The smear campaign begins very early in the relationship with a narcissist. He or she has a negative story to tell everyone about everyone. They do this because they know they intend to destroy as many lives as possible and they don’t want anyone to feel they can’t trust anyone else who knows the narcissist.
Just think back to the beginning of your relationship with your ex narc, who did they speak highly of? Did they make you feel like everyone they know could be a potential enemy? Smearing others made you feel uncomfortable with even the thought of asking someone in their circle any details about them. Therefore, you just remained neutral and engaged mostly on a surface level. This is why you felt like you didn’t really know anyone in their circle because the smear against others isolated you.
However, the narcissist works overtime to lay the foundation for the smear against you. They want others to see you as crazy when they decide to discard you or you decide to leave them. They constantly talk behind your back, pretending to ask others for advice on how to cope with their relationship with you. This is why at the end of the your relationship with the narcissist many people see them as the victim and you as the villian because they’ve been telling lies about you from day one.
Eventually, because people have such short attention spans, most people forget about what the narcissist has said about you (unless they told them you’ve done something unforgivable) and they move on with their lives. However, here’s something to keep in mind, if you’ve known someone for several years and they accept the narcissists story about you as the truth, then that person was never on your team to begin with.
The smear campaign reveals the heart of those who call themselves your friends or family. Allow it to be a weed out tool for you because the people who are for you won’t lend ear to the narcissists foolishness. The good guys will either know what’s being said about you is a lie or they’ll remain neutral because they don’t know you well enough and they avoid getting involved.
My suggestion is to ignore the smear campaign and cut ties with everyone who knows the narcissist. No-contact is your safe zone and it will keep you from falling into the narcissists traps. Disengaging from their game eventually makes their smearing irrelevant and annoying to others.