Getting Smeared (And How To Deal With It)



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 how to deal with the smear campaign by reading Smeared which is available in e-book and paperback on Amazon.

27 thoughts on “Getting Smeared (And How To Deal With It)

  1. About the eyes says:

    4 and 6. GOSO is not that easy because the narcissists were members of my close family. GOSO means leaving my whole family, including the non-narcisisists, who didn’t believe me but the narcissists. I did it because I had to.

  2. Caroline R says:

    #6 “cream cakes”
    Again, you say it like it’s a bad thing.

  3. Caroline R says:

    Just to be clear, re:#3
    “sit around ordering things off the internet, going out to lunch…”
    That’s my specific skill set as a trophy wife.
    You say it like it’s a bad thing….

    Ha ha!

    1. mommypino says:

      Caroline, that’s what I do when my kids are in daycare. I’m owning this!! 😉🙃

      1. Caroline R says:

        Ha ha!
        Good girl!
        Manicures and hairdressing appointments should be tax deductible, but that’s a whole other meme right there!

  4. Pam Bergner says:

    Dear H.G.,
    Your article is very informative, and sadly, I know it to be accurate (fm long ago experience.
    Pam B.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  5. Nika 💜 says:

    Cool, huh, Emotion Detective?

  6. lisk says:

    RE #8: If our not taking the bait infuriates the Narc, will he increase his smearing or fuel-getting efforts?

  7. Elise Marie says:

    Thank you for the advice! Very helpful.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  8. Caroline R says:

    No 4 is what I’m currently taking legal steps to undo.
    I have so many other things needing my attention, and now have this to waste my precious time.
    I’ve been furiously angry about it, hence the N-Xmas Carol on the ‘O Come All Ye Empaths’ thread.

    Thanks for this article HG.

  9. Michelle says:

    #4 is the one I’ve dealt with the most. It finally led me to go to a professional and get evaluated for various personality disorders. Turns out I have a fully developed adult personality that is not disordered, though I do have some effects of developmental trauma. I still have a feeling of sheer panic when confronted with facts about personality disorders because of the fear I lived with that I might have one. Any mental health diagnosis shared with a narcissist WILL be weaponized later on, which is one of the scariest things about narcs, in my opinion. If I have a diagnosis I have to, in good conscience, share this with my relationship partner, but it’s sometimes hard to tell at that early stage if a person can be trusted with that information. So I’m either a liar and deceitful, or I make myself very vulnerable. Scary stuff.

    1. Caroline R says:

      ‘a fully developed adult personality that is not disordered’
      Beautifully put.

  10. Michelle says:

    So, here’s something I’ve been wondering for a while. As an empath, I find that open disdain is a huge turn-off for me. Some narcissists are very expressive of their disdain for others (“Everyone else is so basic,” etc.) but other narcissists hide this under a veil of tolerance and never reveal their own sense of superiority. I’ve even had some narcissists “compliment” me by insulting my competitors, something an empath would never do, while other narcs seem to know better. Why is this?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Differing schools of narcissist and is linked to façade management.

  11. Kathy says:

    You are hilarious. I was always confused about why having drinks after work was full blown alcoholism to my ex. It was madness. I’m sure he has everyone believing I need treatment and that I’m bipolar. At this point it’s just funny.

    1. Renarde says:

      Kathy – thats awful. It reminds me very much indeed of a lesser I was unfortunate enough to end up being entangled with for 18 months. Bipolar and booze. His two twin pillars of attack.

      Funny that when he spoke of his immediate ex, she had those issues too. He told me extremely sad tales of how he would find her crying, drunk, sitting her wardrobe/closet.

      However. One night he goaded me too far and I saw the chink in his armour. I told him I would contact her. I didn’t do this immediately, it would take more incidents before I did. But when I said that to him, His face fell and I saw the look of utter panic there. I’d fired an arrow and it had hit home.

      What she said to me was shocking. Cock lodger. Lazy beyond belief. He’s punched a horse (!), tradespeople refused to visit if he was there. Pulled a knife on one of her family members. Then the others.

      She found him one night on a gay chat room. He was ostensibly hetero and proud. That brave woman told him, get out now or I’ll tell your USMC biker buddies you’re looking at gay porn. That did the trick.

      I didn’t believe her at first to my shame. Once I realised what was going on, I talked to her and apologised.

      She popped into my mind a few months ago and I contacted her again. This time, I warned her explicitly about the dangers of dealing with this lesser. She agreed and thanked me. She is now ‘blissfully happy’ with another guy

      I’m sure she is….(Do I hear the seduction Hoover whirring???)

      A lovely woman who runs a horse sanctuary. Rich too. Quelle surprise. I hope she wakes up before it’s too late.

  12. Anm says:

    Due to the malign campaign, my ex’s smearing of me, is escalating. I looked into legal action, but ultimately decided to expand business to a few cities over. This was a good move for economic reasons as well. I also have longer term ideas for this as well. In court the other day, the judge ordered me to give financial and business information to the narcissist and his attorney. I am trying to calculate how his attorney will attack this aspect of my life, before it begins.

  13. veronicajones1969 says:

    See now this article this makes me angry this is the story of my goddamn life there is no protecting our reputation they destroy that . Give them what they want they destroy you , don’t give them what they want they destroy you. all I want to know how to completely avoid these people you once told me that they would be attracted to me for ever how do I change myself to stop that I really don’t want any of them This last week has been like the return of the narcissists Another one of my old narcissists has just found out where I work And recently obtained a new one you know I try the whole grey rocking thing the second I realise I’m dealing with a narcissist I showed absolutely no interest at all I try to avoid them I practically Ignore them as much as possible I don’t want to be me anymore I want to be you

  14. mommypino says:

    When you get smeared it’s incredibly tempting to defend yourself by letting people know that the narcissist who smeared you is the evil person and telling them how abusive and dishonest they really are. But this article is so true, it doesn’t help us, it just makes everything more awkward and it makes us look bad. I have been smeared by my husband’s ex wife in the church that she and my husband used to go to. I just jouned their church recently this year and I felt the judgy looks and no one was interacting with me but I just acted as normal and as positive as I could. Ecentually they couldn’t keep ignoring and judging a person who’s always pleasant to them and they eventually like me as well. Actions speak louder than words. Our actions are the best way to counter the smear attacks. I still have a problem with my husband’s distant relatives though because I rarely see then so they don’t have a chance of getting to know me. We just visited them in their state last week and it was awkward. I just surrender everything to God and I know the truth and that’s what matters the most.

    1. Caroline R says:

      Another adorable picture!
      The beauty of it is soothing to my heart. Just what I need today. Thank you.

      1. mommypino says:

        Thank you Caroline R! It’s my daughter’s birthday so I’m posting pisc of her. I will teplace it with a Christmassy one soon. 😊

        1. Clarece says:

          I hope you had a happy day celebrating your daughter’s birthday. Mine turns 13 in January. I miss those baby snuggles so much!

      2. mommypino says:

        Clarece, Oh the baby snuggles and the kisses with baby lip smacking sounds are the sweetest thing I have experienced.
        You’re daughter turns 13 in January, that’s so exciting! She’s turning out to be a young lady.

      3. Caroline R says:

        I posted a happy 2nd birthday wish for your tiny princess. I don’t know what happened to the message, but I wish her all the love and happiness her little heart can hold.

      4. mommypino says:

        Thank you Caroline! You’re so sweet!

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article

I Want

Next article

The Rules of Ex Club No. 5