People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) find it hard to cope when their needs are unmet. Leaving a narcissist in silence for a few minutes after a demand, argument, or refusal may be very uncomfortable for them. Narcissists usually need to talk to distract themselves from their demons. They become frustrated and angry when you stop providing them with this distraction. So, how do narcissists react when you are silent?
Number 1: They will think you’re doing it on purpose to hurt them.
Narcissists still accuse you of being cold, unfeeling, and cruel. You’ll wonder if something is wrong with them. They see life as a competition and need to feel superior to win it. But the truth is that you may be silent because you’re trying to figure out what on Earth they are talking about. However, they will think you’re hurtful and cold. They’ll interpret your silence as a sign that they’ve been rejected or ignored.
Narcissists are often very insecure and need constant reassurance and validation from others. They have a hard time understanding that other people don’t think the same way they do and may not be able to give them the attention or validation they crave. They are also very self-centered, so it can be difficult for them to see things from your point of view.
Number 2: They get angry and lash out at you for “ignoring” them.
One of the things narcissists hate the most is getting ignored. They always consider your being silent as one of the signs of it. They do not like the feeling of not being heard because that disproves their belief that their lives matter more than others.
Their constant desire for validation makes them desperate to get it by hook and crook, and you won’t like it when they are desperate for it. Narcissists tend to get worked up when seeking validation. As a result, they could inquire and lash out at you for ignoring them.
It doesn’t matter to them why you are silent in the first place. What they want to figure out is why you’re ignoring them. Never mind all the hurtful things they’ve said to you. Your silence is more important to them, and this shows how disrespectful narcissists are toward your emotions.
Number 3: They ask why you aren’t talking, hoping to prompt a response from you.
Confrontations aren’t narcissists’ cup of tea when they are the ones who are in question, but it is their favorite thing to do just to disrupt your silence. Narcissists will not hesitate to ask why you are not talking, even if you’ve recently fought with them. They will bother you consistently until they get a response from you.
Even if your answer is out of anger, they will feel triumphant because you finally acknowledge their existence again. Remember when narcissists are pursuing you when you are silent, their goal is not to fix things, still, it’s to get you to talk to them again without addressing the underlying issues within your relationship.
God knows how uncomfortable they can be when these issues get discussed, which is why they would rather receive your anger than your forgiveness. It’s like putting on a Band-Aid while not cleaning and tending to your wound.
Number 4: Narcissists will change the topic.
When you are silent, they usually try to make small talk about the weather or something unrelated to what was happening before the silence began. This is to fill in the blanks and make it seem like nothing is wrong between you. If these sons are upset or angry, they’ll try to make light of the situation or change the subject as quickly as possible.
That is because they do not like being confronted with their behavior, and they know if they push the same issue, the blame will be on them, and they don’t want that to happen. If you let them, the problems you have with your relationship will be long gone, and before you even notice it, they will have you wrapped in their fingers.
Number 5: They say something hurtful or insensitive to get a reaction from you.
Narcissists are attention seekers, and they don’t mind if they have to hurt you just to make you notice them. If you remain quiet, the narcissist will become frustrated and try again to get a reaction from you. That is why it’s important not to engage with them when they are hurtful or insensitive. If you react, the narcissist will still feel like they have won, reinforcing their behavior. They enjoy the attention, and getting a reaction from you makes them feel good about themselves.
Number 6: They ignore your silence completely, pretending it doesn’t exist.
Narcissists often do this when they have conflicts. They ignore the issue of why you are silent and pretend it doesn’t exist while hoping that will make it go away, which is a classic passive-aggressive move. When they do this, it isn’t because they are trying to help you; they try to avoid responsibility for the problem. And they want you to feel guilty so that they can blame you for not communicating and make themselves look like good people who couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong.
Number 7: They get uncomfortable with your deafening silence.
Have you ever experienced being surrounded by the sound of silence? I can tell you that is not a pleasant experience, and narcissists agree. Even if they show their unbothered persona, most of them feel uncomfortable when treated in silence because they are used to hearing the applause and tears from the people who want to be with them.
As a result, narcissists will also expect you to give the constant tearful and outgoing persona that sustains their selfish desires for compliments and validations. So when they see that you are not doing what they expected, narcissists will be left alone with the thoughts that usually cause them to self-destruct.
Number 8: They will blame you for not opening up to them.
The blame game is where things get messy in your relationship with the narcissist. Even when the problem is not on you, they will tell you it’s your fault for not talking and remind you of all the times they tried to get you to open up. Yes, narcissists can still turn the tables even without your words.
Your silence is another tool for them to frame you as the criminal of the story. Never mind using your words against you because you really don’t say anything, narcissists will still find things to say about you, and this can be pretty stressful if you have a soft heart.
Number 9: They will get depressed or self-destruct.
When you are silent, narcissists’ brains work overdrive because they don’t have any distractions from the reality they are running away from, which is the fact that no one loves them. As a result, narcissists will ask what is wrong with them, why they can’t make anyone happy, or if something is going on in their life that makes them so unlovable.
They will get forced to self-reflect, which they hate the most. Narcissists will eventually get depressed after thinking about these too much without fixing the root of the problem. They will get wild and hurt others.
Number 10: They try to make light of the situation by joking.
It is never pleasing to get your feelings treated as a joke, and narcissists do this daily, or at least on the days when you are too upset to respond to them. That’s why you stay silent, but narcissists always have to prioritize themselves first, even if you’re upset.
They’ll always attend to their uncomfortableness with the situation. That is why they will throw a joke or two, not because they want to make you laugh, but because they want to ease themselves up from the tension they get from your silence. Narcissists might think you have invalidated their feelings, but you are genuinely the one getting taken for granted.
And they usually react to silence impulsively, much more when they aren’t used to it. It is only up to you if you let yourself get under their care, which is careless and unappealing. You deserve to have your silence now and then. If you can’t get that from a narcissist, you should leave.
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