Why a Narcissist Ignores You

Why a Narcissist Ignores You

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If you're wondering why a narcissist ignores you, then you're probably in that situation right now.

If you are - take a deep breath and try to remember that it's not your fault.

A narcissist doesn't ignore you because you've done something wrong: a narcissist ignores you because they're a narcissist.

You might be left wondering what you did wrong. You might be replaying your actions or filled with guilt over them.

You might feel stuck in the situation because their refusal to communicate with you is preventing you from resolving the situation.

If you are - take a deep breath and try to remember that it's not your fault.

A narcissist is an expert at ignoring people. It's one of the biggest tools in a narcissist's toolbox.

It hurts to be ignored. And, that's one of the reasons why a narcissist ignores you.

And, it can be especially difficult for people who have attachment or self-esteem issues.

Sadly, a narcissist knows this and seeks out people who are most vulnerable to being controlled by their tactics.

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1). To Control You

They ignore you because they want to control you.

One of the main reasons why a narcissist ignores you is that they want to control you. More likely, they want to regain control of you.

A narcissist uses ignoring people as a way to punish them. Especially if they feel like you are pulling away. Or, you've inflicted a narcissistic injury on them.

A narcissist has a fundamentally unstable sense of self. They build up narcissistic delusions of self-importance to fuel their insatiable need for validation.

Anything or anyone who threatens these delusions is causing narcissistic injury. Often, a narcissist will retaliate by ignoring you.

This is a means to punish you for puncturing their delusions.

They're also avoiding you because a narcissist's sense of self is too unstable to resolve conflict. They are putting you in a position to make you desperate for their approval.

And, making the resolution of the conflict your responsibility. 

2). They Enjoy It

Another reason why a narcissist ignores you is that they enjoy it.

Narcissists seek validation and praise. This is called narcissistic supply.

And, a narcissist's need for supply can never be filled. They will continue to seek it and find means to get it.

They often start by lavishing you with attention and praise and enjoy the feeling of receiving it in return.

As your relationship with them lengthens, they will continue to escalate their behavior to get that supply from you.

Ignoring you is one of these tactics.

They want a narcissistic supply by you chasing them, asking for forgiveness, and being upset about their behavior.

Your reaction to being ignored brings them pleasure.

These are all forms of narcissistic supply and feeling this way is why a narcissist ignores you.

3). It Boosts Their Ego

Another reason why a narcissist ignores you is that they want to boost their ego.

They seek out people who are especially anxious about being alone: people with abandonment or attachment issues.

They also seek out particularly empathetic people. People who are giving so that they can be on the receiving end of the empath's emotional generosity.

Empaths are prone to sensing and soothing the emotions around them. They are perfect prey for a narcissist who ignores you to be soothed.

They are using your fear of being alone against you. Being ignored makes you feel devalued and that's another reason why a narcissist ignores you.

Devaluing others raises their perceived worth. And, that's another form of narcissistic supply.

4). They're Not Actually Ignoring You

One of the ironies of why a narcissist ignores you is that they're not actually ignoring you.

They are putting on a show of ignoring you.

They are counting the days that they've gone without contacting you.

They are imagining how much it must hurt you.

They are enjoying how confused and hurt you are.

A narcissist is thinking obsessively about you while they pretend to ignore you.

Here's a quick test you can try to see if this is happening. When you suspect you're being ignored by a narcissist: ignore them back!

They hate this. And, if they notice this: it proves that they were only putting on a show of ignoring you.

And, they need an audience. Ignoring them back is like getting out of your seat and leaving the theater.

They're suddenly performing for no one.

Why a narcissist ignores you: they need to feel needed

The final reason a narcissist ignores you is that they need to feel needed.

This is another form of narcissistic supply.

They love that you love them. They love that you're interested in them. They love that you want to talk to them.

And they love that ignoring you makes you want to do all of these things more. 

5). How to Get a Narcissist to Stop Ignoring You

Navigating a relationship with a narcissist can be challenging, especially when you're on the receiving end of the silent treatment. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you address a narcissist who is ignoring you.

Step 1 - Recognize Narcissistic Traits and Understand Their Power Play

Narcissists are known for many forms of manipulative tactics, including giving the silent treatment as a power play.

Recognizing these traits is the first step towards gaining clarity about your situation.

  • Examples of what you can say: "I see that you're ignoring me. This is not conducive to a healthy conversation or relationship."
  • Reflect on common signs of narcissism, such as a lack of empathy or a need for admiration.

Step 2 - Seek Professional Help

Dealing with a narcissist, whether a covert narcissist or an overt one, can be emotionally draining. Getting professional help can provide emotional stability and strategies to cope.

  • Examples of what you can say: "I've decided to seek professional help to better understand and handle this situation."
  • Look for therapists or counsellors specializing in narcissistic relationships.

Step 3 - Address Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance often occurs in a relationship with a narcissist. This is when your feelings and reality don't align, leading to confusion and distress.

  • Examples of what you can say: "I'm feeling conflicted about our relationship. It seems like my feelings and experiences aren't aligning."
  • Try to recognize when your emotions are contradicting the reality of your situation.

Step 4 - Set Clear Boundaries

Establishing clear boundaries with the narcissist can help you regain more power and feel valued in the relationship.

  • Examples of what you can say: "I won't accept being ignored. We need to communicate effectively for this relationship to work."
  • Be firm and clear about your boundaries, and ensure they are respected.

Step 5 - Prioritize Self Care

Prioritizing self-care ensures your well-being isn't compromised. Remember, a narcissist feeds off of others' reactions, so maintaining emotional stability is crucial.

  • Examples of what you can say: "I'm taking some time for myself right now to ensure my well-being."
  • Engage in activities that boost your self-worth and make you feel good about yourself.

Step 6 - Don't Play Their Game

Narcissists enjoy the power they gain from seeing others react to their tactics. Don't give them the satisfaction; instead, focus on preserving your mental health.

  • Examples of what you can say: "I won't participate in these games. I deserve respect and understanding in this relationship."
  • Stay calm and composed, no matter how much the narcissist tries to provoke you.

In any situation, whether it involves a relationship partner or a family member, it's essential to prioritize your emotional health and seek help when needed. 

5). Frequently Asked Questions

What is causing narcissistic injury and how does it relate to a narcissist ignoring you?

Causing narcissistic injury means hurting a narcissist's ego or self-importance. Even the smallest mistake or criticism can cause this injury.

When injured, a narcissist might ignore the person who caused the injury to protect their inflated self-image.

How does a narcissist's sense of self-importance influence their behavior?

A narcissist's sense of self-importance often results in narcissistic behavior like ignoring others.

If they feel someone isn't meeting their own needs or serving their interests, they might start ignoring that person.

Why do narcissists ignore people when they feel jealous?

Jealous narcissists may ignore people as a way to punish or control them.

If a narcissist perceives someone else as having all the cool things they want or being overly busy with other people, they might resort to silent treatment out of jealousy.

What does narcissistic supply refer to and why does it matter if a narcissist ignores you?

Narcissistic supply refers to the attention and admiration that narcissists crave.

If a narcissist is ignoring you, it could mean they're not getting their desired narcissistic supply from you, so they resort to emotional abuse like completely ignoring to manipulate you into giving them more attention.

How can one resolve conflict with a narcissist who is ignoring them?

Resolving conflict with a narcissist can be challenging due to their manipulation tactics.

However, establishing healthy boundaries and not feeding into their need for control can help.

It's important to prioritize your own needs and not let the narcissist emotionally abuse you.

I feel guilty when a narcissist ignores me. What should I do?

When a narcissist ignores you, it's common to feel guilty. However, remember that this is a common tactic used by narcissists to make you question your worth. Try not to internalize this guilt.

Instead, create boundaries and seek support from trusted friends, family, or a mental health professional. 


Hopefully understanding why a narcissist ignores you can help unchain you from their control.

Ignoring you is a form of narcissistic abuse. And, you have every right to be hurt by it.

But, it's not your fault. No matter how much the narcissist in your life might try to convince you otherwise.

Blaming you for their bad behavior is another form of narcissistic abuse.

If you're stuck wondering why a narcissist ignores you, then you need to understand that they will not change.

And, any gestures they make are for their good, not yours.

Reading books or seeking counseling is a great first step to understanding why a narcissist ignores you and creating a plan to protect yourself.

Get the knowledge and support that you need so you can get the love that you need. 

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May 25th, 2024

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