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What to do with silent treatment?

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What to do with silent treatment?

Postby Optimist77 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:34 pm

Part of our human nature is that we care. Even our enemies get some sympathy and help when they are dying on the battlefield.

The typical Narcissistic hook is to express the need for attention, then withdraw it as soon as we are hooked on it. There is not quid pro quo, only demeaning attitude when we show our human side.

One cannot expect reciprocity. Every time I showed that I cared, I got punished for it: Silent treatment.

Is there a way around this, apart from "no contact"?
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Postby radames » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:56 pm

I would surmise you are a very caring person. And, in my opinion, in the wrong hands, you can easily be manipulated and misused. Perhaps a different approach would be to sincerely not care about the Narcissist. I know it seems impossible, but doing the reverse could actually bring the Narcissist to "eat out of your hand." However, you would then have to consider if you want to continue to spend time with someone about whom you didn't care?

Another approach could be to treat your Narcissist as a platonic business partner, no passion, no personal involvement. Focus on acts only and making them productive and effective. Eliminate opinion and feeling (care). Reside in a "verb" state that is completely external. "I will wash the clothes now. Here is the detergent. I will mow the lawn now. Could you trake out the trash?" If you receive complaining, be silent and do what you were doing. In a way, you will be a robot. The words, "does not compute" should be a part of your vocab when he tries to "push your buttons."

It is an idea anyway. Bonne chance!
Knowing me a bit more every day!
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Re: What to do with silent treatment?

Postby shivers » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:27 am

Optimist77 wrote: Every time I showed that I cared, I got punished for it: Silent treatment.

Is there a way around this, apart from "no contact"?


Me too,, exactly.

As soon as the sulking started, I stopped thinking about it. In the early stages I announced, "It appears you feel the need to have a major drama in your life right now, don't include me in it."

And ever since that day, I've always gone out, visited friends, entertained myself, did housework with a happy disposition. Visited parents or family, went shopping, and just generally got on with my own life as if I was single.

As time moved on, his sulking on the couch became an eyesore and each time it happened, which was almost 1 day every weekend, I'd tell him to go to the bedroom and shut the door.

It only works for a certain length of time. When they get wind that their sulks are ineffective, they move out of it, and suddenly without warning, they're back talking with you again. But the minute you say something back like, "Oh, you're talking again, how would you like it if I ignored you for 2 days? What would you think to that, how would you feel? Can you not do it please, or even why did you do it?" Leads them to exactly where they want you to be, within a flash of an eye you're into the argument they have been longing to have for almost 2 - 3 days (and I believe they have been obsessing about while sulking), and it NEVER gets resolved - NEVER. (SV writings gives you some real good insight into what is rolling through their minds eye while these major sulk-fests are going on. They are replaying arguments with you over and over and over....obsessing. They are planning their revenge, they are picturing you cowering with fear at their abandonment of you. They are FANTASISING. After I read SV's description of what he did while sulking, it clicked with me.)

What has to happen is you get on with your life like you are a single person and then suddenly this person becomes animated, starts talking to you, and you only have 1 choice, and that is to respond amicably. In the end, it erodes the relationship foundation, you never end up sharing stuff with 'em, other than what's on the telly, who won the footy, or what politician is not doing his job at present, or what the kids did/said that day. They eventually destroy the fabric of common decent adult communication.

So, no, there's no solution - never will be. That's why we have the term -cycle of abuse......it just goes on and on forever, or for as long as you put up with it. They'll never change it (ok, I exaggerate, perhaps some may try and even fewer succeed).
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Postby Optimist77 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:22 am

radames wrote:I would surmise you are a very caring person. And, in my opinion, in the wrong hands, you can easily be manipulated and misused. Perhaps a different approach would be to sincerely not care about the Narcissist. I know it seems impossible, but doing the reverse could actually bring the Narcissist to "eat out of your hand." However, you would then have to consider if you want to continue to spend time with someone about whom you didn't care?

Another approach could be to treat your Narcissist as a platonic business partner, no passion, no personal involvement. Focus on acts only and making them productive and effective. Eliminate opinion and feeling (care). Reside in a "verb" state that is completely external. "I will wash the clothes now. Here is the detergent. I will mow the lawn now. Could you trake out the trash?" If you receive complaining, be silent and do what you were doing. In a way, you will be a robot. The words, "does not compute" should be a part of your vocab when he tries to "push your buttons."

It is an idea anyway. Bonne chance!



Radames,

Thank you. That was very helpful. Option #1 seems the reverse psychology, applying their own tool, (perhaps the only one that one can truly reciprocate). However, it is not my personality. I would use it to make a point, but due to the Narc's transient nature, there is no permanent fix.
Also, they tend to miss the point and seek attention elsewhere. So, I become the "bad" one, "look at all the the helpful people around".

Interestingly, they see this crystal clearly when it is inflected upon them, but do not reflect on their own behavior.


The question is what to do with one' s own needs? What I want and I need can only be painstakenly demanded.

I have tried all sorts of things. I did not talk about it. I mentioned it without expressing desperation. I have pointed out how important it would be for me. Then, I asked for it, at which point it was considered a "demand". She categorically refuses to be "forced to do things"...
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Postby starz » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:55 pm

As soon as the sulking started, I stopped thinking about it. In the early stages I announced, "It appears you feel the need to have a major drama in your life right now, don't include me in it."

And ever since that day, I've always gone out, visited friends, entertained myself, did housework with a happy disposition. Visited parents or family, went shopping, and just generally got on with my own life as if I was single.

As time moved on, his sulking on the couch became an eyesore and each time it happened, which was almost 1 day every weekend, I'd tell him to go to the bedroom and shut the door.

It only works for a certain length of time. When they get wind that their sulks are ineffective, they move out of it, and suddenly without warning, they're back talking with you again. But the minute you say something back like, "Oh, you're talking again, how would you like it if I ignored you for 2 days? What would you think to that, how would you feel? Can you not do it please, or even why did you do it?" Leads them to exactly where they want you to be, within a flash of an eye you're into the argument they have been longing to have for almost 2 - 3 days (and I believe they have been obsessing about while sulking), and it NEVER gets resolved - NEVER. (SV writings gives you some real good insight into what is rolling through their minds eye while these major sulk-fests are going on. They are replaying arguments with you over and over and over....obsessing. They are planning their revenge, they are picturing you cowering with fear at their abandonment of you. They are FANTASISING. After I read SV's description of what he did while sulking, it clicked with me.)

What has to happen is you get on with your life like you are a single person and then suddenly this person becomes animated, starts talking to you, and you only have 1 choice, and that is to respond amicably. In the end, it erodes the relationship foundation, you never end up sharing stuff with 'em, other than what's on the telly, who won the footy, or what politician is not doing his job at present, or what the kids did/said that day. They eventually destroy the fabric of common decent adult communication.


Excellent post with some real time solutions.
Apart from this part
"Oh, you're talking again, how would you like it if I ignored you for 2 days? What would you think to that, how would you feel? Can you not do it please, or even why did you do it?"


As annoying as it is, rationalising the irrational, the truth is the whole thing need not take place in the first place. No point in asking about it, they dont know, they cant feel it really.
I wouldnt waste my breathe.

If you get to this boring stage - well, if your life is good enough on your own, who needs it?
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Postby shivers » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:58 am

Starz, exactly, in my post I started that sentence with a "But.' Would have read better, if it started with "If."

I did it once, that I recall, got that type of response, was non-impressed, and never attempted again.

You're right, who needs it?
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Postby radames » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:04 am

Optomist77, I suppose the phrase "grin and bear it" is a sad but true summary of the "antidote" to your situation? Unless you had any recent epiphanies, once again, bonne chance!
Knowing me a bit more every day!
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Postby Optimist77 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:40 pm

How do you rationalise the irrational? As if reverse psychology could point toward their next move.

I don't think so...
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Re: What to do with silent treatment?

Postby ccumm36D » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:22 pm

Optimist77 wrote:Part of our human nature is that we care. Even our enemies get some sympathy and help when they are dying on the battlefield.

The typical Narcissistic hook is to express the need for attention, then withdraw it as soon as we are hooked on it. There is not quid pro quo, only demeaning attitude when we show our human side.

One cannot expect reciprocity. Every time I showed that I cared, I got punished for it: Silent treatment.

Is there a way around this, apart from "no contact"?


What I found worked for me was to find an equilibrium so to speak... a constant. I envisioned my marriage this way...

Kinda like a sine wave (hpd wife) with a plane/constant (me) running through it. She was up, she was down, and back again...

I couldn't keep the pace or the pattern so I had to make my own path (plane). During times of her sulking I would return to my base course, so to speak, and engage my friends, hobbies, distractions. Took a different tack away from her. She had no choice but to change direction to follow.

Here's an example... try this the next time you're driving but be careful... you see people doing this all the time you just haven't been aware of what is going on...

When you're behind the wheel look at the road directly in front of your car and try to keep it centered in the lane. You'll be working your ass off sawing on the wheel and swerving all over the place just trying to go straight! And curves and corners become surprises and potential life threatening events!

Now raise your gaze to the horizon. Suddenly the car straightens out evenly in the lane, the ride becomes smooth, you can see from a distance the curves and corners and they become smooth and negotiable.

Living with a HPD is like driving in car with someone who's looking down.

Driving is life! How fast do you want to live!
"It's not how hard you can hit. It's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward".
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Postby Optimist77 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:04 pm

I will try this driving method, so if you don't hear from me ever again.... just joking!

This is what kept me going actually. I saw the horizon and I knew that there is another world out there...

I had reality check from time to time.
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