As anyone who’s been abused by a narcissist knows they have many tools at their disposal that they use to abuse. One of those awful tools is by making their victims feel like they are invisible.
Making a person feel invisible destroys their self-esteem and makes them very easy to control and manipulate. That is why narcissists do this. Well, that & the joy they get from destroying their victims of course..
To accomplish this goal, narcissists use a few creative tactics. They ignore their victims’ accomplishments, they downplay anything that is going on with the victim whether the thing is good or bad, & they often will act like the victim does not exist. The silent treatment is a very good example of acting like a victim doesn’t exist. It’s an extremely effective way to make someone feel invisible, because the person using it acts like their victim does not even exist & that person isn’t worth even their time or energy to speak to.
Narcissists usually treat their victims this way when they have done something the narcissist does not approve of, such as failing to provide narcissistic supply or setting healthy boundaries.
Narcissistic parents use this tool from day one of their child’s life to keep that child down & easily controllable. Most children of narcissistic parents can’t remember their parents giving them compliments more than maybe once or twice in their life if at all, but they can recall their parents saying terrible and cruel things to them repeatedly throughout their entire lives, ignoring any accomplishments or acting as if anything happening in their lives was unimportant. Narcissistic romantic partners often start out full of flattery but evolve into cruel insults as the relationship progresses. They also have nothing but time for their romantic partner when the relationship is new but as time passes, suddenly have less time to devote to their partners.
While these tactics may not sound so bad they truly are. When they are done over & over for an extended period of time, they erode a person’s self-esteem until that self-esteem has been destroyed. That, of course, is the goal of any narcissist.
If you have been or are currently in this situation with a narcissist, my heart goes out to you. I have been there myself, & I know just how painful it can be.
I want you to remember something. Anyone who does this sort of thing to another person clearly is the one with the problem. The reason you need to remember this is so you know with every fiber of your being that you are truly not the problem, & that the other person is the problem. I know that sounds like common sense but when you were in the midst of the situation or recently removed from it, it can be difficult to remember that.
Also, just because someone thinks you are unworthy of their time, attention, or love, does not mean that is true. In fact, I believe that when a person treats another this way it shows the type of character that person has rather than the type of character their victim has.
The next time this happens to you, I want you to ask yourself something. Ask yourself why is this person treating me this way, what have I done that makes them believe this type of egregious behavior is justifiable? Chances are that you can’t come up with anything that would justify this awful behavior. Doing this simple exercise can help you to counteract the damage done by a narcissist trying to make you feel invisible.