Should I Get In Touch With the Narcissist?



The creation of anxiety and uncertainty are twin concerns which we engender in much of what we do. Both have the effect of stopping you from doing things, preventing you from analysing matters in an effective way and ultimately from helping yourself to escape our hold. One way of doing this is through the Prior Warning Silent Treatment. Now, it is our usual fashion, when applying a silent treatment not to tell you what we are doing. If it is a Present Silent Treatment, we remain in close proximity to you but we do not speak or respond to you. You soon realise that it is a silent treatment but you were not fore-warned. The Absent Silent Treatment is where we absent ourselves from your presence. We may just walk off, we may leave as expected but then stay away or we may just not turn up when expected and it often is a short while before you realise that you are being subjected to a silent treatment, you just think initially that you cannot contact us or we must be busy and it is only later that you realise we are giving you an  Absent Silent Treatment,

The Prior Warning Silent Treatment relies on telling you that we do not want you to contact us but it is still not immediately obvious that it is a silent treatment that is being meted out towards you. Consider these phrases, for instance: –

“I will be in meetings all day so don’t contact me.”

“I will be sleeping so don’t call me. I will call you when I am ready.”

“There is a poor signal in the area so I will be incommunicado for most of the trip.”

“I need some space for myself, so please don’t get in touch. I will ring you.”

“I have a lot to do today so don’t call or message me.”

They all seem like legitimate reasons for not being in touch for a period of time but when uttered by us what we are really telling you is,

“Time for a silent treatment and I wonder how long you can cope with it?”


The timing of this Prior Warning Silent Treatment is the key to recognising it. First of all, it is less likely that we will say the things above during the seduction unless they are actually true, but there will be a Comforting Caveat attached to the statement. Accordingly,

“I will be in meetings all day so don’t contact me, but I will pop out and give you a call when I get a chance, because you know how much I miss you.”

“I will be sleeping so don’t call me. I will call you about 8 o’clock. If you haven’t heard from me by then, do ring me.”


“There is a poor signal in the area so I will be incommunicado for most of the trip, so I will find a landline on which you can reach me and will let you know what it is as soon as I can. I wish you were coming with me. I hate being apart from you.”


“I have a lot to do today so don’t call or message me, until 1pm please unless of course it is an emergency, but I will message you when I can because I miss you.”

Notice how there is no talk of needing space. This is because we do not want space from you during the seduction, far from it. Indeed, we will reluctantly accept an enforced absence from you during seduction and if possible try to re-arrange appointments and the like to ensure we spend time with you.

The Prior Warning Silent Treatment is doled out during devaluation and when there are specific circumstances. We do this when we know that you have concerns that we are interested romantically in someone else, that we are spending time with someone else and our motives (and theirs) are unclear. In essence, when we are triangulating you (although you probably will not realise this is what is happening) we will issue the PWST. We do this because it enables us to wield power over you by telling you and controlling you in terms of whether are permitted to engage with us. It also means that you are told there will be a silence (although you won’t necessarily know that it is a silent treatment) from the beginning. We know this will cause you to wonder whether the silence is real and thus your anxiety will begin. You will feel uncertain about whether we really are non-contactable and whether we are doing something else. The problem is, we know you only have a suspicion and nothing concrete.

Accordingly, when you know we are apparently uncontactable you wonder who we are with and what we are doing. This makes you anxious. This provides us with fuel even though we do not witness it because we know how you will be feeling. We know that: –

You will be toying with messaging us to see if it is received

You will be toying with messaging us to see if it is read

You want to ring our mobile to see if it actually rings

You want to ring from a withheld number to see if we answer and if you can discern any background noises

You check our social media profile to see if there have been any updates there when we are supposedly unable to contact anyone.

You are torn between wanting to get rid of the anxiety and find out what is really going on and the risk of getting it wrong and upsetting us. You fear that we have an interest in someone else and we are actually spending time with them. If you do not do something, this time is unchallenged. This other person may not know about you but if you get in touch with us and make yourself known, then you are laying down a marker to the other person and possibly warning them away from us. You will also find evidence of us having lied which you will want to use against us. At this stage you have no desire to be rid of us. On the contrary the devaluation is such that you want things to work out and return to the golden period again, but you cannot stand this uncertainty. You wish you could make a decision but what if we have told the truth and you interrupt us in a meeting? Not only will we furious with you, we may well hold it against you in the future (you are damn right we will). But then again, if we are with someone else and perhaps we know that you suspect and you do nothing about it, we might think you do not care and do not want to fight to keep us? It is quite remarkable the effect uncertainty and anxiety can have on someone who is being made to feel steadily more and more insecure.

All the while we are drawing fuel from this. If we have told the truth, we gain fuel knowing you will be anxious. More likely it is a lie and we are either with someone else or just wanting to be away from you. In either instance more fuel is gathered and we exert our control over you by this Prior Warning Silent Treatment. You have the dilemma of whether you should contact us. What would you do?

26 thoughts on “Should I Get In Touch With the Narcissist?

  1. Gracie Mac says:

    Right on target as usual! Being new to all this rigamarole; I’m learning so much. I thought I was the only person in the world going through all of these things; half thinking I was going off the deep end. Funny how HG tells us what is going on in the different circumstances. I remain in awe of his insight to not only the Narcs tactics (but then again, he is one of them); but what’s really amazing is his insight about what our reactions to the tactics are! I guess I have to chalk it up to human nature. Are we all really so much alike in our responses of the manipulations and machinations, so that we tip them off???

  2. ANK says:

    Ha ha, yes. He is away skiing all week. Got a text saying ‘sorry not ignoring you, but difficult to message you from here, no signal and no wifi in the chalet.’ Funny really as I can see he’s on WhatsApp all evening. Wanker.

  3. W says:

    Wasn’t’ ^* (in love) . Typo .

  4. mini duck says:

    I don’t know where i asked this question before as i could not find it now.

    Are there some narcsissists who do not smear their ex-wives or intimate secondary sources? Just to show that they are good natured and decent that they avoid talking bad about others to their secondary sources whom they are not devaluing/seducing or have formal interaction sometimes?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There may be but it is unusual. There will be many who do not think they are smearing of course, because from the Narcissistic Perspective they regard what they are saying about the victim is true.

      1. Melinda says:

        Yes! My ex is talking to anyone who will listen. I have had a graced life in some respects, there are a lot of people envious of me, my material success, physical looks? So, he likes to talk to my ‘enemies.’ Ruining my reputation, assassinating my character. My narc truly hated me at times. He wanted everything I had. So, HG, your right on again.

  5. W says:

    i dunno HG, since I discovered your site, I haven’t even thought about the narc much, nevermind the lesser narc I ditched a few months ago. The only time I think of either of them is when a random thing they said or did comes to mind and I can see how obviously narc abusive it was.

    I think you cured me

    Ps the most recent told me once his mind is always going in five different directions at once. Sounds like your “triple tack” gig.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are making good progress by having reduced the emotional infection to a low level. Well done. Keep it there – the way to do so is to maintain GOSO.

      1. W says:

        I want in love with either of them.
        The lesser narcoholic, was a drinking relationship. Once I stopped drinking, there was no draw.
        The UMR , I was starting to fall in love when I was candidate IPSS, but then he went with the other candidate IPSS and shelved me and THAT sucked, and I clung on, but I stopped falling in love cuz I knew he wasn’t what I thought (tho I didn’t know what he was,then). It dragged on but I was looking to get out and your consult and info just sealed the deal.
        I don’t feel sad, bad, mad, nothing. Relieved, mainly. And I build up a support network before I ditched so that has helped a lot, I’m busy, I’m unburdened, it’s all good.

        Two weeks NC and still no Hoover, I knew he had another IPSS on the line anyhow , so I’m guessing that’s keeping him busy.

        GOSO is absolutely the way to go.

  6. Patricia J says:

    And then..after the silent treatment, he would call with sexy suggestions. He would butter it up.
    I would oooh and awwwwyyy. He would say I will leave the door open..come over at nine.

    Then, at 8:59 p.m. I would text and say can’t make it. Goodnight!

    Sad thing is, he probably texted the next one.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He probably did and the fact you recognise that, is important.

    2. sarabella says:

      And we all think with feminism, women faired better with ownership of our sexuality. I swear, being told we control our own financials and life only trained so many women to allow narcs to put little into their efforts with you. Not that SOME narcs don’t invest and invest deeply, but there are some narcs who never do and “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” seems to apply to far too many. I know, not so modern, but I think its allowed more men to behave as full blown narcs and it actually, taught women to dimish their expectations in a world that really didn’t change that much when it comes to patriarchy. Just a thought I toy with sometimes and your post just reminded me of that thought.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Mine ex used to do it but I never wondered if he is with another woman. I always knew he does it on purpose, to make me insecure, to punish me, to manipulate me, to let me know he does not want me, to cheapen me, to provoke me to chase him. And the problem was it didn’t work on me rhe way he wanted – because I knew he wants me to chase him I didn’t do it. Just acted like nothing happened, watching this relationship falling apart, hurting in silence.

    I don’t know if other women chase the narc in this situation but I was too proud for that. It feels like training a dog. Gosh. This relationship was a nightmare. So glad it is over. And poor his new supply.

  8. Empress1 says:

    Do not get in contact- then after the silent treatment take twice as long as the silent treatment lasted to reply to their call(s). There will be calls once they want to see us- repeated and sometimes every five minutes—
    wait!!!! Let them stew! Then, sound very happy to hear from them, you have been terribly busy– and you miss them…. smile when you say this it changes the timbre of your voice!!! Do NOT ask them any questions about what they have been doing- just talk about yourself and how wonderful the last little while was…….

    1. MH says:

      I read a good metaphor some years ago: At first you see a snake, pick it up and play with it and get bitten. When you’re a little better, you see a snake, recognize it for what it is, and pick it up and play with it anyway. When you’re all better, you see it and leave it alone.
      I would have to wonder which is the more worrisome stage- the first or playing with it anyway?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Valid points.

      2. Melinda says:

        Playing with it anyway. The first you dont know whats going to happen.

    2. Somewhere over the rainbow says:

      When you truly reached the conclusion that leaving is the best (possible) way, you are not interested in looking back! All else is moving in circles, getting nowhere (or, to be more precise, always in the same place= a hoover).

  9. Lori says:

    Wow. This happened to me as a long distance ipss more times than I can count. Now it all makes sense

  10. Challenge Fuel says:

    I have a follow up situational question to this one….

    “You want to ring from a withheld number to see if we answer and if you can discern any background noises”

    I have definitely toyed with this idea. Withholding my number on purpose when I call him during the times he ignores my calls JUST to see if he answers. However if he were to answer and realize it was me and did not want to talk, I often wonder how he would react. Would he flip his shit to “reinforce” his “superior” attitude? Just hang up when realizing it is me and feign some excuse? I know you say your kind always has to be in control. Answering an unknown number does not equal you being in control right?

    This is a test I have debated doing for awhile and now that I have read this article it just makes me wonder even more what will happen if I “challenge” him by blocking my number from the caller ID?

    1. Melinda says:

      I called his mobile, it went to his answering machine. I left a message. He texted me. Started the love bombing again. I wasnt expecting the royal treatment . . . . I wanted to relieve my anxiety and talk to him. It was very foolish.
      I should just let it ALL go . . . learn to cut my loses, ‘know when to fold ’em, know when to run.’

    2. MB says:

      I got up the nerve to do it one time after he stopped talking to me or answering any communications for a year and 1/2. He answered, but once he realized it was me, he said hello, hello, hello like there was bad reception and then hung up. Didn’t call back or anything. Must not have been Hoover time or I would’ve triggered one with that stunt! I don’t recommend it. No matter the reaction, I can’t see it being a good one. It will just hurt your feelings.

  11. Melinda says:

    HG FORBIDS IT !!!! From now on, I’m listening to the Greater. I wanted to rid myself of anxiety so I called his mobile. He no longer had me blocked (I asked him to block me and to help me with the No Contact becuz we agreed our relationship was toxic. It didn’t last long before he opened up the floodgates I’m sure cuz he knows me too well.) It was the same old sing and dance. Now I’m bored with it . . . he would have to up his game

    1. sarabella says:

      Its been a while since I thought of it, but I remember the days when it was in the this of it all. I used to pick fights with him and then tell him to block me. Just go ahead, do it. Gawd. How many times I taunted him to do it, to cut me off, since he didn’t care, then he needed to just disappear. He never did. Finally, it was at the point of no return and he finally did. Then of course, I had the opposite reaction. What a horrible awful toxic mess.

      1. Melinda says:

        Thank you, Sarabella. You gave me hope. Sounds like when he finally roadblock me, etc. I guess I’ll be going through a temporary withdrawal from the toxicity phrase?? It takes up too much of my time, think about him all my waking hours.

  12. Kathleen says:

    LOL 😂🤣 I love this one. The picture and the explanation. I’m able to laugh about it now because I’m no longer cuffed to my phone – wondering and worrying… but the narcissists machinations are actually kinda funny to me now for some reason. Like – so obvious. I identified with this article quite a bit — thanks HG. I cracked up at the line about interrupting in a meeting-the (damn right we will) don’t know why- just hilarious- predictable-

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