Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Smear Campaign of the Abuser

Top 3 Abuser Tactics
1. Start a Smear Campaign against you
2. Tell everyone you are the abuser and they are the victim to recruit others in their campaign
3. Push your buttons to try to make make you respond with their goal of making you look like the crazy one.

"Abusers increasingly use a tactic I call "preemptive strike," where he accuses the victim of doing all the things that he has done."
R. Lundy Bancroft, author

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

To avoid exposure of his abusive behaviour and to deflect the attention away from the truth, the abuser begins a smear campaign against his victim. Directed at her closest friends, coworkers, even children and family, he accuses the victim of being the abuser.

Here's a typical scenario: Your abuser has been emotionally/physically cruel to you. He's cheated on you, lied, and usually much, much more. So, you break up or end the relationship only to find that he has gone around to your friends/family telling them that you are the one who has been cruel to him. This is a favorite attention-seeking behaviour of the abuser.

The Abuser's typical lie: "I love her so much, but now she's going around telling people I hit her, lied to her and cheated on her and she told me we're finished. I'm just devastated. I need someone to talk to who can help me get over this."

He works hard to present himself as "Mr. Perfect". Therefore, people believe him. Brace yourself. Emotionally anticipate this common response from the mentally disordered. Hang on tight, it's going to be a very cruel and bumpy ride.

An abuser will quickly 'devalue and discard' his target claiming he is the victim. His victims are now put in a defensive role by his lies and character assassination. By involving others he is enlarging his circle of those who give him attention. Any attention you may have given him is now replaced and multiplied by other people he manages to fool. A win/win scenario for a narcissist.

He will increase his attempts to provoke his victim into some reaction - the more emotional the better to make her look crazy and him sane. Do NOT take his bait. It is his trap and setup. Provoking you into a reaction is his goal.

Dr. Vaknin explains: "Even the victim's relatives, friends, and colleagues are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulativeness of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. Others rarely have a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.

Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey's acts of self-defense, assertiveness, or insistence on her rights are interpreted as aggression, lability, or a mental health problem."
Narcissism by Proxy, FAQ#42 By: Dr. Sam Vaknin

The abuser certainly does not care about the hurt and emotional devastation he creates. He will only be able to pull it off temporarily because other people don't understand this first-strike tactic of the personality disordered. They have no personal experience with it and are unable to recognize it.

Defence Strategy: If anyone tries to talk to you about him, hold up your hand (like a stop-sign) and say something like "I don't want to hear anything about him. He's lying" Say no more.

When people tell you what he's saying, try the good old-fashioned knee-slapping belly laugh at what s/he says. Friends, when confronted with your laughter reaction will find it funny too. Very effective. You say nothing. You just laugh. It works. You will need, of course, to conduct yourself perfectly to discredit the abuser's claims.

"Our credulity is greatest concerning the things
we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves,
we are ready to believe all that is said about us.
Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny."
Eric Hoffer

"Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny."

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
from "If" by Rudyard Kipling

The best defence is to completely remove yourself from the abuser and those he is able to fool. Unfortunately, this often includes our closest friends and family. He will work hard to keep these groups of people separated. Naive, easily-deceived people, may be forever lost to us. Conducting ourselves with grace and dignity will get us through this.

Do not engage in retaliatory mud-slinging that can be used against us, but do let these proxies know they can and will be subpoened in a potential defamation of character action to provide evidence of the origin of the lies he spreads.

Please resist any urges to retaliate. The N will use whatever he can to generate Narcissistic Supply (attention) so ride out the storm knowing that the sooner the N fails to get attention from what he is doing the sooner he'll stop.

As one therapist mentioned at our forums, "If the N is getting attention from those he is lying too and if he gets attention from you too, he'll be happier than a pig in a corn barrel. No contact = No Supply =No N". The narcissist has to generate NS because of his disorder, and will find another way if one doesn't work.

Q: My life is being ruined by the lies spread by my XN. Friends, family even my work situation is being affected - what can I do?

A. Act happy, friendly, confident, kind, helpful - unlike the person she claims that you are. Blow your own horn a bit about the charities you help or your other accomplishments. Be the opposite of what she is making you out to be and expect a long, hurtful ride until it clears up and s/he moves on to another target. And they will. They all do. Try hard to laugh off the accusations without any comments as your abuser will already have told people you are denying what she says. Part of their smear campaign is anticipating your denial.

We have used the male gender. Your abuser may be female.


  1. Great advice, wish I'd have seen it sooner, but it will help me and other's I've shared with!

  2. So sad you have made this good analysis so gender hateful and divisive.
    disclaimer at the end just didn't make up for it.

    1. There's nothing sad about it and it's certainly not at all hateful or divisive. It's great advice! And YOU'RE just a bully.

      This bizarre comment sounds like it comes from someone hungry and angry. I suggest you go eat a big burger, fries and some high quality and get in a better mood. :D

  3. Don't be ashamed of using the male gender for your example. It fits with a lot of people's experiences and you were sensitive to add that abusers are females too. This is the first generation of gender-nuetral speech. We have a few more centuries to make the adjustment.Great post.

  4. A thousand thank yous to the author of this. I've been a target of a smear campaign for FIVE YEARS! I've had a terrible time with it and not many have believed me, or at least the severity of it. I at least feel validated and understand what to do better now with your article. Just for the sake of other readers interests, I am female and the perpetrator is also female...very likely a borderline personality.

  5. I have had my life completely systematically dismantled by my ex wife,she has completely distroyed my relationship with my children lies and deceit against my family parents my parner my children are afraid of her now they just go along with it they have been feed so much lies they believe it now I tell you it is abuse of the worst kind it has distroyed the life's of my children there future to grow as a descent forward thinking individuals my Life they been denighed a family relationship with cousins grandparents and such I am in dispair there nowhere to go to get help it made me ill I am a twice cancer survivor now I am a laryngectomee and still things get sent to me through text email people my children are wrecked by this individuals hatred

  6. I am going thru this now with my ex since march and it is soooo heartless and nasty. He has lied beyond belief after a 10 year marriage and just to treat you so callously. I know his got a new prey as he told me the same thing about his ex to me when I first met him, that she was bi polar and was stalking him I believed him felt sorry for him. Sadly we have 3 young children in the middle of all this Im not reacting he just picks up the kids and goes, hes plotting now to have the kids taken from me. I am going to hold my head up high and be the better person and even though it hurts like hell just keep going.

  7. (Stick up for yourself.) ...Tell the simple truth in just a few sentences if you can... then, before any argument or dispute arises, walk away (I mean from the Abuser but not from your friends). Don't forget. Gaining your silence and the feeling of exclusion & isolation is the Abuser's purpose in doing the smearing in the first place. Letting them get away with it only reinforces their belief that they can continue to get away with it. Acknowledge to yourself that there no response that 'works' with the Abuser, but there can be a useful response to anyone (friend/family) that is receiving the smear... You can try... "Really? Hmmm... interesting? I'm so glad I've heard about what's being said about me."... then seek your friend's advice and ask the question... "What do you think I should do?"... and/or... "What do you think I should do if people start believing it?"

  8. I have lived in a small community for over 20 years and have always got along well with my neighbors. My soon to be ex moved from out of the area. He immediately started causing trouble and playing the victim. I asked once why he did that and he screamed in my face "because I am the victim". He is smearing my name and telling people I am doing the very things that he did. I am disabled and he is trying to cause me to lose my benefits, He has the help of my friends and neighbors that he has fooled. He sneaks around at night leaving little signs that he has been here (things that only I would recognize) and then tells people I am paranoid and crazy. I even had a long time friend (retired sheriff) tell me that I am paranoid. He has done a good job of isolating me from almost everyone. Am I better off keeping to myself and not reporting the things he does so I don't fuel his fire. He contacts people I haven't seen in years reading them quickly if he thinks they are my friend he vows how much he loves me and is worried. If he thinks he can sway them he tells them lies that I supposedly said about them and then tries to dig up dirt on me. We have been in divorce proceedings for a year and he keeps delaying. Each time we meet for settlement he adds another name to his witness list and they are all once friends of mine. I am a strong person but this is wearing on me. He told me several times while we were together that someone was either on his side or they were the enemy there was no in between. I have not spoken to him since getting him out of my home a year ago. But that hasn't stopped him. Please someone tell me how to stop this harassment and terrorism. Isolated in Idaho

    1. Document every thing. Take pictures, record conversations, send emails to yourself documenting events, etc.

    2. Documenting everything is excellent advice. It actually worked for me when I had an abusive manager. I just quietly document things in my business calendar. Months later I had to pull it
      out and use the information to create an affidavit. Another tip that worked in my favor re my narcissistic disordered spouse is to ignore the abuser and everything they say to you or to anyone.
      Document and ignore. It's very tough to do when the narcissist is
      spewing evil lies to family that you care about. If you are constantly telling people that you never said or did X (whatever it is about) you will just get more depressed,frustrated and very sad. Don't give anyone the power to do that to you. I don't know and can't imagine what narcissists do to achieve this hostility
      from friends a relatives, but they do it so well that it's
      impossible to rehabilitate your reputation. Disengage from the narc as best you can. Do not react to ANYTHING. It's all about getting lots of attention and controlling you. If you never react
      the narc will eventually find someone else to abuse.

    3. I have done the items that you suggest and it has helped to some extent. I tried to get a restraining order and the very people that he had turned on me came to testify on his behalf. He actually has them watching me and keeping records of every move I make. Will it ever stop

  9. My ex is a N psychopathic pathological liar! He always plays the victim role. He spreads lies about all his relationships and accuses the women of badgering him. He is an alcoholic and now a full blown addict. He doesn't work and he financially abuses women for his own agenda.

    I was trapped in a cycle of abuse for five years. He refused to drive my car sober. His parents and brother reward bad behavior. He steals and his dad allows it. Neighbors and his family heard my screams and cries but did nothing to stop the violence. He lives off the state and spends his check on crystal. I know things that can hurt him legally.

  10. Good advice. It is natural to want to retaliate and act defensively when a smear campaign is carried out. It's happening to me now via my sister. I don't know where it's going to end up, could be somewhere nasty but I am resolved not to fall into her hands and play the victim which is what she'll expect of me as she knows I'm 'good' and don't like to be seen as someone bad. Easier said than done but it's really the only logical way to escape from this sort of shit and have a happy, dignified life.

  11. What if I start telling everyone I know he is a narcissist. Will that get him to stop since this is his greatest fear?

    1. I would advise to not do that based on my own mistakes. That puts them into overdrive and the odds of this backfiring on you are close to 100%. I'm sorry that you and all the others here have gone through this. I am also going through the smear campaign that's been in place for over 2 years.

      What's funny to me is all the facts are there, if anyone were to look at her with critical thought, they would see it. But people are taken in by fake tears and bullshit. People love a "strong woman who's always fighting her way up" which is her act.

      She is a victimizer, abuser and cheater. She plays the game SO well, that no one will believe it except for the guys who have been her victims. They don't want to speak out because of what she's done to both of her ex-husbands.

  12. I have tried ignoring my abuser (my sister) but nothing works. She is defaming me to relatives, neighbours, friends and strangers. I'm sure some of the mud will stick eventually. My only solution is to go to a solicitor but I don't know if even that will stop her.


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  15. Someone made up some extremely evil and psychotic and profoundly damaging things about me. I quit my job, lost friends and removed myself from the whole situation. People were afraid of me and would not talk to me about it. He went around the office telling people that I was going to kill him and that he talked me down, and they took his side because they couldn't believe he was lying. It was based around some other things, but nothing remotely like that. It was starting to scare me so I just quit. I really don't know who hears what but any aggression or defense probably makes me look guilty.