they see you treating other people positively, they’ll think more positively about you. However, if they see you treat other people badly or have an overall negative attitude toward everyone around you, they’ll not want to engage in those behaviors and will therefore turn away from being around you.

49. They Don’t Know How to Deal With Conflict and Unhappiness

Most people tend to avoid conflict and unhappiness. If they see you doing something that makes them unhappy, they don’t want to talk to you about it. Therefore, it’s easier for them to give you the silent treatment or talk about you behind your back than to face the conflict and unhappiness head on.

They may only tell their side of the story and present things from their point of view because they don’t want you to think badly of them – especially if it was something they couldn’t control. This way, they appear in a good light when someone asks what happened.

They may also do this because they want other people’s sympathy and attention. They feel hurt or angry after an encounter with you and hope to gain other people’s sympathy by portraying themselves as the victim in a situation where they were wronged by someone else (you).

50. They Are Immature

If someone talks behind your back, they might do so because they think you’re immature. By immature, I mean the definition that says someone is acting like a child even though he or she’s an adult.

If that’s the case, he or she probably doesn’t understand the consequences of his or her actions and how they’ll affect you and others in your life. Maybe he or she did something that hurt you or another person, and instead of apologizing for his or her behavior and making amends to those affected, he or she chose to talk about it with other people.

This may also mean that they aren’t mature enough to handle conflict in an adult way. When a conflict arises between two people, an immature person talks to others about it instead of confronting the person directly so that both parties can have a healthy discussion about what happened between them.

An immature person might also spread rumors about you because they’ve no regard for your feelings or how these stories might affect you when told to others. They’re likely to be very selfish and have no regard for how their words and actions might make others feel or whether or not their words are true.

If this is the case, then you should know that this person has very low self-esteem, because if they felt good about themselves, then there would be no reason to talk behind others’ backs. After all, then there would be no insecurity lurking within them.

Someone who feels insecure tends to verbally and physically abuse others, which can cause severe damage to another person, both emotionally and mentally, especially when children are involved, because what kind of role model is that for the children? If we want our children to grow up in a world where kindness is the most important thing, then we need more adults who not only say something but also back up their words with action, daily.

51. They Have Little Social Skills Compared to You

Social skills are different from social intelligence. Social intelligence is the ability to read people and understand what they’re thinking and feeling (e.g., to recognize that the person you’re talking to isn’t interested in what you’re saying). You can be very intelligent overall but still have poor social skills. Social skills include things like:

  • being able to make a good first impression
  • having good table manners
  • being a good listener
  • making small talk without being awkwardly silent or saying something stupid

If someone has poor social skills compared to you, it’s easy for them to think you’re judging them for “getting along with people better” than they do. If they don’t understand this, they may take their insecurity out on you by talking behind your back to make themselves feel better.

52. Gossiping Is Their Hobby

For some people, it’s a hobby like a stamp collecting or bird watching. These people don’t feel the need to make everyone else miserable to be happy, but they do love good gossip.

They’ll bring it up regularly in conversations with others, and if you’re not around, your name will probably come up at some point. These people may not want to hurt you, but they also probably don’t care if they offend or upset you by talking about you behind your back.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about taking up gossiping as a hobby. First, make sure that you’re only spreading accurate information. Gossiping can be harmful if it involves spreading rumors or false information.

Second, avoid gossiping about people who are close to you. This can damage relationships and create unnecessary drama. Finally, remember that not everyone enjoys gossiping. If you start gossiping with someone who doesn’t seem interested, respect their wishes and stop.

53. They Take Pleasure in the Misfortune of Others

Other people thrive on drama. By gossiping about you and others, they’re the center of attention and feel they’ve power and control over you. Not only do they want to see you upset and react, but they also want you to feel bad so they can enjoy their superiority.

There’s no denying that gossip can be fun. It’s a way to bond with friends, share juicy tidbits, and even feel a little bit superior. But there’s also a dark side to gossip. When we take pleasure in the misfortune of others, we’re engaging in schadenfreude, a German word that describes the feeling of joy or satisfaction that comes from someone else’s pain.

And while a little bit of schadenfreude is perfectly normal, too much can be harmful. People who often experience schadenfreude are less likely to be satisfied with their own lives and more likely to be emotionally withdrawn. So the next time you’re tempted to take pleasure in someone else’s misfortune, remember that it might be coming at a cost to your own happiness.

54. They Want to Know Your Secrets

People talk behind your back because they want to know something about you that you mightn’t reveal in public. They want to use this information against you or profit from it in some way.

Gossips also talk about others’ secrets because it makes them feel good about themselves and their lives. They do this by highlighting what the other person is doing wrong or by making fun of the situation. Someone may even want to know something about you because they believe that this knowledge gives them power over you.

55. They Don’t Have Enough Self-Love

When people talk behind your back, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It’s just that they don’t love themselves enough. They don’t take responsibility for their lives and blame others for everything that goes wrong in their lives.

They don’t know how to deal with their feelings or change their lives for the better. Talking about other people is the easiest way to cope with these difficulties. They’re afraid of change, but desperately want to change their lives. Therefore, they complain and try to convince you that they can’t do anything about it because everything bad happens to them and everyone is against them.

56. People Talk About You When They Need to Deal With Their Problems

When people are feeling overwhelmed by their problems, they often look for ways to relieve their stress. One common coping mechanism is to talk about other people’s problems instead of their own. By comparison, other people’s problems may seem more manageable, and talking about them can provide a sense of relief.

Additionally, talking about someone else’s problems can be a way of deflecting attention from one’s own difficulties. However, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own set of problems to deal with, and no one is perfect. If you find yourself gossiping about someone else, try to take a step back and focus on your own life. Instead of complaining about someone else, see if there’s anything you can do to help them solve their problem.

57. For Emotional Gain

People may talk about you behind your back to experience a certain feeling. Gossip can give you an emotional kick, and these aren’t always pleasant feelings. For example, gossip can cause embarrassment or discomfort – but studies have shown that these negative feelings are more pleasant when they happen to someone else! And the fact that you don’t personally experience the unpleasant effects of gossip is exactly why some people engage in it.

58. They Are Intimidated by You

Some people talk behind your back because they feel intimidated by you. If this is the case, you’re probably more successful, intelligent, and confident than they’re. They’re simply projecting their insecurities onto you to make themselves feel better.

It’s common for insecure people to attack others, especially if those “others” have qualities that the insecure person doesn’t have and wishes they did. If you’re attacked by someone jealous of your accomplishments or basic personality traits (like intelligence), it helps if you don’t pay attention to them or light a fire under their butt.

59. They Are Having a Bad Day

Bad mood is one of the reasons why people talk behind your back. When someone is having a bad day, they feel that everyone and everything seems to conspire against them. They feel like things aren’t going well, and most people’s behavior seems to point in that direction.

At such times, they tend to have more negative thoughts than usual. As a result, their feelings are also more negative than usual. If someone is having a bad day and has no one around to talk to or vent their feelings, they’ll find an outlet for their negative feelings by talking about someone else behind their back.

However, it’s important that they not only focus on the negative things in their life but also on the positive things so that they don’t talk negatively about others all day long!

60. They Have No Purpose in Life

Sometimes people are always looking for reasons to talk behind your back because they lack purpose in life. They don’t work on their goals or do anything productive. They need something to fill their time with, so they spend that time discussing others.

Maybe they feel bad about not doing anything fruitful and want to feel better by talking about you. Sometimes people just have more free time than others and that extra time can be spent gossiping. If you spend all your time talking about others and trying to make them feel bad, you should get your life together!


So we all talk behind each other’s backs. Sometimes that’s nice. Sometimes it’s not nice. The best way to deal with uncomfortable situations is to address the problem directly, in the way that makes you most comfortable. Tell them that you know what they’re doing and that you’re uncomfortable with their behavior because you can’t trust them.

Say that you wish things were better between the two of you and that this will help, and explain why their behavior hurts your feelings. You can’t control other people’s thoughts and opinions of you. However, you can control how you react to the situation.

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Jahrine is a seeker of knowledge and personal growth. When not exploring the worlds of self-help books and spirituality, she enjoys reading dark fiction and spending time with her beloved dogs. With diverse interests, including career development, travel, and poetry, Jahrine is constantly expanding her horizons and seeking new experiences.