Q&A: Talking about The Silent Treatment! A form of Gaslight used by the NBPD

In answering a question from an attendee both Trissan Dicomes and Angie Atkinson shed some light on the silence treatment the-silent-treatment
The Question:  Thus far this has been great. The situation I am in does not seem to be addressed, hopefully in a future webinar it will. The partner that remains silent, and ignores problems, refuses to respond. Can live in the same house and not talk for days or weeks, as if you don’t exist, then when they finally decide to acknowledge you they say they are trying to avoid a fight or argument.

The Answer:  Believe it or not, this is just one of the many signs of gas lighting and emotional abuse you’ll notice if you’re in a toxic relationship with an abusive narcissist.

And, in the case of a covert narcissist, you might often find yourself getting the old silent treatment – AKA the discard phase.

The first thing you have to do is to educate yourself about the situation. I always say that knowledge is power, and the first fact you need to know about this issue is exactly why narcissists give you the silent treatment in the first place.

Related: Inside the Devalue and Discard Phase

See, whether they recognize it consciously or not, narcissists are wired to sort of “push your buttons” in order to get what they want.

Now, you might wonder which button they’re trying to push when they just go silent, right? You might be surprised to find out that it’s not about making you crazy from lack of communication or pure boredom – rather, it’s about playing on your own worst fears.

And, I’m betting, one of your worst fears is the fear of being alone in the world with no one to help or support or just be there for you. Am I right? And I’m guessing that, if you’re currently involved (or were previously involved) with a narcissist, you’re thinking of all kinds of little things the narcissist did in order to play on your fears.

Get over your fears and get on with your life! Join my free 5-day fear-busting e-course.

So, by verbally and emotionally “cutting you off,” the narcissist offers you a taste of what life might be without his charming godlike awesome self (did you detect that bit of sarcasm there??). 

Kim ~ Let Me Reach, Life begins after No Contact Let Me Reach website

Angie Atkinson http://queenbeeing.com
Image source: slism.com
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1 Comment

  1. Here at the BIFF Response team, we tend to think they’re really just aggressive but deny it by taking that passive approach.

    We recommend that people focus on what they are going to do if the other person doesn’t do anything or is uncooperative. You can’t control a passive-aggressive person, but you can stop playing with them and give them a choice. A BIFF Response in that context could be: “I see that you have not responded to (or participated in) this discussion, so I will need to proceed with my decisions without your input.” Or: “If I don’t receive a response to my request by Friday at 4pm, I will have to proceed without your input. I hope that won’t be necessary.”

    These kind of statements are what we call BIFF Responses an they set limits while getting you out of a difficult conversation quickly. Most often, people use them when they are on the receiving end of angry texts, emails, etc., and use them to respond to it. They work just as well when you need to initiate (or prompt) a conversation, however. They are fairly easy once you get the hang of it, but it does take some practice since a lot of it is counter-intuitive to what you feel like saying or doing. You can learn more about BIFF Responses on the BIFF website (www.biffresponse.com).

    Hope that helps! –Trissan

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