The narcissist’s smear campaign nearly always occurs right before or during the discard phase. If you are in the discard phase of a narcissistic relationship and want to prepare for what is yet to come or are in the midst of a full-blown smear campaign, you’re definitely going to want to know how to shut it down. The birth of a smear campaign can occur as soon as the narcissist believes that at some point in the near future, their target is no longer going to be a viable source of supply for them. This can begin months to years prior to the actual discard day (whether it’s them discarding their target or the other way around).
A smear campaign consists of the narcissist going around to other people (flying monkeys) and saying things about you that leaves the listener feeling differently about you- in a negative way. Perhaps they imply that you’re not what they thought you were, that you are a bad person in some way, or maybe the narcissist is a victim of something bad that you’ve done to them. This process is called triangulation. They’re trying to line up their flying monkeys so that these flying monkeys believe the narcissist is a good person and that their target is a bad person, leaving them isolated all while saving face.
Covert narcissists are experts at smear campaigns because they are so subtle about devaluing others and are easily able to assume the victim role in a believable way. They begin by embedding little seeds of doubt in other people’s minds that will eventually cause that person to think a certain way about their target. Their claims sound plausible and seem to accurately reflect what’s going on. The narcissist will do this in order to gain control over you, to isolate you, and to make themselves look good in the meantime – all of which they get different forms of narcissistic supply from.
In order to not let the smear campaign ultimately affect you, you are going to want to shut it down. Here are some ways in which you can effectively shut it down and move forward with your life with your head held high.
Although ignoring the smear campaign might seem counterintuitive, it’s one of the things that you can do to effectively shut down their smear campaign. Although your first reaction might be to convince the flying monkeys of the truth, this is only going to add fuel to the narcissist’s fire. Don’t give the smear campaign any attention, don’t contribute to its lifespan. If they’re smearing you in court – in a pleading or in a motion – you can formally respond and deny their accusations. You can also wait until you have to testify or take part in a deposition, then allow your attorney to ask the proper questions to elicit your response. This way, you can actually respond to whatever it is that they might have said – if it’s necessary to even respond. If you’re aware of the smear campaign happening, try not to engage. If you do, you’ll be even more susceptible to getting sucked into their vortex. Once you get sucked into the vortex, your emotions will start to run wild. Now they’ve secured the narcissistic supply source that they’re looking for. Although this is incredibly difficult, just try to ignore what’s happening. The truth will become exposed, just be patient.
The next thing you can do to ultimately shut down a narcissist’s smear campaign is to move on and to create your own new life and fresh start. As long as you spend energy on all the narcissist’s wrong doings, you won’t be able to move forward with your life or recover. If you’re thinking about what that narcissist is doing, saying, and engaging in, you are going to allow more of that toxicity into your life. Although this all might seem counterintuitive, this is the only way to shut down a narcissist’s smear campaign. The fire will only burn for as long as it is being fueled. The more energy exerted into the fire, the longer it will last. By ignoring it and moving on, you will allow their campaign to diffuse and you will be able to recover, heal, and take the steps you need to take to expose them for who and what they are. Your reputation will follow you as long as you allow it to.