The narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath creates so much turmoil and chaos in our day to day lives that we become codependent upon the dim….the drone of the white narcissistic noise. Never are we more aware of this dependency than when all that noise is deliberately snuffed out by a silent treatment subjected upon us by a lover or partner. As someone who suffered silent treatment upon silent treatment – almost from day one – by a narcissist boyfriend, I can tell you first hand and from years of experience, each silent event is more traumatic than the one before and the silence is always deafening.
In this three-part series on the Silent Treatment, my intention is to dig deeper into the heart of the matter….. really getting to the truth about what hurts us the most about the silent treatment (or cold shoulder) and why. More importantly, we’re going to talk about what we can do about it because, after all, there is something we can do…and it’s called silent treatment appreciation. That’s right – call me nuts or whatever – but we’ve got to give up the pity party and start taking advantage of the fucking silence. God knows it doesn’t take long before the narcissist hoovers his way back in to bombard us once again with the noise and – poof – we’ve wasted, yet again, another free chunk of unsolicited healing time handed down to us from a compassionate Universe.
No thank you, Universe, I’ll have to pass again. With all of the gut-wrenching, anxiety-creating, ear-splitting, mind-fucking noise pollution my narcissist gives me right before he completely ignores me, I just don’t have time to be happy. Thanks anyway though!
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After studying, almost daily, the most popular current search terms related to narcissism, I’ve come to the conclusion that now, more than ever before (that I remember), narcissists are using the silent treatment as the main way to control, manipulate, and destroy the sanity of the people who care about them. Sadly, it appears that this particular passive-aggressive form of narcissistic punishment is fairly epidemic and I think we need to do something about that! I think it’s time to turn the tables on the silence that hurts us and psyche ourselves up for a little silence appreciation!
Next week, in Part II of this article, I’ll talk more about exactly why we need to learn to use a silent treatment to our best advantage. First, though, we need to figure out where the pain comes from and why it cripples us. Don’t forget that every bit of noise created by a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath is meant to distract and confuse and nothing more. Narcissists are like Puppeteers that use a slight of hand or smoke and mirrors to divert your attention to one thing while they betray and deceive you with the other. Again, it’s all in the strategy guide for the pathological relationship agenda and the narcissist follows it to a tee. He makes your world so noisy, so focused on jumping through hoops to be available for him that it deliberately becomes nearly impossible to catch every suspicious behavior as it happens. The narcissist, on the other hand, pays very careful attention to what you might or might not be aware of and acts accordingly. The closer you get to a secret, the harder he works to ramp up the chaos.
I always knew when a silent treatment was coming because the daily turmoil – which he created over nothing – had begun to escalate at an excruciating pace. I simply knew what was next up his sleeve. He would deny and deny but history had shown me over and over what was to come and it never failed. It was impossible for him to break his deviant pattern. He was stuck in a groove – and he was perfectly happy there.
The silent treatment hurts because it is the very passive-aggressive nature of the “punishment” itself that is abusive. Literally, to be ignored completely feels as though you are being erased and that everything and anything you ever thought existed in the relationship is being discarded (and it is!). Yes, it is heartbreaking.
In Part II, we’ll talk about 1) what it feels like when you are in it…when days, weeks have gone by without a word, and 2) what happens and what will happen when he returns…..In Part III, we’ll learn to appreciate the silence – I promise!