The Narcissist Discredited a Family Member: How to Handle This Situation?

Q: If a narcissist has discredited a family member, in other words, told untrue things about a family member to a relative, what is the best way to handle the situation? The relative, who lives in another part of the country, does not know either people well (visits once a year), and has not seen the negative aspects of the narcissist. I believe he would be confused as to who to believe.

A: If the relative only visits once a year, what are the chances of him finding out that the narcissist said hurtful things about him? I would not make a point of letting the visitor know unless there is some legal ramification or some dire reason for that person to know. You can try to clearly state (privately) to the narcissist that you don’t want to hear hurtful accusations about family members and to please refrain from that in your presence. The narcissist may or may not oblige with your request; do not try to “force” the truth out of him or her. You will not be successful. They must save face at all costs.

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6 Responses to “The Narcissist Discredited a Family Member: How to Handle This Situation?”

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  1. kathlene says:

    Npd trickery! My npd mother apparently was discrediting me and starting smear campaigns before I was able to hit puberty. The thing is I would want to know. I can also bet you a million dollars that the narcissist is saying bad things about this person to more than just you. Problem is the narcissistic rage and so called injury. If you tell the narcissist to stop this or that and don’t say bad things about this person in front of me…you will become the target. I was raised by a severe malignant narcissist andd she has turned the whole family against me..esp since I’m her scapegoat. My golden child mini narcissist sister was my mom attack dog for years..til I bit back. Now she tries to use my brother to gain info to use against me…or start a new batch of rumors. To be honest,for many years I always felt her BS. I am willing to bet the victim of this narcissistic mouth has a feeling or has felt the weirdness narcissists give off. I have to say I have survived a lot of abuse and a lot of abandonment…and what hurts the most is being discredited by my whole family.

  2. Pamela says:

    I have been that out of town relative. The only way I knew there had been a smear campaign for possibly years against me was when I had to return to the area for a family event. Then I experienced the tell tale signs of slander and gossip, most people avoided me and stared. I also had to find out what was going on, and then felt extremely hurt because no one had warned me, and not one was defending me. I was taken advantage of big time, here they were lying about me and I was spending hundreds of dollars on them for gifts because I was ignorant of their narc ways. The last kick was when I started defending myself with proof of their lies, then they claim that I am the one gossiping, and a “sinner” by attacking them!

    • kathlene says:

      Same here! I was just busy w life raising my child and didn’t even know that my mother was so out to discredit and smear me. I would want to know. I really hate when people are two faced and I feel that keeping someone-innocent in the dark is almost like being a codependant and almost as bad as the narcissist. Narcs sure love to slander and gossip and lie. My npd mother llwt me be abused and abused me and even lost custody of me. I had to have brain surg from her abuse. Now she has the world-around her convinced that I now abuse her…because I stood up for myself. I think one huge problem with people with NPD is because they always get a free pass. I am sick of it. I am tired of well its ok wouldn’t want to make the narcissist rage…screw em! If society would hold npd pple accountable instead of empowering them to be evil and hurt others-maybe we could get somewhere with these people. Npd people leave a trail of pain behind them! Abuse is forever.

      • Teresa says:

        I completely agree. Let’s make people accountable for their bs instead of making excuses for them. No wonder they never change! Duh 🙁

  3. Ken says:

    Yeah, I’m stuck in a similar bind. My Narcissistic father has been spreading rumours about me around various relatives for many years, in a covert and insidious way, such that I didn’t realise until fairly recently. He’s been clever and manipulative, the rumours he’s spread have always been that I’ve been saying unkind things about him to others (Yes, I know I’m doing that now, but after an outrageous attack, I’ve gone NC and this is anonymous anyway!). It’s just done quite cleverly, with the people involved being spread out across the country. He never tells me what I am supposed to have done, and he never reveals the rumour to the person who supposedly received and then betrayed my confidence. This means when he “confronts” me in a room of people who’ve been briefed on my crimes I have no idea what he’s going on about, he then salts the accusations with various secrets he’s gleaned by searching my things over the years, so I end up on the defensive and looking guilty.
    (Un)fortunately I’ve got better at working him out … wait until he’s drunk and playing this game,I can then push his buttons by refusing to play along until he explodes into narcissistic rage and blurts out the whole weird fantasy, and at that point his little helpers do seem to realise things are not what they seem.
    It’s still all my fault though, and he’s still the victim. That’s how I’m now in NC as my mother (who I guess is codependent) started begging me to apologise to him following his last episode just to “keep the peace”. She couldn’t explain what I’d be apologising for though.
    I do wonder if my father truly believes this little fantasies he constructs, either way, they are impossible to deal with and NC is the only answer. Remember, if someone has gone to the trouble of cooking this stuff up from nothing, they’ve probably already got the various exit strategies plotted out before you’ve had time to work out how to respond.

  4. sula sula says:

    I think the person asking the question meant that the narc said these terrible untrue things about the family member who lives in state, to the relative who lives out of state. Since the out of state relative doesn’t know the narc is in fact a narc, how will he explain the situation and clear the family members name. It’s the way I read it. Good luck

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