Silent Treatment Appreciation – Part 2 (of 3-Pt Series)

Part 1 of this series on the narcissistic silent treatment explained how the narcissist or sociopath intentionally creates chaos so that we either become immune to it or co-dependent upon it.  We may not even pay much attention to it until the turmoil crosses a line or forces our hand (or both) but the fact is that the constant chaos is a narcissist’s very deliberate strategy to keep us off-balance so that the he can have his play time sight unseen.

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A narcissist typically initiates a silent treatment in a manner that catches us off-guard and this is deliberate. Think about how crucial those first few days must be for the N in his plan to ignore you. It is within these first days, while you’re home-bound, confused, and waiting for a call, that he quickly sets up shop with his new source of supply for this round. The last thing he needs is you running interference so he has ensured that you don’t by making you inconsolable. After a few days have passed and he’s fairly secure in his new digs, he’ll be much better prepared to deal with the fallout from the situation with you. Don’t forget, the N knows you and how you will react to his actions better than you do!

No matter how it happens, a silent treatment feels just plain awful. I would literally feel erased….as if I never meant a single thing to the asshole ever (which, of course, I surely didn’t). Sometimes a silent treatment would last up to six weeks and longer and I’d feel absolutely consumed with getting him to break it. This was, as I now know, a futile reaction that did nothing but waste precious time in my life during that long 12-year ordeal. Although I surely felt that it was, nothing that I ever did during those silences was the deciding factor as to when he reappeared. And this is true for your situation as well. Nothing you do will matter. A narcissist does as he pleases and, if and when he returns, it will be when he’s ready and not before.

What we need to learn to do is appreciate this awful silence and use the time to do some positive work on our own battered psyche.  At the very least, the N will return as he always does, right? So, why stress over it? At the very worst (or best!), he won’t return. So, work on making yourself the much better person in the meantime.

Like everything else in life, allowing yourself to wallow happily in silence appreciation after a discard from a narcissist begins with baby steps. Like most of us, when the silence begins, you:

  1. probably haven’t the slightest idea why you are being ignored
  2. feel extreme anxiety not knowing how long this one will last
  3. will feel compelled to love-bomb him out of the silence even though he certainly doesn’t deserve anything even close to “love”
  4. will feel compelled to apologize for the sole purpose of apologizing even though you know damn well you did nothing to deserve anything of this nature
  5. are feeling completely out of place in your own environment without the usual daily bombardment of texts, phone calls, voice and emails
  6. can’t stand having to be alone with your own horrible thoughts: What is he doing? Who is he with? How can he just blow you off like this….as if you meant nothing???

Just like a prisoner in solitary confinement who goes crazy after months of complete silence and no human contact, so can we go crazy in our own minds and hearts when the narcissist bastard that we love says – in unspoken words – that we are about as important as the shit on his shoe. Again, the narcissist’s tactic of creating noise and chaos right before he vanishes is intended to distract you… divert your attention away from the fact that he’s quickly trying to hunker down somewhere else. You’ll find this tactic on page 63 in the strategy guide for the narcissist’s pathological relationship agenda   (not really, but it sure sounds true, doesn’t it?).

So, how can we fix ourselves and begin to move forward? By learning to appreciate the silence. Once you do this, the rest takes care of itself, I promise. In When Love Is a Lie, I talk about the series of mental shifts that began to occur for me out of nowhere once I got a grip on the big picture and started letting go. I started to relish the silence.  In Part 3 of this article series,  I discuss these shifts and how they began to happen naturally when I took the time to fix me instead of worrying about him….easier said than done but entirely possible!

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Zari Ballard, EzineArticles Basic Author

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  • Anon

    June 28, 2017 at 10:10 pm Reply

    Silence can be a welcome relief from the other forms of me me me type conversation.

    • Zari Ballard

      July 2, 2017 at 3:53 pm Reply

      Exactly! Silence Appreciation! It’s all about the perspective….

  • Peyton

    March 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Im sorry for all that are hurting here. I wish I could help all of you that hurt so much. The only thing I can share is to watch your thoughts about them. Keep them out of your head! Stop trying to figure them out because you will drive yourself crazy trying to.
    Don’t let them drain you of your self esteem, and belief in yourself. We are all strong and we will survive! Most important for me was learning to keep him out of my thoughts. You are still giving them power over you by letting them stay in your head. It will consume you. I could just see him gloating over knowing I thought about him all the time. Eject thoughts that come to mind and know that there is a Creator out there that will deal with him and his deeds.
    You are free…..

    • GayeLynn

      May 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm Reply

      I need help with HER~
      Scenerio~I own a residential cleaning business and my only employee is my sister, the narcissist.
      This is not a new thing as she has been pulling it for the 15 years I have employed her.
      I just thought she was a sad and miserable c*^t, which she IS but it wasn’t until I dated a sociopath, that I realized and named what it is she is doing.
      Again, this is not a new form of torture she is making me deal with but it is lasting much longer.
      Maybe because I know what she’s doing and I don’t try to break the deafening silence anymore with words. (?)
      (I just turn the radio up as loud as it can go.)

      My question is~
      Do I even TRY to break the silence anymore?
      Better question yet I hope someone can answer is~
      When she breaks the silence, which she usually does on the last day of work with 4 or 5 minutes left, do I even ALLOW her to?
      This is just the hardest thing for me to deal with as I live alone and my only conversationalist I have is my poor 18-year-old kitty and he’s getting tired of me.
      I am and always have been a very chatty person so to have no one to talk to at home and then to have no one to talk to in OTHER people’s homes, 🙂 is making my usually happy demeanor, quite sour and possibly depressed.
      What makes all of this even HARDER is that she is my SISTER!!!

      I know this article/blog entry is old but I see that someone actually commented in 2017 and I hope and pray that someone comments again.
      I really need some advice!!
      (And I thought the silent treatments from my sociopath boyfriends of 5.5 years were hard….)

      • Zari Ballard

        May 7, 2017 at 9:01 am Reply

        Hi GayeLynn,

        Well, it certainly sucks that your sister has to behave this way! My thinking is that she should be grateful that you are employing her and thinking twice before treating you with such disrespect. However, as we know, narcissists don’t care about things like that. They DO know right from wrong, they just don’t give a shit! Sad but true.

        Look, since you have no idea, I assume, WHY she is giving you the silent treatment, you might want to come right out and ask her. Why let her get away with it? Everything they do is about what they can get away with and they will play this game until the end of time if we allow it. What we allow will continue. Why don’t you break the silence by asking her if she would like to find another job since it appears that she is so unhappy at the one she’s got! After all, you ARE the boss and I’m sure that there is someone out there who would be happy to clean houses with you and talk all day long. Truth be told, sister, you DON’T have to tolerate it at all. Over the years, she has pretty much trained you to allow it and to suffer through it and it really is ridiculous. Two women – never mind two sisters – cleaning houses together should be chatting all day long having a grand old time as they work if they can. Even if she needs the job and you would feel guilty letting her go, it should be brought up. Hell…if you’re going to be subjected to silent treatments at work every day all day, you might as well – at least temporarily – work alone!!!

        That’s my take on it. Enough is enough. Narcissists are so rude and mean and female narcs are the worst. Stand up for yourself as both her employer and her sister. If she gets an attitude, tell her she can go home for the day to think about whether she really needs/wants to be working with you side by side since she apparently doesn’t like your company and her “silence” is making you more and more uncomfortable. Tell her you will write her a reference if she needs it and say it with a smile. Tell her it’s your business and 15 years of this silence and misery from your own sister is about enough. Watch how fast the silence ends! If she stomps out, don’t fret about it. Simply put up an ad or two for a helper and you’ll be all set in no time. In the meantime, hustle if you can to do the work yourself and keep ALL the money!

        I’m so sick of narcs I could scream! Let me know what you do…I’ll be curious to know:)

        Zari xo

    • GayeLynn

      May 4, 2017 at 5:18 pm Reply

      Before I re-type the whole message, just wondering if you got it?
      If so, I don’t see it posted.(?)
      (It was about working alone with my sister and how to deal with her silent treatment.)
      I saw that when I posted it, it said it was waiting for approval.
      That was 2 days ago.

      • Zari Ballard

        May 4, 2017 at 7:20 pm Reply

        Hi GayeLynn,

        I’m sorry it is taking me so long to respond, girl. Between emails and these comments it sometimes takes me while. I’m just getting to all and will be posting my reply:)


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