Mental Therapy: Why Do Narcissists Ignore You?

why do narcissists ignore you

When you’re in conflict with a friend, relative, or fiancé, the most important step is to be able to resolve the conflict and move past it.

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible when you are dealing with a narcissist because they prefer to ignore you and give you a cold shoulder instead of addressing the problem. This can leave you upset and frustrated because you feel like you are the one making an effort to resolve the issue.

So, why do narcissists ignore you?

8 Reasons Why Narcissists Ignore You


A narcissist is a person with an inflated sense of self-importance. This is a personality disorder whose main causes remain unknown. Some psychologists suspect that this mental condition is caused by a mixture of hereditary and environmental factors.

Narcissism is mainly characterized by the extreme need to be admired and approved by other people, total disregard for other people’s feelings, incapacity to handle slights, and an absurd sense of entitlement. Dealing with someone like this is stressful because your genuine care, love, and affection will never be reciprocated. All you will get in return is contempt and being ignored.

While we’ve all been culprits of giving people a cold shoulder, a narcissist appears to have mastered the art of ignoring people. They use this trick to manipulate others and make themselves feel good. Unfortunately, this behavior will negatively impact your relationship with the narcissist, especially when you don’t know why they are ignoring you. Here are the main reasons why a narcissist will ignore you.

1. To Gain Control

A narcissist has a ludicrous desire to control other people because it gives them a sense of importance. They’ll ignore you hoping that you will feel guilty about the situation and apologize to the thus giving them all the control. A narcissist will ignore you to punish you, especially when they feel like you are distancing yourself from them.

Their unstable sense of self-importance doesn’t allow them to admit their mistakes, instead; they prefer to ignore the other person and play the victim card. They tend to build up delusions of self-importance that fuel their insatiable desire to control other people and keep getting validation from them. Every time you apologize to them so that they can stop ignoring you, you’re feeding their ego and allowing them to continue controlling you.

If you threaten this delusion by criticizing them or denying them validation, you hurt their feelings and they’ll retaliate by ignoring you. They are incapable of resolving conflicts amicably. They prefer to put you in a position where you are desperate for their approval.

2. They Find It Fun

A narcissist will hurt your feelings for fun. So, if they realize that you can’t handle being ignored, they will do it repeatedly because they enjoy seeing you suffering and begging for their approval. They’re always seeking validation and admiration from other people.

So, they will continue to seek this narcissistic supply by ignoring you. For instance, if you have a narcissistic intimate partner, they will ignore you just to know if you love them enough to be hurt by it. So, the more they watch you suffer because of their coldness and indifference, the happier they are.

As your relationship advances, your narcissistic partner will escalate their egotistic behavior just to get that narcissistic supply from you. They’ll ignore you so that you can chase after them and beg for their forgiveness. They find pleasure in seeing you upset because of them.

3. Boosting Their Ego

A narcissist will ignore you just to boost their ego. If they realize that you are apprehensive about leaving them and being alone, they’ll use the indifference card to boost their ego. They will ignore you because they know you go running after them.

This usually happens to people with abandonment and attachment issues. Narcissists also take advantage of empathetic people because they know they are desperate to receive empathy in return. An empathetic person can easily sense and soothe emotions around them.

This makes them the perfect prey for narcissists who will ignore them and disregard their empathetic nature so they can soothe them. So, the more you beg for a narcissist’s attention, the more egotistic they become. They use the fear of feeling devalued and alone to get your attention. Devaluing you raises their perceived self-worth.

4. Fight

As mentioned above, narcissists feed off of your pain and misery. So, they will ignore you so that you can get into a fight with them. They find these fights fun because they give them a sense of self-importance, especially when you beg them for forgiveness.

Furthermore, narcissists are very good at creating win-win situations for themselves, even when they are in the wrong. They will deploy different manipulation tactics just to have the final say in an argument. They often pick people who can co-sign their egotistic behavior to get the validation they need.

So, when you do something wrong that upsets your narcissistic partner, they might ignore you as a way of starting a fight with you and lure you into their narcissistic behavior. They’ll ignore you even if you wronged them a long time ago.

5. Making You Remorseful

A narcissist will exaggerate even the minutest situations into massive disasters just to make you feel remorseful. When you regret the mistake, you are likely to apologize to them and seek their forgiveness. This boosts their ego.

Remember that their end goal is to get your validation. So, even if you unintentionally made a small mistake, your narcissistic partner, relative, or friend will blow it out of proportion and make seem like it’s the worst thing in the world. They will do this by giving you a cold shoulder as a form of punishment.

Sadly, this is usually a one-way street. Don’t expect them to admit their mistakes or apologize to you. They never experience remorse or feel guilty about their faults. Even if they apologize to you, it’s normally a fake apology, and they only do it so that you can forgive them and get over it quickly.

Despite their fake apology, a narcissist isn’t necessarily interested in changing their behavior. So, you can expect them to go back to their old ways right after apologizing.

6. They’re Paying Attention to Someone Else

A narcissist will ignore you if they already have someone else giving them their much-needed narcissistic supply. Narcissists are always prowling around looking for victims to devour. So, if you’re tired of their egotistic behavior and no longer want to validate them, they’ll quickly look for another victim.

Unfortunately, people with this personality disorder are highly manipulative and very good at luring their victims into their nerve-wracking world. In the beginning, they’ll pretend to be the nicest people on earth. Once you are hooked, they bring out their real character, always playing around with your emotions so that you can feed their ego and reinforce their delusion of superiority and grandiosity.

Unfortunately, a narcissist can never have enough validation and approval. They will always want more, and if they can’t get it from you, they can surely get it from someone else. So, if you find your narcissistic partner ignoring you all of a sudden, it could mean that they have their eyes set on another victim.

7. Making You Feel Jealous

A narcissist wants all of your attention or none of it. So, they will take you through the worst emotional roller coaster just to make sure they have your full attention. For instance, they’ll pretend they are extremely busy so that you can feel jealous and run after them.

They will even ignore your calls and texts just to make you believe that they have more important things to do while in most cases they are just idle. Sometimes they will be vague about who they are spending time with just to make you jealous. All these manipulative tricks are meant to make you act needy around them and reinforce their sense of self-importance.

8. Devaluing You

A narcissist thrives in mystery. That’s why they will keep romanticizing and devaluing you as they deem fit. At first, they will idealize and love-bomb you until they are sure that you have completely fallen for them. Then, they will cut back on the adoration and attention no matter how hard you try to get their attention.

If you stop validating and giving them your full attention, they will get upset and initiate the process of devaluing you. Devaluing ends up in discard, which occurs when the narcissist feels like they no longer gain value from their narcissistic supply.

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