What Happens When You Ignore a Narcissist?

by Ryan Hart | Updated on October 5, 2023 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Ignoring a narcissist is a powerful tool that can help you take back control of your life. When you cut off a narcissist, you deprive them of the attention and admiration they crave.

This can cause them to lash out and engage in manipulative tactics to regain control. However, ignoring a narcissist can also have positive effects, such as helping you set boundaries and protect your mental health.

Understanding narcissism is crucial when it comes to dealing with a narcissist. Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance and a constant need for admiration and attention.

When you ignore a narcissist, you are not giving them the attention they crave, which can threaten their sense of self-worth and trigger their manipulative tactics.

Why Narcissists Need Attention

People with NPD often have a grandiose sense of self, believing that they are special, unique, and deserving of praise and admiration. They may also have a sense of responsibility and expect others to cater to their needs and desires.

Control Tactics

Narcissists often use a variety of control tactics to maintain power and dominance over others. They may use emotional manipulation, gaslighting, and other forms of psychological abuse to keep their victims under their control. They may also use physical violence or threats of violence to intimidate and coerce others.

Narcissistic Supply

Narcissistic supply refers to the attention, admiration, and validation that narcissists crave. They often seek out people who will provide them with this supply and may go to great lengths to maintain these relationships.

Narcissists may use flattery, charm, and other tactics to win over their targets and may become angry or aggressive when they feel that their supply is threatened.


Power is a central component of narcissism. Often, narcissists seek positions of authority and may use their power to control and manipulate others. They may also seek out relationships with people whom they perceive as being weaker or more vulnerable, as this allows them to maintain a sense of control and dominance.

Why Ignore a Narcissist?

Ignoring a narcissist can be a powerful tool in dealing with their behavior. When you ignore a narcissist, you are taking away their source of attention and admiration.

Narcissists thrive on attention and need to be the center of attention at all times. By ignoring them, you are not giving them what they want and taking control of the situation.

Ignoring a narcissist can also help you to protect your own mental and emotional health. Narcissists can be manipulative and abusive, and constantly engaging with them can be draining and harmful.

How to Ignore a Narcissist

Ignoring a narcissist can be challenging, but it is important to do so consistently and permanently. Here are some tips on how to ignore a narcissist:

  • Block their phone number and social media accounts: By cutting off their access to you, you are making it more difficult for them to contact you.
  • Do not respond to their messages or calls: If you do not respond, they will eventually give up and move on.
  • Do not engage with them in person: If you see them in public, do not acknowledge them or engage in conversation.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people: Having a support system can help you stay strong and resist the narcissist’s attempts to contact you.
  • Practice self-care: Look after yourself by engaging in activities that make you happy and help you to relax.

Remember, ignoring a narcissist is not about being mean or cruel. It is about setting boundaries and protecting yourself from their harmful behavior.

Reaction to Being Ignored

When you ignore a narcissist, you are challenging their sense of superiority and control over you. This can lead to a range of reactions, including narcissistic collapse and rage, silent treatment, hoovering, and love bombing.

Narcissistic Collapse

One of the most common reactions to being ignored by a narcissist is narcissistic collapse and rage. This occurs when the narcissist’s sense of self-worth is threatened, leading to feelings of anger, humiliation, and shame.

They may lash out at you verbally or even physically, trying to regain their sense of control and power over you.

Silent Treatment

Another common reaction to being ignored by a narcissist is the silent treatment. This is when they stop communicating with you altogether, refusing to acknowledge your presence or respond to your messages or calls.

As a punishment, the silent treatment aims to make you feel guilty for ignoring them and to make you feel guilty for not giving them the attention they crave.


Hoovering is a tactic used by narcissists to try and draw you back into their lives after you have ignored them. They may send you messages or call you, trying to convince you to meet up with them or give them another chance.

This can be a dangerous time, as they may try to manipulate or gaslight you into thinking that the problems in the relationship were your fault.

Love Bombing

Love bombing is another tactic used by narcissists to try and win you back after you have ignored them. They may shower you with affection, gifts, and attention, trying to convince you that they have changed and that things will be different this time around.

However, this is often just another way for them to regain control over you and manipulate you into doing what they want.

Manipulative Tactics

Narcissists are known for their manipulative behavior, and they will often use various tactics to control and dominate others. Here are some of the most common manipulative tactics used by narcissists:


Gaslighting is a tactic used by narcissists to make you doubt your own reality. They will twist the truth, deny facts, and even make you question your own sanity.

For example, a narcissist may tell you that something you remember happening never actually occurred, or they may say that something you saw or heard didn’t happen the way you remember it.

Over time, gaslighting can make you feel confused, anxious, and unsure of yourself.

Smear Campaign

Narcissists will often launch a smear campaign against someone they perceive as a threat or who they feel has wronged them somehow. They will often spread lies, rumors, and gossip about the person behind their back.

This can be especially damaging if the narcissist is in a position of power or influence, as they may be able to turn others against the person and damage their reputation.

Flying Monkeys

Flying monkeys are people whom the narcissist enlists to do their bidding. They may be friends, family members, or even strangers whom the narcissist has convinced to help them.

The narcissist will use these individuals to carry out their manipulative tactics, such as spreading rumors or attacking the person they are targeting.

Flying monkeys can be especially effective because they may be seen as more credible than the narcissists themselves.

Setting Boundaries with a Narcissist

When it comes to dealing with a narcissist, setting boundaries is essential. Here are two effective methods to consider:

No Contact Rule

The No Contact Rule is one of the most effective ways to set boundaries with a narcissist. It involves cutting off all communication with the narcissist, including phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.

This method is particularly useful if the narcissist is abusive or manipulative.

Here are some tips to help you implement the No Contact Rule:

  • Block the narcissist’s phone number and email address.
  • Avoid social media platforms where the narcissist is active.
  • If you have to communicate with the narcissist, keep it brief and to the point.
  • Do not engage in arguments or debates with the narcissist.

Remember that the No Contact Rule is not easy but essential for your mental and emotional well-being. Stick to your boundaries, and do not let the narcissist manipulate you.

Gray Rock Method

The Gray Rock Method is another effective way to set boundaries with a narcissist. This method involves becoming as boring as possible to the narcissist.

The idea is to make yourself uninteresting and unimportant to the narcissist so that they lose interest in you.

Here are some tips to help you implement the Gray Rock Method:

  • Avoid sharing personal information with the narcissist.
  • Keep conversations with the narcissist brief and superficial.
  • Do not react emotionally to the narcissist’s behavior.
  • Be consistent in your behavior towards the narcissist.

Remember that the Gray Rock Method requires patience and consistency. It may take some time for the narcissist to lose interest in you, but eventually, they will move on to someone else.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to punish a narcissist?

Punishing a narcissist is not the best approach as it may only fuel their ego and lead to more toxic behavior.

Instead, it is recommended to focus on your own well-being and set healthy boundaries. Limiting contact with the narcissist and seeking support from friends and family can help you regain control of your life.

How do you ignore a narcissist who tries to punish you?

If a narcissist tries to punish you, it is important to remain calm and not engage in their toxic behavior.

Stay true to your boundaries and limit contact with them as much as possible. Make sure you talk to trusted friends and family and consider therapy to help you cope with the situation.

If you ignore a narcissist while he’s ignoring you, what will happen?

Ignoring a narcissist while they are ignoring you may lead to a power struggle and further toxic behavior. It is important to set healthy boundaries and limit contact with them to avoid getting caught up in their games.

Are narcissists shocked when you walk away?

Narcissists may be shocked when you walk away as they thrive on attention and control. However, they may also become angry and try to manipulate you into staying. It is important to remain firm in your decision and focus on your own well-being.

Will a narcissist go away if you ignore them?

Ignoring a narcissist may not necessarily make them go away. They may continue to try to manipulate and control you, or they may move on to a new target. It is important to set healthy boundaries and limit contact with them to protect yourself from their toxic behavior.

How does the narcissist react when he realizes you no longer care?

When a narcissist realizes that you no longer care, they may become angry or try to manipulate you into giving them attention.

They may also move on to a new target. It is important to remain firm in your decision and focus on your own well-being. Seek support from trusted friends and family to help you cope with the situation.

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About the Author:
Ryan Hart

Ryan Hart is a certified relationship coach and writer. His mission is to help make connections between people better, stronger, more meaningful, and longer lasting using technology.

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