7 minute read
‘Aaaaargh, what can I do to stop the narcissist’s smear campaign? There must be a way to end this nightmare!?’
Is this where you’re at right now?
The unfairness of it! The cruelty!
Not only are you reeling from the devastation of the abuse suffered directly at the hands of the narcissist, but you are now facing their indirect and equally damaging rampage as they get busy behind your back.
It doesn’t entirely surprise you that the narcissist has embarked on this calculated and methodical campaign to discredit and isolate you even further. You are no stranger to their mercilessness.
What is beyond comprehension is that you are losing people who are important to you. People you desperately need at this time in recovering from narcissistic abuse and who ordinarily, you would be able to reach for in hard times for comfort. Yet now, they are turning away from you.
How can it be that the narcissist has gotten to your people, and that astonishingly, some appear to be swallowing every bit of poison they are being fed?
You frantically think to yourself ‘I’ve just got to find a way to stop the narcissist’s smear campaign…what can I do’? This article aims to help you work out your answer.
For more info about smear campaigns as a narcissistic strategy, read Narcissists and smear campaigns: Why they do it.
So, what can you do to stop the narcissist’s smear campaign?
The Kamikaze approach
Instinctively, you want to rectify the situation, right the wrongs being done to you, and prove the truth. Of course you do!
You may even want a little retribution (although if revenge is your thing, I recommend reading Are you looking for ways to punish the narcissist? before launching your attack).
You may be thinking…
- ‘I’m going to go kamikaze on that horrendous excuse for a human being, they won’t know what hit them’…or….
- ‘How about I give you a little of your own medicine! I’m going to contact your family, friends…oh, no that’s right you don’t have all that many left…ok, I’ll contact whoever I can, and tell them the truth about that false façade everyone believes in!’….or….
- ‘All these lies are slander, defamation! I’ll see you in court!!’
No one would blame you for considering any of these options. Or for following through on them. And depending on what is happening, the legal avenue may genuinely be needed.
But gorgeous one, in this situation, I urge you to fight your natural impulse to react.
In this situation, the best thing to do, is, well, nothing.
I know, I know, this goes against every single fibre in your body!
But before you do anything, consider the outcomes of going kamikaze versus going Zen.
Kamikaze outcome 1: Oh, the supply you will be handing over!
Reacting in any way at all to the smear is precisely what the narcissist is hoping for.
You must remember that your reactions, whether positive or negative, are what they feast on.
And it is irrelevant whether you react directly to the narc or not. In fact, by arguing your case with the flying monkeys (check Glossary for terminology refreshers), the narcissist is tickled pink. In doing so, you are actively contributing to your very own smear campaign by energising stories further!
Additionally, your engagement in the narcissist’s game signals you are still available for their supply. The narc knows as long as they can elicit reactions, they retain power and control over you. And the more supply is handed over, the longer their interest in you as their plaything endures.
Until you stop feeding the beast, you will never be free from the cycle of narcissistic abuse (read Why is it so hard to leave an abusive relationship with a narcissist? & Why narcissistic abuse & trauma bonding is so powerful for codependents on why breaking the cycle is critical).
Of greatest importance gorgeous one, is the longer you are exposed to narcissistic trauma (whether directly from them or through triangulations & flying monkeys), the longer you place your healing on hold.
Kamikaze outcome 2: Defending yourself backs their case, not yours
Let’s be real, you are mad as hell. And hurting deeply. Because of these realities, your reactions are necessarily going to be emotionally charged, and of course, defensive. This is after all, what wanting to clear your name is all about.
This is where the abusive narcissist’s Machiavellian cunning comes to the fore!
Defending yourself in an emotionally reactive way, sadly, tends to reinforce rather than assist in quelling lies told.
Arguments mounted from an agitated, subjective, and outraged position rarely neutralise anything. In the event of the smear campaign it is even less likely.
Instead, it tends to lend weight to the falsities spread by the narcissist. I’m sure you can imagine their glee as they exclaim…‘See how she froths with fury! She is out of control!’ or ‘Uh-huh, I told you he simply will not accept it is over’.
Rather than convincing anyone you’re once again being screwed over by the narcissist’s pathological rage and envy, you end up supporting the narcissists arguments about you, on these very same issues.
Do not fuel the machinations of the campaign!
The Zen approach: The power of dignity & integrity
Here’s the thing. You know the smearing is toxic. You know it is ugly.
Refusing to stoop to their level allows you to uphold your integrity and your dignity. Pursuing your best life of freedom & joy necessitates an active commitment to positivity.
Not one moment spent in the malicious cesspit created by the narcissist will bring you anything positive.
Doing nothing, and steadfastly declining to sully yourself by staying silent, is a powerful message to all involved.
Those hearing the rumours and falsehoods (well those who have half a brain anyways), eventually will realise the incongruence of your composure, dignity, and integrity with the picture of you as the mentally unstable and abusive monster.
In doing nothing, in not reacting, you have surfaced the truth.
Additionally, by not responding, the narcissist recognises that their spell is broken, they have lost all power & control over you. You have let go and the cycle of abuse is not a place you will revisit. Doing nothing is a massive step forward in seizing your freedom.
And to your own sweet self, you are reclaiming unapologetically your power and standing firmly in the knowledge of your worth. Though initially you may resist staying silent, the decision will foster exponential growth for your self-belief and self-respect.
After all, you are stating very clearly to yourself and all others, the only opinion of yourself that really matters, is yours.
As it should be.
Bridging the gap between kamikaze & Zen mindsets
Undoubtedly, the situation is a bitter pill to swallow, hence the unavoidable resistance to doing nothing until the power of dignity & integrity begins to weave its magic.
Here are some things to reflect on to help you get on board the Zen train.
From the very outset in meeting the narcissist, you have been steadily moving towards this situation.
At some point in abusive relationships with narcissists, whether with intimate partners, family, friends, or colleagues, they inevitably reach into their bag of tricks and pull out the smear campaign to manipulate, control and punish.
You know this. Indeed you will have experienced it. Whether aimed squarely at you, or in the role of confidante prior to becoming the target, you know this is their bag.
Recall those sob stories about the exes who were all crazy/jealous/unfaithful/addicted, or how in their opinion, your family/friends are bad for you because of blah blah blah, etc.? Yep, you do know.
And it’s happening. Now, to you.
In reality, there is nothing you can do to stop the narcissist from rolling out the smear campaign.
Additionally (and I’m so sorry for the utter injustice of this), there is absolutely nothing that can be done about people listening, nor the heartbreaking fact, that some people will believe the lies.
It is beyond your control. Accept this.
Loss as opportunity
One of the hardest things with the smear is coming to grips with people turning against you. Acceptance on this front is H.A.R.D.
An opportunity though presents itself in hitting this lonely place that feels a lot like rock bottom. Losing everything (as I know so many of you have from narcissistic abuse), means you get to rebuild a life that you love: your very best life.
There is no room in a life of freedom & joy for those who are easily swayed by fabrications about who you are, for the sake of fleeting drama.
Those who know your character, your history, your identity, yet still choose to hop on the narcissist’s bandwagon are just not worth your lovely self.
You are not a juicy titbit, or story to be chewed on for fun. This is your one, precious life being toyed with. Completely not OK in any way, shape or form.
Weeding out toxic people is a fundamental step in designing your best life. Every person you lose from the lies told, are necessary losses for your passage to your best life where freedom & joy awaits. No matter how much you might want these people to be part of your journey.
You cannot simultaneously keep darkness in your life and seize the light that is waiting for you.
Those who remain firm in their knowledge of who you are, are gold. These are the keepers, the joy bringers that are definitely a part of that best life of yours.
Leaving the rabbit hole behind
Gorgeous one, you’ve learnt this terrible lesson a thousand times over.
To engage in any way with the campaign, the narcissist, or any of their newly recruited flying monkeys, is to fall deeply into that rabbit hole of madness worthy of Alice in her Wonderland.
Except that it isn’t such a place of wonder. You know this all too well from the narcissistic abuse you have already suffered, time and time again. You know it only leads to darkness and pain.
Let the horror of the smear campaign serve as a concrete reminder of the narcissist’s capacity for cruelty. Mark it up now in your mind and let it serve as an antidote to any potential future moments of weakness when you are in danger of being hoovered back in.
You simply do not have the time nor energy for any more spiralling downwards because of the narcissist.
The narcissistic abuse you have endured has drained almost every drop of your precious vitality.
Whatever you have left, you must greedily store away for your own self and healing.
Again. No more.
Cut your losses. Set yourself free. Walk proudly with dignity, integrity, and your ‘joy bringers’ in the direction of your very best life.
As always gorgeous ones, please share your insights, tips and experiences on the narcissist and smear campaigns. The more we share, the more we teach one another and help those in need to take their step towards freedom.
Hungry for more?
As with most topics I write on that expose the ugliness of true NPD (at the malignant end of the spectrum), I recommend the following key works on malignant narcissism/ Antisocial Personality Disorder’d (APD) individuals: The Sociopath Next Door by Dr, Martha Stout, and Psychopath Free by Jackson Mackenzie. Check them out, they are eye openers on spotting those to stay away from, and how to protect yourself. Mackenzie’s work also explores the path to healing. Read up now!
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