Narcissists have a large variety of weapons in their arsenal, but possibly the most favorite weapon is the silent treatment.
The silent treatment usually plays out in a similar scenario: You say or do something that offends the narcissist. Chances are, you’re unaware of it, but she certainly isn’t. She suddenly refuses to speak to you. You ask what’s wrong, & she ignores you, sends one of her flying monkeys to “talk some sense into you” in an effort to make you feel guilty, or she says some ridiculous comments to you such as, “you know what you did!” or (my personal favorite- my mother used this one in my teen years) “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you,” You are tormented wondering what you did that was so wrong. You are baffled. Then eventually, she graciously allows you to apologize. And, you may never know what your crime was.
I went through this many times with my narcissistic mother when I was growing up. It used to upset me terribly. It’s very unsettling. I’m a sensitive person & not knowing what I did that was so bad, it made my mother stop speaking to me was very hard. it was confusing, & made me feel like a bad person.
As time went on, though, I began to see that this silent treatment was less about what I did, & more about my mother trying to manipulate me into doing what she wanted. This knowledge was very freeing to me. Once I realized this, I stopped worrying when my mother would give me the silent treatment & stopped trying to fix it. I knew that in time, if I left her alone, she would start speaking to me again, & act like nothing ever happened. This has become her routine. In fact, I’m getting the silent treatment as I write this. My mother’s barely spoken to me in months. Why? I have no idea. The last I heard from my father, she was mad because I don’t come to her house to visit. Interestingly, I haven’t been invited to come over since my father had problems last December & January, so I really don’t understand the logic.
If you deal with a narcissistic mother who gives you the silent treatment, I encourage you to do as I have done. Stop asking her what is wrong when she gives you the silent treatment! Let her pout & act like a spoiled child since that is what she wants to do. Instead of asking her what is wrong, ignore her & go on about your life. Enjoy the break from the drama.
If your narcissistic mother’s flying monkeys come to talk to you (triangulation is another weapon of narcissists), refuse to discuss the topic with them. Nothing good can come of it, so simply refuse to discuss that topic. Tell them you won’t discuss this topic & change the subject. Repeatedly if need be, but stick to your guns.
Your life can be much more peaceful if you do these two things when you’re given the silent treatment.