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Why a Narcissist Ignores You: Uncovering the Reasons

When a narcissist ignores you, it can be incredibly confusing and hurtful. It can be perplexing and wounding when a narcissist disregards you, so it is essential to comprehend the reasons for this conduct with the goal that you can take measures to shield yourself from being hurt.

We will explore the types of ignoring behaviours exhibited by narcissists, what causes them to ignore their partners or others in their lives, how it affects those on the receiving end and strategies for setting boundaries when dealing with narcissistic behaviour.

They're Not Actually Ignoring You

narcisstic parent looking at daughter

Narcissistic abuse can be confusing and difficult to understand. You must remember that a narcissist doesn’t ignore you because of something you did wrong – they do it because of their narcissistic traits.

Narcissists may use silence or other tactics, such as manipulation tactics playing on guilt and being passive-aggressive, to gain control over you. They may also use cognitive dissonance to make someone feel guilty for things they didn’t do.

The goal here is simply for the abuser to regain control by making their victim feel small and insignificant while gaining attention from others who witness these interactions online or offline, which serves as a narcissistic supply for them too.

Recognizing when we’re being controlled and understanding how to handle it in constructive methods, rather than retaliating against the manipulator, is essential; this will prevent them from having more power.

In addition, taking time away from the situation, seeking professional help, building up a support system around ourselves and learning about different types of abusive behaviours and tactics used by abusers are all helpful steps toward reclaiming a sense of autonomy within the relationship dynamic.

Key Takeaway: Narcissistic abuse often involves silent treatment, manipulative text messages and emails to cause distress without explanation. Victims of this narcissistic relationship abuse must recognize when they’re being controlled to reclaim autonomy within the relationship dynamic; this can be done by taking time away from the situation, seeking professional help if needed and building up a support system around themselves.

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Types of Ignoring Behaviour

Ignoring behaviour is a form of emotional abuse involving the perpetrator actively ignoring or avoiding communication with the victim. This can take many forms, from silent treatment to withholding attention and refusing to communicate. These behaviours damage the victim by creating feelings of rejection, abandonment and powerlessness.

Silent Treatment

The most common type of ignoring behaviour is the silent treatment. This involves completely shutting down all communication with the person being ignored and completely ignoring someone who has upset them or made them angry. Narcissists enjoy this form of punishment, giving them power and control over their victims.

Another way a narcissist may attempt to manipulate someone is through text messages or emails sent to cause distress without explaining why they are doing so. These messages often contain threats or insults meant solely for emotional manipulation rather than constructive criticism or advice on how one might improve themselves.

This sends a powerful message that they do not value their partner’s presence, creating an atmosphere where one partner feels like they don’t matter, wounded and powerless.

Withholding Attention

Withholding attention is another ignoring behaviour which involves denying someone love and affection to emotionally manipulate them by controlling how much attention they receive from you. This can range from not giving compliments or physical contact, such as hugs or holding hands, to completely cut off all relationship activities like going out on dates or having meaningful conversations about your lives.

The offender does not value their partner’s presence or opinions, creating an atmosphere where one party feels insignificant.

Refusing To Communicate

Refusing to communicate is another ignoring behaviour involving shutting someone out and disregarding their thoughts and feelings. This can be done in various ways; for instance, by not listening when they try to express something essential or simply changing the subject without considering what was said before – leaving them feeling unheard and overlooked, which can cause emotional distress over time.

Dismissing or Invalidating Feelings

Finally, dismissing or invalidating feelings involves belittling someone’s emotions either through words (i.e. “you’re overreacting”) or actions (i.e. walking away while someone is still speaking). This only makes victims feel small and insignificant, reinforcing negative beliefs about themselves that could have long-lasting effects on self-esteem if left unchecked and unaddressed – something no one should ever endure.

Why a Narcissist Ignores You

Narcissists need control, which is often the reason why they ignore people. They do not like to feel vulnerable or exposed and will use their power to forgive someone for maintaining that control. Unfortunately, narcissists also lack empathy, so it can be challenging to understand how their behaviour affects others. As a result, narcissists may opt to cut off communication with those who don’t meet their standards, serving as a form of reprimand and asserting authority.

Narcissists also believe that if they don’t engage with someone, there won’t be any consequences for their actions – even if they are wrong or hurtful towards another person.

The experience of receiving the silent treatment can be profoundly damaging, leaving people feeling powerless, and confused about what triggered such a sudden behaviour change.

This sense of abandonment may lead to a downward spiral of anxiety and depression which only reinforces feelings of inadequacy – something narcissistic individuals often take advantage of through manipulation when used correctly against someone else’s emotions.

It’s important to remember that no matter how much somebody tries to manipulate you through acts such as ignoring, nobody has the right to take away your sense of dignity by making you feel worthless or powerless.

Setting boundaries helps prevent this toxic dynamic from forming within relationships altogether.

Key Takeaway: Narcissists use silent treatment to gain control and avoid vulnerability, leaving victims feeling forsaken. Setting boundaries with them is important to maintain respect and protect yourself from manipulation.

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential for protecting your mental health and well-being from the damaging effects of narcissistic ignoring behaviour. Ignoring can be a tool employed by narcissists to exert control, often through emotional coercion or manipulation. Establishing clear boundaries helps you reclaim power over your life and protect yourself from further abuse.

When setting boundaries, it’s important to be firm to maintain healthy relationships while keeping yourself safe. This may include saying “no” when asked for favours that would put you at risk of harm or disrespecting you and communicating expectations regarding communication frequency and topics discussed.

It’s also important to recognize that these boundaries must be enforced consistently to have any effect; otherwise, the abuser will continue disregarding them without consequence.

Gaining self-confidence is pivotal to standing up for yourself in the face of narcissistic ignoring behaviour. Understanding why someone might act this way towards another person by educating oneself about NPD – its symptoms, causes and treatments – can provide valuable insight that could lead one down a path of forgiveness if desired.

By taking back control from manipulative tactics, healing becomes possible.

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Narcissists often use ignoring as a form of manipulation and control. When they ignore you, it may be a tactic to make you feel devalued or punished for not fulfilling their expectations.

Ignoring a narcissist who is ignoring you can be difficult, but it is the best way to protect yourself. Disregarding their conduct demonstrates that it is unacceptable and won't be condoned. If they continue to ignore you, try setting boundaries or distance yourself from the situation as much as possible. Ultimately, remember that no matter what happens, your mental health and well-being should always come first.

Realizing that silent treatment is a strategy to exercise authority and influence can be crucial when dealing with narcissists. It can be difficult not to react emotionally in such situations, but try your best to remain calm and composed. Avoid responding defensively or engaging with them further, as this will only feed into their behaviour. Instead, focus on setting healthy boundaries by clearly communicating what you are willing and unwilling to accept from them. Seek professional help to learn how to manage these challenging interactions more effectively.

The narcissistic need for control and manipulation is not directed at you, so don't take it personally. It is best to take some time away from the situation to process your feelings and create boundaries to avoid getting drawn back into their web of manipulation. Seek professional help if needed; talking through these experiences with a therapist can help you gain clarity on how best to move forward in life without them.


The ignoring conduct of a narcissist can be hard to manage, yet it is vital to recognize the indications of narcissistic behaviour and comprehend why this occurs. It is also essential for victims of narcissistic abuse to set boundaries and take steps toward self-care to protect their mental health. With understanding, knowledge, and proper support from family or friends, individuals can learn how to handle when narcissists ignore them without letting themselves become further victimized by this toxic behaviour.

Discover the root cause of why a narcissist may be ignoring you with Well Beings Counselling. Our experienced team can provide tailored solutions to help you overcome your struggles and regain control over your life.

Picture of Pareen Sehat MC, RCC

Pareen Sehat MC, RCC

Pareen’s career began in Behaviour Therapy, this is where she developed a passion for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches. Following a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology she pursued a Master of Counselling. Pareen is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. She specializes in CBT and Lifespan Integrations approaches to anxiety and trauma. She has been published on major online publications such as - Yahoo, MSN, AskMen, PsychCentral, Best Life Online, and more.

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