The Expanded Narcissistic Truths – No. 4


The silent treatment is a well-known and highly effective manipulation that we deploy against our victims. Easy to do, low in energy expenditure, a passive aggressive measure which is the mainstay manipulation of the Mid-Range Narcissist although it will be used by all of our kind. It comes in two varieties; the Present Silent Treatment (we remain physical proximate but ignore you or stay silent and glare at you) or the Absent Silent Treatment where we vanish. The former is excellent at drawing fuel and asserting control whilst the latter achieves both those aims and allows us to take effectively a time out and use that time to court an alternative source, invariably unbeknown to you.

The primary purpose of a silent treatment, like most of our manipulations, is the drawing of fuel from you. You become concerned that we will not speak to you, upset that we are not responding, angry that we remain sat there ignoring you. You are worried that you have not heard from us, distraught at our absence, fuming at our disappearance and whether you are talking to us directly, sending messages, leaving voicemails or turning up at some place where you hope to find us, you are invariably frothing with Proximate Fuel which we lap up. We also benefit from doses of Thought Fuel too.

Whilst that is the instinctive aim of the silent treatment in its many forms from Icy Glare, Cold Shoulder, Incredible Sulk, Invisible Person through to The Ghost, what is actually going through our mind when it is deployed? What is behind the statement above that the use of the silent treatment is our way of killing you?

A silent treatment appears most often as an instinctive manifestation of cold fury as a consequence of you wounding our kind. It may also be used by the higher functioning of our kind as a stand alone measure when there is no wounding and is part of a calculated response designed to further our aims.

Thus the Lesser, whilst far more prone to applying heated fury, is wounded by a perceived criticism and sits silently, staring at the television as his ignited cold fury manifests and you keep providing fuel as you ask him what is wrong. Eventually, the provision of your fuel will heal the wound you have caused and the fury abates and he will just turn and talk to you acting as if nothing has happened. Whilst he is sat there ignoring you his Present Silent Treatment arises because he wishes you dead as a consequence of your traitorous behaviour in criticising him. However, if you are dead then you will not provide fuel and as a consequence this instinctive response is a further example of the contradictory behaviour we engage in, purely to fulfil our needs.

The Lesser wishes you dead. However he also needs your fuel. If you are dead, there is no fuel. Of course, there are occasions where the Lesser loses control and lashes out and actually will kill as a consequence. Where that does not happen, your figurative death is still desired but your fuel must also be gathered. Accordingly, a silent treatment satisfies both of these diametrically opposed consequences. You are treated as dead because you are being ignored but the fuel is still provided.

The Mid-Ranger has a similar instinctive response. He also wishes you dead for your disgraceful and disloyal criticism of him. Of course, he also needs your fuel and given his passive aggressive nature, he is far removed from actually doing something that would kill you. Thus, the silent treatment appeals to him especially. He is not bold enough to drive a knife into you to kill you, so instead he slinks away, coward that he is and slays you through an Absent Silent Treatment. In his mind he satisfies the need to punish you through this ‘death’ yet at the same time he garners fuel from your desperate voicemail messages asking him where he is.

Both the Lesser and especially the Mid-Ranger will use various forms of the Silent Treatment as a means to achieve this killing and it is an instinctive response. The Greater rarely uses the Silent Treatment in an instinctive way. Instead, the Greater recognises its effectiveness from the perspective of using it in a calculated method by which manipulation can be achieved. He will use a brief silent period for the purposes of testing someone, even though he is not wounded. He will decide that somebody needs to learn a lesson in terms of who is in control and whilst he is not wounded, he deems it appropriate to deploy the silent treatment so the victim is subjected to further control. The Greater’s response is not one of wanting you dead; that is the knee-jerk reaction of the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger, that hatred and fury rising as they rail at your audacity in wounding them, their disgust for your craven ways after all they do for you and such is the vitriol towards you that is pumping around their bodies, they wish you dead and the silent treatment is an instinctive way of achieving that whilst catering to the need to exert control and draw fuel. The Greater sees the silent treatment as a way of slaying those elements of your character which you hold dear.

You want to help people. If that person evades you, you cannot help.

You want the truth. If that person has vanished, you can gain no answers to establish why they have done what they have done.

You wish to give them love, but you cannot because they have ghosted you and left you feeling pain instead.

You want to listen and ascertain what the problem is, yet if we will not talk to you, how can you do that?

It is also extremely effective against empathic people. It absolutely gets under the skin of most empathic people. True, there will be some, who, after a time, realise what it is and in turn embrace the respite that comes with such a silence and do not react to it. However, most empathic individuals hate it. They cannot stand the response, the imposition of guilt that it generates, the confusion, the uncertainty caused by a failure to respond (is he just busy or is he ignoring me – a frequent dilemma that causes considerable consternation to the empathic individual ( see Should I Get in Touch )) Accordingly, the Greater knowing just how effective a manipulation this is, will use it as part of his or her ongoing campaign of control as opposed to an instinctive reaction. We Greaters see it as a way to kill your resistance to our control.

The Greater’s approach is one where your various good and empathic traits are denied, frustrated and in effected ‘killed’.

Killing somebody is the ultimate expression of power and control. Life has been taken away. Whilst it cannot be denied that our kind do kill, it is, in the scheme of our numbers, rare. It is also a counter-productive act because if we kill our primary source we lose an excellent provider of fuel and bring about a potential fuel crisis as we have to find a new primary source and usually this must occur quickly. Furthermore, there are of course the potential ramifications arising from the commission of murder, albeit, those considerations are often far from our minds when the act of murder occurs.

We want you dead for your treachery. We want you dead because it is the ultimate expression of power and control. Yet we need you very much alive. The silent treatment satisfies both desires and that is why it is our way of killing you.

Listen to ‘The Expanded Narcissistic Truths – No.4’

21 thoughts on “The Expanded Narcissistic Truths – No. 4

  1. K says:

    Silent treatments did not work with me, it was like a vacation from narc bullshit. Being ignored gave me the opportunity to escape from my parental hell house and be free. And my grandmother’s STs didn’t bother me one bit.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      I know just what you mean K! It was like that saying, “Silence is Golden!” Silent treatments will only work for a narc if you actually want him to talk! 😝

      1. K says:

        Exactly. It was like a glorious respite, WS2!

  2. Maria-Louise Warne says:

    Silent treatment is very effective at controlling people and requires little effort. How true, but how sad these narcissists need to control their co-dependants. How sad they can’t get the love and praise they need by giving love and praise.

    I am in love with a narcissist who changes his mood 4 or 5 times in a day and I am never sure what will come next.

    He is an emotional vampire sapping the life out of me one minute then telling me 100 times he loves me and I deserve better.

    He is now becoming violent and stood laughing as I lay curled up on the floor having been pushed telling me I am a terrible actress and am nothing to him.

    The article was well written they need to feed off you but at times do wish you were dead. Only recently I said the silent treatment is killing me so of course it will be used more and more to control me.

    The more I read about narcissists the more I see how damaged they are and the harm they do to people. I am still in the “I love you let me help you change” phase but at times could happily jump off a bridge to stop the pain. For me the hardest part is my boyfriend is convinced he is normal.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello MLW, thank you. You are correct ; your boyfriend is convinced he is normal, that is the self-defence mechanism of his narcissism.

    2. Tappan Zee says:

      He is now becoming violent and stood laughing as I lay curled up on the floor having been pushed telling me I am a terrible actress and am nothing to him.

      ^ @maria. my script was eerily similar. bless you. i am still untangling. and healing wounds. the truth hurtsz xx

  3. Corinne J Maselko says:

    The silent treatment is not effective on me anymore. And frankly hasn’t been for years.Because over many dysfunctional years of marriage I welcome the silent treatment. In fact it is less stressful for him not to speak to me.I also use it,so I do not have to deal with his nonsense. The times he disappears is also welcome.When he is not around the mood is much more joyful and lighter. The victim of the narcissist can also utilize some of their tactics to their advantage!

    1. WhereisGod says:

      Nothing but truth here!!!

  4. Corinne J Maselko says:

    The impact of

  5. RJ says:

    I hope I don’t know the correct response to this question. What does or doesn’t happen to the narcissist (in their MIND) when they are clearly the reason for someone taking their own life. Wishing someone were dead became the reality. I truly believe they would relished in the attention received and play up the fact that they could say” see they were obviously crazy” and do some blame shifting. Albeit that to actually follow through one has to own their actions.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      See the article “Why Does the Narcissist Want You Dead”.

  6. Windstorm2 says:

    I really agree with what you’ve said here. My exhusband never refused to talk to me at all (at least that I noticed ). but he would often refuse to discuss a certain topic or answer my questions. He would say,
    “I shouldn’t have to tell you.” or “If you really cared about me, you’d already know.”

    I came to the conclusion that he really expected me to be able to read his mind and that this was beyond my limited abilities (confessing this just made him disgusted with my lack of ability). Years later I’d concluded that when he refused to talk about a topic it was because he couldn’t without hurting himself in some way. I still believe this to be true and drop any topic when I see his telltale irritation.

    I can also remember as a child after silent treatments my mother asking me if I’d learned my lesson. Of course I never even knew whatever she’d wanted me to learn and she never explained. Her silent treatments soon ceased to bother me. Maybe that’s why she always was so bitter and sarcastic whenever she did speak to me.

    I can feel people’s emotions, but I can’t tell what they’re thinking. Mindreading is not one of my abilities!

    1. narc affair says:

      Hi windstorm…they really do expect us to know why were being given a silent treatment. To sit down and discuss it they are incapable of bc they are stubborn and too angry to. Also they think they shouldnt have to and we should be punished and know what weve done.
      I think with narcissists if you ignore the ST they eventually come around but with borderlines if you ignore a ST they will get very angry and confront.
      It all goes back to inability to communicate in a healthy manner and respecting the other persons feelings.

  7. narc affair says:

    I think too where silent treatments stem from is inability to communicate. The silent treatment is meant to send a message to the other person that they pissed you off and you better make up for it. The other person is meant to know what they did and read minds. Its far too difficult for the narcissist to sit down and say to the other person this upset me or this made me angry and sort it out. That takes a level of maturity and respect they dont have. The narc feels they shouldnt have to be on the same level and discuss the issue and come up with a solution or understanding. Their ego and fury get in the way of healthy communication instead they have to say it without saying it and getting even at the same time via a silent treatment.
    The silent treatments also a way to see how much the other person cares. If they dont play into it then fury is about to explode bc how dare they not give a shit youre ignoring them! They want to see you upset and caring whats wrong. You have to fix up their wounds by pleading and guessing whats wrong and that douses the fire. If you dont react they will either blow a tantrum to your lack of caring or start to use a different tactic.

    1. Catherine says:

      Hi narc affair, that’s so true! All these horrible silent treatments. They do kill something in your soul; joy, happiness, belief in yourself and in other human beings. To me it’s total humiliation and annihilation. It’s such a dishonest, manipulative way of communicating, not even being accountable for your own anger, projecting it on someone else. Childish. But I guess having to communicate in any other way than in this controlling manner doesn’t serve their purposes.

      My narcissist used silent treatments extensively. It would unfailingly provoke drama from me and there he was, pointing a finger at me, telling me he hated my drama, he thought I was hysterical and then I had to apologise for that. It saddens me now to think of how many apologies I had to offer, while he never ever said he was sorry for anything. It’s painful even to think about it.

      I’m going to run in the future if I meet a man that subjects me to this kind of behaviour. One silent treatment and I’ll be heading for the door. I’m just scared that my perception of reality has been severely damaged and that I will find myself overthinking each and everything in a new relationship, overanalysing everything.

      1. narc affair says:

        Hi catherine…it sounds a lot like gaslighting. Provoking you then turning it around and telling you how crazy youre acting. I was posting about this with gabs. Same tactic. Basically to beat you down and make you subserviant and second guess your perception. Its very insidious abuse. See thru it and know it was gaslighting. You reacting bc of a silent treatment is just natural human emotion and he did it for that very reason to get that reaction.
        Silent treatments hurt. My mother was the queen of silent treatments.

      2. Catherine says:

        You’re right narc affair, he knew exactly what he was doing and second guessed my reaction. I agree, silent treatments are the worst ever. I can’t stand being refused communication because of my mother and her silent treatments. I was stupid enough in the beginning of our relationship to tell him about this..

  8. BurntKrispyKeen says:

    Much appreciated. Thank you.

  9. Windstorm2 says:

    When I first read that silent treatments were a narcs way of killing us, it really upset me – shock, disbelief, anger – the whole 9 yards. I still find it disturbing, but now the pathetic aspect of it stands out more. It is so childish and immature. What type of loser tries to be powerful and in control by being childish? It’s almost as absurd as the incredible sulk! I am very glad my exhusband never did that type of pathetic manipulation with me.

    Now my mother – that’s another story. She did silent treatments all the time. I remember them worrying me and making me cry when I was very small. But after I got to be about 8, I just assumed she was too disgusted with me as a daughter and needed a break. Silent treatments became like little gifts of peace where I could do whatever I wanted without hearing her fuss and complain. I looked forward to them. From that point on, whenever any other narc gives me a silent treatment, I just shrug my shoulders and get on with my life. It’s like they’ve given me a green light to not have to think or worry about them for now.

  10. Caroline says:

    I’m pretty disappointed in myself. I’ve still not been totally trusting my gut. The narcissist I’ve been entangled with *knows* he is a narcissist, and if I’d been listening to myself, I’d have absorbed this reality sooner. I guess the singing telegram and dancing bears were not enough of a tip off — I needed this posting on the silent treatment — like an airplane with “HE’S A GREATER!” streamer behind it.

    But NOW it all, finally, makes sense. I didn’t know why I feel like crying. I really need to toughen up.

  11. Mona says:

    It has an effect until we know what it is. If anyone gives me a silent treatment now or in future, he has to go at once. It is a No-go now. I do not need any answers anymore. I know what kind of treatment will follow in future.
    The funny thing is I gave him a silent treatment for three weeks after our first sex.
    It was because of a different reason, but I am curious, what he might have thought. In his mind it must have been a huge insult and challenging fuel.

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