The smear campaigner must work to make people believe them. They will put on a good face, agree with their listeners and feign integrity and kindness.
Carefully tending to his or her image as an innocent and upstanding whistleblower who is bravely speaking up against evil is a necessary part of the smear campaigner’s plan. Whether smear campaigners claim to be your victim or just a conscientious bystander (or both), they know that being seen as “the good one” fools the most people possible.
This is a righteous and brave warrior of truth – not someone who is having a tantrum because you got in their way when they were doing something wrong. This is not a cowardly tyrant who is seething with revenge — certainly not. This is just a decent person who is bravely trying to help others by spreading the word to be careful and avoid a monster of an abuser – you!
Smear campaigners may claim that they don’t want to say anything bad about anyone, and that it’s “not like them”, but they just have to say something about you in order help good people snuff out your supposed evil. They must break with their usual humble moral humility in order to step up and save the decent people of the world by finally exposing the truth about you that nobody has ever known!
Of course, it’s not the truth; it’s a smear campaign. But most everybody wants to support a person who has been hurt by someone abusive and will rush to their defense, so that’s the role the smear campaigner often plays — the good and innocent victim-hero. Smear campaigners play on the sympathies of others, using people’s empathy to gain social leverage against their victims.
Most smear campaigners are highly narcissistic, and narcissists cannot ever be expected to apologize, come clean or admit any wrongdoing, even if caught red-handed in their lies. They truly believe, in their own way, that a smear campaign is the right thing to do to you, because you have opposed them, and you should have known better than to do such an unthinkable thing, so it’s simply all your fault they’re smearing you anyhow. They’re teaching you a lesson — agree with whatever they want, or else. You “asked for it”, and they’re teaching you better.
Smear campaigners are like spoiled playground bullies who kick another child when the teacher’s back is turned, just because the child doesn’t give them whatever they want. They cannot be made to empathize, and they are well-practiced in their abusive games, because they have been playing them all their lives. Join us tomorrow, when we’ll be discussing a list of ways to counter smear campaigns.
You are visiting Light’s Blog. The rest of Light’s House is here.
For information about workplace bullying, visit bullyonline.org