Short essay I wrote today in reply to an acquaintance who was being unfairly criticized regarding life choices by a former friend:
I have run into many people who have said things like this about how I’m narcissistic, judgmental, rude, won’t accomplish anything, will always be disliked, etc. Typically they are people who don’t actually know me (like with your ex-friend in these messages) and are really just projecting their beliefs about me based on cherry-picking things I’ve done, Facebook posts, etc.
The most satisfying approach is to demolish these people by pointing out points where they’ve gone wrong or made bad decisions. Usually they are really easy to find, like with your friend… I don’t think ignoring it is the solution… If someone is saying these things to you, it isn’t their first time. This is how they treat people in general, most likely. They deserve a lot of pushback. It seems more common than not that people like this are pretty successful and get by just fine in life, unfortunately, so I don’t subscribe to the belief that “karma will get them” either.