When a normal person gives you the silent treatment, it probably means that they’re too hurt to even talk to you or that they’re trying to go no contact. But when a narcissist behaves like this, it’s just one of their manipulation techniques.
However, being aware of why they do it doesn’t make you feel any better. Being familiar with this doesn’t give you the answer to the question, “How long will a narcissist ignore you?”
Well, luckily, I will. And that’s not all, folks. You’ll also get a tutorial on how to act when this starts happening.
How Long Will A Narcissist Ignore You?
Nobody can give you the exact number of days a narcissist will ignore you. However, one thing is for sure: the narcissistic silent treatment will eventually stop, and they will try and come back into your life sooner or later.
A person with a narcissistic personality disorder will ignore you as long as it suits them. They will stop when they decide that your punishment is over or when they think that they’ve regained control over you.
The answer to the question, “How long will a narcissist ignore you?” also depends on the stage your relationship is in. If you two have just started dating, it’s safe to say they’ll reach out in two weeks max.
At this point, a narcissist knows that they can’t afford to ignore you for too long. After all, they’re not sure whether you’re hooked on them completely or not. What if you fall out of love with them while they’re gone and refuse to let them back in?
On the other hand, if this is a long-term relationship, the silent treatment might last up to three months. At this point, they’re certain that you’re not going anywhere and that they can come back to you whenever they please, so they abuse this privilege.
11 Reasons A Narcissist Ignores You
To figure out “How long will a narcissist ignore you?” you have to understand why they do it in the first place. This applies to all people with NPD, including your narcissistic partner, narcissistic parent, sibling, best friend, coworker, etc.
1. Part of narcissistic abuse
It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen some of the other red flags or not, every life coach and relationship expert will tell you that the silent treatment alone is enough for someone to be classified as an emotional abuser. This doesn’t mean that normal people don’t ignore their loved ones from time to time, but what differentiates this from narcissistic behavior is why they do it.
A narc deliberately ignores you as a part of their narcissistic abuse. They’re perfectly aware that this treatment is hurting you, and they continue to do it despite that.
Actually, to be clear, that’s exactly why toxic people do it – because it is a way to hurt you!
2. Devaluing your worth
Am I not worthy enough for them to even talk to me? What did I do wrong to be treated this way? Do I actually deserve this kind of treatment?
How many times have these and similar thoughts crossed your mind? Well, the first time you asked yourself any of these questions was the moment when the narc succeeded in their intention.
Their goal is to devalue your worth, one way or another. And ignoring you will eventually destroy your mental well-being and sense of self-worth.
This is the message a narcissist is trying to send you: “You’re not worthy of my reaction. You’re not worthy of me, a supreme human being, even talking to you, let alone anything else.”
They hope that this silent treatment will destroy your self-confidence and convince you that you’re good for nothing.
3. To punish you
Everyone with a narcissistic personality disorder feels a sense of entitlement. Basically, they’re entitled to do whatever they want, and everyone else is just there to do as they’re told.
So, when you dare to break their imaginary rules and give them narcissistic injury, all hell will break loose. Sometimes, they’ll throw a temper tantrum, and sometimes, they’ll ignore you “to teach you a lesson.”
Their sick, twisted mind thinks they’re doing you a favor by behaving like this. They’re teaching how you should behave. They’re showing you what is acceptable and what they will not tolerate.
The worst thing is that, in most cases, they will actually succeed. The last thing you want is for them to shut down again, so you’ll bow your head and do what you’re told – just so you don’t have to go through this agony again.
Before you know it, they’ve trained you to behave as they please.
4. Rising your stress levels
It doesn’t matter how long will a narcissist ignore you – even if it lasts a couple of hours, it will stress you out. And that’s perfectly normal – after all, this is someone you love, and you can’t stand them not talking to you out of the blue.
Well, that’s exactly what they want to achieve: to raise your stress levels. You’ll be nervous and anxious while this is happening, and you’ll wrongly assume that you feel this way because you can’t live without them. Of course, all of that will increase your trauma bond.
Let me tell you that this is just one of their manipulation tactics to ruin your mental health. They’re deliberately doing this to make you feel codependent.
At this point, you’re ready to do whatever it takes just to get rid of this awful feeling. And if that means begging for a narc to come back, that’s exactly what you’re about to do.
5. To get a reaction
There is one thing no narcissist can live without: attention. The only way for them to feel important is by getting their victim’s reaction.
After all, that’s why they do all of this. If you’d stay numb to their attempts, they would move on to someone else in no time.
Basically, it doesn’t matter how you’ll react to this passive-aggressive game, as long as you give them some kind of reaction. You might cry, get angry, or even try making them jealous – it doesn’t matter as far as they’re concerned.
The only thing that matters to a covert narcissist is to feel powerful over their victim. Your reaction is what gives them control over you – and that’s exactly what they’ve been trying to get all this time.
6. Causing drama
People with NPD will never admit to being guilty of manipulation, passive-aggressive behavior, and other forms of emotional abuse. On the contrary, they’ll do their best to switch roles and make you the bad guy.
They provoke you, hit you beneath the belt, and use sneaky ways to hurt you. And then, when you lose it, they accuse you of overreacting and being crazy.
At the same time, they won’t hesitate to tell you that you misinterpreted everything and that things didn’t happen the way you think they did. Right there, you have a textbook example of the manipulation method called gaslighting.
The same happens when they ignore you. They push you over the edge and watch you go insane, which is a perfectly normal reaction.
However, that’s when they accuse you of creating drama. Of course, they’ll pretend like they can’t stand it, while they actually enjoy every minute of drama in your toxic relationship.
They tell you that they were just trying to avoid fighting when you both know that they were actually stonewalling you on purpose.
7. Part of their hot and cold game
Every narc loves playing games. At first, they’ll love bomb you. After that, there comes ghosting, followed by the big return. Of course, things don’t end there – instead, this is just the beginning of an endless cycle of abuse that ends with your destroyed mental health.
Well, if you’re wondering, “How long will a narcissist ignore you?” the answer is – until they’re ready for the next phase in this hot and cold game.
If you ask them, they’re doing this to keep the spark in your relationship alive. Of course, this is not how normal people think, and that’s one of the reasons they’re far from normal.
The bottom line is that they’re ignoring you to make the relationship more exciting when you two get back together.
8. Hit of new supply
Even though I’m sure you see this as the worst possible scenario, your narc finding the next suited victim is actually a blessing in disguise for you. Tough break for this new person, but as far as you’re concerned, it’s a great thing because it means that you’re off the hook.
What I’m trying to tell you is that it’s possible a narcissist is ignoring you because they’ve found a new supply. They’re practicing triangulation and are dragging a new, innocent person into your mess on purpose.
9. To feel wanted and needed
If you’re an empath, you’re the one who can give a narc exactly what they want: love, affection, and compassion. Even though they hide it, all narcissists are addicted to all of this.
However, the moment they feel even the slightest trace of emotional neglect, they start ignoring you – just to test your love for them. Basically, they panic at the mere thought of you not loving them anymore, so they make a big fuss just to assure themselves that this is not true.
The moment they see you heartbroken because of something they did, they feel wanted and needed all over again.
10. You’ve figured them out
If a narc realizes that their victim has them all figured out, it’s the end of their world. Therefore, if you get to the bottom of their behavior, it’s quite possible that they’re actually running away from you because they felt exposed and vulnerable.
In this case, a narcissist has no idea what to do. Their manipulation tactics are obviously not working, and they can’t lure you back into their trap.
Basically, the only thing they can do is disappear. But don’t worry, they’ll come back sooner or later – they just need some more time to reorganize themselves and come up with a new strategy to play you once again.
11. Because they can
This might sound harsh, but at the end of the day, you’re enabling narcissistic behavior. Of course, I’m not talking about physically abusive relationships where you fear for your life and are too scared to think about walking away.
However, in all other cases, you’re letting them get away with all of this. They come back after ignoring you for some time, and you welcome them with open arms.
So, what prevents a narcissist from repeating the entire cycle when they feel like it? You’re clearly not planning to leave this narcissistic relationship, and they never feel any consequences for their actions.
6 Ways To Make A Narcissist Stop Ignoring You
Now that you know the answer to the question, “How long will a narcissist ignore you?” you’re wondering how to make it stop. Well, trust me, after you apply some of these methods, you’ll hear from them the next day.
1. Understand their reasons
Before you act on anything, first, you have to figure out which of the reasons a narcissist ignores you mentioned above applies to your abuser.
You can’t succeed in anything until you understand whether they’re doing this to punish you for something, to regain control, or if this is just part of their emotional abuse cycle.
I know that finding the core reason is not the easiest job in the world. Here’s a tip to do it right: forget about your feelings for this person.
Pretend that you’re nothing but a passive bystander in this narcissistic relationship. How would you classify your covert narcissist? What would you say is the reason they’re acting the way they are?
2. Mirroring a narcissist
Simply put, mirroring a narcissist means treating them how they treat you. This is difficult to achieve for normal people, especially if we’re talking about a narc you care for deeply, despite everything. However, in most cases, this is the only language people with NPD speak and understand.
Basically, if they’re gaslighting you, you gaslight them back. If they’re love bombing you, you love bomb them back. And, of course, if they’re giving you the silent treatment, you ignore them back.
This will leave a narcissist confused and lost. You’ll outsmart them, and that’s exactly where you want them to be.
3. Work on your self-esteem
Remember we talked about your abuser wanting to destroy your sense of self-worth at all costs, and that is why they’re ignoring you in the first place? Well, it’s your job to prove them wrong.
You are capable of being happy and self-confident without them around. They didn’t succeed in convincing you that you’re worthless or good enough and your self-image won’t change just because they woke up in the morning and decided to ignore you.
4. Don’t fall into the blame game trap
Be careful because every narcissist will do their best to make you think that you’re responsible for this mess. According to this view, they would never ignore you if you treated them differently.
Everything is your fault because you provoked them into doing this. Sound familiar?
I have to warn you that a narc will continue playing the blame game. Please, don’t fall for it – it’s a trap.
5. Don’t act like you’re clueless
Here’s another thing you shouldn’t be doing while a narcissist is ignoring you: pretending to be clueless. Don’t act like you have no idea what they’re doing and, most importantly, what they’re trying to achieve.
Instead, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Call them out on their actions and show them that you’re perfectly aware of everything that’s been going on. Trust me: that will shock them more than anything else.
It means that their cover has been blown and that they have to come up with some serious new strategies.
6. Act unbothered
Finally, the key is to act completely unbothered by everything that has happened. It’s okay to say you’re hurt if someone is ignoring you. However, that doesn’t mean that your life is over.
Even though I know you’re hurting, please pretend to be completely unmoved and untouched by their behavior. Don’t give them what they want – attention and proof that they’ve made a serious impact on you.
Instead of sending them essay-long paragraphs and begging them to talk to you, just let them be. Instead of stalking them and asking for an explanation, move on without closure!
Trust me when I tell you that this is what will hurt them most. Once your narc sees that you couldn’t care less about their silent treatment, they’ll be at your doorstep the next day.
What To Do If A Narcissist Ignores You
The best thing to do when a narcissist ignores you is to ignore them back. If you act like it’s the end of the world, you’re just giving them the green light to continue. You’re making them feel important and giving them validation.
On the other hand, if you act like you’re completely unbothered by them stonewalling you, you cease to be their source of narcissistic supply.
Does It Drive A Narcissist Crazy When You Ignore Them?
Yes, there is nothing that can drive a narcissist insane more than running into someone who doesn’t only have them figured out but also has the ability to beat them at their own game. Ignoring a narcissist means giving them zero attention, and let’s not forget that they can’t live without getting attention.
Basically, when you ignore them, you’re doing what they wanted to do to you: you’re destroying their sense of self-worth and deepening their trauma bond.
Even though this is not something you should be doing with normal people, sadly, sometimes, it’s frequently the only technique to get at least some revenge on your narcissist.
What Do You Do When A Narcissist Gives You The Silent Treatment?
It means you don’t respond to their attempts to reach out, and most importantly, you ignore their flying monkeys (the people a narc uses to do the bullying for them), and you don’t stalk their social media. You disappear from their life, sit back, and watch them desperately trying to crawl back into yours.
Also, remember that this has to be an act of ghosting. You won’t achieve anything if you announce you’re leaving or give them an explanation for it.
To Wrap Up:
Don’t be focused on trying to figure out, “How long will a narcissist ignore you?” As long as you sit and count the days from the last time they replied to your text messages, it means that your focus is still on them. And trust me, they feel it and see it as encouragement to keep up with the good work.
Instead, work on the tactics that will help you emotionally hurt your narcissist.
Look, don’t get me wrong – I assure you that I’m not telling you that this is the right way to act. On the contrary, the only smart thing to do would be to escape this toxic relationship without ever looking back.
In fact, this is the only way to get out of this cycle of abuse once and for all. I won’t lie to you: by doing all of the things mentioned above, you’re only dragging yourself deeper into this mud you’ve ended up in.
However, I know that telling someone to walk away is much easier said than done. I’m perfectly aware that you’ve already chosen your path and that you’ve decided to continue with these games.
I know I can’t change your mind, so I’d rather give you instructions to show your abuser how the game is played!