“Until you let go of all the toxic people in your life you will never be able to grow into your fullest potential. Let them go so you can grow.” ~DLQ
Are you trying to ignore a narcissist in your life? Ignoring the narcissist is nearly always easier said than done. Thanks to their obvious need for attention and admiration, the narcissist is always in attention-seeking mode. And when you’ve been a primary source of narcissistic supply, you are a prime target for attention-seeking behavior (including hoovering, once you’ve left or are planning to leave a narcissist – where the narcissist tries to suck you back into the relationship). In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to successfully ignore a narcissist.
How do you ignore a narcissist?
Ignoring a narcissist might feel counterintuitive, especially if you’ve been connected to them for a long time. That’s understandable. But how do you do it? You can begin with no contact, if that is an option for you. No Contact is practically required to heal after narcissistic abuse. It involves removing yourself from the narcissist’s life completely, and you stop seeing, speaking to and interacting with the narcissist. This allows you to clear your life of the negative energy they bring into every room. We’ll get into more detail about this in a moment.
If you’re forced to deal with the narcissist due to having kids together or being legally required to for some other reason, then you will want to use the gray rock method. The gray rock method is a technique was named and first published by a writer called Skylar, who advises that you act about as interesting as a “grey rock” – as in, you act boring and don’t react to the narcissist’s attempts to engage you in drama. The tactic is highly effective but also infuriating for narcissists. Please note: this technique can be dangerous if you are dealing with any physical abuse as the narcissist may not react well. I don’t advise that you use this if you are in physical danger. In that case, I suggest you look into emergency resources to get you away safely.
“You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.” ~Daniell Koepke
This playlist will help you learn how to stick with your plan to ignore the narcissist so you can avoid getting sucked back into their drama and manipulation.
Why would you want to ignore a narcissist?
Since toxic narcissists tend to be emotionally abusive and controlling, most of the time, the only way you can fully heal from a relationship with one is to go “no contact.” This is more than just ignoring them – it’s completely removing them from your life. While no contact isn’t always possible, due to sharing kids, family responsibilities or business connections, for example, it’s truly the best option for healing. When it’s impossible to fully ignore a narcissist due to circumstances beyond your control, you can opt for “low contact,” which means you only communicate with them about whatever you’re legally required to communicate about. You keep it all business, and you do not involve emotion in your communication.
What do narcissists do when you ignore them?
What are the effects of ignoring a narcissist? What is the typical narcissist’s reaction to being ignored? You can expect a number of different reactions when you ignore a narcissist. For example, you might see narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury. The narcissist will attempt to get your attention by revisiting the love-bombing phase and/or by trying to “hoover you” back into the relationship.
In this video, I explain 11 things you can expect to deal with when you ignore a narcissist. You’ll learn what happens when you ignore a narcissist, a toxic person or anyone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Plus, I’ll give you 7 quick ways to deal with the situation so you can stay no contact and stay safe.
Do you need to go no contact in order to ignore a narcissist?
Since no contact is not always an option, you might wonder if it’s necessary to successfully ignore a narcissist. Technically, you do not need to go no contact in order to ignore a narcissist, but it’s always the ideal option. While it’s very uncomfortable and stressful at first, going no contact with a narcissist is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only will you end the gaslighting and manipulation, but you might actually find yourself some peace and self-love in the process. Whether you’re going no contact by divorce or by some other method, you may need to consider what to expect from the narcissist when you go no contact. In this video, I outline 10 things narcissists do when you go no contact.
“Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” – Robert Tew
You might also need to know how to deal with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact.
Even though no contact is really the only way to resolve a toxic relationship, going no contact isn’t always possible in the immediate future. In this video, I go into detail about how to make a narcissist be nice to you as often as possible, and how to talk to a narcissist to make life easier. You will learn exactly what to do to make narcissists treat you better.
Why is it so hard to ignore a narcissist?
If you’ve ever tried to ignore a narcissist, then you know how difficult it can be. It feels impossible to us, especially in the beginning. That’s because we are often trauma bonded with the toxic people in our lives. Trauma bonding is similar to Stockholm Syndrome. It’s is a condition that causes the victims of narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships to develop a psychological dependence on the narcissist as a survival strategy during abuse. Your brain p Also makes recovering from a toxic relationship significantly more difficult. In this video, I go into detail about how trauma bonding affects our brains and how it causes us to feel addicted to the toxic narcissist.
Think you’re trauma bonded? Take this quiz and find out right now.
Another reason it’s so hard to ignore a narcissist is that once we’ve gone no contact and are no longer putting up with daily abuse, we can develop abuse amnesia. This is a common issue for survivors who manage to finally go no contact or leave the narcissist. It’s sort of the ugly side of the whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing. You literally sort of “forget” all of the bad stuff – the abuse, the gaslighting, the manipulation – all of it – and you even begin to romanticize the reality of your toxic relationship. Abuse amnesia can be very toxic for you, not to mention dangerous. as it very often leads to reuniting with your abuser. In this video, I explain what abuse amnesia is in more detail, why it happens and one powerful way to overcome it.
How can I get support for ignoring the narcissist?
One of the best ways you can stick to your plan to ignore a narcissist is to get some support. You can get the support you need in a number of ways. Here are a few to consider.
- Friends & family: Talk to your friends and your family members who understand your situation (those you can trust and who are not themselves toxic) and develop a support plan. For example, your friend might agree to offer you support via text or phone when you feel weak and want to stop ignoring the narcissist.
- Online support group: Join the SPANily (or any of our free online support groups for narcissistic abuse recovery) and get free support from your peers, plus the QueenBeeing coaches and admin team. When you’re feeling weak, post and ask for support – and you’ll get it. Plus, you can strengthen your resolve and give back by supporting your fellow survivors. Learn more or join a support group here.
- Join a coaching group: We have small group coaching to help you in your efforts to keep ignoring the narcissist (plus a number of other topic-focused healing groups). Sign up or learn more about small group coaching.
- Get one-on-one coaching: Each of our coaches is a certified life coach and narcissistic abuse recovery expert (who is herself a survivor of narcissistic abuse). If you prefer the more intimate and private kind of support, then you might be interested in scheduling a one-on-one phone or Skype session with one of our coaches. We also offer private text support and mini-sessions. Learn more or sign up for one-on-one coaching.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.