The Truth about being Painted Black

This post was written by Rhonda Wasserman

Original content by Ashley Berges

When someone is alienated or villainized by a family member, friend, or acquaintance they are being painted black.

Finding out that you have been painted black is a very challenging position to be in. Oftentimes, we are not aware that we have been painted black. It may feel as though something has changed but we are not sure of the reason for the change. We may be aware that someone has stopped speaking to us, or that we have become the center of negative gossip, but unsure why this is happening. Rumors are spread about us to get other people to believe things about us that are not true. 

When we deal with someone who has painted us black, we often deal with someone who has switched their feelings about us overnight. We are no longer worthy of their love, friendship, or connection that we used to have with them.

A critical point to understand is that being painted black has nothing to do with anything you may have done. It is the other person creating a narrative in their head about what you have done. This fictitious reality they have created causes a lot of confusion for you. You are doing the same things, as usual, it is their narrative that has changed. As a result, you get painted black for something they believe you have done. 

When painted black, nothing you do is right. As a result, based on their narrative, you have become a horrible person with many negative traits, and everything you do is wrong. Everything they find negative about you is thrown out there for the whole world to see.

Anyone can be painted black. A parent, friend, or lover can do it.  One day you are the most amazing person in the world, and the next day everything about you is negative and wrong. This up-and-down cycle can be very challenging.  

To be painted black, you had to have started in a high position in the other person’s life. Most often the relationship started with one person on top of the pedestal. During the pedestal phase of a relationship, you are above all others in your partner’s eyes. You are the favorite person. We are painted black and brought back down based on how high we were held up by the other person.

Many of us get into these relationships where we go through cycles of being painted black and then somehow things go back to being okay again. These cycles can continue for a while. Over time you may get to a point where you are painted black for long periods. The positive periods become shorter, often fueled by the other person’s fear of being abandoned by you. You are put back on the pedestal because of their fear of losing the relationship. When the fear subsides, they very quickly paint you black again. 

When painted back, it can be difficult because of our desire to fight against it. We may not understand what is happening and not have anyone to talk about it with.

If you are in a relationship where you are constantly painted black, it is time to consider how it affects you mentally, physically, and spiritually. When treated in this negative fashion, it is difficult to not take it personally. This situation can be very challenging and overwhelming

We must learn how to identify when we are painted black. We need to be mindful and see the whole picture. Once we can see that we are being avoided, given the silent treatment, and gossiped against, we can understand that we have been painted black. We can try to reach out to the person but they may or may not even be aware of what they are doing. It is best to not cater to them by asking what you have done. When we cater to them it makes things worse, causing us more pain and suffering.  

It is important to realize what is happening and become aware that you were painted black. This will allow you to take the time to feel your emotions, and connect with yourself. Take a break, take a step back, this can be both a challenging and rewarding thing to do. Many of us have a co-dependent program that causes us to want to change what we may have done wrong. The reality is that when we receive this type of treatment and attitude, we do not want to give in to the other person in any way. The more we give in, the more they will continue the cycle.

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