What Group Do You Fall Into? Listeners are a key part of the smear campaign. I was reading one of my favorite blogs today, “The Country of Liars”, and read this passage on its home page:
“A sociopath’s true personality is one of a skilled, maliciously evil, emotion-free, narcissistic monster. But don’t try looking for these monsters out in the public, because they use what’s called a persona – a fake personality – to blend in with the rest of us. You can even say they are very talented actors. And these psychopaths are very real and around us every day. You may work with some, you may work for one, you may attend religious service with a few, and you may live with one.
Some are so outwardly charming, that they blend in way too well. And statistically speaking, you’ve known a few throughout your life. If they do not sense you present a threat to their secret lies, they will likely leave you alone. You will think they are some of the nicest people you know. But they are just the opposite.
Even if from their own paranoia – nothing you did – they decide that you now know their secret life, your life will never be the same. Since they do not want anyone to listen to you, they begin what I call offensive-revenge, and that usually begins with character assassination – something you may not even know about for years. When you find out, it will be too late.”
I stopped myself to ponder on this for a moment. Why is it too late by the time we find out? How is it we find out? It reminded me of how I first learned of the smear campaign my son’s girlfriend was waging against me, even while still living under my roof. When the narcopath determines that somehow we are a threat to them, and the offensive smear campaign begins, they never show a hint. It’s all hidden behind that mask.
In my case, I can remember going to the gym with her, laughing and cutting up over nothing, only to find out that at the same time she was living in my home and pretending everything was fine, she was telling others horrendous lies about me. I found out simply because someone she told these lies to knows me very well, and doubted the story. She called me up and after some small chit-chat asked how things were going with my son’s new girlfriend. I remember telling her things were going pretty good, and how well she was fitting in with the family. When she hesitated to respond, I asked her why, and she said she wasn’t sure if she should say anything, but after thinking about it a few days, she said her conscience wouldn’t let her rest until she did. She proceeded to tell me that my son’s girlfriend told her and a friend of hers a few things about me that she just couldn’t accept as true, namely that I was stealing money from my son. Shocked and mortified by what I was hearing, I couldn’t understand why this woman would say something so outrageous. I was heartbroken this woman I had allowed to move into my home with her children was saying such horrible things about me. We had bent over backwards to make her feel welcome here.
After discussing it with my husband, I decided to first approach my son to see if there were any problems, and he assured me there were not any. So, I told him what was told to me, careful not to disclose where I had gotten the information. He said he didn’t believe it and somebody was just trying to cause problems. I didn’t agree with this, and told him so. At the time we talked, his girlfriend was again back home visiting, and had agreed to stop by and pick up a computer from a friend of mine. It was giving her problems and she wanted me to look at it to see if I could repair it for her. Within ½ hour of talking to my son, I received a text from her telling me she wasn’t going to get the computer, but why don’t I have my new best friend (naming a friend of mine) do it.
Now, why would she automatically assume she knew who told me, if in fact, she had never said such things? Never received an answer to this question. Nonetheless, she returned here and never offered an apology or explanation. The only clue I had that she even was aware I knew of her smear campaign was the text pictured above. I finally decided to let it pass, thinking maybe she was misunderstood. I didn’t doubt for one minute that what my friend told was the truth, I just decided to chalk it up to misunderstanding and ignore it for the sake of my son and our relationship. This was absolutely the wrong way to go.
She left here for good a few weeks later without a word to anyone, and has never said a kind word to me or about me since. In fact, when her own mother contacted me on Facebook later that same day wanting to know if the rumor of her daughter returning was true. It was at this very moment I realized that we had been hood-winked. I found myself in Group 2 described below. During her stay here she had maligned the character of both her parents and other family members, telling us what horrible things her family did to her. We never questioned or doubted the things she said. The stories she told were so outrageous they must be true. I didn’t start to wonder about the truth of what she told us about her family until I received a message from her mother. I did what any normal person would do – I responded and then apologized for any part I unwittingly played in her daughter’s smear campaign against her own family, and then my son’s girlfriend did to me what she did to the woman who had contacted me about the slanderous comments told to her. From this day forward, she does everything she can to destroy me, my family and most of all, my relationship with my son.
People don’t call us with this kind of information for a variety of reasons, and in trying to understand why, I have broken down the people who hear the slander and lies about you and me into 7 groups or types.
Types of Listeners to the Smear Campaign
- The first group of listeners are people who don’t know you, have never heard of you and consider themselves “friends” with the narcopath. This group doesn’t doubt the narcopath. They buy whatever she tells them as the gospel truth. You will find the narcopath’s flying monkeys are in this group.
- The second group is comprised of basically good people who have heard of you, but don’t know you. What they are hearing doesn’t fit with their first perception of you, but they have no reason to doubt the narcopath. In their minds they are thinking the narcopath lived with you, so she must know what she’s talking about, and surely wouldn’t make up lies like this about her boyfriend’s mother unless it was true. This group believes that no one would make up such damaging lies (a running theme through all these groups).
- This third group of people vaguely know you. They may have met you a time or two, and for whatever reason didn’t care for you. Personality conflicts are what separates us into our little cliques, right? The people in this group don’t care enough to find out if what they are hearing is the truth or a lie. They will repeat the slander anytime your name comes up in conversation.
- I call this fourth group your haters. The people in this group know you well, but always had an underlying jealously. They could be family or those you believe are friends of yours. This jealously stems from their perception that you were prettier, more successful, happier, etc. Even if the slander is shocking and hard to believe about you, it confirms in their mind that you are a bad person. These people will not question the veracity of the narcopath, even if they don’t know her that well.
- This group of people have known you for years, some may be family and friends, as well. You may have lost touch with each other over the years, and initially, they may reject the lies, but never attempt to alert you about the things said behind your back, and when they hear the same thing being repeated by those in the first four groups, they just accept it as the truth, and may or may not repeat the slanderous statements.
- Then there are those that hear the slander, and what they are hearing is so far removed from what they know of you, they can’t get it out of their minds. They are family and close friends of yours, and will scoff at the allegations initially, but because, in their minds, no one would say these kinds of things if they weren’t true, look for anything to convince themselves it’s true. As with the fifth group, they will finally accept the slander as true, and start dissociating themselves from you without ever telling you the basis for their distance.
- Then there one last group of people who hear the narcopath’s claims, and refuse to believe it, and will come directly to you. Their conscience won’t allow them to rest until they have done the right thing, which is to alert you to what they heard said behind your back. These are the thinkers and whistle-blowers, and we all know what happens to those who stand up to injustice. Because this group is so small in numbers, their efforts to stop the lies are usually in vain, and often just feed into the narcopath’s smear campaign.
It’s this last group you should cherish, but also protect. I say protect because when the narcopath finds out or believes she knows who told you, this person is also vilified, and raked over the coals. This is precisely why some good people turn their heads and remain silent. To alert you of the smear campaign opens themselves up to a world of chaos and personal attacks like you have never seen.
What would you do? The article prompting mine is excellent. I encourage to head over to the Country of Liars blog and read it in its entirety.