toxic family's smear campaign to damage a start up businessQ I had a big fall out with my family a few years ago and don’t have anything to do with them now, even though I still live in the same town. I’ve recently started up my own business and have a salon in the town centre.

I’ve been told by a few friends that members of my family have been bad mouthing me and trying to put customers off from coming to see me. ‘Someone’ has also sprayed personal graffiti across my shop front window, and put rubbish through the letter box. They’ve always been nasty and that’s one of the main reasons I needed to distance myself from them…but I don’t get why they are trying to ruin my business. I have a child of my own and they’re affecting our income and livelihood.

A My first guess is envy…followed closely by ‘smearing’.

Envy that you are the one trying to make a better life for yourself and setting up your business (which takes strength of character).

Smearing refers to their attempt to destroy your credibility… whilst trying to appear that they’re telling people these lies for their own good – as if doing them a favour.

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