Ignoring a Narcissist Who Ignores You

Have you ever heard the expression “Just ignore the troll and he’ll go away?”

Seems like good advice. Some people are fueled off negative energy. The more you argue with them, the more excited they get to keep the conversation going. It’s a dysfunctional dynamic and yes, narcissists tend to this frequently.

The problem is narcissists are very good at manipulating people to do exactly what they want. If he wants to argue with you, and sees that you’re ignoring him, he will figure out a way to provoke you back into the conversation.

Before you know it, you’re determined to “set the record straight”. Humiliate him. Hurt him. And that’s when your plan backfires.

You know a friend of mine used to tell me that despite the fact that she hated her narcissistic ex-husband, that every time she talked to him, she wound up in bed with him again. She couldn’t figure out why either. Somehow, it always started simple. She just wanted to hurt him, argue with him, prove something…

And then he manipulated her emotions so well, she just felt addicted to all the madness. She couldn’t seem to stop caring about him, but she was never happy with him. Every attempt to get back together was a waste of time.

Now I doubt most of you would ever sleep with your narcissistic ex. But it just makes the point, how do you ignore someone who knows how to get under your skin? He knows how to start fights, how to manipulate you, maybe even how to make you love him again. Because that’s what narcissists want the most, for you to love them, despite not wanting any responsibility that goes along with that.

So let’s discuss some principles in dealing with a narcissist. We’ll also talk about how to resist his “weapons” of manipulation that always seem to move you right back to where you started.

1. Don’t check up on him. It’s falling into his trap.

First, understand that the very worst thing you can do to a narcissist in terms of punishment is to ignore him. A narcissist’s entire personality is based on the need to be the center of attention. Ignoring him does “punish” him, but only when you resist going back to check in on how or what he’s doing. Too often people fall for the narcissist’s bait. They don’t just want to ignore him…they want to check up on him and see how much he’s hurting, how much he’s suffering, and how unhappy he is now that you’re out of his life.

And guess what happens? He starts alluding to you. He starts talking about you. He takes back your attention because he’s counting on the fact that you’re still checking in on him. So getting rid of the idea of “hurting him” is the first step. You don’t want to punish him and then check in, just to start a dialogue over the calamity of his life. Stop caring. Stop looking in and he will someday have to accept that he’s no longer part of your life.

2. Don’t antagonize him…he’s counting on that.

Too many people fall into a narcissist’s trap because they think that the narcissist feels things similarly, to what they do. How do you feel after an argument? Drained? Stressed? Exhausted? Sure…you want to avoid conflict after a lengthy argument where your emotions are tested.

The narcissist is the exact opposite. He thrives off negativity and argument. Insults, conflict and drama are exactly what he craves. It makes him feel important – like he actually matters. How appropriate that his worst fear is being ignored by everybody!

Don’t antagonize him, even if you feel tempted to punish him or embarrass him. If you do, you’re just giving him another 10 rounds of energy to do battle. It’s pointless. You can win by actually deflating his energy and forcing him to move on, battling with someone else who wants that ongoing conflict.

3. The narcissist is a void, a black hole, and you’re the escaping ship. Heal yourself and you will win.

If you’re the captain of a spaceship and want to escape a black hole, then destroying the powerful void is not your priority. You merely want to escape it, repair the damages and move on. Thinking of this never-ending void as something you can fix, tame, destroy, or punish somehow is impossible.

The narcissist’s battle with the world never ends until he dies. You have the choice to engage with him or to SAVE yourself. You save yourself by addressing YOUR issues, not his. Spend some time healing yourself and focus all of your free energy on transforming your life into something happy, successful and joyful. By repairing the shambles of the life the narcissist left you with, and actually creating a better life and a better version of yourself, YOU will no longer miss the narcissist or think about him. That’s the real victory.

4. Most importantly, remember: it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. All that matters is what your family and friends think about you.

This is one of the narcissist’s best weapons: slandering you to others and hoping you come back to correct the situation. As long as you believe in “truth”, you’ll have to come back and defend yourself against his accusations. Right?

Wrong. The only true peace of mind comes from realizing that you can’t force people to change their minds, or reevaluate their opinions. You can’t force people to like you. You certainly can’t try to dissuade a friend of a narcissist into choosing your side of the story over that of the narcissist. Friends are loyal to friends! It has nothing to do with truth, or who’s right.

Only your opinion matters, when it comes to the future of your life. You are the one in control and you build a favorable reputation every day, by being kind to people and interacting with them. Accepting the fact that not everyone has to like you, and that one narcissist’s opinion of you isn’t at all important, is the real secret to destroying his legacy in your mind.

You ignore him. You also ignore the “world” he has created for you, one where you must respond to everything he ever said about you. Destroy his world and destroy him inside your mind. That’s all that matters.

Remember the key to “defeating” a narcissist is to understand his motivation. He is so insecure that he wants to feel as if he’s won. Continuing to challenge him, punish him, or remind him that you don’t love him is the worst way to “ignore” him. Remember our tips and ignore him for good, this time focusing on repairing the damage and transforming your own life into something wonderful and peaceful again.

About The Author

Matthew Coast

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