Most people have heard of the notorious narcissistic smear campaign. This happens when a victim ends a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists can’t handle rejection, so to extract revenge on the one who rejected them, they tell anyone who will listen the most terrible lies they can conjure up about the victim. Sadly, many people believe the lies, & victims often end up losing relationships with people they love. In many cases even some of their close friends & family believe the narcissist’s lies. This is why smear campaigns can be one of the most painful things a narcissist can do to a victim.
When a smear campaign happens, many victims try to explain their side of the situation. It’s only normal to want to be believed, after all, & prove that they are nothing like the narcissist says they are. Sadly though, people who wish to explain themselves are often met with disbelief. Worse yet, when they become upset about not being believed, people take their righteous anger as proof that the narcissist was right, & the victim really is crazy, irrational, or even abusive.
Rather than frustrate yourself, there are some much better ways to handle this awful situation.
First, pray. Ask God for whatever you need in the situation & in particular, His guidance in exactly how you should handle it. This is the absolute best place to start in any situation, in my opinion, & especially in such a tricky one as dealing with a smear campaign.
Second, you need to shift your perspective a bit. Someone who genuinely cares about you not only wouldn’t believe the narcissist’s lies, but would defend you. Anyone who doesn’t do this & believes the narcissist’s lies clearly doesn’t really care about you. Knowing that, why would you care what people like that think of you?
Third, it bears repeating – never defend yourself to anyone who believes the narcissist’s lies. There is no point. Some people prefer to believe lies to the truth, so defending yourself to them will only serve to convince them that you are as bad as the narcissist says you are. I know it’s tempting to defend yourself, but truly, you will be better off not doing so! Let these deluded people believe whatever they want.
Fourth, rather than worry about the lies being told about you, try to focus instead on living your life in such a way that no one with any sense would believe the lies. Just let your good character shine through. 1 Peter 2:15 says, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” (ESV) Doing this will prove that you are nothing like what the narcissist has said you are, & in fact, contrary to what the narcissist claims, you are a very good person. Some people are die hard, excessively loyal to the narcissist, & they will refuse to believe anything but the lies. The more rational, reasonable & functional people though will see the truth. These are the people whose opinions you should value rather than those who blindly accept the narcissist’s lies as truth.
I know smear campaigns can be very difficult & painful to experience, but truly, you can & will get through it. You will come out stronger & wiser from the experience too. Your relationships most likely will be better as well. The unhealthy ones will be weeded out by the narcissist’s lies, leaving you with the good ones. Although smear campaigns are awful to go through, usually these good things & more end up coming from them. Oddly, they really can be a blessing in disguise.