What the Narcissist Thinks : Present Silent Treatment



I think I have said enough. I wish you would think the same. You have never shut up asking me about my day at work as I try to watch the sport on television. On and on you have gone asking question after question. It makes me wonder why you are so bloody interested. Fishing for something are you? Trying to catch me out? You won’t do that. I am cleverer than you. Much cleverer. What I do at work is nothing to do with you and you won’t find out about my plans there until such time as I decide that you should know. And it isn’t time, so I wish you would just be quiet and let me watch this game. You keep on going, talking over my television viewing which tells me that you regard my viewing experience as unimportant and that tells me you obviously think I am not important and you really ought to know by now that I am important. I hate you doing this. I can feel the burning from your selfish and treacherous action and it is paining me, but I know what to do. I know how to stop this pain and believe me I am going to do it and do it now.

You never know when to shut up do you? I suppose you think you are being plessant asking me how my day has been, but you don’t care, you just do it for the sake of appearances, to make you look good, the caring and interested partner. I know your game. I have you worked out, you are a fraud. Yap, yap, yap,like some irritating puppy around my ankles, on and on you go. Just shut up will you? I cannot concentrate with your wasp like buzzing around me.

“How is the new recruit getting on?”

“How is the project developing?”

“Where did you go for that business lunch? Was it good? What did you have to eat? Who was it with?”

Just shut up. No, you are still chattering away. I don’t think you are even waiting for an answer are you? Just asking questions to seem like you are involving me in the conversation when all you are doing is engaging in another of your pointless and egotistical monologues. Do you know how boring you sound? If I wasn’t trying to concentrate on this match I think I would slip into a coma listening to you drone on with your worthless opinions and your anodyne observations.

Just shut up. No? Very well. I will. No, I am not saying anything. I am not even going to nod, shake my head or make an affirmative grunt. Nothing. A total silence.

My goodness me, you have stopped. Perhaps you have remembered that you need to breathe? Ah, excellent you have noticed that I no longer appear to be listening. Believe me, I am listening and I am doing so with considerable attentiveness, because I need to listen to what is coming my way. Let me guess, I think you will lead with “are you listening to me?” any second now and yes, there it is as predicted. I am not going to answer. Go on, repeat the question and true to form you do so. Now I have your attention haven’t I? I can see you from the corner of my eye as I stare at the screen pretending that the figures running around with the ball are more interesting than you. They are not because what you are starting to do is what I am interested in. I can see you leaning forward, trying to catch my eye. I know you are there but I am not going to acknowledge you. Sometimes you throw something towards me to get my attention, usually a cushion. It is not a nasty action,not like when I throw things at you. That reminds me, I must replace that coffee mug which I hurled at you. You were light on your toes that day as it sailed past and smashed against the wall. Anyway, that was last week and this is now and I can hear you asking the question a third time. Will it be the cushion? No, you have chosen to stand up instead. Gosh, you must be looking to assert some authority from the get go.

“I am talking to you.”

I know that you are but I am not answering you but already I can hear the mounting irritation in your voice and already I can feel the flames rising inside of me as they burn away the cold, harsh iciness of your criticism. That pain is already receding.

“Will you answer me please?”

No I will not. I have to turn my head so you do not see my smirk at your attempt to be commanding. It amuses me. I can see your hands move to your hips and I half expect you to stamp the ground with your foot.

“What’s the matter? Why won’t you answer me?”

The voice rises higher, signalling your anxiety and frustration and the flames continue to build inside of me. I maintain the stony faced expression, ink black eyes staring at the screen. I can see the movement on the television but it as if I am watching it from very far away as all that I am concentrating on now is your voice and the continuing delicious flaming sensation that is sweeping across me.

“Why are you not answering me?”

The questions have altered now haven’t they? A switch from your nosiness about my work to you now asking why I have fallen silent. You can keep asking and I know you will. You will go on for some time. You will storm out of the room trying to force a response from me, but your slammed door just keeps the flames burning. You will come back in. you always do. You will return contrite and apologising although you won’t know what you are trying to apologise for. Still, that won’t stop you going through a carousel of reasons in the hope of breaking my silence.

“Did I upset you?”

“Did I say something wrong?”

“Did I not listen to you?”

“Did I say something offensive?”

“Please, what did I do wrong?”

“Please will you just talk to me?”

“I hate this. I hate falling out. What is that I have done?”

Every time you ask these questions, the pain and concern in your voice keeps adding to the sense of power that I am feeling. The wound you created has long since closed and now I am savouring the growing power that courses through me. You have no idea what you are doing as you try, as you always do, to make things right. I will stay seated here, not even looking at you. You won’t try and stand in front of me whilst I am watching the television. You will not dare do that or switch it off. You remember what happened last time when you did that don’t you and I know you won’t be in a hurry to experience that again. I can sit and revel in my power over you and you just keep adding to it with your pitiful and plaintive questions. You will try to find out what is wrong, you will blame yourself next and start to apologise as you scramble to guess what it is that you have done wrong in the hope that you stumble on the right subject matter and make things rights. But you will fail. Then you move on to trying to bribe me into speaking to you, suggesting we go out, or my friends come round for drinks tomorrow night or that you will cook me something special. Keep at it, I won’t respond. I will not even look at you. You are completely invisible to me as far as you are concerned.

I wonder how long I will maintain this silence with you? You haven’t worked out what to do yet, I am pleased to say. You keep on asking, pestering and questioning, driven by your own anxiety that causes you to want to ascertain what has happened and make things right. This means you might break off for half an hour but then you resume, trying a different tack. If all you knew you had to so was do exactly what I am doing and it would stop. Go silent and get on with what you want to do and I will start speaking to you and acknowledging you once again as I consider a different manipulation to use against you to gather my precious fuel. Fortunately, your empathic nature which means you want to understand and you want to fix and heal, will make you hang in there and all the while you provide me with fuel and power me. So long as you do so, so long the silence will continue.

34 thoughts on “What the Narcissist Thinks : Present Silent Treatment

  1. Amy says:

    Ahh yes. The silent tx I know so well and have experienced so many times. Wow the pain I’ve felt in those moments, even days of trying to live through them. I cried river’s trying to fix the situation so I’d get some kind of response. I started restoring to an unbelievable amount of text messages and calls. Then put down for my efforts. Ya know, because I’m crazy. Super crazy woman for wanting communication. Silly.

    That last and final time I did nothing wrong. Like this situation. Nothing. I was aware of it. I was able watch him walk away and didn’t beg for his return. He dosnt care.

    Sure you still suffer. Because you should be punished for not wanting them anymore or playing their sick game.. But it’s still full filling knowing I’ll never go through that torture anymore.

  2. Rhyming Fun says:

    Really, what I imagine myself doing in this scenario is after asking him, “What is wrong?”, “Did I do something wrong?”, “I’m sorry if I did something wrong that made you angry. Could we talk about it? Please?”

    And, if no response, I know it sounds pathetic, but I’d go into my bedroom for a bit so he wouldn’t see me cry. Then, I’d come back out, and say very softly, “I don’t know what I did wrong.”

    Then, I’d remain silent, sit down next to him, and try to stroke his arm, or leg, and tell him that I love him.

    If no response, I’d sit on the other sofa next to him, and just write poetry, just so I could look up at him every now and then, in wonderment as to what was happening.

    After time passed, I’d say, “I’m sorry if I hurt you, Sweetheart”. And, I’d ask him if he wanted me to make him something special to eat, or give him a massage, or I could draw his bath, and pamper him.

    If he did not want me around, I’d go and stay in my bedroom until he wanted me around, again.

    In my bedroom, I would write him a poem, “sorry” letter, or draw him a picture with beautiful colors just for him.

    I know this because I lived with the Histrionic Narcissist after High School, before I knew what Narcissists even were. He taught me that the man was always in charge, and I took complete care of him. And, he scolded me if need be. And, I was happy to have him as my purpose in life.

    However, if he tried to throw a ceramic cup at my face, I’d rage, yell at him, “How dare you!!!”, and then I’d go into the kitchen, pull down every cup and plate from up in the cabinet, and I’d smash every one of them, loudly, upon the kitchen floor. I would not clean them up for 2 weeks. And, I’d smash other things in my sight, too, up against walls, ETC. It would be really BAD.

    I am okay with him hitting me, shaking me hard, and holding me down, ETC, but I DON’T like him pushing, or shoving me, because it reminds me of being pushed away, and abandoned!!

    And, him throwing a ceramic cup at me would tell me that he “hates me”(!!) which is another form of abandonment. and this would infuriate me to no end. He’d get it. It would be very bad for him.

    1. Rhyming Fun says:

      This was before he taught me that I could not fight back. I learned my lessons. I became completely submissive to him. I had to.

  3. Diva says:

    If I have done something wrong and someone is giving me the silent treatment I have no problem in attempting to break down the barrier and make the first move…….I have had to do it many times and with good reason. However…..the silent treatment I received from a mid range narc brought me to this blog. I knew that I had not done anything that warranted this treatment and therefore once I realised what I was dealing with, I just gave him the silent no contact treatment right back. So far it has worked like a charm. He was mortally wounded……”the wee pet”…….as they say in Ireland……”it’s good enough for him.”………Diva

  4. B says:

    So why would a narcassist lie and say he never put you thru this silent treatment?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Because in his mind he never did (Lesser or MR) so it is part of the self-defence mechanism and perpetuation of your state of confusion. With the Greater we know we did it but we lie to achieve the same outcome – namely fuel and the maintenance of your state of confusion which means you remain under control.

  5. Rhyming Fun says:

    I think I will go and watch some TV, now, and be quiet. I do not wish to pester you with all my questions since I know I always have so many 🙁 But, since I like this particular TV Set in the living room, I will have to switch it off your sports channel so that I can watch Little House on The Prairie.

  6. Sniglet says:

    It seems that MLA Clarece and Love are giving us the silent treatment. Their contributions are missing here. Hopefully they will post again soon.

  7. Cathrine says:

    I can’t help laughing while reading this blog entry because that’s been the story of my life. My narc wasn’t always that resilient, and his favourite method of the silent treatment when we were actually in the same room was that of going to bed, turning his back on me, listening attentively to every word I uttered, all the while pretending to sleep. I think in retrospect this was hilarious. Once in a hotel he wanted to demonstrate his displeasure with me for som minor slight by not sleeping in the same bed with me. The only other bed in the room was quite a large crib and the sight of a grown man trying to fit into that small space with those bars all around stills cracks me up when thinking about it. Of course I got upset then and empowered him further by my anger and astonishment at his behaviour, but now I wish I had snapped a photo instead and framed it on the wall.

    Thanks HG for remembering and making me laugh. What a ridiculous behaviour.

  8. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    I don’t have time to play guessing games with an adult. I’ll ask for a few minutes and then I’m done. You either communicate with me or I’m just going to go about my business until you would like to have a discussion -that is if you are lucky. I will most likely not be in the mood to engage with you when you come back and you won’t be too happy.

    1. WhereIsGod says:

      If you think for one minute your tactic/non caring attitude moves/affects a malignant narc, well you dont know them very well. You can never ever affect them in the way that you’d want to. The best way to deal with them is to gray rock… to no contact… to get the fuck on with your life for good. They wont miss you or care no matter what you do. They will always tell themselves lies to stay on top of situation. They will find another source and wash, rinse, repeat …until they die.

      When you go on about your business and see them eventually come back to have a discussion, please believe they are planning the next ‘get back’ for what you just did..they must always win. So lemme rephrase my earlier statement. Yes they are affected but only to the extent of being fuled for their next attack on you. It’s a never ending demonic cycle.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        I understand that but they can plot all they want because I can assure you I’m doing the same. Well – I used to do the same – now I just disengage because I don’t have time to bothered going round and round.

      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Since it’s a never ending cycle – I jump off the merry-go-round and say fuck it.

      3. Patricia J says:

        Right on!

      4. narc affair says:

        Where is god…so true your post. Its futile being involved in their game bc you can never one up them and if you do its only temporary bc they will get even at a later date. When you wrestle with a pig you get dirty. Gray rock isnt easy but as a temporary means it is so important bc it means no fuel and no info on how you feel emotionally.

    2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

      Let me put it this way – my own condition makes it extremely difficult not to fight back

      I know how to push their buttons and they know how to push mine – but on a happy note there are a lot of things that don’t even bother me anymore so those buttons don’t even function anymore 😂

    3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


      I think you are forgetting that I deal with these kind of people on a daily basis and have been involved with narcs,sociopaths, and psychopaths.

      I speak from my education, my professional and personal experiences.

      The only way to win is to not play. I recognize that’s easier said than done. Everyone has a point where enough is enough – it’s always best to jump off the merry-go-round.

      I like to take a couple shots first then jump off 😂

      1. WhereIsGod says:

        Dr. Harleen Quinzel, I get what youre saying ….we have similar attitudes from what I am reading and I love it!!

      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


        LOL! I’ve come down with a permanent case of the fuck it’s lol. It appears to be going around lmao 😛

    4. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

      I don’t care what they tell themselves – it’s not my problem.

      1. Rhyming Fun says:

        Dr. H.Q.

        Thank you for your comment to me; I am not getting notifications of my replies so I have to find them by chance, which is difficult. I am going to work on my Settings and see if it helps.

        I am glad you are on Mr. Tudor’s Blog.



      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Rhyming Fun,

        Aw – thank you!! that is so sweet 😁!

        Hugs 😀

    5. Rhyming Fun says:

      Dr. H.Quinzel,

      You seem like such a strong woman, and I really admire that. I am getting stronger, too, every day.

      I think you could be capable of seeing through Narcissists, standing up to them, and telling them, “No more!”

      I wonder how you got so strong? You are an inspiration to me.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Rhyming Fun,

        Your comment made me smile. I’ve put up with some serious bullshit over the years – different flavors of bullshit with different men. I always tried to be “understanding” – the problem was that I was always too understanding and too accommodating and I was the one who suffered. They never gave me what I wanted. I may have put up with a lot and I can assure you people would look at me like wtf lol but I promise you even when I put up with shit I never just sat there taking it. I always had to fight back. If I was going to suffer – they were going to suffer right there with me. I stopped saying yes and started saying no and fighting and fighting until it was over. I have been in relationships where I have cried every single day for years. I had trouble letting go of things. I was afraid of being alone. I also had to combat boredom – when I get bored I get irritable or depressed so I often used relationships to fill that void.

        I am work in progress. I’m a far more organized mess lol. Something snapped this time around. Something changed. I don’t put up with ANYTHING anymore. I don’t even bother in the mindfuckery because I get so turned off and don’t want to bother engaging.

        I still cry all the time. Shit I cry when I see fucking commercials sometimes. You should see me when I’m hormonal – I’m a hot mess lol. I will say my ex and I would laugh over that. He would stare at me in utter amazement and like confusion at like how easily sometimes I would bust into tears while watching something sad. We would laugh about it – in some weird way it was like he found it kinda cute at times. It was like he was fascinated by it because I could be so cold and so full of fire (I’m not violent though – people usually equate that with me being violent).

        One day you get tired of being taken advantage of and used and getting nothing in return. Now…if I’m not getting something – I have no use for a person. I try to think – would this person do this for me? Would this person do me a favor if I ask them? If the answer is no – I’m fucking done.

        You are much stronger than you think you are.

        I wish I had some miraculous underdog story but I don’t – I have just been taken advantage of for far too long and won’t take another second of it.

      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Rhyming fun,

        The problem is that I always see what is going on. I’m not even joking and that problem sounds insanely stupid and I recognize that. I just become attached and try to find ways to cope with it and make it work and try to rationalize things – I ultimately fuck with my own head and didn’t trust myself when I should have.

      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        I used to say and still do say…(because it serves my own purpose)

        Don’t get sad…get mad.

        My anger and my pride…I’m telling you…it has saved me every single time.

    6. Lori says:

      Or I may just say, I’m going out and be social with my friends since you appear to need your space. love you, bye-bye (door closes shut with me humming a sweet tune as I go) !

  9. Christine Miller says:

    I know this all too well.

  10. JW says:


  11. susan says:

    great insight into what is going on in his mind when he seems aggitated and I just don’t know why.

  12. Dana P says:

    HG… My ex used to give me the silent treatment for 5 days to a week…Is that typical…. I must say though, It was preferable to him speaking his crap!!!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I daresay it was preferable Dana P, the length of the silent treatment depends on its effectiveness and what else is happening in the fuel matrix, therefore it is not something that can really be regarded as typical. What does often happen is that the Absent Silent Treatments get longer.

  13. Deneene says:

    Lol HG! Again I sit in horror as somehow you peered into yet another of my memories, another slice of my life… another moment into my nightmare I called a marriage.
    I actually take some comfort in knowing this exact scenario plays out the same for others, and that I wasn’t alone. Being with a narc is the lonliest existence ever.

    1. WhereIsGod says:

      Deneene, NO LIES TOLD!

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