Narcissists have a funny way of doing anything they can to maintain appearances to people who aren’t really very important in their lives, while at the same time, caring very little about how they’re perceived by the people closest to them. One way they show this is through the liberal use of smear campaigns used against loved ones as part of their relationship cycles. The worst part is that people often believe the lies the narcissist spreads and this can lead to the complete destruction of your life as you know it.
What is a smear campaign?
A smear campaign is a manipulation tactic in which the narcissist spreads rumors and lies about you in order to socially or otherwise isolate you, as well as to get additional narcissistic supply in the form of support or pity from those who are hearing their latest “sob story.” Smear campaigns are most often used by the narcissist when you have discarded them (or they have discarded you).
How do narcissistic smear campaigns work?
Let’s begin with a few examples of the typical narcissistic smear campaign.
When you go no contact with a narcissistic parent or break up with a narcissistic friend or partner, you know that they will not take it well. And even if they are the one who leaves you, they will make you look like the bad one.
For instance, if you cut your narcissistic mother out of your life, then she will go around telling the extended family and others in the community what a terrible person you are. She might say that you had stolen from her (which you never have done), and did everything you could to cause damage (which you never did).
If you stop being friends with a narcissistic person, he or she will spread harmful rumors about you and easily ruin your reputation that way. The same goes for when you divorce a narcissistic partner. They will lie about you to the courts, and to others, and throw you under the bus at any opportunity possible. Of course you can always attempt to expose the narcissist’s smear campaign, as explained in this video.
When does a narcissistic smear campaign happen?
The narcissistic’s smear campaign seems to be most common when the narcissist feels you “betrayed” them in some way – when the narcissist feels and demonstrates “narcissistic injury,” which is explained in this video.
They will tell plenty of lies about you (which the narcissist actually might see as “truth,” as they can be quite delusional).
They will ruin you in order to protect their image, hide their insecurities, and they never hold themselves accountable for anything they do. Any victim of a narcissist will be a scapegoat.
Why do people fall for the narcissist’s smear campaign?
There is one basic reason that people will fall for a narcissist’s smear campaign. That is due to the fact that narcissists are extremely manipulative and convincing to the point that they are excellent liars. Narcissists know exactly how to make you look like the bad one and will get others to believe their lies about you.
Unfortunately, the narcissist’s smear campaign is aimed at ruining you, and their efforts are focused on exactly that. Remember, narcissists believe their own lies – as explained in this video.
For many, you will look like the bad one that the narcissist successfully portrayed you to be. Some people may always believe them. However, eventually, the narcissist’s true colors will shine right through. Some people will see that the narcissist is just that, a narcissist which will make them think twice about what they had said about you.
So, if you are planning to cut a narcissistic parent out of your life, or separate from a narcissistic partner or friend – be prepared. Know that they will create a smear campaign about you that can easily ruin your reputation. However, the decent people who may believe them at first will eventually see the truth once they see the narcissist’s true colors.
Who is Involved in the narcissist’s smear campaign?
You guessed it – narcissists don’t usually “go it alone” when it comes to smear campaigns. They have a special group of people who help them do their bidding. This can be a group of one or more – and we call them “flying monkeys.” Flying monkeys, for the record, are those people who willingly or otherwise do the narcissist’s bidding and support their agenda. They are essentially the enablers of the narcissist.
What can you to stop the smear campaign?
Truthfully, there is very little you can do once the smear campaign has already started. But don’t waste your breath trying to defend yourself. If the narcissist gets to someone who you trust, give them one chance to hear your side of the story – and if they don’t understand and/or believe it, you might want to back off for a short time (or longer) until this whole thing blows over. But those who know and trust you should stick with you. Those who don’t might not have been your people in the first place. This video offers a “don’t get mad, get even” technique for how to deal with the narcissist’s smear campaign.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.