It is my experience that when someone tries to hurt you it is generally because they have already been hurt themselves. Sometimes by you, more often by someone else, sometimes by many others. Sometimes this hurt is the result of deliberate, abusive behaviour. Sometimes it is the result of well-intentioned, behaviour that is based on a misunderstanding of what is helpful, or good for, that person.
Understanding that there is an original hurt does not excuse the behaviour, but does make sense of the incomprehensible.
It has recently come to my attention that several years ago someone was bad mouthing me behind my back. When I was told what was said I laughed, because the slander/libel was so unbelievable… to me. I’ve been turning over in my mind the fact that it may not be so unbelievable to people who do not know me.
This is how such abuses work. The defamation of someone’s good name is a serious legal issue. After all, who will deal with someone they believe to be bad. Unfortunately, most people who commit this offence do so in such a way that legally challenging it only increases the number of people who get to hear the lie. And they make sure that the lie is one that would be very difficult to refute, and the more the defamed party protests their innocence, the more desperate they seem and the less credible they appear.
It is often a mystery to the victims of such defamation why they have been targeted for such abuse. Jealousy if often part of the trigger, but it is seldom jealousy based on the reality that the victim (for want of a better word) experiences, but a jealousy of a fantasy created in the mind of the perpetrator.
It is very sad that the internet can now be used to spread such lies, usually to a large audience who have no personal knowledge of either protagonist, and usually without the awareness of the “mark”. Such lies can be spread by other people in all innocence. Having no first-hand knowledge of the liar or their target, why should they disbelieve what they have been told?
The additional problems are, firstly, that mud sticks. People find it very hard to believe that they have been lied to, especially if they think the liar is their friend. We all like to think that we can tell when we’re being lied to, but some kinds of liars convince themselves first and because they believe it (well nearly) they are very plausible.
The second problem is that once it is on the internet it is always on the internet. I’m sure you can see why that may be a problem.
I’m not setting myself up as any kind of saint. I’ve done some things that I’m really not proud of. But I’d rather be hanged for the sheep I did steal than the ones that someone created out of thin air.