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.

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

  1. Caroline R says:

    This is triggering for me. I feel ill.

    1. Caroline says:

      Caroline R,

      I understand, but the more you tell your mind it’s “triggering,” the more your body will follow suit. You can learn to adequately calm and steady yourself, through the diligent practice of what you tell yourself: the truth — nothing bigger nor smaller than the truth.

      Practice being as logical as possible in your own thinking about NPD. One of the most helpful ways to achieve this is to break NPD down to its original root form, which is always acknowledging that the NPD sufferer has the emotional mindset/regulation of a child…

      So remind yourself you are (essentially) dealing with a child: a child’s emotional mindset engaging in dysfunctional thinking patterns/behaviors…a child who has learned manipulative ways to get what they want (attention) in the easiest way possible. It’s how they’ve learned to “cope”/protect themselves from the sense of self that they lack.

      Defining the NPD like this gives you clarity. With much clarity of thought on your part, in time you won’t react to the NPD sufferer in the same (unhealthy for you) ways. You’ll gain strength/confidence based on reality; your own responses/behavior will become more healthy toward/for you.

      Practicing logic really is the most loving gift you can give yourself. Then it matters not what the person with NPD says/doesn’t say/does/doesn’t do.

      They’re the one with the difficult disorder.

      Remember: you’re dealing with a child. You can learn how to stay a healthy adult.

      1. Caroline R says:

        Dear Caroline,
        Hello! Thank you for your encouragement, and taking time to write all that you have. I’m touched by such thoughtfulness and kindness.
        It’s good for me to remember that N-behaviour is not about me. They aren’t interested in resolving anything. Resolving issues and having closeness is my goal, and theirs is control.

        I value the words of someone articulate, intelligent, and kind, who speaks from experience, and from reading previous posts, this is my impression of you, so thank you again.

        1. Caroline says:

          Thank you, Caroline R (very sweet of you).

          “Resolving issues and having closeness is my goal, and theirs is control.”

          ^ Insightful – so true. ^

          When you can accept what they can’t give (unconditional love) and what they can’t reciprocate (empathy; at least, with consistency and authentically) — it’s easier to not take it in so deeply/personally. With acceptance comes the wisdom to realize that some things just are… which is a tough one, but as we all know, sad/hard things are part of life.

          Does that mean there’s no hope?

          I’d say not… there may be breakthroughs in treating NPD. Some in the right kind of therapy can make improvements. HG is among those who’re getting a lot of good info out on this topic, and it’s being talked about more seriously in various corners of the world.

          That said, those of us who *do* have an intact inner-core (self) can be very grateful. We can tap into our own strength with that real self to not only enjoy life in a genuine way, but to overcome whatever difficulties come along… including healing, learning and growing stronger after a painful entanglement with a narcissist.

          So here’s to that. 🙂

  2. 2SP says:

    This is my life. An eternal silent treatment (that is when he is not giving one of his orations). When I would ask a question he didn’t like to answer, he took a cigarette and went outside, without saying one word.
    I do not talk much and when I do, in the middle of a sentence he will start talking about a completely different subject. So many times. I never understood this, untill I came to this blog. You think that what you tell is perhaps not interesting or unimportant. And when this happens over and over again, you just shut up and slowly your self-esteem disappears (whatever was left of it after Matrinarcs dominance)

  3. M says:

    This is sick. No joke.

  4. Tammy says:

    Sometimes I used to wish he’d shut up. On drugs he would go on literally for days. Then it was interagation with a flashlight at night if he thought I didn’t answer him the way he thought I should.

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