Have you ever noticed certain people go silent in stressful situations? Especially when their opinion and feedback are notably required. Do you wonder why weird people like covert narcissists build a hard shell around them instantly, and why weird things covert narcissists do? Keep reading as we will discuss psychology behind all these strange behaviors.
Silent Treatment According to Psychology
Silent treatment refers to a form of psychological and emotional abuse that is also known as Stonewalling; it involves unapologetic withdrawal from ongoing communication and passively holding back verbal opinions and emotional responses. It does not always mean the conversation or communication has ended, but reciprocity in the form of dialogue or emotions has been restrained by one of the parties.
Stonewalling, being done as emotional abuse, has damaging effects on the mental health of the victims. According to mental health practitioners, the nature of abuse may seem passive, but its effects are visibly devastating. The perpetrator can’t be blamed for apparent gaslighting; the silent treatment does the work for the abuser.
When their presence is most needed for conflict resolution, they will offer you a mere absence of emotional validation and a nonverbal response. Stonewalling apart from communication, also restricts the victim’s ability to demand accountability for their actions. Henceforth, the silent abuser silently tarnishes the self-esteem, emotional well-being, and self-respect of the victim, and it often leaves them hopeless about the purpose and ending of Stonewalling.
Which Personality Types Use Silent Treatment?
The psychological literature suggests the majority of people with Narcissistic Personality traits, complacently go for Silent Treatment and Stonewalling just like the weird things covert narcissists do during conflicts. Their grandiose aura with vulnerable persona efficiently enables them to exert control and manipulate by using Silent Treatment on naïve victims. Since responding with Silent Treatment is a passive way of gaslighting, Covert Narcissists are most likely to use their authority subtly and manipulate by way of Stonewalling.
So, now you may think why do Covert Narcissists take this mechanism of avoidance to their practical lives? Despite knowing how harmful Stonewalling is at times
Let’s dig up more to uncover the weird things covert narcissists do by using Silent Treatment.
How Covert Narcissists Use Silent Treatment as a Weapon?
When a normal person gets into some kind of disagreement or fight, they tend to either express their stance in an outrageous manner, verbally abuse, go quiet for some time, or apologize and set accountability. But, in the case of people with Narcissistic Personalities, things don’t work in this fashion; once they hit the point of clash, they will go silent and do weird things. This silence is a passively penetrating, slow poison used by Covert Narcissists as Silent Treatment.
The Covert Narcissist’s antagonist reproach does not indicate matter has been resolved or ended, but they artfully shape it into a punishment. Among other weird things covert narcissists do, their silence is often mistaken for avoidance or showing maturity by not instigating the heated matter. However, it is Covert Narcissist’s most adaptable option to start stonewalling as soon as they see the opponent is interested in talking about the matter.
Silent treatment by a Covert Narcissist is rarely followed by an apology; on the contrary, it has nuances of vengeance. They believe that by withdrawing their attention, they teach a lesson to the victim, and by the time they see the other person is willing to surrender, they put on their façade of fakery. Covert Narcissists subtly deepen their authority by using indirect means; once they get the green signal, they end the Silent Treatment and start responding as if nothing has happened. They won’t even be shy about hoaxing that “I zipped my lip to get the situation cool down”, yet the truth was their contemptuous silence without being guilty.
Their silence never becomes meaningless. Covert Narcissists always have the upper hand by manipulating their Stonewalling; through brief responses, sneering cold wars, and satirizing nonverbal gestures. For instance, you can witness the weird things covert narcissists do; if you are working with a Covert Narcissist on a group project. If you slightly criticize their work and then ask them to discuss it as teamwork, they will simply tell you, “I have already done my part for 15 marks; I see nothing that I can discuss with you”. Despite knowing the consequences of their withdrawal, they would either go silent or give the walkout as their response.
What Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do By Using Silent Treatment?
Many times, Covert Narcissists intentionally push the disagreement to the point where they can utilize the Silent Treatment. You will see them initially talking back and mocking the opponent, but once the squabble reaches liability, Covert Narcissist’s inflated sense of superiority won’t let them surrender or lose; they will project their toxicity by exerting harsh Stonewalling.
Sense of vulnerability, being passive-aggressive, dramatic, and lacking empathy have been very strong factors determining the social interactions of Covert Narcissists. They find strange satisfaction in controlling the emotions of other people, as it suffices for their disruptive self-esteem. Covert Narcissists do prefer having attention at all costs; if they can’t blatantly ask for it as they are apparently shy, the weird thing Covert Narcissists do is they go for the opposite: Silent Treatment. This tactic not only helps them gain attention but also makes the opponent puzzled and dependent on their approval or disapproval during disputes.
Covert Narcissists in most situations get their expected results by using silent treatment, where the victim is compromising and timid. But, wait!
If you think using this treatment on others always gives desirable results, you need to read this article a little more to understand the weird things covert narcissists do and their repercussions:
Covert Narcissists Stonewalling; Abusive Effects on Relationships
Not every Covert Narcissist encounter is unassertive; some of the people do give them good lessons, but seldom at the stake of their relationship. Psychologists extensively believe that silent treatment is abusive to an appalling degree; the repeated use of Stonewalling shows an inclination towards divorce.
The ship of relationships starts sinking when one partner is expressive, wants to compromise, and works for conflict resolution. Whereas the covert narcissist partner offers silent treatment or glib phrases and engages in weird things, this eventually invalidates the self-worth of the victim partner. When the victims want everyone to hear them, they only see Stonewall standing with a cold shoulder. Covert narcissists want constant reassurance of their superiority and vulnerability, but they seek it passively by bringing others to their knees.
In the view of Convert Narcissists, during quarrels, they are in a more vulnerable state than their partner, which makes them worthy of attention and love. However, they will only offer their love and reassurance after the victim apologizes, the way Covert Narcissists want an apology, and compromise to their manipulative behaviors as the only right solution.
Life with Covert Narcissists is a full-time roller coaster because of the weird things covert narcissists do. They always stab from behind with their brutal arsenal of devious weapons.
Though it’s difficult to counter Covert Narcissists, let’s see what we can do to keep ourselves safe from their subtle gash.
How to Deal With Covert Narcissist Stonewalling or Silent Treatment?
Here are a few safety tips that you can incorporate to safeguard yourself from the weird things covert narcissists do to manipulate while enduring their Silent Treatment:
i. Do not internalize what they say
Covert Narcissists consciously use Stonewalling, to confuse you and exert their authority. So, don’t apply their silence or dialogue to yourself; don’t judge yourself in their context.
ii. Go with “it is what it is”
Convert Narcissists hide behind their Silent Treatment, if you want to have a word with them, they will fool you with their tactics and act vulnerable. Be rigid with your position, and don’t opt to argue.
iii. Set your boundaries:
Don’t shut off completely as a counter-reaction to their Stonewalling, be more assertive and vocal about the emotional dissatisfaction. Guard your self-respect.
iv. Breathing and Meditation:
Relax your mind and muscles, practice deep breathing, and avoid thinking about it for some time. Covert Narcissists want to stir up your mental peace when things don’t go their way; don’t let them win. Start practicing peaceful activities.
After you get yourself in a relatively calm state, think about the situation from different viewpoints, ask relevant questions to yourself, and don’t blame yourself for Covert Narcissist’s mistakes. Give yourself a valid reality check and note down your thoughts.
vi. Engage a Mediator:
Look for common friends and family and take their stance on the matter. Seek validation for your emotions and feelings by discussing them with a mediator.
vii. Professional Help:
Seek professional help. If your psychological state is deteriorating due to a covert narcissist’s Silent Treatment, let an expert analyze your situation. Before making up assumptions in your head, always check for a competent practitioner’s take on it.
Be decisive and assertive; don’t let Convert Narcissists easily manipulate you with the love and attention granted at the end of ruthless Silent Treatment. Keep your guard up and be aware of Covert Narcissists about their inappropriate Stonewalling.
You can learn more about the weird things covert narcissists do by reading articles on; Convert Narcissist’s flattery and fakery, Covert Narcissists in Relationships, Covert Narcissists in the Workplace, and many more by clicking here