Search icon

Giving The Silent Treatment To A Narcissist (7 Ways To Battle It Out)

Narcissist—this is a typical word for someone who derives so much joy in excessive admiration of themselves with little or no regard for others. 

Most people have that one person that loves looking at how they look a little too much, can’t stay a little moment without talking about themselves, or would use themselves as examples in every situation. Well, it is possible that this person may not be narcissistic. They may just be people with egotistical traits or high self-worth. 

A narcissist is a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder who believes his life is perfect with only his approval without considering other people’s feelings. Health experts say it’s bad when it begins to affect your relationships and your lifestyle.

Sounds overwhelming right? It may be pretty hard to know someone well before getting into any form of relationship with them. Or, starting the relationship with him and finding out he’s not who you expected him to be. It may look like a healthy relationship at the beginning but with time, they begin to give you the cold shoulder. 

According to a few research studies, one of the best ways to survive with a narcissistic person is to use the silent treatment. Wondering how you can do that and succeed? Keep reading to know 7 easy tips you could try out.

7 Ways To Give The Silent Treatment To A Narcissist

1. Be independent

Narcissists are charming when you meet them the first time. They are full of empty promises and ideas. If someone with a narcissistic personality goes for a job interview, he may most likely get the job. This is because he knows just how to do it right, even though in the long run, he may be a bad worker. So, the first and quickest step to take is to accept the fact that he is a narcissist and gradually tries to be independent.

When you learn that he is very manipulating, he disrespects others with no care and he lies for his own selfish reasons and displays emotional abuse. You may already know what you’re in for. Have it in mind that you may always be blamed for the wrong things with no credit for the good ones. 

Don’t forget that your needs are your responsibility and you may not get his help if it’s not on his terms and there’s nothing much you can do about it. So keep moving, it could be a little tough but you’ll survive it to the end.

2. Focus less on him

focus less on him

Narcissistic people love being in the spotlight, whether it’s positive or negative, they just love attention. They work so hard to be seen by everyone and could indulge you so much they make you unconsciously begin to keep aside your own desires to give them full attention. 

You may want to be patient with him to let go of his ego but most times that moment may never come. A narcissistic person would always give himself credit without caring if you exist. 

So focus more on your needs. Remind yourself often that you are valuable. Create time to have fun or do something different that makes you happy without involving him. Don’t forget that even if they need help, it’s not your job to fix them. Take charge of your sense and achieve your desires and goals. 

You still need your “me time” to reflect and know where to make amendments. Whenever you feel the need to ask him if he’s fine or praise him for his good deeds, say it to yourself first. But don’t forget that silence doesn’t mean you should totally ignore him.

3. Consciously set boundaries

Boundaries help toxic situations even though some people discover them late. A person with a narcissistic personality may feel he has the right to order you around, listen to your private conversations, or decide the choices you should make. 

They’re that self-absorbed. Sometimes, they could force you to say your private things to them in public. “We” is never heard from them because they love to take credit for everything including the ones they never contributed to.

It’s not new anymore that people with this kind of behavior do not respect other people’s personal space, that is if they even recognize it. A little advice would be for you to constantly remind them of the boundaries. Don’t be violent about it, just be firm with your words. 

If it need be, you could threaten but make sure you don’t make empty threats because if you do, it makes it worse. They won’t believe you the next time you do. Make him face some consequences, especially if it matters to you. This would affect his ego which would help make things subtle.

4. Give yourself more credit

One of the ways to keep yourself happy when you are in an abusive relationship is to find things to constantly keep you happy. A person with narcissistic behavior won’t do this for you. But they always expect it from you. You’re either a tool for them to achieve something or an obstacle. 

They would belittle, insult, or abuse you to make themselves feel on top of the world for as long as they can. So, it’s up to you to do the magic for yourself.

Try to pretend that he does not exist for a minute and look at how pretty you are. Take some time to see how much you can achieve if you concentrate on making yourself matter. Whenever someone makes me feel bad about myself, I look in the mirror and see how great I am. 

I talk to myself to snap out of it, and I speak encouraging words that I know nobody can say to me. You could try this as well. It always helps to keep your attention on positivity.

5. Have an external support system

Your world does not revolve around anybody. If you are in a relationship and it’s unhealthy for you but you can’t avoid him, it’s time to go out and find other people you can talk to. In fact, talking to a narcissistic person could make you emotionally drained. 

If he notices you don’t have friends and you only have him to deal with, his ego would rise to over 100% and I don’t think you want to go through any emotional abuse. Reach out to old friends, go out in groups, and make good memories. Talk to someone else. Attend small get-togethers and family reunions. You could volunteer in some local groups. 

Go to the cinema, hang out with new or old friends that you’re comfortable with. If necessary, take physical classes or tutorials on something you’d always imagined to learn. It’s quite easy to do. 

Try to create and nurture relationships with people that make you feel comfortable in your skin. It’s another way to give him the silent treatment and it’s a win-win for you. Sticking to him alone won’t do it.

Use this tool to check whether he actually is who he says he is
Whether you're married or have just started seeing someone, infidelity rates are on the rise and have increased over 40% in the last 20 years, so you have all the right to be worried.

Perhaps you want to know if he's texting other women behind your back? Or whether he has active Tinder or dating profile? Or worse yet, whether he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool will do just that and pull up any hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more to hopefully help put your doubts to rest.

6. Don’t argue with him

dont argue with him

Aggressiveness and violence are a few things you could spur when you poke their ego. They feel they are always right. They are quick to argue because of the natural defense mechanism they have. It could be from a minor thing but they don’t like being told an argument is irrelevant or not worth the stress. 

And if he’s violent, he starts throwing things at you to either hurt you or to try to prove a point, which is a form of emotional abuse. 

As far as you’re involved, nothing is right or wrong. You may want to avoid defending something he is not in support of and that could escalate his anger. Try to make your answers apt. You don’t have to respond with words, you could just nod and move on. 

If you feel it’s getting too much to handle, you could subtly switch to a topic he likes to talk about. Also, you could try saying he’s right just to make him feel like he’s in control. It doesn’t mean you agree with him but it helps save the moment. 

7. If you can, try to empathize with his feelings.

A female doctor once spoke of her narcissistic ex-husband who always made travel plans without letting her know about them. He would arrive there, switch off his phones, and then get back home to blame her for not reaching out to him. To avoid trouble, she would listen to him like she understood how he felt even when she knew he was at fault. 

She talked about a lot of things she went through and how she also used the silent treatment on him. When she could no longer take it, she chose to end the relationship. If you use the silent treatment for a narcissistic person, you would lower the risks of emotional abuse you may have had to face. 

Empathizing with his feelings is a silent treatment you may want to try out. You may use the word “we” to show that you can relate to what he’s talking about and you don’t mind helping him in the best way you can. It will help ease everything with both of you.


What happens when you give a narcissist the silent treatment?

They don’t like to be ignored so when you give them the silent treatment, they try everything possible to indirectly reach out to you. They could ask a loved one to ask you when last you spoke to them or display an act that you may most likely respond to. Because of their ego, they want you to reach out first.

How do you respond to silent treatment?

Open up and communicate with the person. Let them know you’re not comfortable with the silence and would rather talk things out in a peaceful way. If it’s your boyfriend and you both have issues, be clear with your words and tell him you can’t resolve your problems this way.

What does the silent treatment do to a relationship?

Silent treatment in a relationship brings control. It’s passive-aggressive and it helps sometimes but also, it shows the couple’s unwillingness to communicate and sometimes shuts out one partner completely. A few times, I’ve seen lengthy silent ruin happy relationships because it made the other partner feel too worthless to continue.

Why do guys give the silent treatment?

As mentioned earlier, silence brings control. So guys use it as a form of punishment to get their partners to speak up about something, change a particular bad habit, or find solutions to a problem. But what they may not know is that withholding doesn’t bring real and lasting solutions to any problem.

What happens when you stand up to a narcissist?

You may get responses but not how you expect them. Because they are always defensive, they could make you believe you’re at fault for everything that happens between both of you. Whatever you say bad about him may be used against you even though sometimes you could narrowly win the talk.

In Summary 

Remember, dealing with a narcissistic person could open you to emotional abuse. But if you apply any kind of silent treatment, especially the ones I mentioned, you may survive the relationship with little or no abuse. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share and drop a comment. 


Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


Join Our Newsletter

Receive weekly tips & tricks to improve your love life.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.