Questioning The Silence : FAQs About Silent Treatment


Many of our victims find the implementation of a silent treatment one of the most troubling and upsetting manipulations that is applied. In part, it is its sheer simplicity that has such an effect. We do not have to expend much energy, we can implement it in an instant and it is something which is used by all three schools of narcissist, though of course it is the calling card of the passive aggressive Mid-Range narcissist. This oft used tactic of ours leaves people bewildered, hurt and upset. Whether it is a present silent treatment where we act as if you are invisible even though we are in the same room as you or an absent silent treatment where we disappear without notice and to who knows where, you are left trying to contact us, worried, angry and frustrated.

Accordingly, this gives rise to those who have been affected by those silent treatments and those still suffering the iciness of their implementation now having a number of questions about this silent killer. Here are some of the main questions and the answers you require.

How long will a silent treatment typically last?

This depends on whether it is a present silent treatment or an absent one. The former will last for a shorter duration. It may just be half an hour, it may be a few hours. It is rare for a present silent treatment to extend into the next day following an overnight hiatus, but it can happen. The reason it usually does not is that because of our tendency to compartmentalise when sleep intervenes it is as if the reset button has been pressed. We rise and leave behind what had happened yesterday and we will greet you as if nothing has happened. You can therefore usually rely on the fact that it most cases the present silent treatment, unpleasant as it is, will only last until we fall asleep.

A present silent treatment may well end before that because its primary purpose is to gain fuel from you. We want you to follow us around, repeatedly asking us what is wrong, we want you upset, we want you demanding answers, flapping about us and apologising for things you have not done. It is all fuel and once we feel fuelled then we will snap out of the silent treatment and speak to you, lapping up the relieved fuel that you provide to us since it is at an end. Usually the silent treatment will be applied because you have wounded us and therefore it will take until the wound has healed and the ignited fury has abated before the silent treatment will end. Accordingly, if you lay on the fuel thick and fast, the silent treatment is likely to end sooner.

With the absent silent treatment, this serves a dual purpose. Firstly it is to gain fuel but it is also used to allow us to spend time with or cultivating through telephone calls and texts a prospective replacement for you. The dual provision of fuel from you as the worrying incumbent primary source and the secondary source (or sources) which we are engaging with should result in any wound we have sustained being addressed fairly quickly. However, the absent silent treatment will continue because of the need to interact with other sources, most notably the one which is being cultivated as a replacement.

You should also keep in mind that if your narcissist is a Mid-Ranger or a Greater, then the absent silent treatment will lengthen each time it is used. If it was three days last time, it will now be more than three days. This is done in case you become complacent and think

“Oh he has gone off on one of his sulks. They usually last a weekend. I will just get on with things until he returns.”

accordingly, if you are not trying to contact us, then we will push the silent treatment for a longer period so you become concerned and begin to think

“It is four days now, he has never done this before. I should find out if he is okay.”

and thus you contact us and begin to fuel us once again.

How long do we expect the victim to run after us?

This is a straightforward one to answer. We expect you to run around after us at all times. You belong to us and you are under our control and obligated to us. We expect you to be texting and calling us, asking our friends where we are, trying to locate us, appearing at our house (if we do not live with you) knocking on the door and doing all you can to speak to us. We regard you as the ones who are in the wrong and you are obliged to chase after us in the forlorn hope of putting matters right.

What happens if the victim stops his or her reaction to the silent treatment?

This is certainly the way to deal with a present silent treatment. If you do not react to it and get on with something else, we see that it is not working and as a consequence we will halt the present silent treatment. In some instances this will cause us to shift tack and seek to draw positive fuel from you and therefore we will be pleasant to you. We may completely forget we have just been stood glaring at you as we lay on the charm again, but not reacting can cause this shift in our response.

Alternatively, we will just move to a different manipulation in order to draw the fuel from you because the wound that you have caused has not yet been addressed. The nature of the manipulation may increase in intensity. On other occasions your refusal to provide fuel (either from the present silent treatment and/or the shift to a different manipulation) will cause us to withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere. Thus you may find that there is an absent silent treatment instead.

If you do not react to an absent silent treatment, we will soon come slinking back. Whilst there may be a prospective primary source to court, we also want you chasing after us and as a consequence of that if you are not repeatedly calling us or trying to reach us, after a day or two of not hearing from you, we will want to know what you are doing. We have a need to know what is happening because we equate knowledge with control. This means that once you stop chasing us, we want to know why you are not doing so. Your halting your chasing will not cause wounding because we have gained fuel from the other sources we are interacting with and instead we want to return like the regal monarch we believe we are, sweeping back in and expecting you to fall to your knees in grateful deference to us.

Accordingly, if you want to bring an absent treatment to an end, simply do not react. Do not chase after us, do not ring or text, hard as it may be and we shall re-appear soon enough. You have stopped providing fuel and we want to know why.

Do we expect the victim to remain faithful even though they have not heard from us in weeks?

But of course. You are our property. It is perfectly permissible for us to vanish and gad about with other people and ignore our commitment to you, but you are not allowed to seek comfort and solace anywhere else. This again accords with our sense of compartmentalisation. We will carry on with what we want to do and expect time to stand still with you so that when we do decide to reappear, everything should be as we left it.You are bound to us and expected to respond when we return to you, lavishing us with positive fuel in accordance with our inflated sense of importance.

Do we think about you during an absent silent treatment?

We do of course when you are contacting us because we are drinking up the Proximate Fuel from the emotional content of your text messages, voice mails and seeing you knocking haplessly at the front door as we stand watching you through the spy hole. We also gain Thought Fuel from considering that you are missing us, wondering where we are, crying yourself to sleep and so forth.

Even if you fail to respond during an absent silent treatment and we are engaged with other sources, we will be wondering why you are not responding. This is not a discard, hence there is no deletion of you from our minds, but rather the need to be considering what you are doing for the purposes of both fuel and control.

What if the tables are turned and you give us the silent treatment?

This is ignoring us. We hate that. This is a criticism, we are wounded and our fury will be ignited. The Lesser will lash out at you to break the silence, the Mid-Range will dole out the pity plays and the guilt trips to break it and the Greater will lay on the charm. If you resist any of these responses we will be forced to withdraw and seek fuel from another source to address the wound that you have caused through ignoring us as a consequence of your silent treatment.

92 thoughts on “Questioning The Silence : FAQs About Silent Treatment

  1. analise13 says:

    Hello HG.

    I posed questions a few months back to yourself
    and several other readers.
    On the difference between a shelving/disengagement
    and a silencing/ corrective devaluation of IPSS.
    I am unable to see if they are still moderation.
    I know they were still being moderated last month.
    I have not received replies yet through WP
    and do not see them posted in this article yet.
    Thank you in advance for your assistance
    And the good work you do here.

  2. Lori says:

    if you are ipss and a narc doesn’t have you totally blocked (only on fb) and fails to respond to you. The Narc is giving you a corrective devaluation (via absent silent treatment) not disengagement?

    HG do I understand this correctly?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Correct, assuming the narcissist knows about the other channels which have not been blocked.

      1. Lori says:

        OK you won’t believe this wait yes you will lol. I reach out to test these facts of yours. He waits a little while to respond. He says we should not talk because I will always ask about our former relationship. I say ok I understand I was just saying hi I’m happy to be friends and say hi every now and the next then make some small talk friendly but neutral then bam he blocks me. This was a second profile I had for anonymity. So now both fb are blocked

        He has yet to block me on his phone. Is that still corrective devaluation?

        I shouldn’t reach out it’s been several weeks and in reality I don’t much care, but I can’t help but test your info lol. It’s fascinating to test to see if you are right

        So still corrective ?

      2. Mag says:

        HG… I need to understand a situation with a narc colleague.. He seduced me. Wanted me as an intimate secondary source. We had to work on a project together. I descovered he is a passiv agressiv.. So he started to be very slow at work on purpose… I became mad… And wrote him a mail… I wounded him… He decided to stop the project without a possibility to speak the situation together. He started a silent treatment… He doesn t block me… Sometimes he answers a nasty thing.. And sometimes nothing… Is it a silent treatment or a discard ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You should organise a consultation so I can acquire more information and provide you with an accurate response.

    2. analise13 says:

      Thank you Lori.
      I had posed questions on the differences
      and times frames between the two, as well
      To Hg and Shelf Fuel.

      1. Lori says:

        You’re welcome I think a lot of us especially have questions on this particular manipukation because there are more factors it’s seems with ipss and shelf and what not that differ from ipps.

        I asked HG a follow up question I’m hoping he will get to that’s still awaiting moderation. I think it will clear up some questions regarding their favorite weapon the Facebook block. They seem to wield that like a sword yet in my case didn’t block from his phone. I mean what was the damn purpose ? Lol is it a a stiffer form of correction does he think he disengaged?

        These are little nuances that non Narcs don’t get and only HG knows

        1. analise13 says:

          Thank you Lori.
          I look forward to reading your question and Hg answer.
          Yes, Fb is quite the weapon
          in their communication arsenal.
          I have quite a few questions awaiting moderation
          To HG and other posters too.
          I will keep checking back to see if posted.

  3. Kim says:

    HG. How would a MMRN react if he ran into a SIPSS, say at a bar and she was with a male?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Depends on his fuel levels and whether the SIPSS is viewed as white. Also, who is the male – a stranger or someone known to the narcissist?

      1. Kim says:

        HG. The male with the SIPSS is unknown to the MMRN. The SIPSS is viewed as white.
        Thank you

      2. kim says:

        Hi HG. I replied before but never got an answer. The SIPSS is painted White and the male is a stranger to the narc.
        Thank you

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It would assist me if you re-stated the question to save me having to go back and find what you are referring to.

          1. kim says:

            MAY 5, 2018 AT 20:06
            HG. How would a MMRN react if he ran into a SIPSS, say at a bar and she was with a male?

            HG Tudor
            MAY 8, 2018 AT 01:08
            Depends on his fuel levels and whether the SIPSS is viewed as white. Also, who is the male – a stranger or someone known to the narcissist?

            Sorry HG. I thought I replied to your reply.
            The SIPSS is painted White and the male is a stranger to the MMRN.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Thank you.

            The MMRN is likely to be polite to both for the purposes of maintaining the facade and drawing positive fuel. He would be seeking to ascertain who the stranger is and whether he is some kind of threat. There is a risk that if the stranger acts in a familiar or intimate way with the SIPSS the MMRN would be wounded and his fury would ignite.

          3. kim says:

            If I am sitting in a bar with a male, the MMRN can dang well be sure he is a threat. As a matter of fact he is probably my new IPPS……

          4. Julie says:

            HG… this made me think of an incident. What would go through a greaters mind if you escaped and even if it had been 7-8 months NC and they see a unfamiliar car in your driveway which is clearly a masculine type car. Even if when the greater has his own new supply secured? Shit got real at that point, i can say that. Im curious as to what the heck that man thought. Being your the greatest greater of them all Ill ask you.

            Asking for a friend of course ha ha

          5. HG Tudor says:

            What’s a masculine type car? Is there such a thing?

            The drive past might be an indirect physical hoover anyway in the expectation of being seen. The appearance of what might be a competitor would not unduly cause a Greater concern but rather cause him to want to find out more with the possibility of derailing the relationship and drawing on two lines of fuel, subject as ever to further Hoover Triggers and the hoover Execution Criteria being met.

          6. NarcAngel says:

            Re:masculine cars

            Lets start with not a Mini Cooper……

          7. Julie says:

            NA.. definitely NOT a mini.. or a vw bug.
            Masculine = f150 or similar
            Or something blacked out and dark paint job. Sporty yet screaming sexy AF. Yea, masculine lol
            (Dont forget the Harley sticker in the back window)

          8. Clarece says:

            Or a VW Bug with flowers in the vase next to the steering wheel…

          9. Julie says:

            HG.. yes there is a masculine car haha . Chrysler 300s totally blacked out with all the bells & whistles. Or similar. Lol!

            Well you hit that right on the head about derailing. Thats what happened. Greater minds think alike lol!
            And thank you for answering. I know you are a busy man.

          10. HG Tudor says:

            You are welcome.

          11. Kate says:

            Masculine car type- I drove one. Fast. Loud. Stick. Sports car.

            Not masculine – what a guy who told me he was “an alpha male” drove – a powder blue Mom van.

          12. Julie says:

            he sounds like a legend in his own mind ha ha
            Powder blue mini van=not hot for a guy . Did he wear skinny jeans and have a man bun too lol.

  4. Kat says:

    Here’s a fun comment for HG Tudor and his audience! My narc used the silent treatment in the car after he had just accused me of using one on him. It was bizarre and I was angry!!! So, when I drove us back into the neighborhood at 4 in the morning, I intentionally started driving erratically and swerved like a maniac! I drove faster and faster! Boy did I extract fuel but not as he expected! He was REALLY scared, yelling, swearing and crying for me to stop! It was I who had the upper hand! He NEVER used the silent treatment again! PS…..I always drove because this guy had no licence. Six months later, I went no contact.

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Kat,

      I lived with a Mid-Ranger about three years ago. He had a SUV, but “princess” insisted that I drive him around in my car because he was so tired (awww, boo-boo!) from driving himself around all day! Poor baby! He also had me drive around his three daughters when we saw them. Mr Cheapskate sat on his ass when it was time to pay for the gas I used to drive him and his children around – message received.

      Anyway, a MAN always drives.

      1. Kate says:

        To further clarify my opinion..

        Not only does a man do the driving,
        he is NOT driving MY car, and
        he is in the driver’s seat of his OWN car!!!

      2. Morning sun says:

        In my car, I drive. I’m good at it and I enjoy it. If it’s a joint car, we switch up. To each their own. 🙂

  5. /iroll says:

    How to defeat the mighty dragon? Ignore it and it will go away, children 😉

    1. Julie says:

      Fruit flies.

  6. Lori says:

    Like everyone else I have a question on this. I am ipss Mr. Lesser blocked me on fb but I’m pretty sure not on his phone and also left another avenue of communication open however not a word and no unblocking nor I have I made contact in 3 weeks. I assume I’m not disengaged according to your articles. Prior to this last blow up, I was getting classic signs of being shelved had have received many corrective devaluations. Is this a silent treatment corrective devaluation, shelving, disengagement or something else ?

  7. Insatiable Learner says:

    Hello Shelf Fuel, that’s right. I have left him alone since October. I figured since he asked for space, I would honor his request. If he wanted to talk, he would have contacted me himself. He never gave me silent treatment and always responded to my contact with enthusiasm, politeness, and seeming appreciation. Yes, “seeming” since who knows what was truly going through his head.
    Hi Lori,
    Not sure if your comment was addressed it me. Sounded like it was. According to HG, I am on the shelf, which is still a form of disengagement if you think about it. I have never been blocked.

    1. Lori says:

      Actually that was a question for HG but thanks for responding. Good for you not contacting. Great will power! Contact with them is no good but learning about this pathology is fascinating

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thanks so much, Lori! I appreciate your encouragement and support!

    2. I was not blocked either. It was certainly threatened MANY times though! Threatened but never followed through with.

  8. Shelf Fuel says:

    Re the person who posted about silent treatment vs. shelving.

    I have followed all the articles about this and it is something that still causes my overthinking to take off and my head to start spinning. And since I am long distance I never know if it really is an ST or just being on the shelf. The ignoring just kind of blurs together and they both (ST and the shelf) just kind of become one and the same. It is so difficult to calm down many times. I will get anxious, my heart and mind will race, I will get these feelings of helplessness. And then when he does reach out I feel better for a little while but after another week or so it kind of repeats itself again when I reach out and my messages just kind of float into oblivion.

    As far as the crumbs go, there are times I get crumbs and then there are times I do not get crumbs. I have noticed more and more lately that when I reach out politely I tend to not get crumbs. It is when I am sarcastic or snarky and tell him that his silence hurts or whatnot (I guess that equates to “challenge fuel”) then I will usually get a crumb tossed back with some excuse as to why he is not available. Or a promise of when we will communicate on the phone again.

    After our calls, he will say things like “find me later and we can continue our conversation” etc. but when I do he goes silent like clockwork pretty much. He will ignores my texts and follow ups. For up to about 2 weeks on average. Then he will toss some crumbs around and promise another time we can talk on the phone. He always keeps his word when says he will call. And it always lovely when he does but then after it’s silence/shelf and the whole entire situation just kind of repeats itself.

    I just felt like sharing my experience.

    1. Quasi says:

      Thank you for sharing this SF.
      I think you have got him quite well worked out. There is a timing pattern of behaviour, known responses to certain provocation. I guess the challenging ones highlight to him how much he is affecting you.
      He looks to be conditioning you with shelving and what feels like silence , as he has evidence that it’s effective, and the 2 week cycles of interaction reinforce everpresence.

      On reflection I was being conditioned in a similar way, but it was more when I had not contacted him. If I had not made contact with him within 2 weeks he would put out bait on social media to put himself in my mind, be that triangulation or music he knows I would normally tick a like for. Or he might send a Random thumbs up on messenger to see if I respond and then ignore said response.

      Later into the “friendship” (haha) I was very purposefully not making contact so his baits were more direct sharing into my fb wall. In a hello I’m here !!!! Kind of way.

      I took some time to do a timeline from when we met to the point of disengagement, I have quite an analytical mind and I like to see if there’s are patterns within information. My narcissist very much followed a pattern in relation to time, and his behaviours.

      Keep you head up SF, and try to look towards loving you first !

      1. Shelf Fuel says:

        Yeah that pretty much explains it. I think the fucker had a 6th sense about him because today he finally texted me back and said “Please relax okay? We will talk next week, I will call you next week” ….. just like clock work. I simply replied “Okay then, guess we will see about that, until then…” I am testing him yet again as usual. And he 99% of the time he follows through and calls when he says he will. And then my anxiety and annoyance go away for a little while until he ghosts me and disappears again for another 1-3 weeks. I swear sometimes I think he is a robot or something.

      2. Shelf Fuel says:

        Oh and was looking him up on messenger and I accidentally hit that stupid thumbs up button!!!!! He read it immediately. I apologized and played it off like it was an accident and then I began a conversation and asked how he was doing. Those messages were never marked as read. Big shock! (EYE ROLL)

    2. analise13 says:

      Hi Shelf Fuel

      I understand your confusion.
      As essentially to me they are the same thing,
      As both involve no communication.
      Both are initiated and ended by narcissist.
      Except HG states being on the shelf you are taking off more often
      and given comfort crumbs while there.

      I think the only real difference, is how the narcissist views the person.
      Shelf= painted white/ narcissist playing elsewhere
      Silent treatment =painted black/ corrective devaluation
      But both can be for extended periods.

      Sometimes one can be on a shelf longer
      Then a silent treatment might last.

      Both are anguish for the person silenced or shelved.
      The waiting.
      The not knowing,
      the self blame.

      It must be horrible to be on-the receiving end.
      Knowing there is nothing you can do to end it.
      Attempting communication only serves to show
      you have not come to heel, as Hg says.
      And won’t end it.
      Staying away.
      Distresses you in the unknown.

      The best would be to know when it happens,
      silent treatment or shelving.
      When communication stops on their end.
      To focus elesehwere from the narcissist.
      Knowing he will return at some point.
      With the Hoover, unshelving or unsilencing.
      Better yet, use the shelve and silence to plan
      Your escape and go no contact.
      So when they return again,
      they won’t find you waiting.

    3. Mini duck says:

      Mine Narc did the same. Even if he was active on messenger, my messages to him was not read. After some minutes he would disappear. Sometimes he would answer them and sometimes not after some hours or next day. I think if he was active on messenger via phone, he can read them as new messages popes up. without opening the messenger. Just to show you that he has not read them, he won’t confirm reading them by opening messenger app. He can say that he logged off. He want to show you that he reads when he wants to read them and not when you want him to read them. Pure arrogance. This is my theory as mine behaved the same.

      1. Mini Duck….
        Wow same cloth and all! Everything is always the same. He must have muted me on messenger because month later and he still has not “read” the message.

    4. Lori says:

      Shelf fuel

      I have a question for you. I’m asking in a thougt prevoking way. Why are you reaching out to him? When you contact what are you hoping to attain? Do you feel you have a future with him? Is it pure addiction ? What is behind the urge to contact?

      I ask this because the addiction is something I have struggled with. I have an addictive personality whether it’s Diet Coke or the Narc. I think a lot Codepebdents do,

      I am curious as to what you think it is that drives you’ve to contact. That anxiety you feel is definitely a sign of addiction but I’m curious to hear what you thought is on why you feel the urge to contact

      1. Lori,
        I do not mind your questions. I reach out because I miss him, I love him, and when there are the moments when he’s not a flip flopping contradiction factory I enjoy communicating with him. It makes me happy, we have the best conversations. When I am with him it is butterflies. Yeah I am sure that addiction is part of it. He is intoxicating.

        I do not see having a future with him, no. At least not one that is not a secret. He says he will not leave his wife but yet he does not want to write me off completely. (aka: he wants to have his cake and eat it too). He offers his friendship (even though intimacy still comes along with it). When I do not hear from him after a little while I tend to get very anxious. When I reach out I feel better. When he reaches out I feel better. And so on.

    5. Mini duck says:

      He must be deleting your messenger conversation from time to time to keep the history clean as HG mentioned in one of his articles. Thus all those appears as not read get deleted “without being read” (by clicking on it) but he must have read them also when they poped up initially.

      I understand your addiction. When a narc take so much pain to become a masterpiece of communication and social darling, then he shines out compared to others. Lori is right when she says that we may found normal people boring compared to them. He is what media portrays as charming, attractive and a real man on the surface. Thus subconciously you are attracted to his false self but he is a prize to treasure as you have not witnessed such intellect and charm before.

      Maybe if you can find someone else – male / female with whom you can have a better conversation, it will help you to forget him slowly. A different type of addiction that is not harmful to you can kill your addiction of him.

  9. Becoming Observant says:

    Do narcissists have neuroses? Obsess about their targets? Or is it easy to mentally block off a person they have pursued?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There are the obsessions – fuel and malice.

  10. Becoming Observant says:

    If a target were to “vaguebook” a link to an article about common tools of a narcissist, adding a caption “red flags of toxic people”, how predictable the behaviors are (listing out word salad, projection, silent treatment), and how boring it is, would this shorten or lengthen a silent treatment? Or cause disengagement? Asking for a friend…😂

  11. Ady says:

    Hi HG

    As I m doing lot of reading on the subject of what I got myself into ( and ” hopefully” out ) I often stumble across reads viewing the Narc as naively chasing its tail, searching for the super woman/man , the ideal love….. But never finding it due to its emotional IQ of a 5 year old. therefore moving from one failed relationship to another. Oooh so romantic !!!
    And then I have you , rocking my world with your so entertaining Narc Anatomy and Physiology / Politics , having me to understand “your kind ” as DELIBERATELLY aiming to suck, pinch and push buttons for the sake of maintaining the high, which I m more inclined to believe by the way.
    But I wonder what is your stance on this? Are you yearning for love ( or whatever the word represents to you)?in other words, is that ” love ” what drives you?

    By the way …… Two months of no contact and proud of it !

  12. analise13 says:

    HG, at what point does an absent silent treatment
    Become a shelving?
    Or do all shelvings start off as absent silent treatments?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Shelving is not a silent treatment.

      1. analise13 says:

        HG, I read your above reply, so shelving gets comfort crumbs always?
        To keep appliances holding on and hoping for their return.

        So, if no comfort crumbs.
        It is a silent treatment?

        How many days without comfort crumbs would determine such.
        Two days, a week, etc

        Because to the person being shelved it would feel like a silent treatment.
        So. Unless ignored by narcissist for a determined period of time.
        It will be a-shelving?

        HG, would this be correct assessment of the two types of manipulations:

        Shelf= painted white/ comfort crumbs/ taken off and on to engage with
        Silent treatment = painted black/ no words of assurance / left in silence till painted white again

  13. Queen 3 says:

    Hi HG! Does this article speak to the narcissist and just the IPPS or does the silent treatment apply to the IPSS in the same fashion? If it is different for the IPSS please explain what that looks like and why it happens.

  14. Kim says:

    HG. Do ST apply to sipss also?

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Kim says:

        If we are on the shelf how do we know we are being given the st and the narc is just not engaged elsewhere?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You will not receive any comfort crumbs.

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        HG, your answer to Kim’s question regarding how we know we are being given silent treatment is very confusing to me. You responded, “You will not receive any comfort crumbs.” I have not heard from the narc since October. So no comfort crumbs provided. However, when I consulted with you, you said I was on the shelf. When I last interacted with the narc, he was friendly and promised future contact, so no silent treatment, yet no comfort crumbs either. Yet, you said i was on the shelf. So what is going on here? Thank you!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Have you tried to contact him since October?

      3. Insatiable Learner says:

        HG, to answer your question as to whether I have tried to contact him since October, the answer is no, I have not. Last time we spoke (Oct.), he asked for space for him and his IPPS (they had had a baby in May) to work out some personal issues and he said he would reach out soon. So I have not attempted contact as I am complying with his request.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Hence no comfort crumbs.

      4. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thanks so much for clarifying the situation, HG. I always wonder what in the narc’s mind “soon” means? Seems like it’s any time between now and when the narc has need for you, whenever that may be. Would the narc not provide comfort crumbs himself without the shelved appliance’s contact if he believes she is under his control and will be waiting patiently as she said she would? Thus no need for the narc to volunteer comfort crumbs?

        1. Shelf Fuel says:

          Insatiable Learner,
          I got the “soon” bullshit all the time. That and “maybe”. Soon meant don’t hold your breath and maybe meant no. At least that was my interpretation. One time I called him out on it too after I said “can I call you tomorrow?” and he said “maybe” and I said “maybe? yeah we know that means no”. He got all defensive and shit and said “no it doesn’t”. I was like “okay prove me wrong then”…. I called him the next day and he did not answer. my follow up text saying I was right was met with silence and then the next time we spoke a week later it was like it ever happened.

        2. analise13 says:

          Hi Insatiable learner
          Excellent question, I too wonder why this would be. There are quite a few of us here, asking that as well.
          To me “soon”, means nothing to the narcissist, time wise.
          It is a lie.
          It is used to make you think he will return in days or less.
          When in reality it could be 6 months or longer.
          Soon is the ultimate comfort crumb.
          It builds anticipation of a quick return.
          That never arrives and keeps you waiting.

          HG and IL

          So, if IL obliged him and did not contact him per his request.
          Why has he not contacted her or changed his manipulation style,
          ie. Hoover with comfort crumbs.
          To ensure she stays put and ready for when he wants her again?
          I recall you said if we attempt to make contact via text,
          email, phone etc during silent treatments
          The narcissist will further prolong the length of one.
          Continue devaluation.
          That we have no power to end
          a silent treatment through contact attempts.
          Only the narcissist can chose do so.
          Does apply to shelving as well?

      5. Shelf Fuel says:

        Insatiable….you left him alone since October when he asked for space? Good grief this gave me deja vu! Last March my MRN asked for space from me and I left him alone for 5 months before I caved and emailed him. The nerve of them “asking for space”. There really is some sort of textbook out there.

        I too often cannot differentiate between ST and shelf. I think they are blended together as one in the same (this may be due to the long distance factor)

      6. Lori says:

        So it’s a silent treatment ? That sounds like diseo

      7. Lori says:

        sorry I meant sounds like disengagement

  15. 69 Revolver says:

    I just ignored him back. But it hurt like hell the whole time. I’ll never forget the sting. I thought I’d grow thicker skin over time but I never could.
    Should’ve gone Supernova on his ass.

    1. Julie says:

      69revolver.. I tried and failed several times with it too. I think we are to kind hearted to make it last for long before it all falls thru for us. We cant imagine how someone could treat us that way therefore have difficulty implementing the same shitty behavior onto them so it dosent last. I personally felt good at first then thought “damn julie your being a right bitch to him” . I felt sorry for him everytime about the way I treated him even tho he had it comming. Its amazing how many times you can apologize for something you didnt do

    2. sarabella says:

      Yes, I learned and tried to improve there but after a but, it just hurt too much and was a dishonest way to be with myself. I had too many lies in my life, having nothing to do with him, and I worked very hard to live more honest within myself as part of healing my own childhood. So it was too bard. Anger came up, I went Super noba, would back down, beg him, be told by him he isn’t going anywhere, I just needed to chill (heel) and it would trigger the cycle.. anger and then all over. He claimed to be confused why I said I loved him one moment, then hated him the next.

  16. Empress1 says:

    So true! Leave them alone- go about your life- be happy. WHEN they do call-do not answer for a few days, call back if you want, answer after a few days, be happy!!! “Oh hi! I see you have called– what’s up?” Tell them about the wonderful time you are having, how busy you are and then again “Oh, sorry why did you call” Or “Is there something I can do for you”– something along those lines. Learn how to manipulate them and I do think it can be done.

    1. Windstorm says:

      It can be done and I have often done so with various narcs in my life. The key is, though, that you have to have moved past any emotional attachment to them first. That usually takes me at least two years to move beyond.

      If you care at all how or if they will respond to you, you will just end up being hurt. HG is spot on about having to move beyond emotional thinking and it’s very easy to deceive ourselves and think we are there when we are really not.

      1. Julie says:

        I think thats true as well.. i like to think I am 100% after about 5 yrs now but I suspect the anger I feel is making me not able to move forward completely. Ive been angry for years and I will probley unfortunately be this way for longer.

        1. windstorm says:

          It took me more than 5 years to get beyond my anger at my exhusband. I’ll probably never get beyond my anger at my mother and she’s been dead four years.

          I think the time required to recover from the anger and emotional thinking depends on how much and what kind of abuse you suffered. Some types of abuse that warped and twisted you in permanent ways may take a saint to forgive.

          1. Julie says:

            And a saint i am NOT when it comes to him. I suffered tremendously emotionally and tremendously financially. How he can even look at himself is beyond me. I had a beautiful 4,000 sq fr home-gone, a large bank account -gone (40k directly to him) brand new paid off audi-gone, the list is too long. Thank god I didnt cosign for his land rover like he was wanting me to do! I could see the writing on the wall so I declined. Not shortly after I walked in on him in the sack with one of our married coworkers. Deny deny deny! Idk how on earth you can deny when when you are litterally caught nekked doing the wild thang! Holy gaslighting! I wonder if she cosigned for that landrover … she must have lol

      2. Aviator says:

        Good point. From where I stand, I look at this whole situation from a competitive perspective. If choosing to keep the game going, and it is a game if you’re okay with this level of risk. Meaning, its worth losing opportunities to have a fulfilling life, willing to lose happiness and time, then why resume at a disadvantage? A handicap. If you participate in a theoretical survival game and the opponent picks up a knife, do you really enter the ring with a wooden spoon? Perhaps push aside the sharp shank and select some tissue paper? No!!! He brings lies into the game? I bring in whopper lies. “Where did you go for your birthday?” ” Oh I went to such and such concert where I met some really cool people who have a sailboat, oh you would have loved it!”. “Shame, I wanted to invite you but the car was full and I was just the guest.” Lie and only semi act worried when it is found out or just lie about little things that don’t even mean anything. This is an especially delightful game because up until I caught on without him realizing it, I was such an honest person. You don’t warn people if you want to win, after all. you didn’t get any warning on the first discard did you ladies?

    2. Lori says:


      “Nekked” you must be from my neck of the woods. Only certains folks in the states use that term lol

      1. Julie says:


  17. T says:

    After he asked me to marry him, I got about 3 weeks worth of silent, absent treatment. It sent me to the moon.
    Recently I met a guy I was interested in, and yup, a narcissist! I decided no relationships for the next 3 years. I need a lot of work!!!

    1. Julie says:

      T.. Im sorry to hear that. I do the same thing. Narcissist after narcissist after narcissist. Im not going to give up so easily tho. Theres got to be one decent non narcissistic male left in this world. Did yours just up & leave after he asked you to marry him? Like a ghosting type? I cant imagine how hurt you must have been!

      1. T says:

        Julie, yes, he completely ghosted me.
        I’m so glad it’s over.
        And hope I can build better relationships, not only in love, but friendships as well.
        I’m sorry you also pick narcissist after narcissist!
        And I hope you’re right about there being some non narcissistic guys out there. But right now, for me, no way. My man picker is way off the mark!

        1. Julie says:

          T.. ghosting is awful! I just had that done to me recently. Never had that happen to me before so i was completely dumbfounded! Mindfuck at its finest. I swear i have a permanent sign attached to my person “I love narcissists”. Come one come all,step right up. Ive pretty much given up for now as well. Im content with being alone.

          1. T says:

            Me to, Julie. I feel the same way.

      2. Lori. says:


        If it’s narcissist after Narcissist look into that. I attract them as well and I know why. Why do you think you do?

        1. Julie says:

          Lori.. Im not exactly sure yet but Im working it out slowly but surely. I know my mother is a RAVING narc and I did not have a very good childhood with that woman. The older I got the more I saw her bullshit for what it was. Bullshit. I havent talked to her in several years or my sister. My sister is her little “minion”. I was my mothers emotional dumpster. She is as evil as they come.

      3. Lori says:


        It’s common with a narcissistic parent that one child becomes a narc and the other a Codepebdent. Codepebdents attract Narc after Narc that’s very common. Have you read up on that? And if so does any of it sound familiar? When I first did, i thought oh that doesn’t sound like me my parents weren’t abusive or substance abusers no that’s not my family, but after further reading it was undeniably me and now I realize my Mom had some narcissistic tendencies though not the pathological form.

        As you discover yourself, I would research the codependency. You have some very strong risk factors. I’m not sayin you are but if you have Narc after Narc there is a reason and you gotta find it

        You sound so much like me. You even speak like me using the term “nekked” I think you may be close to me geographically. Even the same taste in men

        1. Julie says:

          Lori.. I am sure there is some kind of codependency there. My mother is a raging narc. Hateful & spiteful. I think codependent then I think maybe not because I have NO problem getting shitty right back at a N . Tit for tat. If my exhole ignored me.. so be it, i could ignore him harder type stuff. Is it possible to be both SE & codependent?

      4. Lori says:

        Oh Julie,

        Codependents can play fhe game. They just use the helpless/weakness card sometimes and sometimes not. I can be a raging bitch but I have found approaching the narc from supposed weak perspective albeit sometimes feigned allows you to manipulate them. Feed them their drug and I find it’s easier to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do.

        I realize that their are Codependents that present totally different than I do and there are different kinds like there are different Narcs

        I asked HG that question. He said you may have traits of both but one is dominant

        1. Julie says:

          Lori..I dont think I do the weak side much. Im a raging bitch when I dish it back & then some. Then I feel horrible after. I have never said Im one class or another because I just dont know. I am a helper I know that’s a fact. I would give someone the shirt off my back if they needed it. The other day I stopped my car in the middle of the road to save a turtle lol.I guess thats why I chose the profession I did in law enforcement as well. Help the helpless and catch the bad guys lol. I have a great built in bullshit detector as well. Only reason I think I was narc’d is because I didnt a) know I being narc’d & b) when I found out in denial totally! So I cant really say what kind of personality I am ? I guess Im the bitch they love to hate? LOL

  18. Julie says:

    The reason it usually does not is that because of our tendency to compartmentalise when sleep intervenes it is as if the reset button has been pressed. We rise and leave behind what had happened yesterday and we will greet you as if nothing has happened. You can therefore usually rely on the fact that it most cases the present silent treatment, unpleasant as it is, will only last until we fall asleep.

    Ok this made so much sense to me now with the lesser i dated. I often thought it was extremely bizarre how we fought the previous night and he would sit & sulk then LITERALLY wake up the next morning like nothing happened and go for a early morning “romp” around the bedroom. Its like some weird internal light switch flipped. I could always sense there still wasnt something quite right though. Silent treat in any form is maddening. I started dishing it back out at one point. Tit for tat is fair play.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.