Bullies and the Damage of the Smear Campaign

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We have been conditioned to believe that we have to think and feel certain ways in order to fit in, succeed in life, please others, and survive.

At the core of the pain we feel from bullying is the survival instinct.

Even the need to be accepted, comes down to the way our brains our wired for self protection and survival. Being thrown out of the tribe is associated with death, in our primal brains….the reptilian cortex.

We instinctively feel threatened and fearful when rejected by a group of people that we need to associate with on a regular basis.

Even the term “workplace harassment” is rooted in this need to be accepted. Otherwise continued emotionally/ mentally  hurtful acts by one employee to another would not be recognized as wrong.

The act on one co-worker starting a smear campaign against you is so emotionally destructive that if it goes in long enough, your mental health will suffer. You will most likely develop depression and anxiety.

Someone spreading lies about you, with the intention of turning the tribe against you, is a menace to the social order. Only the most malevolent member of the social / work. organization would engage in premeditated behavior and calculated actions to remove you from favor within the group.

While I used to believe that what more than one person pointed out about you must be true, I now believe that circumstances like that require further investigation.

I was brought up with the idea that if three different people pointed out some flaw in your character, or behavior, that it must be true. But a situation like this requires some more testing on your part.

If the same annoying trait has been pointed out to you from people who do not know each other, and have no connections with each other, then you might want to take a look at it. But if people who are inter-related at a workplace, a church, a school, or within a family are accusing you of having something wrong with you, that you truly cannot see, then it may be fabricated.

The toxic person will tell others within the social structure  lies about you that make you appear to have a completely different personality than you actually have.

 Often it is something that is completely the opposite of your true character. If you are innately and ethically very honest, then they will tell people that you are dishonest.

Once this circulates back to your being treated as if the lie were true, you will naturally suspect that something about your behavior is giving people that impression. Even if this accusation is very far out of reality, once people begin to react to you as if it were true, you will feel mental and emotional stress.

This is part of the design of this type of slander. The smear campaign is designed to break you down both emotionally and mentally. It is also designed to turn other people against you. It is very effective in blocking your social and professional progress.

Of it takes on a life of its own, one rumor has the capacity to cause you to not only leave the group or the job, but also to begin to doubt your own reality.

This is a form of gaslighting. It is the fabrication an untruth, that is superimposed upon the reality you once knew to be true.

Due to our natural wiring to be accepted by the group, we do not want other people controlling the way we are perceived by others. The personality qualities and values we want to portray,  are important to us, and even a key part of our survival within the social structure.

It is somewhat frightening to realize that it only takes one toxic person, skilled in the art of the smear campaign, to alter who we are, and how we are perceived,  in the minds of an entire social group…even as large as an entire community. I have clients that have had to move to another city to restart their lives, and lots of people have changed jobs due to similar evil being perpetrated against them.

The level of destructiveness one simple rumor can cause limitless.

Hundreds of preteens and teenagers commit suicide over what started out as one rumor. Bullies have caused havoc in the schools for as long as any of us can remember.

The newest mutation of the smear campaign, of course, is cyber bullying. This gives the lazy narcissist an easy way to plant a lie about someone, and not have to be held accountable for having done it. Their identity can be hidden behind a false profile and a fake photo image.

So if you are being accused of having defects that you don’t relate to at all, you should explore the truth of that in social situation and with people far removed from the original source. Talk to people that are far removed from any of the people that have accused you.

If this particular personality trait is not recognized by outsiders to the problematic group, then you probably don’t have it. If people who do not know anyone in the toxified group do not seem to see you in this distorted way, then you can rest assured about your personality being perfectly fine.

In situations where someone is trying to destroy everyone’s perception about you, it is not an issue of your behavior not being in line with how you want people to see you. You are not defective or unclear in your perceptions about yourself.

However, you very likely may have to remove yourself from the place where the toxic person has ruined your reputation. Once people’s minds become manipulated, it can be impossible to get them to see reality.

People tend to want to hold onto whatever reality they have. Shifts in perspective are not often welcome.

It takes too much work for people to do, and they often do not have the flexibility to do so. In addition to those reasons, people tend to feel threatened when they are presented with a conflicting reality to one they have been presented with and have been functioning out of.

The power of the smear campaign comes out of the number of people who are saying the same thing, and reacting as if it were true. Even the body language of other people around you will influence the perception someone has of you. It goes far beyond the words.

One of the most destructive places that a smear campaign can exist within is your family. If you grew up with a narcissistic parent, you may have had your identity challenged or interfered with by your own parent. It can also be another family member.

Even your own adult child can create or contribute to a smear campaign. Luckily most people do not experience this, because it is possibly the most hurtful of all. But I can tell you that I have seen it before withcertain clients.

Being aware of how the smear campaign works does not really prevent it from happening to you. But it can help to validate your reality, and keep you from thinking you are the crazy one.

Narcissists and other  toxic people will probably always exist. It is like the predators and prey in the animal kingdom. We just have to be aware of it and take whatever steps are needed to protect ourselves from the damage.

Your mental stability is the main thing that any good human  predator is going to attack. All the games are designed at making you question your reality and to doubt yourself. If they can take those things from you, the rest becomes easy.

You must maintain your sense of self and your belief in yourself. Detach mentally and emotionally from the behaviors of people who make you feel unsafe.

Listen to your feelings when you are around people. This is your first warning system, long before you have any evidence that they are toxic.

 

 

 

Manipulative People – Reaction Seeking Behavior

Emotophobia and Being Manipulated by Others

Emotophobia is the fear of unpleasant emotions, not to be confused with emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.

There is little online about emotophobia.

The few articles I found offered the suggestion to “stop treating negative emotions as if they are your enemies and can harm you.”

This is somewhat condescending and implies that emotions themselves cannot harm you.

The person offering this advice clearly has never been in a situation where showing negative emotions could harm them.

So, they think it is rather ridiculous that someone would associate their negative emotions with danger.

The problem with this thinking is that there are situations where someone’s emotions can cause them harm.

This advise shows a complete misunderstanding of emotophobia and its root causes.

People with emotophobia are not “treating” emotions as if they are the enemy.

For people that have emotophobia, emotions were the enemy and they were followed by consequences.

People that grew up in mentally abusive childhoods were not permitted to have emotions like other people are.

The expression of emotion, which represents being an individual, is often punished by abusive parents.

Even children who were not physically abused, could have had their right to individual ideas and feelings violated.

Narcissistic parents and other overbearing, maniplulative parents do not want their children to develop independent thoughts and ideas.

They do not want their children thinking in terms of their own needs at all. When their children expressed feelings, the parents retaliated.

Punishments from the silent treatment to aggressive verbal abuse of the child are used.

Physical consequences may also follow as a matter of course, when a child showed anything resembling disobedience, including not feeling what they were told to feel.

These mentally abusive parents, want the focus on themselves and their needs. They demand for the child to cater to their ever changing desires and demands.

In order to survive in this type of environment, the child must learn to constantly read the parent’s body language and tone of voice.

They must anticipate the desires and moods of the parent. If they fail to do so, it is met with negative consequences.

If the child expresses disagreement, or unhappiness with the parent, they will likely invoke the anger and wrath of the parent.

Even a facial expression of disagreement with the parent can bring out their anger.

For their own protection, these children and teenagers learn to disguise their feelings and push them down.

They do not want the parent to see their feelings because it will be used against them.

If you grew up in this type of environment, then feeling negative emotions was the enemy. It is not something we have suddenly developed an irrational fear of as adults.

This environment causes C-PTSD, which is Complex Post Traumatic Stess Disorder, in many people. This is carried over into adulthood.

So, the advice to “stop treating emotions as if they were the enemy” and to tell people that feeling emotions is safe, does not make sense to someone with C-PTSD from childhood mental abuse.

Adults can also develop emotophobia from ongoing abusive relationships with a partner. Women become afraid to disagree with their partner because they fear his anger.

Abusive people do not tolerate independence from their partner. When the partner asserts the fact that they are an individual person, it is met with extreme resistance or anger from the narcissist.

Again, the brain rewires the neural connections to avoid showing negative feelings. This is a necessary survival tactic at the time.

It is not easily undone. The brain considers it necessary in order to protect the safety of the person.

It takes years to develop this survival tactic and to detach from and avoid negative emotions. The brain becomes wired to discourage entering into situations that may cause negative emotions.

To undo what was a learned survival skill takes a lot of work in re-wiring the brain.

Telling someone “emotions are your friends” does not work, especially without any idea why the person feels such anxiety about emotions like anger and sadness.

 

 

The problem with emotophobia is that having it makes you easier for people to manipulate. People that want their way all the time, can use emotional manipulation to make you want to comply, rather than experiencing the pain of the emotophobia symptoms. 

Realizing that you allow people to have their way, in order to avoid upsetting them is the first step to healing. Then you can understand that people get upset sometimes and unless you are in danger from them in some way, you can endure the feelings you will go through when they react to you. 

You can begin to recognize when someone is trying to emotionally manipulate you. They will not take no for an answer. They use shame and guilt to get you to do things. Another sign is that their reactions to things will be far out of proportion to the “slight” they should be perceiving. 

You have just as much of a right to your boundaries as anyone else does. People should not get their way just because they play on your fear of upsetting them. 

**for information about coaching, hypnosis, and NLP for people with C-PTSD and emotophobia see my web site HERE or follow the gentlekindness facebook page HERE

Saying NO to Emotional Manipulators

emotional abuse 22

image from Pinterest link HERE

Saying “no” to people comes very easily to some and is nearly impossible for others.

I have found that many people with  C-PTSD have trouble saying no.  If you were brought up in a mentally or otherwise abusive childhood, saying “NO,” may be associated with severe consequences to you.

If you lived with a parent that had narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, then they probably used confusion tactics on you, to the point where there was “no” way to say no to them.

Gaslighting can confuse our ability to trust ourselves and our perceptions.

It may be difficult to tell what situations that “NO,” would be perfectly okay, and what situations where saying no, would really cause a problem.

If you grew up in an environment where your feelings and thoughts were not considered relevant, then you probably feel that your feeling of wanting to say no, just does not count. Even though the same person may say “No” to you all the time, you do not feel that you have the same right to say no, that they do.

If you were even in an abusive situation where disobeying meant punishment , then you probably have a fear of retaliation from others.  There is an anxiety response triggered by saying no and  refusing to comply with another person’s request.

THE ACT OF SAYING NO, CAN TRIGGER A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE. IN ORDER TO AVOID FEELING  SEVERELY UNCOMFORTABLE, WE JUST SAY “YES” WHEN WE REALLY WANT TO SAY “NO.”

Triggers are very real and the tendency is to want to avoid feeling the bodily sensations  associated with them. Ignoring triggers and going against our conditioned responses, is a very difficult thing to do.

IT IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND ACCEPTABLE FOR YOU TO SAY “NO” TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE ASKING YOU TO DO SOMETHING THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO OR SOMETHING WHICH CROSSES YOUR BOUNDARIES.

You are allowed to set personal boundaries for yourself. You can also set boundaries for certain people that you do not want crossed.

You can set boundaries in regards to your emotions, your time, your energy, your work and your social interactions. You can set boundaries in regards to dating, doing work for people and doing favors for people.

You can set boundaries about your personal space and your personal items. 

 Any situation where someone is trying to get you to do something by using your emotions against you, is a situation where your boundaries need to come into play.  

Sometimes people do not accept your simple NO or your reasons for saying NO. They try to convince you be making you feel guilty or by shaming you. 

They are trying to use your good and caring personality against you.

my love story

image from mylovestory.me and Pinterest

They want you to feel bad and they do this by intentionally pushing whatever buttons they know you have. If they know that you want to feel like you are cooperative they will call you uncooperative.

If they know that you have helped them many times in the past, they will lie and tell you that they do not remember the last time you did them any favors.

Don’t fall for these manipulative behaviors. If someone feels the need to make you feel guilty in order to do them a favor, then they really do not deserve the favor.

People should accept No, especially if you have perfectly good reasons for saying no, even if the reason is that you just do not feel comfortable doing it or do not want to do it.

Here is a list of ways to say NO…

No.

No, thank you.

No, I really cannot do that.

No, I do not want to do that.

No, I am not interested in that.

No, I cannot find time in my schedule to do that.

 No, I am just too overloaded right now, to do that.

No, I am not interested in doing that.  

No, you go ahead without me.

No, please ask someone else.

No, I do not have to think about it.  I would rather tell you NO right now.

I said no. Please respect my answer

If you have a history with this person that tells you that they will counter any reasons you give them for saying No, then you can try something like this..

“In the past my giving reasons for my No, seems to have just been an opening for someone to tell me the reasons are not good enough or to dispute my reasons in some way. So this time I am going to say simply No without going over my reasons with you. “

If they refuse to accept your “no”, then you still do not have to do what they want just to make them stop complaining.

 Just because they are going to upset that you told them “no”,  does not mean that you are responsible for their feelings. As long as you were not intentionally trying to hurt their feelings, then you did not cause for them to feel bad.

If someone  is an adult then they are responsible for their own feelings. Much of the time, manipulative people are acting when they get dramatic with you. They can be very dramatic about how disappointed they are in you or about how selfish they think you are.

These are more reasons not to tell them  “yes”  every time they demand something from you. The more times they are able to manipulate you, the more they will resort to the same tactics over and over again. 

**Please note that this article is not talking about partner relationships where the person will physically abuse you or will otherwise punish you for saying no. Those relationships are volatile and should be escaped as soon as possible but I never recommend to ignite retaliation in a severely abusive person.

It is designed more for situations where you are in no immediate danger  or impending danger.

This article is also not a recommendation to tell your boss no to doing work, thus risking your job. If your boss is abusive it is a different topic and must be handled with a different strategy that is not discussed in this post.

Setting Boundaries with Manipulative People

  1. Other people do not get to decide what upsets you and what does not.
  2. Other people have no frame of reference about your life, to be able to decide if you are being “too sensitive” or “hyper sensitive” . No…they just don’t get to!
  3. Shaming someone is not love or support in any way, no matter how they attempt to twist things around to convince you. No shaming! Don’t accept it!
  4. People do not have the right to tell you how to perceive reality or to question you perception of reality. No they don’t! Just say NO !
  5. You are completely entitled to your feelings and to feel hurt when someone is….. mean, disrespectful, inconsiderate, selfish, sarcastic, deceitful, dishonest, disappointing, exploitative, condescending or minimizing to your reality. (image from Pinterest link HERE)puppet.jpg
  6. Someone insisting you perceive things the way they tell you to all the time is gaslighting you.
  7. You have the right to a conversation with a loved one about abusive or hurtful behavior. You are not being abusive to them when you point out behavior that hurts you and express your feelings about that behavior!!!
  8. Conversations about your feelings that always turn around somehow to be about their feelings, is a red flag of narcissistic abuse.
  9. No demeaning behavior, embarrassing you, disrespectful behavior or condescending attitudes have to be tolerated. It does not prove that you love them…it is just evidence that you have been desensitized to that kind of treatment.
  10. Excuses for their behavior that make you the cause of it, are UNACCEPTABE !

 

*PLEASE NOTE **If you are in an abusive relationship with someone that you fear may become violent, then please do not provoke them ! …. Get help, and carefully plan your escape from them. …..Do not risk violence to yourself or your children….. Pathological people can suddenly become much more violent when confronted by a partner. 

Psychopathic Behavior Being Encouraged and Taught

I just came across a blog on another site which calls for people to train to be a psychopath. There are other sites like this, as if it is cool…or the best way to get ahead in the world. Some sites are very violent, and others teach more covert , Machiavellian tactics.

The site I accidentally came across has the following tag line ….

“Be a psychopath. It is better than no path at all.”

There are pictures posted on the blog I saw, and other like it, of bruised women. Images of men’s hands choking women around the neck. Other images on these kinds of sites show violent sex, which show women going along with degrading, dangerous sex acts. Other pictures show women being dominated against their will.

It is bad enough that we have 1 out of 25 people that are exploitative, psychopathic , pathological liars and deceivers. But now we have people making clubs trying to train people how to be psychopaths, how to exploit others, and how to crush down having a conscience. 

Society does things to promote narcissism.

This is probably because many of the leaders and the elite are psychopaths and narcissists themselves. They have no value for humanity or decency.

People in many fields are rewarded for manipulating clients, and finding ways to get away with lying. Western society is promoting the value of stomping on other people to get ahead. It makes them a good business person or CEO.

Many CEO’s are natural born psychopaths, or environmentally produced psychopaths and pathological narcissists. Exploiting other people just falls under the “Let the Buyer Beware” motto.

The psychopaths want you to believe that it is the fault of the victim, if they trust the predator. The psychopaths have no remorse for destroying people’s finances, or their physical and mental health. 

Crossing or exposing them can result in a smear campaign against you. There are may incidents of people losing their reputations, their careers, their families, and more. 

Surviving in this society is going to take knowledge of psychopaths and pathological narcissism. You need to learn the red flags of psychopaths and narcissists, in order not to be in harm’s way. 

It is sad, but there are still lots of good people in the world. Take care of your own family and friends. Don’t live in fear…but don’t live under a rock  either. There are predators out there. In addition, there are predators teaching others how to be predators. 

Be safe and love the ones that can love you back.

Use your energies wisely. Don’t waste them on vampires who drain your energy.

Your intuition will guide you. Your feelings matter.

Listen to your gut instincts. If something feels off, it probably is.

Intermission (Revised version)

Oh sleep, my closest friend

 Codeine, my suductress

Protector from this reality

Take me as I fall

Willingly

Longingly

Into thine arms that cradle

Shield my mind from this play

The stage is not mine

 The other actors strut

Across the stage like

Predators circling prey

I cannot play along

With the social psychosis

Directed by the lions

Who would just as soon murder each other

I have no wish to play their understudy

Nor fall prey to their machinations

Or pretend to acknowledge

The multi dimensional characters

They pretend to be…

For they are shallow creatures

Nor do I covet their ill gotten sludge

I grow weary of their invitations

 Their pretense gives me disgust

felt to the core

They may spout and spew 

venom and delusion about

what they claim to know about me

But they never will know me

Our stages may touch, but

I am from a different play

Beware the Signs of Toxic People in Your Life

Beware of people who say or imply things like this…

They know you better than you know yourself

They know what is best for you better than you do

You cannot make choices for yourself because you do not make the choices they want

They are doing something that hurts you for your own good

They have to control you for your own good

You don’t know what is best for you

You can’t do things (are not good enough to do them) that you think or know you can do

You won’t be successful at something 9because you are not good enough) you think or know you can be successful at

You are selfish for prioritizing things that you need to prioritize

You are selfish when you do something that is exactly what they do

You have to give up doing things you love because it is interfering with spending your time doing everything for them, or everything they want you to do

You are abusive for telling them they are being abusive to you

You are cruel for trying to set boundaries with them 

You are  not allowed to do certain things, but they are allowed to do them

You are not allowed to ask questions about where they have been, but they demand to know where you are at all times

They can choose their own friends but you cannot choose yours

You have to like their friends but they can tell you to stop seeing your friends

You have to like their family, but they can tell you not to see yours

You have to pick up the phone the second they call, but they can get back to whenever they feel like it…even if they promised to call or text you at a certain time

They can control how much time you spend together and you have no say in it, but you better say yes when they want to spend time with you

They conveniently do not recall conversations you had with them and things they said, when it suits them

They claim you you are too sensitive, when they do things to hurt you… but they are justified in telling you exactly how they expect you to treat them

You will never find anyone that would tolerate you the way they do

No one other than them would ever love you

 

Happy Day After

Good morning and happy Day After Christmas. Some people feel disappointed that it is over, while others are relieved. Personally I feel relieved but also sad that I feel that way.

If I lived in my own place, Christmas could have felt more normal. I did the best I could to decorate my small part of the house as cheerfully as possible, for the sake of the kids, but it is not the same.

I feel constantly home sick for any place that I could have to myself with my daughters. I have never been one to like staying away from home. Now I have been living in this house with my ex in-laws for a few years and I have felt homesick and out of place the entire time.

It wears on you more and more over time. I feel like I am being sytematically broken down by their manipulation and undermining. The worst part of it is that it is invisible to others, including my older daughter who they have been able to pull towards their side.

The concept of “sides” is bizzarre in the framework of a supposedly “caring” family, I know. Even that part is invisible because they put on a whole facade when others come over, or when they talk about the family.

The truth is I am lost here and I feel forced to act like someone I am not. Other times I speak my mind and try to be authentic but that is always met with retaliaton.

I am homesick for anyplace where I can truly be alone when I want to be. Someplace where my things are my things, and not the property of someone else because those things happen to be under someone else’s roof.

You would think the 1,000 dollars I pay a month would qualify me to have solitude and peace in the space that I pay for. You would also think that a reasonable amount of repairs would be included with that.

As it is, the shower has been broken for years and the oven / stove is non existant. The paint is pealing and other things are broken or inadequate.

When I used to live with them rent free, several years ago, I was told that people who do not pay rent cannot expect the world. Apparently “the world” included a toilet seat that was not cracked and falling off.

I had some silly notion that the repair rules would change after I was paying rent but the money was not the root of the issue, even though it seemed that way.

It was the part about “not deserving” and “not expecting” and basically “not mentioning and not speaking up.” That was the message at that time and it is still the message.

There are people who see you as non deserving, and those people will never change. Your only hope is to choose not to believe them and try to move in.

If it were not for the extreme financial undermining by these people, I would have already moved on and never looked back. But they created a complex, tangled situation that will take all of my brains and energy to get myself out of.

Christmas here felt depressing but I dealt with the plasticity of it, for the sake of my kids. They did enjoy their cousinscousins, even though there is a limit to “childish” fun permitted in the house as well.

There is a dark presense, that is felt but not seen. It is a heavy cloud of despair and oppression. The effect can be psychlogically detrimental and mentally wearing.

Next year I will be someplace else. I will find a way to at least get myself and my younger daughter out.  I have to find home because I have lived with the sick feeling of homesickness longer than I can.

Toxic Abusive Narcissistic People

 

wolves

machiavellian

narcissistic verbal abuse

 

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