Narcissists and their silent treatments.
Another manipulation tool the narcissist loves to use, to cause you psychological pain.
In their minds, they believe they’ve said enough. They actually wish you’d just shut up. They want to punish you and control you. They lack in the empathy to care for how you’re feeling. They are preoccupied with their own power and entitlement to do as they please, that’s why they find it so easy to do.
A simple thing to the narcissist when they come home from work, ignore you even though you’re only asking how their days been, ignoring the children who are excited to see them and the narcissist just wants to sit and watch telly, which as they don’t think about yours or the children’s feelings, they just feel entitled to do as they please.
As you have empathy, you might keep asking them, wondering if they’ve had a bad day if you can help them in some way, normal human behaviour. They, on the other hand, believe you don’t respect their right to ignore you all, and watch the tv. Then they think that you don’t think they are as special as they believe themselves to be. As they are not truly listening to what you’re asking. They just believe they are more important than you. That you are not being respectful to their needs, they don’t care about your needs. To them, your actions are selfish. They believe you’ve criticised their dominance and authority in the house.
Yet if you don’t ask they ”how has your day been?” when they walk through the door, this could also trigger the silent treatment from them.
You are left forever second-guessing yourself around a narcissist.
As you’ve got empathy and care you are doing it to find out what’s wrong, your intentions are good, they, however, feel superior and believe you are in the wrong.
They just get annoyed and angry by this and will go all out to teach you a lesson about their superiority of you.
There are many reasons why they use the silent treatment, that’s just one example.
So because they believe you’ve criticised them and are being disrespectful towards them, they start their silent treatment game, they give you nothing, no nod of the head no grunt no nothing, the narcissist has shut off. Yet, because you criticised their authority, they now want you to pay, so you learn to fawn to their behaviour, walk on eggshells in the future and do as they say, you might not realise, they will be listening, they are sat happily waiting for you to ask. “ Are you listening to me?” or ”What’s wrong?” they love those simple questions so they can start their little game of power, dominance and control, and they can, sit while you give them attention, while you get upset, they watch all your emotions flood out as you ask again if they’re listening to you.
They are waiting for you to try your best to gain their attention. They know you are there. Yet now they’re not actually interested in watching the tv. Although they shall stay focused on it, now they are sat smugly waiting for your reactions. You might not give them nasty reactions. Did you ever see them give a sly smirk? Just a glimpse, as they do not want you to see it. That look of contempt as they are enjoying the fact that you are getting frustrated, they enjoy it when you ask them “ what’s the matter ?“ because us who can love, can not see what we did so wrong, we only asked how their day had gone. The silent treatment actually started the moment they walked through the door. We’ve no idea what the problem is, we’d like to help have a conversation and sort it out.
Our voice gets higher as we are feeling frustrated, and our anxiety is starting to kick in. Meanwhile, the narcissist knows this, and this will keep the stone-faced no response expression on their face.
They might be starting at the tv, but they are fully focused on you now, waiting for you to keep going and going, until you eventually stomp out of the room in frustration, hoping they’ll come after you. Yet they will not. So you might go back later to apologise to them, even though you’ve no idea what you’re apologising for. The narcissist knows that you’re going through the endless story’s in your head trying to work out what you did wrong. ”Have they sent a message I did not answer?” “ Did I forget to say goodbye this morning?“ did I not pack the lunch, right?” “ Did they want something else for tea? “Did I say something last night?” ”Did they ask me to get something and I forgot.”
So then you actually start asking them what you did wrong, you start giving them more power and control, giving them ideas of what you did wrong when you start pleading with them to talk to you. “ I hate falling out, what have I done? “ or “ Please tell me what I did” all the pain and concern in your voice, they do not care how you feel, they are just feeling powerful, and in control. They no longer feel criticised as they felt before, as they feel the power and control has shifted back onto them. You Daren’t. Stand in front of them, or switch the tv off, because you remember what happened last time, but you still want to know what you did. You just keep trying to find out what’s wrong, keep blaming yourself, sending yourself in circles, while the narcissist enjoys watching you getting wound up, they’ll bait you any way they can. You hope you’ll stumble on what it is you did, but you fail, you might even try “ I’ll cook you something special “ trying to make amends for something you don’t even know you’ve done.
Being on the receiving end of the silent treatment is very damaging to our mental health, devastating. With the narcissist, the silent treatment can go on for hours, days, weeks and even months.
A lot of people not on the spectrum of the disorder can go into silent treatment, within a relationship, because they are genuinely hurt, and just need space and time, to calm down, they will then talk to the partner about how they felt. A narcissist will do it regularly to anyone and everyone to hurt them, to throw them off balance.
It’s difficult to let go of the pain and frustration when the narcissist uses silent treatment.
People with empathy, normal emotions believe that you’re in a partnership, to survive and grow together. The silent treatment causes pain within our brains. It hurts our Brain just as much physical pain. We start to blame ourselves naturally. It makes us angry and aggressive. Emotional pain is actually stronger than physical pain. If you break your arm six months down the line you know it hurts but you don’t remember how much. Emotional pain stays with us a lot longer.
The narcissist uses a silent treatment like a game which they want to win.
They are playing an emotional game with your mind, knowing you’re going to reach out to them. When you do in their minds, they have won. They do not feel emotions like we do so that they can keep cool for far longer.
You will never win these games with a narcissist as they have no emotional intelligence.
If your children still have contact with the narcissist, and receive silent treatment from the narcissist parent, help them by connecting them to as many positive people as possible, including you. Ask them how they feel and validate their feels, so they know what they think is normal, and it’s nothing they did wrong, just how the other parent is. Reassure them how many people love and care about them.
Keep them away from the narcissist until the narcissist decides that they will stop the silent treatment.
The silent treatment is abuse when done manipulatively.
Click the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
The online courses available by Elizabeth Shaw.
For the full course.
For the free course.
To help with overcoming the trauma bond and anxiety course.
All about the narcissist Online course.
The narcissists counter-parenting.
Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Video for more information on the narcissist’s silent treatment.