The Silent Treatment: How to Cope When Your Narcissist Finally Shuts Up…
Silent Treatment: an act of completely ignoring a person or thing by resort to silence, especially as a means of expressing contempt or disapproval. ~Webster
Silent Treatment is used as a passive aggressive form of communication, to convey contempt, disapproval, and displeasure. Narcissists often use this tactic when you confront them about something they have done wrong. This allows them to place the blame for the situation on you AND allows them to avoid taking any responsibility for their own hurtful or wrong actions, thereby invalidating your feelings.
How To Respond To Narcissistic Silent Treatment
- Realize the silent treatment is used by Narcissists to control, punish, invalidate, and silence you.
- Realize the chronic use of the silent treatment is Emotional Abuse.
- Do not continue the argument or start a new one.
- Do not beg for their attention.
- Do not blame yourself for their actions, they alone are responsible for their behavior.
- Do not attempt to force them to talk to you, communicate the basics and leave it at that.
- Do not apologize when you have done nothing wrong. In my case, I was honest but respectful and not overly emotional when expressing my hurt. My feelings were not out of line, and not something I need to say sorry for.
- Do not accept their projections and negative messages as true. You do NOT DESERVE to be ignored.
- Do not let the silence play to your fear of abandonment. If they were going to leave, they would have. Also, you CAN survive without them. If you need emotional support or company, call a friend or family member, get out of the house and go do something.
- Learn all you can about Emotional Abuse, Narcissism, and how you can defend yourself.
- And lastly, DO NOT LET THEM SEE THEIR SILENCE IS BOTHERING YOU.
So, last week I apparently did something wrong. I don’t know what, but it put him in a “mood”. But let me go ALL the way back to the very beginning of this story, and give you the whole picture of what happens when a narcissist hoovers you back into a relationship.
October, 2015. We are separated, I have filed papers for divorce, he is feverishly trying to convince me he loves me and “needs” me (he does, but that’s a another post, and he hates me for his need so, yeah…). Somehow, he figured out that it would indeed, take a miracle for me to give him another chance, so that is exactly what he creates. He starts going to church, several times a week. Joins a men’s group, meets with the pastors, there every Sunday. He gets BAPTIZED (of course! Get up on stage and make a spectacle of myself while proclaiming how great (God) has made me now? DUH!) Buys a Bible he carries with him everywhere. Seriously, the whole shebang. We had amazing conversations about how things were and how they needed to be and how sorry he was. Seriously, I totally believed him. I believed him so much, I moved back in. I will say, I knew it was a mistake almost immediately, but by that time I was exhausted and thought I had beat the worst (his rages) so maybe I could hold on for a few more years until my youngest was a little older and maybe didn’t need her mommy every waking minute.
I want to be very clear on this point: I make a conscious choice to stay with him again. I knew what I was getting in to, and have been waiting and watching his behavior slowly resume his old standard, minus the yelling. That is where the silent treatment comes in. I CHOSE to sacrifice my own wants for my kids until the point where the scales tipped back and it was more harmful for them for us to stay. We are just about at that point and a lot sooner than I expected. But that’s how it goes I guess.
So, flash forward to summertime, 2016, we have a new senior pastor at church who is filming testimonials from some of the members who have dramatic stories to show in Sunday service, saved from drugs, saved from PTSD from rape, saved from rage/my marriage (of course that is HIS) and hes asked to film one. He asked me if I was ok with it and I wasn’t really, but at that point I was just biting my tongue and biding my time, trying to “keep the peace” so I agreed. That was a few months ago, and they also told him they would give him a heads up before they showed it, just as a courtesy, and I made VERY clear what a good thing I felt that was and asked every week for the next few weeks if he had heard anything about it. Asking so I would know before hand. CONTINUE READING