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?


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

  1. H.G.

    In true borderline form. Question😊 I didn’t know we were allowed to post testimonies. Where and how can I post my testimony?

    This comment might disqualify me, but I’ve changed because of my Lord Jesus Christ for leading me to your site. Yes, God loves you too. He doesn’t call the qualified, no they are no good.

    If I do not make it to the testimony section H.G. I hope you know how much I value your work and it’s been a life saver for me…😢 We struggle daily trying to ascertain what we could have changed or done better. (Nothing) Stuck on….needing closer and it’s all here.

    Your kind may be designed to kill , steal, and destroy. I thank God for the people behind the scenes that’s making this all happen.

    With Regards

    1. Thank you Yolo, there is a testimony section in the menu bar. You can also add your own by commenting on that page or in the about section

      1. HG

        Good to know. I have been meaning to ask about the process. Wondered if it was something submitted via email for your approval and selection like the Letters to the Narcissist.

        Thank you Yolo for raising the subject.

      2. Thanks, I’ve been disconnected. I was scrolling/ trolling and came upon testimonies.

        DBT is working, I signed up for second session. But, as before I would be remiss to not mention you and others for my progress.

        I thank you for the post you held and allowing me to maintain my self respect.

        As always, I support your efforts and consider this blog as a viable charity albeit may not have 501 c3 status in U.S. I am always open to contribute by spreading awareness on sites or other services.

        With Regards,

  2. HG how do you truly get over this? It has been over two years since my narcissist ghosted and I subsequently went no contact and I still feel like he just might message me, even though the likelihood at this point is slim. It still feels like yesterday that he was here.

  3. Hello HG,

    So in the scenario as a SSIP when the last liaison many months ago resulted in me providing copious amounts of positive and challenge fuel and I get a prior warning silent treatment. Can I expect a response eventually or is it just him attempting to assert control again?

    I messaged asking to advice about an important matter, he being an expert. I offered to meet for coffee / dinner next time he is around.

    He was very pleasnt in his response, of course he will help me, he’s going on holiday that day but ‘should’ reply the next morning (today). He finished the reply, anything for Alexis. He didn’t reply as per his timescale.

    I have other options ( he doesn’t know)

    Is this a silent treatment or will he get back to me eventually ?

    1. Sounds more like you are on the shelf and he will hoover you off the shelf in accordance with the HT and HEC.

      1. Awwww thank you HG !! I only just saw this.

        I don’t receive notifications from wp any more ?

        I received the response I wanted which was helpful, with a promise of a second one whoch would have been even more helpful. The second response hasn’t come my way.

        But I shall wait patiently on the shelf now until HEC is met. In accordance with his terms grrrrrr

  4. That was mind opening! Thank you!
    Is there a particular fuel source the PWST tool is used against?

  5. One could interrupt the meeting with a call …anyway , He will be sweet if he answers because of his facade for the people in the meeting. He will say ,” honey , I’m in a meeting I will have to call you back .” because he doesn’t want to sound like an asshole in front of the clients . Or the empath makes sure she is having fun on her own and leaves him be .

  6. Aha – so that is what all of those times were about! Thank you so much!
    Is the PWST used on all kinds of fuel supply?

  7. Here’s the short answer. No! I just tried it and it was a complete debacle. Don’t do it you’ll be sorry! Now if I could just comply with my own advice, I’d be golden lol.

    1. Miss Lori! Wasn’t I on some thread recently with you where I told you to be careful about stuff that was being placed in your pathway? And somewhere, maybe even on the same thread, I wrung my hands over OMJ dining — twice in one day — with a probable narcissist (since then, I’ve heard nothing from her, so that surely can’t be good!).

      Is this summertime passions run amuck…or am I unknowingly speaking Dutch lately??


      Ok, so you fell off the NC horse… so back on you go!

      1. P.S. Lori~Don’t forget that you learned a bit more about yourself through this… if I remember correctly, you were feeling rather sad/down right before you contacted him, so it confirms you’re especially susceptible to the narcissist when you’re feeling like that. When I was in the FR, I broke up with the narcissist several times, and keeping busy with good things was especially helpful, so that I didn’t go back… he’d eventually come to me and be super sweet, so I’d acquiesce, but that’s another story. But my point is that understanding yourself more and more only builds your defenses later against narcissists, so it’s not all bad.

      2. Caroline, you are so right about paying attention to how you are feeling right before you contact him. I spent a few months keeping track of my moods and realized that my pattern was to miss him on weekday afternoons went I’d feel lonely and down because that was when we would usually see each other or be chatting. He was part of my routine. Those periods of missing him got further and further apart, and now I look forward to busy mornings working and having down time or doing something fun in the afternoons. I don’t even think about him anymore except when I am on this site, but I don’t miss him and no longer keep track of my moods.

      3. Good for you, SMH~~that’s fabulous! 🙂

        When I was in the FR, I was most susceptible when I got all sentimental — when my mind reflected on the romantic times and dwelled on how he could be so tender with me (okay, that was just an agenda on his part, but I sure didn’t know that then).

        Self-awareness is at least half the battle, IMO. If we can figure out our side of things (our feelings/moods; what we’re strongly reacting to and why; any past baggage we have, etc.), it’s freeing. We can see much more clearly how we’re getting caught up in something unhealthy… and then we have a chance at working on what’s in our best interests to change.

        I do think it’s true that narcissists show us things about ourselves that are often deeply buried. It would be better if birds in the forest could enlighten us, but we get narcissists instead, lol. 😉

      4. I agree, Caroline. We have to ask ourselves how we are contributing to the situation and not be helpless. It took me awhile to shine a light on myself, but when I did it all became clear that it wasn’t him that I missed as much as it was the routine he had conditioned me to. I know that conditioning is part of the whole narc relationship but once I could see it clearly it was easier to continue to disengage. Keeping track of my moods also helped me to get through six months of NC, which is what finally broke most of the spell. I do think he brought out parts of me that no one else had ever tapped, and that part was good because it was about growth. I also think I brought out parts of him that no one else had tapped. But because he lacks introspection and wouldn’t express any vulnerability or emotions (truly deep issues with intimacy and bonding), there was no way to have a conversation about it.

      5. I can really relate to what you’re saying, SMH. And YES — on us bringing out parts of them that nobody else has. He has told me this specifically (in the FR and Hoovering), as have his close family members and friends, and I’ve truly seen it…hands down, this is my greatest current struggle, in feeling (my Achilles Heel) some guilt about this (twinges of thinking maybe I can help him, and like I’ve abandoned him). It’s what I’m still working on, internally. Because even if I can do that to some degree, his psyche still fights it… so I can’t heal him. I have to go with my logical thinking.

        He has been able to converse with me on some on pretty deep aspects and admit emotional things… but my experience is that he then retreats/pretends later like it (and our convo) never even happened (blows my mind).

      6. Yes, Caroline, always the retreat. It’s called ‘approach/avoid’ in psychological parlance and it’s an intimacy issue. I often felt like mine was a wild animal and I had to hold really still, let him come to me, and not make any sudden moves. But it would only work briefly and I would know the exact moment he’d retreat. Once I even made an appointment with a therapist before the retreat because I knew it was coming. In fact, our closest time together was followed by a big blow up that unraveled everything because things had changed but he was desperate to get them back on track (that is, to hold me at arm’s length). It’s pretty sad, but they are built differently from normal people and there is nothing to be done. Once I realized that his brain wiring was fixed, it became easier to stop feeling guilty that I couldn’t give him what he needed. No one can.

      7. Caroline
        “It would be better if birds in the forest could enlighten us, but we get narcissists instead, lol. ”

        Think there’s a great mental image there – maybe when we hear something disappointing (or don’t hear at all) from our narcs, we should imagine them as birds chattering above our heads in the trees. 😝

    2. Lori – Oh No! What happened if you don’t mind my asking? It’s happened to me too before…and been a complete debacle. We all have our weak moments, it’s to be expected.
      I personally am very good at convincing myself that it’s ok to reach out at times because I’m long distance and “it’ll just be a text, no big deal.” Except then I get the anxiety going and then he responds like the jerk that he is…and I get myself down.
      Deep breath, re-focus, vent here. Moving forward is the only way right?

      1. I have to laugh, Supernova, because I too was long distance part of the time, and even when I wasn’t it would feel like I was. I would also think it was no big deal to reach out, and I too would react the way you did – extreme anxiety followed by disappointment. I remember the first time he made me really nervous. We were in different countries and he was supposed to be coming to my city but hadn’t given me a date. I emailed and his response was so curt (‘when I know, you’ll know’) that I became afraid to initiate any contact. Exactly what he wanted. Then he suddenly showed up a week later with no warning. HERE I AM! Such bizarre behavior, but all about control.

      2. “Oh, really, dude? Well, listen carefully to how you’ll know how I feel about that…”


        (Yes, that’s pretty much how I “behaved” with my ex-BF narcissist…needless to say, we had lots of drama, lol).

      3. Caroline, We had lots of drama too. Had he just left me alone at any point there would have been no drama. But he wouldn’t leave me alone. The thing is, he wanted the drama and yours probably did too. It generates heat (as I told mine post-escape) and that is fuel. But I did not realize all of this at the time…

      4. SMH
        “Had he just left me alone…”

        Yes. That’s my goal. I’m NC, but he’s not — so it’s hardly NC. I’m in containment mode… which is probably just a stall on future chaos. I’m waiting for him to tire of this and hoping he doesn’t up the ante.

  8. All manipulative mind games which of course he denied. So infuriating… and now I realize it was all by design.

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