When sociopaths lie about you

It’s bad enough that sociopaths lie to hook you. Anything they tell you about themselves may be false — their age, education, credentials, family details, income, criminal record, job and work history.

And of course, sociopaths typically lie about their relationship history and status. They claim to be single when they are married; they claim to be childless when they have many offspring — even with multiple partners.

Sociopaths lie — it’s the key characteristic of the disorder. When you fall for the lies, you feel like a chump. But what often turns out to be even more devastating is the lies they tell about you.

The smear campaign

Sociopaths typically engage in a “smear campaign” about their targets. These are outright lies that they tell about you to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others in your social circle.

The sociopath’s objective with the smear campaign is to compromise your social support system, and therefore increase his or her control over you. For this reason, the sociopath may start lying about you long before you suspect any problems in your relationship.

For example, a sociopath may have a conversation like the following with your friend, Jane:

Sociopath: “You know, I found out about six months into our relationship that Mary was cheating on me. She was secretly seeing a guy from work.”

Jane: “I never knew about that!”

Sociopath: “Well, I imagine that she didn’t want to tell you, because you might have said something to me. I know I can trust you.”

Jane: “Of course you can!”

Sociopath: “I really love Mary, so I’ve forgiven her.”

You, of course, never cheated on the sociopath — the entire story is complete fabrication. But look at what happens because of what the sociopath said:

  • Jane thinks you cheated on your partner, which lowers her opinion of you.
  • Jane believes you are keeping secrets from her, so you aren’t much of a friend.
  • The sociopath pretends to be wronged, which elicits sympathy from Jane.
  • The sociopath enlists Jane as a potential informer.
  • For taking you back after you supposedly cheated, the sociopath claims the moral high ground.

All of these dynamics may be very useful to the sociopath down the road, when you split up and find that your family and friends are supporting him rather than you.

The top lie

I’ve heard from many, many people that sociopaths have accused them of being crazy, psycho, unbalanced, needing therapy or needing medication. So I think the most prevalent lies sociopaths tell about you are statements undermining your mental stability.

What’s really dangerous about these statements is the manner in which they are said. Instead of ranting about you, often sociopaths seem to be expressing concern.

A sociopath will quietly say to your friends and family, “You know, I’m really worried about Mary. She really seems to be losing it. But she just won’t go see a therapist.”

They come across as so believable.

You, of course, may be legitimately suffering from anxiety or depression because of emotional and psychological abuse by the sociopath. And due to the sociopath’s gaslighting, you may even be questioning your own sanity.

Still, by questioning your mental ability to your family and friends, the sociopath weakens your standing and makes them less likely to support your decisions. The sociopath, in the meantime, is seen as a concerned partner, someone who is looking out for your well-being, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Picking your battles

Sometimes the sociopath’s smear campaign has been going on for so long, and has been so well-orchestrated, that you may find your entire family, social group or community aligned against you. I’ve heard from many people who realize that everyone in their church believes the sociopath’s lies and not them.

This is terribly distressing. Your reputation is shredded, and you did nothing wrong. So how do you fight this? What do you do?

Unfortunately, sociopaths are such accomplished liars that some people will believe their stories no matter how much you protest. So here’s what I suggest:

Figure out which people are really important to you and need to know the truth. Do your best to tell them your side of the story. Show them proof if you have it.

For everyone else, you develop a stock response, perhaps a shrug and, “He likes to tell stories.”

You may find that you will need to walk away from some people, remove them from your life. So be it.

When to fight

There is one situation in which you must do your best to fight the lies: When you have a court case involving a sociopath.

Sociopaths have absolutely no qualms about lying in court testimony or court documents. When the sociopaths lie about you in court, you MUST object.

Court proceedings are all about establishing a “record.” Because everything said during a court proceeding is supposed to be the truth, sociopaths are assumed to be telling the truth, no matter what they say. So when their statements are lies, you must counter them.

If you fail to dispute the sociopaths’ lies, they become part of the court record. This can turn into a real problem later on.

Another time to fight is when you are accused of a crime that you did not do. You may be advised to plead guilty, especially if you can’t afford a lawyer. This is generally a bad idea. A guilty plea means a criminal record, and a criminal record will cause you big problems later in life.

3 questions to help you respond

Here’s the bottom line: Sociopaths lie about everything, so they are likely to lie about you. No one wants to be characterized falsely. But realize that you can choose how, or even if, you will respond to the lies.

Here are three questions to help you decide what to do:

  1. Does this particular lie damage my life?
  2. Does this person need to know the truth?
  3. Will responding to the lie keep me engaged with the sociopath?

In situations where you can move on without combating the lie, that might be the best approach. Reserve your energy for taking action on the matters that are vital to your life.


Posted in: Donna Andersen

70 Comments on "When sociopaths lie about you"

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  1. Thistooshallpass – What a nightmare! I agree with Joyce – your friend is being manipulated and probably doesn’t even realize it.

    Perhaps you can try to explain to her once more what he’s doing, how you feel, and what you need her to do. If she can’t support you the way you need to be supported, well, you may just have to let her go.

    Unfortunately many, many Lovefraud readers have experienced this problem. It’s painful. And it shows just how good these sociopaths are.

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  2. Thistooshallpass says:

    Joyce and Donna,

    Thank you so much for your wisdom and kind words! Turns out, I have my best friend back!!! Thanks to my ex trying to play crazy with us and failing. Turns out our friendship was stronger, Thank God. My heart hurts a little less now, although I’m struggling so much. I thought having prior experience with this would help. I’m actually experiencing a harder time with this loss. I thought so highly of him. I can’t believe he preyed on me the way he did.

    I failed at NC the other night and to prove himself, he sent me a conversation that was had between them. In the conversation she stated that I feel strongly she didn’t have any more contact with him even if she didn’t understand why I wanted that, all the while he begged for her to contact him and was dramatic and manipulative… I ended up calling her, while on the floor crying so hard I could barely speak. I explained the situation, his crazy making, told her about the message he sent, about the lies….She thought it was strange he sent me their correspondance and was willing to hear me out, She is now on my side 100%.

    When I first told her about him I was scared she wouldn’t believe me, especially because of what I experienced with #1. She and #2 had become close, he had wooed her. I was still in numb stage when I first approached her and acting very positive about it all. She read that wrong, questioned me and got defensive. The whole numb/acting normal thing isn’t like me after a relationship, so now I understand her take on it.

    Her contact with him was her trying to be nice. That’s how she is and I love her for it. She says it’s something she’s working on. She apologized and I believe it is sincere.

    I feel like the Universe was on my side!!! I hope it continues to be by my side. I know he’s not done and am expecting more to come…fingers crossed goodness prevails!

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    • jm_short says:


      So glad you were able to mend that fence!

      All the best!

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      • Thistooshallpass says:

        Hi Joyce,

        I was wrong. Turns out I don’t have my best friend back. They’ve been communicating.

        I want to thank you for the advice you gave me when I firs suspected the worst. I told my bf that I needed people who I could trust and feel safe with and that if she doesn’t believe me then so be it.

        This is extremely painful. The pain and loss has become so normal to me these days that I’ve come to a place of acceptance. Sadness, disparity, anxiety, anger, etc.

        Has this become my norm?

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  3. flicka says:

    You can snap out of it by thinking of all you DO have rather than what you don’t have. No one can do it for you unfortunately….I know. But at least you have shelter, 2 hands, feet AND time; so don’t wallow too long in self pity; it only serves your sociopath (who doesn’t give a hoot!)

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  4. Thistooshallpass says:


    I know, right? That’s what gets to me the most…he loves that I’m feeling this way! I do have so much and am trying to focus on me. And I’m not new to this (had a spath prior to this one). Still, I’m not where I want to be and it’s hard. I feel stuck. I feel like I’ve lost. More important than feeling I’ve lost to him, I feel like I lose myself everyday in certain ways no matter how hard I fight for my life back. Make sense?

    Any advice on how to not wallow too long in self pity will be welcome!

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  5. flicka says:

    I found that to regain my true self, I had to question EVERY decision I made to make sure it was truly mine and not influenced by sociopath’s twisted thinking (i.e. t.v. shows selected.) Also, helping the TRULY needy may make you see what you DO have, not what you don’t. There are so many truly needy out there from abused children to the really sick or elderly. It serves to divert your thoughts and you come home feeling good about yourself. Just some suggestions. Anything to take your mind off your own problems and makes you physically ready to sleep peacefully. Just some ideas.

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