How to Overcome It?
Don’t fight back
At least, don’t lower yourself to use the tools the would-be character assassin has inarguably lowered themselves by using. The best defence against any character assassination is to maintain your integrity and take pride in what you do, whatever that may be. Fighting back just feeds the fire, and clouds the issue.
Know well that the manipulator means nothing to you and it’s not worth giving even a second of your time to him/her. Let’s look at an example by using a fictional character, Zaid, as the manipulator or character assassinator.
Someone says, “You know, Zaid was saying some pretty unflattering things about you…”
This might make you angry, you might feel like approaching Zaid or calling him and giving him a piece of your mind. But that’s not the right thing to do. Remember, Zaid wants to see you angry, he wants to see you cry. If he sees your anger, he won the battle. This is what you should rather say…
“Really? I’m disappointed to hear that.”
And carry on with whatever actual business you have in your life; don’t give Zaid another minute. See what happened there? Let’s break it down…
No emotion. Why? Because Zaid doesn’t matter at all. To anyone, least of all you.
You used the word “disappointed,” and not the more typical “sorry.” Why would you be sorry? What’ve you got to be sorry about? you’re disappointed. Immediately Zaid appears childish and petty to others, and you appear as someone whose approval actually matters and is something to be desired.
You continue on with your business. Why? Because you’re above it. Because you’re important. Because you’ve got things to do. And because what Zaid says has no bearing on your life.
By handling yourself in this way you’ve highlighted that you’ve got it, and Zaid doesn’t. Sure, Zaid may go about trying to pull more people out of your tent and into his, but in the end if you keep your integrity, no one will want to go into Zaid’s tent.
Ultimately, character assassination has absolutely nothing to do with YOU; it has everything to do with the person who’s engaging in it. And THAT, should make you feel better and allow you to leave it behind you, where it belongs.