Let’s be honest, narcissists DO NOT like to be ignored. In their mind, they are the most important being in the world, who deserves to be worshipped and idolised (for absolutely no reason at all).
They treat people like items to be used up and then discarded, yet they expect to be honoured like gods. It makes zero sense and their self-centred behaviour causes so much destruction in the lives of those around them, who they see as nothing more than material items.
Ignoring a narcissist will cause them to react hard! They will see it as a personal attack, for which you must be punished. Their ego needs to protect their false image at all costs and will not hesitate to crush you in the process.
There are a few reasons why you might decide that ignoring a narcissist is the best way to go.
Maybe you’ve figured them out and feel that not engaging with them is the best course of action. Or you just don’t know what else to do other than ignore their incessant phone calls, messages, accusations and other abusive behaviour being directed towards you.
So, let’s explore what happens in this dynamic of ignoring a narcissist.
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Ignoring A Narcissist Will Make Them Explode!
Ultimately, ignoring a narcissist means that you are holding out on giving them the very thing they live and yearn for – narcissistic supply. By withholding their drug (supply), they will react as any other drug addict would. They will lash out.
|READ: Narcissistic Supply Explained →
Narcissists need to be the ones wielding the power and by ignoring them, they are no longer in control. You’ve effectively taken the control back into your own hands, whether you realise it or not.
Narcissists DO NOT want you to find out that they are the ones who need you, not the other way around.
On top of losing control and having their supply cut, ignoring a narcissist will also trigger a narcissistic injury. Meaning that one (or many) of their deep inner wounds have been triggered. These may include things like rejection, shame, humiliation, abandonment and betrayal.
The narcissist cannot bear to feel or acknowledge any of their vulnerabilities, so they will immediately lash out and project those things onto you instead.
In the narcissist’s delusional world, they believe that the projection they’ve just superimposed onto you truly represents you instead of them. They genuinely see that you are the one to blame, who is causing them difficulties, not the other way around.
As narcissists live behind a False Self, which is ruled by their ego, they cannot risk having any of their truths revealed. The ego will annihilate anyone who threatens to unmask the False Self.
Let’s delve into what happens when you ignore a narcissist.
What Happens When You Ignore a Narcissist?
Ignore You Right Back
One of the first things that may happen when ignoring a narcissist is that they will simply ignore you right back.
You see, narcissists deem themselves as being above us mere mortals and they certainly do not want to be chasing old supply that should be still serving their needs without question. They’re happy enough to chase new supply (for a short while) because it’s fresh, exciting and giving them plenty of much-needed energy.
However, once they’ve idealised and hooked you in, they do not intend on doing much else to keep you there besides eroding your entire sense of self so that you feel too worthless to leave.
The idea is to make you feel like you’re dependent on them, rather than it actually being the other way around.
So, if you ignore the narcissist, they may wait you out and expect you to come crawling back to them. Not only will they not acknowledge their destructive behaviour, which pushed you away in the first place, but they will expect you to be on your knees grovelling to them.
|READ: 8 Reasons the Narc Ignores You →
Offer False Apologies & Promises
If ignoring you doesn’t work, then they will bring in some fake apologies and promises of change for the future.
This is often where people get tripped up and accept the narcissist’s apology because they want so badly for the narcissist to acknowledge and take responsibility for their behaviour.
Covert narcissists are especially good at feigning empathy, which is why it’s so hard to see in the beginning that empathy was merely an act to get what they wanted.
Unfortunately, the narc hasn’t changed one bit. They’re just telling you what you want to hear so that you’ll get back in line and continue feeding them their fuel, which then powers them to continue abusing you.
Play the Victim
If the narcissist’s fake apologies didn’t work, it’s time to play the victim card.
As an empath I can tell you that this one worked on me so many times, it pains me to even think about it.
When the narcissist plays the victim, they will know exactly how to pull on your heartstrings and have you feeling empathy and compassion for them. They know how hard it is for you to say ‘no’ and they will use that against you every time.
Be prepared for the crocodile tears, which will feel so real that you might even question if they are a healthy human being with real emotions, after all.
They are so good at convoluting storylines, that before you know it, you’re almost believing the bullshit coming out of their mouths. I mean, they’re so damn convincing!
Ignoring a narcissist is the best way to not get swept up in their elaborate version of false reality. Otherwise, you might find yourself handing your power back over to them before you’ve even had time to think about it.
|READ: The Narcissist’s Fake Tears →
Another thing that often happens when ignoring a narcissist is that they will throw accusations at you.
If none of their pity party tactics work, they’ll resort to accusations, which we know are completely false, but that’s what makes them even more painful.
Projection is a favoured ploy of the narcissist because they simply refuse to look at their own behaviour and take responsibility for the part they’ve played in the situation. A healthy person would think, “Why is this person ignoring me all of a sudden? What have I done that may have hurt them?”
All of the deep wounds that have been triggered due to being ignored still exist, even if the narcissist will not acknowledge them.
So, the narc will superimpose onto you the very things that they are doing. Since their malfunctioned reality truly does see you as being the ‘doer of all the bad things,’ they will then accuse you of said things.
Ignoring the narcissist and disengaging at this point is very wise because it protects you from getting sucked into an argument where you feel the need to defend yourself against their accusations.
“If I can get this level of a reaction of them, I must be extremely important and powerful.”– The Narcissist
They want to get you worked up and reacting because that attention gives them supply and also makes them feel important.
During the idealisation (love bombing) phase, the narcissist was able to observe you and collect data based on your deepest fears and insecurities.
They know just what to threaten you with, which will have you walking straight back into their toxic cycle of abuse.
They may threaten to attack your kids, career, financial situation, home, pets, reputation… whatever your soft spot is, that is where the narcissist sees a weakness to be fired at.
Narcissists believe they are ‘special’ and feel entitled to have whatever they want, whenever they want it. They demand attention at all times and do not like it being denied to them.
Even if a narcissist thinks they’re being ignored, they can easily fly into a rage.
During my marriage to a narcissist, if I didn’t answer my phone when he rang, he’d proceed to leave a dozen messages on my voicemail abusing me for not being immediately available to him.
Examples of rageful messages from my narcissist ex if I didn’t respond quick enough:
- “What’s the point in having a ****ing phone if you’re not going to answer it!?”
- “Too bad if I was having an emergency.”
- “I’m just going to keep going until you pick up.”
- “Answer your ****ing phone!”
Then I would absolutely dread calling him back once I’d noticed the messages because, of course, this behaviour would not go unpunished in his books.
The worst part of all, the majority of those phone calls were about nothing. He’d heard something on the radio that he wanted to talk about or thought of something that he wanted to tell me right then and there.
Narcissists can go from 0 to 100 in a split second, which will have them exploding into a rage. Even if you don’t directly see the rage induced by your ignoring them, it will show up in many of the other tactics outlined here.
The narcissist may feel threatened by you ignoring them and be worried that you’re onto them. So, to counteract anything that you might tell others concerning their abusive ways, they’ll get in before you.
Expect the narcissist to tell anyone who will listen all about how you are to blame and how they are the poor victim at the hands of your awful behaviour.
The idea here is that they need to control the public storyline. They cannot have their false image threatened in any way and will do everything possible to protect it.
You may or may not hear about their defamations of you, but you can guarantee that they will happen. It can be particularly hurtful if they get into the ears of your personal friends and family.
This is where you will have to trust that the people who truly know you will not buy the narcissist’s false stories. You may even find yourself reevaluating which relationships stay and which ones you need to let go of at this point.
Contact Your Friends or Family
Following on from smearing you, the narcissist might go with another tactic. They may reach out to your friends and family in the guise of being ‘worried’ about you.
In this instance, they use your personal connections as flying monkeys to gain information about you, which then serves the narcissist. Most people won’t even realise what’s happening and may genuinely believe the narcissist’s feigned concern for you.
The narcissist may say things like:
- “Have you heard from [insert your name]? I haven’t heard from them in a while.”
- “I’m really worried about [insert your name]. They’ve been acting really out of character lately. Could you please check on them for me?”
- “I just wanted to let you know that [insert your name] has been a bit crazy lately. I’ve tried to help them, but they won’t let me. Maybe you’ll be able to help.”
All of these comments work to instil worry in your loved ones about your well-being. The seed has been planted that you have been acting weird and something is up with you. Therefore, you are the crazy one, while the narcissist is the ‘concerned’ one.
It also helps to implant the narcissist’s storyline, so that when you talk to any of your friends or family about what’s been going on, they may already be going into the conversation thinking you’re a little bit unhinged.
Again, this is where those who truly know you will see you and believe you. If they take the narcissist’s side, at least it’ll be clear to you that they can’t be trusted with your vulnerable situation.
Move on to Next Supply
Finally, after exhausting any or all of the other tactics, the narcissist will have no choice but to give up and switch focus to a new supply.
At the end of the day, that is what this is all about. They need their drug to keep functioning in this world, so the need to find it elsewhere will take precedence over trying to extract it out of you if you’re not playing ball.
Bear in mind that the narcissist probably already had a supply lined up in the wings before you even started ignoring them. They rarely only leave themselves with a single supply, that’s just too risky for them.
Depending on how good of a source the new person is compared to you, will determine how persistent they are with you.
Even if they’ve got another supply that’s already feeding them, they will still try many of the tactics on you purely because they believe they own you and they must win at all costs.
|READ: Does the Narc Miss You? →
How to Ignore a Narcissist While Protecting Yourself
There is nothing you can say or do to try and help the narcissist see reason. It’s tempting to try and help them see that how they treated you is incredibly damaging and hurtful. But, the more you try to reason with them, the more rageful and defensive they will become.
You can’t appeal to someone’s conscience if they don’t have one.
No matter how calm and articulate you are, the narcissist will have you wrapped up in their confusing word salad and be gaslighting you all over again before you have time to catch a breath.
|READ: How Narcissists Gaslight →
The best way to react to a narcissist is to not react at all. They hate that more than anything because zero reaction gives them zero supply.
This is why we often get to the stage of having nowhere else to turn but to tap out and ignore the narcissist.
A humorous image to give you strength while standing your ground…
Imagine the narcissist as an overgrown toddler, standing all alone, raging, crying, pleading, stamping their feet and performing the biggest tantrum, as you walk away and claim your freedom.
Ultimately, the narcissist needs their fuel (narcissistic supply) and if they’re no longer able to extract it from you, they will simply switch gears and move on to another victim.
Eventually, after withstanding every dirty thing the narcissist has thrown at you, they will leave you alone and you will be free.
Keep in mind that the narcissist will almost always try and hoover their old victims back in at some stage, whether it be in a few weeks, months or even years. They believe that you are their item forever and when supply dries up for them elsewhere they will try to draw on old supplies to get a hit.
Cutting out the narcissist and going No Contact is the most highly recommended way to deal with getting a narc out of your life.
This means deleting them and blocking them from all forms of contact (social media, emails, calls and texts). If you feel like your safety is on the line, please do not hesitate to enlist help from the authorities.
If you are in a situation where you cannot completely cut the narcissist from your life, then going Low Contact is the next best thing.
I know that cutting them out is just not possible if the narcissist is a family member, an ex whom you’ve got children with, a coworker, a boss and people who you share mutual friends with.
With low contact, keep communication to an absolute minimum and only discuss essential information. Keep it purely factual and do not deviate from that.
Don’t give the narcissist any chance to get you into idle chit-chat, because they are only looking for information on you, which could be used against you in the future.
If you do need to stay in some form of minor contact with the narcissist, I highly recommend going Grey Rock.
This is where you basically be as bland and uninteresting as you can be. Much like a dull, grey rock, you will become boring and forgettable to the narcissist.
They will not be receiving any supply from you and will not waste their time on you. Their focus will be on new supplies that they can pilfer life force energy from.
Finally, but most importantly, to truly rid your life of narcissistic energy, you need to turn inward and heal your inner wounds.
It’s due to our own deep hurts and traumas that have made us susceptible to over-giving at the expense of ourselves. Somewhere deep inside of us we didn’t feel worthy of true, unconditional love and we didn’t feel able to be whole and complete on our own.
We willingly and unconsciously handed our power over to someone else to be the person we needed them to be to heal our wounds. Yet, they ended up being the very thing that heightened and shone a spotlight on those wounds instead.
No one can make you feel whole and complete, besides yourself. Once you come home to your inner being and meet your inner child with love and compassion, then you can start to generate the life you truly desire and deserve beyond a doubt!
Then, you will be vibrating on such a high frequency that narcissists simply will not be able to exist in your world. You will quickly and easily see them for who they are and you will no longer allow anyone to treat you in such a way.
|READ: When a Narc Sees You Move On →
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