What The Narcissist Thinks : Present Silent Treatment

 

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.

Advertisements

8 Comments

  1. Ooof…… this one hits close to home. The silent treatment/blocking/withholding was my ex narc’s favourite trigger on me. And I fell for it. Every.Single.Time.

  2. A normal person would say: “I do not want to answer now. Let us talk about something else.” The “problem” would be solved.

    But your kind misunderstands each question as some kind of control and makes a big “noise” out of it. Your reaction is not normal and therefore the problem, which had been no problem before, becomes a big problem.

    It is understandable that you misunderstand each question as a kind of control, because it was control in your past and it is control when your mother asks.

    But more than once it is only a polite question by your lover to show some polite interest or some polite attention.

    Even a ” Thank you for answering. My day was quite o.k.” would be enough.

    King of emotional drama.

    1. Agree.
      The questions signify care and attention. It shows that your day is importance, your existence is important…

      That is why we ask about your day — your existence.

  3. I had a different kind of silent treatment from my mid range passive agggressive narcissist. I guess when you keep silence going for over a decade with someone that you have two children with, and you are trying to give the illusion that you are a family man, the silent treatment takes on a different dynamic. He always said “goodmorning.” Sometimes he would say “goodnight,” but he never engaged in any kind of conversation, and if I managed to involve him somehow he would end it abuptly with a ridiculous sweeping overgeneralization and complete disagreement with me. Everyday his actions said “You are not worth talking to.” Often I would say to him “I am going to ignore you now because that is what you are doing to me” He never gave a response to anything that I said that involved his behaviour toward me. Sometimes I would ask him to tone down the hate as I was not feeling strong enough to deal with it at the time, and he would tone down the hate for a couple of days. Never a word though about the hate, or his lack of engagement.
    After 17 years I was faced with the choice to get rid of him, or kill myself. Luckily he had already moved on with a new source at work and was seemingly quite happy to move out. The situation to me was quite simple. He ignored me and made me feel worthless, and that could not go on indefinitely. When asked to explain why his marriage broke he said (to others), “It is complicated”. What does that mean HG?
    We did not have sex for years because I felt that if he couldn’t be bothered to talk to me I couldn’t be bothered to have sex with him. It never was a particularly pleasant experience for me anyway. No emotional connection. I think he thought he was withholding from me. I know that he refused any kind of physical contact, probably to teach me a lesson for saying no to him. After a decade of having me not go crawling after him, he said “If I have a vasectomy can we have sex.” At that point it was too late. I was honest and told him it wouldn’t make a difference and although a hundred things popped into my head to say, I said none of them because I knew it would be pointless.
    I am glad we are not still together, not that we ever were actually together, we were co-parenting without spoken acknowledgement.of that. The funniest thing; when we met and I asked what he had learned from his previous relationship he said “Communication is the key…” lol (key to power!) His mottos are Less is More, and Save the Drama for your Mama. I now see how they work together i.e., I’ll ignore you and when you get upset about it, I’ll ignore you some more.
    He did a lot of damage to me, but it was worth it. And according to him I ruined his life.
    Winning 🙂

  4. This was date #4 for me. So much for the golden period. Just as I was starting to get comfortable with him he brought out the silent treatment, intimidation/threats, and that haunting glare. I never asked him what was wrong, I was still just getting to know him at this point. I wonder if this makes him a lesser because of how quick he showed his colours or did I really do something wrong to upset him? I can think of at least 3 things that would have set him off that night.
    He was shocked and upset that I wanted to end things a week later. Who would stick around to be treated like that, especially in the very beginning??? Me that’s who. I still went back to him 2 months later because I needed to find out the truth about this guy. Classic Narc/Empath dynamic.

  5. Hello, H.G.Tudor.
    As I read this post, I felt like buying a coffeemaker and throwing it towards the TV touching her head…
    Fuck your party and your fucking TV.
    Will you pay attention to me? or I’ll let you fly the cast steel frying pan I have in my hand and I won’t doubt it. You don’t want emotional attention. Come that I will give you emotional attention…..
    What a pity, not knowing this before. I would have given him strong and hard emotional attention.
    They would have taken me to the police station, but I would have looked so good. hahahahahahahahahaha.
    -Then I plead transitory alienation before the judge and everything solved…..

Vent Your Spleen!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.