A summary of important points
to remember about smear campaigns:
- Smear campaigns are typically conducted against people who have stood up against some form of unfairness, abuse, or entitlement.
- Narcissists are highly active smear campaigners, and those with other “high conflict” cluster B personality disorders such as AsPD, BPD and HPD are prone to smearing others.
- A smear campaign involves lies, exaggerations, and cultivation of mistrust toward the victim.
- Smear campaigners insinuate that the victim is mentally ill, unreasonable, incompetent, untrustworthy, or abusive.
- Smear campaigners typically play on the sensibilities of others, using people’s empathy and morals to turn people against their victims – most often for having done nothing more than disagree with the smearer.
- A smear campaigner prefers to make others think they are good people who are rightfully standing up against the victim’s supposed immorality or abuse.
- Smear campaigners play the victim, the hero, or both.
- Smear campaigners try to ostracize their victims and make them feel alone, unpopular, and unsupported by others.
- Smear campaigners enjoy the feeling of having “gotten back at” their victims, and believe it is completely justifiable – even fun – to mistreat someone for having an opinion that is different from theirs.
- Smear campaigners do not acknowledge the wrong they do, and cannot typically be expected to genuinely confess or apologize — even after they’ve been proven liars.
- Do not speak to smear campaigners unless it’s completely impossible not to. If you DO have to speak to the smearer, do so only in the presence of others and in copied emails/properly documented letters. Plan ahead to prevent being put in difficult positions by the smear campaigner.
- Lastly, remember that you do have the right to make fair and healthy requests, and if you are smeared as a result, smearing is an unreasonable and unacceptable response.
This is the last in our 5-part series about smear campaigns. To start at part 1, click here.
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