Should I Get In Touch With the Narcissist?



The creation of anxiety and uncertainty are twin concerns which we engender in much of what we do. Both have the effect of stopping you from doing things, preventing you from analysing matters in an effective way and ultimately from helping yourself to escape our hold. One way of doing this is through the Prior Warning Silent Treatment. Now, it is our usual fashion, when applying a silent treatment not to tell you what we are doing. If it is a Present Silent Treatment, we remain in close proximity to you but we do not speak or respond to you. You soon realise that it is a silent treatment but you were not fore-warned. The Absent Silent Treatment is where we absent ourselves from your presence. We may just walk off, we may leave as expected but then stay away or we may just not turn up when expected and it often is a short while before you realise that you are being subjected to a silent treatment, you just think initially that you cannot contact us or we must be busy and it is only later that you realise we are giving you an  Absent Silent Treatment,

The Prior Warning Silent Treatment relies on telling you that we do not want you to contact us but it is still not immediately obvious that it is a silent treatment that is being meted out towards you. Consider these phrases, for instance: –

“I will be in meetings all day so don’t contact me.”

“I will be sleeping so don’t call me. I will call you when I am ready.”

“There is a poor signal in the area so I will be incommunicado for most of the trip.”

“I need some space for myself, so please don’t get in touch. I will ring you.”

“I have a lot to do today so don’t call or message me.”

They all seem like legitimate reasons for not being in touch for a period of time but when uttered by us what we are really telling you is,

“Time for a silent treatment and I wonder how long you can cope with it?”


The timing of this Prior Warning Silent Treatment is the key to recognising it. First of all, it is less likely that we will say the things above during the seduction unless they are actually true, but there will be a Comforting Caveat attached to the statement. Accordingly,

“I will be in meetings all day so don’t contact me, but I will pop out and give you a call when I get a chance, because you know how much I miss you.”

“I will be sleeping so don’t call me. I will call you about 8 o’clock. If you haven’t heard from me by then, do ring me.”


“There is a poor signal in the area so I will be incommunicado for most of the trip, so I will find a landline on which you can reach me and will let you know what it is as soon as I can. I wish you were coming with me. I hate being apart from you.”


“I have a lot to do today so don’t call or message me, until 1pm please unless of course it is an emergency, but I will message you when I can because I miss you.”

Notice how there is no talk of needing space. This is because we do not want space from you during the seduction, far from it. Indeed, we will reluctantly accept an enforced absence from you during seduction and if possible try to re-arrange appointments and the like to ensure we spend time with you.

The Prior Warning Silent Treatment is doled out during devaluation and when there are specific circumstances. We do this when we know that you have concerns that we are interested romantically in someone else, that we are spending time with someone else and our motives (and theirs) are unclear. In essence, when we are triangulating you (although you probably will not realise this is what is happening) we will issue the PWST. We do this because it enables us to wield power over you by telling you and controlling you in terms of whether are permitted to engage with us. It also means that you are told there will be a silence (although you won’t necessarily know that it is a silent treatment) from the beginning. We know this will cause you to wonder whether the silence is real and thus your anxiety will begin. You will feel uncertain about whether we really are non-contactable and whether we are doing something else. The problem is, we know you only have a suspicion and nothing concrete.

Accordingly, when you know we are apparently uncontactable you wonder who we are with and what we are doing. This makes you anxious. This provides us with fuel even though we do not witness it because we know how you will be feeling. We know that: –

You will be toying with messaging us to see if it is received

You will be toying with messaging us to see if it is read

You want to ring our mobile to see if it actually rings

You want to ring from a withheld number to see if we answer and if you can discern any background noises

You check our social media profile to see if there have been any updates there when we are supposedly unable to contact anyone.

You are torn between wanting to get rid of the anxiety and find out what is really going on and the risk of getting it wrong and upsetting us. You fear that we have an interest in someone else and we are actually spending time with them. If you do not do something, this time is unchallenged. This other person may not know about you but if you get in touch with us and make yourself known, then you are laying down a marker to the other person and possibly warning them away from us. You will also find evidence of us having lied which you will want to use against us. At this stage you have no desire to be rid of us. On the contrary the devaluation is such that you want things to work out and return to the golden period again, but you cannot stand this uncertainty. You wish you could make a decision but what if we have told the truth and you interrupt us in a meeting? Not only will we furious with you, we may well hold it against you in the future (you are damn right we will). But then again, if we are with someone else and perhaps we know that you suspect and you do nothing about it, we might think you do not care and do not want to fight to keep us? It is quite remarkable the effect uncertainty and anxiety can have on someone who is being made to feel steadily more and more insecure.

All the while we are drawing fuel from this. If we have told the truth, we gain fuel knowing you will be anxious. More likely it is a lie and we are either with someone else or just wanting to be away from you. In either instance more fuel is gathered and we exert our control over you by this Prior Warning Silent Treatment. You have the dilemma of whether you should contact us. What would you do?

27 thoughts on “Should I Get In Touch With the Narcissist?

  1. XYZ says:

    After great idealisation phase, something were different. He was kind and “loved me”, but he started to disappearing just like in this article. I had really really strong feeling… Like never before. And I was in love like never before. I was exhausted because of that feeling, so I hired detective to be sure, if I was just crazy or not. Well… My perfect man was back to his “toxic-lazy-bad-boring-and all faults” ex. Ta-daaa…
    Never ignore “that” feeling.

  2. lickemtomorrow says:

    I got the poor signal message a few times. It was plausible, which it always is when it comes to the narcissist.

    I generally accepted what he said, but there were also occasions where I checked online to see if the carrier was reporting issues. So, yes, the anxiety was raised and I did some investigating. On some occasions it appears he was telling the truth. Others I wasn’t so sure about. The fact he told me he might not be available I took as a decent act on his part. Letting me know ahead of time why he might not be around was the right thing to do. it showed he cared, and that he was making sure I wouldn’t be anxious. Obviously at some point my suspicions were raised. But …


    Another time he told me he had a poor signal and I countered that by telling him I was having issues, too. Promptly took myself out to do my own thing rather than wait on him getting back to me when he was able. That seemed to put some wind in his sails.

    Generally, the scenario was he would be uncontactable for a variety of reasons, all seemingly plausible, but never in a million years would I have thought it was a prior warning. God, that just make me feel sick.

    And I never did try to contact him during those periods. I hate the fact I was so manipulated.

  3. Latina says:

    I just read this and can’t help but feeling stupid….

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      You and me both, Latina.

  4. truthseeker6157 says:

    I think what I’d do depends on whether I really suspected he was with someone else. I’m reasonably secure in relationships, I don’t check phones, don’t open mail or answer my partners phone, even if I’m told it’s ok. I respect privacy and expect the same in return.

    If I really suspected he was meeting someone else. I wouldn’t call to check up. I wouldn’t show up unexpectedly or send a friend to do it on my behalf. I would simply not be home when he came back. I would not call during the ‘allowed calling window.’ I would make my own arrangements, go out, look good come back around the time I would do normally.

    The aim would be to portray lack of concern with a sprinkle of disinterest.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Your first paragraph demonstrates emotional empathy.

      1. truthseeker6157 says:

        I had to re read The Empathy Cake to check how you got to that.

        Looks like pride in the second paragraph, now I read it back, which you pulled out in the TDC.

    2. Empath007 says:

      Oh man… good for you. I was with a normal before the narc, it was long term (15 years) and I never once spied on his phone, email etc. He gave me no reason too. I trusted him… he trusted me, it was normal.

      But when I was with the narc I basically became Nancy Drew… things didn’t add up, they didn’t make sense… I knew I was being lied too and I’d do just about anything to find the truth. I didn’t have access to his phone or computer, but had I, I would have invaded them. I did find other women’s products in his apartment etc. And I did not act aloof like nothing was up… I’m a jealous person (when it’s provoked) and he certianly provoked it.

      But your plan is way better 😂 I couldn’t hide my feelings if someone paid me too 😂

      1. truthseeker6157 says:

        Laughing at Nancy Drew. We shouldn’t have to hide our feelings. It’s lovely that you don’t hide yours.

        I think women always know deep down if a partner is cheating. I could accept all kinds of mistakes, I would only try to help and I would fight hard for who I wanted.
        Infidelity turns me cold though. I am just not equipped ever to forgive it. So if I really suspected that I was being cheated on, then I think I would already be shutting down in my own mind. That’s why I would react in the way I described.

        1. Empath007 says:

          So interesting. When you put it as shutting down that makes sense. I enjoy everyone’s unique reactions. I basically entered tirades with the narc in ways I never had before. He just brought out the worst in me…

          I’m considering entering us into the Guinness Book of World Records for most toxic relationship. That’s a category right ?

          1. truthseeker6157 says:

            Yes. I believe you find it right after Most Toxic People and just before Most Toxic Summation. 😉

          2. Violetta says:

            You’d have to compete with Amber and Johnny.

          3. Empath007 says:

            Haha ! Beautiful !

            We’ve all gotta be known for something 😂

        2. Fiddleress says:

          truthseeker: ” if I really suspected that I was being cheated on, then I think I would already be shutting down in my own mind.”
          Same here. It is something that would turn me off and make me walk away in the blink of an eye. I would simply not be interested in ‘winning back’ that person. Turns me cold completely too.
          This is probably why I have never been interested in someone who is already in a relationship.

          1. truthseeker6157 says:

            That’s interesting you feel the same way. I’m reading Horns and Halos at the moment where the question is asked are you a victim or a volunteer if you knowingly go back to the narcissist?

            It’s a fair question. Everyone will have different shut off points I think. Whether you go back might depend on whether one of those points has already been breached. I don’t see myself as a victim. I make my own choices and take full responsibility for them. I don’t see myself as a volunteer either. I see myself as previously unaware and currently more aware.

            I find Triangulation interesting. It would be very difficult to triangulate either of us with another woman. They would have to go the time route. Triangulate with a hobby, work or an annoying guy friend. Even then, they’re going to struggle, I’m an only child and very content with my own space!

            I look at the manipulations and the ones executed against me were effective. I can see other options that would work with me also but many would not. The narcissist must be adept at realising which to use with who and at which time for maximum impact. Bearing in mind, too much too fast and the empath would just bring the walls up and bolt. It’s a fine balance and it’s an instinctive calculation for most narcissists.

            They might not have the full range of emotions that we possess but they are people readers in their own right. They aren’t reading emotions in the same way that we do, but to manipulate well you have to know one hell of a lot about someone and I’m trying to work out how I would do it without using emotional content. Listening skills have to be the strongest candidate.

            If you never had the emotional content then other skills are likely very much stronger to compensate. But they aren’t superhuman either. (😉)

            I bought Raymond Feist Faerie Tale for a change of scene. I’m moving on to that tomorrow for a breather! I read it years ago, I can’t really remember the story but it’s freaky and something must be prompting me to re read.

            I hope you had a good day and enjoyed your hike x

          2. Fiddleress says:

            Yes, it was a good hike – it wasn’t too hot yesterday, and I love hiking.

            Back to the subject of cheating, I remember a guy I was seeing over 10 years ago (likely narc too). He lived far away and we only saw each other once or twice a month for about 6 months. Until someone else asked him (in front of me) about his stay with XX the week before, and the cat was out of the bag. Turned out he was sleeping around. That was it finished for me. Not interested in being part of a harem. I was not an only child, and now I want to be considered as unique, so there!

            As for ‘victim or volunteer’, I can’t really decide. A voluntary victim, i.e. a martyr? Someone who hasn’t listened to the “Triple Addiction Package” and remains addicted?? Someone whose only narcissistic trait is Pride, and it makes up 100% so s/he thinks ‘I can take it’? I suppose it depends on the type of empath you are. Sometimes I think I could never go back to a narc now because I am not strong enough to take it, but the rest of the time I think it is because I am very strong that I have always escaped from them and now want to stay away. I will need to read Horns and Halos too.

            As for triangulation, I think it was before you arrived here that I posted about being triangulated with a fridge (yes, a fridge. Violetta did notice that I had found myself a sharp one!). Now I think he also tried with his daughter, and a woman that had died the year before. I didn’t even notice, but at the time I didn’t understand the concept of triangulation. As I have next to no jealousy and envy, triangulation just doesn’t work for me. I either don’t see it or am not in the least interested.

            I hadn’t heard of Raymond Feist so I looked up what he wrote: sounds really good! I have started reading The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi as it is part of the syllabus for next academic year (besides Shakespeare, and others since his times). There is quite a bit of graphic sex in there, that should be fun to study in class! It is not only about sex, and there are some hilarious passages – including those with sex in them.

            Enjoy the thrill of Faerie Tale!

          3. Violetta says:


            “I was not an only child, and now I want to be considered as unique, so there!”

            You are unique among women, as far as I know. You got triangulated with a fridge instead of a TV during game day or a car.

          4. Fiddleress says:

            Hahaha Violetta, thank you, I feel so much better now that I can see I am indeed unique.
            Sure not many can boast about such an achievement with a fridge.
            I’m surprised I was never around during a Liverpool match for triangulation.

          5. truthseeker6157 says:


            Come in, have a seat. Now, tell me about the fridge!

          6. Fiddleress says:

            Let me make myself comfortable.
            Ah, the fridge. He went away somewhere in mid-September, for 3 months (never said where but I think I know- won’t expand on this just now); not far, because he went back to his home at least twice a week over that period of time, and we saw each other then. On one such day, when he had seemed eager to see me, I went over and he spent the whole four or five hours we had together emptying and cleaning his fridge out. Once in a while he would smile and say “I hope you don’t mind me doing this”. I must have been a useless appliance to him, because I just smiled back and replied “not at all, you do what you need to do”. I had already reached the conclusion that he was a bit ‘different’, so I thought I’d let him get on with it, why not, and just picked up a book and read. I wondered why on earth he had asked me over if he was just going to clean his fridge (it’s a bit similar to the withholding of sex, which he did too – another tale for later) but I didn’t give any fuel. I didn’t leave because he was not downright unpleasant, and I kept thinking he’d be finished quickly!
            I can see now that I was in devaluation then (it came about quite early on, in fact). He should have kept the Golden Period going, because I am much better at the positive than the negative fuel !

          7. Fiddleress says:

            Hi TS
            My reply about the fridge is in moderation, but I just had to add this.

            I like my ‘fridge’ story because telling about it here was the first time I burst out laughing about anything to do with that N.
            But it seems there is just no end to my mirth with this story: here is a quote from the book I am reading:
            “Now, Karim, I want you to put some ice up my cunt. Would you mind going to the fridge?”
            I can tell you, I couldn’t stop laughing as my mind started reeling with one scenario in particular: the N said several times, round the end, that he was a ‘whore’, meaning he would do anything for money (now I am sorry I never asked him if that was what the stack of viagra was for). SO, I am sure that I could get him into bed, now, and willing to do whatever I wanted him to, for money (why didn’t I think of it sooner? Oh, that’s right, I believed in romantic relationships, silly me). And then I could drop that line about him getting some ice from his squeaky clean fridge – and calling him Karim as well for good measure! He’d have to shut up, do as I say, and be quick about it if he wanted the money.
            Such a shame that I am committed to my no-contact regime.

          8. Fiddleress,

            One of my guy friends got himself a new motorbike a couple of weeks ago. I got my last piece of kit yesterday. Riding pillion today! We’ve planned to do some rides over the summer. I’m excited ! Roads are still pretty quiet here. About time I had some fun.

          9. Fiddleress says:

            Wow, this is great! You deserve all the fun in the world that you can have. Enjoy!
            I am redecorating my home at the moment, and enjoying it too.
            And some fun with friends coming up too. Nothing tops that, in my experience.

      2. Empath007 says:

        I would like to add…. I don’t really understand people’s obsession with “trusting” them. I can understand how a narc would use that argument to guilt his partner… but I don’t really have to “trust” anyone. No one wants to think critically anymore… they just want to believe whatever they are told which is part of the reason why we see so much fake news on the internet. Even Narcissism… no one wants to hear the word… I honestly don’t even talk about it much IRL… its not because I don’t want to, but because its useless…. people don’t want to hear the truth. They want to “trust” . My narc hated me for that because I always used to say ” Why would I trust you ?? isn’t trust earned, you’ve done nothing to earn it ! ” Fuck. I don’t miss all those stupid merry – go – round fights haha.

        1. cadavera says:

          Hey 007, did you by chance do a Trait Detector with HG? Just curious if you did and if Truthseeker was your #1 trait. “People don’t want to hear the truth. They want to ‘trust'”. You’re absolutely right! People are fast becoming the laziest fucks ever and nobody wants to work for anything–like trust, in this case–and want everything given to them, even when they haven’t earned shit. I get myself in lots of hot water by being truthful like what you said above and I get kicked to the curb an awful lot. Curious to know if you’re similar.

          1. Empath007 says:

            Hello 🙂

            I haven’t, but truth seeker is very prevalent in me in comparison to other people. In all fairness, I think most people are unconscious of the lies they tell themselves and others.

            It has and does get me in a lot of trouble lol. I’m actually learning to hone it in a little. From not sharing as much on social media, to learning to shut my mouth at work etc. But it’s pretty hard to change something I’ve done my whole life 😂

            It definitely was high jacked (as HG would say) with the narc. I’ve learnt not everyone needs to be aware of my truth. At times, it’s advantageous to keep my truth to myself. And its advantageous not to seek it out from others.

            But that is HARD. Change does not happen over night.

        2. Another Cat says:

          Yeah that’s a true merrigoround. They recycle this later on, so that when you complain that they are distant and fading away, or maybe cheating, they usually go: It was because you didn’t trust me enough!

          A bit like the cult leaders going: Of course my miracle solution didn’t cure you. You didn’t have enough faith!

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