How Narcissists Use Silent Treatment For Manipulation

If you have a narcissistic partner, you might be well aware of their manipulative tactics. This article discusses one of the many tactics that may be the front-runner of all their gambits, and that is “The Silent Treatment” and how Narcissists use Silent Treatment for Manipulation.

Narcissists are often characterized by their boosted sense of self-importance, self-pride, and self-needs. With a narcissist, everything is just about them. Narcissists thrive upon the attention, adoration, and validation that they receive from others, and what makes them distinguished from others is the way they think and the way they behave, which is selfish and mean.

They believe that the world revolves around them, and thus they should be prioritized, praised, and given prime importance. So when something does not go their way, they resort to punishing others that may consist of their partners, family members, friends, or anyone acquainted. These punishments can include rage, silent treatments, gaslighting, ignoring, blocking, or even a temporary breakup.

What is the Narcissistic Silent Treatment?

The silent treatment tends to represent some sort of anger but with actions and no words. It is usually used to convey sort of negative emotions to the victim of the silent treatment in the form of ignorance or non-verbal communication or action.

If you have been with a narcissist then you might be familiar with the silent treatment, the no-answers zone, or the ignoring phase when there are any issues or inconveniences and misunderstandings in the relationship. Being with a narcissist is tough and it needs a lot of perseverance to keep the relationship going.

How Narcissists Use Silent Treatment For Manipulation

Narcissists have many manipulative gambits up their sleeves, but the silent treatment is a prevalent one. However not every narcissist may choose to give a silent treatment, but it is one of the widely chosen ways to get even with someone for the narcissists.

There may be various reasons why they may be giving you the silent treatment. So let us know a few generic reasons,

Reasons why narcissists turn to Silent Treatment to punish their Victims

Here is why the silent treatment can be so effective on the victims and how it gains the ball in the court for the narcissist,

It is a form of Provocation

Narcissists like to provoke the victims either to seek their favorable reaction or to get their work done. This way they gain a narcissistic supply too and without your acknowledgment, they would be able to manipulate you smoothly. They would push your buttons as they are aware of your weaknesses.

When they need to gain an upper hand in a given situation, they would use many forms of manipulation. How they enact the whole silent treatment is first they may provoke their victims, once they have a satisfactory reaction, they would guilt trip them and pretend to become the victims themselves. This is one of the ways they use silent treatment to manipulate you.

It worsens self-esteem issues

Naturally, it would be disturbing and unsettling for the person who is on the receiving end of a silent treatment in any relationship. It is a widely utilized form of manipulation by manipulators. Silent treatments can be confusing and frustrating as suddenly one partner or a person stops responding and reacting to you without any explanation.

Narcissists use silent treatments to make their victims suffer. The innocent victims may feel isolated and may also feel emotionally lost when they have no one to confide in. They may blame themselves for the narcissist’s distant behavior and may also beg or apologize without knowing their fault. This affects their self-esteem as without doing anything they may be the ones apologizing.

It has negative physical effects

When someone feels ignored and left out, their self-esteem shatters making them emotionally weak. Once someone is emotionally and mentally weak, it also affects their physical bodies. This is exactly what happens when someone is on the receiver’s end of the silent treatment.

A narcissistic silent treatment can worsen the emotional and mental well-being of an individual, which ultimately leads them to be physically weak as it triggers the brain and one may feel hurt. It may cause many physical issues that may include migraines, nausea, insomnia, PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), digestive issues, and many more effects due to prolonged exposure to narcissistic abuse.

It is a form of emotional abuse

Narcissistic silent treatments are not like the usual no-talking phase, rather they are stone-cold treatments that may leave their victims with traumatic memories. They make their victims feel powerless, invisible, worthless, and negligible in the relationship.

When someone is tangled in the vicious cycle of narcissistic abuse, they have prolonged exposure to pain, sadness, isolation, and emotional trauma. Usually, narcissists make their partners feel invisible more than often. This triggers a part of the victim’s brain that may make them feel punished. Thus it may leave them feeling emotionally and mentally drained and abused.

It makes the victim feel more determined to please the narcissist

Narcissists thrive upon attention. They love someone’s undivided attention and would do anything to gain it. Narcissists often have ill-intended motives while manipulating their victims, thus they deliberately manipulate them. It is a passive-aggressive method of gaining control over conversations.

Thus a silent treatment may push the victims on edge, making them desperate to try all ways and means to please the narcissist.

It causes trauma and stress

Some Narcissists have sadistic thoughts and may enjoy when they inflict pain on their victims. Thus they stop communicating with their partners. Even by the trivial of their mistakes, the Narcissists make them feel like they have wronged and hurt them deeply. This causes trauma, stress, and emotional abuse for the victims.

Narcissistic relationships often include isolating their victims which may make the narcissist the center of attraction in the relationship. Thus the slightest change in their behavior can lead the victim to feel stressed, worried, and frustrated.

What happens when you give the narcissist silent treatment?

You have had, and you decide to fight back. So what happens when you use their manipulative tactics on them? When you decide to use the silent treatment against them, they would lose their cool in the beginning. But this does not end here, they would come back with a bang. They would have the evilest tactics that they would make sure you suffer from.

Their tactics are so firm and headstrong that your silent treatment might wear off even before you plan to. Thus it would be difficult in such situations to keep control of the situation as you might have to give in and let them have their ways.

When narcissists realize that you have plotted against them, they may do everything in their power to convince you. They would provide fake apologies or make grand gestures like love bombing, pretending to change, or suggesting how true their love is for you. Their intense efforts would be enough to make you give in.

So when you decide to be resilient, their tactics would be stronger and more vindictive. They are masters of manipulation and remember that! They are the headmaster of the school that you might have just entered. Thus beating their game may even cost you your mental peace and happiness.

Thus your silent treatment would be like a red flag against the provoked and angry bull. Thus make sure you are safe and soon rest your silent treatment to save yourselves from being a part of their progressive tactics.

Do narcissists come back after the silent treatment?

Nonetheless, narcissists always return at least once to their old relationships in the victim’s lives. It may be difficult to get rid of them completely due to their contact hoovering. They may not even allow you to be healed by bringing back the toxicity to your lives again and again.

As per the common conceptions regarding a narcissist, they would seem to reconnect with their previous partners due to their egoistic personalities. But it is partially true. The real reason is that Narcissists love the repetitiveness of their behavior. They love a repetitive lifestyle which also includes going back to their exes, when they feel lonely, abandoned, or need comfort.

Narcissists are more likely to back to their old partners than they would choose not to. It is an instinct to seek comfort and the same feeling that they had with their old partners. Also, it is a known fact that narcissists are tough to deal with and they are also very well aware of that fact. Thus they would recycle their exes by going back to them instead of choosing a new partner.

How long will a narcissist punish you with their silent treatment?

Narcissistic silent treatment generally depends on the level of hurt. The harder they are hurt emotionally the longer their silent treatment may last. They try to make you starve their attention, intimacy, love, and warmth of the relationship. They would love to see the reaction when you start to miss them in your life.

In short, they would not communicate until you practically beg them for their attention. This can last anywhere from a week to a month or even more. If the relationship is really important to them, then the silent treatment can be shorter than a week as they fear abandonment. They have a hidden fear that you might leave them, and thus when they feel you no longer care whether they are there in your lives, they would be back on talking terms with you.

Narcissistic silent treatment is a way to make you feel guilty even without your fault. So realize this and start ignoring it. The narcissist may feel overwhelmed and threatened and soon end it themselves.

What happens when you ignore the narcissistic silent treatment?

Ignoring the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment may cost you your mental and emotional well-being, happiness, and trauma. Their silent treatment is not a mere tactic it is a weapon that can damage your peace. It would cause,

They will be Excessively angry – Narcissists and their fury are like inseparable parts. The silent treatment is often perceived as a rejection or an insult by the narcissists, and their boosted ego might cause narcissistic rage, to get control of the situation.

They may turn their attention to a new target – Narcissists always have a backup plan to make you give up your silent treatment and give in to their manipulation. They are also in constant need of validation, admiration, and adoration. Thus they may look for new partners or new people to fill in your place for the time being and also to make you jealous if they wish to stay with you further.

They will gaslight you – Gaslighting is a pattern of abuse or manipulation used by manipulators to have control over situations and their victims. The Narcissist may make you doubt your silence and also make you feel guilty for treating them like this.

Should You Ignore the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment? – And at what cost?

Though pissing them, messing with them, ignoring them or just ignoring their silent treatment may elevate your mental peace and can even bring a little joy for defeating them at their own game but this may result in some changes that are not favorable to you. But this can also be your fantasy to see the narcissist a changed individual. But to visualize some changes in them can be just a futile effort.

Narcissists do not change. So mess with them by ignoring them and the silent treatment at your own risk. Do not get carried away with just messing around that you have to face unwanted and unexpected scenarios and be the victim of a narcissist’s rage and revenge.

Final Thoughts

Narcissistic silent treatment is a way to make you feel guilty even without your fault. So realize this and start ignoring it. The narcissist may feel overwhelmed and threatened and soon end it themselves.

Once you realize the situation and come to recognize the narcissist’s manipulative tactics, you may find ways to defend, cope, and guard yourself from their abuse. From the moment you realize that you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, a world of healing opportunities may emerge before you if you truly seek it.

Help and healing are just a step away, so give it a try. The narcissist may be manipulative and may also try to imprison you in their world which is full of toxicity, abuse, and manipulation. But do not lose hope and remember that you deserve better.

Look for your well being, your happiness, and try to cope with the narcissist.

Ella Carrillo

Ella Carrillo

Hey Reader, I am Ella, an Online and Offline Therapist holding an experience of 6 years in this field. From Relationship, Depression, and Personality Disorder to Narcissistic problems, I have helped a lot of people find their solutions. Upon gathering a number of common problems that people face, I decided to put the information on this blog so that anyone can get their answers easily.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *