“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.
What is ‘no contact’ with a narcissist?
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.
What if you have kids or are otherwise legally obligated to the narcissist?
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.
What is the Gray Rock Method?
The gray rock method is a technique, 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.
How do you avoid getting pulled back into the relationship with a narcissist?
“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.
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.
How do you deal with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact?
“Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” – Robert Tew
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 also makes recovering from a toxic relationship significantly more difficult.
Why do you keep missing a narcissist even when you know better?
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.
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
Requiring constant admiration
Having a sense of entitlement
Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
Taking advantage of others to get what you want
Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
Being envious of others and believing others envy you
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Today, let’s dive a little deeper and discuss symptoms and risk factors of NPD.
Identifying Narcissistic Personality Disorder
How do you know it’s NPD?
As you can guess from the official list of symptoms above, a diagnosis of NPD would typically be made when five or more of the characteristics are identified – but generally, the condition goes undiagnosed because narcissists see nothing wrong with their behavior.
What are the traits of narcissistic personality disorder?
People who are involved with narcissists and those who have NPD typically report the following kinds of behaviors and characteristics – do we see a pattern?
The belief that he or she is “special” and the desire to only associate with people he or she perceives are on their wavelength or who will “appreciate” them.
The need for excessive admiration from those around him or her.
The expectation of especially favorable treatment and automatic agreement by people around him or her.
The exploitation of others around them for their own benefit or advancement.
Inability to empathize with others.
Feels envious of others, but also feels that others are envious of him or her.
Acts arrogant, and may try to disguise arrogance with ethics.
Displays an exaggerated sense of self-importance and is typically extremely judgmental.
People with NPD are good at making those around them, especially people who don’t know them intimately, believe that they are something special. Family members of people dealing with NPD will typically find themselves trying to please him or her, and feeling guilty if they fail. They may even be afraid of how the person with NPD will react if their desires can’t be met or if they are defied in some way.
Risk Factors for NPD: Why Do People Become Narcissists?
People always ask how narcissistic personality disorder develops in a person. They want to know: how are narcissists created? How do narcissists become narcissists? Does narcissism develop as a result of nurture or nature?
According to some researchers, NPD may be developed when a parent fails to act empathetically toward the sufferer during his or her infancy. This is common among those born to very young parents or those born to mothers who suffer from postpartum depression or psychosis.
Those who live in unpredictable situations and who feel they cannot rely on their parents are also at risk, as are those who are learning manipulative behavior from their parents.
When this happens, the child gets sort of emotionally “stuck” at an early stage of development and while they may later understand logically that others exist and have real feelings and needs, they may not ever fully embrace it emotionally. While a “normal” child will usually develop feelings of empathy for others around them by the time they hit kindergarten, those suffering from NPD never do–leaving them to become adults with the empathic capacity of an infant.
Are you dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship?
Need support in your recovery from narcissistic abuse? If you’re dealing with a malignant narcissist or someone with narcissistic personality disorder, you’ll definitely heal faster with the right kind of support. Which one is right for you? Here are a few options.
“No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you’ll find the positive side of things.” ~Demi Lovato
The Brick Wall in Narcissistic Abuse and Toxic Relationships
If you ask me, being in a relationship with a narcissist feels a lot like running your head into the same brick wall, over and over. And despite the fact that it gets bloody and beaten, you don’t stop. You just keep running your head into the wall, hoping to get through it (and make it happy) – and while you logically realize, eventually, that there’s no breaking that wall down, and that the wall is not capable of change, something in you makes you keep hitting the wall, bloodying your head and hoping for different results.
How do you find hope when you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse?
So let’s talk about the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m about to wax philosophical on your ass, so get ready. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you can probably agree that eventually, you stop living for yourself and start living to avoid the next blow-up, drama, or manipulation.
So many people have come to me as they were beginning the process of recovering from an abusive narcissist asking me how I was able to redefine and rediscover myself after escaping my own narcissistic abuse situation. And this is what I tell them.
As I see it, living without that kind of passion is sort of like living in the dark. Food doesn’t taste as good, the air doesn’t smell as nice, the colors don’t seem as bright.
Without passion in our lives, it’s as though there’s a barrier between our senses and the world around us, one which doesn’t allow us to fully experience our lives.
This barrier could present itself in the way of depression, anger, fear, or any number of debilitating emotions. Or maybe there’s a certain situation in our lives of which we’ve lost control. Maybe it’s simply that we’re bored, and that we’ve begun to take our blessings for granted.
This can lead to a very toxic state for our souls and even our bodies. But we can change our minds, and this can change our lives. Start now by trying this Bliss Mission.
Bliss Mission: Discover What Inspires You
Begin with figuring out what inspires you. Then, find a way to make it happen. This can help you to start living with passion, and living with passion is one of the first steps to becoming whole, to becoming truly happy.
Whatever your passion or inspiration, take some small step toward it today, and let the rest flow. If you’re not sure where to start, consider taking a walk to clear your head, or writing in a journal to work it out. You could draw or paint a picture, or cook your favorite meal. Take a bath or do a little yoga. Whatever works for you.
Tell yourself that today is the day that you begin living with passion and purpose. And then, my friends, do it. Your life will be richer and your heart will be happier.
Feel good! You ready? Let’s do this.
Resources to Help with Gaslighting in Narcissistic Abuse
How do you know if you’re married to a narcissist? How can you tell if your spouse is a narcissist, or if they’re just unwittingly submitting to their own trauma? Can they heal, or is your marriage doomed to be toxic forever? Married or not, if you’ve ever been in a sexual or romantic relationship with a narcissist, you might already understand that they often seem to be more interested in sex and pleasure than actual emotional intimacy.
It isn’t quite that simple, though, because some narcissists – specifically those of a more covert and/or cerebral nature, actually tend to reject sexual experiences, and are less likely to cheat on a partner – but more likely to slide under the radar of even their own victims.
Narcissists, Intimacy and Sex in Marriage
In fact, narcissists and those diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) “are more likely to philander and dump their partners than people who view important parts of a relationship,” according to psychologist Ilan Shrira.
“Narcissists have a heightened sense of sexuality, but they tend to view sex very differently than other people do,” said Shrira, whose 2006 study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. “They see sexuality more in terms of power, influence and as something daring, in contrast to people with low narcissistic qualities who associated sex more with caring and love.”
That’s why some narcissists tend to bounce from one relationship to the next—and most often, the relationships don’t last long and they don’t involve much emotional intimacy.
Lack of Emotional Intimacy and Connection in Toxic Relationships
“Even when they’re in a relationship, they always seem to be on the lookout for other partners and searching for a better deal,” Shrira said after the study. “Whether that’s because of their heightened sexuality or because they think multiple partners enhance their self-image isn’t entirely clear.”