Narcissists love to use the silent treatment and ghosting methods of manipulation and control; however, you are the one that must go no contact to save yourself. All three of these tactics are used in narcissistic relationships; however, you are the one that conducts and initiates going “no-contact.” Although the silent treatment and ghosting seem very similar in nature, they have some discrepancies. Each of these terms are important to note if you’re dealing with a narcissist – especially if you want out of the relationship.
The silent treatment is a tactic that narcissists will use to manipulate, control, and/or punish you. It’s something that they do to get a rise out of you, to make you upset, and to make you beg for their validation and/or forgiveness. Remember that narcissists are doing whatever they can to get narcissistic supply which is anything that feeds their egos. I liken it to the tip of the iceberg because the types of things that make up narcissistic supply at the tip of the iceberg are the things that would feed anybody’s egos. Who doesn’t like getting compliments, validation, nice things, and respect? These are the types of things that first come to mind when we think of what can possibly feed an ego; however, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Narcissists have no sense of self and no self-esteem and so they derive all of their value from the external. The rest of the iceberg is what I call the dark underbelly of narcissistic supply. The part of themselves that they only show their victims. These are the things that give narcissist’s supply in a way that normal people wouldn’t be fulfilled from – intimidation, bullying, gaslighting, projection, manipulation, flying monkeys, silent treatment.
The silent treatment is one of the darker sides of the iceberg that is narcissistic supply. Narcissists will give you the silent treatment as a means of punishment if they feel upset or hurt by something you have done- or haven’t done. They will give you the silent treatment if they feel like they aren’t getting enough attention or validation from you. They want you to grovel, they want you to beg for their forgiveness, they want you to actively seek their attention. Narcissists get supply, which is their form of oxygen, from giving you the silent treatment- so long as it noticeably affects you in some way. The best way to combat this is to not give in to their scheme. Do not show them that you notice that they are being silent. If they silence themselves, then do the same. Ignore the behavior. Do not grovel. Do not apologize. Leave them be. They will move on to something else when they realize that this manipulation and punishment tactic is not controlling you nor hurting you.
Ghosting is something that narcissists do to devalue others but also to discard people that are no longer giving them the supply they crave. If a narcissist ghosts you, it means they stop responding to your calls, texts, or leave your life suddenly- without an explanation and usually without dropping any hints that they no longer want to be a part of your life. Narcissists do not actually value the people that do not give them supply. If you no longer give a narcissist supply, they will not feel the moral duty to have a conversation with you or to talk to you about wanting to leave the relationship- they will just leave. They may do this as an extreme form of silent treatment; however, it would be for the full purpose and they will end up responding to you rather than just completely vanishing into thin air when ghosting you. Ghosting is when a narcissist leaves your life with no intention of returning. When this happens, its best you just let them go. It will hurt, you will be confused, but it will save you tons of heartache by moving on from the relationship as soon as you can.
If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, going no-contact is what you will eventually have to do if you want out of the toxic relationship. Going no contact is what you have to do in order to protect yourself, to put up boundaries, and to stop that narcissistic abuse. Going no-contact is saying to yourself and to the narcissist that “It’s not okay anymore.” and that you’re ready to move on and take back the control of your life. Going no-contact looks like blocking the narcissist on your phone, on social media accounts, and completely cutting off any and all contact that can be foreseen. You must do this if you want to finally rid yourself of the narcissist. You must erase them from heart, soul, mind, and your life entirely.