Telling You Everything By Saying Nothing

The Silent Treatment. One of our most potent methods of manipulation. Whether it is a present silent treatment where we talk to everyone else around you but not you or whether it is an absent silent treatment where we disappear and cannot be found or contacted, we know that this is highly effective. It does not matter if the silence lasts for ten minutes or ten days the impact on you is considerable and your reaction is always the same. That is, of course, the main reason that we do it. You will repeatedly ask us what is wrong as you fail to understand what it is that we are doing. You will hang around us, if that is possible, asking the same questions over and over again.

“What is wrong, please tell me?”

“What is the matter, I wish you would tell me?”

“What is it? Why aren’t you speaking to me?”

Your concern mutates into frustration and anxiety and even occasionally anger. All of these states suit us as we drink the fuel you are providing to us. If we absented ourselves then we will face a slew of text messages, e-mails and voicemail messages as you keep ringing every five minutes trying to establish contact with us. After a time the nature of the questioning changes as you shift from asking us what is wrong to hauling yourself over the coals. It is all so predictable. You ask yourself what is it that you could have done which has caused us such offence that we are no longer speaking to you. You analyse everything you have said and done over the last hour, the last five hours, the last day. Did you insult us in some way and not realise? Surely it was not that comment about our tie, that was a joke. Was that the catalyst for this silence? Did you fail to kiss us on our arrival home? You cannot remember but these days you often find that is the case since the days all seem to merge into one as you pad around trying not to tread on those eggshells. If only the tiredness would lift. You might be able to think straight then and be able to ascertain what is going on. You keep providing us with different suggestions and scenarios as to what has happened. You grope around, utterly unsure as to what it was that proved to be the trigger. You issue apologies and it gets to the point that you do not even know what you are apologising for but that does not matter does it? All you want is for this horrible silence, the aching absence to end. It has happened before and then it ended as arbitrarily as it arrived. You cling on to the hope that it will end as it did last time but then there is that gnawing doubt which keeps manifesting in your mind. What if it won’t end? What if this is it and we have gone for good? Surely not and for what reason? The doubt is horrible and you feel a rising sense of panic which causes you to redouble your efforts to find us and offer yourself up in sacrifice in order to get us to come back. Time after time we do this to our victims but they do not realise what our silence really means. They are trapped by fear, paralysed by indecision and this is naturally how we like it. This confusion and inability to really see what is going on servies our purpose.

What is our silence really telling you? It is telling you how we enjoy to play fast and loose with your feelings. It is telling you that we do not care about you. You mean nothing to us other than the fuel you provide. We are reminding you of how inferior you are to us. You are nothing more than an appliance which we can switch on and off, pick up and put down at our convenience. We are trumpeting our lack of respect for you and your identity. We are heralding our flagrant disregard for your well-being. We are telegraphing our disdain for our supposed responsibilities. We are reinforcing that you do not matter. Instead, you seek to eradicate the silence, you plan and arrange to do anything which you hope will dispel the absence of communication. Too caught up in trying to remove the unpleasant sensations that wrap around you, you fail to see the clear message that we convey to you each time we behave in this manner. We are behaving as we did when we were told we could not have another biscuit and we sat sulking until our worn-down parent gave in. Most people grow out of such conduct but not us. We saw the power it would wield over certain people (others of course would never countenance it and we knew never to show it to them or suffer the consequences) but everyone else would flock around us, flapping and attending to us and we realised just how we could wrap people around our little fingers so they gave us what we wanted. It was not the extra lollipop or permission to play out for an extra hour. It was attention and attention laced with emotion. Fuel. We may not have realised it then but we took this childish response and turned it into a weapon which causes you fear and frustration every time we unleash it. If only you could understand what we are really doing, then you would understand just how much we are truly telling you by saying absolutely nothing.

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152 thoughts on “Telling You Everything By Saying Nothing”

  1. Yeah can take that, ex done that as disapprove on what ever it was. The blunt text one short text. But as timezones on u start seeing a pattern. Full on to coldness. though I never chased. He use try different ways wind me up never bite or show him it effected me. I was direct in my approach then he dispear create argument. Happened 3 times come back all sorry. Three months. Was usely charm rest was childlike. Though I read one book of urs now. I can take alot in book but not as abusive as that.

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    1. Hello Rosepetal and thanks for your post. Interesting how you did not react to his behaviour. Why was that? Did you know what he was really doing and if so, how did you know? Which book have you read so far?

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      1. Not saying he didn’t effect I’m human with feeling. I promise myself long time ago after. Coming out abuse relationship no man I will beg or drop to my knees for. when I did mange let guy in he was one of u. I added to drama. Which made me no better than him. I wasn’t fully aware what my other ex was doing. I did make lot of reasons up fill in the blanks. but also my gut was flying up flags. I did keep asking if we was OK u sure u want this I did say ur distant. On anouther side
        May it cause didn’t want see red flags maybe just wanted someone love me make me feel safe. At time. But knew not get to close. who knows I just know I reacted differently than I did in past. By what ur blogs saying looks like I handled it quite well. The book I read was 😈 evil. Ur very good at pulling in with your work. Could not put it down and was very curious rosepetal lol I be buying next one soon. Knowledge is power and great to see I need followit lot more. As did at times question if I done things right. Like ur kind wanted. Lucky for me he small time so found other fuel elese where. Apparently I am strong lady and know what I want. And he confused and don’t. That was his last message. So lucky escape I say now…….

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      2. Interesting, Pleased you found Evil compulsive reading and I look forward to your observation son the other books. Yes if he found fuel elsewhere and left you alone so quickly it is evident he was from the lesser school of narcissism. You have escaped unless you offer him a way back in of course…..

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  2. Of the 3 relationships I had, silent treatment was common within the 3 of them. Instead of telling me I dont like thar you look at whatsapp during breakfast, there was silent treatment.
    As I had learned from my dad silent treatment but with him we knew exactly why, I did not really react like you describe above. I mainly ignored it and continued to talk normally or went to do something else until it passed.
    No big issue with silent treatment. Enjoy the silence. 😃😘

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  3. h forgot to tell you I never received silent treatment of days… Dont know what I would do there. I guess normal try to find out what happened and if it does not work then I guess wait ….

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  4. Yep this is just how my ex was, pulling silent treatments saying he wanted to be left alone etc. he did it once to often and I’d had enough. I messages him and said I was sick of his childish, selfish behaviour and I was t going to message again ball was in his court. That’s when I was discarded for good. 😔

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  5. My reaction to this is much, but I won’t respond in my usual fashion. Instead I will submit two responses for observation. Please feel free to comment, as it will help my understanding and healing. Plus, perhaps others have had similar responses from their N’s.
    Obviously, what I know now, from what I thought then, Is entirely different. Because the reasons he presented for silent treatments conditioned me to feel guilty for wanting him with me.

    The first is the email that my N wrote me after his first long silent treatment, it lasted two weeks. Prior to that time, he was was gone a day or two at most successively. He just disappeared, I couldn’t reach him by text, phone, email, work, home , nothing!!! By the time, he emailed, I had calmed down considerably and had stopped trying to reach him. But, initially I frantically trie to make contact to understand why he was ignoring me or if he was ill or hurt, et cetera.

    Then he sent me that email…..and from that point after, he would email prior to his return, almost as if to test the waters to see if I still wanted to hear from him, missed him and loved him.

    Notice how he places so much blame on himself, but read the clues in his words as well. At the time, his reasoning for disappearing was S.A.D. and introversion and work exhaustion. Even In The last year when I outright asked him if he was disassociative or had a personality disorder or was a narcissist, he denied all of them and clung to the same reasonings.

    In my response, when I say I know him, I mean in the sense of his past, his fears, his guilt his shame, the way he copes and reacts, not that I knew what he really was. Which I didn’t find out truly till only one month ago in the middle of the final silent treatment. Before I stopped contact.

    ( My N)

    This isn’t fair on you dearest….

    Give up on me. You deserve someone better. I have exhausted myself …I have nothing left to give at the moment, physically or emotionally. My life has slowly gotten to the point where I feel I have no space or time to myself. I am the kind of introvert person who needs time to myself, relaxed time… I am simply not good enough for you, not man enough. I am a spent force (who is trying to recover) – you are by far the better person. You are completely right in this and I am wrong.. I say this in all seriousness. I am totally to blame and not good enough for you. Sadly I am who I am, easily exhausted, emotionally and physically..an introvert that needs lots if time on his own in order to function….The truth is, because of who I am, and because of my depressive, withdrawing, recharging episodes… I will only let you down again and again, you can already see this, I am sure..

    I really can say nothing positive about me at the moment, you are better off without me… go and find that person who really meets your expectations, not a pale shadow like me… I am a weak, pathetic imposter, a continually energy drained shadow of your ideal man. NOT the real thing.

    Please respect my confession of my uselessness in regards to your needs and my dire need to sustain my energy reserves and emotional equilibrium. I am a sensitive and nervy person already often stretched to breaking point by my job and other commitments. I am the kind of person that needs time and space to function properly…my psyche struggles without enough of it, after a while… I need to get some balance back in my life…some empty spaces… it weighs heavily on my mind that I can upset you so greatly when I disappear, it affects me so much… that every now I then I grind to an emotional halt where I have to withdraw totally… (and yes I can see you thinking right now how pathetic this seems to you, how you think I am exaggerating, how this is an excuse for me not wanting to engage. but what can I tell you but the truth of how I feel).

    You are an awesome person, the finest I have ever met. Please believe me when I say I am not worthy of you and you should look elsewhere for someone who can meet your expectations… currently I am unable, I currently have no emotional energy… Am depressed, exhausted, worn out …I have no desire to socialise with anyone at all. I am sick and need revitalising.

    Lets face the truth here… I let you down again and again….Everything is my fault, I admit this….I’m sorry for everything. I take FULL responsibility for my poor uncaring behaviour. So please be fair to yourself and find someone worthy of beautiful you x I wont stop loving you… but I will rest in the knowledge you are getting the attention you deserve, and that I often struggle to deliver, then I will not feel so guilty for withdrawing to protect my health, and will feel happy in your happiness x

    (My Reply):

    I do not, nor have I ever had such expectations on you ..I enjoy your company, because I adore you and love you… I simply assumed you wanted to spend time with me as well..so I always made myself available to you so as not to disappoint you. It was exhausting on my end as well, waiting around and not knowing when or if I would hear from or see you as planned..but because i care for you so, I waited..for you .You always wrongly assumed I was angry or upset .. always tried to explain it to you, but you seemed to have your idea stuck in your mind..it was a false idea that you have allowed to create an issue for yourself with. You are entitled to your free time, I have nevr expecetd you not to devote time to yourself …we are not each others world..I know this xx

    It is sad that you have worked yourself into such a state so unecssarily, if you had only talked to me I would have told you all this yet again. I see all your magnificent qualities as a person and I have tremendous respect for you as well..I am proud to have you as part of my life. I nevr see you as less at any time ,..esteem wise we are only enemies ourselves 🙁 we help each other fight those demons and show each other better ways to cope and be….it is our gift to each other…..and in that I find joy always.

    It is not this tainted view of what you see as me placing unreasonable expectations on you…as I do not…you leave at will,you always have…that is soley in your control not mine. I have accepted it more so now.and to be honest I felt good in that….as this time as though I worried I cared less that you were gone…as exhibited by far less messages ,a s days went on…I am good with less time spent together, if that is your need….please dont think it offends me, it does not. I am glad you communicated your feelings and stress. You did have me conditioned for quite some time to except you would always be here, as you were. But I am not daft or in considerate….we both have lives….and it has felt a bit consuming. Mind you I loved all times spent with you….so you must put this idea that I have placed unfair expectations of your time on you, as I have not. I enjoy your company immensely. i love you.

    You are important to me….you don’t abandon people you care about ever….think of the men who have been in my life…you are nothing like those men…your behaviours are more inward to yourself….not to hurt me..my hurt is simply a by product. But thankfully I am now being conditioned not to be hurt as much that way anymore….I accept , esp after you fully explaining your situation of late..that you simply cannot cope with life strssors and you need to be alone to get yourself back to who you are. as you say…you always come back …i know this..I know these are your issues and not my doing….I know you never mean to hurt me….the hurt is so minimal…and is born from concern for your well being mostly. This is why i shall not give up on you….

    So, in answer to your email ….NO, I will not leave you, so stop pushing me away..take the time you need to reenergize, you know I have never faulted you for a need. But stop shutting me out..you wont lose my love because of who you are..I know who you are, I have known all along, as you have known all along who I am…we can not all of sudden say to each other..oh wait…I dont accept you now, or wait I don’t love you now….when we have always been who we are.
    You always try to push me away when you feel shame or guilt for your behaviours….it is lovely trait to try to protect me, but I am okay, as long as I know you are okay….you will not lose my love.. You engaged me for a reason, you love me for a reason, you made me love you for a reason…I wont give up on you.
    I will wait, and when you call on me again, I will answer.

    (He called me two days later).

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    1. Reading that Karaa is scary, it is almost identical in wording with my ex narc. They sure are two peas in a pod. My reply to him was very similar to yours we all seem to be the same living parallel lives all over the world

      It makes me afraid to leave the house knowing there are so many narcs ( vampires) waiting with baited breath to pounce on our souls.

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      1. Thanks HG I feel so much safer now ha ha

        Ironically you’ve managed to get in the house already 😱

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      2. I agree! I’ve become much more reclusive to the dating scene. Very untrusting, especially for online dating and with how many predators are lurking. According to H.G., it’s a narcissist’s playground. Then add to the mix being wary of the men who seek out single moms to get close to their kids because their pedophiles. Ehhhhh!

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      3. Thank you Freedom, I changed my account to my actual name….yes I wanted to show what he said to me and why I believed him for so long when he started utilizing silent treatments on me. It is strange why these men follow the same pattern of excuses and speech as well.
        HG, do you have any insights on the way he wrote or the reasons he gave or the fact, he self blamed, not blaming me for anything. That was real, was it not. Have you used these words as well?

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  6. As always a great one HG !! For me though, it made me laugh because when the MN tried his ST on me I didn’t even realise and therefore did not respond which must have angered him hugely as be kept having to try and reengage with me. His lovebombing had finally worked on me, but it coincided with his needing treatment for his condition. I broke it off with him and told him if always be there for him but I would not message him at all but I’d always reply to him if he ever needed me. So I never did ask why he had not text. I’m sat here smiling because that must have caused much damage to him that his preferred method of hurting someone could not be used on me and I no longer used FB, so his power to hurt me was minimal.

    With the N, I recall he slowly withdre then stopped messaging me. His first pathetic Hoover attempt, was, ‘why don’t you reply to my messages anymore’. To which I responded (because I knew about Ns by now plus he had no affect on me anyway so no need to go NC), ‘you must be paranoid N, I always reply to you’. Then I ignored any further messages.

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    1. OUch indeed when you ignore us. You had a touch of serendipity there in not pestering and asking why he had not contacted you and by accident you managed to nullify the silent treatment.

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  7. Ah yes, the good old silent treatment… Such a horrible, manipulative act and for me, the highest form of disrespect… I played the game a couple of times with my narc, silence at dinner, no response of a text message… I played until I started to feel myself as a young girl, gauging my fathers moods, his silence, and then I became silent, refusing to ask again, “What’s wrong?” He did behave like a big baby and it was a complete turn off for me… I love your statement, HG about how very much this silent treatment is saying… It bothered me, but I resisted the urge to ask after a couple of times… I started to feel the game and I couldn’t disrespect myself another moment… Great writing and another great lesson to wake up to!

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    1. Thank you Sari. Yes it is devastatingly effective and it is only when (and this usually does not happen during the relationship) you understand what it really is and you no longer react to it that it ceases to have its effect.

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      1. It is effecting as it is disrespectful behaviour to display to someone who loves you, it is hurtful and harmful emotionally. It is still hurtful, long after knowing it is related to his disorder. Less harmful, in that it was all his issues that he forced upon me.

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      2. Yes, I asked a couple of times what was wrong, but then it started feeling familiar… The walking on eggshells and never knowing what ” mood” I was going to encounter… All of this and other strange behaviors were a tiny hint as to what was coming… You just can’t allow disrespect in any form, if there is a problem in a relationship, healthy individuals, sit down and talk about it… The silence and pouting in a grown man ( or woman) is unacceptable… When I bit a couple of times, he scrambled up my words and tried to point the finger at me… Ugly..

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      3. I think I resisted because of my history with my father… It just seemed very familiar to me and I have such a low tolerance for the swinging moods and the walking on eggshells… I still had no idea yet of the greatness of his illness though! This was just a taste of what was to come! Ouch… Bandage slipping a little this morning…

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  8. Just reading this was a huge trigger. I’ve experienced that dynamic in both abusive relationships and I have reacted just as you describe in spite of my better impulses telling me not to come unraveled. I’m very aware how effectively this tactic of theirs was meant to get at my fear of abandonment. I recognize how it all relates to that.

    Today I see that behavior for what it is…abuse, disrespect and attempt to control. Since being on the ️Healing path, I have easily walked away from three or four narcissist suitors. They are always surprised when this sweet woman lets her strong boundaries come crashing down on their illusion that I’m their next fix. I guess energetically in drawn to Narcs and they to me so basically now I rely on my well developed intuition to tell me that, yet another one, is knocking. With all I’ve learned, trust me, I do enjoy not opening that door and letting the Narc experience the confusion and fury that his little games don’t work.

    After much counseling,

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    1. Psychosocial warefare on ones most devoted. It is abuse, control and punishment. Thank goodness for counselling, I am hoping to resolve this matter on my own before seeking therapy for the harmfulness of another.

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      1. Counseling with a very well trained professional expert on Cluster B personalities, codependency, trauma, and a very empathic and loving nature is what we need Kaara. I’m so grateful that I’ve found one who gets it all, especially the addiction and how it is all related to our early childhood experiences.

        I’m told About an arousal template that is formed early on as a result of our earliest caregivers…setting us up for what we are attracted to later in life, indeed it all makes sense now.

        Undoing it all is where the work really lies. Getting one Narc out of our life will just make space for the next one if we don’t resolve to understand and shift our own inner landscape. It’s hard work but worth every tear.

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      2. Yes, I understand my Ns childhood issues and my own, mine were predominant emotional abandoning by my mum….he knew all of me as well….I am o,ease d for your healing. Mine will come as well xx

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      3. It’s a process that, at times, seems eternal. I have stopped waiting for the day where I wake up and am healed. Rather, in spite of the wound that is shrinking and closing, I am able to go on. It is true that this kind of experience changes us, but perspective is everything. It awakened me to the awareness of my true self, my true nature and the depth of my love. I never had that awareness before him. It is a wonderful gift I’ve kearned to give to myself and the people in my life who hold my heart dear. Discernment is the brutal lesson.

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      4. It is an ongoing process from our own issues that attracted them to us and the issues created from this involvement with us, to healing ourselves one issue at a time. For me, in him, I had a huge change in how I see relationships and myself. Yes, if we can find a blessing, we can dispell, the curse xxx

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  9. HG,
    Have all of your targets responded in the manner you detail in this post? I’m curious as to how you would respond to someone such as myself. My N has attempted the silent treatment on several occasions, reading my messages and not responding. After hours pass with no reply, I simply send a peace sign emoji. Maybe not the most mature reply but he gets the picture and quickly responds with a “sorry babe, I was busy” and then it’s business as usual.

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    1. Some respond in a more emotional way than others but the responses are generally similar, that is why we act as we do because we know what the outcome will be. If you sent me a peace sign whilst I was doling out a silent treatment I would maintain the silent treatment. It is only when you do not react to this manipulation any longer that I would halt it and instigate another one instead.

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      1. Interesting, just goes to show that not all N’s are created equal and there is a variance of behavior within the disorder.

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      2. Absolutely Not Quite. There are those that are Lesser and then there are those who are Mid-Range and then there are those of us from the Greater school.

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      3. Those who respond more emotionally are those devoted to the relationship and the person they love and who wrongly believe love them back. The is variance there as well, my N does not respond In that manner at all with regards to silent treatments.

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      4. The N I was so very in love with loved emotive drama! No wonder he was so attached to me…

        He even used to make this guttural scream to mock me (when I was done being mad) and I used to laugh because i thought it was funny. Not so much now that I know he actually lived for that guttural frustration and how it was that very emotion that fed his depraved appetite for my pain.

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    2. I used to get that sorry babe I was busy another one was I was just reading and the other common one was sorry babe my phone was flat or sorry babe forgot my phone.

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      1. Or the phone did not ring. Or I had no signal. Or all of your texts have just come through. Or the screen went faulty and I could not see anything. Or I was about something else. Or I had an emergency (thus you should feel guilty).

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      2. OMG!!! My would say the same thing. My pet name was, “babe”. Sorry Babe….my battery died…my phone was in the car…..

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  10. A recent man in my life and of whom I early on recognized his pathology just sent me this text:

    “Your love is so sweet…please don’t take it away.”

    Thank you HG. I am learning, learning. Of course, this is what he really said:

    “Your fuel is so sweet, please don’t take it away.”

    When I ignored him, he revealed his true nature by spewing nastiness in a text a week later:

    “You’re so screwed up I bet you will never have another romantic relationship for the rest of your life”. I promptly deleted him and any method of his ability to contact me.

    But what he said, I wonder. I wonder.

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    1. Indeed Bethany and our ability to have you speculate and obsess is what enables us to maintain a grip however tenuous which we can later exploit when we seek to drag you back into our hell.

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    2. Omg!! My ex N Would tell me all the time that I was so screwed up and would never have another relationship.

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      1. That was a joke , he loved his cat, and it was used rarely…but he did say it a few times, I love my cats too…but still I thought, hmm, what. Lame excuse, what happened to his cleverness lol

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      2. Exactly, every single excuse to truly let you know that you don’t really mean enough to bother… When I ignored all of the tactics, he switched things up…

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  11. Back in the love bombing stage, which was just altogether odd, he would say “I can’t wait to love you,” “no one will love you as good as I do,” “I’m so smitten with you, I’ve never had this kind of connection with someone before,” you get the picture. Then any time I would point out that every man in all of my other relationships have loved me better than him, that I’m not going to put up with his continuous lies, etc.. He would then tell me I must be dumb or crazy and that he’s the “champ of all things” and the people who matter know this about him… I can’t make up half the ridiculous things that have come out of his mouth!

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    1. Love does not torture and destroy… As hard as the reality is to swallow, we must recognize the truth and honor ourselves… Even if you placate your mind with the thought that you were loved in “his” way , it is not love… It is abuse…

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      1. Yes it is highly abusive, when they know the emotional ramifications they inflict over and over. I do understand he didn’t love me, he loved my fuel…my emotion….or whatever he deemed worthwhile in me, if anything. My issue to turn off my feelings from my side, no contact isn’t helping with that. I still think and triggered about him. Ever presence indeed. Even when he is so far away.

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      2. Indeed and that is by design Kara,it will take time for you to process those emotions out of you and you are a particularly emotional individual so it will take a long time before it falls to a manageable level.

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      3. It will take me a long time, I know rationally what has occurred and why. It is the emotional side of me that needs to come to terms with what I feel in myself and for him.

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    2. HG, absolutely nothing is flowing for him anymore..😉 Hard to ” flow” when you realize and understand that your man was plotting and planning, to annihilate you..

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    1. Well it is actually your hell that we create for you and I should think that you are well-acquainted with it through experience and the totality of my writings already F&R.

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  12. I can imagine the difficulty in sharing such hell. If you were able to move outwards of obfuscation in your own courageous processing of your wounds, I am curious of the description of your hell

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  13. But do you not intend to create a heaven for us, before you cast down into your hell? I would like to scout some alternative locations, look into other neighbourhoods and such.

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    1. Karaa, I promise you will feel better with time… Even when I understood the reality of things, I was a wreck… I soaked my pillows at night with tears and was so thin , it was alarming…. My very nature aches at the thought of hurting someone, so I just simply could not process the actions of this man… Get busy, and love yourself for now… I picture my narc in my head now ,as a crying, pathetic, baby… A sad reality, and perhaps not his fault, but he wanted me destroyed and turned a deaf ear to my pain…

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      1. Thank you Sari, xxx for your kind words xx I am sure when six month and a year and two years have passed, I will think little of him. I guess knowing he always thought little of me, should, bring me comfort somehow….one day, it might ❤️ I felt nothing for the 1st Narc, who physically assaulted me….nevr did as soon as I dealt with him and he was gone after. Battle of a year.

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  14. If you Google “Silent Treatment” or better yet, “Silent Treatment and the narcissist” you may be blown away by the pages of sites, blogs, research etc. you can find on this. I have come to learn that this is single-handedly the most devastating form of mind torture and emotional abuse one can inflict in a sheer passive aggressive form. This has been my narcissist’s manipulation of choice that usually ranged in the 1-3 week range for the first two years and now can go up to about 8 weeks. Maybe this one I’m experiencing will be the longest. Although he interrupted his stretch of almost 6 weeks to text me 2 days ago, simply, “Please stop texting me.” Out of the blue. No rhyme or reason. I had only tried to reach out 10 days prior. As the blog suggests, you keep reaching out to bridge the communication, find a way to connect, feel the need to “fix”, or if it is to finally end the relationship, to put things right and have dignified closure. Nope! The silent treatment erases your existence. As H.G. writes it completely reinforces the sentiments that you are the dirt on the bottom of the shoes they are walking on. You don’t matter. You are a waste of space. It reinforces that you now hinder and annoy them and they would not want to be near you as you are like a lepor. In previous blogs, H.G. has said the narcissist will become to be annoyed with himself for even having feelings towards you.
    The pain inflicted and forced on the brain to process makes the victim feel lonely and rejected. Self-esteem is annihilated! It causes great harm to the sentiments of the victim. This condition may even cause critical conditions and permanent damage to the victim’s psyche. I tend to worry that this single form of abuse can drive someone to such madness, even making one suicidal.
    This blog I actually had to physically recover from the punch-in-the-gut feeling after reading before I could write anything!
    Perfect description HG!

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    1. Thank you Clarece and your observations and responses are well put as usual. Yes, Silent Treatment is a real weapon of choice, easy to implement, requires little energy and really messes with the victim so they fight against it and flow with fuel. All the while we laugh into our sleeve, ” Look, I am showing her how worthless she really is and she fights even harder to get in touch with me and give me attention. How marvellous is that?”

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      1. I don’t fight to get in touch, I haven’t contacted him….for months….I fight the urge, even though I want to. It is the only tactic he ever used on me, increasing it over the years to maximum length of months.

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      2. I don’t feel worthless, my worth isn’t measured or determined by him. He is the one who feels worthless and why he subjects me to emotional torture to make himself feel better.

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      3. Yes Karaa34. We can’t possibly be worthless or they wouldn’t have been attracted to us in the first place. But that’s our view point as we would probably share similar core values. H.G. has said their view point is completely different and makes sense to only them. Now I’m realizing I really am a worthless thing to him when he goes silent. My therapist has had it wrong for a year telling me, although I can’t count on this person, surely they felt a bond and a connection on some level to keep reappearing for 3 years. No, the real answers have been here. Your closure is no closure because they will always want to keep a crack available to seep in.
        I still take each silent treatment as a final discard and do find it interesting when others say they ignored the silent treatment, another tactic was used and the Narc still comes back.

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      4. Thank you for kindness MLA xxx
        I don’t like the idea of someone assuming I am worthless, when I do know my worth in this life. But being undervalued by someone you loved, shows that they place no value or with on anything deemed important in or about us or life.
        Yes, even though he to,d me he would always return to me because he loved me, like in his email previously…I always felt inside, next time he may not come back. Now I know my feelings are validated, I wasn’t paranoid, something was terribly wrong and I always felt it, sadly because I felt so much for him and trusted him, I allowed it to carry on.

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      5. Hi Janaa38! Awww, you just made my day! Hugs to you! I’m still dumbfounded by how sheltered and clueless I was to how rampant a narcissistic personality disorder is that allows someone to maintain a productive life filled with friends, great job, family (to whom they keep the façade and mask on to) but to a few chosen few they get the real deal and made to feel like you’re crazy for calling them out on it. I still find myself shocked when you, or Karaa34, Nikita, CrystalEmpath have personally reached out and said you have identified with something I’ve said through experiencing or feeling. I have to pinch myself to believe I’m not truly alone in this. My close friends who are truly supportive are at the end of the line with me on this. But first you grieve because you’re constantly discarded and blaming and questioning yourself. Then when you learn it was an illusion and you loved a mirage. You are merely an object with an on/off switch, you have to grieve all over again and work thru those feelings. Hugs to you for the shout-out! It would be so nice to meet in person.

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      6. Super big hugs MLA, yes. The things you say to resonate with me deeply, sometimes it feels like we all share aspects of one man…the same man, a Universal narc that has absconded with many hearts, but not our souls. It is hard to talk about such things for me, but very easy to write them and communcate that way. It is a grieving process, that some don’t understand, why can’t you just get now r it or move on, it is because they don’t allow you to, through their presence or their ever presence. Maybe Hg can arrange a group meeting one day on his inheritance 😏

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      7. Well someone woke up on the smut side of the bed this morning! Who said anything about stripping? Projecting inner fantasies, H.G.? Lol I meant I’d warm the crowd up with a comedic monologue on trials and tribulations of life post Narc!

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      8. Oh er yes that’s right, I must have you confused with the person I am replacing you with, or are you replacing them? So many faces becoming such a blur.

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  15. wow…what a trigger. Great post, HG.
    What about a silent treatment after a breakup? When you two have been civil towards each other and the breakup has been accepted. My last N did this. He would call…hang up…and then IGNORE my return call?!!!
    We were getting along fine after my father died. He then started to ignore me shortly after that. I wrote him and told him that I couldn’t be a friend to him because of all of these mind games…but there were no hard feelings…and I wished him the best in life. My stepmom died a few weeks after that. I called to inform him about her arrangements…he was civil…but insisted he was in the middle of something important and he would call me right back for the date and time of her (stepmom’s) service. I waited all day then left a message to see if he was ok….he went silent on me during that most difficult time.

    HG, why would he be mad at me? He had everything he wanted? He was free, I accepted the breakup, I was out of his hair….?!

    Was he upset that I refused to participate in his little games? I still don’t know why he cut me off again? He got everything he wanted….

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    1. ….he had NO primary fuel (another woman). He went back on Match after that (December)….and he’s still on there. Is it because I left him without any primary fuel?

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      1. How do you know T for sure he had nobody else? Match could be (dependent on how hard he tries) a little slow to gather a new primary source of fuel. He may be using it to gather fuel from supplementary sources and had another primary source from elsewhere.

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    2. Thanks T.

      A silent treatment post break-up when there has been contact between you is part of an ongoing Hoover. By being civil with you he is still looking to draw Hoover fuel from you. In order to hurry up the process he then goes silent in order to have you calling and asking why have you stopped communicating? This has the potential to provide fuel. It also makes you susceptible to a Hoover, “Sorry I did not respond, I have had (insert false emergency/reason here), but how about I make it up to you and we go out for dinner, you know, just as friends but let’s go to that Italian restaurant we both like?” He is teeing up some ever presence as part of the Hoover attempt. You are pleased he responded and he seems to be just being friendly and is offering an apology (something you always want even though it is actually meaningless) and you agree to go to the restaurant. Can you hear that salami slicer working away?

      Why did he go silent following the death of your stepmom? Two reasons. Firstly, we don’t do empathy so when someone has died and you are upset we go missing. Secondly, it was about your stepmom and your loss and grief, nothing to do with him. The spotlight was shining elsewhere and we do not like that.

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      1. HG, He did have “new people” in his life because he is returning to school for an advanced degree…he got lots of fuel from his study group.
        He was also severely abusing his brother and family post breakup…and hovering me with those dumb phone games.
        It’s only when I emailed him and told him I accepted the breakup, but felt we couldn’t be friends because I was tired of the games. He then went back on Match….to hurt me….he knew I’d see his profile.
        I have got 2 fake friends request on Facebook since then…he tried to hack into my Facebook 3 weeks ago and my gmail too…
        He refuses to speak to me….why is he cyberstalking me? I don’t get it? I’m starting to become afraid of him….

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      2. He cyber stalks you as part of his Hoover. He wants information about you so he can use it to his advantage in Hoovering you. He also wants to provoke you into providing him with fuel by reacting to this behaviour. You have insight as to what is actually happening so you can take appropriate steps to protect your well-being.

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  16. I’m ready for that fool’s games this time!!!! Thanks to YOU, HG!!!
    When facebook notified me I had a hack attempt 3 weeks ago–I KNEW IT WAS HIM! Same with gmail!
    Now he is sending out fake friend request! He added my pastor as a friend on this fake page–HE KNOWS I ACCEPT ALL FRIEND REQUEST FROM MY CHURCH FAMILY!!! However, I image searched the default pic and name and that picture has been used all over the internet…it’s a fake page. He will get no reaction from me!
    With all of your books, HG…and this blog….I am armed and DANGEROUS!
    Just like any good American should be! lol

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      1. I’m getting my mojo back, HG! Do you think my ex narc is cyberstalking because I surprised him by not calling him, texting him, OR running after him anymore? Could he become violent?….or just angry if he see’s me out on a date with another man? It seems like cyberstalking crosses boundaries….AND he was always very controlling…

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  17. Ah, the most formidable weapon you have. I can see the glint of satisfaction in your eyes as I ask for the 653rd time what the hell I did wrong. Crazymaking.

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  18. Something I forgot to ask though. Doesn’t the “what did I do?” questions asked over and over drive you crazy after a while? Do you finally break the silence when it gets too much?

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    1. Well it is all useful fuel. The silence is broken either when you do not react to it anymore so we change tack or we want a different form of fuel in your relief-tinged gratitude that we have come back and we are speaking to you again.

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  19. I asked mine to call me darling and he did….he called me other pet names I didn’t like, Hunney Bunney and Popsicles, hmmm, did he think he cold, doubt that😛

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  20. The best medicine for a narcissist is a highly functioning borderline. The narcissist is no match for its cryptonite.

    Keep the blogs acoming.
    Thank you kindly.

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  21. The silent treatment almost destroyed me. My N broke up with me, in retrospect maybe because I wasn’t playing the game anymore. (I was drained and unenthusiastic about him and he suddenly dumped me after 5 years.)
    I was crushed. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done that was so bad. He wouldn’t respond to texts, calls or emails for two months unless I was attacking him personally. He’d call to “straighten me out” on how wrong I was. Of course, hearing his voice gave me hope. He would NEVER respond to me saying how hurt I was.
    He started dating someone else, I disappeared, and they ended after about 5 months. He and I reconnected, with me a little smarter and clued in on narcissists. I’ve slowly come to see his phoniness for what it is and how he uses me. Well, lo and behold, as if it’s karmic justice, the man has an erectile dysfunction problem… Yes, that’s right. Had it while he was with that girlfriend too. I see now he’s trying to use me for support since his junk doesn’t work.
    He even said, “what other woman would even have me now”. Still he trolls match.com and admitted that he likes the attention. Barf…

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    1. Hello Moonbeams, plenty of classic behaviour there. When you were drained and unenthusiastic about him (be it praise or hatred) then you were not giving him the fuel he needed and therefore he discarded you. He did this to punish you but also in the hope of gaining your attention again. He gave you a dose of silent treatment and would only puncture it where he knew he would get fuel (from your personal attacks against him). Hope is part of the manipulative repertoire we use and as you wrote he would not respond in any caring way to your hurt since we don’t do that.
      He hovered you back in after trying to triangulate you with the other person he dated. He sounds like a Victim Narcissist with his E.d. and the protestation about who would have him now. He wants your attention to support him with his problem and of course he still scours match.com in order to pick up fuel from supplementary sources. Your few paragraphs reads like an exam question about our kind. Thanks for posting.

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    2. Hi Moonbeams,

      I totally know where you’re coming from. I was also in your position, tired exhausted and mine was working in India on a work secondment ( I’m in uk). We had made wonderful plans whilst he was home on leave although things had been a little tense I put that down to him being ill with kidney stones and I being stressed with my dissertation. He returned to India plans all still in place then bang 5 weeks after his return to India I’m dumped via a whatsapp, he wouldn’t communicate but would read all my messages. I got a very occasional odd message eluding to we’d had our problem, there’d been no mention of this in the uk. 12 weeks post discard he’d married an Indian business woman.
      He also had erectile problems I put it down to all the kidney stone ops he’d had to endure. However sometimes he’d eluded he didn’t know what was wrong and would make insinuations it was my fault.

      I’m still learning about Narcs courtesy of HG. My ex won’t come back he’s living an exotic rich life in India one he could only dream of in the uk. I never saw the discard coming or ever got the closure I desperately need.
      My heart is still broken and some days are better than others.

      Hope you continue to gain strength xx

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      1. I’m so sorry to hear this and I VERY much identify with your pain and worst of all, the lack of closure. You’ve got an open wound with no way to heal. Time, I found, did very little. I built a fantasy around seeing him and ached every minute of every day to just be next to him or hear his voice. I wondered constantly if he thought of me. Early on, I had pleaded with him to just talk to me, tell me what happened, so my mind would stop reeling on every memory and scenario. If I’d only gone for that walk with him that day, or if I hadn’t traveled to Paris without him. (He was so angry that I’d planned a trip without him even though he’s an international airline pilot, who incidentally has never taken me anywhere…).
        I got the story after we started communicating again that he had left as a favor to me. He said he did it for me because I was so unhappy.
        I’m considering myself fortunate now however because I’m letting him go on my terms. It’s not easy but I have some control in the situation where I had none incidentally, he too has kidney stones, claiming the reason for his dysfunction. He said as a pilot he can’t even take drugs for ED.
        I wish you peace. Don’t for a moment believe he’s living a great life in India. Things are rarely as they appear and these men, at least mine, have very low self esteem. He won’t fix that no matter the situation.

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      2. Hi moonbeam
        We’ve had very similar situations it appears. Mine is an immigration officer and he claimed to also suffer with depression but couldn’t take his meds as he wouldn’t be able to do this once in a lifetime opportunity. Mine always talked of fancy hols none came to fruition. Hols I took my mum on to Scotland he would say he’d come on first time backed out second came for a few days and the third for a week things were improving. We even had a fabulous hol in Cornwall before heading to India but no foreign hols which he used to say we’d go on.
        He’d bigged up our hol in India together said we’d go to all the places I longed to go, Taj Mahal, goa, golden palace to name just a few. It appears he’d been to the Taj Mahal without me before his leave home…. He never said a word to me.
        I too keep thinking if only I’d gone to India when he’d asked me to give my job up and go things would have been different. I’m slowly realising it probably wouldn’t have though.

        I’m glad you’ll hopefully have you’re peace this time. Take care x

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      3. Yes, the promises made it worse. He dumped me a few months after telling me we were going to have a great life together. However it was always “someday”when this or that settled down. 5 years of promises. He told me early on that he was going to put a ring on my finger so heavy I wouldn’t even be able to lift my hand. I was going to go to all the exotic places he travels, with him and he wouldn’t really want me to work because he wanted me to be free to travel whenever. Besides all that, I loved him down to his core, faults and all. I still do and I’m trying to seethe light. I wonder what it is about me that allows me to settle for this. I am an accomplished, attractive and well-liked woman who attracts a lot of attention. But I am in the grips of a manipulator. Thanks for listening. It helps to get it out. My family and friends are probably tired of listening to it and they can’t understand.
        How long has it been for you? Have you dated since at all?

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      4. OMG !!! They have said identical things to both of us. He told me we had a long and happy future together weeks before he dumped me.
        He wanted us to get engaged and married within weeks of us dating. We were together for four years. He discarded me in June 2015, no not dated anyone can’t get over my ex narc.
        I to am an intelligent, independent woman. Others tell me I’m nice looking but I don’t see what they do.
        My family and friends I feel are probably also fed up with me going on but I still can’t get over it all.

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      5. Moonbeams I also wanted to say I loved / love my ex to his core warts and all. He also used to say when his houses were paid for we’d have a wonderful retirement in the future together. How there was only me for him and he never loved anyone as much as he loved me.
        I had many dreams and plans of us together all of which are now destroyed 😓😓😓

        Our exes sound like two peas in a pod.

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  22. Freedom, we split up in May 2015. Very close to your date. I haven’t dated either partly because in my eyes every man pales in comparison. I have no desire to get to know anyone else. I wish I did. I was so head over heels in love with my N. For the first few years it was as if he walked on water. The luster faded and the little hearts in my eyes dimmed a bit but still I saw him as my future. I worry that I’ll never find a man I adore as much and fear that I’ll always have this ache for him. I guess to me, loving someone is more important than being loved. I know I was the giver and the one who loved more, no question. But as an empath I was ok with that. Maybe I should try to change my way of thinking. I know what he is, that he’s only in it for himself, that we’ll never be a couple again, and that he is not healthy for me anyway. It’s just hard to get him out of my head, but I want to so badly. I even saw a counselor for a while.
    At my age, almost 50, I feel like I lost my last best chance at stability into my retirement years. We were going to have this fabulous life after we each retire. Now it’s about starting over again but I don’t want to get started starting over!! Lol. Anyway, my counselor told me that the trauma of getting over a relationship that lasted for years, can last for a very long time; that a year or more is not out of the ordinary. Someday huh..
    Thanks for listening…

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    1. Moonbeams it’s so uncanny how are lives are almost identical, I’m in my 40’s I to thought this was the man I was going to grow old with. I also knew I was putting more in the relationship than he but like you was ok with that …. I loved him. I just feel like he stole the years I could have a chance of having a family with someone ( he knew that was what I wanted, a family) I’d had such a bad marriage previous to my ex narc that when he came along I felt like I was the luckiest women ever. I also have to deal with the knowledge that 1) he’s a narc and never truly loved me.
      B) he’s now married to another and they are having the time if their lives.

      I spend a lot of time wondering if he will stay with her as he’s married her and my heart hurts.
      I haven’t dated and don’t intend to as I fear I cannot waste anymore of my life with someone just in case it happens again. I couldn’t survive that as I came very close to ending my life and I to was in counselling although I’ve learnt more from HG than I ever did with them.

      There are constant reminders of him every time I put the tv on it has something to do with India these days 😓
      We are all here for each other moonbeams we need to help one another get through this.

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      1. I completely relate to both of your sentiments about trying to date in the future. I feel paralyzed. I’m in my early 40’s and if I live into my 90’s like both of my grandmother’s, I cannot imagine going 40-50 more years never experiencing real love again. That in itself is a living hell to be in. But I’m also so untrusting and hyper sensitive and probably needing constant reassurance to the point of being needy it would self sabotage something good if it did come along.
        This is why closure and how an ending is handled is so important. If I got to hear in a face to face conversation from my Narc, “I don’t discount our time together. I’ll cherish it. I loved you but it was deeper for you and you got there faster than me. You’re beautiful and wonderful and I’ll always remember that”. It would be so much easier to move on feeling valuable and that the time with them counted and will be remembered positively. I would feel much more confident moving forward with someone else.

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      2. Good points MLA, how about,
        ” I don’t discount the fuel you gave me during our time together. I will cherish it. I loved your fuel and you provided it deeply but it ran out faster than I had hoped. You’re fuel is beautiful and wonderful and I will always remember that.”
        For that is the truth of the matter.

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      3. You know what Smart Pituty? I’d take that over the silent treatments, or the condescending monotone caveman texts or insults when I’m being discarded like human trash. At least this is honest and I feel like I mattered at the time I showed love in the moment with you! How do you like them apples?

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      4. Well I hope it matters even more when he misses that fuel and he’s wanting a dose served back up…

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      5. Freedom, don’t let yourself give up just yet. I foresee for both of us that we have a lot left to give. We’ve proven that. We just need to give it to the right person, a deserving person. I keep reminding myself that I’ve loved before and moved on, and I can this time too. Even though the depth of love and my certainty at finally finding my Prince Charming placed this relationship in a whole different category. I was intoxicated on him and my unbelievable fortune at being his choice. THAT is what’s so difficult. Living in the past is making it harder. We’ve got to look to the future, and not be afraid to trust again. Please don’t give up on yourself.
        I don’t believe that your narc is blissfully happy. He married her awful fast. Mine immediately started dating a woman after we broke up and it was rebound plain and simple. He even admitted to me that it was awful and he didn’t know what he was doing. These guys are fragile and they need to be reinforced; she’s providing that for him but it’ll wear off. Rebounds rarely work out. My narc is so afraid to be alone, he never has been in his life. He admits it freely. We were trying to work things out after we reconnected but he asked me to be patient, said he needs to be alone so he learns how. This was followed by two week silence during which I started seriously questioning whether I really wanted to wait on him. I see more clearly now the toxicity, how he doesn’t value me, how it’s all about him. I am letting him go, it’s hard but I have to release him from my mind. After the reconnect I started seeing how he really wasn’t what I had imagined he was during our breakup. You might find the same about your narc. You just never got the closure and for me that was the excruciating part of this. Keep yourself open for the future though. Easier said, but maybe someday you’ll be ready.

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      6. Wow! Ladies we are all in the same age group with the same stories….I think that is rather interesting….we spent our 20’s-40’s messing around with these N’s! There is always in vitro, adoption, or just enjoying your life childfree….I do love having my freedom!

        I, for one; will not let these people still my joy. They made me sad…but I always get back out there…and move on with life. I’ve had about 20 dates since the last N….I’m not “ready”, but I refuse to sit home! I am now more discerning about men. The last N swept me off of my feet! I thought I hit the jackpot! My mom says he was single because most women would have seen through him–but I put on blinders :(.
        She loved his manners and such….but saw his control and demanding ways…she was waiting for me to dump him….and I just wouldn’t..I thought the honeymoon would come back..

        Next time….ask your family and friends for their opinions….those that love you will be honest….they will see things before you do…*hugs*

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  23. Lol this sounds just like my ex, in fact all your posts do, I once had the silent treatment for 2 1/2 days just because I dared to spend time with my brother without her permission. I preferred the silent treatment to her constant nagging and verbal joists just to get a reaction out of me, which I must admit worked until I realised what she was doing, (starting an argument or fight with me just so she could say see, you’re the Bad girl in this relationship it was ALL your fault!!) and blaming me for things I didn’t do (classic) so the silent treatment was a breath of fresh air until she realised it wasn’t upsetting me and I no longer took it as punishment. Then she went back to the verbal abuse. Give me silent treatment any day at least then I had time to think lol

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      1. Well I realised she was enjoying making me suffer a bit too much. She never liked to see me smile especially if she was in a mood, which was always, so whenever I tried to make her happy I was barked at and snarled at and made to feel that my attempts were weak and pathetic. I knew deep down they weren’t as I was giving her all I got and a normal person would at least appreciate the effort I was making, she didn’t she only seemed to like me when I. Was crying which is when I realised it’s not me with the problem it was her and I was just a game to her,like you say fuel. So I ignored the ignorance and went about with what I was doing and ironically that’s when started being nice to me. That’s when I realised she was ‘acting’.

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      2. But that really was the tip of the iceberg and was nothing compared to everything else she was doing. The psychological damage she has left to me and my daughter has yet to be repaired, broken bones and black eyes heal, hair grows back, cuts mend but the feeling that you’re crazy and everything is your fault and the guilt I was made to feel when I. Had no part in it or was even aware she was doing it ie the drugs the lies the cheating the manipulation the trouble she was causing between me and my friends just so they would stop contact with me,which worked btw, that was what made me feel the worse. She’s gone now thank god after I finally got her arrested for trying to kill mefor leaving her, and after all that I know one day I’ll get better but sadly she never will. This is her life and I pity her. Oh well

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      1. Thanks T. I’m currently suffering from ptsd extreme anxiety and depression due to what I had to put up with but I was a strong person before and I can’t wait for the day I’m strong again.

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  24. I wonder, HG, how much YOU truly understand what you are telling us, showing us, acting out for us with your silences. If you haven’t already, I trust you will find the courage and curiosity to look, to see what you can’t hear beyond the borborygmi of your fuel-gobbling beast.

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      1. The silent treatments, HG.

        Surely you recognize their complexity? It seems like such a waste to consider them merely a means by which to extract some high grade fuel. Like having a McLaren P1 and considering it just a car.

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  25. “You are nothing more than an appliance which we can switch on and off, pick up and put down at our convenience” I know it…it is so sad…

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  26. Agreed with everyone, that the silent treatment is the most powerful and effective weapon of psychical abuse. It denies your existense on very deep level.

    But it is not about the low self-esteem at all, it is about of absence of certain self-esteem. If you know who you are exactly and you accept it, you know that you exist. In that case, no one and nothing can prove you otherwise. You exist. Dot. But if you are “not sure” about it, you become vulnerable to various external “opinions” and Narcs use it pretty successfuly. I don’t judge them for doing that, it is their way of living. But you have to protect yourself.

    Honesty with yourself, acceptance of yourself, and self-respect are key points that can protect you from predators.

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