When Narcissist Ignores You: 5 Reasons & Healing Strategies!

When a narcissist ignores you? Dealing with a narcissist in your life can be emotionally draining and challenging. One of the most hurtful tactics they employ is ignoring you, often referred to as the silent treatment. But How do you react when narcissist ignores you? 

Being ignored by anyone can be hurtful, but when it comes from a selfish individual, it takes on a whole new level of emotional devastation.

From their relentless need for admiration and control to their lack of empathy and disregard for others, narcissists possess a unique ability to inflict profound emotional wounds through their silence.

In this article, we’ll delve into the psychology behind this behavior, uncover five reasons why narcissists ignore, and provide you with healing strategies to navigate through this difficult situation.

Keep reading and discover the reasons behind a narcissist’s silent treatment and learn effective healing strategies. Explore the psychology of narcissistic behavior and find ways to regain control and self-worth.

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Understanding Narcissistic Behavior: The Psychology of Ignoring

Narcissists often employ various tactics to maintain control and manipulate those around them. Their behavior is rooted in a deep need for validation and a fragile ego.

When they feel threatened or perceive a loss of control, they may resort to the silent treatment as a way to regain power.

The narcissist’s ego is a fragile construct. They crave constant validation and admiration, and any perceived criticism or challenge to their self-worth can trigger defensive behavior.

Ignoring others is a tactic they use to protect their fragile self-esteem. By withholding attention and affection, they aim to make you feel powerless and unworthy.

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The Impact of Ignoring

Being on the receiving end of a narcissist’s silent treatment can have profound emotional and psychological effects.

It can lead to feelings of powerlessness, cognitive dissonance, and a sense of being devalued. Understanding these impacts can help you take steps to protect yourself and regain control.

Why a Narcissist Ignores You: Uncovering the Reasons

When a narcissist ignores you, it can be a confusing and hurtful experience. Narcissists exhibit a pattern of behavior characterized by self-centeredness, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration.

They often employ various tactics to manipulate and control others, including giving them the silent treatment or ignoring them altogether. Here are some reasons why a narcissist might choose to ignore you:

5 Reasons Why Narcissists Ignore You

– Abandonment

Narcissists have an intense fear of abandonment. They often believe that people will leave them if they reveal their true selves or make mistakes. Ignoring you is their way of preemptively protecting themselves from what they perceive as an inevitable rejection.

– A Way to Punish

When you’ve done something that a narcissist deems wrong, even the smallest mistake, they might try to convince you that you deserve punishment. Ignoring you becomes a tool for them to reprimand and invalidate you.

– To Validate Their Superiority

Narcissists often use ignoring as a way to assert their dominance. They want to make you feel powerless and reinforce their belief that they are superior to you.

– Manipulation

The silent treatment is a manipulative tactic used to keep you under their control. By making you feel devalued and uncertain, they can manipulate you more easily.

– Securing Their Source of Supply

Narcissists need a constant source of supply, which includes attention, admiration, and validation. Ignoring you is a way to ensure that you remain a steady source of supply for them.

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Types of Ignoring Behavior

There are three main types of ignoring behavior:

  • Ignoring the behavior but not the child: This ignoring involves avoiding eye contact, avoiding physical touch, and avoiding engaging in conversation with the child when they are engaging in problem behavior. However, the parent or caregiver remains present and engaged with the child in other ways. For example, if a child is whining for a cookie, the parent might say, “I hear you asking for a cookie, but I can’t give you one right now. Would you like to play with your blocks instead?”
  • Ignoring the child but not the behavior: This type of ignoring involves avoiding eye contact, avoiding physical touch, and avoiding engaging in conversation with the child when they are engaging in problem behavior. The parent or caregiver also physically removes themselves from the situation if possible. For example, if a child is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, the parent might pick up the child and take them to a quiet place to calm down.
  • Ignoring both the child and the behavior: This type of ignoring involves avoiding eye contact, avoiding physical touch, and avoiding engaging in conversation with the child when they are engaging in problem behavior. The parent or caregiver also physically removes themselves from the situation if possible and avoids giving any attention to the child until they have stopped the problem behavior. This type of ignoring is typically used for mild, attention-seeking behaviors.

It is important to note that ignoring should not be used for dangerous or harmful behaviors. If a child is engaging in a behavior that could put themselves or others at risk, the parent or caregiver should intervene immediately.

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How to React When Narcissist Ignores You?

When a narcissist ignores you, it can be one of the most confusing and painful experiences. You may wonder what you did wrong, why they’re suddenly giving you the cold shoulder, and how to make things right.

The truth is, there’s often nothing you can do to make a narcissist stop ignoring you. It’s all about them, and they’re likely using silence as a way to control and manipulate you.

So, what should you do when narcissists ignore you? The best thing is to ignore them. This may seem not easy, but it’s important to remember that you can’t control their behavior, but you can control your own.

If you give a narcissist the attention they’re craving, they’ll only continue to ignore you. But if you show them that you’re not bothered by their silence, they’ll eventually get bored and move on.

Of course, this is easier said than done. If you’re struggling to ignore a narcissist, there are a few things you can do to make it easier:

  • Remind yourself that it’s not about you. Narcissists ignore people for all sorts of reasons, but it’s never because of something the other person did wrong. It’s all about the narcissist’s need for control and attention.
  • Don’t take it personally. It’s important to remember that a narcissist’s behavior is a reflection of them, not you. If they’re ignoring you, it’s because they’re insecure and unhappy with themselves.
  • Set boundaries. If you have to interact with a narcissist, make sure to set clear boundaries. Let them know what behaviors you will and will not tolerate, and be prepared to enforce those boundaries.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist who is ignoring you, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people have been through the same thing. And there are resources available to help you cope.

If you’re struggling to cope with a narcissistic partner, friend, or family member, please reach out to a therapist or counselor for support. They can help you understand the situation and develop strategies for dealing with it.

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5 Narcissistic Abuse Healing Strategies

Dealing with a narcissist who ignores you can be emotionally taxing. However, there are strategies you can employ to protect yourself and regain control over your life.


Prioritize self-care and emotional well-being. Engage in activities that make you feel valued and loved, such as spending time with supportive friends and family.

Seek Professional Help

A therapist can help you navigate the complexities of a narcissistic relationship and provide you with coping mechanisms to deal with the emotional abuse.

Maintain Healthy Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries to protect yourself from further emotional harm. Understand that it’s essential to prioritize your well-being.

Dealing with Narcissistic Traits

Learn to recognize manipulation tactics and strategies used by narcissists. Please educate yourself about their behavior to avoid falling into their traps.

Resolve Unresolved Conflict

Address any unresolved conflicts with the narcissist, but do so with caution. Seek a neutral mediator if necessary to maintain a safe and constructive environment.

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

Boundaries are limits that we set to define what is and is not acceptable behavior from others. They help us to protect our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Healthy boundaries are essential for maintaining healthy relationships and for living a fulfilling life.

Here are some of the benefits of setting boundaries:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety. When we have clear boundaries, we are less likely to feel overwhelmed or taken advantage of. We can also better manage our time and energy, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Improves communication. Setting boundaries helps us to communicate our needs and expectations to others clearly and directly. This can lead to better understanding and respect in our relationships.
  • Increases self-respect. When we stand up for ourselves and our boundaries, we are demonstrating self-respect. This can lead to a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence.
  • Protects from unhealthy relationships. Healthy boundaries can help us to avoid or end unhealthy relationships. When we know what we are and are not willing to accept, we are less likely to tolerate toxic behavior from others.

Commonly Asked Questions about Dealing with Narcissistic (FAQs)

Can a narcissist change their behavior?

While it’s rare, some narcissists may change with professional help and self-awareness. However, it’s essential to prioritize your own well-being.

Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist?

Healthy relationships with narcissists are challenging, but with boundaries and therapy, some improvement is possible.

How long does it take to heal from narcissistic abuse?

The healing process varies from person to person but can take months or even years. Seek professional support for guidance.

Is it ever a good idea to confront a narcissist about their behavior?

Confronting a narcissist can be risky, as it may lead to further manipulation. Proceed with caution and consider seeking professional advice.

What are some red flags of narcissistic behavior?

Red flags include extreme self-centeredness, a constant need for admiration, a lack of empathy, and manipulative tendencies.

Is it okay to confront a narcissist who ignores you? 

Confrontation may yield negative results. Focus on your healing and seek support from professionals.

How long does it take to recover from narcissistic abuse?

Recovery varies for each person. It may take time, but with the right support and strategies, healing is possible.

Should I maintain any contact with the narcissist? 

Minimize contact for your well-being, especially if it’s causing emotional distress.

What if I can’t afford therapy?

Look for low-cost or sliding-scale therapy options, and consider online resources and support groups.

Can ignoring a narcissist backfire? 

Ignoring a narcissist can disrupt their control, but be prepared for their possible retaliation.

Final Thoughts

So, what to do when narcissists ignore you? In conclusion, dealing with a narcissist’s silent treatment can be incredibly challenging and emotionally draining. It’s important to recognize that their behavior is not a reflection of their worth or value as a person. Instead of desperately seeking their attention or validation, focus on your self-care and well-being. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and loved ones who truly appreciate you. Remember, when narcissist ignores you, it’s an opportunity to prioritize yourself and break free from their toxic hold. Stay strong, and keep moving forward towards a happier and healthier life.

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