Ignoring a Narcissist

Ignoring a Narcissist? You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

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Ignoring a narcissist seems pretty simple on paper, but when it comes time to know how to ignore a narcissist the right way, many people get it wrong.

You can probably relate to the following situation.

You stand there motionless as the narcissist in your life hurls insults at you – again.

You need to fight back and defend yourself, right?

The problem is, that’s exactly what the narcissist wants you to do so they can continue sucking you into the Narcissistic Vortex.  So you resolve to give them the cold shoulder for a while and respond to their texts with one-word answers. That will surely teach them a lesson.

Except, in reality, it won’t because narcissists don’t process and experience emotions as average people do.  Therefore, the effects of ignoring a narcissist won’t play out in real life as it has in your mind.

In fact, it will likely backfire in the long-run. There’s a very specific time and place to effectively ignore a narcissist. Unfortunately, most people get it wrong.

Still, complete liberation from narcissistic abuse is possible.

And with a comprehensive narcissistic abuse recovery program, you can come out the other side stronger than ever.

But first, let’s talk about what happens when you ignore a narcissist, how to avoid the misapplication of the popular Gray Rock method, and what everyone needs to know about ignoring a narcissist that ignores you.

Ignoring a Narcissist: How Most People Get It Wrong

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching how to ignore a narcissist, you’ve likely come across the Grey Rock method at some point.

The Grey Rock method suggests victims of narcissistic abuse should behave, well, like a grey rock: simply go about your day making yourself as boring and emotionless to the narcissist as possible. If the narcissist can’t get their ego “fix” from occupying your attention, they’ll eventually get bored and seek attention somewhere else.

The goal is to continue communicating with the narcissist without falling into their trap: the endless cycle of fighting and abuse, more aptly referred to as the Narcissistic Vortex.

If we’re speaking purely theoretically, this should work.

After all, there’s no reason you can’t just start ignoring a narcissist and only speak to them when it’s absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, like most interpersonal relationship problems, it’s really not so simple.

“They want your attention – just stop giving it to them” sounds remarkably like “you have a drinking problem – so just stop drinking” or “he is hitting you – so just leave.” This strategy doesn’t work for other types of abusive relationships and addictions.

So why on earth do we expect it to work with a narcissist?

Not to mention, can we talk for a second about how insulting it is for an abuse victim to simply turn themselves into a boring shell of a person just to avoid the wrath of a narcissist?

It’s true that there are situations where you simply cannot remove the narcissist from your life due to legal or employment obligations. However, these situations do not make up the majority of narcissistic abuse cases.

Ignoring a Narcissist is Not the Best Revenge

Ignoring a narcissist should be a last resort: a tactic you use in situations where you have no other choice.

It should not be your go-to strategy.

Here’s why.

Chances are, the narcissist in your life has spent months, years, or even decades hurting you every chance they get. They manipulate your emotions into believing they’re the victim and you’re the bad guy – even when you bring up situations where they’ve very clearly harmed you.

Once you have a moment of clarity and start to identify their manipulative behavioral patterns, it’s very natural to start craving revenge.

They’ve made you suffer through horrible emotions like worthlessness, guilt, and shame – all for the crime of wanting to be loved and respected like any human deserves (and to the narcissist’s benefit nonetheless).

Who wouldn’t want to inflict hurtful emotions back onto them?

It’s important to remember that this approach won’t accomplish what you’re hoping it will because you’re striving to appeal to the narcissist’s emotions, assuming they would feel the same way you do.  But, emotions are simply tools the narcissist uses to manipulate others: they react to things in order to elicit a specific reaction from you.

Don’t be fooled: their emotions are never genuine and they’ll use your emotions against you later.

That’s why ignoring a narcissist won’t work.

Any rehabilitated alcoholic knows that you can’t stop drinking but keep a bottle of wine in the cabinet for cooking or a liquor bottle on the counter for company. In fact, someone with years of recovery would laugh at these notions.

(And just like alcoholism, a narcissistic abuse recovery program can make the difference between sobriety and relapse.)

Before moving forward, you need to completely write off the idea that you will ever get revenge – or even closure – for the abuse you suffered at the hands of the narcissist.

Your revenge will be living a happy, functioning life free from narcissistic abuse.

That’s it.

 And it will feel better than any revenge or false sense of closure.

What You Need to Know About Ignoring a Narcissist Who Ignores You

The oldest trick in the book that doesn’t work: ignoring a narcissist who ignores you.

Lots of therapists, books, and websites will tell you that this is the best way to deal with a narcissist. This harmful advice suggests that by ignoring the narcissist, you can hit them where it hurts: their ego.

Stop giving them their fix and they’ll go somewhere else to get it.

The problem with this approach is that you’re also hoping to get a fix out of this as well: a brief moment of love and affection from the empty-hearted narcissist.  Ignoring a narcissist who ignores you only encourages them to hoover. They know that you want respect, dignity, and love so they will exhibit behaviors that fool you into thinking they really have changed.

But these behaviors are completely contrived to suck you back in like a Hoover vacuum. This false compassion is entirely performative.

Contrary to popular belief, narcissists do have empathy. It’s just not the compassionate kind we normally associate with the term. This dangerous concept known as cognitive empathy is frequently utilized by professional torturers to objectively get inside a victim’s head and manipulate emotions for their own gain.

Some time might have passed but it doesn’t mean your abuser is no longer a narcissist. After a short period of phony love and remorse, the abusive and manipulative behavior will come right back.

6 Steps to Ignoring a Narcissist Who Tries to Punish You

Attempting to ignore a narcissist, implementing the Gray Rock method, or going “no response” should never be your first line of defense.

Those strategies do nothing but feed into the narcissist’s cycle of abuse.

Here are a few steps you can take to precede your comprehensive narcissistic abuse recovery program without allowing them to hoover and suck you back in.

  1. No Contact. Going cold turkey isn’t easy but honestly, it’s the only permanent solution. You have to end the communication and relationship for good. No windows or loopholes for texts, emails, or phone calls – cut them out completely.
  2. Recognize your attachment to the relationship. You need to admit that you’re also getting something out of this relationship. Why else would you stay for so long? We tend to crave the narcissist’s rare affection like a drug fix – and there’s never enough to satisfy because it’s never genuine love.
  3. Don’t blame yourself. Remember that the narcissist does not experience emotions like you do. When they hurl insults, they’re trying to strike you where it hurts because that’s what’s worked for them in the past. Don’t listen to them and don’t give them the satisfaction. You deserve to be treated with respect and responding to their insults will only suck you back in.
  4. Admit that you need help. Just like with drug and alcohol recovery, you can’t do this alone without relapsing. One day you’ll cave and answer their text with a one-word answer. Before you know it, you’ll be back in the same cycle of abuse. Find a narcissistic abuse recovery program to help and surround yourself with supportive people.
  5. Identify your limitations. If the narcissist in your life is a coworker or co-parent, you might not be able to cut them out completely. These are the only situations where implementing the Gray Rock method or minimal contact is acceptable. Give only straightforward answers when absolutely necessary like one-word answers, times, and dates. However, you still need a strategy to avoid the narcissist’s hoovering and your own relapse.
  6. Implement other tools. Consider using communication monitoring apps as a third-party buffer between you and the narcissist. It will help keep your interactions minimal and robotic – like they should be. If an app isn’t the best idea for your situation, employ a trusted friend (or professional) to act as a liaison.

Consider a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program

A narcissist will never see the error of their ways and you shouldn’t expect them to.

You can’t control their behaviors – you can only control your own.

Ignoring a narcissist who ignores you doesn’t work because it’s too easy for the narcissist to play on your compassion and take advantage of your desire to be respected and loved.

By taking the steps to implement a narcissistic abuse recovery program, you can effectively go “No Contact” (or minimal contact when absolutely necessary) and liberate yourself from the abuse for good.

You deserve it and you’ll come out stronger and happier in the long run. 

If you feel miserable and trapped in your relationship, that’s a problem that likely won’t improve on its own.  Join the many wonderful folks in The Break Free Program who have finally found freedom and are healing their own lives.

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Leave a Comment:

Kim says May 29, 2023

My ex-husband is a narcissist .
Now my 24 year old son has MARRIED a narcissist. She has cut me from their lives. He is t to the point of seeing her as a narc yet. I think she knows I’m onto her terrible toxic traits because I have lived that nightmare before. She has other excuses for the estrangement. I miss my son. They have a baby. I don’t care about her or the baby. I just want a relationship with my son.

Louise Blais says May 7, 2023

I have been in a Narcisstic (relationship) with my son for almost 30 years now , but have just recently discovered (3 years ) ago that he is very narcissitic and bipolar … He has put me through hell over and over with him manipulation and lies and treats me as though i were just there for HiS own purpose and wellbeing …. I have bailed him out at least 100 times and has drained both my patience and bank account which is now very little … I have been retired now for 10 years and can not do this much longer , he will be the death of me …but i can not seem to go as you say No Contact although i fret everytime i see his number on my phone …
My head is telling me to let go but my mothers heart wont follow … but i need to get out of his abuse , anger and constantly telling me he will put a bullet in his head …. which i am sure he would not do , he is only trying to manipulate and soften me up… where do i go from here , i am at my wits end and have just been through a cancer last year …… i need help in dealing with this it has lasted far to long ….

Becca says May 3, 2023

What if it’s a grown adult child being narcissistic?

    Kim Saeed says May 10, 2023

    Hi Becca,

    I created a video that helps answer this question: https://youtu.be/f-lbaI0FNQA

    Wishing you all the best. Thank you for stopping by. xo


Crystal says March 5, 2021

I currently work with a narcissist. She is the worse I have ever dealt with. I need my job and can’t quit, but working with her and getting verbally and emotionally abused by her is very difficult for me to deal with. I am a strong empath and highly sensitive person – so the negative energy she gives towards me is torture. I honestly do not know how to deal with her, so I try to ignore her but she will treat me like I don’t exist and talk down to me. Demands if I want her help I MUST go to her office and ask in person. I don’t trust her, so I try to avoid her at all costs, but she is suppose to be training me and so has all the power. The owner of the company does not want to approach her and allows her to treat others poorly. How do I deal with her????

Amy says March 3, 2021

My x took one of our dogs when I wasn’t looking. I’ve not seen her in 3.5 years. He also unscrewed a gas pipe in the basement after breaking in the house during our divorce. I believe he was trying to kill me. This is on top of 32 years of abuse. I feel like I’m damaged beyond repair. I just want to see my dog one more time. ?

Vicky says October 31, 2020

I’m in the strange situation of dumping my first husband again. We’ve been divorced for 50 years & I last saw him in 1979. A few months ago he started emailing me crazy rants, and in them mentioned AA and a higher power. Deleted them…then later found them in my trash and replied, briefly. Thinking it was harmless…and most of the people I knew when I was young have died. And that maybe he’s not hopeless.

It was a mistake, letting him into my head again.

Steven Pomfrett says July 4, 2020

I am Almost a year out now. After 20 years of abuse with a narc wife who replaced me with her supposedly abusive ex “I mean wtf” after 20 yrs. the second I left her if not before. Trying to get strong and get a good mind set. Stay strong your all warriors and thanks Kim

Anonymous says July 4, 2020

What a tremendous article Kim! I am in the divorce process with the convert Narcissist. And this article is pivotal in going through the legal process while false accusations are put forward by him.
I’m passing it on to my counselor friend who also got sucked into more than one narcissistic relationship.
Thank you very much!

Jane says July 3, 2020

I am a 62 year old female. My daughter will be turning 40 in two months. She is a narcissist. This all started with her when she turned 16. I have been trying to negotiate this dynamic for 24 years! Like most narcissists my daughter is very intelligent and extremely successful in her career. She is also quite attractive and well put together. She is oozing with social grace and poise. There are only a few friends/family I have been able to share this with for fear nobody will believe me. My daughter comes across as a practically perfect person. It is a lie. She is a supreme manipulator who is constantly rewriting history to suit her twisted agenda. I cut off all contact with her four months ago after she viciously attacked me via fb messenger. Her 40th Birthday is just around the corner. I very much want to send her a card…no gift. Is that a bad idea? I understand removing myself from her false accusations, lies, guilt trips, verbal and emotional abuse is absolutely mandatory. I would however like to send her a Birthday card and a Christmas card annually. Should I refrain? Also, I own my own home and have some investment property. She is my only child and ideally she would inherit everything when I die. I am not comfortable with leaving all I have to my abuser, yet I am conflicted. I can’t figure out how to handle any of this. Help! If this were a boyfriend, lover, husband, friend, or other relative, I would have totally cut her off years ago. I divorced her father when she was 4 years old because I refused to accept his horrific verbal and emotional abuse but this is my only child. I am crushed.

    Sue F says March 3, 2021

    No contact and change your Will. Do not inform her of any change to your financial circumstances. She will not change. Block social media, mobile, email, anything so she can’t contact you. No birthday cards or Xmas cards, nothing. It’s an illusion to think that one day she will wake up and realise the error of her ways. Get on with your life and enjoy every single day. I speak from personal experience. We are bonded with these people through “trauma bonds” and hope that one day they will come to their senses. Unfortunately, it does not happen. I know this sounds harsh and cold but for your own sanity it’s the only way to go. Good luck.

    Ann says March 20, 2023

    My husband and I are going thru the same with my stepson. I thought it started when he was 19, but looking back, I can see it started long before. The vanity, superiority, entitlement, how he uses people, etc. when we gave him boundaries after he graduated, asked him to pay $30 a week to help out, take trash out, feed dogs, buy his own toiletries, suddenly I was his fathers captor and controlling his every move. So, he told his dad he hated me, and packed his car up with nowhere to go, after telling me he loved me for years. He told everyone that we kicked him out and a mother of one of his friends took him in and he told us she loved him, and we didn’t. That was 4 years ago, and recently he gave my husband and ultimatum to pick him or me. So my husband has now gone no contact, but still wants to leave him our land when we are both gone, and split his life ins between my son and his. I’m not sure what the right thing to do is. He is so cruel to us both, telling my husband he’s fat. And my husband has asked several times why he hates me and he never answers. My husbands ex was also a narcissist who used both of her children to get her way, and severely abusive to me,after we got custody when the boy was 12. It feels so good to get this off my chest,

Tro says July 3, 2020

Just beautifully said by Kim. Cold turkey is the best reward for narcissists. Just fly away andnever look back. Fly away and never look back

Rainbow zebra says July 2, 2020

I’m five years out from cutting all ties to my ex parents. I finally feel better, more whole. I had the support of my husband and kids as well as others who have done the same thing. Healing is possible. And life is so much better.

Carissa R says July 2, 2020

I’m in such an unusual situation the domestic violence advocate didn’t believe me. I’ve started counseling and they don’t want to discuss it; I’m advised to just “let it go”. I NEVER had a relationship, even friendship, with the man who has been hacking me, stalking me, harassing me, etc. He must imagine a relationship in his mind as he is set on marrying me (after he gets a divorce). This has gone on for nearly THREE YEARS! It escalated to the point he was breaking into my home. He is rich and influential; the police would threaten me when I’d call for help and do nothing to help me. I finally moved nearly 800 miles away to get away from him but have discovered he’s contacted people here and now he’s harassing me through them! I’m hacked, etc. here and my home was entered today while I was gone. I always double check to make sure I’ve locked the doors when I leave and I came home to unlocked doors. Ignoring him for years hasn’t worked; he won’t move on. I continue to ignore him and do what I can to protect myself. I’ll NEVER date again. My ex was diagnosed by a psychologist as a Narcissistic Sociopath on the extreme end of the spectrum; he was very abusive. I am so thankful I’ve learned about boundaries!!! This man acts like my ex but much, much worse. How can he be so obsessed with me after all this time when we’ve never even sat down and had a conversation? As usual with a narcissist, everyone thinks he’s “wonderful”. How they hide their evil side so well is astounding. I ‘m very thankful to be safe and hope he doesn’t get violent one day, even as far away as he currently lives. I feel violated from the complete disregard for my privacy, such as repeatedly breaking into my home and going through my possessions. I FINALLY bought a trail camera and bear box, using a chair and lock to attach it to my tv stand. It videotaped anyone entering the house and stopped him breaking in as he couldn’t hack the trail camera as he had my security system. I cannot see EVER wanting a man in my life. Single and safe is better than in a relationship. Thank you for your very enlightening articles. I advise anyone currently or previously in a relationship with an NS to read your articles, self educate, and get good counseling. If necessary, keep searching for a counselor until you find a good “fit”. My best to all currently struggling. Healing can take a long time but it is possible.

Annica McCarthy says May 19, 2020

I am curious about how a narsissist rationalizes violence. My torturer was biologically my mother. Ibelieve she set fire to the house. There were two fires in the house we moved to after our house surrounded by woods was gutted. We barely escaped and she was absent until we escaped the fire waking us in the middle of the night. She could not deny she did not set the two fires in the temporary house we moved too after the big fire. My mom was one of the most horrible people I ever knew. She is dead now from cancer. I thoigh that ironic, as in many eays to me she was the manifestation of cancer in human form. I was the oldest child. She resented getting pregnant with me and hated her life as a mother of five kids. She made a huge production of banning me from her place and had very few people attend her funeral. It is many years later and I spend no more time hating her or talking about her. You are spot on about the narcissists act and think. Thank you for your work to explain people like her. Annica McCarthy [email protected]

Leslye says May 17, 2020

In need of help to get out of my horrible narcissistic marriage he’s awful and so mean

    kris says October 3, 2020

    My divorce was find me final the end of June and I might be able to help because my mind is so messed up and I wish I would have had a buddy I divorced buddy someone who understood the messed ridiculous horrible horrible person I was against but nobody can wrap their minds around and don’t want to believe that anyone could do these things and I must be a little off or crazy. Admitting you need help is huge. I was with mine since March of 1992. Still scared every day. Get as much information about your finances as you can as soon as you and they are going to bring everything from divorce is hard but it’s so worth it and you can see the other side. You are stronger then you think. Don’t forgive and forget. Recover. And remember. It said that there are so many of us but this is a thing. I had no idea even what a narcissist was I learned at the exact moment I needed to. Be strong. You can do this.

Bev says May 3, 2020

Unfortunately I have children with my spouse who prefers I just go about my day because he would much rather spend all his time and any extra money on porn (lately Instagram strippers). I can’t leave because we have children (ages 16 to 24 — 2 boys and 2 girls). My husband just ignores everyone unless he’s criticizing someone who didn’t do something for him.

Christine Shackleton says April 10, 2020

Thank you for that article. I have been very much in live with a man who thought I was wrong to object to him being in touvh daily with his ex partner after ge moved in to live with me. We had many arguments and eventually he left. He has still been in touch with me by text and insists my point of view us wrong. In fact I was always the wrong one. It’s nit as simpke as it sounds, but that will be sufficuentvto explain why I read and absorbed your article. I know know that I was wrong to answer his text messages.

Svati says January 18, 2020

Npd have a vicious pattern. In my case, chat (excessive everytime he tries to make up after a separation time), love bomb, meet you then professing love and trying to make you feel they need your love. Slowly change your routine and schedule to suit them (for his time pass). Then I would give it max a month, he would get bored. He will start some fight or argument, then hurl insults and nasty judgemental remarks saying how shitty you are… Then goes no contact. Exactly 2 months back and bitching about all the people in his life and how he has discarded all of them and how alone he is. How depressed he is, how suicidal he is etc.. This would tear your heart (because unfortunately you have one) and you would be like aah what happened.. Get sucked in back. Repeat the entire process.
This time I told him this is what he does and I don’t have time for his bs. (this is the 3rd time) I told him I am moving on and told him to stop doing this. He has backed off for now. Let us see. I don’t really care anymore

Jill says January 15, 2020

Lost,the narcissist in my life held on to all my items household for almost a year and now I’m s finished with all of it and moving in with his new supply,he let me know I now can get all my items and his new supply will be with him,although I don’t want anything nor the hurt he wants s to throw in my face with his new supply can I John st not show up I can’t handle anymore, he has made himself out to be the victim and consistently wants control

Maria says August 28, 2019

After 3 months no contact hes got a new woman
But still buz around

Maria C says August 28, 2019

No contact with my ex nar hes got new woman
But still around want my attencion Sic mind

3 Psychological Techniques and Viewpoint Shifts to Help You Deal with a Tough Time - Thinking Out Loud says August 15, 2019

[…] meet the specific challenges we are confronted with. Just as there is a particular art to properly ignoring a narcissist and escaping their abuse – and a mindset that has to go along with that – so too are there […]

Lou says August 8, 2019

Great artical hit the nail on the head. Thanks I needed to read that.

Carrie says August 8, 2019

I just wanted to stop by and say, “Thank you so much for helping me leave a very toxic, sick environment and life-long relationship. I’m finally free to be myself & live my life… Happily! The best part is my children are free now too… Their personalities are starting to shine & I’m very proud of them. You showed me the way. It wasn’t easy but it is so worth it! It hasn’t been a year yet but it feels like I’ve been set free for longer than it’s actually been ?♥️ on behalf of my children, husband and myself, thanks again Kim??♥️

    julie nickalls says January 22, 2020

    Do your children have visitiation with absent parent ?

Caris says August 8, 2019

Through counseling with a savvy doctor I’ve learned that what I’m experiencing is narcissistic abuse from my husband of 22 years. He has an abusive childhood & is now opioid addicted from back pain.
He literally is exactly all the identifiers as a narcissistic abuser and unknowingly I have made excuses for his awful behaviors.
Currently he hasn’t spoken to me for 2 months and avoids me in our home. It’s always me who breaks his silence treatment bouts and I’m done doing that.
He has been smearing my character with family & friends & has threatened divorced & is withholding $$ to control me.
My counselor is helping me move forward & not stay in his abusive cycle.

How to Deal with the Silent Treatment and Gain the Upper Hand - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says July 28, 2019

[…] You’ve heard a lot of good things about ignoring a narcissist. […]

Mehdi says April 18, 2019

Great article. thanks. Even with no contact, progress of recovery is pretty slow. the amount of toxicity these individuals put on people is simply indescribable. living within their proximity is so difficult that sometimes people prefer to change jobs or cities just to get rid of them. After 9 months of complete no contact in its all possible forms, i am finally feeling a little relieved. i never thought i could survive. it took much longer than other breakups for me to recover. you know what i am saying. IT REALLY took longer!

Tine Birgitte Søndergaard Nielsen says December 9, 2018

Thanx Kim and greetings from Denmark.. signing up for your online courses, reading your ebooks and e-mails, joining your webinars, filling out your worksheets keeps me on track resisting thoughts that’s Ilm esagerating , eases the pain and sorrow, the anxiety of how to get by when I move to my own apartment in february.. Your articles little by little gives me clarity to many of the mindspinning questions and unsurtensies I deal with on a daily basis, and even though I’m buissy struggeling to find the money to leave and a hole lot of other stuff, I make time to read, listen to, do my “homework” almost every day.. to keep focused, to Heal, as self therapy to create the life I’ve never been able to fully define for my self. You have given me a chance to be a self aware, independant and hopefully a future happy women.. love from Tine, Denmark

Ethel Grimes says November 26, 2018

Great article, Kim! And very informative. Unfortunately, I did try GR the other day at Thanksgiving. It’s a long story, but the gist is: what do you do when the contact is the fault of someone else, who is well aware you want to stay away from the Narcissist? In this case, I was (I felt) tricked into being in the same house with the two Ns involved. Mercifully (and surprisingly), one of them had the good grace to keep his mouth shut; but his wife kept trying to talk to me and I made no reply to her at all. But I was cajoled (if that is quite the word) into sitting at the same table with them, in spite of my wish to do otherwise. Needless to say, I left as soon as I could but was very upset when I got home. I’m still angry and upset. And one of the very relatives who enabled the situation has turned right around and invited me over for Christmas. I won’t be going because I just know I’m headed for the same thing. It will hurt, but it will hurt even more to be there. I have trust issues as it is, and it just seems like the very people who I THOUGHT understood and sympathized are just adding to the problem.

Anonymous says November 25, 2018

I was confused too at first lol

Jenn says November 16, 2018

Not 100% in agreement with everything you say, but I did buy a book of yours on Amazon and you are still 99% awesome.

Mia says November 7, 2018

Thank you for sharing all of this information. By God’s grace, I’ve been no contact for almost 5 months now. It was a 9 year cycle with a guy, who I’ve come to realize is no more than a stranger to me. The guy I fell for doesn’t exist. I couldn’t really tell you how much of those years we were actually together because it’s just a blur of break ups, fights, confusion and bad decisions. The worst thing about narcissists is that most people don’t know they really exist or how dangerous they can be. I had no idea what a narcissist was. I could never have imagined someone having the ability to manipulate my life and be so deceptive. Before my experience, my definition of a narcissist was the Hollywood version, it was just someone who was vain.
The sad thing is people who haven’t experienced a narcissist do not believe it. You can tell them what happened but they don’t hear you. It’s very much like this, when I was a teenager I loved to sing along with Pat Benetar. The words didn’t really mean anything to me. Now that I have had this experience, the words of those songs strike a different chord. What I hear now is her pain and frustration in dealing with a narcissist. I don’t think you can hear the songs in that way unless you’ve experienced it. (These songs are good therapy too, empowering if you like her music)
All of this to say…
BE ENCOURAGED. No contact is hard, but it gets easier as your mind and body begin to heal from the abuse (and it is abuse so don’t pay attention to anyone who tells you otherwise). Be kind to yourself. Be a protective parent over yourself. If a bully was trying to hurt your child you’d react, so try to get that mindset about yourself. You’re worth it. Don’t be in a hurry to get over it, allow yourself time to process and understand what you went through. Don’t get caught up in who the narcissist is, after you understand, switch your focus to understanding yourself and finding yourself again. YOU moving forward is far more important than spinning your wheels and keeping that emotional connection to someone who is honestly never going to be as good as you’ve made them out to be.
You can do it!

    Tine says December 9, 2018

    So true.. people really don’t understand.. and yes.. achieving a good life for yourself after narcissistic abuse is the only goal worth fighting for.. Love Tine, Denmark

    Cathy M Fraser says August 8, 2019

    Mia! Your words hit the nail on the head for me!! Everything you said I can relate to. Trying to explain about Narcissistic Abuse to anyone that knows nothing about it is like talking to the wall. Thank you!

      Busi says May 4, 2023

      Dear me, so very true. I ended up attempting suicide and am now permanently disabled. In trying hard to be understood it just became more and more unbearable. If only I had known all this 😢. Having kids made it that much harder to walk away… even though they were also receiving the emotional abuse. I have lost a lot, but thankful to be alive for now, for my kids’ sake

Sarah says September 21, 2018

Great article but how do I go no contact with a child involved. Where he doesnt communicate with me and loks at me like i am shit on his shoe.

Anonymous says September 21, 2018

Great article but how do I go no contact with a child involved. Where he doesnt communicate with me and loks at me like i am shit on his shoe.

Nancy says September 20, 2018

Thank you so much for your website. I wouldn’t still be here if I hadn’t found this kind of information to help me understand what was happening in my life. I left the situation. However, for me it has only made the situation worse. I believe the fear of being exposed has caused my N to create a smear campaign that has been extremely cruel and almost inconceivable. Apparently, he has been “building a case” against me our entire marriage of twenty two years. The extremes he has gone to to destroy me are unbelievable, and that is the point. No one believes me. He has manipulated and used every peace of information he has ever known about me, to manipulate me. Then used that to manipulate the people that I love the most to hurt me. He has used all of the resources an abused person should have by making himself look like the victim. I have been completely isolated and each time I reach out to a new resource, they are manipulated. I am constantly monitored and tricked and trapped all of the time to look like a liar, etc. He has used the legal system to trap me. It is heartbreaking that people believe the lies and manipulations. Yet at the same time, I have come to understand they were manipulated the same way I was. I know my life is valuable, that I am valuable, that the things that were manipulated were so mean and cruel, others do not believe my life is valuable. I don’t know where else to turn. He has manipulated the mental health community to actually join in with abusing me as well. Now I am being made to look like I am paranoid delusional, because one of the threats always made, to make me live in fear, was that he would have me “locked” up. I do fear for my life every single day because I do know what this person is capable of. I don’t want to give up because I know I didn’t deserve this and my family did not deserve this. But this person is on a mission. How do I keep picking myself back up when people around me are betraying me and helping him?

Jasmine says September 4, 2018

This is actually life saving advice. Thank you.

AN says September 2, 2018

Thanks Kim for all. I really learnt much about my journey of recovery from a n’s abuse.
It is hard to go “no contact” when you have kids as you know. As we do try to apply the “gray rock” in this case we still encounter challenges… for example… my N is now trying to manipulate me through affecting my relationship with my children. They are being emotionally abused themselves these day by hearing statements like “your mom backstabbed me as she left and if you choose to live with her then you are backstabber”

Unfortunately, there are now laws in my country of residency which can help me or protect the kids in such a case. Can you advise?

CC says September 1, 2018

Hi Kim,

Over the last 2 years, I’m not sure I would be here to say thank you for all of the information given, regarding narcissist. There hasn’t been one thing that you have said that hasn’t proven true, in my dealings with my ex Narc. I have a question, tho.

In brief, after 6.5 years of a toxic, abusive relationship, my ex got engaged within 5 months, to punish me, because I wouldn’t commit to forever, without specific changes (one being him getting help…inpatient). Two weeks before they’re wedding date (after 7 months of dating new supply), he hunted me down, begged me back, even called his family telling them he wanted to call off the wedding and pursue forever with me instead. When his father raked him over, because of how many families were now involved, he went through with…after telling the new wife that I begged him back, but he wanted her.

Fast forward one year, starting on our anniversary date, he has spent the last 5 months calling and hanging up from the hospital (where his job takes him most everyday), drive byes, has even stuck a torn envelope in my mailbox with a counselor we went to that only he and I know the name of, which I’m sure he wore exam gloves to leave no finger prints.

I have a file open with law enforcement (for more than a year) collecting data for stalking/harassment. He manages to do everything very ‘slick’. I will not file charges without concrete evidence, because I know the retaliation will be brutal if the case isn’t air tight. However, he is starting to get much bolder and calling more often…because, I hear his marriage is falling apart (Karma!!!).

Because I have 3 businesses attached to my phone number, and the phone calls are from revolving trunk numbers within the hospital, it’s impossible to block him. And, I’m currently working on a home renovation (one of my businesses), that is close to the hospital. He is driving by all the time (with blacked out windows, of course).

Can you offer me any advice on how to be no contact in this situation? I’m at wits end. I keep a recorder on my person, at all times, because I see him getting bolder and bolder. I don’t want to make as an opportunity to have proof when he slips up. But…I know that all of this keeps him in the fore front of my mind and consumes a lot of my energy, as I try to catch a criminal…therefore, not allowing me to be completely free. How in the world can I ever get off this merry go round?

Erin says August 31, 2018

I’m in a divorce but can’t leave my home it is my family home and I bought it long before we got married. Of course he want my home and won’t leave. I called a rehab to get him to confront his addictions. He didn’t do and filed on me. I was devastated at the time but now I’m so happy because now I see what he has put my life and my children’s life through.
It’s just him and I in the house now and waiting for the courts to tell one of is to leave.
He’s at this point now he wants to save our marriage. My eyes are open now because of your program.
Thank you and I plan on joining to help me heal from the abuse.
Thank you?

Gloria Cantu says August 31, 2018

Hello, I’ve been following your articles and training. I am married to a man who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He is not physically abusive. I cannot leave him for a number of reasons. It’s been very hard to liberate while being forced to live with him. I feel in my case, following the no contact solution is the best. Minimal contact except when absolutely necessary. He is very ill. Parkinsonism for several years now. I limit to the strict necessary, but I think that I need still to find mental freedom from his hurtful remarks. I mean not caring for it at all. What can you advice me? Thank you so much for your work, your articles have been so helpful. Thanks again.

Jodi Calloway says August 31, 2018

This is not so easy or realistic when you are married to one and you have spiritual beliefs and obligations because of those beliefs. We married people need advice on how to deal with our narcisisistic spouse, on how to keep our emotional health and mental health intact while still living out our spiritual beliefs and obligations morally. Some advice on this front will be helpful to those of us who wish to remain married but be able to deal with their behaviors and not allow it to get to us or internalize it but to combat it. Please and Thank you! 🙂

    Kim Saeed says May 5, 2020

    Hi Jodi, when I left my narcissistic ex, I was still involved in organized religion. My priest told me that God would understand my desire for a divorce based on emotional abuse and trauma. Unfortunately, there is no real way to “make things work” when you are married to a narcissist. The reason being that you can never predict what the narcissist has planned in the form of manipulation and abuse, nor can you prepare yourself for the repeated traumas. Any esteeming activities you engage in will be drained away by repetitive abuse. You can try all day long to compromise and sacrifice, but you can never expect that from the narcissist.

Christina says August 31, 2018

How do o get into a support group to talk to others

Shawn says August 30, 2018

What about the Narc, that we were not married to? The no contact. You know they lurk and every time your living happy they make little jabs and stalking. But you just can’t prove it. Trying to knock you back down, with the help of his cronies. Any advice?

Shirley Akpelu says August 30, 2018

Thank you Kim for your timely article. I already enrolled in the essential bootcamp and beyond bootcamp abuse recovery courses. They were excellent and insightful and affordable. I appreciate all you do to help those of us who have suffered this unfortunate abuse. Shalom.

Tanja says August 30, 2018

Going No Contact with my Ex wasn’t so painful. I knew it was going to be hard letting him go because he was still in my heart. So I had started praying to God to take my ex out of my heart and finally let go of that prayer. My ex and I use to text each other in the morning to wish each other a good day but one morning this text he sent didn’t sit to well with me. It wasn’t a bad text, I just knew it was a lie and I guess at that moment I got tired of the lies and cheating and went no contact. No phone calls answer, no responding to any text, not even listen to any voicemail. I had to get ME back. It has been a long journey and the reward is so great when you finally get them out of your life. My ex thought he had me, but God had my back. And you Kim is one of his ? angels.

Melissa says August 30, 2018

Great Article! Narcissists are good manipulators.

Carol says August 30, 2018

Kim how do I handle parental alienation with the Narc? He plays the victim and then tries to claim me to be an abusive parent. We had 5 months of supervised visits from a professional and she said I don’t require a babysitter!

Jill says August 30, 2018

My daughter in law is a nasassist and I have Bern her target for 21 years. I only realized two years ago about her personality because her cruel behavior toward me has gotten worse and I researched a few years ago thinking she was a bully but that is only the tip of the iceberg. I have not seen my grandson more than three times in two years and each time she was not around. I have kept total separation and I will continue for my sons sake. He is abused and lives in fear of her..as well as my 13 year old grandson…but he still believes her demands, insults, badgering, abuse and screaming fits have legitimate reason. I told him not to worry everything is fine.. in years past when my grandson was a baby I could demand to see him and she gave in because she needed me to care for him or wanted glamorous vacations with us etc. now he is older and as usual found other grandparents.. other family.. she would say that when he was a baby on vacation or st restaurants.. you know other people love you also just like them! I knew I’d be in trouble but hung in there. Now.. I try to call my son at work. I text my grandson and hope to see him again but I may not until she travels again. Last year they felt weird that I was there when she traveled but by now I think they k now that is our reality. I don’t force anything because my son is super sensitive and gets very upset and thinks I hate her.
I told him her behavior is unacceptable but I live her and want you to be happy.

Tassel Daley says August 30, 2018

Thanks for sharing this informative information. I found you on youtube.

Anonymous says August 30, 2018

Thank you so much for this information. After a year of being away from my narc, I had to have contact with him through email. Within a few posts I was hooked into a back and forth interaction. He being the victim and me trying to explain why he wasn’t. It just affirms that I still have more recovery to do. I get clearer all the time. I was with him for 17 years. It has destroyed my health and my finances. I am grateful for people like you sharing information. Thank you

Suzie says August 30, 2018

Hello, I was confused by this article because “ignoring” to me means the same as “no contact.” You are ignoring their attempts to contact you and not contacting them. I currently have a restraining order against my narc, but we have a daughter together. He is currently under supervised visitation with our daughter. Eventually I will have to have some contact. So Grey Rock will be the way to go once that time comes? Thank you for all of your help.

Grace says August 30, 2018

The only thing is…you may have had the best discussions and ‘knowledge knocking’ in your life with a narcissist. he/she may be a poet, artisan, flamboyant person/partier/and transformer. How do you walk away from that? Eventually, I will have to because she has become dangerous…threatening to have me killed…no word of lie.

Helena says August 30, 2018

I don’t get it…..you say going no contact is not a good idea and then at the end you say go no contact. Can you explain that please or am I missing something. Thank you.

    Kim Saeed says August 31, 2018

    Hi Helena,

    I’m not sure what you mean. Ignoring isn’t the same as no contact. Ignoring is leaving the lines of communication open and then choosing not to answer in any given moment. No Contact means you’ve completely blocked the person out of your life so they cannot contact you. I always promote the no contact approach.

      Jenn says November 16, 2018

      Half the time they’re actually unaware you’ve completely blocked them and closed lines of communication. For example, they keep texting your phone, but you have them blocked so you never know until you happen to look at your phone bill and see their number and say “meh”. Or you send their emails to trash without looking. If you have a phone number or a work email address that you can’t change, but you’re not engaging with them on any way at YOUR end, that’s about all you can do. Except take it to the next step and get help from the court. Which means re-engaging with them all over again.

    Maya says November 6, 2019

    I thought the same thing you did… “ignoring” and “going No Contact” have the same gist. Ghosting and Benching are other words to define this. The difference is in the intention. “Ignoring” suggests emotional manipulation… getting them to notice you or trying to get back at them. It’s a defense mechanism when we feel we have no control over the situation. “No Contact” suggests ending the emotional manipulation once and for all, choosing to lose them, (but it’s really a gain), saying enough is enough. Never again. Exiling them from our heart, our soul, our life.

      Brooke says April 5, 2024

      I’m the granddaughter to a narcissist. I’ve unknowingly had stomach aches, headaches, and diarrhea after every visit, sleepover, and family get-together. Recently the physical pains have stopped but first grandma turned up the pressure after I got married and started having kids. I had no clue what a narcissist was or how it affected me. I felt like I was going crazy! I didn’t feel like my boundaries or expectations were anything above average but they were constantly getting ignored and somehow I was the bad guy. I am extremely empathetic and I could understand where she was coming from, however, I still needed my boundaries respected. I have now come to realize that even my best was never enough and never will be. I say hi but keep conversations as short and cordial as possible. This is not what I want but really have no other choice. I am very disappointed that our relationship can’t be more normal. I wish her no ill will and have mourned our relationship alone. I’m lucky though, while strangers would approach me and tell me how awful I’d been to her(even though I thought we had a good enjoyable visit days before), my husband stool by me knowing the truth. What I struggled to see in the beginning was that she just needed me to fill her ego. I couldn’t understand that everyone else was her favorite but I could never do enough. I won’t be punishing her beyond caring less about how she feels, after all we are family. For me this looks like walking away when she tries to start a fight. Before a family get together or Sunday church, I avoid thinking about her beyond a strategy of escape. After a cross with her I will retell my frustration once to my hubby for support. Then as I still feel terrible until our next visit I do something for myself as a distraction ig. cut my bangs, do my nails, ect. And forgive her and try to put it behind me. I can and will never have control over someone else’s actions and feelings but I can control mine. It’s very hard for me but I will not be her door mat anymore, my time as her mat is done. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences as that has helped me realize all this. I am sorry for you who live with one daily and I will pray for your strength and courage, and for clarity of your mind.

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