Have you ever been on the receiving end of a narcissist’s toxic silence, and their immensely hard-to-deal-with silent treatment?
How do you deal with living with a narcissist who is giving you the silent treatment?
Someone who will co-exist with you in the same house while literally ignoring you? What if that goes on for days? Weeks?
How to Survive the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment
And, in the case of a covert narcissist, you might often find yourself getting the old silent treatment – AKA the discard phase.
Understanding the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment
The first thing you have to do is to educate yourself about the situation.
I always say that knowledge is power, and the first fact you need to know about this issue is exactly why narcissists give you the silent treatment in the first place.
Why Narcissists Give You the Silent Treatment (The Psychology)
See, whether they recognize it consciously or not, narcissists are wired to sort of “push your buttons” in order to get what they want.
Now, you might wonder which button they’re trying to push when they just go silent, right? You might be surprised to find out that it’s not about making you crazy from lack of communication or pure boredom – rather, it’s about playing on your own worst fears.
And, I’m betting, one of your worst fears is the fear of being alone in the world with no one to help or support or just be there for you. Am I right? And I’m guessing that, if you’re currently involved (or were previously involved) with a narcissist, you’re thinking of all kinds of little things the narcissist did in order to play on your fears.
Get over your fears and get on with your life!
So, by verbally and emotionally “cutting you off,” the narcissist offers you a taste of what life might be without his charming godlike awesome self (did you detect that bit of sarcasm there??).
So, that’s the way – the narcissist ignores and belittles and devalues you because it plays on your fear of being alone. It is his hope that in enacting this silent narcissistic rage against you, he will force you into submission and into being the good little narcissistic supply he needs.
Plus, the silent treatment works particularly well on sensitive, empathic people (who are often quite attractive to narcissists), because we are wired to respond to and attempt to soothe the emotions of the people around us, especially those we love.
You feel me?
You Don’t Have to Take the Silent Treatment Lying Down (How to Beat the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment)
Okay, so how do you deal with this behavior without completely losing your mind?
If you’re staying in the relationship because you have no choice, you can play the game. But in the end, the best option is to leave and move forward.
With that being said, we all know that sometimes it’s easier said than done – and we all have our reasons for the choices we make and for why we “don’t just leave already if it’s so bad.”
So, as always, I want to say that if you are being physically abused, none of the following is relevant, and I want you to get help now – stop reading and start packing, sister.
Make No Mistake: The Silent Treatment IS Abuse
The fact is that the silent treatment is painful and it makes you miserable. As someone who is likely codependent, you may feel that you need to fix whatever you did wrong in order to get the narcissist to be nice to you again.
But the truth is that this is exactly what the narcissist wants – for you to bend over backward trying to appease them. All the while, the narcissist has no intention of allowing that to happen – they will only stop using the silent treatment when it is convenient for them or they want or need something from you.
But if you work on your self-esteem, and you learn how to set proper boundaries, and you recognize that you are worthy of love and respect – you’re already on your way to learning how to disarm the narcissist‘s silent treatment. You don’t just have to accept it and carry around this false hope that one day, the narcissist will change. (Chances are, they won’t.)