What The Narcissist Thinks : Present Silent Treatment



I think I have said enough. I wish you would think the same. You have never shut up asking me about my day at work as I try to watch the sport on television. On and on you have gone asking question after question. It makes me wonder why you are so bloody interested. Fishing for something are you? Trying to catch me out? You won’t do that. I am cleverer than you. Much cleverer. What I do at work is nothing to do with you and you won’t find out about my plans there until such time as I decide that you should know. And it isn’t time, so I wish you would just be quiet and let me watch this game. You keep on going, talking over my television viewing which tells me that you regard my viewing experience as unimportant and that tells me you obviously think I am not important and you really ought to know by now that I am important. I hate you doing this. I can feel the burning from your selfish and treacherous action and it is paining me, but I know what to do. I know how to stop this pain and believe me I am going to do it and do it now.

You never know when to shut up do you? I suppose you think you are being plessant asking me how my day has been, but you don’t care, you just do it for the sake of appearances, to make you look good, the caring and interested partner. I know your game. I have you worked out, you are a fraud. Yap, yap, yap,like some irritating puppy around my ankles, on and on you go. Just shut up will you? I cannot concentrate with your wasp like buzzing around me.

“How is the new recruit getting on?”

“How is the project developing?”

“Where did you go for that business lunch? Was it good? What did you have to eat? Who was it with?”

Just shut up. No, you are still chattering away. I don’t think you are even waiting for an answer are you? Just asking questions to seem like you are involving me in the conversation when all you are doing is engaging in another of your pointless and egotistical monologues. Do you know how boring you sound? If I wasn’t trying to concentrate on this match I think I would slip into a coma listening to you drone on with your worthless opinions and your anodyne observations.

Just shut up. No? Very well. I will. No, I am not saying anything. I am not even going to nod, shake my head or make an affirmative grunt. Nothing. A total silence.

My goodness me, you have stopped. Perhaps you have remembered that you need to breathe? Ah, excellent you have noticed that I no longer appear to be listening. Believe me, I am listening and I am doing so with considerable attentiveness, because I need to listen to what is coming my way. Let me guess, I think you will lead with “are you listening to me?” any second now and yes, there it is as predicted. I am not going to answer. Go on, repeat the question and true to form you do so. Now I have your attention haven’t I? I can see you from the corner of my eye as I stare at the screen pretending that the figures running around with the ball are more interesting than you. They are not because what you are starting to do is what I am interested in. I can see you leaning forward, trying to catch my eye. I know you are there but I am not going to acknowledge you. Sometimes you throw something towards me to get my attention, usually a cushion. It is not a nasty action,not like when I throw things at you. That reminds me, I must replace that coffee mug which I hurled at you. You were light on your toes that day as it sailed past and smashed against the wall. Anyway, that was last week and this is now and I can hear you asking the question a third time. Will it be the cushion? No, you have chosen to stand up instead. Gosh, you must be looking to assert some authority from the get go.

“I am talking to you.”

I know that you are but I am not answering you but already I can hear the mounting irritation in your voice and already I can feel the flames rising inside of me as they burn away the cold, harsh iciness of your criticism. That pain is already receding.

“Will you answer me please?”

No I will not. I have to turn my head so you do not see my smirk at your attempt to be commanding. It amuses me. I can see your hands move to your hips and I half expect you to stamp the ground with your foot.

“What’s the matter? Why won’t you answer me?”

The voice rises higher, signalling your anxiety and frustration and the flames continue to build inside of me. I maintain the stony faced expression, ink black eyes staring at the screen. I can see the movement on the television but it as if I am watching it from very far away as all that I am concentrating on now is your voice and the continuing delicious flaming sensation that is sweeping across me.

“Why are you not answering me?”

The questions have altered now haven’t they? A switch from your nosiness about my work to you now asking why I have fallen silent. You can keep asking and I know you will. You will go on for some time. You will storm out of the room trying to force a response from me, but your slammed door just keeps the flames burning. You will come back in. you always do. You will return contrite and apologising although you won’t know what you are trying to apologise for. Still, that won’t stop you going through a carousel of reasons in the hope of breaking my silence.

“Did I upset you?”

“Did I say something wrong?”

“Did I not listen to you?”

“Did I say something offensive?”

“Please, what did I do wrong?”

“Please will you just talk to me?”

“I hate this. I hate falling out. What is that I have done?”

Every time you ask these questions, the pain and concern in your voice keeps adding to the sense of power that I am feeling. The wound you created has long since closed and now I am savouring the growing power that courses through me. You have no idea what you are doing as you try, as you always do, to make things right. I will stay seated here, not even looking at you. You won’t try and stand in front of me whilst I am watching the television. You will not dare do that or switch it off. You remember what happened last time when you did that don’t you and I know you won’t be in a hurry to experience that again. I can sit and revel in my power over you and you just keep adding to it with your pitiful and plaintive questions. You will try to find out what is wrong, you will blame yourself next and start to apologise as you scramble to guess what it is that you have done wrong in the hope that you stumble on the right subject matter and make things rights. But you will fail. Then you move on to trying to bribe me into speaking to you, suggesting we go out, or my friends come round for drinks tomorrow night or that you will cook me something special. Keep at it, I won’t respond. I will not even look at you. You are completely invisible to me as far as you are concerned.

I wonder how long I will maintain this silence with you? You haven’t worked out what to do yet, I am pleased to say. You keep on asking, pestering and questioning, driven by your own anxiety that causes you to want to ascertain what has happened and make things right. This means you might break off for half an hour but then you resume, trying a different tack. If all you knew you had to so was do exactly what I am doing and it would stop. Go silent and get on with what you want to do and I will start speaking to you and acknowledging you once again as I consider a different manipulation to use against you to gather my precious fuel. Fortunately, your empathic nature which means you want to understand and you want to fix and heal, will make you hang in there and all the while you provide me with fuel and power me. So long as you do so, so long the silence will continue.

6 thoughts on “What The Narcissist Thinks : Present Silent Treatment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mine once told me…”It’s not that I’m not listening to you it’s just that what I’m thinking about is more important than what you have to say.”

  2. Chihuahuamum says:

    This is my mothers favorite form of devaluation. I can always tell her mood if shes ignoring me or not. Yesterday at a family celebration she made eye contact and listened to what i had to say but at another family gathering a month ago she did the opposite. She ignored me like i wasnt there except when she tried gaslighting me in front of others. Something traumatic had happened to me as a child about 10 yrs old. I was attacked in broad daylight with two friends as witnesses and she told me it didnt happen the way it did. That i had only been exposed. No i was physically attacked and i was there she wasnt. I said exactly that and she backed off but it made others feel awkward. I really resented her doing that at my family gathering.
    After they left i felt a lot of emotions shame being one of them. I really had a close look at why i felt shame and i had no reason to feel that about myself. That is what she set out to do by ignoring me and gaslighting me to produce the shitty feelings she feels within herself onto me.
    Present silent treatments make you feel worthless like you are the gum on their shoe. Its a passive aggressive means to make you feel unworthy of simple communication. You arent worth being acknowledged until they deem it necessary to do so.
    Npd is a mental disorder and i have to keep this at the forefront in my mind to keep from slipping back into my self negative thoughts bc it is toxic being around those with npd. They can bring out a lot of negativity and lies. Lies about yourself that are untrue. The shame lies within themselves but they project it thru tactics like present silent treatments to make you feel inferior to their inferiority. They are inferior and that is the very reason they must come off superior at all costs. What better way then pretending you dont exist while youre right there with them?

    1. windstorm says:

      Your dealings with your mother really resonate with me. My interactions with my mother were very similar. For my own part, I think that residual shame we are left with is from allowing ourselves to be manipulated in front of others, especially if it happened somewhere we thought would be a happy experience.

      I often watched my exhusband and other family narcs with my mother. In situations like you described they would have made a joke about how she never could remember things correctly and laugh, or how “yeah, it’s hard to remember things once you get as old as you are.” Again laughing. Then they would immediately shift the conversation onto a completely different topic.

      The key seemed to be that they could dismiss whatever negative thing she said and treat it as completely unimportant. In their minds, what she said and believed really was completely unimportant. I could try to fake that, but her comments actually hurt me and it was always difficult to pretend otherwise. I think that inability to just slough it off caused my shame.

      1. Chihuahuamum says:

        Hi windstorm.. ty for your reply and i think you hit it on the nail! Im trying to take these situations and instead of stewing over them i want to learn from them and stop and analyze it more from a nonemotional standpoint.
        I think the shame goes back further to my childhood and not just narc related but things id gone thru. It didnt help having a mother that rarely built me up but rather made me feel unimportant. Oddly i no longer blame her bc blame is a waste of time. She is a product of her own childhood and life experiences. I dont like how she treats me at times but instead of blaming her i want to seize my own power and assert myself more and realise that i have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to her treatment of me. It is hurtful but thx to the teachings here i now realise more where its coming from. Its a personality disorder. I think with understanding has come forgiveness and also as i get older i know im not without fault and am not a perfect parent. That said i dont try to go out of my way to hurt or diminish my children but again she has covert narcissism and is very passive aggressive when dealing with people and situations.
        15 yrs ago i wouldve been in tears and struggling with why she wasnt the mother i felt she needed to be and now i see it for what it is and life is with fault and its meant to be that way so we can learn and grow spiritually. I no longer feel i was entitled to a loving understanding mother. We get what we get and thats part of the life journey mapped out for us what we do with it is our choice.

  3. T says:

    Sad, but true.
    This breaks my heart again, and if I could shoot him in his face. I certainly wood. But prison is not an option for me.

    1. kathysblog615195891 says:

      I feel similarly because he is a useless waste of space. There is nothing bright and magnificent about him aside from a pretty face. Additionally, I don’t look very good in dowdy jumpsuits and I require a pedicure every two weeks. I don’t believe prison would accommodate my basic requirements.

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