Has The Narcissist Disengaged Or Is It A Silent Treatment


I am often asked how somebody is able to distinguish between being subjected to a silent treatment or whether they have been disengaged from (discarded in old money) ?  There are clear similarities between the two and of course, they are both instances which are common in respect of the narcissistic dynamic between our kind and the intimate partner primary source.

Silent treatments come essentially in two forms. There is the Present Silent Treatment (“PST”) and the Absent Silent Treatment (“AST”). The PST manifests as us standing and glaring at you but not saying anything, or walking away from you every time you come near us so we go to a different room or we just sit in a chair and watch television acting as if you are not there, even though we may speak to other people. Whilst the PST is unpleasant to the recipient, it is often used because it is a manifestation of cold fury. The PST is used by all three schools of narcissist, but is heavily used by the Mid-Rangers as part of their passive-aggressive repertoire. The advantage to us of the PST is that we can deploy it with very little effort (thus conserving energy) and also because you are either in the same room as us or nearby we gain significant Proximate Fuel from your upset, anger or irritation. A PST’s duration is less than that of an AST. This is because the fuel drawn from its application is strong and therefore any wounding that has been caused will be addressed sooner. Accordingly, the PST may only last half an hour and at most until the next morning after you have endured a night in bed alone as we slept in the spare room or on the settee.

The short duration of the PST and the very fact that we are in the same room as you or same building means that it is clear that it is a silent treatment and there is no discard. Indeed, the PST will not even be the precursor to discard. The PST has one function and one function alone; to draw fuel from you and it is very effective in that respect.

Turning to the AST. This occurs when we disappear and you do not know where we have gone. We may head to a local bar for the night, book into a hotel, stay at a friend’s, leave town, return to our own property or head to the Intimate Partner Secondary Source that we are cultivating. The key components of an AST are as follows:-

  1. We are not proximate to you;
  2. You do not know where we have gone;
  3. You are desperate to find us (be that because you are worried, upset, concerned or angry); and
  4. You will try to contact us.

The AST allows us to draw two types of fuel initially. The first is Proximate Fuel. Although we are not next to you, if we receive anxious voicemail messages from you, we read angry text messages demanding to know where the hell we are,  mutual friends get in touch explaining how you have contacted them worried sick as to where we are and/or we see you stood on our doorstep banging on our front door as we watch with a grin from behind the curtains, then we draw Proximate Fuel at ‘witnessing’ your emotional reaction.

Secondly, knowing that we have left you in a state of anxiety or annoyance provides us with Thought Fuel. Even if we do not answer the ‘phone, pick up the text messages or voicemails, the fact we see you are calling us will provide us with this Thought Fuel as well. Accordingly, the AST is a low-energy/high potency method of gaining fuel from you.

We revel in knowing you will be pacing up and down concerned as to where we have gone to, you will be ringing around friends and relatives to try to track us down and alternating between anger and upset. We have caused this in you and this makes us feel powerful.

There is a third fuel line to the AST as well. The reason we opt for an AST and not a PST is also because we use the time away from you to either spend time with Non-Intimate Secondary Sources (our friends and family- quite probably smearing you at the same time) and thus we gain fuel from them but more often we use it to cultivate the Intimate Partner Secondary Source that we are considering for promotion to Primary Source.

The attention from this person or these people gives us additional fuel. We are therefore edified by this triple supply of fuel. No wonder the AST is so tempting. We gain fuel and we are also progressing the seduction of the prospective primary source, working on embedding them.

How long might an AST last? It could be an afternoon, it might be a month, it might be three months. However, as the time period lengthens this is when people begin to wonder if this is now a discard. The question arises, when is this behaviour no longer a silent treatment and when does it become a disengagement?

Would it be a discard after one day? One week? One month? Three months? Six months?

The answer is that you may have ASTs which last those periods of time and an absence of just one day may be the start of the disengagement.

If we are drawing fuel from you then it remains a silent treatment. Keep in mind that the potency of the Thought Fuel will only last so long, so we will need some Proximate Fuel which means we need you to keep knocking at our door and ringing our telephone. Of course, since we are not engaging with you, how do you know that we are still drawing fuel from you and it is not in fact a disengagement? You could be calling us and it is actually a discard, so how then could you tell the difference?

As you know, we will often not tell you that the Formal Relationship is over. We just disengage without telling you. If you are trying to get in touch with us and you find that you have been blocked from our mobile number, we have blocked you on social media and none of our friends can shed any light on where we are, then you should realise that this is not a silent treatment but you have been disengaged from.

Since we need fuel during a silent treatment we keep the avenues of communication open but we do not respond. Thus we let you text, ring, drop notes round, send messages through friends and knock at our door. This gives us the fuel. If you have been disengaged from, we have no need for your fuel anymore (indeed you may not actually be providing it – see below) because we are drinking up delicious fresh positive fuel from the new primary source. Accordingly, we do not need to or want to hear from you.

if you turn up at our door, you may be ignored but more likely you will be confronted and be told in no uncertain terms to go away and leave us alone. You will be threatened with the police and restraining orders or our lieutenants will turn up to warn you off. We don’t need your fuel anymore and we do not want you hanging around like a bad smell and posing a risk to our harmonious new relationship with the new primary source.

Accordingly, a chief determinant between a silent treatment and a disengagement is whether you can contact us (albeit not actually get a response) if you can it is silent treatment. If not, it is a disengagement.

There will also be occasions where the absence starts as a silent treatment and then becomes a disengagement. This is where we have doled out a silent treatment to obtain fuel and bed in the person we are seducing and that seduction has been deemed to be successful, hence we install them as primary source, you are disengaged from and the blocking will begin. The silent treatment shifts to become a disengagement through the period of absence.

A further way of determining whether this period of absence is a silent treatment or a disengagement  is to consider what has happened in the run up to the period of absence. As I wrote in 5 Reasons We Discard You there are five primary reasons  which bring about your discard. If you can ascertain that this has happened (admittedly it is not always obvious) prior to the period of disengagement, you will have a greater idea that you have been disengaged from rather than being subjected to a silent treatment.

Accordingly if you have

  1. Worked us out and reduced your fuel provision considerably;
  2. Realised that there is a new primary source;
  3. Become broken and numb so you are not functioning;
  4. Caused a major exposure of our behaviour; or
  5. Intentionally wounded us repeatedly through fuel free criticism

then these are reasons for you to be disengaged from.

For those who wonder why I state disengage rather than discard, well,  the reality is that there is no such thing as a discard. It is instead a dis-engagement. If you are the primary source we are no longer interested in you and it is as if you have ceased to exist and we have (at the point of disengagement) no desire to interact with you ever again (of course this attitude changes at a later point when we commence our hoovering of you when we start our devaluation of your replacement). If you are an intimate partner secondary source, you will be placed on the shelf as we focus on the primary source or another intimate partner secondary source who we think will make a better prospect for promotion than you.

We eventually come knocking and therefore this dis-engagement ought to be treated as a long period of silence whereby you can recover and build you defences. Of course, it is more usually the case that you have no idea why we have departed and in your confused and emotional state you do not know the difference between a silent treatment and a discard.

Now you do.


14 thoughts on “Has The Narcissist Disengaged Or Is It A Silent Treatment

  1. Pati says:

    HG what happens when the present silent treatment is happening and you go along with it e.g. ignore them back or leave for the day. Are you then reducing giving fuel to the Narcissist?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are not providing any fuel and you will wound.

  2. MommyPino says:

    So my oldest stepdaughter had been giving my husband the silent treatment for the second month now. This started because he gave her his opinion regarding vaccines because she is against vaccination and he told her that she is risking her daughter’s life or future by not providing any protection. She told him that he doesn’t know what he is talking about because it is not his specialization. And that was the last time they talked. She hasn’t been answering or returning his calls.

    Several days ago he left a voice message greeting his granddaughter happy birthday and he got a return call from his daughter’s phone but he only got to talk to his granddaughter and not his daughter. I have implemented No Contact since last year and that meant my children also do not get to interact with my stepdaughters. Ever since I have implemented No Contact, my husband and I agreed to stop talking about my stepdaughters to our kids to avoid them feeling confused about things that they will not be able to control. We have agreed that if the kids turn 18 and they decide to reconnect with their half sisters, that will be their decision or prerogative as adults. However, my stepdaughter hasn’t done the same. Whenever my husband talks to his granddaughter who is four years old, she keeps begging her grandfather to let her talk to our five year old son. The last time that she has seen him was when she was three and she just saw him three times that year before I went NC. However, she tells her grandfather that she loves our son very much and would love to talk to him because my stepdaughter keeps talking to her about him and showing their pictures together that I took and sent them before NC. So my husband is obviously bothered by the whole thing and feeling guilty that the little kids are affected by all of this. He said that he is going to tell his daughter to stop talking about our kids to her daughter because the situation will not change. As of now he’s still unable to talk to his daughter. But this is pretty much her play strategy for years: silent treatment until her dad gives in. But right now her dad is so fed up with it although when she finally talks to him, he always gets excited and even ends up being too accommodating to her because he’s too happy that she finally talks to him again.

  3. readMangas says:

    my narcissist clearly said farwell to me (i called him out on his behaviour) so i suposed it was a desengagement, but he didn’t block my number he didn’t even unfriend me on facebook, i was the one who did it when i eventually figured out who he really is . it has been 5 months and no signe of him, i occasionally recieve phone calls from a number i don’t know and no one speaks when i answer but i have no means to assertain that it is him.

  4. Veronique Jones says:

    HG how does the narcissist react if after disengagement and devaluation the empath discards the narcissist when they Hoover

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You don’t discard a narcissist you escape. If you’ve been disengaged from , you can’t then escape as the narcissist got in first. If you ignore a hoover, which is what you are trying to state, it wounds the narcissist and the response is as set out in the book Fury.

      1. Veronique Jones says:

        I have read Fury twice it is one of your books I have brought it dose explain fury well great work
        I am trying to avoid legal action against my narcissist I am not vindictive and have no desire to hurt him
        I rejected him in the golden period as any other type of relationship with him would have been unethical he is my doctor and to see a difference one I would need to fly interstate every three months or more. He turned on me after that and has been a complete asshole so much so that he has killed any feelings I ever had for him I am trying to avoid him but his minions are everywhere some were my friends he has definitely tried to break me I doubt he has ever come across any other people like me I believe I am a very resilient super magnet empath from everything you have taught me about the characteristics of both I am exceptionally rare person I will sue him if I have to and I have proof of the malignant hoovering but I would much rather not have to money to me is a necessity Not a desire for me I cannot afford to travel like that but without proper care I could die this is why I need it to stop I find it so hard to accept that he thinks what he has done is ok on any level I think he has many options of women and I personally believe it’s only the fact that I rejected him that he won’t let it go and possibly just to win and he cannot which makes him worse always scheming about how to piss me off it feels like he is daring me to take legal action he is the top in his field and has many connections in high places is there any chance he will stop being a dick of should I just let my lawyer go ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I can assist on this detailed matter in consultation

          1. Veronique Jones says:

            Can I go on your waiting list for donations please and how do I go about it 🙏

          2. HG Tudor says:

            You do not receive money. You receive assistance with the various products. If you email me I will send you the protocol.

          3. Veronique Jones says:

            I am not asking for money just your advice thanks 🙏

  5. mollyb5 says:

    HG .. why do you feel the narcissist is always embedding someone ..or is that just what you do as a greater . Not all mid rangers are handsome or physically attractive . Is it possible during an absent silent treatment the narc goes and flirts with waitresses , store clerks and has conversations with them and jokes with them, their laughter fuels him and makes him feel better. Is it possible , that he goes to clients homes close and gets fueled by them praising his designs / work …and he has another non intimate secondary sources that fuel him …guy friends, they talk about some girl online or he goes and jerks off somewhere in his truck. You describe scenarios that are quite accurate … Is it possible not all narcs have to have attention from women they want to embed or fuck. Is it because of the control issue ? Does he want to feel less controlled so he goes and proves he can attract more attention from someone else .

  6. Mackie says:

    I attempted to hold my lesser to mid narc accountable only one time. We were entangled for a year and I was his primary (super empath). He was angry and told me it was over. Of course I was devastated. 1 month later he sent a super long text telling me how ugly I was on the inside and that he did still love me as a friend! All was salad making and impossible to understand.
    Why would he send this if he had used me up? I did not respond.

  7. cogra002 says:

    Wow this is enlightening, mostly in regards to my ex, not the Narc of the moment. If I had known this, my X and I would have been over before 10 yrs.
    I was very bothered by this, though. Enough to take the pets, check into a hotel and let him lose his mind about where we were. Didnt answer phone, nada. Funny he didn’t like it. 🤔
    I think the silent treatment is bullshit. I think most of what Narcs do.is bullshit. I’m seeing through so much these days. I’m sure I’making the Narc uncomfortable. 🖕

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