Do you ever catch your coworkers or friends shooting glances your way? What about hearing them whisper about something only for them to immediately stop talking when you enter the room? If so, you might be the victim of a narcissist smear campaign, and that can be a pretty awful experience.
When a narcissist and their accomplices have it out for you, they can be pretty sneaky about how they go about it, and they will usually try to bring in others to side against you. Luckily, narcissists usually aren’t as smart as they think they are, and they tend to get pretty sloppy and leave some big clues behind. But Read until the end of this article and you’ll be able to stop a narcissist before they even have the chance to turn anyone against you!
Number 10: They start to mention you online.
Social media has unlocked new tools for the narcissist, and they can cause a ton of damage to you if you aren’t careful. While the signs of a smear campaign in person are usually pretty easy to trace back to their source, the anonymous nature of the internet has made it easy for toxic individuals to slander you and drag your name through the mud.
You should be extremely concerned if you think you are being targeted by a social media attack, and watch out for them recording you, naming you online, or spreading rumors about you. Facebook is a particularly dangerous place for this kind of thing to occur since that social media service tends to have plenty of people who might know your name.
Fortunately, if they are going this route, their name is probably attached to their profile too, and you will be able to know exactly what is going on.
Number 9: They start to mimic you in front of mutual friends.
Smear campaign tactics can seem pretty childish from the outside, and this entry fits that description. Narcissists are very focused on outward appearance and mannerisms, meaning they will be paying a lot of attention to you even before they decide to target you.
When they decide to strike out against you, it will usually involve them trying to convince others of your annoying or rude nature, and they may even go so far as to try to impersonate you to others.
This will usually include an extremely exaggerated and unflattering version of what they believe you look like to make you look dumb, rude, or something along those lines.
Number 8: They will reflect their insecurities onto you.
Many people believe that narcissistic people are just mean by nature, but it has to do with their many insecurities. These individuals don’t tend to relate to those around them beyond a surface level, which is why they spend most of their time gossiping or talking about very superficial topics.
Probably the most common reason that a narcissist smear campaign comes about is that they become threatened by you, either because you see through their disguise or because you make them feel bad about themselves. When this happens, they will often say things that don’t even seem to apply to you, and that’s because they don’t.
Rumors spread about you will usually involve their shortcomings and things that they feel others think about them. It almost makes you sad to realize how miserable these people are, but that feeling passes pretty quickly when you think about how much pain they inflict on others because of it.
Number 7: They will say your actions hurt them or their feelings.
When all else fails for the narcissist, playing the victim is their favorite move. They play it well too, and usually get a lot of sympathy before people realize that they’re lying. This is usually how a narcissist smear campaign backfires, of course, but your actions will go a long way in making sure they don’t trick everyone.
When a narcissist begins accusing you of being cruel, mean-spirited, or outright hurtful to them, honesty is your best policy. These toxic individuals can’t open up to others and be vulnerable, so it will be increasingly clear they aren’t being truthful when your story doesn’t change and you don’t allow them to push you into an emotional reaction.
Number 6: They try to flip things against you.
After a narcissist and their flying monkeys spread rumors against you, it’s time to defend yourself. These are toxic individuals who lie regularly, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to prove your innocence to the folks around the office or your friend group. Unfortunately, narcissists don’t go down without a fight, and one tactic they may attempt is flipping everything against you.
They may call you the liar, or worse, they may say that you were the one trying to spread rumors about them. A fight against someone like this can be a lengthy one, so make sure to stay focused and not let them rally back against you.
Number 5: They try to drag in anyone and everyone.
One annoying thing about narcissists is that they don’t care how many people they involve in their mischief. Neighbors, online friends, classmates, and anyone the narcissist can rope in is fair game in their petty drama. Even your family may get dragged into it if things get bad enough.
It can be embarrassing, but if someone asks you what’s going on, your best bet is to be honest and tell them how rumors and lies are being told about you. It sucks to have to tell people these kinds of things when you probably just want to move on, but if the narcissist has already dragged them in, you may just have to.
Number 4: If you recently got something they want.
It could be a promotion at work, or maybe a nice new car or watch – if it makes the narcissist jealous or insecure, they may try to use it against you. Narcissists get hurt easily, and when they get hurt they lash out against the people who upset them. If you are hearing them talk a lot about something you recently earned or bought, you should be careful, as this usually means that they can’t get over it.
In most cases, the smear campaign and flying monkeys aren’t far behind. You should never be ashamed of enjoying yourself, so you shouldn’t let them get to you that much. Besides, the knowledge of knowing that this cruel narcissist is jealous of your success should be something to be proud of, even if their antics can get annoying.
Number 3: People start to ask you about things you never did.
If a smear campaign has been launched against you, it won’t take that long to sniff it out. Focusing on what the people around you have to say is a key aspect of spotting a narcissist’s scheme early on, and it’s really easy to recognize when you see it. Outlandish lies that you can’t even track back are big red flags that something is up, and it usually only escalates from there.
If a narcissist has recruited other members to their cause, you may start to notice a lot more gossip about you, and that there are a lot of harmful rumors circulating. Try not to become too emotional about this, as that is the reaction they are looking for.
Instead, try to remain vigilant, and realize that their opinions of you don’t matter. Ultimately, narcissists can only convince people who don’t know you to begin with, and usually, your friends will put a stop to these annoying rumors pretty quickly.
Number 2: You may get excluded from an event or two.
Smear campaigns are often about rumors and gossip, but sometimes you can get iced out too. The narcissist may “forget” to invite you to an event or fail to pass information on to you, for example. Narcissists want to isolate their targets in the hope that they will become lonely and increasingly erratic, so this is a fairly common trap you might experience.
Although it may hurt to miss out on something, this kind of thing usually doesn’t last that long. Eventually, your friends or coworkers will notice what is going on, especially if you express your frustration at the lack of communication on their part.
Number 1: They may try to call you out publicly.
Public image is important to the narcissist, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually get desperate if their campaign is failing. If you’ve successfully ignored and avoided the narcissist’s traps, then they may grow angry enough to make a scene about it. This happens because the abuser doesn’t think you can stand up to public scrutiny, and they hope that you will break when the pressure of the group’s eyes is on you.
Unfortunately for the narcissist, this usually only draws attention to how crazy they are acting, and it usually is the nail in the coffin for them. As long as you keep your cool and don’t get sucked into their embarrassing public meltdown, you will probably be rid of the narcissist in no time after that.
Being able to spot a smear campaign is a useful tool in keeping your public image protected, but do you want to know something even more satisfying? Crushing their campaign once and for all!