The Expanded Narcissistic Truths – No. 4


The silent treatment is a well-known and highly effective manipulation that we deploy against our victims. Easy to do, low in energy expenditure, a passive aggressive measure which is the mainstay manipulation of the Mid-Range Narcissist although it will be used by all of our kind. It comes in two varieties; the Present Silent Treatment (we remain physical proximate but ignore you or stay silent and glare at you) or the Absent Silent Treatment where we vanish. The former is excellent at drawing fuel and asserting control whilst the latter achieves both those aims and allows us to take effectively a time out and use that time to court an alternative source, invariably unbeknown to you.

The primary purpose of a silent treatment, like most of our manipulations, is the drawing of fuel from you. You become concerned that we will not speak to you, upset that we are not responding, angry that we remain sat there ignoring you. You are worried that you have not heard from us, distraught at our absence, fuming at our disappearance and whether you are talking to us directly, sending messages, leaving voicemails or turning up at some place where you hope to find us, you are invariably frothing with Proximate Fuel which we lap up. We also benefit from doses of Thought Fuel too.

Whilst that is the instinctive aim of the silent treatment in its many forms from Icy Glare, Cold Shoulder, Incredible Sulk, Invisible Person through to The Ghost, what is actually going through our mind when it is deployed? What is behind the statement above that the use of the silent treatment is our way of killing you?

A silent treatment appears most often as an instinctive manifestation of cold fury as a consequence of you wounding our kind. It may also be used by the higher functioning of our kind as a stand alone measure when there is no wounding and is part of a calculated response designed to further our aims.

Thus the Lesser, whilst far more prone to applying heated fury, is wounded by a perceived criticism and sits silently, staring at the television as his ignited cold fury manifests and you keep providing fuel as you ask him what is wrong. Eventually, the provision of your fuel will heal the wound you have caused and the fury abates and he will just turn and talk to you acting as if nothing has happened. Whilst he is sat there ignoring you his Present Silent Treatment arises because he wishes you dead as a consequence of your traitorous behaviour in criticising him. However, if you are dead then you will not provide fuel and as a consequence this instinctive response is a further example of the contradictory behaviour we engage in, purely to fulfil our needs.

The Lesser wishes you dead. However he also needs your fuel. If you are dead, there is no fuel. Of course, there are occasions where the Lesser loses control and lashes out and actually will kill as a consequence. Where that does not happen, your figurative death is still desired but your fuel must also be gathered. Accordingly, a silent treatment satisfies both of these diametrically opposed consequences. You are treated as dead because you are being ignored but the fuel is still provided.

The Mid-Ranger has a similar instinctive response. He also wishes you dead for your disgraceful and disloyal criticism of him. Of course, he also needs your fuel and given his passive aggressive nature, he is far removed from actually doing something that would kill you. Thus, the silent treatment appeals to him especially. He is not bold enough to drive a knife into you to kill you, so instead he slinks away, coward that he is and slays you through an Absent Silent Treatment. In his mind he satisfies the need to punish you through this ‘death’ yet at the same time he garners fuel from your desperate voicemail messages asking him where he is.

Both the Lesser and especially the Mid-Ranger will use various forms of the Silent Treatment as a means to achieve this killing and it is an instinctive response. The Greater rarely uses the Silent Treatment in an instinctive way. Instead, the Greater recognises its effectiveness from the perspective of using it in a calculated method by which manipulation can be achieved. He will use a brief silent period for the purposes of testing someone, even though he is not wounded. He will decide that somebody needs to learn a lesson in terms of who is in control and whilst he is not wounded, he deems it appropriate to deploy the silent treatment so the victim is subjected to further control. The Greater’s response is not one of wanting you dead; that is the knee-jerk reaction of the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger, that hatred and fury rising as they rail at your audacity in wounding them, their disgust for your craven ways after all they do for you and such is the vitriol towards you that is pumping around their bodies, they wish you dead and the silent treatment is an instinctive way of achieving that whilst catering to the need to exert control and draw fuel. The Greater sees the silent treatment as a way of slaying those elements of your character which you hold dear.

You want to help people. If that person evades you, you cannot help.

You want the truth. If that person has vanished, you can gain no answers to establish why they have done what they have done.

You wish to give them love, but you cannot because they have ghosted you and left you feeling pain instead.

You want to listen and ascertain what the problem is, yet if we will not talk to you, how can you do that?

It is also extremely effective against empathic people. It absolutely gets under the skin of most empathic people. True, there will be some, who, after a time, realise what it is and in turn embrace the respite that comes with such a silence and do not react to it. However, most empathic individuals hate it. They cannot stand the response, the imposition of guilt that it generates, the confusion, the uncertainty caused by a failure to respond (is he just busy or is he ignoring me – a frequent dilemma that causes considerable consternation to the empathic individual ( see Should I Get in Touch )) Accordingly, the Greater knowing just how effective a manipulation this is, will use it as part of his or her ongoing campaign of control as opposed to an instinctive reaction. We Greaters see it as a way to kill your resistance to our control.

The Greater’s approach is one where your various good and empathic traits are denied, frustrated and in effected ‘killed’.

Killing somebody is the ultimate expression of power and control. Life has been taken away. Whilst it cannot be denied that our kind do kill, it is, in the scheme of our numbers, rare. It is also a counter-productive act because if we kill our primary source we lose an excellent provider of fuel and bring about a potential fuel crisis as we have to find a new primary source and usually this must occur quickly. Furthermore, there are of course the potential ramifications arising from the commission of murder, albeit, those considerations are often far from our minds when the act of murder occurs.

We want you dead for your treachery. We want you dead because it is the ultimate expression of power and control. Yet we need you very much alive. The silent treatment satisfies both desires and that is why it is our way of killing you.

Listen to ‘The Expanded Narcissistic Truths – No.4’


27 thoughts on “The Expanded Narcissistic Truths – No. 4”

  1. Well I have been narc’d again. I met the guy last april and THOUGHT he was definitely not a N and let my guard down. SUPRISE! I started noticing the idealizing then the subtle devaluation when it was too late (insert shoe up my ass) . I had to go back to basics with HG reading and today actually took the day off work to have a mental health day to refresh with his teachings. I see this one may have been a mid ranger. I received a week long silent treatment followed by “ive never been good at relationships and its probably why im 50 and still single” followed by “i hope we can be friends” … (are you kidding me?) then I drive 2hrs to collect my housekey and belongings from his house and was made to wait for 40 mins in the driveway when I had told him I was comming and he said ok. Im on fb jail and cant do anything with that right now but I have blocked him on ALL other avenues and will do the fb one when I get out if fb jail lol. I was really taken aback when I learned this silent treatment was because I sent him a text that said “your already home? Strange?” Because he ALWAYS called me on his drive home and didnt that day . I effectively gather now that that was challenge fuel and i must be punished. Commence the silent treatment. I told him after a week of his game I’d be over to gather my belongings and collect my housekey. He just stood there staring like he was confused or hurt with a slight air of haughtiness while I gathered my belongings which I found strange being that HE was the one doling out the abuse. So I gathered my stuff, gave in to emotional thinking and told him hes a narcissist and left. I know I shouldnt have said that ughh. I noticed yesterday he has changed his relationship status on fb yet didnt take me off as a friend. Im guessing so he can flaunt the replacement at me? Especially after I litterally called him a N to his face. Im still struggling with emotional thinking right now bit it will get better. Its not first rodeo. I just never had one of these silent treatments and they truely are sadistic imho. Cant put flowers in an asshole and call it a vase right?🤷‍♀️

  2. NA, no I do not. I would feel undeserving of someone’s sacrifice, anyway. Many of my relationships in the past have operated from the premise of “please love me even though I am unworthy” or “if only I try hard enough, I can “make” you love me”. Like the Bonnie Raitt song!

  3. I love this article , the beauty of it is that once you understand the silent treatment for what it is it loses it’s power to hurt .
    For me it became so predictable .Here we go again , I think with an eye roll.
    It really is soooo predictable , just carry on with the silent treatment , I KNOW the game , I see your cards.
    This was life changing for my emotional well being.
    To think the ex narc has no inkling that I know exactly what the silent treatment is ,is soooo empowering .With this knowledge we hold all the power , the narc only imagines they are in control but now we are .

    1. Kiki,
      I agree with you! The silence always killed me, now I get it!

      I think I read somewhere you had a grand hoover? Did you kill it?

  4. HG~ When you are in the midst of issuing a silent treatment and your appliance has gone in silent mode do you ever creep on her via FB? Making a fake account to interact with her or try and find out about her dating venues? This is what is happening to me, and I second guess myself if it’s him but this person is persistent even when I don’t respond asking about my night, my weekends and date ect. I’m confused.

  5. So dear HG.. Thank you very much for this article… I was reading many of your articles.. I start understanding the behavior of my natc colleague… I ve tried today.. Sending him a txt. Just saying hi. I think abput you. Wish you a good week etc.. I guessed he was giving me a silent treatment.. Now i m sure. He doesn t block me on what s ap.. But never answers.. Now I understand. Silent treatment isn t ? Dear HG ?

    1. Mag,

      Silent treatment, ghosting, being ignored. That is what brought me here, searching for answers.

      I read a quote that said “never put a question mark were god puts a period.”

      Easier said then done, since we want the truth.

      No answer is an answer.

  6. An acquaintance of mine is currently studying in the field of psychiatry and sent me (currently working and pursuing studies in cognitive science) an email with a link to your blog.

    I already have enough reading to do thanks to my job and my studies so I can admit I took her email with a grain of salt. But something made me click the link and I’m glad I did.

    I’ve pretty much been binge-reading your blog for the past week/week and a half.

    I was diagnosed with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) as a child (because no one had a fucking clue what to do with me) that (predictably) mutated into an APD (antisocial personality disorder) diagnosis just in time for my 12th birthday.

    I know, based on reading comments, you’re used to being praised and lauded for the work you’re doing here, but seriously, what you’re doing goes beyond anything I’ve seen, read, discussed, studied and/or researched.

    First of all, it’s incredibly hard for people like me (and possibly you too, H.G.?) to find mental health professionals to work with us because 1) most think it’s a waste of time because we can’t or don’t want to be “cured” ; 2) we’re so good at manipulating our way through therapy that many don’t want to “waste their time” and 3) many are under the (sometimes false) assumption that we’re going to hack them to death with a chainsaw because we have a taste for blood and organ meat.

    Second of all, much of the scholarly research out there is half-assed at best because again, no one wants to waste time researching or studying people who can’t or don’t want to be helped and can’t or don’t want to change.

    I really like the way you’ve taken the time to break things down and separate into categories. It is impossible to paint everyone with the same brush because even though there are some common traits and behaviours, they don’t all manifest or exist in the same way. It varies from person to person, diagnosis to diagnosis.

    I also like the way you highlight self-awareness as a distiniguishing feature because there are a lot of “medical pros” out there who either refuse to admit that some of us are capable of self-awareness or outright claim it’s impossible for us to do so.

    The length of this comment is now bordering on ridiculous, but you’d absolutely kill it as a therapist AND I think it would be amazing for you to collab with medical professionals and/or institutions on research and analysis (if you haven’t already been approached) because you most definitely have a unique and thorough perspective.

    I started writing this with the intent of simply thanking you but instead I chose to write all the words.

    So, thanks.

  7. what i dont understand is why my covert narcissist ex always says ” I want you to find happiness” …when he utterly destroyed our family. WTF anyone know the meaning of this mind fuckery?

    1. Delanelevy,
      It means that he is entitled to do the things that break up your family, and you are not entitled to be angry about it (in his mind). You belong to him, so he is also allowed to tell you what he wants for your life. This is the type of narc that will stick around to “be friends” or “coparent”. Journal this mindfuckry. Go no contact and only discuss legal custody issues (school, medical, child exchanges, vacations and holidays). His opinion of you is no longer relevant.

      1. wow youre right…..he told my sister he would come back except I would nag him about having an affair ARGH

    2. It’s mindfuck, just as you say. That’s all there is to it, it’s only to confuse you, so you will not leave him. How can he be a bad person when he wants you to find happiness, right? Lies and manipulation, that’s their way.

    3. Hi don’t bother with the Whys , really it just doesn’t work that way when dealing with narcs.
      Keep reading here ,HG will show you all you need to know ,trust him here. It will change your perspective and your entire focus , you will not bother with the torture of wondering why anymore if you study HGs work and trust what he says .He is ALWAYS correct .
      He will answer the why for you , but you have to believe what he says no matter how unpleasant it is for you to take in.
      All you need to recover is right here.

  8. HG~ Is it common for your kind to create fake accounts via FB during a silent treatment? I’ve gone NC for 2 weeks now even though he never responded to my texts and all of a sudden I am getting a lot of messages from some random man via FB curios about my dating life ect.

  9. I actually put up with this for close to a year!
    That’s how much I loved him, I was crazy!
    Before I deleted all correspondence when I went NC – I read through all our texts, dm’s etc. I disgusted myself with the begging and pleading I did as the silent treatments became more frequent and longer.
    I would call his mum or she would call me because he snubbed her too.
    He treated me dreadfully.
    Reading back the messages before I deleted them I sobbed as realisation hit me – it’s like he had followed HG’s behaviour and used it all against me.
    I’m an intelligent woman and yet I was putty in his hands. I hate myself for allowing him to stamp me out.

    One thing I’ve learned, I will not put up with this again.
    The next person I choose to spend my time with will get all I have and if that’s abused – I know I can walk away, survive and thrive.

    Why would you test someone with a silent treatment? To determine if they are a narc? To see how they react? What are you looking for when you give a silent treatment apart from fuel…. fuel might not come your way if the silent treatment is not acknowledged.

  10. My Lesser mom didn’t use silent treatment. She could never control her fury. It was always eruptive with lots of verbal attacks and sometimes physical attacks.

    My Mid-range sister was really good with silent treatments. It was from her that I learned about it. When we were living together after our dad passed away, I would go to the breakfast room to have breakfast and she’s already there having breakfast and I would start a conversation with her as I prepare my breakfast and she would answer me with short responses and stand up and leave to move to the living room to eat there. I didn’t realize that it was a silent treatment at that time so silly me, I followed her to the living room and continued my conversation with her totally clueless and as I sit down she would get up and go back to the breakfast room. Still clueless I followed her to the breakfast room and then she leaves to continue eating at the garden. That’s when I finally realized she didn’t want to eat with me.

    One time we were grocery shopping together and she got mad at me for something trivial and she walked away from me about maybe 5 meters away with a stiff body language and upset face. Everytime I try to walk towards her she moved away maintaining that same distance. It was really awkward because she was my only ride since I was just new in the U.S. and didn’t know how to drive yet. I was wondering if I was going to walk home. She waited for me in the car though and let me in but she didn’t talk to me.

    All kinds of stuff like that.

  11. Pingback: The Expanded Narcissistic Truths – No. 4 — Knowing the Narcissist – Maritza S. Rivera
  12. Why don’t narcissists just want themselves killed? I know you’re keeping us intrigued by the mystery of the creature, but it’s at the core of everything. We know narcissists love the image they’ve constructed, but not their real selves that they’re hiding, which, as you’ve written, they regard as weak. They hate themselves and project it onto us, and we carry their cross for them. They are very messed up because they don’t face the facts, they think they’re logical but they’re not, and it’s an insanity because they’re not aware of it. How can they not be aware when they pretend they have feelings they don’t possess?

    1. Kel
      My belief: They know deep down they lack but the fear and denial is great. NPD is a defence mechanism that allows for their survival (and in many cases much more than that). They do not see it as we do and that is very hard for us to accept because the way we behave and interact with the world seems logical and “right” to us. I do now (with education and understanding) accept that they are human beings that need (their view) someone to carry their cross, and that I cannot change that no matter how much I rail at them or point out their flaws and despicable behaviour. The only solution for me to be able to accept their presence in the world and be able to interact (and in some cases even benefit from them) is to refuse to carry it for them. That is in my control. Thats my power.

      1. NarcAngel, I think you’re absolutely right all the way through. And I think they do know deep down too, as they get sort of quiet and withdrawn whenever I’ve mentioned narcissism in front of any of them about someone else. We have to coexist with narcissists in this world, and the only, even logical, way is by firmly respecting ourselves and politely not giving in to their manipulations. You’re right too, on another of your posts, that once you know, their behavior is almost comical to watch.

  13. My mother used the silent treatment with me often. She would look right at me and say nothing, just challenging my tenuous command of my emotions. I have always worn my emotions on my sleeve. She would do this to me in my own home. Or, she would truncate her responses to be purposefully vague or cryptic. Or she would minimize or invalidate with a dismissive look my feelings (both physical and emotional) and thoughts. And, as a 50+ year old woman, pleasing her, seeing her happy, loving her was the truest reason for me to live. And I failed often. And now she is gone.

    1. E&L
      I dont see that as you failing her. I see it as her not being able to accept or reciprocate your efforts. That was her tragic affliction and does not negate the wondeful gifts that you offered her. You were not responsible for her happiness, just as I assume you do not expect someone to sacrifice themselves completely to make you happy.

  14. HG, I don’t know what hell you’ve been through to get where you are in life, but throughout the past couple of years following you on various media, and our Freedom talk session, I want to thank you for being here. Your work is very valued. Thanks for helping save me from what could be.

Vent Your Spleen!

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