Six Silent Soul Destroyers


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 you 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.

9 thoughts on “Six Silent Soul Destroyers

  1. Emextraordinaire says:

    All of those lil crumbs of texts, emails, small gestures..: are JUST Crumbs… meant to keep us engaged. And it works. Unless we continue to read and reread these posts from HG.

  2. angelangie35 says:

    Ashley, I on the other hand, never reacted to silent treatments in any way, shape, or form. Whether they were absent or present silent treatments. And like you said, I feel if I didn’t react, then it would have been used against me down the line, well, for me it was, the Narcissist trying to gain sympathy and feel sorry for him, saying well I needed to disappear and be away from. You when you were driving me crazy ( when this disappearing act was to all intents and purposes deliberate, calculated and intentional and on purpose and I was doing my college work in his apartment and listening to music , that apparently was me being crazy) . Yes, they love to revise history to suit their own agendas, aims, and purposes. It’s very sad. The way I saw it, if you’re making the choice and decision not to speak to me, to talk to me and engage in an intelligent conversation, an intelligent discussion with me I will not keep asking what’s wrong? what’s the matter? Did I say or do something to upset you, anger you, frustrate you? Please just talk to me please just speak to me? I’m begging you please say something ! Etc those words were never ever ever uttered out of my mouth for any reason I will watch you, I will observe you ( thank god for awareness) and I will remember. If you’re making that choice and decision not to talk and speak and ignore me which he did for a week or so, I will ignore you for a lifetime. And of course, he was the first to break the silence with a false, apology ( probably more than likely not responding to his silence didn’t even see this as a manipulation as I was busy with what I needed to do but then it became clearly obvious what he was doing and plus he needed a different form of manipulation/fuel because administering silence wasn’t working ) so, he did the wrestling commentary very very very loudly!!! Not kidding. I ignored it all and remained zip lipped🤐 but I did say one thing, kind of looked at him, and said ” Why are you doing that? ” In a stern, logical and straightforward manner , his response? Got more LOUD, more ARROGANT, more OBNOXIOUS, and more BELLIGERENT!!!!!! He must of been fucking pissed off to death because he was so so so damn loud!! Such a pathetic display of manipulation and quite inferior to unadulterated logic to the people who are on the correct side of the spectrum. I have never seen anything like it. Oh boy, he was trying to really successfully get underneath my skin, and he almost succeeded but I didn’t want to be duped. Never seen anything like it.

    1. Ashley says:

      Angelangie, ugh isn’t the trying to gain sympathy the worst? A narcissist I was with before the one that brought me here, was so pathetic with the trying to twist everything around on me & get sympathy. He was so pathetic when he was like that lol I verbally ANNIHILATED him like a prosecutor. Then the one I was with recently, I was the opposite just really submissive & sweet because he was a completely different type of man. Much older than me. I feel so stupid for being so nice. He probably re-reads my super sweet emails with a sinister smile feeling so powerful. I kick myself lol. But I guess with him in particular, I would rather be called unable to let go than him saying I didn’t care because that would drive me crazy! At least if he calls me crazy for loving him too much it would be the truth. Kuddos to you ignoring!!! I’m sorry he was so loud & belligerent to you! That must have been uncomfortable!

  3. Dorion says:

    This is interesting, I didn’t realize there were so many forms of silent treatments. I think people who are not prone to passive aggression (or understand it from a psychology point of view) can get really puzzled by it. I know I did – both of my parents used this, it was their way of “resolving” conflict with each-other and with me. None of them had NPD but definitely this pattern. But what they did was much simpler: basically just stopping to communicate completely after an argument and when they were offended, sometimes for hours, others times for days. Then just started talking again as though nothing happened. I could not understand it for the life of me as a child and am very happy I did not pick up the habit, that I have other narcissistic traits and not this. I also experienced it from some narcs I met via work and it is absolutely the worst strategy to react to it, to appear hurt etc. The whole thing just looks ridiculous and utterly immature if one does not engage and try to fix it.

  4. privatejourney60 says:

    These causes the increase of ‘mental illness’ prevalent in today’s society — worldwide!. Indeed very hurtful towards the intended victim.

  5. kel says:

    I just saw that there was a Storm Dennis bomb cyclone that hit the UK, and that there is severe flooding, and hope that Sir Tudor and all the Tudorites are ok and getting through it. Safe wishes.

  6. Ashley says:

    I really regret reacting so much to absent silent treatments & wordless disengagements! Embarrassing how much I ran after my ex being concerned & all lovey dovey. BUT I feel if I didn’t react at all it would’ve been used against me down the line, like “you didn’t even care” sort of thing. I couldn’t win either way

    1. wildviolet22 says:

      Ashley- when the absent silent treatments first started (or when I was being shelved, as I’ve come to understand, was sometimes the case), I tried to talk to mine about it. Always excuses and justifications for his behavior. So then I would just leave him alone and let him come to me. When my discard came (which I think was me being thrown out with the bathwater after he had a fight with someone else, from what I gathered from our exchange), he did thrown it all back in my face.

      Apparently leaving him alone was the “wrong” thing to do too. I was reminded of how sometimes when little children have tantrums, and they expect the mommy to be there no matter what. As they should, with children. But he’s an adult, not a child, and I’m not his mommy. So if I ever have so much as a passing thought about ever talking to him again, I catch myself and remind myself “no no no…. he did this, and we’re sticking to it”.

      But yeah, with his severe emotional problems and issues with attachments, it became too clear to ignore, that I was damned no matter what I did :/.

      1. Ashley says:

        Wildviolet, I know just what you mean ❤

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