NPD publicly smearing my work

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Wilderhearts

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NPD publicly smearing my work
« on: April 27, 2019, 01:36:22 AM »
I write reports for/about organizations.  A very senior individual at one of these organizations is very likely uNPD, and I've had to work quite closely with her.  Her behaviour has been getting progressively worse.  Every meeting there's been gas lighting - trying to convince me that what I'm learning throughout the process is wrong.  Also playing the victim.  At our last meeting, we barely talked about the actual reports - she just went on and on about how unfairly everyone views them and then requesting unreasonable changes to the reports that I couldn't make without jeopardizing my career.  I think she was playing the victim to make me feel responsible for fixing their pre-existing ill-repute.  I was SO firm.  Oh my.  It was my very best BIFF response, and it happened in person (I'm a little proud of this - it's like a FOG milestone to respond intelligently and dispassionately to a pwPD after a lifetime of abuse).

However.  She's now learned that I can't be manipulated, so she's escalated to trying to publicly discredit my work (after publicly making more unreasonable requests which got a written BIFF response).  I do feel she's now making the attack personal - and I'm feeling it.  Thankfully my boss gave me feedback that was the exact opposite of her accusations.   I haven't responded.  Nobody's responded - and it's been weeks.  I'm hoping we all see she's trying to bait us into JADE, whether or not the others know what JADE is. 

I don't know what I'm asking for here, but I can't shake this sinking feeling that a total shit storm is on the horizon, because we know that's how it goes.  Key tools from the toolbox that would be appropriate here, or things I should keep in mind? 

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Bloomie

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Re: NPD publicly smearing my work
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 12:57:56 PM »
Wilderhearts - congratulations and bravo for finding the perfect BIFF response and handling this situation so professionally and firmly.

It seems like you are wisely communicating and following up with your boss, who values your work, and your team is not responding to false accusations. This sounds very reassuring and potentially drains the pwPD of supply and support.

I am wondering if you mean this person can damage your professional reputation in the larger public purview? And if so, what sphere of influence does this person really have? Given their high conflict ways, does she have a lot of sway in your professional world? Only you can know if this person's behaviors have reached the threshold of "must be addressed".

Having been on the receiving end of a ongoing smear campaign when in a professional setting an uPD coworker's embezzlement and exploitation of her position of trust was exposed by me simply doing my job, I can understand how distressing the specter of all of this risking our professional reputation can be.

I documented everything as carefully as I could in writing using the BIFF tool, a journal of events, and I refused to respond to anything that was outside of my professional duties to address. When people in both our professional and social setting were brought into the situation by the uPD who was attacking me personally, I remained professional and refused to discuss ongoing company business with them. Did they believe the high conflict, character smearing uPD? Sadly, yes I think some of them did it seems or at least some questioned my integrity and saw this uPD person as a victim, though I was not in the position to act on the misdeeds, as I was not this person's boss, but I became the scape goat because I revealed and exposed the uPD's behaviors and mismanagement to my boss.

I had to continue my good work and look inward for the strength to not engage and to hold strongly to the standards of conduct required of me in a very tricky and uncomfortable season professionally.  My boss, who was also being smeared by this covertly seething uPD, thankfully was 100% supportive which allowed me reassurance.

I am just really so sorry you are experiencing this and thankful you shared. Keep communicating with your team and doing your good work and using the savvy you have gained from all you are doing to gain strategies to handle the manipulative and destructive ways of a pwPD in the workplace. Let us know how things are going.





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Wilderhearts

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Re: NPD publicly smearing my work
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2019, 02:40:11 AM »
Thank you so much for those words Bloomie (and for pointing me to the BIFF/High conflict resources a while ago).

I'm finding the situation difficult because my more senior partners are fairly absent.  The times I collaborate or debrief with someone senior to me are few.  I do need to work more on asking for the support I need.

She personally does not have the ability to affect my future employment.  My employers and the majority of people she's trying to influence I trust to be reasonable.  A minority, however, are her "flying monkeys" and despite being very influential aren't above attacking my coworkers' personal character when speaking to strangers...who turned out to be other coworkers  :aaauuugh:.  These are the people who could potentially smear my name - but that's my anxious mind.  No - actually, it would be a good thing for me if people who choose to listen to her and her monkeys refused to hire me.  She's doing me a favour!!!!

What this helped me realize is that she sees the report that exposes the organization's performance as a personal attack on her - for which I'm responsible.  She's launching a personal counterattack.  What made me shudder most was her saying "well this conversation will be continued."  It's the worst threat I could hear - this will never end as long as this is my job.  My whole body shrank when I read that line.

You had some excellent boundaries Bloomie, and I'm glad to hear you survived that toxic situation.  It sounds like having your boss' support made all the difference - and your own standards for behaving professionally. 

Did you find it intensely triggering?  I think it's the experience of being triggered, more than responding appropriately, that is the struggle for me right now.

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Bloomie

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Re: NPD publicly smearing my work
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2019, 12:29:37 PM »
It is interesting to read your conclusions about the minority that chose to listen to this kind of unsubstantiated smear campaign and to the flying monkeys are possibly not people you would trust and engage with professionally anyway. I came to the same ultimate conclusion. I also had to stop my anxious mind from racing ahead and imagining what was being said - what I knew was being said was hard enough to deal with. Why give over any more power to this attack?

Quote from: Wilderhearts
Did you find it intensely triggering?  I think it's the experience of being triggered, more than responding appropriately, that is the struggle for me right now.

I did find this experience very triggering. Threatening even on a certain level until I could work through it and be clear about the actual risk to me - not the triggered, perceived risk.  :upsidedown:

There was an overall atmosphere of sly malevolence and maneuvering - tactics that were attempts to dominate and control the narrative that was highly intimidating for me at first. This person can and did harm my reputation to some degree with certain people in certain circles she is in command of. I have absolutely no doubt of that. I had to accept that. It was a bit of a bitter pill - the injustice of it. I fully admit it was a bump I had to get over as something I couldn't change.

Because this person is on the periphery of my life even to this day, both professionally and socially in a group of influential people that do matter to me, I was triggered even when encountering this person outside of the workplace for quite a long time.

Now, down the road a ways I am no longer the deer caught in the headlights I once was thanks to having some understanding of PDs traits and tactics and having gathered to myself strategies and ways to cope. And it helps to  have stayed the course and long outlived her professionally and personally.

It is the internal boundaries... the setting limits on my anxious thoughts and fear that this character impaired, vengeful person's personal and unwarranted attack could take away the things that I had worked so hard for - my professional reputation and sphere of influence, that was where the real battle of this experience was won and where I firmed up my foundation and learned to stabilize myself and stopped freezing in a fear stance in the face of such attacks.

This person didn't know it, but what they meant for harm was used for good in my life.





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Wilderhearts

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Re: NPD publicly smearing my work
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 07:35:57 PM »
What's being said is indeed hard enough to deal with - I wonder if anxiety is a way of avoiding dealing with it, by creating hypothetical problems.  It sounds like recognizing what power this person does and does not have over our success, and enjoyment of what we've achieved, is key to handling things with them and with ourselves.

I do think I'll start documenting in-person conversations with her carefully - thanks for that suggestion.  Due to hypervigillence around pwPDs/toxic traits or my C-PTSD in general, I tend to remember encounters with her clearly because I'm so heightened when speaking with her.  However, it may prove more helpful in future.

Yes!  The malevolence and threatening atmosphere!  She went so far as to sneer at me - the face an animal makes when it snarls, at our last meeting, when I reminded her that her work is not the sole consideration in this endeavour. 

Interestingly a colleague uses the phrase "controlling the narrative" when referring to her behaviour, because she tries to control how everyone perceives the information I relay to them, and ensure it's understood from her perspective.  Is this a NPD trait, or PD in general?  I would associate it more with OCPD, but I suppose pwNPD are fixated on controlling how others view them, so that also makes sense.

What a huge triumph in your life, Bloomie, to overcome not only the harm they tried to cause you but also the internal battle that it launched within you.  I would find it even harder to encounter this person in my personal life - thankful I don't have that to deal with.