Six Seditious Smears (And How to Clean Up)

 

 

The smear campaign is a regular weapon in our arsenal. Deployed in order to maintain our façade and ensure that everybody thinks that you are the abuser, you are the trouble maker and that you are the Crazy One. A method of getting our retaliation in first. The smear campaigns are such that you have no idea they are being carried out until the damage is done. You may find out through a third party tipping you off about what is being said about you. You may find out because we have instructed a lieutenant to tip you off in order to allow us to draw fuel from your horrified reaction and frantic attempts to repair the damage. Naturally, we only allow the tip off to take place once we are satisfied that our smears have sunk in and taken effect. The first you may know about these smear campaigns is when you try to tell other people about our behaviour, either during the relationship or when you have sought to escape or have been discarded. You find that you are met with shaking heads, blank looks and declarations of disbelief as your protestations are regarded with scepticism and whispered comments about you having lost the plot. To come up against this wall, especially when you are often in the greatest need, distressing. This distressing is magnified when it occurs with people you thought that you could rely on. Our poison seeps everywhere.

The smear campaign is almost always used at some point when you have become entangled with our kind. There are many different kinds, but here are six which are regularly used.

 

 

  1. The Abuser

 

We like to trot out tales about how cruel and unpleasant you have been to us. Whether it is preventing us from seeing our friends, not letting us have our say, making decisions for us, hitting us, failing to attend to household chores whilst we are out working to support the household, not showing us any affection, questioning us about our movements, calling us names and so on, it will be used against you. Much of the smear campaign is based on projection as we tell everybody that you have been doing the very things that we have been doing. That way we can provide sufficient detail about the form of abuse, because we have done it ourselves, so that it is given the mantle of believability. If we furnish such detail and avoid vagueness, our lies are made all the more believable. All types of smear campaign operate on the basis of making you out to be abusive in some way. Some are specific, as you will see below, whereas this form of smear campaign is predicated on an avalanche of plausible behaviours which cover a vast spectrum of abusive actions towards us from locking us out of our own home at night because we went out with friends to tipping freezing cold water over us when sat in the bath and pretending it was a joke, from making us sleep on the floor to hiding our car keys when we needed to be somewhere. A long list of awful abuses will be detailed along with how much of a martyr we have been in trying to put up with them and make things better.

 

  1. The Philanderer/The Slut

 

We play the card that we are not given any affection, love or sexual gratification by the abuser but more than that you are busy engaging in frequent affairs and one night stands with other people. We have given you chances after discovering what you have been doing, because we want to get things back on track. We have given you everything and this is how we are repaid. We are heart-broken by these repeated infidelities. We will identify people of the opposite sex that you are close to and pedal lies that “there is something going on” between you and them. Those people we know who enjoy some tittle tattle will be approached first in order to give the lies some “legs” so that they will not only believe what they have been told about you and the neighbour, you and your colleague and you and the gardener, but they will spread the smear even further. Add in some casual sexual encounters we have learned about, linked to the fact you work away/work in a bar/ are friendly and out-going then the lies gain more traction.

 

  1. The Spender

We work hard each day to provide for you and all you do is sit around ordering things off the internet, going out to lunch, organising another home improvement and frittering away our hard-earned money. We make out that you are squandering the fruits of our labour by pointing to the recent purchase of some expensive shoes, conveniently leaving out that this is the first pair you have bought in two years and you saved up for them. The joint credit card which bears the hammering of our profligate spending will be attributed to you. Words such as fraud, leech and gold digger will be bandied around as we make you out to be a free loader who has taken considerable advantage of our hard-working nature and generosity.

 

 

 

 

  1. The Lunatic

This smear campaign will involve heart-felt explanations to medical professionals about your behaviour in order to have them say that there could be something wrong but they would need to undertake a proper diagnosis. We will take from this informal consultation the part we want to hear and then spread this around to other people.

“Yes I was concerned about her behaviour and because I care, I mentioned it to Dr Whitecoat and he told me that it would appear that she has a mental health issue. I know, it is terrible but it explains so much of her erratic behaviour. The thing is, I don’t know if she will allow herself to be treated. Of course she will insist that there is nothing wrong with her, but apparently that is what these people do, they have no insight that there is anything wrong with them.”

Sound familiar at all? We will pick on entirely innocuous behaviours of yours and magnify them so they become regarded as problematic. Idiosyncrasies will be portrayed as aberrations from normal behaviour and of course the more you try to point out that is us and not you, the crazier you appear.

 

  1. The Turncoat

In this smear campaign we actually place the focus of your horrible behaviour on not just us but other people as well. We spend our time telling other people the horrible things you have said about them behind their backs. Of course, since we are in a relationship with you, it stands to reason that what we are saying must be true, otherwise why would we make it up about the person we love. We maintain that we are telling the “victim” of your scurrilous comments so they can keep an eye out for it happening again and to be a little wiser in their engagements with you. This will be based on oral recollection, so difficult to prove, but often we will engage a lieutenant in corroborating our lies so that the recipient believes us and is too busy basking in their own indignant and annoyed reaction to test the veracity of what they are being told.

 

  1. The Addict

You have a serious problem and the time has come to tell other people about it. You enjoy the occasional flutter on the horses. You actually have a huge gambling issue which incorporates the casino, slot machines, betting on line, frequent trips to the bookmakers and even betting on which of two rain drops will trickle down the pane the fastest. You may like a drink now and again and we will turn this into full blown alcoholism, showing off pictures of the empties in the over flowing recycling bin. Those empties are ours or are the product of a weekend party but we are not going to let that get in the way of our smear. You are addicted to sex, watching porn, trying to make us do things in the bedroom that we do not want to do, demanding sex on tap and demeaning us. Your recent weight gain, although nothing significant is used against you as evidence of addiction to food, the money you waste on take away food is really starting to stack up now and the salad section in the fridge only ever stocks cream cakes these days.

 

How might you deal with these smear campaigns and wipe them clean from your reputation? You are never in a position to stop them before they begin because you will not know about them until they are at least up and running and unfortunately to you heartfelt and emotional protestations just work against you, give us fuel and encourage us to up the pressure against you.

 

 

  1. Avoid reacting to them in an emotional fashion. This starves us of fuel and may cause us to drop the campaign because it is no longer having the desired effect. Some damage has been done from it already, but you will limit that damage.
  2. Consider carefully who you feel the need to disavow of our lies. If you need support in the context of your escape, save your energies for addressing the lies with those that matter in terms of providing you with support. You may lose some friends, but were they really good friends to have if they were taken in by the smear campaign?
  3. Use any independent evidence you may have to show to people – documents, video recordings, independent witnesses and just provide this to the relevant recipient of the smear campaign for them to make up their own mind. State your side of the story, refer to the evidence and let them make their own mind up. People don’t like to be told what to do. By allowing them to reach their own conclusion as to who is telling the truth you are more likely to gain an ally again and one who will also expound your truth to others on your behalf.
  4. If people approach you concerning the lies and want to discuss it with you, more out of a desire to engage in salacious gossiping than know the truth, there is no point engaging in a lengthy discussion in order to persuade this person. They are not interested in the truth, only the buzz which comes from having some gossip. Raise your hand as they begin and tell them, “He has told lies and I do not want to hear any more or discuss them.” That will stop it in its tracks. You may also wish to add that the matter is in the hands of lawyers which often causes people to back off as they do not want to become embroiled in legal action.
  5. Don’t engage in a reverse smear campaign by talking about what we have done. This creates fuel from us and because we have got in first, it makes you look like you are only saying this because of what we have said. Concentrate on protecting your own reputation. Don’t be concerned with blackening ours.
  6. Adopting the above points will turn the tide so that we are left with a choice of having to expend more time and energy to maintain the smear campaign in light of your non-fuel provision and calculated approach or more likely we will see it is not working and look to concentrate on someone else rather than you.
  7. If the smear campaign is having adverse effects in terms of your job, your professional standing and interaction with the authorities, engage a lawyer to set the record straight. A well-drafted letter to the relevant decision-maker is often sufficient to address the matter. Don’t engage in sending threatening letters to us (unless the smear campaign is especially bad and having serious repercussions on your life and livelihood) as this provides us with fuel and also provides us with an arena for us to continue the allegations and to look to gain further traction.
  8. Sometimes the most appropriate way is to ignore what is being said and get on with your own life. This demonstrates you have not taken the bait which will infuriate us. You may find it uncomfortable having lies said about you, but if it is having no visible effect on you, we will move on. Third parties are usually too caught up in their own lives to have much regard for such tittle tattle for long.

 

Smear campaigns are usually rolled out at when you are at your lowest ebb, feeling frazzled and emotional and this is why they become so effective, but you are able to wipe the mud away and move forwards. You can learn more about dealing with this manipulation and many others in Escape: How to Beat the Narcissist available on Amazon.

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016P8VXQA

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B016P8VXQA

CAN https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B016P8VXQA

AUS https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B016P8VXQA

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26 thoughts on “Six Seditious Smears (And How to Clean Up)”

  1. I KNOW t6his smear campaign. this is her game plan to convince OTHER PEOPLE (but more so to convince ME that I am and will always be) the spender and the addict. The truth is I am an alcoholic (sober and in a 12 step program for three and a half years now) and yeah, I’ve pissed away a fair amount of money (Jack Daniels judgement makes you loose with the purse strings) but I’ve changed my ways. While most parents cover up their children’s indiscretions (and I never got a DUI, never was arrested, never came home pregnant because I spent a drunk night with a man whose name I couldn’t remember)my mother wants EVERYBODY to know about the times she found me passed out on the kitchen floor, and she seems to take particular glee in telling them I’ll never change (well, she thinks I’ll never change). She takes the same glee in telling them how I used to rack up the credit card charges (“three hundred dollars on shoes in one afternoon” she’ll say as though she doesn’t do that kind of damage herself) but she doesn’t mention the part about how the credit cards have been cut up and I’m still wearing those three hundred dollar shoes I bought five years ago(because Italian leather doesn’t go out of style).

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  2. I was only once in my lifetime victim of a smear campaign towards my family, but it was not similar to what is described above.
    I was accused of being rebellious and not obeying and doing my will. This unfortunately in some cultures is normal that the woman has to obey the man, like in mine so therefor of course , everybody believed him and not me.
    I just wonder if the above is common abuse or not, like making somebody sleep on the floor our pouring cold water……. Sounds unbelievable.
    Must be very hard to face to face something like this. Thanks for posting and the awareness. For the first time zero from the list 

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  3. Appreciate your addressing handling the smear- your “matter-of-fact” manner helps to cut thru the emotional “yes but’s…”, fear of “what others may think” in my head. I find it interesting how when you describe your process as a narcissist- you are incredibly descriptive. Artful, even? Yet when it comes to your addressing how the Empath or victim should respond— very objective, clear, definitive.

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    1. Well I am bound to spend more time describing what I do as I like to hog the attention. This aside, I am pleased you have picked up on this technique which I deploy.The descriptive elements of my kind’s behaviour is done deliberately to provoke an emotional response, make you identify with it and also to embed it through descriptive repetition. The response from your kind is also deliberate. It needs to be to the point for it to be effective and so the action required is not lost. It also needs to cut through the denial that often exists. I am pleased you have found it useful Lynn.

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      1. You definitely live up to your condition HG in that you know the exact way to describe a scenario that results in not just visual images in my mind but physical sensations in my body as well. You are wildly talented in this regard which is oh so very puzzling to me., the N ability to identify the exact psychological maneuver to get a particular response is a nuclear weapon in the hands of ISIS. Ok, that’s perhaps a bit of a stretch but…well…you know what I mean.

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  4. I know N1 had a smear campaign against me with his closest friends. They disliked me for no reason. Whenever he’d Hoover me back….he had to work hard on them to change their mind about me.
    N2 was a piece of garbage. He smeared me at my lowest. He hooked up with some girl at my best friends funeral. He took her to Mexico City in a business trip with him right after….(I guess I was too devastated by my friends death to be any fun for a while). He then broke into my email account and erased all love letters from him to me. He then through a big birthday party for himself with instructions to keep me out because I was a spurned and crazy lover?!! This all happened behind my back….I had no idea any of this was happening…..I went to Acapulco with a friend to chill out, and didn’t even know about the party….he told me he’d be traveling for work. I didn’t know the extent of the damage until a year later. The email violation had did it for me. I felt so betrayed and hurt….and I had no idea why he did it at the time….but I was done with him. It wasn’t until he screwed over another friend (platonic) that people started questioning his lies. He was a great friend in our group for years….after he overplayed his hand….he was shunned and labeled a sociopath….he moved to LA and lays low. He messages me via Facebook every few years….Hoovers….I take great pleasure in turning him down each time😀👏🏽!!
    N3 had very few friends…he’s burnt every bridge….I have tons of friends That’d never believe a bad word about me….although, I’m sure he’s making me out to be the bad girlfriend to his Match dates! He didn’t have bad things to say about his ex to me….only that she broke his heart…there might be a shred of decency in him….he knows in his heart his ex was a good woman that loved him….he could never really say anything bad about her….and that made him angry at times….he just said she stayed loyal through all he put her through (yes-that was another red flag I ignored)

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  5. Thank you for this HG .

    I choose to go for option 8 . It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life .
    Narc was trying to triangulate me with his new target & at the same time I became aware of the smear campaign.. I need to find some closure with his family , make them understand what he is . Is it possible ?

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      1. Good question HG . It’s difficult to say but it nags away at me sometimes . I suppose I want to be believed ? & would like some acknowledgment that what their son/brother subjected me to for many years wasn’t a figment of my imagination . They saw the bruises & the damage , welcomed me into their home & treat me like close family . Yet not a single message from any of them since the day he left to ask how I am . I don’t care about Narc , if he lives of dies , but it hurts me sometimes to think they never cared as much as they lead me to believe they did . Maybe I’m just reading too much into it ? What do you think ? Thank you for replying as always .

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      2. Your motives are typical and understandable but given the silence so far do you think that you will achieve it or instead provide fuel for him indirectly?

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      3. If I’m honest , the thought of providing indirect fuel never occurred to me BUT now you mention it HG 🙁

        I just find it difficult to believe that they could just cut me off at the same time narc did.
        Thanks again for your answers HG & the blog ..

        Enjoy the sunshine tonight .

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      4. You may be a narc HG , but somewhere in there is a really nice GENUINE person . I hope you find him one day .

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  6. I am curious to know what constitutes running a smear campaign? Is it mainly if you are at risk of being found out? If a person attempts to smear you first?

    Are you compelled to embark upon one for small infractions – such as a person being unwilling to respond to your hoovering tactics, etc?

    Je suis tout simplement très curieuse……

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    1. In order to save my fingers B&T you will find the answers in the forthcoming blogposts Why do Smear Campaigns Work? and How Do Smear Campaigns Affect You So Effectively?

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  7. You’re a wealth of information as usual HG! My current N executed every tactic you’ve described. It was a rather difficult task for him but he has caused the most damage of the 4. He manipulated others (new victim & some of his family) into calling my job & governing body of licensure causing me to defend myself in my professional life. Fortunately for me, after overcoming the first wave of attack, the new victim had gained such confidence in her new position, she sent me several threatening messages to execute such again. I quickly forwarded them to the appropriate people which headed it off. I had desires to return the deed, but I simply could not cause harm to others intentionally. But lately, I have felt compelled to irritate the N with my new found knowledge, does that make me the same? I feel as though each encounter has left a piece of evil in me. Is that possible HG?

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      1. Thank you as always HG! I might say, being of the lessor kind & extreme lack of even basic education, he is unable to spell narcissist let alone comprehend & accept the concept. I am however the “bad” guy in every smear campaign. I merely thanked him for thinking of my well being enough to rid me of those who were not really friends. After all, he spent much time over the years deciding which of my family & friends are in my (his) best interest. I do recognize the “bad” when I encounter it, but codependency & an attraction to the unusual, allows for me to subject myself. After all, I need to be needed, so we fulfill each other’s needs. Oh the dysfunction of it all HG!!

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  8. Never forget the power of laughter; honestly, the BEST response you can give to a tattle-tale gossip monger flying monkey pot-stirrer when they come running to you with the latest allegation from the Narcissist is to muster up the biggest LAUGH you can and say “What a silly person that Narcissist is! That’s the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard!” Any outrage, indignation, or upset that the lies cause you gives credibility to the lie and the liar. So just laugh it off, because it is ridiculous once you take your wounded ego out of the picture. I have an NPD in my life who calls me a cheater, an incestuous ho, etc…..and the only cheater ho in this story is the NPD. laugh it off. the NPD is making a fool of h-self.

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  9. I must say that not all smear campaigns happen when you’re at your lowest

    The one against me has been going off & on since October 2009 & we’ve been separated from each other 2 years. That definitely tells you something

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  10. Been there, done that.

    I was double “smeared” (during and certain time after divorce) by my first husband (socially) and his mother (professionally) at the same time. They did their job very thoroughly.

    During that “smear company” I was guided by 2 precious advices my super-empathic grandmother gave me when I was a child.

    1. Never complain, never explain.
    2. Time always reveals the truth. Wait.

    It worked.

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