The narcissist’s silent treatment is passive-aggressive manipulation to distort your reality, so they can feel superior and gain further control over you.
The silent treatment is a form of manipulation a narcissist uses to punish and control others.
Their silence is their refusal to communicate. It’s when a narcissist will completely ignore someone because the narcissist feels contempt. Due to their personality characteristics of a belief, they are special, entitlement, envious, preoccupied with self, narcissists feel superior and that others are beneath them.
Narcissists deploy the silent treatment to avoid taking responsibility, to avoid discussing things, to evade consequences, to punish those around them, to break down peoples boundaries, the silent treatment is coercive controlling behaviour. It is a form of psychological manipulation.
Narcissists can do it for hours, days, weeks, months or years.
As it’s passive-aggressive covert manipulation, we don’t understand why they are doing it. We just feel pain and begin to look for reasons as to why they would do it, start to question and doubt ourselves.
The three types of silent treatments.
The one where they stick around, seemingly happy or over the top happy with those around you, yet ignoring you, some will even tell those around you that you’re grumpy or your not speaking with the narcissist, anything to twist the story and gain unwitting enablers.
The absent, where they disappear on you, however, you can still message call them, they just don’t answer or respond.
Ghosting where they just completely disappear on you.
The silent treatments cause us to feel hurt, confused, angry, upset, insecure, fear abandonment: self-doubt and concern.
Why do narcissists use silent treatment?
- They feel like you didn’t do something for them, questing their entitlement.
- They feel like you’re not filling their needs, hurting their requirements of excessive attention.
- They feel criticised by you, questioning their grandiosity.
- You stuck to your values, beliefs, boundaries, which questioned their arrogance that they are always right.
- Confronted them with facts and evidence, which brought their exploitative behaviour into question, and they fear exposure.
- Asked a question that questions their authority, questions their preoccupation with self, questioning their beliefs that they are superior.
- To bait you into reacting, defending, explaining, blaming yourself so the narcissist can play the victim.
- To break down your boundaries.
- To get you to beg, pled, apologise, chase them. So the narcissist can regain control.
What the narcissist’s silence does to us.
The silent treatment causes psychological pain, just as physical pain can, this psychological pain can affect our memories and our emotional intelligence. We can then blame ourselves, questioning and doubting ourselves, ruminating on how we could have said or done things differently, we can become angry and frustrated, leading us to react. We can become anxious and start living on the edge.
A narcissist will call us crazy, they will project, they will gaslight, so we begin to feel like our feelings, our anxieties are causing the problems, narcissists will gaslight us, claiming, “that didn’t happen, you’re losing your mind.” So we believe we are the ones going crazy. We being to feel invisible, invalidated, confused, intimidated, hurt, guilty, frustrated, lonely, depressed, anxious and insignificant.
What can you do?
- Remember, we create our own worth and value. We don’t need approval from those who continue to invalidate us.
- Observe the narcissists behaviour for what it is, for the games they are playing, don’t absorb. Know thy enemy.
- Let them be silent. Trying to raise them up only brings you down. Focus on you.
- Use the time to do the things you enjoy to do. You can not help those unwilling to help themselves.
- Don’t chase them. This just teaches them that their behaviour is acceptable when it isn’t.
- Raise your standards of behaviour you will and will not accept for those around you, lower your expectations of the narcissist’s abilities to understand you.
- Please don’t ask them for answers. Recognise its passive-aggressive, coercive controlling manipulation and remind yourself why they do the things they do.
- Don’t react, retreat, rethink. Only respond if you need to do so.
- Stay safe.
The narcissist’s silent treatments.
Narcissists Handbook: The ultimate guide to understanding and overcoming narcissistic and emotional abuse.
Click on the links below to join Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.