Is it best not to respond to a narcissist?

  • By BD
  • June 26, 2019
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Is it best not to respond to a narcissist?

When dealing with a narcissist, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works for every situation. However, in certain cases, not responding to a narcissist can be a valid strategy. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Emotional detachment: Narcissists thrive on attention and emotional reactions. By not responding, you deny them the satisfaction of knowing that they have affected you. It can help you maintain emotional distance and protect yourself from their manipulative tactics.
  2. Boundaries and self-preservation: Setting boundaries is crucial when dealing with narcissists. Not responding can be an assertive way to establish and maintain those boundaries. It sends a message that you won’t engage in their toxic behaviour or be drawn into their games.
  3. Breaking the cycle: Narcissists often seek to provoke reactions and create drama. By refusing to engage, you break the cycle of their manipulation. It can help reduce the intensity of their attacks and potentially discourage their behaviour over time.

However, it’s important to note that not responding may not work in every situation. Some narcissists may escalate their efforts to gain a reaction from you, which could lead to increased aggression or hostility. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a narcissist in a professional or legal setting, not responding may not be a viable option.

In certain cases, it can be beneficial to seek support from a mental health professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances.

What will a narcissist do if they get ignored?

When a narcissist gets ignored, their response can vary depending on the individual and the context. Here are some common reactions you may observe:

  1. Intensify efforts: Initially, the narcissist may intensify their efforts to gain attention. They might escalate their tactics, become more aggressive, or try different manipulation techniques in an attempt to break through your indifference.
  2. Seek alternative sources: Narcissists often have a network of individuals they can turn to for validation and attention. If they are being ignored by one person, they may seek out others who are more responsive to their demands and behaviours.
  3. Hoovering: Hoovering is a term used to describe a narcissist’s attempt to “suck” their target back into a relationship or interaction. They may suddenly become kind, apologetic, or try to reestablish contact in order to regain control and attention.
  4. Provoking a reaction: When ignored, a narcissist may escalate their behaviour to provoke a reaction from you. They might use insults, and criticism, or even create situations where they can paint themselves as victims to elicit a response.
  5. Discard and move on: In some cases, if they realize that their attempts to regain attention or control are futile, the narcissist may choose to discard the person who is ignoring them. They might devalue and dismiss them, seeking new sources of validation instead.

It’s important to remember that every narcissist is different, and their response may depend on their specific traits, motivations, and the dynamics of the relationship. It’s crucial to prioritize your well-being, establish boundaries, and seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals when dealing with a narcissistic individual.