No Contact is very good advice given to victims of a malignant narcissist or a sociopath. It simply means no contact, of any kind, with the person that has been abusing you. It is a way to eliminate the abuser’s access to you.
Someone asked me a while back what the difference was between No Contact and a Narcissistic Silent Treatment. They didn’t think there was one and were sure that they equaled the same behavior. The blank stare I gave them was probably perplexing, but while sorting through that question in my own brain, I just could not fathom how they reached that conclusion.
Yes, there is a huge difference!
Many folks have no idea what cutting off contact with someone means. Sometimes they think they can stop taking their phone calls, but texting is okay. Or they think that not allowing them access to them during the week, but bumping into them at church on Sunday is probably okay.
Um, no. None of that is okay. No Contact means no contact, ever, anywhere, at any time. Block the person’s number because even texting can be abusive and manipulative. I’ve seen it! I’ve experienced it! Find a new church, a new gym, and new friends if you have to.
Cutting off all contact with someone that has been verbally and sometimes physically abusing you is a necessity if you want to survive, heal, recover and live a healthier life.
Cutting off all contact is not about control. It’s about salvation and peace.
A Narcissistic Silent Treatment is all about control.
The narcissist enlists the silent treatment as a way to draw you in. Its abusive behavior meant to punish you for not doing what the narcissist wants you to do. You won’t know what you did to make them angry, so you will continue to ask them what’s wrong and wonder why they stopped talking to you.
A narc does not like to be ignored and wants you to continue trying to engage them, even though they are ignoring you. They enjoy seeing you struggle from their lack of attention. It feeds them and makes them feel important. The more you engage, the more they ignore you until the day they feel the need to build you back up again, so they can tear you down again.
When a victim cuts off all contact they are not interested in having the narc continue to engage them.
They want to get away from the narc.
They want to escape the abusive behavior.
They do not seek the attention of the narc and rarely fight back.
When you finally stop giving the narc your attention and you walk away from them, it makes them angry. A narc has an over inflated view of themselves. They think they are superior to everyone else and will brag about real and sometimes imagined life accomplishments. When you walk away from the narc that is giving you the silent treatment, they will lash out at you. To walk away from them is viewed as insolent and unacceptable.
This is where the Narcissistic Smear Campaigns come into play. Once you refuse to go along with their game, they will attempt to ruin you at any cost. They are vindictive and malicious and will seek out others to gang up against their victim. They will do whatever it takes to continue to keep the victim engaged, including stalking and cyberstalking them.
A victim of narcissistic abuse that has cut off all contact with the abuser isn’t interested in gathering an army of followers, stalking the narc or even knowing what the narc is up to. They often remain silent about the details of their abuse. This is why there is so little information out there about how to recover from the abuse and move on and away from it. The only thing a victim of narcissistic abuse is seeking by cutting off all contact is peace.
So is there a difference between the two?
Yes there is.
One is abusive behavior and the other is recovery.
If you are the victim of narcissistic abuse, I encourage you to cut off all contact and then speak up and tell your story. There are people out here listening and they need to know they are not alone.
You can find this and many other entries about living with and recovering from narcissistic abuse in my book, Life After the Narcissist written by Katy Shultz. Available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and all fine retailers.