After escaping abuse at the hands of a narcissist, many victims find their narcissist has created a smear campaign against them. In other words, they trash the victim’s reputation to anyone & everyone who will listen. They also turn friends & family against the victim, including people the victim never expected could be turned against them. This on top of all of the horrors of the abuse can be utterly devastating.
When a narcissist creates a smear campaign, you first need to remember what it is. It’s an abusive tactic designed to isolate you, to leave you without support & love by making people think terribly of you.
A smear campaign is also done to remove your credibility, so if you tell others what the narcissist did to you, you won’t be believed. It is a way for a narcissist to protect his or her reputation by removing the believability of the claims of their abusive ways & focus from their behavior while making a victim look bad at the same time.
This may be the hardest part of a smear campaign, but it is also very true. People who blindly believe the lies don’t truly love you. If they did, they would know you well enough to recognize the lies rather than believe them. They also would defend you to the person spreading such lies. As painful as this realization is, it’s also very important. You need to know who truly loves you & who doesn’t. This is the one good thing about a smear campaign, how it shows you who loves you & who doesn’t.
You also need to remember that ultimately, this smear campaign isn’t about you. It’s about the narcissist who started it. The narcissist wouldn’t have started it if you wouldn’t have seen the ugliness behind the mask. Because you did though, he or she has determined it’s best to destroy your reputation & your credibility so their secret will remain safe. As an added bonus, the narcissist gets narcissistic supply by hurting you & feeling powerful by destroying your reputation.
Those who support & help to spread the lies of the smear campaign aren’t innocent either. They are also gaining something from what they are doing. Maybe they have gained favor with the narcissist, maybe the narcissist is giving them money or gifts, or maybe they’re just getting narcissistic supply by looking like they care while they’re abusing you by slandering your good name. There is also the possibility that they are in denial about what the narcissist is, so they are trying to shut you down so their denial won’t be threatened.
When a smear campaign happens, the best thing you can do is to ignore it. Ignore everything that is being said about you & don’t defend yourself. Anything you say to defend yourself may be taken as proof that the narcissist is right about you, that you really are crazy, angry or whatever other nonsense the narcissist says. The best thing you can do is to live your life. Let your good character shine & it will prove the smear campaign to be wrong. Anyone who cares about the truth will see that your behavior doesn’t line up with what is being said about you, & question what they have heard.
If anyone tries to tell you what the narcissist is saying about you, if at all possible, end the conversation. Change the subject. Walk away. Do not engage in it. You don’t need to hear the lies that are being spread about you.
And never ever forget that this smear campaign isn’t about you nor is it a reflection on who you are. It’s about the narcissist who started it & the mindless minions who help to spread it.