Why Being Smeared Affects You More Than Others



I have previously explained some of the forms that the smear campaign takes and also why they are so effective. Now I turn to the six reasons why they affect somebody like you so much. Smear campaigns are a constant in the arsenal of the narcissist. Effective, utilised through word of mouth and with the capacity to envelop several people at once who in turn perpetuate the smear, the smear campaign is a favoured manipulation of our kind. Here are six reasons why they affect you so much.

  1. Denial of assistance

The smear campaign is usually utilised during devaluation and on the cusp of discard. Its timing is such that you will more likely than not find yourself in a position of desperation, fatigue and confusion. Battered and buffeted by our manipulations through the devaluation period,you are in a poor position to defend yourself never mind having to defend your reputation with others. Once the discard hits you and knocks you for six, you are in need of considerable assistance. You need somebody to help you make sense of what has just happened. You need somebody to listen to you as you pore over the relationship and try to piece together (usually unsuccessfully) the cause of your fall from grace and subsequent discard. You will need assistance on practical items such as money, paying bills, eating, child care, washing and cleaning in some of the more extreme cases where your ability to function has been hammered. When your need for external assistance is at its highest, you find that those who you thought you could rely on to help you have been poisoned. Friends become unobtainable or suddenly busy with other commitments. Family are sceptical about helping you since they think you have brought it on yourself and they are even ashamed of your supposed behaviour. Colleagues are not inclined to assist someone who has been painted the way you have. These people disappear, turn their backs or even worse ally with our kind and the help and assistance you so desperately need has been taken away from you. This furthers your isolation, your pain and your distress. It also reduces your capability to address the nature of the smear campaign and neutralise it.

  1. The Corruption of the Truth

You abide by the truth. You speak it and live by it. Yes, you may tell the odd white lie but you are a paragon of virtue compared to our mendacious and repeated untruths. You believe in the truth and you need others to know that you are an honest and truthful person. You base your life on having honest dealing with people, both towards them and from them. It has been an horrendous enough experience dealing with our lies that we told time and time again to you, but it becomes even worse when you are being lied about. You may have reached the conclusion that we are well-practised liars and that is the way we are but to have your own reputation impugned and your character stained as a liar is anathema to you. This causes distress and the fact you know that other people are believing a lie about you will have a damaging effect on you and we know this full well.

  1. Frustration

You feel a huge sense of frustration that your reputation is being smeared but added to that is the frustration that people are actually believing what is being said about you. You are surprised and dismayed that people are falling for what we are saying about you. You are disappointed in those people who you thought would know better than to be taken in by what we have said. You really ought to know by now that just as oyu were taken in by our charm and seduction, so have they. Did you really expect them to respond any differently when you did not? The difficulty is, is that you know the truth about the lies being spun about you and you desperately want others to see through this but they do not. You understand why, because we base the smear on a grain of truth, we magnify and manipulate and twist and warp the truth so that people are deceived in an expert fashion but nevertheless you really though that people who you could rely on would see through this tissue of lies, this web of deceit. The frustration at this overhwhelms you and adds to the distress of the situation as a whole.

  1. The Lack of Control

We hate losing control. Most people do not like to lose control because this causes distress, anxiety and apprehension. If something bad happens and you are able to at least do something to address it, counter it or mitigate its effect you automatically feel better. However, if you are swept along on a tide by a force over which you can exert no control, the sense of helplessness is massive. You are made to feel like this because when the smear campaign commences your coping ability has been hugely reduced. We however are at the top of our game, calling the shots and orchestrating everything with considerable effectiveness. You do not truly understand why it is happening, why we are behaving like this and moreover why people believe what we are saying. You feel as if you have no control over the progression and outcome of the smear campaign and this increases its effectiveness in terms of how it affects you.

  1. Keeping Up Appearances

Related to the corruption of the truth. Whereas the corruption of the truth alarms you because of the way that a central quality which you adhere to and believe in is being damaged, the smear campaign is also damaging how people think about you. You are not a person who is immersed in pride. You are neither vain nor conceited but you still want people to think well of you because you are a good and decent person. You just want people to know what you are and to have them told that you are something contrary to your actual appearance becomes especially upsetting for you.

  1. The Hammer to Your Reputation


Not only is your character and outward appearance as a good and honest person shattered and dented by the smear campaign, the effects of a smear campaign often go further. Your professional integrity is called into question with ramifications for your job, career advancement and livelihood. Your standing in the community is adversely affected which could have repercussions where you hold positions of trust and authority. If you have to be licensed by the authorities in some way, a smear campaign can place that in jeopardy. You may lose friends, your family may distance themselves from you but the repercussions of a smear campaign can infect your professional life, your income, your integrity and your standing. You are made to feel like a pariah and you may lose clients and customers, the backing of your superiors, be regarded as an albatross to an organisation. People are obsessed with appearances and if you become a PR nightmare not only is your personal life hammered by the smear campaign your professional and business standing is also.


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10 thoughts on “Why Being Smeared Affects You More Than Others

  1. Donna says:

    I lost my entire family and circle of friends from his smearing. HG, you describe it perfectly. The only place of comfort I came to was….letting it go and rebuilt my life. I had been annihilated.

  2. Empath007 says:

    Yes. The smearing is the toughest battle for sure. Learning that the most affective way is to be pretty non reactive to it was the hardest thing to grasp. I felt like “what do you mean I don’t stand up for myself and go to war with this person?”… I didn’t know how the war was going to be fought.

    For anyone experiencing this I’ve found it easiest to act the opposite of what they are saying – so if they send a lieutenant to rile you up – the lieutenant often feels stupid they came… and left with no reaction.

    That’s how you win the war emapths 🙌🏻 Fight the good fight.

  3. Scribble says:

    HG How does one counter a smear campaign?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      See the book “Smeared”.

  4. Asp Emp says:

    Last year, one commentor asked whether Musk is a narcissist. It was recently in the news that Elon Musk has now been diagnosed with Aspergers.

    I’ll be ‘smeared’ (or may not be) for saying……it is no surprise that I questioned about myself whether I am a narcissist, or an empath (I know which one applies).

    Now, I wonder if Aspergers is actually a comorbidity in itself. When I received my ‘diagnosis’, I got to meet other people who were (sometimes not) also diagnosed with Aspergers. Now, it was through these individuals, I saw and said to myself – there are those who are ‘good’ aspies and those that are ‘bad’ aspies.

    HG, just bear with me on this (thank you), I am just speaking out loud and giving my views / observations from years ago and with my learning in this last year…….

    Am I actually referring to narcissists (bad aspies) and empaths (good aspies)?

    Asp Emp, put down the tin opener !! Leave the ‘worms’ in the tin, unopened…….

    However, I have mentioned this on another thread – there are 2 people in my past that said “I have Aspergers, but not diagnosed”. Are they unaware narcissists? Yes, I would suggest they are because of the characteristics that I observed. One of them appeared to have said it before I continued to ‘analyse’ them as I do with people that I ‘sense’ are NOT like me. I let it go and did not press further. And, maybe, just maybe, this particular narcissist ‘sensed’ the “danger, alert, this empath can see right through you”, hence coming out with that ‘deflection’……

    1. Violetta says:

      Asp Emp:

      How much do you thrive on manipulation?

      It seems to me the deal-breaker with narcs is their only interest in your emotions is how they can manipulate them. This is true even of incompetent narcs who think they’re much better at charming people than they actually are.

      People on the spectrum may have trouble interpreting others’ emotions or expressing their own, they may notice a gap between what matters to them and what matters to the people around them, but they’re not fishing about for the proper mask to put on their faces before anybody sees their initial reaction. (Review HG’s analysis of Meghan Markle laughing when an elderly veteran fell off his horse.)

      I’ve known people in academia who’ve learned, as others here have noted they must, to deal with narc manipulations. Some of them get quite good at it. It just isn’t their favorite thing to do. They’d rather be researching the floral preferences of harvest mice or Sanskrit case endings than fending off Professor E. Gomini Yak’s umpteenth attempt to hijack the department.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Hi Violetta, were you asking me whether I enjoy receiving manipulation or delivering it? 😉 I am not an ‘unscrupulous’ person by nature but if needs must, then so be it – I think I tend to do it on a more instinctive basis but not as bad as HG’s descriptions of how ‘extreme’ it can be from narcissists themselves.

        Yes, it can take absolutely years for people on the spectrum to ‘learn’ about ‘reading’ other people. My hearing loss is a bonus on this aspect alone but the tone of voice is more difficult to distinguish hence my reliability on body language and facial expressions. Thankfully, an unaware narcissist would not necessarily know that I have these weaknesses / strengths – hence their instinctive ‘fear’ when it comes to me and my ‘analysing’ them.

        “they’re not fishing about for the proper mask to put on their faces before anybody sees their initial reaction” – yes, those on the autism spectrum don’t do this but narcissists do – hence my paragraph above – I am more ‘weaponised’ (or less than those on the spectrum who can hear) against an unaware narcissist – I am slightly amused and self-satisfied for a moment here 😉

        Yes, those on the spectrum are not always ‘into’ people (likened to the expression ‘not a people person’) because it is easier not to have to deal with people (LOL). It is a spectrum trait – quite normal. Alas, for narcissists, if an autistic does not want to ‘engage’, go and bother someone else for attention. Strictly speaking from me personally, this is how I feel in a work setting (especially if I am a volunteer and the narcissist is paid staff). Socially, I get to choose who I talk with. On a one-to-one basis, excellent attention-giver.

        In some way, some autistics (depends on where about they are on the spectrum) and narcissists are similar with the ‘abstract’ (emotions / thinking) type ‘approach’ when it comes to dealing with others – hence another ‘confusion’ and ‘assumption’ in relation to whether it is a narcissist or an autistic someone could be ‘interacting’ with…….

  5. Sweetest Perfection says:

    A girl can do what she wants to do and that’s what I’m gonna do
    An’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
    Oh no, no no no no no no
    not me….
    NOT ME!!!

    1. Alexissmith2016 says:

      Nice one SP x

      1. Sweetest Perfection says:

        One of my karaoke hits.

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