Why Do People Character Assassinate?
The first thing we need to know about character assassination is that the problem is usually with the assassinator rather than the assassinated. Let’s take a look at the kinds of people who engage in character assassination, and what we can learn about them. As we discuss the different types of people, we should also take this opportunity to reflect and ask ourselves if we fall under any of these categories.
The Jealous – You used to be their friend/co-worker, and now it looks like you’re moving on socially or professionally. They don’t want to be left behind, and so rather than let you go, try to wreck the place you’re going to before you get settled in. They’re dangerous because they have perceived credibility (“Yeah, I worked with/have known Ahmed for years…”) due to their previous association with you. This type of person often engages in character assassination as a by-product of regret — namely, regret about losing control or ‘ownership’ of you (typically after facilitating your introduction to the very area you’re moving on to).
The Angry – These people are angry at you because you remind them of where they are in the world. Or rather, where they aren’t. They’re frustrated because they are stuck paying the bills doing some job they hate which is unrelated to their passion. Don’t pay much attention to these people, as 1) they’re pretty much angry at everyone equally, and 2) they won’t have much ammunition to throw at you because they’re too busy being angry all the time, at everyone.
The Devious – These are the most dangerous of the types of people who will try to wreck your character, most of all because they’re usually sociopaths. These people don’t hate you, they will destroy your character in an attempt to realize their own goals. They usually have no conscience or sense of remorse, nor do they care what happens to you after they’ve destroyed you. They may even commence a clandestine character assassination against you, only to seemingly come to your aide in public to thwart the attempt, for no other reason than to create a perception that they are someone you can trust — which they’ll later use to their advantage.
The Envious – This one here’s usually at the root of nearly all character assassinations. What happens to the envious is that you act like a giant mirror, reflecting back their own perceived inadequacies and excuses for not getting on with their lives. If you’re doing something that they believe inside themselves that they should be doing — and they’re not — it forces them to ask themselves WHY? And the answer to that question is something they are not ready to hear and accept. So what do they do? They tell themselves that they could be doing or achieving whatever you’re doing IF…they were willing to ‘suck up’ as you are. Yeah, that’s it… You’re not special or talented; you’re willing to do things and make compromises that they’re not. You’re a fake and a phony, and THAT’S why you’re getting what you’re getting and they’re not.