At what point will a narcissist go quiet?

In my experience, narcissists “go quiet” for a few reasons and in various ways, depending on the type of relationship it is, where you are in that relationship, and whether or not they believe that their silence or sudden change in behavior will have any impact. Silence is used to weaponize communication (stonewalling/witholding/switching off), as a cooperation or compliance training tool (think, interrogation rooms), or as a punishment for not saying, doing, or being what they want.

Switching off 

Narcissists, particularly Coverts, utilize a method referred to as “switching off” where they’re still in your life, but suddenly, they “turn off” the expected interaction, reaction, and involvement that was previously displayed. This is their way of communicating that they are bored, annoyed, or inconvenienced by your presence. It is common when it is “your turn” to vent or express a feeling or thought, as they have with you. For you, it is shockingly rude, yet as the name suggests, it is as simple as turning the light off in a room for them. It is a form of gaslighting in that it most certainly alters your reality to experience such a contrast within one relationship or person in such a short period of time without any reason or event to point to as to why. In this sense, “going quiet” can happen in verbal communication, or it can be expressed through body language, such as suddenly turning away from you while you are talking, walking away from you out of nowhere, etc. Switching off, “going quiet,” or going dark, in normal people’s terms, can also be referred to as “bait and switch,” where you are provoked into conversation or experiences, and suddenly, what was a two-person tango is now a solo performance. You will look and feel idiotic to be at such a heightened level of energy alone. In conversation, it can appear in ways like stonewalling (no response, blank stares) or withholding (omission of pertinent information, robotic response, lack of affection or infliction). It usually follows directly after a surge of immense energy is expelled from this person and is so weird and random that many people overlook it or write it off. It is purposeful and disrespectful, and it is meant to create confusion and signify your unimportance to them. With narcissists, there is no sense of attachment, so what is weird, uncomfortable, and abnormal to you is totally non-existent for them. You will feel the impact of the disconnect, while they were never “connected” in the first place.


What Happens When You Ignore A Narcissist?

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