What does silence do to a narcissist’s psyche? Why does it trigger them so much, and how should we respond? I can tell you right now that they don’t like silence at all…even the slightest bit. And it can look pretty ugly. But I’ll show you how to navigate through it all.
We need to preface this by understanding what makes a narcissist tick. It’s simple. The answer is Narcissistic Supply. They are a one-trick pony when it comes to that. Most people are incentivized or motivated by a myriad of things, but these narcissists are different. They have this laser-like-focus need to have their egos fed. And one of the ways to do that is they will bait you to get you all riled up. They’ll do this through text, a phone call, or in person. They love to provoke and push buttons by saying things they know will upset you. It’s so vicious as they treat this as a source of entertainment. And when you react in a way that they want you to, they will use it against you in litigation or through a |public trial. They will use this to show everybody that you are crazy or unstable. All the while getting their supply from this very malicious act.
Early on during the Love Bombing phase, narcissists will flood you with attention, and adoration. Fifty texts a day, a whole bunch of emails, and would show up randomly just to be with you. They might even tell you that they can’t live without you. Now when you get to the Discard phase, they wouldn’t even be bothered to say anything to you! They use these tactics to control you. They will isolate and ignore you, and when you start ignoring them in return, they won’t like it because in their mind they’ll think that you’re abandoning them, that you’re withdrawn, that they’ve been slighted, and most importantly, that their control over you is slipping away. It’s quite a strange way of thinking. When you use your silence, narcissists have this tendency to think of the worst things until paranoia sets in. They will start playing with thoughts of infidelity, or that you’re spreading rumors about them. This is especially true when you know intimate details about them. This will then birth their smear campaign against you. They will go out of their way to line up their flying monkeys to further isolate you, to make you feel like the whole world has turned its back on you, and make you look bad. They cause a lot of damage that way. They’ll lie about you or about what truly happened. They’ll try to draw attention to them so that people will have this perception that they are the victim and that you’re the aggressor.
Knowing the amount of damage narcissists can cause, the question now is, “How are we supposed to conduct ourselves?” Now, realistically you wouldn’t be able to do all of the things I’m about to share with you in one day. If you think about it, they didn’t condition you in a day either. You’ll need to do this in baby steps. Let me show you.
First: Don’t run. You shouldn’t be running away because you wouldn’t want to be on the defensive side. Being on the defensive means that you’ll have to constantly feel like you have to justify yourself and battle against the consequences. Create your boundaries. Be clear that you won’t allow yourself to be talked to in a disrespectful tone and that they don’t have access to you like they used to. Don’t allow them to unnecessarily have access to you. Should communicating with them be necessary, I recommend the use of emails since this medium allows you to track the date and time. Text messages don’t allow you to do this, so I don’t advise its use when communicating with them. There are also court-approved apps that you can use. The bottom line, whatever is communicated through these said mediums, can be used as an exhibit in court, so you’ll have to be careful with what you say as well. Here’s a tip: Change the pin or passwords of your devices, your email, and social media accounts just in case they have access to it.
Second: Make a U-turn. What you’ll need to do is to turn things around so that you’re the one who is on the offensive. Before communicating with narcissists, you will need to have a plan. You’ll need to have an agenda and a time limit. This should be communicated with the narcissist before engaging with them. You can tell them beforehand that you wanted to talk to them about A and B and that you only have 5-10 minutes at most allotted for the conversation. Separate your emotions and treat them like a transaction. Keeping your communication brief is your weapon and acts as your leverage. Use it.
Lastly: Break free. You’ll need to do this to free yourself from the games that they’ve designed. You can’t win a game where they hold all the cards. Anything that is raised outside of your agenda or time will be scheduled at a later date. If the terms of your conversation have been violated, i.e. you’re being disrespected, topics outside of the agenda are being brought up, or time allotted has been exceeded, etc., acknowledge your power and start to be able to walk away.
Remember, narcissists, are just like toddlers. They scream and flail much worse just when they’re about to give up. Today is the perfect day to break free from the chains of toxic relationships. Today is the best day to start negotiating your best life.