Ignoring a Narcissist

This article will tell you everything you need to know about ignoring a narcissist.

People often confuse narcissism with vanity. They think a narcissist is someone who takes too many selfies or basically someone obsessed about the way they look. But a true narcissist is actually somebody with a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

These are individuals who actually believe that they are unique and superior compared to each other and will expect you to treat them as such. Not only that but they often do not care about the opinions and feelings of others. They thrive on attention but are dismissive of those who need theirs.

Having a narcissistic relationship – whether you are friends, lovers, or workmates can be frustrating and draining. There is a lot of manipulation, exploitation, and gaslighting involved and your connection can get very toxic.

They say that when you encounter a narcissist, you are better off completely ignoring their narcissistic ways. But given their need for attention, this can be sometimes more difficult than you think.

In this article, we will discuss why it is important to ignore a narcissist, how to deal with them accordingly, and how you can spot a narcissist so you do not have to deal with them at all. You may also find other information here that will be useful for the situation you have now.

Signs that you are dealing with a narcissist

Do you still have doubts whether you are dealing with a narcissist or not? Here are some common signs that indicate you are dealing with a real narcissist.

They make a great first impression

Most people do not realize someone is a narcissist until it is too late. This is because they always are charming and lovable at first.

They do good sweet talk and make you feel special. They will work at establishing a connection with you so that you will see them as a great friend, workmate, or lover. They do this by giving you constant compliments. They will give you their undivided attention and make you feel like you are the most interesting person in the world.

And it is hard to warn others about them too. This is because when a narcissist meets someone new, they do a great job at sucking up.

They will come on too strong but you would not notice because being complimented, admired, and loved is a good feeling. Instead of staying away, you end up wanting to be with them all the time for more.

Once they gain a certain level of attraction and connection from you, they become an important person in your life. This is the moment when the mask falls off and they show you who they really are.

They hog any conversation

Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance so they often want to be recognized as superior human beings by exaggerating their skills and achievements.

They usually seek attention by talking about themselves all the time. You will find that no matter what the conversation is about or how many times you change the subject, they will always find a way to make it all about them.

When someone attempts to share their own opinion or experience, they will often be dismissive of it.

They love compliments

A narcissist may seem super confident but they are actually insecure.

This is why they often seek attention, fish for compliments, and thrive when someone praises them. They need somebody around who could feed their egos.

And if ever someone dares to criticize something about them, they will be greatly offended. They will then spread the word that this person is envious of them.

They have no empathy

Narcissists are all about themselves and they hardly care about the people around them. They lack the skill to listen, be considerate of other people’s feelings and well-being, or even attempt to understand other people.

If you try to express sadness or anger around them, they will see it as you stealing the spotlight and will dismiss you as a drama queen. Either that or they will try to upstage your drama with a bigger problem so the attention still goes back to them.

They break rules

A narcissist will break rules often. This is because they feel that they are too important so rules do not apply to them.

A narcissist prefers to go through life by their own rules because they feel they are too good to be held down by something that someone else implemented. They like being above the law.

They will even go so far as to disrespect or break some rules or moral codes that they know you follow just to show that they do not really care what you think is right.

They don’t have long-term friends

Narcissists have difficulty maintaining friendships. They probably can make a lot of connections but most of them are cordial and not close.

You will notice that if you dig deeper into their connections, they barely have anyone. After all, nobody wants to be around a narcissist.

They usually cling to their current group and lash out or make you feel guilty if you try to hang out with other people.

They like to pick on you

Narcissists often lower the self-esteem of those around them because they think it would increase their own. Plus they also make the mistake of thinking that judging and putting others down makes them powerful.

When they hurl insults at you, it will feel like teasing at first. Later on, you will feel the negative energy and sense that they are picking on you to feed their inflated egos.

Suddenly this narcissist has something to say about everything from what you are wearing, eating, watching, to even who you spend your time with. It’s like they expect blind obedience from you and that they are controlling your life.

They often do this when you have something you want to celebrate or something you are happy about. They will find a way to step on your self-worth and belittle whatever accomplish you have by bringing up a flaw of yours.

Narcissists do this because they want you to know that you are not better than them.

They gaslight you

Once you catch on to their manipulative and toxic behavior and initiate a confrontation, they will gaslight you. They will turn the tables around so quick and make themselves the victim in this story.

They will make you feel like you are crazy for thinking this way by spinning the truth and distorting your reality to make you feel that you are the bad person because you are thinking this way about them.

They will do this to make you doubt yourself and make them gain superiority. They manipulate you into thinking you are mistaken so that you do not abandon them.

They don’t apologize

Narcissists rarely apologize – even if it is so obvious that they are in the wrong.

Part of their narcissistic behavior is that they are better and therefore, they should be right all the time. They will react negatively no matter how justified your corrections or arguments are.

In fact, a pathological narcissist will even find a way to find a mistake you have done or a flaw that you have to overshadow their wrongs. You have damaged a fragile ego and a narcissist react badly to such humiliation.

Is it better to ignore a narcissist?

Narcissists thrive on reactions. That’s because it shows they have the power to affect another person’s emotional state.

Because of this, ignoring a narcissist is the best step towards releasing yourself from this toxic relationship and starting your healing process.

In fact, reacting to what they say or do will only reinforce their behavior. The less you react, the less power they will have over you.

To ignore a narcissist may seem like a petty thing but it is actually a powerful move. To be honest, giving them the silent treatment and not giving value to what they say or do anymore is one of the worst ways to hurt a malignant narcissist.

Ignoring a narcissist puts the ball in your hands. You have the power now because only you have the narcissistic supply that they crave.

If you want to truly end this toxic connection so you can start recovering and healing, the best way is to ignore a narcissist. Shut them out completely, start focusing on yourself, and enjoy the narcissistic collapse.

We will not sugarcoat this. There is no way that a narcissist would react positively to you ignoring them.

Ignoring a narcissist will not be pretty because they will surely lash out and make you feel like you are the evilest person. It will be messy and heartbreaking.

When you ignore a narcissist, they will not only be confrontational and aggressive towards you but they will make sure that others will see you the same way.

This is the reason why a lot of people have difficulty breaking away from a narcissist.

When you are ignoring a narcissist, you are denying them the attention that they seek. Their fragile egos and shallow self-esteem will make them feel insulted and humiliated by your lack of attention. Narcissists are very vulnerable and sensitive when it comes to shame and humiliation.

Ignoring a narcissist would be a hit to their self-esteem. It would be a bruise on their ego and they will feel that you “wronged” them and that you have to pay for that mistake.

What happens when you start ignoring a narcissist?

Here is a list of some of the most common things that happens when you ignore a narcissist and their needs.

They will ignore you back

Before you breathe a sigh of relief, this will just be an initial reaction that can last for a couple of days.

They will ignore you back, knowing that they have a hold on you and that you will not be able to resist them. This is their way of reasserting their power in your relationship.

And once you do come back to them, it will definitely give them an ego boost because it proves that they still have a hold on you and you can’t resist them.

They will then use this against you and make you feel guilty for ignoring them and make it look like you abandoned them.

So before you ignore a narcissist, be sure that you are determined to cut all ties. Once you stop ignoring them, they will just have the last laugh.

They will try to pursue you

Once they notice that you are not coming back any time soon, they will try to pursue you.

Suddenly, they are all about you and it will remind you of how charming they were when you first met. They may even promise to change, give false promises, and pretend that they are behaving better.

You have to be careful during this phase or else you will find yourself falling into their trap once more.

Always remember that they are only after the narcissistic supply that you provide them and that they do not really care about you.

They will try to manipulate you through guilt

If their charms are no longer working on you, they will try to manipulate you by making you feel guilty.

Expect tears and claims of depression or being heartbroken. They will start acting like an angry toddler who wants new supply of attention and care.

They might even make up a problem or a situation where they need some rescuing and make it look like you are the only you can help them.

Some might even cross the line and threaten to commit suicide. This is the worst-case scenario that happens when you ignore narcissists.

It is important that you do not be swayed by all the drama and all the lies. When the worst-case scenario happens and they threaten to commit suicide, you can call someone else to check up on them just in case but never engage yourself.

They will become violent and threatening

When they realize that you are not running back to them even in their time of need, the narcissistic fury will be unleashed.

Realizing that you are truly ignoring their existence will hurt their fragile egos and their humiliation will be shown through anger.

Some would hurl insults towards you, leave threatening messages, stalk you, and worse – they may resort to damaging your property or physically hurting you.

The important thing is not to engage. If you feel that things are getting too far, never hesitate to ask for help from the authorities.

They will ruin your reputation

Once a narcissist will realize that they are no longer in control of the situation, they will try to control how other people see the situation.

Expect a lot of backstabbing and a fabricated story where they are the victim and you are the bad guy.

You are lucky if the people around you know the truth and the narcissist’s true colors. But this can be difficult and painful if there is nobody around to defend you and people takes the narcissist’s side.

You have to brace yourself and keep you chin up. Focus on your healing process and use your self-growth and peace of mind as a primary motivator.

Keep in mind that the truth will always prevail in the end. The narcissist’s true colors will always shine through no matter how innocent or charming they pretend to be.

Is there a chance that a narcissist will come back after you stopped contacting them?

Eventually, a narcissist will get tired of chasing after you – especially when they find a new victim. But does this mean they are gone for good?

There is still a possibility that they can come back. The answer depends on the nature of your narcissist. Each narcissist will respond differently in such a situation and the chances of them coming back will depend on different factors.

But one thing is for sure. When they do come back, they have an intention in mind and that is to get you back into their lives.

Here are some of the common reasons why a narcissist would return to you after a period of no contact.

They need a narcissistic supply

They may have found somebody to replace the gap you left in their lives but it turns out they have failed in establishing the special connection that they wanted.

Therefore, they come back to you thinking that after some time apart, you might miss them and take them back. In other words, they are not getting the necessary narcissistic supply that they need because their backup plan failed.

Sometimes they still come back to you even if they have a new victim probably because the new victim does not give them enough attention and admiration as you used to.

Unfortunately, narcissists always resort to going back to their last victim when this happens. This is because they already know your weaknesses and how to play with your self-worth.

They like the challenge of reconquering you

Some narcissists come back because they like a challenge.

They want to see if they can still get you under their control and when you do, they usually have the intent to dump and humiliate you the way you did to them.

This is especially true if you happen to be the one who pulled away from your narcissistic relationship first.

They know you have low self-esteem

Sometimes a narcissist will still continue to keep tabs on you. When they get wind that you are in a vulnerable place, they take the chance to get back in your life again.

It could be a breakup with a lover, a failed attempt to reach a big life goal or the passing away of a loved one.

They will use this chance to love bomb you, do sweet talk, and shower you with attention and care. You may even be convinced that they have really changed this time but before you know it, you will become a victim once again.

What to do when a narcissist comes back after a period of no contact

When a narcissist start showing up again, it can be upsetting or frustrating. You may not be able to control what they do but you can control what you can do about it and how you will react.

Here are some things that you should do once a narcissist comes back in your life.

Continue ignoring them

Once you see that they are trying to get back to you, continue to ignore them.

Avoid all forms of contact. Do not reply to any emails, texts, comments, or messages on social media. Do not accept calls from them.

If you see them while you are out, make sure you do not give away any kind of reaction – no anger, surprise, or fear. Just walk past them as if you do not know them or you have not seen them.

Be a grey rock – still and boring. Do not choose this time to do interesting things like going to parties often or anything that could trigger their curiosity and interest. They will just find ways to be part of whatever it is that makes you happy at the moment.

Remember, any reaction on your part – whether positive or negative – will just encourage their behavior because they see that they can still affect you. Any reaction from you will make them see that there is still something left in you to manipulate.

Use your common friends

If you have common friends with your narcissist and you know they still keep in touch, you can use this to your advantage once the narcissist starts bothering you again.

Let them know what the narcissist is doing and tell them it makes you feel sorry and sad for them and how small their lives must be that they had to resort to bothering them again after what you have been through.

Your words will eventually reach the narcissist and they will know they will look more pathetic to you and your common friends if they continue stalking you.

But keep in mind that this could be risky too since your judgment can make them angry and more obsessed with you so tread carefully.

Make sure someone knows what is happening

Some victims are actually afraid of their narcissists. This is why a strong support system is important.

When your narcissist starts coming around again, make sure somebody is updated with what you are doing and where you are all the time just in case something happens to you.

Contact law enforcement

The more you ignore them, the more they may be tempted to cross your boundaries. As a last resort, you can contact the authorities.

This is especially when things start to get creepy like the narcissist driving by your house at night all the time or the narcissist interfering with your work or your personal relationships with other people.

Make sure you do this without confronting them. It is important that they do not get any reaction from you and that you continue to act like you are unaffected so that they do not get to feed on anything from you.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do narcissists know that they are narcissists or that they are doing narcissistic abuse?

Just like most personality disorders, people are unaware that they are narcissists unless confronted.

Even then, a narcissist’s ego will refuse to acknowledge it. It’s hard for a narcissist to go through self-growth because it is hard for them to admit that there is something wrong with them.

Despite all the things that happens when you ignore them, narcissists are more likely to react negatively than to seek help.

What causes narcissistic personality disorder?

More research still needs to be done regarding the causes of narcissistic personality disorder or NPD. Here are some factors that researchers have found to contribute to NPD:

Genetics

Childhood abuse

Childhood neglect

Excessive pampering from parents

Unrealistic expectations from parents

What are the diagnostic criteria for NPD?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, these are the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder.

Having an inflated sense of entitlement or self-importance.

Expecting special treatment all the time because of the perceived superiority.

Needing to be praised and admired constantly.

Reacting negatively to any form of criticism.

Being preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, and beauty.

Behaving arrogantly.

Unwilling to recognize the needs and feelings of others.

Taking advantage of others.

What is the treatment for a narcissistic personality disorder?

The best treatment for narcissists so far is talk therapy or psychotherapy.
They will be asked to attend therapy sessions to help them learn how to relate better to others so their relationships will become more rewarding, intimate, and enjoyable.

Talk therapy can help narcissists learn a lot of things. They get to learn the right way to interact with others, maintain personal relationships, and learn how to tolerate criticisms.

Talk therapy can also help narcissists improve themselves by helping them understand and manage not only the feelings of others but also their own, cope with self-esteem issues, and be able to set realistic goals for themselves.

There is no medication specifically used for NPD. Narcissists will only be given medication if they have other mental health conditions.

Since NPD is deeply rooted and such personality traits are difficult to change, it will take several years of therapy before you can see any improvement.

Lifestyle changes can help hasten improvements such as avoiding alcohol and drugs, engaging in relaxing activities like yoga or meditation, and pursuing healthy habits or joining a sport.

Can a narcissist change?

We all have heard the line, “Everyone is capable of change,” but is this the same for narcissists? It would be very difficult but it is not impossible.

You see, narcissism is a personality disorder that has been deeply rooted in a person’s system. This could make them highly resistant to change.

In fact, it may take years before psychologists and therapists are able to see a change in their behavioral and emotional patterns.

For a narcissist to truly change, they must have a strong desire to do so.

What if I am in a relationship with someone who has NPD but I am not yet ready to give up on our relationship?

If you suspect that there is still a huge chance that you can turn things around, it is important that you set healthy boundaries in your relationship and maintain your self-care.

Be conscious and learn to recognize the destructive patterns of gaslighting, emotional warfare, or their habits of putting others, and make sure you do not engage or participate in them to show them that you do not encourage that kind of behavior.

When things get worse, consider leaving the toxic relationship and live a normal life. There is no winning against someone who only thinks of themselves. Your self-respect and self-worth will deplete greatly if you keep this abusive relationship.

Conclusion

Having a narcissist around can put your mental health at stake. Their quest for admiration and control can put you into toxic situations that will damage your self-esteem and alter your reality.

It is a constant mind game with them and it is best if you cut them out and ignore them. No arguments, no blowups, no screaming sessions. Although it is within your right to have your piece and fight back, you have to know that arguing with a narcissist will get you nowhere.

A more successful effect will be to ignore them. Ignoring a narcissist will establish boundaries, make you emotionally distant, and make the narcissist eventually cut ties with you themselves.

Ignoring them sends a message that you are no longer affected and therefore, they can no longer control you. This is the biggest blow that you can do.

The important thing is to be consistent in not engaging, do not doubt it, stay true to yourself, and start loving yourself more.

Once you start doing this, you will become stronger and you stop becoming a victim. That narcissist will not be able to touch you anymore because you have truly regained your senses and self-respect.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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