How to Deal with a Fake Coworker at the Office | 2023

At one time in our career life, we’ve come across one or more co-workers we thought we could trust, but they ended up betraying our trust by being fake. Two-faced coworkers can be found in any workplace, school, or home.

There are other toxic coworkers around us, but a fake coworker will strive to be your friend just so they can use your weakness against you, and when confronted, they act up like they are the victim of the situation.

Because of their sneaky nature, they believe they can get away with any wrongdoings, and that is why it is important you confirm your suspicion about that close coworker before trusting them with your valuables.

Fake coworkers at the office are often pretentious, and that is why they can easily become your friend. Immediately when they get what is needed from you, they quit the friendship to become office gossip or emotionally blackmail you with the information they know about you.

A fake co-worker’s toxicity can drain your energy and fill you with negativity. When dealing with a fake coworker, you need to always be self-conscious of your surrounding, what information or idea you’re giving out, as they can easily set you up without you knowing.

Fake co-workers are the worst type of colleagues to associate with; they’re more like silent killers. They’ll encourage you to do things they know about the damages just so they can destroy your unique reputation.

A fake co-worker will often leave you confused because, with them, you won’t know how to react to their toxic ways. Fake coworkers are the opposite of real coworkers. You can’t openly share your ideas with a fake coworker since they are always in unhealthy competition with you.

The common traits of a fake colleague are; They are often backstabbers; they sabotage one’s work, office gossip, and undermine that will always try to discredit your work so they can steal it for themself. Dealing with a fake coworker can be tricky, but this overview will give you an insight into how to deal with fake coworkers in the office.

Who Is a Fake Co-Worker?

Real co-workers are the ones that motivate us to be better at our jobs. They’re like our inspirations to do better. They don’t make us feel like we are not doing enough but make us understand how we need to do better and know how to go about it. But who is a fake coworker?

Fake coworkers are our colleagues at the office who might look like they are inspiring or motivating us but in reality, all they want is our downfall. Their toxic nature is one reason they are fake.

They are pretentious individuals that often look like they want the best for us but all they want is to undermine our efforts and take credit for our jobs. Everyone needs somebody that will help them grow and not the other way round, you can’t be too careful around a two-faced coworker as they always know more about you.

Fake co-workers will always look for ways to be your friend in the office. They are usually bitter people looking for whom to make bitter. Regardless of how innocent a fake coworker might look, you should always be careful of what you choose to disclose with them.

A fake coworker can spread a hurtful and untrue rumor about you without you knowing. In other to deal with a fake co-worker, you need to reduce your trust and handle your important details with discretion.

Further reading: The Difference Between Networking and Making Friends

Why It Is Essential You Deal With a Fake Co-Worker?

A situation with a fake co-worker calls for immediate action, especially if you feel they’re ruining your image. Keeping a working relationship with a fake colleague is a threat to your peace of mind and your motivation to work. A fake co-worker can cause more damage than you had imagined.

They act like they care about our happiness and growth in the office but do the opposite behind our back. Because they are often our best friends at the office, it is easy to trust them but hard to believe they’d do us dirty.

Dealing with a fake coworker can be tricky and annoying, but it is essential you deal with them earlier, so you can shift your focus on more productive work relationships keeping no grudge at heart.

How To Identify a Fake Coworker

Fake colleagues make use of the excuse of being our friends to undermine our work. They often act like they’re better than us because they are aware of some of our weaknesses. A fake co-worker might not be that easy to identify, but you can confirm your suspicion with some of these traits:

1. They are backstabbers

The most common trait of a fake coworker is that they find every opportunity to back-stab you. They always try to paint you as the bad guy in front of other coworkers and your superiors while still trying to be your friend.

2. They are office gossip

Wondering how your secret and personal ideas are spreading like a wide fire in the office? Well, a fake coworker close to you might be the real why. A two-faced coworker will always look for reasons to be close to so they can tell everyone about your business.

3. They are the fake manager

They often like they know it all, always giving unsolicited advice that might end up ruining your work credit. They always try to discredit your work so they can easily make use of the idea for themselves.

4. They are always toxic towards other co-workers

You’re not the only one observing their toxicity. If you decide to ask around, you’ll find out from other coworkers how their negativing is rubbing off on them. A fake co-worker will always badmouth others while making themself look like the best.

5. They are always envious of your success

They always look forward to hearing about your downfall and your growth. A fake coworker will always want to take what’s yours from you, and it usually starts when they compare themself with you and engage in silly competitions.

Further reading: How To Set Career Goals And Achieve Them

What To Avoid When Dealing With a Fake Co-Worker

Because dealing with a fake co-worker is a tricky situation, you need to be aware of a few things that won’t make the situation worst or paint you into a bad person.

1. Avoid telling them how fake they are

When you decide to take the hard step towards a fake colleague, it is important you avoid telling them how fake they are. Since they are pretentious individuals, you don’t want to get caught up in their web of lies, just tell them what they did you find hurtful but not how fake they are.

2. Don’t make it obvious when ignoring them

While avoiding a fake co-worker might seem like the best thing to do, you mustn’t make it too obvious. Fake people are good at making themselves the victim of a situation. Don’t give them the access to becoming one in this scenario, but keep a limit on the information you’ll be sharing with them.

3. Avoid reacting negatively to rumours

Reacting negatively to a hurtful rumor simply gives a fake coworker the access to get to you. You know these rumors are not true, so why bother?

How to Deal with a Fake Coworker at the Office | 2023

Here is the guide on how to deal with a fake coworker at the office;

1. Confirm Your Doubts About Them

The very first step in dealing with a fake co-worker is to get your facts right. Accusing someone of being two-faced can ruin the prospects of your relationship in the future. And that is why you need to be sure of their wrongdoings and their actions before knowing what to do next.

If you’re suspecting your co-worker based on common talks in the office or from other doubtful sources, you are not different from other gossip-monger in the office and that can give others the wrong impression about you. Don’t act on rumors, you need to confirm your suspicion about them yourself, before pointing fingers. 

2. Limit your interactions with them

Once you’re are sure of your doubts, and you have proof that suggests that your sweet co-worker is a fake person, you need to limit your interactions with them. Doing this doesn’t mean you don’t care about them, it simply means you are looking out for your sanity and peace of mind.

Keeping your communications at bay will help you focus on things and the people that matter. Putting a limit on your interactions doesn’t mean you have to be mean, rude, or toxic, you have to look at how they’ve hurt you in the past and know what to give out when having a chat with them, and also avoid over sharing important details about you.

3. Observe Their Personality

Patience and observation are what you need the most when dealing with a fake co-worker. Although, fake co-workers can be pretentious, which will probably make them difficult to observe.

But you can study their pattern and how they operate. They could be types that love to act like they have your best interest at heart or the type that pretends to listen while they plan to steal your ideas. You need to learn about what kind of person they are, and if possible, make research about them. When you observe their personality, you’ll know the best way to avoid them. 

4. Learn To Control Your Emotions Around Them

If one of your co-workers turns out to be fake, you need to learn how to control your emotions around them. As you grow older, you’ll realize you can’t control other people, but you can always learn to control how you react and how you respond to their tactics.

A fake co-worker will always try to make you their friend and always act like they are your supporter, just to turn around and look for ways to ruin your efforts. Regardless of your decision, controlling your emotions the right way will help you understand how to overcome their antics. 

5. Accept Them For Who They Are

Often times, we make our conclusions based on mere hearsay about our co-workers with the assumption that they are fake. If you have a co-worker that acts as your friend while they are with you, and when they are not with you, they look for all means to tarnish your image; it means you’re dealing with a fake coworker.

Accepting them for who they are might be one of the best ways to move forward. Knowing they are who they are will enable you to focus on more important people.

6. Confront The Mean Co-Worker

If you can’t find a place in your heart to accept them for who they are, maybe this is the time for you to take the bold step of confronting them about their actions.

In confronting a fake coworker, stand your ground, be polite, and don’t accuse them, as this might make the matter worst. One important thing to note is that your confrontation does not mean that all will be well as a magic show, but you’ll come to realize that you feel better after voicing out your situation.

7. Be Professional And Stay Positive 

In all you do and say, always remain professional with a positive mind. Your mental health matters and which is why confronting a fake coworker today will improve your health.

Whatever your decision is, whether to accept them for who they are or to confront them, you should always remain professional, and calm, and keep your confidence level on the rise.

A fake colleague will always look for ways to label you as a bitter and negative person. Don’t allow them to turn you into someone like them. Always strive to be positive.

As a professional, you need the right knowledge to keep you on track. Check out: 50 Inspiring and Motivational Quotes for Professionals

8. Set Boundaries

Your mental health should be your priority when dealing with a fake co-worker. if you work with a fake individual, keeping a healthy distance from them is the best thing to do.

A fake co-worker will always try to make you feel safe and comfortable around them so they can use your weakness against you and probably encourage you to do things that will drain your energy.

Avoid a fake co-worker without making it obvious that you are avoiding them, stay away from their toxicity, and this will reduce the harmful effects they have on you.

9. Stay Neutral At Work

When toxic co-workers talk about other colleagues in a bad way, always try to stay neutral. Don’t over-share information that can be used against you later. Resist the urge to keep in touch with a fake co-worker. When you stay neutral at work, you’ll maintain a positive work environment for yourself and everyone around you. Limit your interactions with a fake co-worker, and save yourself from people and things that will hurt you.

When a fake co-worker approaches you in the office, try to make every part of your discussion work-related. Avoid wasting time on unproductive discussions that will become food to the office gossip mill. And when sharing work-related information, don’t share your important ideas if you don’t want them stolen and if you want to get discouraged from making your ideas into a reality.


What is the best way to deal with a fake coworker?

The best way to deal with a fake coworker is to limit your interactions with them.

Can I confront a fake coworker?

Yes, you can confront a fake coworker, as this will help you deal with the situation properly.

How to deal with a fake colleague at work?

If a fake colleague is tarnishing your reputation at work, you should consider telling the HR dept before it gets worst.
Avoid over-sharing important details when they are around you.
You can make things work out by confronting them. This way you’re asking them to do better than in the past.


The workplace is usually filled with people with original personalities. Fake coworkers can drive you crazy because one minute they are your best friend at work, and the next minute they are your worst enemy.

The good news about such individuals is that you learn how to cope with them or save yourself from unnecessary drama. I hope this overview gives you the answers to your questions on How to deal with a fake coworker at the office.



Leave a Reply
You May Also Like