The silent treatment, why a narcissist does it? how it makes you feel, and what possibly caused them to use silent treatment in the first place.
The silent treatment is a very manipulative mind game where the narcissist says everything by simply saying nothing, and it’s to cause you psychological pain.
There are few types of the silent treatment.
- The one where you’re in your home with the children or out with friends and they will happily talk to everyone around you. Seeming lovely and happy yet they will not look at you, engage with you, or acknowledge yours are present.
- The one where they ignore you for, 10 minutes a few hrs. A day, a couple of days or a week.
- The one why they disappear and you just simply can not get hold of them.
Whichever they use and if they use all three, they all have the same effect on you. It is a valuable method for them to use whatever reason they choose to do it, the reaction from you is often the same.
What silent treatment does to you.
You might find yourself repeatedly asking yourself, what is wrong, you will try and ask them “ What is wrong? ” “ What happened. “ have I done something to upset you”.
The silent treatment can give you many feelings. Self-doubt, hurt, upset, confused, Anxiety, frustration, panic and even anger, therefore you might react to them and give them your attention, you might try to talk to them, you might call them, email, text, you may also get in touch with their family and friends, to find out where they are and if they are ok.
You might end up continually asking yourself, what have I done? What happened? Was it me? You can end up going over everything analysing everything you did and everything that happened on the lead up to, the silent treatment. You wonder if you simply forgot to give them a kiss when they came in from work if you forgot to ask how their day was.
You are left hoping that the situation will lift, so you can think straight as to what is happening, you may end up actually providing them with suggestions of what you may have done, you might still keep apologising, not knowing what it is your actually saying sorry for, hoping the silent treatment will end like last time willing it to stop, trying to find any way you can to end the pain within your mind. Also, because of those times the narcissist offers intermittent acts of being nice to you during the relationship, you end up questioning and doubting yourself more by thinking, What if this is it? What if it’s over? What will I do them? What did I do to cause this? Was it them was it me? This then may cause you to panic, and panic attacks can hit hard. You then pick your efforts up to get them back, as you’re left trapped in fear.
Why the narcissist uses the silent treatment?
Most narcissists know the silent treatment gets them attention and their needs met, and they love it, which drives them to do it all the more, seeing you so confused and you having an inability to see what’s really happening gives the narcissist great delight. They know this usually gives them further power and control over you, they know when you chase for answers they can use this in the smear campaign that you are stalking them.
It’s harsh but, a narcissist is merely enjoying and taking great pleasure in playing with your feelings, you mean nothing to them. They do not care about you.
They enjoy the reactions they are getting from you, and they believe that you are inferior to them.
To the narcissist, you are simply an extension of themselves or an appliance, for them to pick up and put down when they need to, turn on and off when it suits their needs. You are just convenience when required. They have complete disregard for your feelings, and the silent treatment is because you don’t matter to them, yet you try and do anything to stop and break the silence. While all the time they are breaking you.
By them giving you the silent treatment. You lose your lack of respect for yourself, your boundaries, your self-beliefs, your self-trust, and you are slowly losing your own identity. You are that caught up in trying to fix it and stop the silence, and you fail to see the true meaning in the message they are giving you. They simply don’t care for you, but because of how they play all the mind games so well you don’t see it that way as to why they are behaving like this to you.
They could merely be behaving like when they were children, who were told they couldn’t have that last piece of chocolate, sat sucking until the parent felt sorry for them and gave in, most children with empathy towards others will grow out of this. The narcissist sees this as power and control they have over others to get their needs met, they love the attention and how they can use it to wrap people around their finger. They do not know as a child the lesson they have just learnt and how they will go into using this when older to destroy others, keeping themselves at the top.
To realise what they are and why they do this, can help you to heal and move on from your self-doubt.
What can you do?
What you need to realise, see and believe is when the narcissist is doing this, it’s nothing you’ve done, just because you didn’t cut the sandwich right or add enough mayo, isn’t any reason to give the silent treatment, normal people that have emotions and empathy simply do not do this to people. Don’t react, don’t reach out, don’t beg, don’t plead, learn to enjoy their silence and see it for the game it, leave them to their silence if they want to be quite that’s up to them, if you’re going to get on with your life that’s up to you, it is not your job to chase those who ignore you. Be careful, with some narcissists people they will up their games when one’s not working, so it might be wise to see the game for what it is and play along. ( only if you can not go no contact.)
If you have children with them.
If your children have limited contact, it helps as the children don’t get too used to the other parent so when they don’t meet the other parents’ demands and get the silent treatment, it will not have such a significant effect on them. Also why it’s a great idea to have back up plans for your children if the other parent fails to show on days set. Keeping your children’s mind occupied with great fun activities and knowing they have one person, they can always count on. Knowing they let the children down to get a rise out of you, they want your reactions so they can use them against you.
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