What happens when you ignore a narcissist? In the narcissistic abuse recovery community, we often suggest that survivors go no contact and essentially ignore the narcissists in their lives in order to begin to heal.
But what should you expect when you try to ignore a narcissist?
We all know how desperately a narcissist wants to have all of the attention of anyone who might be willing to dole it out. And who of us doesn’t realize that they demand attention from us – their sources of narcissistic supply. They expect you to make it clear that THEY are the most important person in any room.
The Truth About Ignoring a Narcissist
Narcissists and other toxic people are often psychologically and emotionally abusive as well. This is mostly because they could not care less about hurting your feelings – or anyone else’s for that matter. They have seriously impaired empathy – and when you get to the sociopathic end of the cluster B spectrum, they have no empathy whatsoever. Narcissists will do everything to control you, gaslight you, and abuse you as long as it serves them in the end. Your suffering to them does not matter at all.
But one thing you can do to get the narcissist back for their abusive behavior is to ignore them. You may think that ignoring them doesn’t sound like it would really make a difference in how they control you. But it does.
4 Things That Happen When You Ignore A Narcissist
Let’s now talk about four things that happen when you ignore a narcissist.
1. The Narcissist Gets Scared
The narcissist will be afraid that something is quite wrong if you are ignoring them. Suddenly you are not giving them the attention that they crave and need. They may begin to start hovering over you even more by sending texts such as I’m sorry, or Can we talk? Just keep ignoring them anyway.
2. The Narcissist Will Begin To Gaslight You Again
Narcissists cannot stand the idea being ignored, so they will do anything they can to get your attention. This means that one of their favorite kinds of manipulation will pop out again – gaslighting. Gaslighting is a pervasive and highly-effective tactic meant to manipulate you. The narcissist will use psychological means to sort of push you into questioning your own sanity. This could be as simple as the narcissist sending messages about the fun times that you had with them (leaving out that whole “psychological abuse” part, of course). They will make up stories about the lovely romantic dinners you had with them which never happened (or which were ruined by the narcissist, as usual). They may even go to the extreme by saying how memorable the trip to a certain country or city was with you and how you cannot just throw those memories away – even though this trip never happened or was toxic due to the narcissist’s bad behavior. Just keep ignoring them.
3. The Narcissist Will Become Angry (Be Cautious When This Happens)
You keep ignoring the narcissist, and the emotions they feel go from fear and worry to fury and rage. We call this narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage is often coupled with narcissistic injury. Narcissists employ the narcissistic rage tactic when they know they’re wrong but won’t admit it, or when they don’t get what they want, or when people don’t treat them different or more special than others, or when their sense of entitlement is threatened – anytime things don’t go their way. This is when narcissists get inconsolably angry in an attempt to bully or coerce you into giving them what they want. They will begin to stalk your social media profiles, and they can even create a smear campaign against you. Narcissists can become quite vengeful at this point. Be very careful and if they begin to harass you, or invite others to harass you and to ruin your reputation, get the authorities involved. This is a painful and scary step because you will be afraid of your safety once the narcissist becomes enraged. Eventually, they will give up. Going no contact at this point is the best thing to do. Block them and disappear from them.
4. They Give Up And Find A New Victim
This is the part that you know logically you want – but you also secretly fear (at least in the beginning). It is when the narcissist goes on and finds a new source of narcissistic supply. A narcissistic supply is usually a person, but can also be a pet or group of people. Narcissists use the narcissistic supply for attention, validation, admiration – all the “supply” they need to feed their ego. The narcissist often has a circle of supply or “narcissistic harem.” You have ignored the narcissist and got them out of your life. They may have even accepted that you are not accessible to them anymore. This hurts their ego a lot, but they will not change or have learned anything. They will forget about you and find a new victim. You can only hope that any future victims that the narcissist finds will be able to ignore them again, and again. (Despite your urges, there’s really no ethical obligation or point in actually telling the new supply what they’re in for, so be careful.)
Ignoring a narcissist is the best punishment you can give them. It will be difficult when they are infuriated by this, but it will set you free in the end.