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A Look at Why People Are Two Faced: The Real Person Behind the Smile.

Nell is a psychologist and writer. She is interested in many aspects of Psychology and how we treat each other. plus DNA and Genealogy.


gossip girls why so bitchy?

gossip girls why so bitchy?

Friends or Foes?

Why are people two-faced? What makes someone suddenly turn from being a friend into an enemy? Is it because they have always been sly, or do they really believe you have slighted them in some way?

People are strange creatures, we learn to behave early on in life, and manners are one of the main things that our parents teach us.

Throughout our lives, we meet lots of different personalities. Some we automatically get on with, and others we take an aversion to straight away.

But what of the people we believe are our friends? What makes them suddenly turn against you even if you believe there is nothing wrong. And especially if you haven't argued, or seen them for a few days?

What on earth do we do? Well, don't panic. Here are a few tips on how to resolve the problem of a two-faced friend.

Two Faced

Two Faced Liar

Two Faced Liar

The Psychology Of Bitchiness

Why do we never see a two-faced bitchy person coming? We may have been friends or colleagues for months or even years, but there has never been any indication that this person is going to turn and turn badly on us.

The trouble seems to be when a third person gets involved. I believe that the relationship between the two people will work as it has to balance even in a slightly crooked way. But add to the ingredients, a third person, then the whole ambience goes out of the window.

Maybe the third person has a couple of facets of personality more similar to your friend. For example, you trust people, they are less likely to trust someone. Add the third scenario and the first person may feel that they have someone else to back them up.

But why turn on the first friend even though they may have done nothing wrong?

Hiding Behind The Mask

Wearing a mask

Wearing a mask

How To Deal With Bitches

wiki commons photo

wiki commons photo

Bullying and Back Stabbing Why Do They Do It?

It seems to me that for this scenario to work, the first friend has to have been keeping her nasty side covered up.

This is a clever tactic to make sure that all their options are open. In other words, they may not like you or your 'too nice' approach, but they have nobody else.

The second another person appears more suited to their personality then you are expendable. Simple as that.

But What if your friend turns on you because they believe gossip from a third person?

This one is pretty difficult to understand. You have known this person for a long time. Another person comes along, gossips poison in their ear and they believe it?! What?

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How did that happen? And why would your friend feel the need to believe it?

And that's the question, isn't it?


I think the answer to the question above, is that if your friend hears something nasty about you, whether it's true or not, it probably hurts them so much to think that they have been taken in by you all these years, then they can't see the wood for the trees. If you see my point.

Take this scenario. You have been together a long time, another person enters the equation and says they saw you do something horrible. Steal, fight, take your boyfriend and so on. They are so hurt that they never even think that the third person is lying.

So why don't they ask you? Now that's a good question!

Embarrassment? Maybe. Hurt? Probably. And so on.

But What about you? Why on earth are you not approaching your friend and asking them;

Why is this happening?

The Shifting Of The Wheel.

Now, this is going to sound rather strange, but if you think about it we all have our place in the friendship wheel. I call it that because it's a case of positioning. Your friend is to the right. You are in the middle and family and other friends are to your left and right. Metaphorically speaking.

In other words, mentally you know who sits where and you are comfortable there.

So what happens if the situation changes?

The seating shifts. Your friend is no longer where she was before. Her attitude has made the wheel turn slightly. All the other players in the bitchfest have moved up a notch.

Apart from you. It's a bit like feeling as though you are slightly uncomfortable in your chair. They have moved, and the atmosphere is slightly darker, but you didn't see the move coming.

Mentally you have to shift pretty quickly to keep up or else you are lost, embarrassed, upset and don't know what to do.

So, here's the thing. You have to tackle the situation full on or otherwise that wheel will be shifting some more and you will be left behind.

So, what are you going to say or do? Confront them? Ignore them?

Here are a few ideas that may help.

Free photos

Free photos

How To Handle Two Faced or Gossip Friends.

  • Don't let the situation go on for more than a few days. Do it, and do it now.
  • Confront your friend. Get him or her on their own and ask what the heck has gone wrong.
  • Find out if you have offended them.
  • If you are the recipient of gossip, go through the exact words that were said and say in a calm way, no sorry that's not true. Then go on to explain reality.
  • If they look as though they don't believe you, turn on the hurt look. And then say: How can you believe that new person when you have known me for years? Can't you see the fact that you have been manipulated? This will cause them to doubt the other person, and you will be able to sort out your problems.
  • If your friend doesn't believe you, be brave, and face both of them. The new outsider will show her true colors when confronted, trust me!
  • And last but not least, if all else fails, drop the so-called friend like a can of worms. There are always better and nicer people out there!


Old lady gossipy and bitchy

Old lady gossipy and bitchy

My Experience.

Sometimes bitchy gossips come in 'Little old lady' packages! Long story short, one neighbor started an argument, my ex yelled back, and of course, my ex got the blame. I wasn't even there, but got the cold shoulder from another neighbor too! Of course, my nice neighbor believed the 'Little old lady' Because she was, well, a little old lady!

The truth of the matter is that this sweet lady, when the other neighbor moved in a couple of years ago stated that, and I quote:

'I can't believe that horrible man is moving upstairs, he is a nasty person, if he moves in I will move'.

I was gobsmacked, to say the least! I told her he was a great guy and so was his daughter, but she turned up her nose and said, 'I hate him, he has been married so many times he is disgusting'!

My point?

Gossips don't always come in the package you think they do. And don't always trust the ones that look so sweet and innocent. They do have claws too!

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Nell Rose


Jennifer Panaro from Eastchester on April 07, 2020:

Great article and I love your advice!

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 09, 2019:

Thanks Lora, it can be so hard. I remember when I was at school, it was a nightmare!

Lora Hollings on October 08, 2019:

I certainly have had my experiences with friends and even family, sadly, that are two faced! Coming from a large family and with the kind of dynamics that we had to cope with as children, I guess that it isn't really surprising but still it can really hurt and be hard to deal with. Sibling rivalry can cause much dissension between family members especially with parents who aren't adept at handling it. Your article, Nell, gives us some great insight and good advice on how to deal with the rocky road in relationships. Thanks for sharing!

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 08, 2019:

Thanks Patricia, I do know how you feel. I had ten years of bullying at school. Nightmare!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 08, 2019:

Nell thanks for the info. I have been thrown under the bus a few times. And I wonder if the person who did it was doing it in a mean spirited way. I may be truly blind but think it was less about me and more about shining in the eyes of someone else. It is a long story but I survived. And that is a good thing. Angels are headed your way this morning ps

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 08, 2019:

Thanks, Haleema, I am so glad it is helpful.

Rêveuse Consciente from Pakistan on October 08, 2019:

This article will help me alot in my life, thanks for guiding.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 03, 2017:

Exactly Mary! drives me totally insane! lol! thanks for reading.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on November 03, 2017:

I live in a small village and gossip spreads like wildfire. No one stops to ask if it is true or to find out more info. We choose to distance ourselves quickly, who needs that agro?

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 05, 2017:

Hiya Paula, my stupid spam folder grabbed your comment and ate it up! luckily I check it sometimes! lol! and yes I am the clumsiest woman in hubville! LOL! and good to know that I am not the only one! thanks and I will be over there soon, as long as I don't trip over my words! LOL!

Suzie from Carson City on July 12, 2017:

What??! You FELL and bruised yourself? Oh dear. Hope you're OK, Nell! I had no idea you are competing with me for "Clumsiest Woman of Hubville!!"

If it makes you feel any better, I fall, trip, stumble, walk into doors, stub my toes & spend more time on my a$$, than any woman I know! I'm an accident waiting to happen.

My Dad used to call me, "Grace."......Be careful!!

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 12, 2017:

Hiya Paula, good to see you! sorry it took me a while to get back to you. falling flat on my face and bruising the whole of my body tends to make you take it easy for a while! lol! ouch! yes I never suffer fools as my mum used to say. If they do it to someone else then they will do it to you! x

Suzie from Carson City on July 11, 2017:

Hello Nell, my lovely English friend. The first time I commented to this article, I wrote a little poem. I saw it today in the main thread so I thought I'd visit again.

The title jumped out at me today for some reason.....I guess I'd be able to tolerate it somewhat if people were only TWO-faced but the reality is, there are those clever individuals who wear 4, 5 & 6 faces, depending upon what "game" they're playing on a particular day!! Annoying, maddening and quite disappointing but often we have to deal with these creeps.

Being real, authentic and honest seems to be on the HP menu today. I just commented to an article by Patrick Patrick that is geared toward being WHO WE TRULY ARE AT ALL TIMES, no matter what. It took me a very long time to come to terms with the fact that just because I am strictly who I am and play no games or get into damned drama & lies.....that everyone is NOT quite the same.

I actually read some of the comments here again and Bill's is great. I've often made this statement and get a lot of grief over it from people who think, that's so harsh or unfair. Well, so be it. I'm aware of all the "forgiveness" thing...but I'm terribly selective about who I will consider forgiving & WHY. My rationale is that certain people will survive just fine without my forgiveness. Most of all, I will NOT forgive if it doesn't come straight from my heart. I do not do the lip service crap! Plain and simple. I say what I mean and mean what I say... If I don't mean it, I will not waste my time nor that of someone else That's just the way it is with me.

Yes, I have walked away and cut someone out after a first offense, certainly if it was egregious enough and/or caused unwarranted strife. No, I do not give certain types of people a 2nd chance to stab or use me. Period, the end....

So, I guess those who wear two faces (or more) need to just go on their way or I'll gladly direct them to the exit! Haven't the time for such pathetic persons!......Good to see you Nell! Paula

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 07, 2017:

Hi Sixtu, yes I know many people like that, its awful isn't it? thanks for reading.

Nell Rose (author) from England on March 30, 2017:

Thanks Ella, yes I remember it well too! looking back I realise just how horrible people could be. Thanks for reading.

Ella White on March 29, 2017:

I remember my old school friends used to talk behind my back. I really think that we should just avoid them.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 22, 2016:

Hi LaBuck, I am so sorry to hear that, a similar thing happened to me. I hope you feel a bit better now that you have written it all down. the best thing to do? is take a deep breath, imagine wiping her away with your hand against your head, and then throwing it away. she is no more. forget her, and get on making new proper friends. Good luck, and good thoughts go with you, nell

LaBuck on June 22, 2016:

Oh my, I had a 2-faced "Christian" friend that I adored and enjoyed so much talking to about the Lord, and bore my deepest secrets to. I loved that friend. However, she wasn't everything she claimed to be to me behind the scene. She lived her life like a backslid sinner and would speak in the Heavenly language to give the appearance of a sanctified christian. I never questioned her because, what I didn't see about her, never happened. Later on, she was the abandoned wife and single parent without any means of support. She was always needing help financially and if I had it, I would give what I could. It finally, got to be expected out of me. I finally had to put limits on what I could do and when that occurred, our friendship was getting to where, I hated to see her come and knock on my door. I knew there was a reason for their unexpected visit and it had nothing to do with returning the favor. It was i need, I need, I need all the time. Some how my friend plotted a one night stand with my brother against my request that she not get involved with my family in such a way. She did it anyway being 10 yrs older than my brother, she knew he was having marriage problems and took it upon herself to have a little fun with him and I think this was the straw that broke the camel's back with me and her. She also was one that wanted to get her own sister in trouble about inappropriate activity being an employee at a prison and her sister being involved with inmates. My friend told me all this trash about her own sister knowing that I would report it to the staff and have it invested. She knew that wouldn't tolerate knowing someone putting other employees at risk at what her sister was guilty of and I would do what needed to be done. So basically my so called christian friend that I loved plotted and baited me to do her dirty work against her own sister to get her fired.and all the whole time my friend was destroying my brothers family and betraying my friendship from the inside out. When her sister was fired, she knew her sister my friend was the one that let the cat out of the bag. Then called my house and screamed and cussed me for stabbing her in the back... I was hurt but was more pissed than anything. I just basically told her that I had already figured her out and the poor pitiful victim game she played on me. I told her she will never get that opportunity to mess me over ever in this lifetime or any other. several years went by, she tried to reconnect with me, but I wasn't interested in her drama. I never answered my door whe she came by several times knocking. I don't want no part of her in my life again and I blocked all contact with her. She was a big user and the biggest 2faced comedian friend I have ever came across.

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 14, 2015:

Hi Naomi, no, never ever go back under your rock! you have done nothing wrong! This is typical of when a third person enters a two girl friendship. For some reason the third new girl always wants to push their way in and push one out, you in this case! if your first friend was a real friend they would tell this other girl where to go. as she hasn't neither of them are worth your while. funnily enough, we always think that we need to be hard to stick up for ourselves. This isn't true, just a little push, a 'can't care less' attitude and 'up yours' to them will totally astonish them, and make your friend realise what she has lost. The good thing about it is this, and it happens every single time. The new girl will mess up somehow and your friend will be left on her own. it happens in friendships and relationships, then you can stand back and laugh your head off! Good luck, and never ever let them put you down, you are worth more than that, believe me, okay? take care, and come back to let me know how you got on if you want to, nell

Naomi on February 13, 2015:

This exact thing has happened to me at my workplace just recently! I became really close friends with a coworker because we had so many things in common like sense of humor and Asian foods we both like and eat all the time. I guess another problem is that both our moms worked there with us too. BUT shit didn't start happening until a third person came along and we became a trio! I was good friends with her for 7 months and we were only friends with that 3rd person for about 2 months. Now we're not friends anymore because the 7-month accused me of shit I didn't do on the grounds of what 2-month told her like insult her mother! I admit, I did tell 2-month some things that I didn't think 7-month would like to hear but it was only for a sign of approval because I felt guilty about accidentally revealing something about her to my own mom. But that isn't something so terrible as to completely write me off as someone who runs her mouth all the time and completely ostracize me for! She has already seen my true colors. Who she saw in those 7-months is all I was: a scaredy-cat who pretty much has zero social skills. Why would I even hate on her mom? I barely get to see her because she doesn't work until the next shift! I knew it was too good to be true that I made 2 good friends in the span of just half a year! Sorry for my long rant; back under my rock now.

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 08, 2014:

Hi Nate, first of all I am sorry to hear you have been treated this way. But i believe that the best way to handle this is to see that she obviously wants a complete break from you, as you said, she is your ex. Whether its a guy or a girl, our ex partners can be really hurtful, most times for no reason. But you have to stop and think. what good would it do if you did come face to face with her? you would argue, she would hate you, and all you would end up doing is being really hurt and upset all again.

Her friends really don't have anything to do with it. She went to them after breaking up with you, even if she was friends with them when you were together nobody can make someone break up unless she wants too.

You are only hurt because you are allowing her to hurt you. go to a room where no one can hear you, yell at the bed, the tv, or the chair, and imagine she is in there listening, if you want to lash out hit the crap out of a pillow or cushion, then when you are exhausted stand there and say out loud, no I am done with you. I will no longer let you upset me, you are not worth it. I am going to get on with my life.

and just remember, she wasn't the one for you. The next girl you meet and date could be the one. you are missing out on meeting her because of your anger.

The only person who is hurting you is yourself. Good luck, and maybe come back to let me know how you are getting on? nell

Nate on December 07, 2014:

What am I to do when the person lives miles away, i.e across the sea?

An ex of mine, someone who practically begged me to stay friends, ended up blocking me completely and I have no way to communicate. Even so it would just look desperate. It infuriates me though how I've known them for 3-4 years and they turn their back on me for a group of people she'd known for a WEEK.

To be quite honest I want to do more than "talk" but I obviously could not bring myself to harm her. :/ Maybe I can beat her pals up, they're guys after all.

That sounds pretty shallow doesn't it? I'm not so good when it comes to very personal issues. It makes me lose control of my temper.

Nell Rose (author) from England on March 15, 2014:

Hi Eddy aw thank you! lol! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend too, and thanks! nell

Eiddwen from Wales on March 15, 2014:

I know I have read this one before but cannot seea comment so here it is now. A wonderful read as always Nell and so so interesting. What a great writer you are with a never ending source of wonderful topics. Voted up and wishing you a great weekend ( for the second time today)


Nell Rose (author) from England on March 11, 2014:

Hi Pan, that is so true, sadly I knew someone at work who actually had to be like a school child, even being nasty when she was pregnant for goodness sake! thanks so much for reading, nell

April Seldon from New Orleans on March 10, 2014:

This hub was very informative, I think some people act two faced toward nice people because they think the nice person has some ulterior motive for choosing to be good, some people are raised different and think that you think your better than them if you choose good. People that choose the opposite do it because they think it is the way of the world and so they follow what the majority does. Some people never grow up out of the childishness they had in high school and if they come into an environment where they perceive others acting that way than they will bring that personality out to conform to what everyone else is doing like a robot. Majority of people do not use their own mind, they just follow the leader.

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 19, 2014:

Thanks jainismus, glad you liked it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 19, 2014:

Hi rebecca, thanks so much for reading, and yes you are right, a third person totally changes it all, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 19, 2014:

Hi Doc, thanks so much, yes I tend to know someone within a second! but have to hold off until I really know, lol!

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on January 19, 2014:

Great analysis of two faced people. This hub is very useful for everybody.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on January 19, 2014:

Great Hub! You have put so much thought into what makes people tick. I like your list of suggestions on how to deal with two-faced friends. I agree, I think most of the time it is the stirrings of a third party.

lovedoctor926 on January 18, 2014:

Nell, I can read through a person's eyes and through that smile as well within a matter of seconds. I have developed this skill since I have worked with these types of people and in your daily interactions with others. I like to apply the 90 day rule when you meet someone just like you do with men. Usually after 3 months, you start seeing a person's true colors. Body language speaks louder than words. A very good hub.. I've read this one before. voted up & sharing

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 18, 2014:

Hi LadyFiddler, thanks so much for reading, yes sometimes we have to look behind the smile to see the darn frown! lol!

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on January 18, 2014:

Hi Nell Good Night your sure right about that it comes in all kinds of deceptive packages beautifully wrapped. That's why regardless of who it is we must never believe everything we hear even if it's coming from a best friend. I don't think we can avoid these people in life, we must cross paths with these people.

Sometimes we to find ourselves listening to gossip or throwing in notches so we are all guilty at some time or the other.

Thanks for sharing and i do share your sentiments.

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 15, 2013:

Thanks torrilynn, glad you liked it, nell

torrilynn on December 14, 2013:

Great advice all of the points were touched. Voted up.

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 10, 2013:

Thanks for reading crafty, glad you liked it, nell

CraftytotheCore on October 09, 2013:

Hi Nell! Wow, what a story. I can totally relate, but it would take several chapters of a book before I could get it all written out. Nice advice.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 05, 2013:

Two-faced people are all over the place I had some encounters and mingle with those kind anymore a great hub in such kind of people.