Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 57 · 4 years ago

Smear Attacks

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is understanding. Today's narcissist brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Today we're going to talk about how narcissists near others and use smear campaigns in order to get what they want, because being the victim of one of these is not very fun at all. Rather, it is an intense campaign that the narcissist orchestrates which is designed to humiliate their opponent while simultaneously elevating the narcissistic status in some way, shape or form. It usually requires quite a bit of skill, a lot of manipulation in even more persistence to successfully pull one of these off, but for the...

...victim it can be absolutely shocking in a very damaging experience. So what I want to do is use this through an explanation of a client of mine, and we're going to call him John. John is getting a divorce from sue. Sue, in this case is the narcissist, and sue asked John for a divorce after twenty five years of marriage because, while we don't really know why, quite frankly, and so, after evaluating the situation and going through what their marriage was like, we realize that she was very narcissistic. So in the middle of all of this of going through the therapy in order to recover and dealing with the divorce, she starts this unbelievable smear campaign against John. So the divorce situation is pending right now. It is not uncommon for a narcissist, in this case Sue who absolutely smeared him in front of other people but at the same time would kind of come back and forth and Beg...

...for reconciliation. So she did this like cute little push pull thing with John which constantly kept him on his feet. And what I was what we wound up working through in session, was helping him to see that this was just another tactic of manipulation that she was using so that she could get something more in the divorce and so that she could come off better, because he was willing to give her more when she was being nicer. So she knew that and so she used that against him every single time. But there are other times of narcissists will do a smear campaign. For instance, at work, a narcissist might slander a person they believed to be a competitor for a promotion in order to ensure their success over somebody else. Or a narcissist will tear apart the best of friends so that they can step in a damaged relationship and look like the hero to both of those parties. It just depends on what the situation is. But what we're going to do is we're going to talk...

...about five different ways that the narcissists actually does smear and what those tactics look like. So we're going to be talking about John and sue in the scenario. So with friends is the first category. So during a night out with friends sue, the narcissist makes some kind of passive aggressive comments about John. It's usually done to see which friends might be sympathetic towards the narcissist. So this is done like just prior to the divorce. I would say it's kind of like a let's feel out the friends to see who's going to be on my side, because they like to tell you things up before. They're very cunning, so they like to tell you things up beforehand. They like to count the costs and they want to know which friends are going to be all on team narcissist or all on their ex spouse. So then usually the spousal remarks are going to escalate. So they start off mildly and and then they start to escalate to sarcastic, demeaning, even humiliating observations. Now the spouse,...

...in this case John Will, he acted. He acted by shrinking away from the friends, like he didn't know what to do, was confused by what was happening. Why was she saying this? And on occasion he would verbally lash out. Well then, that's exactly what narcissists wanted. That's what sue wanted, because then she use those two ways right back at him with the friends to point out, see, he doesn't communicate with me, doesn't talk, he isn't open, he shuts down all the time. Or look how awfully he is, look at the terrible things he says about me. Let's forget about the stuff she said to instigate it. That doesn't really matter. What matters is the tail end of that. Either way, the narcissist has won their point with the friends, as the spouse has only affirmed the derogatory statements by further isolating the spouse from their friends. So that's how they do it with friends. Now let's move on to family. So one of the goals of a narcissist, in this case sue, was to quarantine John from the support of family, especially when the family doesn't like them. So...

...sue worked very hard to alienate John from his own family so that he would not have that strong support system when they went through the divorce. Mind you, this is all pre divorce that was going on, and then this carried well over into the divorce. So she began this by smearing the spout John's family to John, claiming that his family is dysfunctional and is family has a secret agenda because they don't want to see them happy. Ever, and then they charm. The narcissist, in this case sue, then went behind John's back and charmed his family, claiming that John was the dysfunctional one all lost, trying to seek out some incriminating background information on John to be used to get as him later. This will pit John Against his family and vice versa, adding to the segregation that will happen during the divorce. Interestingly enough, even after the divorce has filed. This is a very common tactic that narcissists...

...will use. They will come around behind the family and say you have no idea how this person treated me. They were so abusive. They did this, they did that, trying to isolate their soon too be x from their family members. So at work a narcissist has another way of smearing their target. So I want you to remember that sue in this case viewed her husband's employment as a threat to her in authority and influence. So, even though he had his own job and was very successful in his own career, she viewed that as a threat because that would sometimes take precedent over her. Therefore, she was constantly looking for ways to tear down his workplace as well as his ability to work well, kind of like setting cute little land mines off every now and then to literally set off on little timers so that he would not be able to function well at work. Anything from timing and argument right...

...before a massive presentation that he had to give, all the way to talking about his boss, is being justice horrible, wretched human being, calling the boss even narcissistic, which is kind of ironic all by itself, because the narcissist can always identify other narcissists any and all injustices that John revealed in his work is highlighted and then retold in an exaggerated manner by sue because she's trying to reinforce the fact that the only authority or the only influence that should exist in John's life is her. To made all kinds of comments at work about how they took advantage of John and they were very quick to point out the narcissism in other people. This creates a hostile environment for John at work and sometimes some narcissists will even contact the employers of the spouse. I know it's hard to believe, but it does happen in order to under the guise of trying to help, but it really only stirs up trouble in the end. So they smear the person at work so that they're ineffective can't get their job...

...done. So then when the divorce comes and they're really trying hard to stay focused at something, they'll do things on purpose just to set them off at work, even calling coworkers, even calling bosses and letting them know even what's going on and just how they're not able to continue to do their job effectively. The next smear campaign that happens is with neighbors. So the charming ability of most narcissist is absolutely remarkable, as they easily transform from an angry spouse inside the house to the perfect neighbor outside. So they look a amazing from the outside, but they could be screaming hysterics on the inside of a home. This flawless performance is the ideal groundwork to emphasize their spouses over reaction because, like in this case, sue would be yelling at John, walk outside, start talk, cut very calmly to a neighbor as if nothing's happened,...

...and John comes out, still thinking he's in the middle of an argument, also yelling, and therefore he looks like the raving lunatic, and not sue. So she would draw him out of the house kind of put him on display in front of the neighbors so that he would look bad. Sue claimed that John was crazy. This was a visual Tantrum. That's too would literally set up to demonstrate how crazy John was. They will even instigate their spouse to anger, and any and all efforts that John made to explain his behavior just only sounded defensive in the end in subsequently deceitful. So he wound up looking like the bad guy sue wound up looking just absolutely golden in this. The last area is at court. So, especially when we're talking about a divorce scenario, a favorite smear tactic of narcissist is the abuse of the court system, and the court system, unfortunately, is set up for narcissists to do a very good job of just absolutely bullying their spouses. There are usually...

...what they'll do is they will incite excessive lawsuits with little to no grounds, design to intimidate and scare their spouse and to submission. So sue would do this even during the divorce. She was also instigating and filing several other lawsuits trying to sue him for slander, so him for all kinds of other things, just as a way to keep him on the defensive and keep him very much under submission during the divorce proceeding. It is customary for narcissists to bury their spouse and absolutely unnecessary and irrelevant paperwork. So they will have demands of paperwork that are totally irrelevant. So knew that they were irrelevant. She didn't really care. She was just doing it to drive John Crazy, because that's what she was trying to do, so that he would look bad in front of his own lawyer. Even there was a constant resetting of demands that she would have and she would go back on agreements that they would make in mediations. So they would make some progress in mediation only to have suit turn it...

...around and say, AH, yeah, no, that's not happening. If there has been any kind of medical or mental diagnosis against a spouse, the narcissist for sure is going to exploit that for their own purposes. So this is one of those areas where you want to be super careful about what is in your medical documents. In this one of the many reasons why, when I'm working with clients, I work really hard not to give an official diagnosis of something because they don't want it to be in the record anywhere. Knowing how a narcissist does a smear campaign is absolutely essential to discovering how to counter attack. So in order for you to better handle one of these smear camp and pains, you need to understand how it actually works. So the next step, after you've understood how the narcissist actually smear someone, is to start to anticipate what they might do beforehand and then avoid the obvious traps, and the obvious traps are overreaction, anger, embarrassment and fear. If you can avoid those four things, then that will go a long way to helping you...

...not to get caught up in a smear campaign. Once the narcissist knows that their attacks have no effect, they will actually retreat. Believe it or not, they actually do go away because once they realize that they cannot get you to overreact, they can't get you to be angry, they can't embarrass you or create fear in you, they actually go away because they have other targets that are more effective. And at the end of the day, a narcissist hate not winning, so they have to win. So if they can't win through these tactics, they'll move on to something else, and that is the goal of us. Thanks for listening to understanding today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom. For more information, visit grow with Christine Dot Com.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)