Getting Smeared (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,  is distressing. This distress 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 it 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.





32 thoughts on “Getting Smeared (And How To Clean Up)

  1. Sarah says:

    <3 You are my weedeater <3

  2. #CJ7# says:

    I find number #1 laughable…. In the sense that if my ex tried that sh*te on me…. I would laugh m self stupid!!!! ME……. Abusive?! Bahahahaha only when its well and truly deserving hahaha I would certainly give it right back to her if she wanted to start the abuse game lmfao…. I’m totally with dragoncreeper here…. Two can most CERTAINLY play at these games lmfao.

    #2…… again…. totally laughable the idea that I would be out slutting it up with the best of em!!!! Bahahaha no one would believe her if she even tried pulling this card and again… I would die of laughter if she tried.

    Ok…. so I finished reading all of it now and she might have me at #4 (I think?!)… The Lunatic!! hahaha. Ok… I might have been called crazy here and there… maybe had a short stint in a psych ward a couple of times…. but I’m not completely off my rocker!!! hahahaha

    Oh well…. She could have tried to smear me…. I honestly have no idea because I went all out with getting her the f*ck out of my life and obviously she is desperate for some fuel that I refuse to give EVER AGAIN so she has gone running back to her other ex… which I find hilarious TBH!!! Why??!….. Because I KNOW how UNHAPPY she is when she is with him and I’m guessing its coz he isn’t big on providing fuel… very emotionally stunted bloke indeed lmfao!!! So suck it up L…. have a lovely life…. truly…. I just don’t care anymore lmfao!!! I cant!!! I don’t have time to waste caring about her anymore… really I don’t!!! Its such a freeing feeling honestly… That’s the feeling I felt the instant I confirmed things were done… I felt like I had just ripped of these slave shackles and an iron slave collar and was free for the first time that I can truly remember!!! Its awesome….

    I f*cking love it!!!….. and she has another thing coming if she thinks she will EVER get those shackles and collar back on again….. Like F8ck that will ever happen!!! hahahaha

    Oops… Got on a bit of a rant there…. My apologies!!!

    Sorry bout that HG!! xx

  3. Violet says:

    This happened to me regularly from my family, group of female friends in school and later, from partners, colleagues and more female friends. The energy people draw from smearing is unbelievable.
    I became a kind of Jesus Christ and the United Nations to deal with it and this worked because my superior behaviour showed them up. But later found I flipped out from years of being too zen, and recently I just lost my temper with the final one narc who likes to control women and I called him everything I could think of he is insecure about. But knowing your trait it probably did nothing. You just get tired of being abused and betrayed.

  4. J says:

    Great post, HG Tudor. Thank you 😉

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thanks J. Succinct and complimentary.

  5. So Sad says:

    Ah . The smear campaign, talk about being kicked while your down !
    It hurt me so much but then I never knew the people who actually believed his lies, just names on social media , easier for him to manipulate . Couldn’t care less what they think now ..

    HG I have a burning question I’m hoping you can help me with please .
    I’m still in the same city as narc .. It’s not a huge city & difficult to avoid people you know . I’m anxious about bumping into him & how to react when it happens as it inevitably will ( seen him several times already when out driving ) .. What would your advice be please ?

    Thank you

    NSS x

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello NSS,
      The steps to adopt in the scenario you mention are as follows
      1. If you can, move away from him and do so as expressionless as possible if he can see you.
      2. If you cannot get away and have to engage, do so in as neutral a fashion as possible, talk about yourself and do not ask him questions about himself.
      3. If he starts to talk about himself, just state you must get on and leave.
      4. Do not react to flattery, jibes or anything that means you are going to give fuel.

      You will feel stronger following the encounter and it will also mean that because you have given no or little fuel, this will register with him and it will drive up the bar for the Hoover Execution Criteria, meaning he will be less likely to hoover thereafter.

      1. Lisa says:

        Wow! So Sad. I had this happen to me. I deliberately stayed out of his reach for 18 months. Finally decided to get my social life up and running again. As soon as word reached him, the stalking began. Wouldnt miss an opportunity to turn up at the venues I was at. Sitting there, alone, watching as I chatted with friends. Sooo intimidating. My anxiety rose to full force!! No kidding!! Terrifying for me, BUT, I kept my cool. REFUSED to EVER even look at him. This went on for a few weeks. And then, OMG he exploded!! In public, in a bar, to me AND my friends. Pointing me out to strangers. Totally pissed and beligerant. “She divorced me, she divorced me didnt she? Thats her there!!” I wanted to die. But no! Still I refused him. Not so much as a glance. So now of course the stalking has followed. Texts, letters in the mail, wedding photos to my phone. Blah blah blah!!! I was hoping everyone there was thinking ‘ no wonder she divorced you, you idiot’! Just stay as calm as you can, and DO NOT engage. Good luck So Sad.

      2. So Sad says:

        Thank you HG . I’m so sorry I haven’t said so sooner but your reply wasn’t showing on my highlighted messages. It’s only when I checked my unread this morning I could see it . Doh ! .

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

          1. So Sad says:

            Your good to me HG . Well actually your good to all of us .. Life changing . x

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Indeed I am. Thank you.

  6. Al says:

    Narcs do smear campaigns because they know that at some stage, you will, or have already rejected and abandoned them. The core of the broken and weak personality of the Narc, is the fear of rejection and abandonment. Their fear is that you are going to tell others the truth about them. So in order to attempt to prevent this, the Narc will use the above methods to cover up the endless lies and bad actions it does. Narcs hate being involved in criminal and legal action. If you have proof, lay criminal charges and do not drop them. If you can sue a Narc for money, do so, as it is the only base level response that is the same as a normal human. Another method is to hold ‘an intervention’ where you gather another person, or people together that the Narc has smeared your name with, and without telling the Narc, have the group confront the Narc (this usually ends with the Narc defending the lies, which of course others in the group will notice and further reject the Narc, or the Narc will roll over and play the victim, which doesn’t work either). A medical Dr or psychologist will pick up the antisocial traits of a Narc, so getting them to such a Dr further increases the fear of the rejection of a Narc by society. If you are asked by another about the smear campaign, be honest and tell the truth about the insane words and actions the Narc has done. A Narc will always try its best, or attempt to stop you from telling the truth. Once a normal human gets to hear the same old story at least twice from a Narc, the bell goes off in their heads. This increases the awareness in others, and further fuels the rejection the Narc fears. Like HG says, another method is to cut the Narc off fully. This is the ultimate action of rejection you can do to it. A Narc will attempt any method possible to get your attention back, and the above are some of them. HG calls it hoovering, but it is the actually this broken creatures attempt to go to any means to stop what you have started-rejecting and abandoning the Narc-you are making it live out its worst fear.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hi Al, thanks for your post and some good observations. I would point out that it is not necessarily the case that we hate to be involved in criminal and legal action. Sometimes yes, but often because of our sense of never being to blame and our entitlement we regard such processes as inapplicable to us and actually an opportunity for us to show off even further, dupe people (court staff, lawyers, judges etc) and gain additional fuel. One must consider carefully before instigating legal action against our kind and if you do so, you need to adopt a certain stance to negate the benefits we will try and draw from the process and further the fact that we see it as an opportunity to play games, frustrate, annoy and upset. My article about a former girlfriend Elizabeth, who decided to sue me, is a case in point.

  7. Watermelon says:

    The narc I know actually isn’t too bitchy, thankfully.

    Just the past two days my very private email address has started getting weird emails. About hot women to sleep with etc. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or he signed me up. Only three people use that address (including narc) and I never give it out.

    Two years ago I went through a phase of nails in my car tyres. Again not sure if it’s a coincidence or he was doing it. Four nails in as many months.

    See that’s the problem, you get so paranoid. Is it him or just bad luck?

    Guess I should be glad he doesn’t smear.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Absolutely Watermelon, but as the saying goes, just because you are paranoid it does not mean we aren’t out to get you. I would suggest your circumstances did not amount to coincidence.

      1. A great line to from the movie The Counselor:
        “Westray: Well, I’m perfectly willing to believe you had nothing to do with this but I’m not the party you have to convince.

        Counselor: Convince of what, for Christ sake?

        Westray: That this is some sort of coincidence. Because they don’t really believe in coincidences. They’ve heard of them. They’ve just never seen one.

  8. peaches36936 says:

    Hi HG. Some of us also feel vibes from other people so can really feel a smear campaign. At least I did.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hi Peaches, can you elaborate on how that feels

      1. peaches36936 says:

        A bad vibe from a smiling face of (his) friends whom I didn’t know but who believed they knew all (his skewed version) of me. I could tell long before I understood the npd I was entangled with. In many instances that were obvious. But those people who gave me a vibe without saying a word I later realized are his lieutenants and flying monkeys.

      2. peaches36936 says:

        A bad vibe from a smiling face of (his) friends whom I didn’t know but who believed they knew all (his false version) of me. I could tell long before I understood the npd I was entangled with. In many instances that were obvious. But those people who gave me a vibe without saying a word I later realized are his lieutenants and such. So I guess you already said this.

  9. Darkness Falls Again says:

    Silence says so much!
    Only weapon that both can use to cause a reaction in the other.

  10. Victoria says:

    Looking back I could tell he was talking about me behind my back as it just felt weird around other people at times. I know he spun it to his flying monkeys that I was the abuser and alcoholic. He started the smear campaign the first weekend I met his sisters. I realize that now and now know why on the first night of our weekend they liked me and by the next day they looked at me funny!

    I have 1 or 2 drinks a year–period! I never get drunk! I don’t really care for alcohol! Because of this I know he told his family I had a drinking problem. He is a major alcoholic which I really didn’t comprehend for a while! He spends money on alcohol when he should be helping support his kids!!

    During the reading on this I was furious that he would get away with this smear campaign! I kept my mouth shut which I would never have been able to do before but knowing what “they” are is extremely helpful! His daughters remained on my Facebook and I would not block them! We bonded over his crazy making and it was not their fault! I never said anything about him. I posted many upbeat updates even though I felt awful! I felt that the smear campaigns would be less effective that way! I went on trips and smiled in pictures posted like I didn’t have a care in the world! I kept thinking I would fake it until a made it!

    Meanwhile, watching his posts with his new supply taught me a lot but wow were they painful! I watched him use trauma bonding techniques on her like splashing her all over his updates but he listed himself as single. That cognitive dissonance was puzzling but I knew she noticed. I noticed as well and I knew exactly why. They were in a long distance relationship and had gone to high school together so their relationship played out on Facebook in front of all of their former classmates. It is now over in less than 6 months and the updates have stopped. He made it very public; one to throw her in my face, two to get her love bombed, three for some form
    Of smear campaign to their classmates I’m sure and four to brag about all of the concerts and shows he was going to paid for by her I’m sure. I am doing really well for once!! It’s been a painful 2 years but this research has been invaluable! My Mother is a narcissist and I see that now. Every guy I ever dated was too.

    HG you are hitting so many topics day after day you leave no doubt as to the complete process they go through! It’s really pretty predictable which actually makes it quite funny once you get out of the fog long enough!! I’m convinced people are covered with these types of people, I know I was! I can’t stop reading this blog!! I’m even starting to read it at work which I have no time to do but I just can’t stop!!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Victoria, thank you for reading and I am pleased that you find my work informative. Nearly everybody is smeared by our kind and if you do not think that you have been smeared you probably have not heard about the smear! The smear is inevitable because we need to control our environment and that means the way people think about you. The smearing can be very damaging to some people. It is clear from your post that you are certainly grasping the nature of how we operate and yes, once you move out of the emotion and confusion, is becomes a lot clearer and far easier to understand. Thanks for your post.

  11. Starr says:

    He told one of his ex girlfriends after the breakup that I was obsessed with him . He told the girl he cheated on me with that I was insecure and wouldn’t leave him alone . I acquired screenshots of him texting me and telling me that he didn’t care about either one of them and didn’t care if the girl he cheated on me with died that he only loves me and wanted me back . I sent all the people the texts of the real him and proved I wasn’t the bad guy . I nipped the smear campaign in the bud real quick . Lying to me is one thing but making up lies about me is something I never let him or anyone else get away with . I told him that he would not win when it came to that and I proved him right . Now his family and a lot of his friends know how is his even more so than before . I do not cower down to smear campaigns . Mr Tudor so not only do you make up rumors and lies to make yourself look innocent you actually want them to know about the lies so they will react . Essentially you want that person to hurt ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You managed that effectively Starr. Essentially, I want that person to provide me with fuel, if this means they hurt, so be it.

  12. alexis2015s says:


    Even though I never even went so far as to have sex with him.

    Well they can all think what they like. He literally hates that I get soooo much male attention – all thanks to him – and based on nothing but lies.

  13. Ah, I am familiar with

    #1. The Abuser – He would tell others of my supposed abuse in front of me.
    #5. The Turncoat – He enjoyed telling others any secret I would tell him and he would even go as far to tell them what HE said about them but say that I said it… and this too he would say to them right in front of me.

    It used to bother me but two can play that game, I would stand there smiling and playing along… laughing and people would usually just laugh it off with me and even him.

    You have made excellent points on how to deal with these types of smears… and they work.

  14. A web of lies so deeply tangled there is no beginning or end. Is there any documented cases of multiple narcs targeting one victim as a collaborative scheme possibly staged by a Malignant Narc?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I do not know of any to hand, albeit you might have a Greater orchestrating a campaign using other narcissists, if the Greater could exert sufficient control. I could see this arising most often in a familial scenario.

    2. peaches36936 says:

      For sure this happens. Like when a Last Will and Testament with a NPD or two as beneficiary gets held up or contested to cause drama. This happened in my family between Executors of my Mom’s Will and Executors of my NPD Dad. 2 MN sisters (for my Dad) were lying and delaying for 5 years while accusing my other sister and her husband (E’s for Mom) of causing the delay for imagined reasons. The MN’s stole as much as they could get away with. They smeared. We’re NC for many years now.

    3. Violet says:

      Yes, me. My mother was the architect of everything and revenge drove me to succeed and get away from her. She conditioned me to only trust narcs and I didn’t have any circles without them until age 25.
      Now, I live in constant terror, as I never knew a safe relationship.
      How she watched what happened to me without a sliver of guilt or shame, is too much for me to fathom.
      I used to dream regularly of swimming over sharks in the ocean as well as running away from a cult institution in the desert and getting caught.
      She made sure I was isolated, so very isolated, and then would look at me and say “you need people, you know”.
      I still don’t know anyone normal. I adapted to my environment and it’s funny HG says to talk straight to them as if you are reading the news. That is exactly what I went on to be, a news reporter.
      In my mind, I still adapt my behaviour to her. It’s a deeply ingrained habit of connecting to the idea of safe, that is, behaving in a way that controls her abuse and my terror. Only, it achieves nothing toward my goal of breaking out of this ‘cell’ which over time I have made comfortable without anyone else in it.

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