A relationship with a narcissist can often turn unhealthy because of their toxic behavior. If the narcissistic abuse persists despite your best efforts, the only option left for you is to cut ties with the narcissist.
This is easier said than done. A narcissist being a narcissist, may not be able to accept your decision to stop communicating with them and may lash out at you. So, before you take this step, you need to be well-prepared for this eventuality.
To prepare for the narcissist’s harsh response, you need to be aware of how they will respond. What happens when you stop reaching out to a narcissist?
This article tries to cover all possible ways a narcissist reacts when you stop chasing them. Once you know what to expect from a narcissist, you can build a solid defense.
What happens when the narcissist realizes you are done?
To a person with narcissist personality disorder, their narcissistic supply is very essential and unavoidable. As their partner, you fit the bill for the narcissistic supply perfectly. So, when you stop reaching out to a narcissist or give them the silent treatment, they go bonkers or blow the fuse.
What you did is like taking away a child’s favorite toy. They are bound to throw as big a tantrum as they can manage. A narcissist will do the same.
To a person with narcissist personality disorder, their narcissistic supply is the most precious possession. They will guard it with all their might. However, when you, the narcissistic supply, decide to go silent or have no contact, you are putting the narcissist at a disadvantage. They are left with limited choices on how to react to your silent treatment.
However, from your perspective, this is perfectly justifiable. Ignoring a narcissist who ignores you is the perfect answer you can give. After all, you need to consider your mental health. All the narcissistic abuse you endured all these days are bound to affect your physical as well as mental health.
When you stop reaching out to a narcissist, you are giving yourself an opportunity to recover your mental health.
Before you devise your counter strategy to defend yourself against the onslaught of the narcissist’s anger, let’s see how their reaction would be when you stop reaching out to a narcissist.
1. They may deny and harass you
When you ignore a narcissist or give them the silent treatment, you are cutting them off from their narcissistic supply. That is the worst you can do to a narcissist. They may take it as a slap on the face and react accordingly.
A narcissist is never going to accept being treated like that. As the first step, they will be in denial that you stopped reaching out. When you persist and make it clear that you are not going to concede, they will raise the bar of narcissistic abuse.
All this while they may be mistreating you, but now with your bold and aggressive behavior, they will take it up a few notches higher. You are going to feel the heat of narcissistic abuse in a way you have never experienced before.
The narcissist may start hounding you to establish contact and may not relent until you give in. As your mental health is already weakened by years of narcissistic abuse, you may find yourself in a precarious situation. You may start feeling that giving in is the easier option. Or else they will harass you until you relent.
2. They may resort to frantic and desperate actions
You may have never seen the narcissist in such a weak state. This is something you have often dreamed about – bringing the narcissist down on their knees. Though it is sweet revenge for you, it is also difficult to handle. In fact, anything to do with a person with narcissist personality disorder is difficult.
Love bombing is a favorite tactic of a narcissist to bring you under control and retain you as their narcissistic supply. This involves the narcissist on their best behavior, wooing you and trying to win your love and affection. The narcissist may combine this with begging for your forgiveness and promising to reform and never repeat their mistakes.
The narcissist will be so good at acting this part of a besotted lover that you may fall for it. You may start believing that they love you and miss you and it wouldn’t be the right thing to cut them out of your life. But it would help if you can remember that a narcissist can love only themselves and miss only your attention and adoration. This is the narcissistic supply they are trying to get back and not you as a person. They are not concerned about you or your mental health.
3. They may lash out violently
Being a narcissist, their ego can make them do anything and go to any lengths to get what they want. When you deny them their narcissistic supply, they are bound to feel insane levels of anger. Narcissistic abuse has no upper limits. “How dare you stop reaching out to me?”
How violent they can get and what form this violence takes depends on the individual traits of the narcissist. If your narcissistic partner is prone to violent behavior, ensure that you are not left alone with them. Even if you impose a no-contact rule, they may find a roundabout way to reach and harm you.
Before you take this step, be ready with your response to situations like this. Or else, your mental health will suffer more than it already has.
4. They don the mantle of a victim
When none of their regular tactics are working with you, they may use this as a last-ditch attempt to get you back as their narcissistic supply. They picture themselves as a victim to gain your sympathy. Appropriately named narcissistic hoovering, this is a regular narcissistic abuse tactic to hoover you back.
One of the typical hoovering strategies used by a narcissist is to fabricate emergencies and need for help. Your resolve to stop communication and contact may melt away in the face of their distress and difficulty. Your sympathy will be awakened and you will throw away all your resolutions to stay away from the narcissist.
You need to realize that a narcissist fakes emergencies, not for your sympathy but to suck you back into the relationship.
5. They manipulate and gaslight
This is what a narcissist is very good at and has been doing all this while. When they realize that you are wise to their schemes and have gathered the resolve to cast them out, they will up the ante and strike back with more vigor.
A simple and straightforward narcissistic abuse strategy used by narcissists to lure you back is to force you into discussion and negotiation. Acting like a normal person, they will tell you that relationship issues need to be resolved through discussions and that the silent treatment or walking out is not a solution.
Once they get you at the discussion table, they will turn the tables on you by convincing you that you are the villain. Besides brainwashing and manipulating you, they will spread negative rumors about you. They will create a new reality to paint you as the villain and themselves as the victim. This is gaslighting for you.
The only way to escape from these manipulative behaviors and your mental health back is to get wise to the tactics and use evasive strategies.
Final thoughts on when you stop reaching out to a narcissist
When none of their regular narcissistic abuse techniques are succeeding in luring you back into the relationship, they will strike back at you with their own no-contact rule and silent treatment. A narcissist may even hook up with someone else to make you feel jealous.
As you may already know, it’s not easy to shake off a narcissist. When you ignore a narcissist, they keep coming back and clinging on to you, not because they love or care for you, but because they cannot live without you, their narcissistic supply. However, if you can stick it out with your strategy, they will decide to give up at some point and leave you alone.
When you put up enough resistance and fight, they will realize that you are no longer good as a narcissistic supply. They will move away and find someone who is a better fit for their narcissistic supply.