Silent, Oh Silent


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 your 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.

36 thoughts on “Silent, Oh Silent

  1. JR Lancaster says:

    Dammmit, silent treatment is my Midrange Victim narc’s go-to. I got a 13 year silent treatment, then he came back for a rousing game of Golden Period Redoux that almost ruined my life/marriage, and thankfully for me he then went back to more miniature silent treatments of a few hours, then a few days, then weeks, and then months again. Until the second round of silent treatments I hadn’t woken up to what an abusive asshole he is, if you can believe that. If it hadn’t been for the silent treatments, I would have never “discovered” what he actually is. To use a phrase I hate that my Matrinarc used on me growing up, those silent treatments were “a blessing in disguise”.
    Silent treatments in any length of time, digital or in person, are the most emotionally abusive mindfuck out there.

  2. Judith says:

    I am married to a Narc. 25 years of putting up with the horrendous behaviour. Finally had enough and I started to challenge his behaviours – Fully blown rages ensued! He started the silent treatment 5 months ago and it still continues. I am sleeping in the spare room. There are no conversations, if he enters a room and I am in there he will quickly turn and walk out after giving me a ‘look’ of disgust. We have a joint bank account and a mortgage and hefty debts. I want this to end but am afraid of mentioning divorce or selling the house because he will use this interaction as his fuel. Aarrggghh!! In such a mess feel trapped!

    1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

      Dear Judith,
      I am so very saddened to hear what you have endured and are currently going thru (5 months ? )
      My first step father was an extremely disturbed person with very unpredictable sadistic tendencies
      My mum was advised by “his” therapist to leave immediately for fear of all our safety (us kids had a sleepout next to the kitchen, he turned the oven on and tried to gas us in our sleep)
      It was a precision planned escape (the first attempt failed)
      My mum had to organise a day off work and everything else in secret ….no mean feat (plus securing a place to live… it was a terrible temporary place but at least we had a roof over our heads)

      Mum escaped with only the basic essentials (single mother with two kids and very little money) …..back then, very little support was given to women, especially with kids
      My mother was an active advocate in helping the introduction by the government to a “supporting mothers benefits bill”
      My mum made sure she secretly saved enough money as to never be backed into a corner ever again and to always have a way out …..always
      To every problem, there is aways a solution Judith … please don’t feel trapped
      Sometimes, in order to fool the fool, we have to play the fool

      I strongly urge a consult with Mr Tudor, if you can
      My deepest hearfelt thoughts to you my lovely
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    2. Getting There says:

      Hello, Judith.
      I’m sorry that you are experiencing such a treatment from your husband! 25 years is a long time. You don’t deserve to spend the rest of your life feeling trapped due to fear of what the next step will do; yet I understand the need to be careful and plan that next step.
      I’m glad you found HG and this site. Hopefully he and this site can help you find a way to free yourself.

  3. KellyD says:

    Narc always says, I’ll get out and walk (if we’re in the car); I’ll leave now. Always ready to walk. Always ready to show that he doesn’t need anyone. Will sing or turn up the volume to drive home that he’s not listening. Much like a 5 yr old might do. F*cking maddening bs.

  4. Pamela Dianne says:

    Sweet baby Jesus…. this is quite the blog!

    1. Getting There says:

      Are you new, Pamela?

  5. Lori says:

    So what about silence when you are the shelf ? Meaning the narc who does not speak to you but leaves a channel open but correctivelr devalues by blocking you when you say something via text he doesn’t like only to unblock you again all the while he never says a word. I swear to God I never understood the purpose in that. I ve just finally quit again. I’ve been no contact about 5 or r 6 weeks now and in that time I’ve received a proxy Hoover and one fake friend request which may or may not have been him, but like I said what in the hell purpose does this serve ? I just really don’t get it. My next day question how long would a narc do this. It’s been a year it seems to me he’d either directly Hoover or disengage but no just shelf silence and fire rice devaluations without a single word

    1. Getting There says:

      Hello, Lori.
      I’m sorry you are going through that. It is difficult to understand the “WTFs” when dissecting it under a microscope using our lens; we need to switch lens to theirs.
      The way I think I have started to understand:
      If you have challenged or wounded him, he needs to regain control and thus a corrective devaluation may need to be used by him. Either he is too busy to notice that you are not responding like you should; or maybe he doesn’t want to use a lot of fuel or risk the additional wounding by making a direct hoover.
      You are doing a good job not contacting and coming here for answers instead of him! This can be a great time to free yourself and maybe find a guy who won’t shelf you and won’t react to your words in such a way.

    2. NarcAngel says:

      The purpose is to keep you engaged and it’s worked a charm. How long will they keep it up? As long as it works and you still engage. Everything is a game to them and stringing you along and keeping you wondering is giving them fuel. Remember, there are different fuel sources, so he can be getting what you think he wants from you from the others. Your role in the fuel matrix appears to be to amuse him and fuel his superiority by being a puppet on a string to him without him having to put in much (if any) effort. He enjoys degrading you by having you contact him without responding and then he knows you look to see if you are blocked. It’s all a game and he is winning. He delights in wondering how long he can get you to play.

      So the question is not why does he do it or what does he get out of it. That’s clear. The question is why do you continue to allow yourself to be degraded by engaging in play?

      You are worth more than that Lori, and there are other people and things more worthy of your time and attention than playing a game of hide and seek with a child posing as a man. Are there not?

      1. Lori says:

        Well I’m sure he expected some reaction when he hoovered via mutual friend. He knew that would get back to me and make me mad. But honestly it didnt really make me mad Igor hurt me. I see it for what it was and I just carried on and at that point I just figured why am I bothering with someone who isn’t speaking to me. It’s ridiculous. It’s maddening to think why can’t he just be normal but he can’t and that’s that. I went 4 months before and now I’m about 6 weeks in again and honestly as time passes it gets slot easier to do. It is what it is and that is that he is a narcissist and myself nor anyone else is going to change that. It does get less difficult over time. They are like an allergen. If you keep in contsct of any kind, you keep having a reaction but once you remove the allergen you miss that food but over time you begin not to miss it anymore. You may think about how much you used to enjoy it but you don’t crave it as much anymore and you know if you eat that food you are going to get sick. I’m not partaking in that food anymore. I’m at the point that I remember from time to time I liked it but there is no point because it makes me sick

        It is fascinating though that this man has been playing a game with me for a year without saying a single word. He only uses the block button, fake friend requests and mutual friends but not a single acknowledgement of me otherwise

      2. Lori says:

        But the real question in all of this is what in the hell am I getting out of it. Cause I’m getting something from it that’s for damn sure or it wouldn’t have been going on this long. I don’t know if this is the answer but the only thing I can come up with is a Narc and a Codependent both fighting for control which he had won and I keep saying come on double or nothing.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Confirmation that you matter to him? Inability to accept that you don’t?

        2. Lori says:

          Narc Angel

          I thank you for your comments. I find them most accurate. I own my own shit. Honestly on some level, I’m as guilty as him. If I’m honest I know I would never be happy with this man ever and I wouldn’t go with him. This is about ME regaining some level of control. I think that is what the real root of this is and me deriving my own worth from being able to regain control. On some level this has been a game for me as well

          1. NarcAngel says:

            I’m glad you accepted my comments as someone looking on as that was my intent. It was not an attack or judgement.

          2. Lori says:

            I have realized that I am no different than any other “user” drugs or alcohol I just so happen to have a person as my drug of choice. I’m back on the wagon and have been a good while now hence the proxy Hoover. I simply have to remind myself it’s one day at a time and I’m not going to contact him today. I do not say ever. I do not put those anxiety inducing restraints I just say not today

          3. MB says:

            Lori, Same! A person can be a drug of choice in a behavioral addiction. The same as gambling, eating, working, etc. There is a compulsive drive to engage in the activity of interacting with said narc. It can be such a powerful hit that one can only think of getting the next one leading to neglect of other life activities.

            “Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.”

          4. Lori says:

            Narc Angel

            Oh boy I have had even further proof just today that I mattered not. I have also learned that this guy has been carrying on with tons of women thru Facsbooj. None of this ever had anything to do with me personally. This is just what he does. I don’t know if it’s time or passing or some acceptance but learning this doesn’t hurt to degree it once would have. I just see him as a very sick little creature so very desperate for attention

          5. Lori says:


            It really is just simple addiction. The real question is why the fuck would I want any validation from such sick individual and yes he is sick with a mental illness.

          6. Lori says:

            I’m really starting to accept that this had NOTHING to do with me personally. Nothing. I just happened to be a codependent that he ran across any codependent would worked for him.

            Sometimes proxy Hoover enlighten you.

            A week ago even questioned whether I was being proxy.hoovered now I see it clearly

            Hg what happens is I just continue to ignore it will he stop ? Or is he gonna try anothee method and what method would it be? I assume this has been to as an attempt to receive negative fuel but I’d j don’t give does he switch t h to trying to get positive fuel?

            This proxy Hoover has been eye opening …

      3. E&L says:

        Any suggestions on how to improve one’s perception of worthiness?
        As a codependent, HG writes in CHAINED that the CoD only feels valued for what they do not who they are, simply paraphrased. I can attest to this insidious belief with regards to self-currency.

    3. foolme1time says:

      Lori, He is simply playing games with you, you are easy to gain a little bit of fuel from without him having to exert much energy. You are worth so much more then to be used as a puppet to be picked up and put down whenever he feels like it. You say you have been NC for 5 or 6 weeks, continue to do so and stay here. I also suggest if you haven’t already done so, to purchase HGs books, start with fuel and manipulated, escape, ask questions, if you are able to do so consult with HG. I recommend the audio consult but if for some reason you do not feel comfortable enough speaking to him directly ( He is always very professional and straightforward) purchase the email consult instead. He has all of the answers you are looking for. You are at a very good place being NC for the amount of time you have been, continue with that and the other suggestions I have made. I wish you peace and healing on your journey. 🌻

    4. K says:

      The purpose is for fuel and control; he is asserting his (perceived) superiority through control by deploying a silent treatment, blocking AND unblocking. He gets thought fuel with the possibility of proximate fuel if you respond.

      The purpose of a proxy hoover and fake friend request (if they are from him) are for fuel and control and assertion of superiority. He is pulling the strings; he is in control and running the show, all done to draw fuel from you.

      The narcissistic relationship is forever and he will continue to hoover you until you block him because it suits his purposes to do so.

      1. Lori says:


        Here’s my question or perhaps HG can answer. How does he obtain fuel from sending a fake friend request ? He know I don’t accept them. I really don’t get why he bothers. I haven’t accepted them nor am I ever going to accept so I really can’t see what he gets from it. It’s not like he know that I know it’s him. I might be thinking it’s just random and if I did know about Narcissists doing this and what to look for I likely would think it’s random

        1. HG Tudor says:

          1. Thought Fuel.
          2. He clearly expects you to accept them and then interact with him, the fact he ‘knows’ you do not accept them is not necessarily going to deter him from doing so because it is part of the sense of entitlement and grandiosity (oh she will accept this one, bound to).

  6. Christopher Jackson says:

    Sounds like the narc I used to have my life to the “t” spot on hg it’s like my narc didnt say these things I just knew these things without the narc saying it…fucking crazy

  7. K says:

    Oh shut up you drama queen 😁👎

  8. Pale Horse says:

    Anyone following the Fotis Dulos case out of Connecticut? Telltale signs of a Narc!

    1. Getting There says:

      I have been following and thought the same thing about him. His current girlfriend confuses me on whether she is or not.

    2. K says:

      Pale Horse
      Absolutely and the girlfriend is probably a narcissist too.

      1. Getting There says:

        K, what signs did you see about her?
        I have wondered as I can also see that she may have been scared like the girlfriend from the Colorado fiance murder.

        1. K says:

          Getting There
          Her facial expressions and body language in court suggests that she is not concerned or has any empathy for the mother of five or the children. She comes across as cold and defiant. Plus, the arrest of Michelle Troconis strongly indicates that she may be involved in the disappearance/cover up in some way. I don’t get scared from her but I could be wrong.

          1. Getting There says:

            Thank you for sharing that, K! You are probably right in that. She hasn’t helped in finding the body, so that has confused me. I think I am trying to provide an explanation on how she could be involved in such a horrific situation, especially as a mother herself. I think I automatically assume there is already one narcissist in a relationship. Why would she risk her freedom for his crime? That confuses me also.

          2. K says:

            My pleasure Getting There!
            The husband may have been the only one responsible for the disappearance and MT may only have helped hide evidence or know more than she is saying.

            If she is a narcissist, she is protecting her asset: Fotis Dulos (IPPS). Although she is a mother herself, she will have no emotional empathy for Jennifer Dulos or her five children but she will have plenty of cognitive empathy for herself and Fotis. Jennifer Dulos was the aggressor, gold digger, bitch, etc., and deserved her fate (compartmentalization). From her altered perspective, she and Fotis are the “true victims” in this narrative.

            I think MT will risk her freedom for NOW because she is exerting control and contempt for law enforcement, plus she is getting tons of fuel from all of this, however, in the end when push comes to shove, she may turn on Fotis (there is no loyalty) and testify against him, which translates to more fuel and control.

          3. Getting There says:

            Thank you, K! You helped me understand so much!

            It is a sad situation, and for her mom and the children, I do hope they figure out what exactly happened.

          4. K says:

            My pleasure Getting There!
            Their mindset is so completely different than ours and it is interesting to try and puzzle them out. It is a sad situation, especially for the children, and we will just have to watch it all play out in the news.

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