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How to stop N's "silent treatment"?

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How to stop N's "silent treatment"?

Postby olayak » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:57 pm

Hi,
Any tips on how to stop a Narc's silent treatment? I've heard a variety of responses and read tons of articles, but not sure what actually works. Options:

1. Ignore them back
2. Act normally, pretend that they aren't giving you the silent treatment. Go about your normal life.
3. Apologize for whatever upset them (this is NOT a healthy option, btw, and I won't do it again).
4. Tell them that you're interested in listening to what they have to say when they are ready to speak to you.

Some narcs you just can't get out of your life so easily. So what can a non-narc do to shorten the period of the silent treatment?

Thanks!
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Re: How to stop N's "silent treatment"?

Postby olayak » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:39 am

Did I ask this question incorrectly? Lots of people are reading it, but no answers! :(
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Re: How to stop N's "silent treatment"?

Postby BlueFlower » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:10 am

Correct.

There are no answers.
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Re: How to stop N's "silent treatment"?

Postby Etzel » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:29 am

Your question was very well written and very clear, but even after reading it a few times it doesn't make much sense. Let's try to make some sense out of it, then.

According to you, your "narcissist" is giving you a "silent treatment". This, for us, English speakers, becomes: "Your romantic interest doesn't give a shít about you".

Now, I'm aware this is a mental health forum and not a dating advice one, but I'll help you. From your 4 available options your third and fourth are — without a doubt — out of question. I could go very specific, but bottom line is that you are begging and begging is NOT attractive. Weakness, in general, is never attractive.

Options number 1 and number 2 are the better ones, then. Still, the first one will not provide very useful, because this is precisely what your romantic interest (i.e. your narc) wants. He is bored of you and your silence is a blessing.

Number 2, finally, is your best bet. Just go on with your life, and one of these days ask him out for a coffee or a beer. If he accepts, good job — now don't ruin it again by being a mushy beggar (or a gloomy weakling, same thing) AND SEDUCE THE FÚCK OUT OF HIM — it's now or never. If he refuses, go back to your life and try to arrange a meeting next week. If he refuses again, better luck next time, you can now go on with your life certain that he's not into you any longer, and you can pride yourself on not being a little submissive pawn while you were at it.

Lucky for you, he's not the only "narc" out there. I.e. there are plenty of other men out there with whom you can romantically connect. Chances are you'll never find another guy as good as this one (since, let's face it, he makes you feel like this by simply not doing anything), but if you do, make sure you stay awesome or he'll eventually get bored of you.

Good luck, etc.
A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out. We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands the wise is wise already.
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Re: How to stop N's "silent treatment"?

Postby Esquire » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:35 am

OP,

I know what you're talking about. You're talking about the silent treatment you get from a Narc when you criticize him or say or do something that hurts his ego. I used to give the silent treatment to my ex Borderline girlfriend all the time. That's actually one of the reasons that Narcissists and Borderlines get along. The Borderline woman will say something that will bruise the Narcissistic man's ego, he will instantly devalue her and stop talking to her, and she will feel abandoned and try to win him back (repeating the cycle of abuse from her past).

Essentially, what happens when you bruise a Narc's ego is that you hurt him. Possibly the worst thing you can do to a Narc is to make him feel shame, or inadequate, or imperfect. And a lot of it is dependent on what kind of image the Narc is trying to present to the world. For example, if the Narc is trying to present himself as a good-natured, loud, funny guy, then playfully ribbing him and picking on him as a joke will probably actually be welcome, as it allows him to give you a snappy comeback and show how great his sense of humor is, and what a fun guy he is. But if you were to tell him that he's not funny and his jokes are offensive, that same Narcissist will instantly devalue you. And I mean instantly. Right then and there. You will go from being his favorite source of supply to NOTHING to him.

If you ignore them back or just go about your normal life, they will eventually get over it, and whether they put you back on your pedestal is dependent on how much they need you as supply. If you try your solution #4, that will absolutely not work. Remember, to the Narc, your opinion that offended him has no value. It is NOT TRUE on its very face, so talking about it makes no sense. The ONLY thing that will end the silent treatment quickly is apologizing and saying you were wrong.

You have to remember that a Narcissist is a person who has essentially created a character, and that character is who they are. When they give you the silent treatment, it's because you've said or done something that pokes holes in that character and threatens to reveal their true self to the world, and to themselves. If you HAVE to deal with a Narc, simply allow them to maintain that character that they've created, and pretend it's real, even if you know it isn't. This is the best way to avoid conflict with a Narc coworker or relative who you can't otherwise avoid.
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Re: How to stop N's "silent treatment"?

Postby olayak » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:25 pm

Etzel wrote: According to you, your "narcissist" is giving you a "silent treatment". This, for us, English speakers, becomes: "Your romantic interest doesn't give a shít about you".


Etzel, thank you for your reply, but my narc is NOT a romantic interest. I am married to a wonderful man. Not all relationships are romantic. I appreciate the advice, but this is not a dating situation. It's an old family friend, considered a family member, who is currently living with me and my husband. Sadly, I have several narc's in my life. We are all sad that my grandmother passed away recently (from old age) but I do have to say a small burden was lifted from her children.

-- Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:32 pm --

VirginiaEsquire wrote: That's actually one of the reasons that Narcissists and Borderlines get along. The Borderline woman will say something that will bruise the Narcissistic man's ego, he will instantly devalue her and stop talking to her, and she will feel abandoned and try to win him back (repeating the cycle of abuse from her past).


Thank you! Your response was extremely helpful. I used to be borderline (after years of therapy and meds, I no longer fit the criteria), so I believe that his silent treatment triggered my abandonment issues. As soon as I took a long look at myself, I felt more comfortable with his behavior, because I knew that my response was my responsibility and since I couldn't control his, I could control mine.

I really appreciate your response and it gave me so much insight! I began to go about my business as normal for the past few days and contacted him only about his portion of the rent and, guess what, he started talking to me again! Thanks to this forum and your response, I now have a better understanding of the mind and needs of a narc and how to not let it trigger my own issues. Luckily I have a supportive husband who was very understanding of my breakdown. :)
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