In the early days of toxic relationship recovery, it’s so hard to believe that someone would purposefully go all out to lie, deceive and betray not only you but your family and friends.
It’s hard to fathom why someone who took time, often years, to build what seemed like honest, trustworthy relationships, would up sticks and leave professing to never have loved, cared for, or even liked you. Ever.
And if turning your world upside down was not bad enough, they turn everyone against you.
The truth is toxic people plant seeds of destruction long before they decide to discard you. By gaining your trust and putting you on a pedestal at the start of the relationship, they guarantee that you’re the best advert for their Mr/Miss Perfect image.
They know how to subtly get friends and family on side.
They know how to play people.
Toxic people know that with just the right amount of truth, sprinkled with a few well-placed lies, they’re more likely to be believed, especially if people think they have your best interests at heart.
Especially if they play the victim by telling all your friends and family that they’re concerned about your drinking, or being able to handle the kids or inability to cope with housework.
And those ‘missed calls’ on your phone could not possibly be from that new guy at work you’ve been telling friends about –could they? …
So the toxic seeds are planted and sprinkled with lies. And before you know it you have a fully grown smear campaign that’s growing faster that Poison Ivy, while Mr/ Miss toxic looks on, or has moved on, leaving you to cope with the fall out.
And no matter how much you try to justify, defend and explain yourself, the crazier and more guilty you look.
So what can you do to cope with a smear campaign?
NO CONTACT– Always the best and easiest option is to completely separate yourself from spending time with people who have either taken sides or have communication with Mr/Miss Toxic. Of course, some people are well meaning friends and family who are concerned and wish to play the part of peace maker to get you back together. But others are (Flying Monkeys) whose agenda is to gather information to take back to Mr/Mrs Toxic and press your emotional buttons to get a reaction-just for fun.
So, don’t rise to the bait. Go no contact.
NO DISCUSSION-(aka Boundaries) If avoiding connections to the toxic person is not possible; having a strict boundary of no discussion regarding Mr/Miss Toxic is the best form of defence. If the subject of Miss/Mr Toxic must be discussed due to a work or health situation and you are the only one who can answer the question, make sure you give the minimum of information and/or refer the questioner on to someone else who knows.
Many survivors find taking time out from social media for a while or making a different account helps to dispel the gossips and quieten smear campaigners. No discussion also applies to social media and involves no liking, commenting, sharing or responding to anything involving Mr/Miss Toxic.
‘No discussion’ means not answering or asking questions regarding Mr/Miss Toxic. If they bring up the subject and you’re feeling strong enough, you either tell them you don’t want to discuss it, or change the subject completely.
TAKE TIME OUT -When your life has been shattered and you no longer know who to trust, you need to time to gather yourself and regain some sense of perspective. This takes time. Taking time away from people can help you gain perspective and let the dust settle. Many survivors find that in time, others uncover the true nature of the toxic person and return to rekindle your friendship, unfortunately some don’t and some you’re glad never will.
GET SUPPORT-Sometimes it feels as if you can’t trust anyone. And even if you could, they wouldn’t understand anyway. The aftermath of a toxic relationship of any kind is devastating. And unless people have an understanding of how abusers operate, they will never completely understand. Fortunately, there are many online support communities and forums specifically designed to support survivors of emotional abuse from toxic relationships.
A Smear Campaign is abuse by proxy and is specifically designed by the abuser to control shame and isolate you.
By having strong boundaries and separating yourself from the toxic connections ,you can reclaim some peace, privacy and sanity in your life and protect yourself from further abuse.
And make some new true honest loving friendships which are not based on gossip, lies, deception and betrayal.
What about you? Have you been a target of a Smear Campaign.
From the Heart x
Jacqueline Groves is a counsellor and coach specializing in emotional abuse from toxic relationships providing Skype/phone support.
Subscribe below if you would like to keep in touch or get exclusive content and information.