Six Silent Soul Destroyers

The use of and imposition of silence are two of the most powerful weapons in our abusive arsenal. Silence is easy to deploy and horrendously effective in securing our aims of compliance, control and fuel.

1. My silence is always meaningful

You may sit quietly because you have no need to say anything. You may remain silent because you are listening to somebody else or just enjoying the silence.  We do not allow silence to be used in such a passive and redundant fashion. Our silence is used to convey contempt. It is used to draw concern and cause anguish in you. When we fall silence that pregnant pause is an indicator of the fury which will be unleashed against you. The longer silence is the imposition of our cold fury as you are banished to a sustained silent treatment. When we sit in silence we are not savouring the lack of noise, we are thinking, planning and plotting, calculating our next step. Our silences are weapons, they are our operations headquarters, our defence against your critical wounding of us. We use silence to hurt you, warn you, scold you and indicate you have overstepped the mark. Every silence has a meaning, it would be remiss of us to use it any other way.

2. Absence makes the silence longer

The deployment of an absent silent treatment where we remove ourselves from you, invariably with no warning or indication is a confirmation to you that this silence treatment will not be short-lived. The need to absent ourselves sends you a clear signal that we will be gone for some time. It is designed to have you come after us, try to contact us and beg and plead so that you fuel us. When we impose a period of absence by vanishing we are reinforcing how easily we are able to consider you gone from our lives. You may not even be able to contact us but we gather fuel from our knowledge that this sudden disappearance will cause you considerable consternation and worry. The absent silent treatment is also a key indicator that we are engaged in the seduction of a new prospect and providing this person with our false love and attention, which we have removed from you.

3. The silent gesture

Our silences are not just occasioned by us not talking to you or absenting ourselves for a period of time. We deploy silence through gestures. We may not turn up when we have agreed to a date with you, in order to reinforce how your mean so little to us and that we have any number of more pressing engagements to attend to than dine with you in a restaurant. Leaving you alone in bed, our side of the bed now empty and cold is also a hammer blow to your confidence and self esteem as we choose the spare room, the sofa or the bed of another in preference to being with you during the night. The silent telephone call from a withheld number, used when we are hovering you, is designed to put you on edge. Is it us calling you this late? It must be mustn’t it, but you cannot be sure? The failure to buy you a gift on your birthday,  creating a gap which ought to have been filled stand out considerably and allows us to apply maximum hurt through such a silent gesture.

4. The silent presence

By giving you the cold shoulder when everyone else is met warmly and enthusiastically, we cause you to feel completely alone even when you are surrounded by others. You try to carry on as if nothing has happened but you know that people will be wondering why we are not speaking to you. You feel the flush of embarrassment as once again you try to speak to us and you receive only a glare and then we sweep away. You want to challenge us but as ever it is you that will be criticised for creating a scene. You want to upbraid us for our childish sulking but you have learned that the consequences of doing so are not worth suffering. We of course know all this and we know how powerful our freezing you out in the company of others really is.

5. Suffer in silence

You are never to speak of what goes on between you and I to anyone else. Should you ever do so you are committing an act of heinous betrayal and your punishment for such a transgression will be malicious and fierce. You are not to betray me and speak of what you are subjected to. You are to endure it so that you become a better person, one who is compliant and obedient. Do you understand? I also know that you fear the repercussions of speaking out and this enforces my curfew. I also know that you feel compelled to remain loyal because of the golden period and how you feel duty bound to remain and try to resolve matters, work this difficult period through and fix what has become somehow broken. Your indefatigable spirit teeters on the brink of misplaced pride at not telling tales and instead knuckling down, irrespective of what is thrown at you, in order to bring about a resolution to our problems. You cannot succeed but you do not know that yet. For now you must suffer in silence.

6. I speak, you stay silent

Never interrupt me, never talk over me, never steal my thunder. When I speak everybody listens because what I have to say is brilliant, great and of tremendous import. You would do well to listen to improve yourself, please me and avoid angering me. You are my sounding board, Horatio to my Hamlet, a listener and in my presence you only speak when it is required to honour my achievements and laud my greatness. You are to be seen but only heard when I deem in necessary. Who wants to listen to what you have to say anyway? You only get invited to events because of me. They are only friends with you because they are friends of mine. Nobody is interested in you. Nobody. So stay quiet and listen.


35 thoughts on “Six Silent Soul Destroyers”

  1. I think I saw most of these at one point or another from different people, but ugh, #5… f*ck makes me feel sick. Definitely common amongst all I encountered. And #6, grew up with that one. Speak when spoken to, be seen and not heard, never interrupt, especially men… Then get mocked the rest of my life for being too quiet.

  2. All of the types of painful ST listed in a very illustrative way so that anybody who is now passing by this situation can easily identify it. Very helpful <3

  3. Ha…I must have driven DN crazy with #5 bc I have a big mouth and when I was hurting; my mom, sister, and my closest gal pals knew what was going on and new it was him being an ass. No wonder why they all thought he was such a dbag, were happy when we got divorced, and super leery this time when he came back as “Golden” boy. He was also always worried that everyone in the room was listening and concerned about our business. Always sushing me and so mad if I told someone something even slightly personal about us. Ah, the sweet silence🎶

  4. He hated me talking to friends about him. Even post discard he told me to stop telling everyone about our relationship which is no more. I have been no contact for a while but peeking at his Facebook which I can’t stop looking at. He was publically posting and then stopped. I know he’s posting to friends only again. Why does he do this? He will get no reaction from me.

  5. Wow. Illuminating as always, HG! So how does a narcissist feel or what do they experience when they are subjected to the ultimate silent treatment: No Contact, in spite of all the many different hoover manoeuvres? Also after each failed hoover?

  6. This behaviour incites many feelings in me i must admit and depending on the persons so called “reasons” for said silent treatment…. will often depend on the reaction they get from me!!

    L used to recieve the whys?!! (Of course!! Lmfao!! 😉). But she would also be on the recieving end of rages for her apparently justified trying to treat me so disgustingly (however i do realise that this too, creates fuel!!). But my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE was when id give it right back!! She thought she could affect me by treating me likd a piece of sh*t….. so I, on certain occasions, would meet her silence with silence on return!! No anger, no why, no begging, nothing whatsoever!! And i must admit…… there was a certain level of satisfaction that came with knowing exactly how frusted she would be getting as a result of lack of response!!

    I think this is something that more “empaths” need to adopt at times. Learn how to see the game without having emotional blinders on 24/7 and know how to give it right back in return!! I know that its far easier said than done an likely goes against the “average” empaths sense of morality and values etc….. i guess im not quite “average” myself but hey…. we knew this already right??!! Lmfao!! But yes… there is satisfaction that comes with playing them right back regardless of what “wrath” you might incur. If you can ignor the silent treatments and pain that comes with that…. then i know its possible to apply the same priniciple to the rages too!! Ive done it myself at times (and i do admit…. its not something i can always do as its not in my nature to play games etc generally!! But there are times where i think that L’s and others behaviour is so ridiculous, childish and unjustified what i cant seem to help myself from wanting to incite a response out of her instead…. i cant help but having had wanted too see her carry on like an absolute moron and laugh at her (yes…. i know too that this only causes more rage….. call me sadistic sometimes i guess??!! Hahahaha).

    Well written HG, Cheers.

  7. Having read this I have had a sudden realisation that I came across one of your kind earlier than I thought.

    I dated a guy before narc #1 who showered me with gifts and flowers for the first four months then suddenly on my birthday nothing.

    Have to say I handled it quite well. When he came round still in his work clothes totally empty handed not even a card I told him to go home and went out with my friends and turned my phone off till the next day.

    I came home to flowers, chocolates and cards on my doorstep but the relationship didn’t survive long after that. What really sticks out in my memory of that time was how his mother phoned me to make excuses for him saying he never bought her anything on her birthday and my telling her that she should not allow him to disrespect her like that.

    Thanks HG, no 3 on this list is a real eye opener for me.

  8. I must admit unknowingly at that time, I didn’t retaliate the last time the ex raged down the phone. I was completely silent (my stomach was on a spin cycle). I have thankfully stuck to no contact ever since. What does the ex think about this? There has been a hoover in form of a solicitors letter which I could cite proof his allegations were false (I luckily found a solicitor who identified him as a bully)

    1. It depends on what type of narcissist your ex is Ally. The reaction will vary. Keep an eye out for a few forthcoming articles about how we react to the implementation of no contact in the immediacy.

  9. From what I have read on your blogs, he’s either low or mid rate. In all fairness I know the best reaction from me is no reaction. He seams to become jealous & copy his other narcissistic friends lives.

  10. Thank you HG, I enjoy all your writing, and I await that particular post with interest. I am weathering the Initial Grand Hoover post escape, it seems never ending! Silence is golden for me now!

      1. I will indeed HG. But this would have never been possible without your blog and your books. Otherwise I think I would have caved in ages ago. I am looking forward to the time he finally realises that this appliance is completely useless to him, and that he goes and points his hoover elsewhere for a while😉 Thank you.

  11. I know all of these too well… I used to beg and plead to not be like that with me as it hurt so much. I fought so hard for him…

    Eventually silence became golden….oh so golden and sweet… delectable like honey or better yet caramel, with little nuts…yes and the sweetly sour crunchy and juicy apple it was on top of…. MMmmmm and I just forgot that I was being treated to silence again! 🙂

    1. I love how you have explained this DC79…. it did eventually become like this at one stage…. thanks for pointing this out!!… not a thought ive had in a while hahaha!! But yes… definately moments of silence that were oh so deliciously enjoyable!!! Hahaha cheers DC79 😉

      1. Ha ha, thank you CJ*03… At that point in time I was being suffocated beyond belief and then given the silent treatment intermittently. I craved the silence so incredibly bad… incredibly.

      2. I can certainlyy imagine that you did!!! Hahaha!! Its a shame that in my life….. im preeeetty sure i can do the sufforcating lmfao!!! Such is who I am lol!!…. but hey… i also am only all to aware of what it can feel like to be sufforcated by the N in my life and yes…. the silent treatment was certainly glorious when it did come in the wake of sufforcation!!…. i do wonder tho…… did your N know that you felt this way?? I cant imagine them being about it if they did lmfao!!

        Cheers again DC79…. you write well… i do enjoy it!! Lol. 👌

      3. Thank you CJ*03… I think its my overly active imagination lol. Everyone is different and enjoys different things… I enjoy being around whom ever I am with but I need my quiet time as well, my ex n wouldn’t even give me that to do my crafts, read, take a bath… whatever. Same with running an errand…it would be his free time to do whatever…either he chose to go or started in on me within 30min of being gone. He knew because I have always been straight toward and told him how I felt…all irrelevant, as HG mentioned in one of his recent blogs…”I don’t listen to what you say because you have nothing important to say.”
        He knew, they know…

      4. Yes… they do most certainly know!!

        Yet they dont know how wrong they are in thinking that…. in some ways!! To THEM we have nothing important to say!! But to everybody else who does not believe themselves superior to all others, then yes, you most certainly warrent importance!!

        Dont settle for anyone who makes you feel any less!!

        I think your imagination is wonderful…. imagination is a sign of intelligence i think!!

        And yes…. i think everyone needs quiet time alone on occassion (EVEN myself who is openly obsessive and needy in a number of ways… partly on account of falling in the personality disorder pool myself!!). And thaþ would have been hortible to not even be able to enjoy a f*ckin BATH alone!!! I think many people actually take for granted honest people. Its not until they are faced with a truly devious and overtly and consistantly deceptive individual do they begin to realise just how rare it is to come across truly honest people or appriciate the honest that people are capable of giving us!! Im sure your ex N would have hated it even more so if he knew you were blatantly lying and deceiving him??! True HG??

        However yes…. ultimately to someone like him…. your feelings and thoughts are irrelevant!! Again…. i state that you should never settle for this… dont settle for someone who is not capable of treating you with the respect and consideration and understanding your deserving of.

        Cheers DC79 😉

      5. Thank you CJ*03, we all have our own little quarks, but thats what makes us special to someone else! 🙂
        I have to admit that I want to be the ruler in my kingdom so I doubt I will find a man with the attributes I am looking for and willing to TRUST me enough to give me the space I need and also to share in my quarky out of this world imagination! 😛
        I have come out of all of this on top though, I know who I am and that will not waiver. I can take the verbal abuse but its like water and oil…it will never mix, the mucky mess that taints everything it touches will never taint my water.
        In regards to the truth… you know what they say, “The truth hurts”. I am pretty sure that a narcissist enjoys the lies and deceit, after all it is a fantasy world that they are creating for us and a fictional world they learn to enrapture us with… We learn to stay silent so we don’t have to encounter the rage, we learn that our opinions should be kept to ourselves as we are the weak ones… honesty only makes them angry, they only want the fantasy world they think is real… and thats what they should be given. Too bad most movies are only 1.5hrs long. It would be easier just to reenact a different movie everyday with them, you’ll have your highs, your lows, your hurts, your over the top love and MOST of the time there is an absolutely FABULOUS (love that show btw) happily ever after ending! 🙂

        Here is another song for everyones enjoyment… because at this point, I like pretending: (sorry apparently there isn’t an official video, maybe I will make one…HG, care to help me out?)

  12. All so very true. My silent treatments always caused by my mouth. I learned to keep quiet, listen, and agree. I don’t know how many times I have heard “If you only knew how much your mouth gets you in trouble; Your mouth strikes again; You ruin everything with your mouth; You could be the one if it weren’t for your mouth.” These were the words I heard with the lecture after every silent treatment. As odd as it may sound I look up to him as kind of a father figure in a way. I guess because I never had one growing up. HG do you find that a lot of your targets have father issues?

    1. Hi B….

      Sorry to just drop in here…. but do you truly believe what you have written?? That your mouth was the cause?? That it was not the fact that the N has a disorder which can make their behaviour ridiculous, childish and irrational perhaps??

      Do you still prescribe to this belief?? Do you believe that you should be watching everything you say so as not to upset this person??

      Sorry again for just dropping in!!
      Cheers, CJ


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