The Paranoia of Character Assassination



The character assassination. Close cousin of the smear campaign. Built on a foundation of lies also, hurtful and effective. The smear campaign is outward facing namely it is aimed at third parties in order to affect their way of thinking. A character assassination is directed to and at you. There are three ways of assassinating your character. The first is to say things to you which are unpleasant, demeaning and hateful which accordingly dent and wound your sense of well-being. The second is to do things to you which are denigrating, disrespectful and nasty which cause your sense of self-worth to be eroded, for instance failing to make you something to eat (so as to treat you as non-existent) or to make you engage in some sexual practice you find distasteful (thus causing you to cheapen yourself). Those two methods are obvious and directed. The third method is a particularly insidious and troubling way of affecting your character. We tell you that other people think badly of you, do not like and are saying things about you. They are not of course. We avoid or reduce any risk of you finding this out by saying to you.

“There’s no point asking them of course, they are bound to deny it, but trust me, I have heard them. They didn’t think I could hear.”

Furthermore, whilst increasing your paranoia and making you feel bad, we also seize the opportunity to heighten our own virtue with you by stating,

“Of course I don’t think that of you, but I thought it was only right to let you know what is being said about you.”

Naturally we do think this of you because this falsehood is being generated by us. Accordingly, we are able to avoid any blame ourselves (a key aim of ours) whilst landing several blows against you caused by fictitious remarks from other people and drawing fuel from your confused and upset reaction. There are five methods by which we create a perceived pressure generated by other people against you, as part of this character assassination by proxy.


  1. Everybody says….

Everybody is talking about you. They are all saying it. That must feel terrible to be the talk of the neighbourhood, the subject of village gossip and the focus of wagging tongues. Just think when you are walking to the corner shop those two neighbours stood on the lawn will smile and wave a cheery hello to you but as soon as you are past they will be talking about you. Yes, everybody says it about you. They will be talking on the telephone about you, gossiping in living rooms and exchanging views in that corner shop so they fall silent as you arrive and resume their conversation once you have left. Oh I know that they will appear pleasant and engaging as ever but believe me this is how two-faced they are about you. I have picked up on this. I have overheard the comments and some have even been mentioned to me. No, I won’t say by who, there is no need. Of course I defended you against what they said. It wasn’t pleasant at all but then being thought of as the local bike, the slut, the whore and harridan isn’t nice is it, but that is what everyone is saying about you.

  1. They all think…

It is a collective perception of you that has gained traction out there. A body of opinion that is being expressed and shared by many people. They think it at your gym, the think it at choir practice, they think it at the school and the supermarket and the garage. How do I know? Well, let’s just say that fortunately for you I have people who keep an eye out and a listen in for your benefit. No, there’s no need to thank me, I do it to look after you, naturally, but my small network of guardians, if you will, report things back to me from time to time and they have been telling me that they all think you have a problem with your temper. Yes, you have a reputation for being a bit of a volcano, one wrong comment and boom! Off you go. To be honest, I had my suspicions about them thinking this of you even before my network of guardians told me. It is the way they look at you. You probably haven’t picked up on it but there is an apprehension in their eyes, a nervousness in their speech and I saw it as it told me what they were really thinking, that they were afraid you were going to explode and lash out at them. I have seen it many times and I know what they are all thinking about you.

  1. You do know what opinion they have of you don’t you?

It is not a high opinion I am afraid. I don’t know where it comes from to be honest, I mean, after all, it is not as if they are really in a position to judge is it, but I guess some people forget about that when they are jealous. Yes, that is what is behind their nasty opinions. They take the view that you are a gold-digger, a mercenary who is only after one thing, my money. It is inevitable that they will form this view of course. I am successful, earning well and we have this beautiful house, two cars, frequent holidays and no concerns about our bills. I suppose they must look on enviously at the fact that you don’t work and you spend a lot of time shopping. Every time you pull up on the drive and exit the car with those bags from the boutiques it is no doubt upsetting them. You cannot help the fact you were lucky enough to get with me. I guess it really sticks in their craw the fact that you came from a, well how might I put this, a less well-off background and now here you are living a gilded lifestyle. I suppose they have this opinion of you because they think that you should not belong here. It is just jealousy and I have seen it before with people like this so I know what to look out for. You may just want to keep that in mind when you next deal with them, if you decide to do so at all anymore.

  1. They won’t be impressed with that.

I mean I put up with it because well we are together aren’t we and that is the nature of a relationship isn’t it, but I know from the way our families think and our friends that they will not be impressed with your behaviour. You didn’t think there was anything wrong with it? Well, no, but I suppose they will say that you are bound to say that aren’t you? They expect high standards I suppose. You have made a rod for your own back in that regard but doing something like that will not have impressed all these people. Oh I am sure they will soon get over it but I thought it only fair to tell you how they will view your behaviour. I can see it troubles you and that’s right because you are reflective in that regard but perhaps you need to think first before you do such things in the future. In fact, it would probably be for the best if you don’t go to those events any more yes? Indeed, I would suggest you keep a low-profile for a while in respect of people as whole and you would be better served by staying at home and keeping out of their line of sight. That way they might just forget about your unimpressive behaviour and you can move on. Don’t worry, you have always got me of course.

  1. It’s not just me that thinks….

I am only telling you this for your own good because I care about you but you do need to do something about your drinking. Look, I am reasonably relaxed about it, I know how hard you work and you like to unwind with a few glasses of wine. I get it but I am just worried about your health. You are often rather grumpy the next morning as well, you know short-tempered and you’ve been snapping at people, short with them. I know you don’t think you are but trust me, it is not just me that thinks it is causing a problem. A few people have remarked to me about it as well. Nothing major but we don’t want it to get out of hand do we? That’s how you get a reputation after all and you don’t want that do you. It is beyond just a concern though. I think it as well, but as I say I am looking at it more from a health point of view, I know others are concerned about how you are behaving with other people, including a couple of your colleagues so you need to think on because you know what can happen when people start to think things about you, it somehow becomes hard fact and that becomes very difficult to change.

The character assassination by proxy also serves a further purpose. It causes you to cling tighter to us. It is a horrible and uncertain world out there. People you thought liked you are showing that they do not. We are your only friend so you had better do what we want in order to keep us.

12 thoughts on “The Paranoia of Character Assassination

  1. Mona says:

    But Leslie, I do not agree to your first sentence. When my personal devil said things like that to me, I looked at him and said: “You really don`t believe what you just said to me”. It was so obvious and I disliked the people he preferred, so that it had no effect on me. He could not manipulate me to believe anything, when he said it that way. I do not know, but I found it ridiculous. But that was his own fault. He had smeared those people to me before to keep me away from them and then he tried to persuade me, that they were thinking bad of me? I would say, that was a classic own goal. Not all of the narcs are so intelligent, they only think so or pretend to be.

    This manipulative tactic only functions, if you are a person, for whom it is very important, what other people think of you. But is that really important? Sometimes, yes, in most cases no.

  2. Mona says:

    Leslie, so true. (Jan.10 at 2:59)

  3. Renarde says:

    Goodness me HG, you sent be right down a memory rabbit hole today on reading this! I found myself thinking of my first experience of a smear outside of the family which I can consciously recall. It concerned my best friend and ‘frenemy’, #1. (HG: you’re gonna love this – think James Corden in a skirt. Blonde, over excitable and not that smart. In fact that family probably had destroyed four Labradors over only a few years citing ‘they could not cope with the temperament’)

    #1 was my mate for a few years and we shared everything with each other. I didn’t make friends easily in those days and was nervy and quite shy. Not confident at all. By the time I realised what had happened it was too late. I had been caught in the cross fire of two female Ns and the proto-smear from both sides was well underway. I had become incredibly isolated; I knew this. I knew #1 had been smearing me to #2 and vice versa plus others. I didn’t know who to trust and I was desperately unhappy. The school knew what was going on; they had clocked it. I had told my parents but they ignored it.

    As HG points out, all you can do is ride the storm and let others form their own opinions. Which eventually happens. I then fall into #2s circle consisting of her and I plus another Emp and one who was probably a normal. #1 and I sat next to each other and when I did implement a NC and she moved, she dropped two whole grades. I hadn’t appreciated the extent that she was copying my work. She used to mirror. She had started to copy the way I dress which I found creepy. When she was dating a boy from NZ, she started mirroring his accent. Other examples of craziness was claiming she had an abortion by a pill. Dad’s boss gave Dad a car. Wild claims which earned her the nickname ‘The Exaggerator by my brother. Typically, we fell out over a boy. One that had chosen me and not her. Of course he was a narc, probably a MR’er.

    One day #1 rings up and states very clearly that I had to choose. Her mum was apparently going to ‘ban her’ from being friends with me if I continued to see this boy. PN (MMR) get’s wind of this and yells down the phone ‘I will not have that woman trying to control you’. I was in floods of tears, already having being isolated and now being forced to choose between #1 and the boy. I had to chose the boy because PN was physically abusing me when drunk. I had to choose the boy even though I knew it wasn’t really going anywhere. Boy and I had started to row because try as he might, I wasn’t giving up control THAT easily. Even at 15.

    One day, (I lived next door but one to #1), I looked out of my window to find #1s latest squeeze, a lad I knew from school, produce an enormous baseball bat and proceed to threaten to ‘stove in’ #1s Dad’s head. A triangulation. God knows how she did it but she had managed to wind him up to the point where he was going for GBH. Fortunately he backs down. This was no sink estate, it was modern suburb with large, detached, four bed houses.

    I hadn’t thought about any of this really in detail for years but it makes so much more sense now. It had a profound effect for the better on my life and how I form relationships because I saw clearly what #1 had done and I was determined never again to allow myself to be unconsciously isolated..

  4. E. B. says:

    Hi J.G,
    “Love boobing” Ha ha – This is hilarious! 🙂

  5. J.G says:

    Hello, H.G. Tudor.
    This happened to me very soon, almost at the beginning of meeting him.
    Now I see your manipulation, to separate and isolate you from the world. He wanted to isolate me from the rest of my friends/knowns. So that I would only trust him and so I did.
    He drew himself, as the knight in shining armor, the defender of the weak, fighting fictitious enemies. (how easy it is to win, fights. No?. And with it he falsely demonstrated the interest in the relationship with me. Can’t this kind of manipulation have several effects?
    1 Manipulation to get away from the circle of friends/ acquaintances.
    2 Love boobing to show interest, appreciation, affection and affinity towards the victim. In short, person’s interest. Isn’t this another variant of Love boobing?
    3 Disguise your lack of empathy.
    It is highly intelligent forms of manipulation of this type of people. We are not prepared and much less think that a person can have in his background such malignancy… Evidently the inevitable has to happen…

    Here I leave you another song of my favorite singer with a lyrics without waste…

    Party in hell…

    I’m going to deny
    the evidence in front of me.
    If it can’t be, I don’t want to see it.
    Why should I know
    what I can’t change?
    I will try,
    to expect the impossible from you.
    If you don’t give it to me, please leave.
    Why listen
    what you’re going to tell me?
    Love is a bourgeois construction,
    a medieval invention,
    a crazy fairy tale.
    Never again, never again, never again
    I’ll believe again
    in such a delirious fantasy.
    Party in hell,
    celebrate the degradation of another heart.
    The disappointment of a first love that turned into hate.
    The end of a dream
    that ends in resignation and disappointment.
    angel of pain who became a demon.
    Today I want to erase
    the mistake of admitting
    the weakness, the need
    not learning to be
    with my loneliness.
    Today I don’t want to play
    to hide in an ideal world
    it’ll be over,
    will collapse
    and he’ll drag me
    to what’s not real.
    Party in hell
    celebrate the degradation of another heart.
    The disappointment of a first love
    that became I hate you.
    The end of a dream
    that ends in resignation
    and disappointment.
    angel of pain who became a demon.
    I will again deny the evidence
    in front of me.
    If it can’t be, I don’t want to see it.
    Why should I know what I don’t want to see?
    Will I be able to change?
    Love is a bourgeois construction,
    a medieval invention,
    a crazy fairy tale,
    never again, never again, never again will I believe in such a delirious fantasy.
    Party in hell,
    celebrate the degradation of another heart.
    The disappointment of a first love
    that became I hate you.
    The end of a dream that ends in resignation and disappointment.
    angel of pain who became a demon.


  6. mommypino says:

    This is why I always get paranoid of offending people or second-guessing myself. Because I was raised by a matrinarc who said these things to me constantly. Urgh! Been working on fixing that about myself though. I’ve been reining myself in whenever I feel like asking someone if I have offended her/him. I’ve been trying to practice patience and wait. If the person still talks to me then I must not have offended that person.

  7. Leslie says:

    This one is soul devastation. Narcs don’t just want poeer. There are lots of legitimate ways to have power. No, narcs want dominance.

    Dominance is achieved at the expense of others. True leadership is achieved by enriching others. Dominance must always fear insurrection. True leadership has genuine loyalty of followers.

    1. Tappi Tikarrass says:

      Fucking oath Leslie…
      the pendulum will swing back to competent yet compassionate leadership. I would argue that the globe is in the state it is- socially, economically, politically- because there are too many poor/narcissistic leaders.

      I don’t ascribe to the notion that you need to be a narcissist to be a good leader. The reason they’re leaders at present is because social, economic and political systems are geared to their wants and needs. It’s a narcs world, not a mans world, in this 21century so far.

      And no one can argue with how chaotic and extreme these systems are at present.

      1. NarcAngel says:

        I hope you’re right that it will get back to competent yet compassionate leadership. I agree that while you may not have to be an actual narcissist to be a good leader, you do need to possess a lot of narcissistic traits. That is why we have so many in leadership positions (not only in politics but everywhere) and that’s how it has become as you call it, a “narcs world”. There are not many who are not narcissistic that have the constitution to stand up to them or work with them (especially collectively), not lie, have zero skeletons in their closets (that will be found and used against them in a huge smear campaign), and that will not when faced with intense pressure and placed in the position of possible defeat, knuckle under and adopt the stance that “if you can’t beat em join em” for their own benefit and that of their families. The temptation is great, not only for appearances but sometimes financially as well. Empaths and normals care and try to limit any damage to their actions that affect others. Narcs have facade concern but no such guilt or remorse about how their actions affect others. That is their most abhorrent trait, but also their greatest strength. Thats my view of how we got to “narc world”. Question is: how do we change it?

        1. MB says:

          I’m am currently in a leadership position. I have been in the past as well. I can see how having certain narcissistic traits would be helpful. I have to weigh decisions with my head and my heart. Some decisions hurt my heart although I know they are the best for the company and the group as a whole. That’s something that I have to deal with. Feeling guilt and remorse at the same time as knowing you made the right decision is a tough place to be some days.

      2. mommypino says:

        Unfortunately Tappi, narcs have an upperhand in politics. They are the only ones who gets fueled by both positive and negative attention. Challenge fuel even drives them to do their best in ahieving superiority and dominance. An empathic person would have a hard time dealing with negative attention. For an empath to succeed in leadership roles in politics, they need to be highly narcissistic and made of stern material or the ones that HG describes as Super Empaths. Unfortunately, they are just about 5% of empaths so they are rare. And even with how strong they are, the crookedness or the system might turn them off because of their hogh integrity.

      3. Tappi Tikarrass says:

        Hi NarcAngel
        How do we change it? Love your question…
        I think we need to redefine what a politician is and does. If one wants to become a politician, then you can’t have your fingers in other pies as well. There should also be a certain level of education in the politician, at the very least in how the political system of the relevant area, works. Politics is rife with corruption because of many politicians competing ‘interests’.

        Rethinking and expanding on our political theologies is key…. we are clinging to theories that don’t properly encompass the complexity of the planet these days. Left right, capitalism communism democracy fascism….. they have all been polarising and created huge disparities in populations… I’m sure there are political scientists grappling with these issues as we write… well I fucking hope so!! Thomas Picketty seems interesting and I’ve been meaning to read some of his works. Yes, I’m left of centre, politically speaking. Though I’d rather be labelled as compassionate, progressive and productive. We need new political and economic philosophies…. at least revised and expanded ones.

        There are politicians with integrity…. not many in Australia at present, but they do exist.
        2 female Australian politicians who are not narcissistic yet are incredible leaders come to mind- Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek. There are more. If we’re lucky, we will be seeing a lot more of these fine women in the coming months.

        MB is a perfect case in point. I have also been a leader in the past, and kept my ethics and integrity whilst making occasional hard decisions.

        We need to recognise that humanity is one large family. We are not all born equal, though we can and should have access to equal opportunity. There are basic needs every human requires. It is my dream that every human on the planet has at least their basic needs met. We can do it. (I know the United Nations is devoted to this but is a lame duck for reasons which are too lengthy to write here.) If we don’t, we will continue to hurtle towards global death and destruction.

        We need to stop distracting ourselves from the real issues like these. Governments and corporations want to keep the majority, placated and duped with the distractions they provide so that they can maintain their power and control. I’m not advocating revolution. I don’t know what the solution is, though I will devote more time to thinking and doing more to encourage change for a more equitable planet. For my beautiful children. It really angers me that they have had to grow up with the heavy yoke of environmental chaos- caused simply by greed.

        There was a political party founded here in the 80s whose early slogan was to ‘keep the bastards honest’…. that’s what we need to do with narcs, keep them accountable…..and REDRESS the imbalance of narcs to empaths in all arenas. HG is helping us with that!!

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