Six Silent Soul Destroyers

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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 silent 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 silent 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 you 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 hoovering 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 stands 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 it 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.

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26 thoughts on “Six Silent Soul Destroyers”

      1. As soon as you chase they lose even more interest in you and the silent treatment lasts longer bc you fed them nourishing fuel and let them know their tactics working.

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      2. HG
        What does chasing do?
        I see it as doing one of two things prolonging and/or disengagement is in the making.

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      3. Provides fuel. Reinforces the success of the manipulation. Underlines control. Instills false hope in the victim as they may receive a Respite Period and therefore think their perseverance worked (it was the fuel that worked, not their attempt to resolve the issue).

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      4. HG

        If they don’t respond to the silent treatment, you change tactics Or do you just jump to disengagement (if you have already have a candidate line up)

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      1. Exactly make like you dont notice it and are carrying along with your life thatll really get under the narcs skin

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  1. I am currently in this situation. I still live with him though we are not together. He has been using the absent silent treatment mainly for over a month. The only interactions I have with him are either to tell him that I know who and what he is doing or for him to ask a seemingly innocent question only to turn it into a rage session for him including name calling, walking away from me. Every thing he does it geared toward destroying me. I know he has a new supply I can feel it. He lies and tells me that there is no one, but I know better. He wouldn’t let anyone in his property to help me move heavy furniture but insists on doing it himself. Control issues I guess. Each interaction with him is painful. I’ve never seen such contemp and hatred in my life and I cannot help myself but call him out on it. I’m not sure how to preserve my sanity and deal with him for the next week I’m here. Part of me wants to block him from social media and my phone. Since I’m still here, I’m afraid of what he will do to me. He has me confused as to how I should handle him because any interaction he shows his hatred of me

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  2. I got the disappearing act and not answering of phone for years. Never got the silent treatment when she was around. If ever questioned about it would fly of the handle. Got told I was being controlling

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  3. I’m in a long silent treatment slash discard now but I don’t know why I always feel him around me watching me commenting on me criticizing me praising me evaluating me I know that sounds psychotic but it’s how I feel I must be bat shit crazy

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    1. Not at all kimmi. This is exactly what they do to us. They create ever presence which takes a long time and self healing to get over. Never think you’re crazy, you’re not at all. Just likely going through complex ptsd.

      Massive cyber hug to you xxx

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    2. Kimmichaud,

      I very much doubt that you are bat shit crazy. But that feeling does make you feel like that. They seem to have an instinct of what to say to mess with your head. HG does tell you how they do it in many of his articles, but you may want to look up Stockholm Syndrome and Brainwashing. The constant build up and break down of the psyche with words is programming of the human mind and emotions.

      I found myself laughing at his voice in my head, at the things that it said, before it faded to a whisper.

      It is still there, though, however faint.

      Perse

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    3. Kim,

      No, you’re not crazy! You were engulfed by a Narcissist! They worm their way into your heart and mind and continue to feast there long after they are physically gone. I’ve had no contact with my Nex-husband for over 15 years and I can still hear a few of his criticisms. He haunts me still…

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    4. Kim,

      I’m reading HG’s “Exorcism: Purging the Narcissist from Heart and Soul.” He details exactly how and why the Narc purposely creates this conditioning in the victims. It’s very enlightening! Should have read this one long ago!

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      1. Thanks I really need to order some of his books and it’s good to know I’m not the only one this happened to really want to read this one

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      2. Kim

        Do you have a kindle or the app on a device?
        If so you can go through amazon and have his books downloaded, if I remember correctly the charge was inexpensive and you have access to all of his books. I believe the first month is free to.

        Lol you also have access to it now and not (in my case) become frustrated because snail mail loses your book.

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      3. Lol I had the free month of Kindle before and didn’t realize I needed to cancel got billed about nine months before I noticed I hot a partial refund my fault for never checking my debit card statements I do now lol

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  4. I’m living 1 and 2 right now, and I do believe that I won’t be hoovered in any significant way again. I have ignored significant events in his life, and refused his BS hoovers. I finally set up boundaries for myself. While it is painful, kind of like having a tooth pulled….hurts like hell now, but will be healthier in the long run. I know it is necessary for me to have what I want in my life….a real relationship.

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  5. HG is absolutely right. I made the fatal mistake of going out for dinner with my ex. The minute I made it be understood that I was willing to try to resolve our issues things were twice as bad as before. Never go back to these people it will be even worse than before trust me

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  6. I made a point to never be silenced – oh and I wasn’t no matter how much he tried. He hated it. He never knew the extent of this lack of silence. i made sure everyone knew from day 1 what was going on and never ever shut my mouth. My friends and family knew most of what was going on – some more than others. He couldn’t just treat me like that and think I would sit in silence – it’s not in my DNA.

    When I do choose silence it speaks so much more than any of my words. It usually means I’ve clocked out or it’s the calm before the storm.

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