Have you found yourself the unsuspecting idol of a “Love to Hate You” fan club, seemingly overnight?
Have you found yourself in the awkward (and super-frustrating) position of being the target of a narcissist’s #smear campaigns? Do people who used to like, respect, and maybe even love you- people who never had a problem with you before- all of sudden start avoiding you, being rude & disrespectful to you, or even, flat-out maligning you?
If so, then it’s likely that you have become the target of the narcissist’s infamous Smear Campaign. (Sorry)
If you know a narcissist, then, you that he (almost always) has a history of bi-polar, or “crazy”, exes. You also know that the narcissist has been the sad, defenseless victim of Life’s cruelty.What you may not know is: It’s all a bunch a garbage. A pack of fantastical lies, exaggerations, and delusion.
Just another weapon in the narcissist’s arsenal of tactics.
What is a smear campaign?
A smear campaign is the purposeful, and ill-intentioned, spread of false and vicious information about a narcissist’s intimate partner. Think of presidential campaigns, and how the candidates spread every bit of negative information about their opponent, that they can dig up, in order to destroy the opponent’s reputation and credibility.
The only difference between that nasty political tactic, and what the narcissist does, is this:
The narcissist doesn’t fact-check, in order to cover his ass…
he just flat-out lies.
Why does the narcissist smear you?
There a couple of reasons a narcissist might launch a smear campaign against you. The most common reason, though, is that the narcissist senses the relationship is nearing an end, and he fears being cast as “the bad guy”.
He is afraid you’ll tell people about his abuse. So, instead of risking any damage to his almighty image, he launches a preemptive strike against you. So, he can save face, and his true nature won’t be revealed. Not to mention, the sympathy/pity/outrage/commiseration/compassion he receives from others, when they hear how “bad” you really were.
If the narcissist senses the relationship could be coming to an end, then he knows he is in danger of losing his main source of supply.
Worse, if you go out, and tell other people the truth about why the relationship ended, then, he stands to lose ALL his sources of supply. He simply CAN NOT let that happen.
Without his sources of supply, the narcissist cannot survive. He NEEDS to have people who are willing to tell him how smart, handsome, amazing, fearless, successful, etc. he is. He needs these people to surround him, at all times.
Without supply, the narcissist ceases to matter. He is utterly without significance. In a sense, this is truly about survival for the narcissist. It really isn’t personal. The narcissist is simply attempting to protect the source of his personal significance- that which gives him life
Usually, the narcissist doesn’t smear you to “get back at you”
He doesn’t do it to hurt you, either. BUT, the harsh truth is he just doesn’t care if you DO get hurt in the process. To him, that is a fleeting and completely superfluous detail.
The people he is smearing you to, most often, know you. They have met you, talked to you, and would find it pretty hard to believe you capable of such horrible behavior. Telling people that you are “bi-polar”, or “crazy”, is how the narcissist reconciles the difference between what people know of you, and what he says about you.
So, what can you expect?
Signs you’ve become the target of a smear campaign
Narcissists all seem to get their ideas from the same playbook. The good thing about that is it makes them ridiculously predictable. A plus for you because, when you know what to expect, at least, you can know how to prepare yourself for it.
- You will almost always be labeled “crazy”, or “bi-polar” by the narcissist.
- You cease to receive invitations to family gatherings.
- Friends are not so friendly anymore.
- People look at you like you just killed their dog when you say ‘Hi’ to them.
- People start giving you weird looks.
- You get the feeling that people are trying to avoid you.
- Your calls, texts, emails, etc., start to go unanswered.
These are all signs that you have been the target of a narcissist’s smear campaign.
Understand that calling you “crazy”, or”bipolar” is, really, the only way for the narc to explain how such terrible things could be true about you. Also…
Be prepared for your every flaw to be magnified and completely blown out of proportion.
The narcissist will use a real behavior of yours- one that you’re probably not very proud of- and he exaggerates it to the millionth degree, to lead people to the conclusion he wants. And, because that person has most likely seen some version of the behavior in question, he believes the narcissist without much questioning.
Every mistake you’ve ever made will be magnified, exaggerated, taken out of context, and exploited to the greatest effect. Have you ever locked your car doors while driving through a rough-looking neighborhood? Well, congratulations, you’re now a racist.
Have you ever been to someone’s house, and they were serving something you didn’t like? You, of course, politely decline, right? Make an excuse about having already ate, or perhaps, you’re just not hungry at the moment? Well, now you’re rude, spoiled, and demanding. You’re unappreciative of all the work, that people do for you, and the sacrifices they make on your behalf.
See how that works?
All of that, put together, means that it’s easier for people to accept that you are what the narcissist said.
When he goes to a person, insinuating (or, outright accusing you of abuse), that person practically has no choice BUT to buy into it.They think; You, obviously, hide it very well… just like all abusers. (Ironic, isn’t it?)
I think that there is also an element of guilt here, too, which makes people more apt to believe the wild lies.
People hate to think that they might have possibly neglected someone in need.
Their guilt tells them that they “should have seen”, or they “should have paid closer attention”. A guilty conscience can push a lot of people to believe things that aren’t true. And really, if you felt guilty that a friend of yours was being abused, right under your nose, without you noticing… would you really challenge anything they said about their partner, when they are putting on an excellent show of victimhood?
I’m betting, no.
An example of a smear campaign tactic in action
I grew up as an only child. I had all the toys, or clothes (or whatever), I wanted. I got to take all kinds of lessons. Ice skating. Ballet, tap & hip hop dancing. Baton twirling. Theater. Modeling. Horseback-riding. etc. I got to travel lots, too. Brazil, Argentina, Morocco, France, Spain, Germany.
My parents weren’t rich but, they did their best to make sure I had lots of great experiences. And, little things- like having Mc Donald’s every week, after dance class- just didn’t occur to me as being a big deal.
On the other hand, the way my husband tells it, he grew up with three brothers, and a VERY poor family. I’ve had to hear the same, sad story about him being punished if he even so much as ASKED to have McDonald’s, more times than I count.
Our kids have memorized the story about how he had to eat dry peanut butter sandwiches (with only the most meager spattering of peanut butter, and of course, definitely, NO JELLY!), for school lunch every, single day.
He tells them that HIS mother wasn’t like “Vovo” (what my kids call my mother- it’s Portuguese for ‘grandma’). HIS mom refused to spend a single dollar on any non-necessities. Stories of ugly, too-big, thrift store clothing, hand-me-downs, and brand-name envy, run like they’re on auto-play.
Anyway, my point is that, because of these differences, my husband loves to label me as being “spoiled”. He wonders at the fact that I have a preference of bottled water. Why I don’t just buy the absolute cheapest (and chlorine-flavored) bottled water, instead, boggles his mind.
Even more baffling, to him, is why I don’t just drink from the tap. (Umm…because, yuck. That’s why.)
He calls me spoiled for spending an extra dollar to buy real butter, rather than artery-clogging margarine. I have “only-child syndrome” because I don’t buy steaks unless I have enough to afford either New York strip, or filet. I don’t enjoy eating tough, dry meat. Sue me.
It’s not like I demanded filet mignon every day. I simply didn’t buy the steak unless I had enough to afford the steak I like. If I didn’t have enough, I never complained about it, or even thought twice about it. Still, having the preference made me “spoiled”.
Most people know that I can have some strong preferences as to what I like, or dislike. On the other hand, they ALSO know that I’ve never exhibited any sort or demanding, or abusive, behavior in regard to that part of my personality.
Still, under the narcissist’s charming spell, they are able to put aside what they know of me, and believe whatever lies he tells them.
On a side note; It’s important to know that, in many cases, the narcissist won’t come right out and say bad things about you. That would make him look like he’s bad-mouthing you- or gossiping. He doesn’t want that .
He will rarely come right out and attack your character, which makes him all the more believable.
What he does is hint, imply, and insinuate. At times, he’ll even use that clever little trick we call, “reverse psychology”. The narcissist will lament some “unpleasant” behavior of yours but, then, he’ll martyr himself- claiming to be the cause of your so-called “bad behavior”.
What does it feel like to be the target of a smear campaign?
Simply put: It feels like shit.
There’s no two ways about it. Someone you loved, and trusted, just said the ugliest things about you, that you could imagine, to the people you cared about most. What’s worse… most of them, believed it.
Being the target, of a narcissist’s smear campaign, just plain sucks. Seriously.
Once the narcissist’s smear campaign begins, you start to get this “feeling”- like something is off. If you’re someone who is sensitive to energy (like I am), then you’ll feel it powerfully, and almost instantly. It’s an angry, disgusted, protective energy. And, it’s coming from all of the people the narcissist got to.
It is heartbreaking- and strong enough to knock you off your feet.
Some of these people- these newly recruited champions of the narcissist, we call ‘#flying monkeys‘- might try to act normally but, it will be more than obvious to you that something is just. Not. Right.
It hurts to see people that loved, and respected you yesterday, turn on you so quickly. But that’s just how it goes.
What to do about smear campaigns.
Nothing. Ignore them. Frankly, there is nothing you can say, or do, to stop it.
Once people have made up their minds about something, they rarely change it. They have no interest in things like “facts”, “evidence”, or this little, insignificant thing, called “the TRUTH”.
p style=”text-align: center;”>Trying to convince a flying monkey, that the narcissist has lied about you,
is the very definition of “an exercise in futility”.
The best advice I can give you is this: Just go on with your life. Hold your head high- and continue to be the awesome person you are. If someone wants to believe bad things about you, they are going to do that regardless of anything you could say or do.
Why waste your time and energy on trying to prove yourself to them? Start considering that sort of thing to be beneath you. Lowering yourself, to defend yourself against false judgments, only lowers your energetic vibration. Why sink to that level?
If you really want to chap the narcissist’s ass, then take the high road.
Another thing: Let go of any notion of revenge, or making him pay. I know that can feel like a next-to-impossible request, but… I’m serious. Every tactic he throws at you is designed to drag you down. Let that happen, and you just handed him a victory over you.
If someone is willing and open to hearing the truth, then speak the truth. Otherwise, forget those people. If they don’t have the decency to come to you, and confront you with the malicious gossip they’ve heard about you, then these aren’t quality people anyway. They are not loyal people.
Are you seriously sad to see them go? Consider yourself lucky. You have been shown their true colors. Better now, than when a time came, when you might have really needed their loyalty, only to find it conspicuously absent. Don’t you agree?
If you can’t ignore them, because maybe they’re family members, or something- then just keep being your kind, and respectful self. Expect them to do the same.
DO NOT allow people to demean you, and disrespect you.
Just because they were gullible enough to believe malicious lies about you, without having the class to talk to you about it, face-to-face, does not give them permission to mistreat you.
If a person has the audacity to be rude, degrading, and disrespectful to you- and yet still expect to be in your life for whatever reason- PLEASE, feel free to confront that person. CALMLY AND WITH CLASS.
If they insist on being assholes, then sister, cut that one loose. You’ve dealt with enough abuse already from the narcissist. You don’t need his flying monkeys on your back, too.You don’t owe anyone shit.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]The second someone gets disrespectful and nasty with you- that’s game over.[/clickandtweet]
Let them have their “friendship”- or whatever- with the narcissist. Honestly, they really, REALLY deserve it. Don’t you think? wink
Conversational Kung Fu:
“As long as YOU have no interest in behaving like a mature, rational adult…
I have no interest in YOU.”
Hey, Let’s talk!
- Tell me, “I’m bipolar and beautiful!”, if you’ve been “diagnosed” as such by your narcissist! LOL
- What’s the most crazy, outrageous, or insane lie that’s been told about you, that people actually believed?
- Have you taken the high-road, in response to the narcissist’s smear campaigning? How did he react? Could you tell how much it burned him to see it had no effect on you?
Weekly Periscope/Facebook/Twitter Live Chat
Want to hear some really great tips & strategies for handling Smear Campaigns with dignity, class, and a high-vibration that might actually do the situation some GOOD?
If so, Join me this Friday on Periscope (or Facebook live- depending on which is working, and which I can learn to use quickly enough- LOL) to chat more about this topic.
Follow me on Twitter & Periscope: @TheNarcsWife
Like my page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thenarcissistswife
This will be my very first time, using this particular tech, so be patient with me if I’m acting like a total “noob” (as my kids would say-LOL).
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Sister, there’s still hope,
~The Narcissist’s Wife