Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what the narcissist was thinking and doing behind their facade of naivety and innocence?
While I unfortunately can’t read minds, most narcissists are quite predictable and they typically play by the same rule book. Below I offer a list of the five most commonly asked questions which appear on my stats page and Facebook forum.
Consider this your cheat sheet.
1) When Does the Narcissist go No Contact?
The Narcissist doesn’t go No Contact. They implement the Silent Treatment, which is a specific form of punishment that achieves two goals. 1) It conditions you to stop bringing up things that hurt you so that they don’t need to bother with damage control, and 2) It gives them the much-needed opportunity to groom new or existing supply sources.
When the Narcissist starts ignoring you, blocking you, and leaving for a couple of weeks at the time (or more), it’s his/her way of forcing you to comply with and accept abusive behavior patterns. For instance, it often happens when you point out unfairness on their part, confront them about cheating, or express your displeasure at something they’ve said or done. The Silent treatment is a manipulative tool the Narcissist uses when the relationship is ongoing.
If the Narcissist has found a new source of supply, they will often pretend to discard you, but oftentimes, it isn’t a true discard. At this point, they might admit they’ve found someone new, or simply leave without explanation and may begin to block you from contacting them.
However, this isn’t No Contact. It’s an act of rejection because you no longer see them as the perfect person they want you to see and they need to acquire someone new who will. However, they typically don’t entirely leave someone who has been a good source of supply and will fabricate a “let’s be friends” scenario or play the torn between two lovers act.
Alternately, they may feel icky and want to clean up the mess they’ve created. Allow me to illustrate:~ Image by George Lois
Imagine yourself at a park. You’re walking along, enjoying the great weather, when all of a sudden you step in a pile of dog dung. You feel disgusted, grossed out, and your only thoughts are how you can get rid of the mess and the unpleasant smell.
That’s how the Narcissist feels when they start discarding you. They don’t want to deal with the “mess” of your emotions, crying, and requests for fidelity and normal relationship dynamics.
It’s important to remember, however, that there’s nothing wrong with you. The Narcissist does whatever the voice in their head tells them to do. Think of them as a psychological serial killer. They really can’t control themselves.
2) Can a Narcissist learn to “re-love” a spouse or significant other?
The Narcissist isn’t interested in learning anything with the exception of improving tools of control and manipulation. Besides, how can they “re-” something that never existed in the first place?
From the Narcissist’s point of view, it’s all about comfort, convenience, the freedom of single-hood, and being afforded the free will of hunting for new supply. This explains why they are almost always caught cheating. Even if they haven’t been discovered, they still do it because they know that every relationship they enter into will come to an end and because of this, they are always in various stages of relationships with other people. (The possible exception being the cerebral narcissist).
3) How does the Narcissist feel when you go No Contact?
Panicked and/or pissed.
If the Narcissist hasn’t successfully lined up new supply when you go No Contact, they panic. Narcissists must have a source of supply for their survival. That’s why many times they will hoover you to get you back, but then end up rejecting you later after they secure acceptable supply.
Alternately, the Narcissist will be extremely angry that you took away their perceived power. How dare you? They are the one running the show, and you need to understand your place…which is another reason they hoover and then eventually discard you.
Accepting the Narcissist back in after breaking No Contact will ONLY lead to more pain and misery for you. There is no other outcome.
4) How can I reach the Narcissist’s real self?
A Narcissist doesn’t have a “real self”. They only have ego. That’s why nothing you say or do can change their perspective; they aren’t capable of seeing any other perspective except that of their ego. And they will do and say whatever is necessary to preserve it.
Narcissists operate from a somewhat reptilian brain, and they have many different adaptations that allow them to live in society. Similar to some species of lizards, Narcissists use head-bobbing and other assertive, aggressive, courtship and greeting displays. Their primary drive is to establish and defend territory. They are tyrannical to the extreme, even though this is often camouflaged in their interactions with society and romantic partners.
Experiment: Visit a local pet store. Locate a reptile. Try to reach its true self. Whatever result you achieve will be similar to an attempt to reach a Narcissist’s “true self”.
5) How can I get a Narcissist to forgive me?
Forgive you for what? Did you try to establish a healthy boundary, ask for respect, or lash out because they were abusive?
Narcissists aren’t capable of forgiveness. Every interaction they have is a battle of wills. Even if they give the appearance that they’ve forgiven you, you can bet they are exacting revenge behind the scenes.
Remember how you ate the last crab leg seven years ago on one of your first dates? I’m sure you don’t. But they do. And they’ve been finding ways to make you pay ever since.