Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Why Narcissists Use The SILENT TREATMENT

Why Narcissists Use The SILENT TREATMENT!!

The narcissist is an expert manipulator who's goal is to cause suffering, chaos, pain, and anger yet all with the ability to hide behind their covert tactics to the point that you do not realize that the intense pain you are experiencing are a direct result of the person claiming they love you and would never do anything to hurt you.
One of their favorite covert abuse tactics is the silent treatment.
The silent treatment is a way to inflict pain without visible bruising, without insults and criticism or any forms of verbal abuse. The pain is there....but it is hidden from not only the sight of others, but even of yourself.
Imagine trying to explain the sheer anguish of the pain in your relationship and if someone were to ask you -
 Does he/she hit you? Well - No.
Is he or she screaming at you? Umm, not at all.
Are they calling you names and insulting you? Nope
Then what's the problem? 
They won't talk to me, they give me the silent treatment.
Ok. Can you imagine the look on the listeners face? Automatically
your friend/family member will think you are overreacting, that it's not as bad as we are claiming, or that others have it worse!!
There's nothing worse than feeling the anguish of abuse and then having it minimized by those we open up to.
The truth is, the silent treatment is just as damaging as physical abuse.Research has shown that the act of ignoring or excluding activates the same area of the brain that is activated by physical pain.
Some people may even view the silent treatment as a good thing, they may rationalize with you - 
maybe he/she's just trying to cool off. Maybe they just don't want to say something they will regret. Maybe they are just trying to not put more fuel into the fire. 
If you begin to rationalize that these are the motives of the narcissist - then their abuse
is truly hiding deeper and deeper and the effects on you are getting worse and worse.
The silent treatment, even if it’s brief, activates the anterior cingulate cortex – the part of the brain that detects physical pain. The initial pain is the same, regardless of whether the exclusion is by strangers, close friends or enemies.
The silent treatment is the narcissists favorite weapon of choice because it’s powerful and it’s easy to get away with. There is nothing subtle about a physical or verbal lashing, but an accusation of the silent treatment, ‘Are you ignoring me?’ can easily be denied.
If you find yourself constantly getting sucked into the silent treatment, this may be your normal response: 
" The pain of the silence, the ignoring is so unbearable. I beg him/her to tell me what's wrong, to talk to me. I let him/her know that I'm sorry for whatever I did that hurt him/her. I'm not sure this time what exactly set his/her anger off in the first place, but I apologize because I don't care about who is at fault I just want peace and if I have to be the one to apologize (since he/she never does) then so be it. I just want to feel acknowledged. 
It's been days since he/she has directed a word let a lone a glance at me. Even when he/she is at work all I can do is think about what happened, mull around in my mind what I did wrong, what I could've done right, how to make things better. These thoughts dominate my mind so much that I find it so difficult to concentrate on work, I can't feel any happiness. All I feel is an anxious dread as to what is going to happen next, how long it will be before this silence ends. I never knew silence could be so loud and so painful. I just want it to stop. I will do or say anything to make it go away."

Ok if any of the above thoughts are thoughts that have gone through your mind during the silent treatment....then you have fallen into the game of the narcissist. You are being controlled by the subtle form of abuse that the narcissist loves to employ.
Here are 3 tips to free you from falling victim of the silent treatment.

1) Call it for what it is. The silent treatment is ABUSE. If you are enduring the silent treatment, especially on a regular basis you are being emotionally abused. It is NOT normal, it should NOT be a an every day part of your relationship. You do NOT deserve it no matter what the other party says. Once you recognize it for what it is - ABUSE - STOP apologizing for it!! By apologizing, even for the sake of peace, for something you did not do, by apologizing for the narcissists uncontrollable narcissistic rage or narcissistic injury - you are virtually supporting a lie. The lie in the narcissists head is that any time they feel a negative thougth or emotion - IT IS YOUR FAULT!! Every time you apologize you strengthen this false reality in the narcissists mind. The next time the narcissist gives you the silent treatment ...pause....notice it...recognize it as abuse....remind yourself that you are not responisble for the feelings and actions of others you are ONLY responsible for what you do, say, think and feel.

2) LAY DOWN A BOUNDARY. When the narcissist ignores you and talks to you when and if they feel like it, they are denying you any rights as to how YOU would like to be treated. The narcissist uses the silent treament as a dictatorship - they will talk with you as long as you do, act, feel, say, dress, think EXACTLY how they want you to. However, if you deviate, and dare to show any kind of seperateness of persona, any kind of individuality, or worse - any kind of difference in opinion than the narcissist -they ultimately kill you in their minds. By not talking to you, or acknowledging your presence you basically do not exist to them in their minds. You will not be allowed to exist again until you once again become submissive to their dictatorship by eradicating anything and everything that makes you - YOU and simply accept the fact that you are now a mere extention of the narcissist.
A boundary you can set can be as follows:
"Well, since you are unwilling to have an adult conversation I'm going to go out and get some things done. I will be back in two hours, I hope you are ready to talk at that point."
If the narcissist suddenly says they are ready to talk now....remind them of your boundary. Well, I have some things to get done. I'm glad you're willing to talk, I will be back in two hours. Do not keep explaining, do not get sucked into a drama battle. Their only point in trying to talk at that moment is to exercise control. They do not want YOU to feel ANY measure of empowerment and by keeping you or drawing you into a drama battle they prevent you from feeling empowered.
WHEN YOU LEAVE FOR TWO NOT spend the time crying, or wondering why they do what they do, or wishing they were different. This is your time to give to YOU. Take a walk and enjoy nature, go to your favorite coffee shop and enjoy your favorite drink, visit a good friend, window shop in your favorite store. The point is to do something that reminds you that you are important, that you have value, that you deserve to be treated in a healthy fashion. Use these 2 hours as an emotional power charge for yourself.

3) OBSERVE AND TAKE ACTION. This final point is the hardest but most important. When you go back and attempt to have a conversation with the narcissist you should be in observe mode.
 Pay attention to his/her body language. 
Do they look as if they want to reconcile? 
Do they seem like they are willing to be reasonable? 
Do they look angry and accusotory? 
When you attempt to converse are they still giving you the silent treatment?
If they are actually talking, are they simply accusing, insulting and blaming?
Are their words seemingly trying to reconcile or reject and shame?

If they still are using abusive tactics this is when you need to TAKE ACTION. And I do not mean by getting sucked into a drama battle. You need to discern if this relationship is healthy or unhealthy. Does this person cause more harm and damage than love and kindness? Is this relationship destroying you?
Make a firm decision to not tolerate abuse. You cannot stop someone else from being an abusive person....but you can stop yourself from being in a relationship full of abuse.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Narcissists ALWAYS Ruin Special Occasions/Holidays

Are you in a relationship with someone who always seems to ruin the moments and events in life that mean the most to you? Do you constantly feel as if every time you strive toward making a special occasion happy, your partner seems to never be pulling the other direction to make it miserable? Are the occasions that meant the most to you in the past, a source of misery in the present ever since you have been in a relationship with a certain person?
If you answered yes to the above questions there is a good chance you are in a relationship with a narcissistic person!
Why do narcissists seem to hate special occasions and purposely ruin holidays and important events?
Here are 5 reasons why narcissists make it a habit to make sure that the days that mean the most to you are now full of misery and dread:

1) Narcissists think they are the sun and the world should revolve around them!! Celebrate and put the attention on someone else? How dare you!! The narcissist will punish you for taking your attention off of them and putting it on anyone or anything else. By fighting with you right before the special event, two purposes are accomplished by the narcissist. First, the fight forces you to put your mind and total attention back on the narcissist as you desperately try to make this person happy. Second, the fight stamps out any sparks of joy that were beginning to flutter within. You are not allowed to be happy - if the narcissist is unable to experience genuine happiness (and they can't) then those closest to them will be denied the ability to enjoy genuine happiness.

2) Narcissists are unable to be close to people on an emotional level. Special occasions give families the opportunities to draw closer together, to bond, its a time of  connectedness, giving, loving, and gratefulness to many. The problem is that these are all emotions that the narcissist fights against. To distance themselves emotionally during special occasions they will often resort to creating chaos. As they watch their family running around catering to them in an effort to get this special occasion to finally be one all will enjoy, they derive pleasure at causing their families attempts to fail. Unlike healthy people who get pleasure with love, closeness, sharing and giving of themselves - the narcissist gets his/her pleasure by taking the joy away from others. The narcissist is fueled with power as they see that they have the immense strength to cause something that was at one time a cherished event to become a day of doom. 

3) Special occasions require you to give, whether it's a gift or simply your attention focused on someone else. A narcissist does not give. Every relationship with a narcissist will always be one sided, with one person giving everything and anything to keep the narcissist happy while the narcissist teaches with their anger to not expect a thing from them.  

4) Special occasions often require spending time with extended family members. The narcissist does not want their family around anyone that could help them to see they are in a toxic relationship; the narcissist does not want their family around anyone that could point out that they don't look so good or ask if they are doing okay. They keep their family on a short leash and spending time with extended family members may give the narcissists family the opportunity to confide in someone and ask for help and get a realistic evaluation as to what is going on behind closed doors. Well, the narcissist cannot afford to have anyone show you that the reality they are conditioning you to believe is NOT true reality, rather their warped way of seeing things. They will often make a special event so absolutely miserable that your extended family will not WANT to come back again, and that's exactly what they want so that they can isolate you from anyone that can help you.

5) Narcissists love to ruin holidays's fun to them; life is a game and the goal is always to derive narcissistic supply from their families. As the special occasion approaches and you get more excited and full of joy, they thoroughly relish in delight as they pull out a needle and pop that balloon, watching you crash into tears, pain and disillusion. And then when you finally cannot take their attempts to ruin it anymore and you lose your cool, fly off the handle, get furious at their attempts to ruin everything - it is at that precise moment that they look at you in wide eyed innocence as they point the finger at your behavior and blame YOU for the misery of the special occasion. And when you fall for it, and you begin to feel bad and wonder if it is all your fault, the narcissistic supply runs through their veins and they smile within...sometimes if you look carefully you will notice their narcissistic smirk since they cannot hide the joy they are feeling at ruining yet another special occasion.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Children of Narcissistic Parents

"Self-trust, self-love, and self-knowledge can be taught to a daughter only by a mother who possesses those qualities herself." - Dr. Karyl McBride, from Will I Ever Be Good Enough

A child of a narcissistic parent is taught conditional love...they are loved if and when they "perform" perfectly up to the expectations of the parent. Just when they are enjoying the moment of feeling loved, that love is yanked from them, mostly when they least expect it - causing insecurity, fear and a deep sense of shame. 
Young children do not have the mental capacity to understand that their parent may have a problem, their parent may not know how to love correctly; So they internalize the problem and think they are the problem, they are unlovable, unworthy, never enough.
A child of a narcissistic parent never tastes unconditional love.
Unconditional love is caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.
A narcissist is unable to love unconditionally because they do not care about the happiness of others, not even of their family members. In fact happiness is viewed as a threat to a narcissist.
When a narcissist sees genuine happiness reflected in the eyes of their family members they react in the same way I react when I see a roach, I scrunch my face in disgust and do all I can to stamp it out of existence.
Therefore children of narcissistic parents learn not to shine, not to laugh or feel genuine happiness. They are conditioned over time to feel uncomfortable with happiness, after all, any time they felt it as a child it was accompanied by rage by the narcissist.
It's important to help children to overcome this avoidance of happiness even if they are no longer living with the narcissistic parent. Because they have been conditioned to associate negative feelings with happiness, because they have lived their life feeling as if everything is a funeral, they need to be taught how to be happy. Sometimes children of narcissistic parents will create caos when life is calm, simply because calmness scares them; after all it was always right when everyone was calm and "happy" that the narcissist would rage. It's a coping mechanism, it helps them to not feel so out of control - they think - if all goes crazy at least I will be expecting it since I am causing it!!!
If your children are doing this after the relationship with the narcissist has ended, please be patient with them. Children of narcissistic parents are not used to calm, healthy, happy lives and sometimes they take on the role of the narcissist even after the narcissist is gone simply because that has always been their "normal."
Something that was helpful with my family was practicing gratitude. Each day we made a practice to write down 3 things we were happy about that day. It didn't have to be big things, it's often the little things that happen on a regular basis that bring us the most happiness. And instead of overlooking those little things we made it a point to seek them out, to write them down, to share them with each other. This practice slowly helped my children to learn to be comfortable with happiness until now happiness is their normal.
I hope this technique of writing down 3 things you are greatful for, or things that made you happy each day is as helpful for your family as it has been for mine.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Do Not Be Fooled By Nice People


I spoke with a woman who spent 15 years in a relationship with an abusive, covert narcissist. I asked her - 'Do you have the tendency to be attracted to bad boys? Or difficult boys?'
"No," she replied honestly. "I've never been attracted to bad boys, in fact I love a guy that is sincere and kind and has a good head on his shoulder."
"What were your ex boyfriends like?" I inquired again.
"They were all great guys, nice guys that had a lot going for them. I don't understand how I fell for a narcissist, what do you think I did wrong with this one?" She asked.
"You did nothing wrong - you were duped."

This woman had talked on and on about how amazing her now ex was, how everyone thought he was gold, how she felt so blessed to have been "chosen" by him. Yes, how ...NICE....he was. The whole world thought he was the NICEST GUY on the planet.
So many people wind up falling for Mr. Nice/Narcissist because they are attracted to nice guys, but they are people that tend to believe that everyone portrays what they really are. After all, they are honest with who they are, isn't everyone else??
Sadly a narcissist has the ability to portray themselves as a wolf in sheep's clothing. They fool people into believing this false image so that once they've sucked you in, the trap snaps and you find yourself stuck in a narcissistic web.
Does that mean you avoid all nice guys??
But learning the difference between a healthy, nice individual and a narcissist who is portraying nice is vital. Not all nice people are good people and having the wisdom to discern between the two can help you avoid much heartache. 
Here is a breakdown of the differences between a good person and a false nice person:

* Display consistent integrity
* They have depth and substance to their personality
* They are responsible and care about how their actions affect others
* They don't "brag" about being a good person or constantly highlight their good qualities for the world to see
* They are selfless even if there is no audience to witness it
* They are themselves without seeking approval from others
* They say what they mean, they do not tickle your ears by lying just to make you happy
* They listen to your pains and never throw them in your face even during an argument
* They build you up as opposed to tearing you down
* They are always the same, you never have to guess what kind of person they will be today
* They can rejoice at the success of others
* They admit their mistakes and flaws

* Integrity is dependent on the circumstances, whether it benefits them or not
* They are charming and praise you not because their compliments are truth but rather to get you to fall for their charm
* They are shallow and it seems impossible to have deep, meaningful conversations with them
* They desperately need the approval of others and if that means stepping on others or putting others down, then they will do that in order to gain praise
* They are manipulative
* They are like perfume - very sweet but often to cover up what is deeply offensive
* They lie easily and believe there lies, they lack any integrity whatsoever
* They will remind you how amazing they are and how fortunate you should feel to have been chosen by them

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Why can reverse psychology work if you do not overuse it?
It's simple a narcissist lives their life striving after narcissistic supply - which they often get when causing another person to feel frustrated, anger, helpless, unlovable, desperate, etc.
Much like a two year old that picks up a very pretty glass vase, smashes it to the ground and marvels at the sheer volume of the noise it creates and the amount of pieces flying everywhere. They look up, half guilty half impressed thinking -did I have the power to cause such massive destruction?
That's how a narcissist feels whenever they shatter you on the inside - they look at the situation and marvel, thinking wow I'm so powerful look how angry I can make him/her, look how upset I can cause him/her to feel? I did that!!
So how does reverse psychology come in?
Once you learn how the narcissist can use this to your advantage. 
Lets say your child has a special event on the weekend they are supposed to visit the narcissistic parent (NP). If dealing with a rational person you can simply talk to the other parent, explain the situation and ask to switch weekends - a healthy parent would have the child's best interests at heart and be willing to compromise for the happiness of their child.
The NP will think...yes!!! My ex wants something from me, I'm going to do everything to make the situation impossible and watch him/her fall apart emotionally trying to convince me I should change weekends - I'll show him/her!!
Knowing this, you can save your breath and approach it from a different angle such as:
" I have something really important to do this coming weekend, please do not cancel visitation like you did last time it would really put me in a bind/"
Inside the narcissists mind occurs something to this effect: She/he  has something important to her and she's/he's  letting me know - yes!! Now I can do something that will completely mess up his/her plans and cause mountains of frustration. 
Hopefully the NP will cancel the visitation in an effort to hurt you.
Now remember, nothing is a guarantee - and if the narcissist suspects you are using this technique they will not fall for it again. So use wise and sparingly. 
It's sad that you cannot negotiate and talk through events with a NP, but the truth is YOU CAN'T.
But there are ways to handle the situation that lesson your emotional reaction and reverse psychology can be a go to tool to help.