A passive aggressive narcissist who believes that you have slighted them in any way, or denied them the narcissistic supply they are convinced they are entitled to, is likely to ignore you in the most obvious way possible, in order to make you feel uncomfortable.
This is a challenging situation to navigate, as it often involves two unsettling tactics employed by narcissists – the silent treatment and stonewalling.
The question, at this stage, is how long will the narcissist continue to ignore you?
The Silent Treatment
The silent treatment is a common tactic used by narcissists and it can be incredibly damaging to those on the receiving end. It’s a form of emotional abuse that involves ignoring or refusing to engage with another person.
The silent treatment is more than just not speaking to someone.
It’s a conscious choice to withhold affection, communication, and attention to manipulate the situation and make the other person feel insignificant.
It’s a form of punishment that leaves the victim feeling confused, anxious, and desperate to resolve whatever issue has supposedly caused this reaction.
Stonewalling is another manipulative tactic often used by narcissists.
Similar to the silent treatment, stonewalling involves the refusal to communicate or cooperate.
However, it goes a step further by not just ignoring the other person, but also blocking any attempts at communication or resolution.
When a narcissist is stonewalling, they will refuse to participate in conversations, dismiss your feelings or concerns, or even physically leave the room when you try to engage with them.
They effectively build an emotional wall between themselves and others, shutting down any form of meaningful dialogue.
The purpose of stonewalling is to exert control and avoid dealing with issues or emotions that make the narcissist uncomfortable.
It’s a way for them to escape accountability and maintain their inflated self-image.
By refusing to engage, they make it impossible for others to address problems or express their feelings effectively.
So How Long Will a Narcissist Ignore You?
The question ‘How long will a narcissist ignore you?’ doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer.
The duration of the silent treatment or stonewalling largely depends on the narcissist’s current circumstances, their relationship with the person they’re ignoring, and their personal needs.
Let’s delve deeper into the different timelines you might be looking at.
Sometimes, a narcissist’s silent treatment may last only a few hours or extend to a couple of days.
This is usually a power play, a manipulative tactic designed to create a sense of insecurity and uncertainty in the victim.
By ignoring you, they aim to prompt feelings of desperation and panic, compelling you to seek their attention or approval.
This chase reaffirms their inflated sense of self-importance and feeds their need for control.
In more extreme cases, a narcissist might give you the cold shoulder for weeks or even months.
This typically happens when they feel particularly threatened, insulted, or slighted.
They use this prolonged period of silence as a form of punishment, hoping to instill in you a deep sense of guilt or fear.
Another reason for long-term ignoring could be that the narcissist has found a new source of narcissistic supply.
If they’ve found a new person to fulfill these needs, they might completely ignore you until their new source is exhausted.
Permanent Ignoring or Discarding
In rare but severe instances, a narcissist might decide to permanently ignore or discard an individual from their life.
This usually occurs when the narcissist perceives that the person no longer serves their needs or poses a threat to their grandiose self-image.
For instance, if you’ve stood up to the narcissist, setting boundaries and demanding respect, they may find this too challenging to their sense of superiority.
Unable to handle the threat to their ego, they might choose to cut ties entirely, ignoring you permanently.
How to Cope When a Narcissist is Ignoring You
Being ignored by a narcissist can be emotionally taxing and confusing. However, there are strategies you can employ to protect your mental well-being and regain control.
Here are some tips on how to cope when a narcissist is ignoring you.
Understand the Motive
Recognize that narcissists use the silent treatment or stonewalling as a form of control and manipulation. They want you to feel insecure, guilty, or afraid.
Understanding this can help you disengage emotionally from their tactics and avoid internalizing the blame.
Maintain Your Self-Esteem
It’s crucial to remember that a narcissist’s behavior reflects their own insecurities and need for control, not your worth. Don’t let their silence undermine your self-esteem.
Surround yourself with positive influences and engage in activities that boost your confidence and self-worth.
Dealing with a narcissist can be incredibly challenging. It’s okay to seek help.
Reach out to supportive friends, family members, or mental health professionals.
They can provide emotional support, advice, and strategies to handle the situation.
Setting boundaries is vital when dealing with a narcissist.
Make it clear that you won’t tolerate being ignored or disrespected.
While it might be difficult and may lead to more conflict initially, setting boundaries can help protect your emotional well-being in the long run.
Engage in activities you enjoy, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and practice mindfulness or relaxation techniques.
Plan Your Response
Plan how you will respond if the narcissist breaks their silence. Decide in advance what you will say and how you will handle the situation. This can help you feel more in control and prepared.
Remember, you cannot change a narcissist’s behavior, but you can control how you respond to it. By understanding their tactics and focusing on your own well-being, you can navigate this challenging situation with resilience and strength.
Concluding Thoughts on How Long a Narcissist Will Ignore You
Dealing with a narcissist’s silent treatment can be an emotionally draining experience. It’s crucial to remember that the duration of this silent treatment, whether it’s short-term or extends to months, is not a reflection of your value or worthiness. Rather, it is a manifestation of the narcissist’s insecurities and their desperate need for control.
It’s natural to feel hurt or confused by such behavior, but it’s important not to internalize it. This is not about you; it’s about them and their manipulative tactics. Instead of getting entangled in their emotional games, shift your focus to self-care and resilience building.
In conclusion, the time a narcissist may ignore you can greatly vary, as it’s a strategic move designed to elicit specific responses. The best course of action is to understand this, fortify your emotional defenses and focus on maintaining your wellbeing.
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Carla Corelli, a writer, advocate, and survivor of narcissistic abuse, draws from her own upbringing with a narcissistic father to shed light on psychological trauma. Fueled by her personal journey, she pursued a degree in psychology and has dedicated herself to shedding light on the complexities of narcissistic abuse.
With over fifteen years of experience in writing and advocating for survivors, Carla is deeply committed to providing support, education, and empowerment to those who have endured similar trauma. Through her articles, Carla aims to offer a compassionate space for healing and growth, while advocating for greater awareness and understanding of narcissistic abuse.
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