The Silent Sextuplet


The use of and imposition of silence are two of the most powerful weapons in our abusive arsenal. Silence is easy to deploy and horrendously effective in securing our aims of compliance, control and fuel.

1. My silence is always meaningful

You may sit quietly because you have no need to say anything. You may remain silent because you are listening to somebody else or just enjoying the silence.  We do not allow silence to be used in such a passive and redundant fashion. Our silence is used to convey contempt. It is used to draw concern and cause anguish in you. When we fall silent that pregnant pause is an indicator of the fury which will be unleashed against you. The longer silence is the imposition of our cold fury as you are banished to a sustained silent treatment. When we sit in silence we are not savouring the lack of noise, we are thinking, planning and plotting, calculating our next step. Our silences are weapons, they are our operations headquarters, our defence against your critical wounding of us. We use silence to hurt you, warn you, scold you and indicate you have overstepped the mark. Every silence has a meaning, it would be remiss of us to use it any other way.

2. Absence makes the silence longer

The deployment of an absent silent treatment where we remove ourselves from you, invariably with no warning or indication is a confirmation to you that this silent treatment will not be short-lived. The need to absent ourselves sends you a clear signal that we will be gone for some time. It is designed to have you come after us, try to contact us and beg and plead so that you fuel us. When we impose a period of absence by vanishing we are reinforcing how easily we are able to consider you gone from our lives. You may not even be able to contact us but we gather fuel from our knowledge that this sudden disappearance will cause you considerable consternation and worry. The absent silent treatment is also a key indicator that we are engaged in the seduction of a new prospect and providing this person with our false love and attention, which we have removed from you.

3. The silent gesture

Our silences are not just occasioned by us not talking to you or absenting ourselves for a period of time. We deploy silence through gestures. We may not turn up when we have agreed to a date with you, in order to reinforce how you mean so little to us and that we have any number of more pressing engagements to attend to than dine with you in a restaurant. Leaving you alone in bed, our side of the bed now empty and cold is also a hammer blow to your confidence and self esteem as we choose the spare room, the sofa or the bed of another in preference to being with you during the night. The silent telephone call from a withheld number, used when we are hoovering you, is designed to put you on edge. Is it us calling you this late? It must be mustn’t it, but you cannot be sure? The failure to buy you a gift on your birthday,  creating a gap which ought to have been filled stands out considerably and allows us to apply maximum hurt through such a silent gesture.

4. The silent presence

By giving you the cold shoulder when everyone else is met warmly and enthusiastically, we cause you to feel completely alone even when you are surrounded by others. You try to carry on as if nothing has happened but you know that people will be wondering why we are not speaking to you. You feel the flush of embarrassment as once again you try to speak to us and you receive only a glare and then we sweep away. You want to challenge us but as ever it is you that will be criticised for creating a scene. You want to upbraid us for our childish sulking but you have learned that the consequences of doing so are not worth suffering. We of course know all this and we know how powerful our freezing you out in the company of others really is.

5. Suffer in silence

You are never to speak of what goes on between you and I to anyone else. Should you ever do so you are committing an act of heinous betrayal and your punishment for such a transgression will be malicious and fierce. You are not to betray me and speak of what you are subjected to. You are to endure it so that you become a better person, one who is compliant and obedient. Do you understand? I also know that you fear the repercussions of speaking out and this enforces my curfew. I also know that you feel compelled to remain loyal because of the golden period and how you feel duty bound to remain and try to resolve matters, work this difficult period through and fix what has become somehow broken. Your indefatigable spirit teeters on the brink of misplaced pride at not telling tales and instead knuckling down, irrespective of what is thrown at you, in order to bring about a resolution to our problems. You cannot succeed but you do not know that yet. For now you must suffer in silence.

6. I speak, you stay silent

Never interrupt me, never talk over me, never steal my thunder. When I speak everybody listens because what I have to say is brilliant, great and of tremendous import. You would do well to listen to improve yourself, please me and avoid angering me. You are my sounding board, Horatio to my Hamlet, a listener and in my presence you only speak when it is required to honour my achievements and laud my greatness. You are to be seen but only heard when I deem it necessary. Who wants to listen to what you have to say anyway? You only get invited to events because of me. They are only friends with you because they are friends of mine. Nobody is interested in you. Nobody. So stay quiet and listen.

23 thoughts on “The Silent Sextuplet

  1. Kelly says:

    note: I’m having constant ‘Congratulations, you’ve won’ webpage interferences today on this site, and the comments I’m posting are not showing up even for me to see.

    1. windstorm says:

      I’m getting those “Congratulations” messages too. Always obviously false, like “Dear Indianapolis resident” or “Dear Verizon customer.”!

  2. MommyPino says:

    Mr. Tudor, a lot of these silent treatments have been used against me by my adult stepdaughters throughout the ten years that I have been with their father. They exhibit a lot of narcissistic traits. They are both gorgeous and tall attractive young women. The older has fake breasts and did modeling with implied nudity but never really showed anything aside from the side or bottom of her breasts. They always tell us that they are the most beautiful women in our little county and there are no attractive women here aside from them. They are very proud of their looks and would say a lot of comments to assert their superiority against me in the looks department. They are sulky and haughty at different times. Very vile too with their comments against me and even their friends, behind their backs though. The only thing that makes me doubt that they are NPDs is that I don’t think that they are promiscuous. Their dad is a well respected doctor in our county and they are treated by almost everyone here with high status. The older one only had one boyfriend before the guy she married and she’s still married to him for 7 yrs.(she wears the pants though). They both worked at Hooters and enjoyed the sexual attention (despite their dad’s disapproval) but they didn’t have several boyfriends. Although the younger daughter has been single for a long time, her two relationships ended up where she would brag to us about how funny it is that when she sees her two ex boyfriends they seem to hide from her or be in a hurry to end the accidental encounter with her. Can someone be still narcissists if they do not engage in promiscuous sex or are they just plain bratty princesses who doesn’t like me because I’m too young for their dad. Their dad’s second wife also left him because of the way they treated her, she ended up overdosing on pain killers because she was so depressed. It was really tragic. Their mother I think really has NPD because of the evil things she has done in the past to my husband and even to her older daughter and also my interactions with her. Is actual sexual promiscuity a requisite for someone who is narcissistic about her looks to be a real NPD?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Sex is an important part of the narcissistic dynamic, but it is not something that must always be involved. If you wish to understand more I recommend you organise a consultation so I can be furnished with more information.

      1. MommyPino says:

        Thank you so much Mr. Tudor.

  3. Kelly says:

    Bottom line: Narcissists only have the survival instincts- fear and anger – that they were born with. Like a child, they fuss and cry and their needs are catered to. Children rely on others to survive, to take care of them, and their selfishness is out of dependence. Theory has Narc’s lack of emotional development stunted at age 5, I think they have a second stunted growth spirt at middle school age. They behave like adolescents, they approach us that way, something we haven’t experienced since we were teenagers. Though they’ve had more sex partners than anyone else, they still behave as if they’ve never seen a naked woman, like an adolescent. They’re Peter Pan forever.

    I think narc have most things backwards. We’re their providers, but they are the appliances that must plug into us to operate. They deceive us like con men into believing in them, when all they are is thieves. They may have us caught in a web, but they are the ones addicted to us. They need attention, same as a child, that’s what it amounts to. We’re as worn out as any parent of a child, and as frustrated as any parent of a teenager.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Not anger, fury.

      1. Kelly says:

        Ohh, that’s right! You told us all along.

  4. Kiki says:

    It’s true E&L , trust HG here ,there’s only one way to get out of the torture and that’s no contact .
    You are not showing yourself to be difficult by doing this ,actually you are giving the narc the middle finger without fuel.
    Do not acknowledge the narc , do not contact the narc ,do not add a energy in anyway .
    Act like they are dead , or better still non existent .
    Do not react ,act ,or give a flicker of attention.
    You know the game now so simp,y don’t play it anymore.

  5. E&L says:

    HG, by implementing no contact, aren’t I merely appropriating the narcissist’s tactics? I understand that self-preservation is a different motivation than the need to control another, however, it gives credibility to the narc and her minions’ narrative that I really am inherently bad. My silence and boundary implementation verify her notion that I am difficult, uncooperative, and problematic. It seems like the only way to survive the spiraling cycle of misery is to use narcissistic rules of engagement. Any thoughts?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, the only way to win the battle is not enter onto our battlefield.

      1. E&L says:

        Always appreciate your response, insights, writings, and expertise. Knowledge is power. I appreciate your teachings so I am better able to finally care for myself from a place of strength and acceptance. Thank you! Words could never convey my genuine gratitude that you are willing to help.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  6. Kelly says:

    Is a bratty child a sure sign of narcissism?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Not necessarily, no.

    2. Caroline says:

      That’s an interesting question Kelly.
      Little children have a legitimate need for vast amounts of attention, reassurance, emotional response, validation, love, comfort, boundary delineation, and to be taken care of. It is appropriate that they look for a parent and others to help define their sense of self, and for development of their self-esteem. They have to learn internal referencing as part of growing to adulthood, but before they have mastered that essential life skill, they are unable to fill their emotional tanks and need others to constantly do it for them.
      Bratty behaviour in children can result from overstimulation, and tiredness (need to sleep), poor boundaries or poor socialisation, delayed speech abilities and resulting frustration, etc. They may feel overwhelmed by their feelings and need help with sorting out what those feelings are. They may be feeling lonely, insecure, or jealous, and need reassurance and love.
      Bratty behaviour in children is normal.
      Emotional trauma in early age is known to create a point of being ‘frozen’ or a type of emotional retardation in individuals. The shame of abuse, I have learned recently, is pre-cognitive, and involves the limbic system of the brain. It has many characteristics in common with Post Traumatic Stress, and deeply affects subsequent behaviour.
      Brattiness in an adult N is a knee-jerk response to envy, fear, feeling lonely/unloved/disconnected, feeling out of control, and attacked. Everything is personal to a N. As adults, they haven’t acquired the skills of internal refencing, and are like little ones in terms of needing constant emotional attention and filling of their tanks. They also need others to affirm the boundaries of their substance, their personhood, to define where they begin and end, as distinct from others. Narcissism was described well by HG as a defense mechanism; from studies and time with psychologists, I support that view.

      1. Kelly says:

        Hi Caroline
        When I read this article, it sounds like a bratty child. And their response is, if you don’t do what I want then I’m not going to talk to you, I’m going to pout, give you the cold shoulder. I’m a grown adult, and/but it makes me want to say, ‘you’re not the boss of me’.

        Sleepy, irritated children are Not brats. There’s a big difference between momentary behavior and chronic brattiness. Reading this article just made me think about those constantly bratty children and what they grow up to be like.

      2. Kelly says:

        Narcissism starts in childhood

  7. Getting There says:

    This article just showed me that I experienced the silence aspect more than I thought my ex.

    Question: While I share more than I did than when I was in the midst of the marriage, I struggle to not feel the guilt that comes with talking based on #5. Does the guilt of sharing go away?

    1. Caroline says:

      Getting There,
      Speaking from my own experience, YES. It doesn’t even take that long, as long as you are no longer entangled with the narcissist and feel ready to share (which took me some time) — *and* if you share only what you truly wish to, with someone you can really trust with your heart/emotions.

      I didn’t feel the need to share that much, but I knew what it was I did need to share, with one special person. It was freeing. I needed to actually say it to another human being — to make it real/validate a wrong had occurred.

      I’ve never felt bitter, and I think it’s because I trusted myself to take good care of myself, in what ways were best for me. It really felt much like other lessons learned in life… though I understand not everyone looks at it that way.

      1. Getting There says:

        Caroline, thank you so much! I’m glad to hear that you were able to get past the guilt!
        I understand the not feeling bitter. I want to move forward freely in all aspects. I think that may be my issue: I am in constant contact with my ex and most of the time he is showing me his good side, not always. Also I became romantically involved with another possible narcissist shortly after, so I don’t think I gave myself the time I needed to learn how to take care of myself fully.
        Thank you for sharing and giving me hope as well as more to think about to get there!

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