When you hurt a narcissist they usually devalue you to make you feel worthless and unimportant. This devaluation may come in the form of criticism, verbal abuse or just silent treatment. Most often, the silent treatment is meant to make you regret hurting them. But what happens when you give a narcissist the silent treatment instead? How do they react?
This is what happens when you give a narcissist the silent treatment
When you suddenly give a narcissist the silent treatment, first they will try to understand why you have suddenly changed. How they will react will entirely depend on what they think is the reason why you are giving them the silent treatment.
While 10 narcissists may come up with 10 different conclusions of the reason why you are giving them the silent treatment, their reaction will depend on two factors. Their reaction will depend on whether they think you are ignoring them on purpose or not.
You may be wondering how the narcissist will tell if you are ignoring them on purpose or not. Well, most narcissists are actually intelligent. If you just had a disagreement with a narcissist and immediately started giving them the silent treatment, they will definitely understand that the disagreement you had is the reason.
If the narcissist believes that you are giving them the silent treatment on purpose this will happen
1. They will respond with silent treatment as well
As I said, narcissists are likely to respond with the silent treatment when they are hurt. Ignoring a narcissist and treating them like they don’t exist is one of the things that can badly hurt their ego.
If they believe that you are behaving that way on purpose to hurt them, they may take it as a challenge and start ignoring you back to show you that they don’t care.
2. They may directly or indirectly threaten to replace you
Narcissists not only believe that they are the best but they also want others to believe so. When you give a narcissist the silent treatment, they may try to show you that you are taking them for granted. As a result, they will try to prove you wrong by showing you that someone else is dying for them outside there.
You shouldn’t be surprised if the narcissist started flirting with someone else after you started giving them the silent treatment. Although, the silent treatment alone won’t make a narcissist actually replace you unless there are other serious issues in your relationship.
If the narcissist believes that you’re not giving the silent treatment on purpose this will happen
1. They will love bomb you
If the narcissist believes that there’s no bad intent behind your silent treatment, or if they believe that you are just losing interest in them, they will try to impress you by love bombing you so that you gain interest in them again.
This love bombing usually lasts for a short period of time and if they don’t get a positive response they expected from you they will start doing negative actions. This is because when they become overly nice and receive no good response their ego gets hurt so they try to not look bad by showing you that they were never interested in you in the first place. See: how to take control away from a narcissist.
2. They will get withdrawal symptoms
People don’t get withdrawal symptoms only when they quit using a drug. You can also get withdrawal symptoms when you lose something that makes you happy. One of the things that keep a narcissist happy is a good source of narcissistic supply. If the narcissist depends on you for the narcissistic supply, they will get withdrawal symptoms such as low energy, anger, irritability, and bad moods when you give them the silent treatment.
Of course these withdrawal symptoms won’t be as strong as drug withdrawal symptoms but you will clearly see a significant change in their mood. Surprisingly, most of the time a narcissist will try to show you that they are so happy and unaffected before they sink into bad moods. Don’t be surprised if the narcissist becomes euphoric for a few days after you start giving them the silent treatment. (See: how does a narcissist react when you stop chasing them).
Important note: This article is only meant to inform you what happens when you give a narcissist the silent treatment. I do not suggest giving a narcissist the silent treatment as the best way to deal with them. If you’re looking for better ways to deal with a narcissist, you may read my previous articles such as: how to make a narcissist respect you.