I’m on a roll with narcissists lately because I’ve been exposed recently and it’s reminded me of my former life. I think the biggest trait that I’ve seen in my narcissists is the silent treatment.
When I was a child I saw my mother give multiple people the silent treatment. She wouldn’t talk to them for months or years and this included her siblings. As I got older she did the same to me. There were several times during my adulthood that we didn’t have any communication. It sounds terrible but it wasn’t, it gave me a drama break. I’m not sure at what age I decided that she was not like other mothers but abnormal became our normal.
The silent treatment gives the narcissist control while it also communicates “devalue” to the victim. If you think ghosting is emotionally abusive, wait until you’ve been with someone for years and they go silent without any warning or real explanation. The silent treatment allows them to avoid any conversation that might require them to acknowledge their behavior. One thing that a narcissist does not like is the question and answer game. If you start asking questions then they have to remember their lies. I’ve also seen the silent treatment when they are mad, pouting, or upset about something you’ve “supposedly” done. It’s punishing the victim for whatever they “supposedly” done.
The silent treatment is emotionally abusive. It can cause. anxiety and can crush self-esteem. No, you’re not crazy! They hear the phone and see the missed calls and texts. They hear you when you talk. That no reply to your communication is their control tactic. It’s to make you think you are worthless to them. And when they decide to reply or talk to you, do not expect an apology or explanation for why they have been gone so long with no communication. They will jump right back into the relationship like nothing ever happened. And don’t dare ask because then you’ll be gaslighted.
If the silent treatment is something you experience in a relationship then please put that on your “you might be a narcissist” checklist. More to come!