silent treatment narcissistic abuse

Narcissistic Silent Treatment

Why does the Narcissist give you the Silent Treatment? The short of it is, this is what they do to gain control and create hurt and pain. It is their way of afflicting Narcissistic Abuse!

Is this the way someone treats you if they really love you?

Just to start, many people confuse the Silent Treatment with No Contact. These are two very different actions and done for very different reasons. Don’t get them confused.

  • When a narcissist uses the Silent Treatment, they do so to hurt you.
  • No Contact is when you stop communication with the narcissist. This gives you an opportunity to think again. When you implement No Contact, it is intending to bring the relationship to its END!

Silence is Deadly

My ex-narcissist says “Silence is DEADLY”. He LOVED to do this to people. It was his sense of asserting control! Most narcissist will assert authority when they can, given it’s their need to be in control. I watched him play this out on ANYONE that would dare to confront him about his behavior and accountability. When he became uncomfortable, he would remove himself from a situation so to not deal with the confrontation following his actions. 

Consciously, my ex-narcissist would implement the Silent Treatment to create an inability to respond to a situation he created. He would rather leave you in a spin without a voice, rather than discuss his wrong doings. This was always very painful, and he knew it was. It was a technique that he learned worked to get what he wanted out of someone. He callously used their “emotions” to get his needs met without regard for the hurt that he afflicted. 

Once you understand the narcissist’s objectives, you will understand why they use the Silent Treatment to manipulate you.

What the Silent Treatment Does

The Silent Treatment cuts you off from communication with the narcissist. They do this at their will and to control you. A Narcissist will use this abusive tactic of dismissal specifically to hurt you! It creates a feeling within you that you are not worthy of the communication. This is done intentionally.

How can someone say they love you and want to hurt you this way?
Really think about that…

There are many reasons a narcissist will implement the Silent Treatment. No matter how they justify their behavior, it is ALWAYS with an intent to afflict EMOTIONAL ABUSE. This act unbalances your psyche and leaves you vulnerable for their follow-up attacks.

They condition you so they can control you again. In short, it serves both roles in the present and future. They want you to submit to their future demands and punish you in the present for challenging them for what they’ve done.

Why they do it?

The Silent Treatment can bring you to your knees. It is their aim to leave you in unfinished turmoil without closure. They knock you off balance to make you an easy future prey to feed upon.

If they can gain the upper hand, they will use it to control your actions and responses in their favor within their demands. Most of the time a narcissist does this, you aren’t even aware of what caused it.

Was it you? Was it them? Is this fixable? What the hell happened?

You will feel devastated by the confusion that it brings, especially when left without an ability to resolve what has happened. This can be very confusing. It’s very cruel for them to leave you in the abyss of their chaos without closure. Remember, it is their chaos that “THEY” created!

Despite knowing that the narcissist is wrong, you feel somehow the silent treatment arose by something you did and now this was all your fault. Of course you would feel this way, they have programmed you to believe that all the failures that occurred in your relationship was all because of you. It is part of their manipulation tactic.

They have brainwashed you throughout your relationship to accept responsibility for whatever has gone wrong. A narcissist will accept no accountability.  You question yourself what you have done to cause the silence and wonder if it will end? Just to skip ahead here, it does!

Imagine now, you are loving someone, that you are actually wondering it “Will they ever talk to me again?”.

Think about that! How crazy is it to wonder if the person you have loved all this time will ever talk to you again? Specifically, only after having a minor falling out that you aren’t even clear as to what happened? If they really loved you as you love them, why would they leave you in such pain? Why would they dismiss you and your feelings in this way? Even though it is hard to acknowledge you must know, this isn’t love. It’s what you want to believe it it, but it’s not real!

Anyone that can do this to someone shows that they have no conscience to the results of their actions toward another. It is degrading, hurtful, a completely belittling of a person and a relationship that you thought you shared. It addition to this, it is very abusive for anyone to afflict such emotional stress upon another.

But then again, they are a narcissist and you… just a supply!

The primary reasons a narcissist does the Silent Treatment. is to feed their sense of power and control over you and the terms of the relationship! They know that it is afflicting harm, and they don’t care!

This isn’t what normal people do!

When in a healthy relationship, sometimes individuals need to take some time away for themselves to think about their future and what their relationship with bring with their partner. 

We periodically need to assess how we feel and what direction we think where the relationship is heading. Most people will give a respectful reason as to their need for “space” or “time”. If they have any emotional attachment, respect or regard for you, they won’t don’t just ghost, leaving you questioning where you stand.

Silence, without explanation is not only disrespectful, but an intentionally evoked dismissal! It shows a complete lack of compassion or regard for the other person. Your feelings don’t matter to the narcissist and they are honestly not concerned how it has left you feeling emotionally.

Specifically, it is their work in progress to control and hurt you. The way they have left you feeling is a part of the conditioning they do for you to accept their future plan of manipulation.

Trust that the narcissist is not thinking about it as much as you are. They will go about their lives and come to revisit you another day, as you tortuously spin without answers.

Normal people will NEVER use the Silent Treatment to afflict harm or punishment against you if they love and care about you!

A partner that does this to you isn’t taking time to rethink or assess anything about your relationship. Don’t think they are ruminating about how they can work things out or what may have gone wrong in your relationship. They really don’t care, unless in case they need you.

They are already actively seeking or have a new source of supply to keep them occupied, you can count on that!

During this time, you can bet the narcissist is out on the prowl. They have a never ending need for attention and are always looking for “better options”. The better option will always be a more vulnerable, gullible, needy supply that will give them what they want and under their terms. They will have status, money, be sexually promiscuous and have little to no expectations from the narcissist.

They New Supply will get lost in the Love Bombing stages and remember they are enchanted by the narcissists false-self. Once the narcissist has met their conquest with the new supply, they will move on to another and so on.

One supply will never be enough, and many will never be that special! So, please don’t be envious, just know you have once been that same source to the narcissist.

The New Supply Test Drive

The narcissist may already be on that test drive with a new supply, which would explain one of the reasons for the silent treatment. They will cause an argument, blame you for it and move on to a new supply, representing to them that you are the crazy one that won’t leave them alone.

The narcissist will have to create a scenario as to why you are still trying to contact them. It certainly will not be explained how they forgot to tell you that the relationship was over, before they started one with the new supply.

You will be represented as the “craze ex” that “won’t leave them alone”. Not a partner that was left in the aftermath of a relationship and being subjected to the Silent Treatment! Meanwhile, you have been left you hanging, without explanation.

A narcissist will be afflicting harm and destruction in the aftermath of every relationship they have had.  This is how it usually works, relationships will overlap. They will triangulate with more than one partner until they are secure with a primary supply. You can be rest assured, the narcissist isn’t ghosting you without being preoccupied by another source of supply.

“A man will never throw away his only pair of shoes

~ Craig Kenneth

Before the Silent Treatment Ends

There will already be a plan in place to make you feel responsible for what has happened. They will project blame onto you for the reason and cause for the silent treatment.  Surely they will justify the reasons they have done this to you and they will pathologically explain the lies, to the point you may even believe them. 

Pathological narcissists actually believe their own lies, so they can be very convincing!

To witness this first hand is just crazy! It creates a Cognitive Dissonance. You begin to question what the true facts are, verses what the narcissist wants you to believe. Are you seeing the mental illness they suffer from yet here?

The narcissist will try to convince you how they should be held harmless for their awful behavior and lack of regard for your feelings. They will find every excuse to project this blame on to you. They will explain “If only you didn’t….” whatever that is, “…this would have never happened”

They will use every excuse they can conjure up in their twisted minds as why they have given you the silent treatment and the reason for its length of time. This is to make you feel grateful that they have broken the silence and are back… It reminds me of the move “The Shining”.

A Narcissist at their finest! Welcome home… Pumpkin!

You and your feelings will not matter.

You’re placed aside until the narcissist “feels like” dealing with you and this mess that they created. They will treat you as a nuisance should you try to reach out to them. before they are ready to to break their silence.

You are just like a toy they have put away on a shelf. When they grow tired of their new supply, or it doesn’t pan out as they planned, they may entertain taking you out for another go around.

Know beforehand, that you will be the pinnacle of blame for what they have done and you will accept it! If not, they will immediately start the silent treatment again, until you do!

It is equally important to the narcissist that they are not held accountable for their behavior, ALWAYS! If someone gets too close to their true-self and call them out, they will pull back and cause this great disrupt. This generally creates a cause for the Silent Treatment.

When they break their silence, expect they will fling their trash and blame at you. This is their balancing act strategically perform. They are masters at it! They will keep you hooked and very insecure, while they go about their lives without a moments care of how they have made you feel.

It is always your choice to remain involved with a narcissist or not!

How they assert their control…

The silent treatment is one of the ways a narcissist will build their foundation to assert control over you. It is their aim to make you feel needy and longing for them. When you are in emotional pain, you will almost willingly engage in their game of the “Carrot and the Stick”.

They will use your most intimate vulnerabilities you’ve shared with them as their bait. This already served them in gaining your love from the get go.

The narcissist expects when they resurrect, you would have learned your lesson.  If you haven’t, the Silent Treatment is the consequence, and you now know how that feels.

When they break their silence, they expect that you will now be complacent to whatever they offer and on their terms. Or you can go through the Silent Treatment once again and the cycles will just keep repeating.

Expect that they will only throw the crumbs when they return, because they have conditioned you to have little to no expectations. Many of you are wondering, will they return? Yes, they always resurrect. Just be ready to go for another ride when they do!

The moment they feel pressure or responsibility,
they will GHOST and ABUSE.

A narcissist will build you up, just to break you down. They will go from Love Bombing to the Devaluing. You can read about this in a different article I wrote called How A Narcissist Destroys And Disarms Their Victims”. They will weaken you and your resources, leaving you vulnerable for future manipulation and have no remorse for any of it!

When you are in a state of emotional pain and confusion, your defenses are down. This is the most opportune time that a narcissist will easily manipulate you. They will be ready to throw you crumbs just to see how you will react. If you accept their token gesture and act grateful for what little they give, you may just win over their favor briefly once again. 

A narcissist wants to make as little effort as possible to obtain from you the supply they need. If you hold your breath and bite your tongue, you just may be graced with them back in your life. Until it happens again, and it will!

Over time, you learn to accept their minimal efforts made and will have little or no expectations. This is exactly what they want and is part of the reason they play these games.

They know themselves that one source of supply will never be enough. Each and every source is expendable. If you are not complacent, it makes it difficult for them to juggle other sources, so the silent treatment gives them the reprieve they need to play their new source.

Should you give them a difficult time, you will replaced as their primary supply in a heartbeat, by one more naive and easier to manipulate. Someone in transition and insecure is usually easy game.

They know exactly what they are doing, never question that.

This Silent Treatment is done
JUST TO SHUT YOU DOWN AND SHUT YOU OFF
until they are ready to play with you again.

During this quiet time, the worse thing you can do is engage in their game of torture. This feeds them a source of supply without them needing to make ANY effort at all. They are counting on you going into a panic, trying to reach out to them, trying to find anyway to fix what they have broken.

They will only laugh at your efforts, share them with others and call you “crazy” while you do it. So the advice here is DON’T DO IT!

The narcissist will try to trigger your deepest wounds that you have shared with them. They will hit hard if you have betrayal issues. Surly they will manipulate with triangulation, abandonment, rejection and play with your fears of loss of their love (which is something you really never had with them anyway). They give you a false sense of security to only use it to control you. 

A secret… ALL Narcissist “HOOVER”.

Hoovering is a technique a narcissist does to test the waters after they have caused some drama. They go silent and then come back around after you have fallen apart. It’s like fresh meat, a rejuvenated supply is always a great source and a short feast!

You have successfully been conditioned to accept whatever little they offer. They want to make sure you stay in your place, right where they want you. Given you have had time to refuel, you now offer them worthy supply once again. The crumbs will be what they offer for your 5 star meal.

Aftertime, hoovering and the cycle of narcissist abuse will go quicker and become more insidious. You have now become part of this cycle yourself.

Idealization, Devaluing, Discarding and then Hoover… repeat!

When a narcissist “Hoovers” they are testing the waters. They want to see just how far they can push you and what you will tolerate. If you are still struggling and seeking them to take accountability, they will wait, bow out and try again another time.

You are not the only one in the narcissist’s life. You can count on that. They go down their list whenever they need supply. My ex had one and so did his father, for which I feel he has learned this repulsive behavior.

You can bet your bottom dollar, before they go into the silent treatment, they will already have another source of supply that will fill your shoes, if even just for entertainment. You are NEVER the only one!

The Silent Treatment Will Come To An End.

When the narcissist finally reaches out to you, you will be afraid to ask any questions. You don’t want to push any of the buttons that you have been warned created this scenario. It’s like walking on eggshells, scared to death to hear a crack. You try to prevent this torturous event from happening again. Holding back your gut feelings and not being being true to yourself, become habit, just to appease the narcissist.

We learn to suppress our feelings to avoid the unpredictable nature of the narcissist. We don’t want to provoke them again. Through the years I saw that when I tried to express any of my needs, they would be met with what I called the narcissist’s “temper tantrums”. But, even recognizing this, it didn’t make his reaction hurt any less. It was either his way or the highway.

The Silent Treatment does have an expiration date.

These cycles will never end unless you stop it! When you have finally had enough of the games they play and you realize that the narcissist is sick and suffers from mental illness, you will walk… HELL, run in the other direction.

You’ll find that the silent treatment is a gift toward freedom! You should take that quiet time to reassess what you think you are loving so much about the narcissist. Then decide if you are willing to spend the rest of your life in this abusive.

The best advice I have ever received was just WALK AWAY and DO NOT ENGAGE! This is what NO CONTACT is! And, NO CONTACT is your first step toward ending this paradox of HELL!!

No, they will NEVER change, they will do this over and over! They are FOREVER unable to attach to only one person! They have a need to assert control to love! Then they  will abuse and bail, hoover and repeat…

I much prefer the Silent Treatment, how about you?

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1 Comment

  • Thriving
    February 17, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I’ve recently divorced my narcissistic husband of over 20 years. And him being out of the house has been absolutely amazingly peaceful. However when he comes for the kids, he plays his games. I’m getting better at ignoring but a bigger part of me wants to punch him!!😂. Because I realize all the happiness he stole from me. They r lost in their own minds. He’s very sick and will never admit it.

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