I remember those times…when he’d stonewall, wouldn’t speak, turn his phone off or disappear, and I would be in agony regarding how to respond to the silent treatment.
I know so many of you know this too; the absolute devastation of not just being abused, but then completely switched off from – as if you don’t exist.
So, how do we know how to respond to the silent treatment?
If you too have been through the feelings of despair, betrayal and the intense and uncontrollable panic of being discarded in this way…or if you are sick of the waiting around for days, weeks or even months before this person wants to talk (aka hoover you in again), then this article will help you a lot.
Before we get into this, however, I just want to remind you if you haven’t already, to sign up my free New Life Newsletter because, on top of the information I am sharing with you today, you will also gain much clarity and power in regard to dealing with the narcissist or any toxic person in your life – including the ones that do ‘the silent treatment’ with you!
The Torture of Having Our Focus On Them
I am not exaggerating when I tell you I have met people who haven’t heard from a person for years and live their life every day in the hope that they will.
I also know of people who are intermittently ignored, discarded, and then re-hooked with when the narcissist feels like it only to be discarded again like yesterday’s rubbish when the narcissist returns to the current partner, family member or spouse.
Of course, this person, in hope of the narcissist ‘coming back’, is only being used for narcissistic supply when other sources were too problematic or, as far as the narcissist was concerned, they should be punished.
Trying to work out someone else is Wrong Town – it means we lose power, hand our energy to someone we have no control over and become more disconnected, emptied out, traumatised and therefore out of control.
How to respond to the silent treatment does not include trying to work out whether or not someone ‘loves’ us, ‘misses’ us or has ‘any idea what they have done to us’ – please know I used to be a Master at this! If doing this, it means the state of relationship we are having with ourselves lies precariously with someone else. With all of our focus on them, we deny ourselves exactly what we need – the essential self-partnering to love and heal ourselves back to wholeness.
Can we please get very clear on this? If we are, as grown adults, traumatised and terrorised by how someone else isn’t loving us, caring about us and committing to us, it means we have some very deep work to do to heal our own relationship within – meaning our own levels of love, care and commitment to ourselves.
When you are discarded, ignored and given the silent treatment by a narcissist, this is a hot-spot time to feel emptiness, panic, rage, hurt and pain with no way of relief. The narcissist will only come back in when they know you have suffered intensely (and it suits their agenda).
Truly this is by soul design. This is happening FOR you and not TO you. There was never going to be a happy ever after in this relationship, whether the narcissist was ignoring you or not. This relationship, at your soul level, is not about the narcissist loving, caring and committing to you – it is and was always meant to be about you finally having NO choice other than to come home to do this for yourself.
Why Your Head Spins
When narcissists employ the silent treatment, it can be because they have performed a final discard – meaning there is no more narcissistic supply to gain from you. Maybe they have sucked out all they can and now you are too broken and unwell to supply more. Maybe they have found someone else who they feel they can gain more from.
Maybe you ended the relationship and they know that you’ve woken up from the trance and are no longer food on the table for them. If there is NO narcissistic supply to gain, after a few attempts, narcissists move on – they must.
If you are being invalidated by the silent treatment whilst still in the relationship and don’t know if there is still a relationship or not, the narcissist is likely to be using the silent treatment tactic for one or more of the following reasons.
- She/he knows it affects you horrifically.
- The time ‘away’ is being used to pursue, investigate or indulge in other narcissistic supply.
- She/he feels a significant ego feed from receiving your calls, texts and emails and not responding. ‘I can affect you this much because I am IMPORTANT.’
- To gather evidence about you, in the form of your messages, to show to other people regarding how ‘crazy’ and ‘bad’ you are.
If you are caught up in this, you will feel like you are losing your mind! And that’s the way the narcissists wants it, because it vindicates them. It makes them more entrenched in their delusion that they are the victim and it’s you with the issues, while he or she plays the ‘martyr’ who needs to pull away.
Naturally, the obscene thing that the narcissist did that preceded their silent treatment, when you stood up, asked for accountability or challenged them, is conveniently dismissed.
That in itself is enough to make your head spin!
Please know, I intimately understand the horrible injustice of all of this and how abandoned, devastated and betrayed we feel by someone who has not only the propensity to invalidate our feelings constantly by not caring about us enough to be kind and decent, but who in our deepest times of requiring resolution and communication to work towards our true desire of a healthier relationship, will COMPLETELY check out and desert you.
That’s what the silent treatment is all about – punishing you for upsetting the narcissist’s game: ‘I am not here FOR you or to grant you anything; I am only here for what I can TAKE from you.’
We Have to Stop Abandoning Ourselves
In this section I want us to understand how to respond to the silent treatment.
If it’s not a healthy relationship – we don’t respond at all.
I want to help you be very clear about what a healthy relationship looks like. It is two people who care about each other and want to work towards solution. They don’t jump ship as soon as they are questioned or the other person requires emotional support and understanding.
Healthy relationships aren’t the toxic ones that narcissistic abuse brings – they don’t go around and around in circles without ever truly resolving and evolving things to higher levels of connection.
I know how confusing it is in a narcissistic relationship when this person is convincing you that you are the problem, and you feel so emptied out, fragmented and traumatised that you have no idea which way is up or which is down. And I know that when we feel like this, we feel so soul-shattered that we can’t even begin to understand how we will ever feel whole and healthy again.
This is especially horrific when we are abandoned with the silent treatment.
In Thriver recovery this is one of the most important mantras we can ever understand: It is the time when I feel so abandoned by someone that I need to turn inwards and no longer abandon myself.
This is the truth about all our triggered wounds. It is not what someone has done to us nearly as much as what that action has triggered off within us that needs our own healing.
And I promise you with all my heart that trying to force the person who has done ‘that thing to us’ to do it differently or to change equals a big fat ‘how to lose’. They won’t change and, even if they do, another silent treatment/discard is coming, at the whim of their self-absorbed conscienceless ego, while the state of our soul remains in their malicious, unpredictable self-serving hands.
This is powerlessness. We are precariously reliant on someone who has the power to regularly and randomly abuse and hurt us. This is identical to playing out our life as a powerless child dependent on an adult ‘doing the right thing’ and if they don’t still being connected helplessly anyway.
In relation to a narcissist – there isn’t even any ‘one’ there to love you. a False Self who is only serving their own ego feed. You are wanting someone to care about you who doesn’t even exist.
However, when we do turn inwards to find our inner underdeveloped parts that are handing their power away and heal them up to wholeness (which is what my NARP Program powerfully does) then the game is over.
We don’t need to precariously cling to someone hoping they will love, care for and commit to us.
Why not? Because FINALLY we have come home to do this for ourselves.
This is the SIMPLE definition of wholeness – ‘I love, care for and commit to myself regardless of what you are or aren’t doing.’
THAT is Thriving…
The Golden Opportunity Of Silent Treatment
Many a narcissist has been blind-sighted by NARPers who uplevel and heal (on the quiet) when the narcissist has disconnected from them.
Jane’s story demonstrates exactly that. Jane had been ditched and reconnected with more times than she could count over the last five years. When Jane confronted Brendan about questionable messages on his phone, that were under the name of a man but seemed like those from a woman, Brendan accused her of paranoia and broke away…again…
Jane could not contact him, and she was shattered. She apologised, she begged for forgiveness by text messages and emails and she even rang and talked to one of his best friends, trying to get the message passed on, but he would not reply to her. In desperation, she drove to his house, but he wouldn’t open the door.
Let’s just get this straight – over the past few years Jane had discovered numerous affairs and even been contacted by other women – she had every right to be ‘paranoid’.
Jane, when she found her way to this Community, TOTALLY felt like she was losing her mind. She couldn’t eat sleep or function. Jane was encouraged to start NARP.
With everything she had, Jane detached from thinking about Brendan and got firmly down to the inner work on herself.
Jane was astounded to find that the triggers that Brendan was hitting within her were huge childhood and epigenetic already existing wounds of not feeling loved, valued and worthy of someone’s commitment to her. These were the REAL and deep reasons that Jane had been putting up with the crumbs and abuse of ‘love’ her whole life. Finally, she had enough of these painful patterns.
After two weeks she was emotionally ready to block and delete all means of contact with him – which she did.
Two days later Brendan appeared on her doorstep. She didn’t answer the door. She felt nothing but repulsion and anger towards him. The thought of being with him made her feel ill. She told him to leave or she would call the police and have him removed.
She meant it.
After a couple more failed attempts Brendan left her alone. Not long after that another woman contacted her on social media and told her about the affair she had been having with Brendan for the last six months.
Jane was relieved to finally be healing the pattern of abusive, non-committal, pathological lying partners in her life (narcissists) and never looked back. Today in her new abuse-free life she is Thriving – having purged herself of not only all emotional and psychic connections with Brendan, but also her original traumas and fractures that were not allowing her to become a source of love, care and commitment to herself, and then to generate that with a genuine other.
Jane, today, is the happiest and healthiest she has ever been and is in a wonderful position to trust herself, be empowered and connected to a healthy and real relationship. Without the inner work, Jane wouldn’t have had the inner resources to say ‘yes’ to healthy and ‘no’ to unhealthy.
I was Jane…I was bonded to narcissists, also letting them back into my life helplessly no matter how they treated me. So many of us have been there! Whenever we are doing this, as we do with narcissists, it’s because we are unconsciously tied up in the situation emotionally. It has absolutely nothing to do with the logical mind.
If we don’t get to the deeper reasons and free ourselves we just don’t get free.
It took Jane two weeks of daily healing with NARP to get clear and free – that is how fast it can happen.
With narcissist number one, it took me eighteen months of everyday torment to finally let go of the devastation of his ‘silent treatment’. With narcissist number two it took me three days. This was solely because I was able to address my triggered inner wounds with NARP.
Please know, knowing how to respond to the ‘silent treatment’ is your Golden Opportunity to not just stop losing your mind, but to really heal YOU so that your heart and mind gets freed into trajectories with Life that are affirming your newfound self-partnered love, care and commitment to yourself.
Can you imagine what a beautiful day it is when you couldn’t care less if the narcissist ever hoovers you again or not?
Can you imagine how powerful it is when you don’t have any longing, pulls or desire to ever want to be with someone like that again?
Can you imagine how incredible it feels, when hoovered by a narcissist, to feel like you would prefer to be nailed to the back of a burning door than EVER be with him or her again?
Can you imagine what it feels like to never again think this person is worth your oxygen, let alone ANOTHER round of your verbal or emotional energy?
You betcha it’s AWESOME!
It’s also MORE than possible to achieve. If you do the inner work with NARP, it’s inevitable.
I know when I was mired in the trenches of despair with this, I would have crawled across a paddock of broken glass if I thought relief would be on the other side.
Now, I am so happy that other people don’t have to do this, because the solution is here for you at your fingertips. I’d love to explain it to you and, more importantly, SHOW you how this works by you signing up to my free workshop.
Or…if you have been thinking about NARP for some time and today’s article really has inspired you with ‘enough is enough’ and ‘there really is nothing else to do’, you can get started on your first powerful Module 1 experience today by clicking here.
Also as a P.S. today, I want to share with you that I have had the incredible surprise of being nominated for the Kindred Spirit Awards 2019 – Personality of the Year!
This magazine showcases new healing modalities, shares insightful interviews with the leading lights of the Mind Body Spiritual world and is the UK’s go-to guide for spiritual and compassionate living.
What I am so humbled and thrilled about is that helping people Heal for Real from Narcissistic Abuse is gaining such world-wide recognition. I would adore your support in voting for me, which is SO about voting for the movement to end abuse/abused cycles in our world.
You can vote for me and the Thriver Mission here:
ONLINE: Go to kindredspirit.co.uk/%20vote/
VIA FACEBOOK: Go to the KS Facebook page: facebook.com/kindredspiritmagazine
The voting lines close on 30 June 2019.
Thank you Dear Thrivers!
And, as always, I am so looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.