7 Reasons Why Narcissists Ignore You

Hands up who hates being ignored.

Most of us, I’m sure, have raised their hands. 

Being ignored is no fun – especially when you haven’t done anything wrong. Narcissists don’t see it that way…

…They enjoy ignoring you. They get a kick out of seeing you uncomfortable and anxious. It’s like a switch flipped that reminds them they still have that power over you.

And yes, I know, you’re left thinking, “Hold on, what did I do?”

In the distorted eyes of the narcissist – there has to be something!

Let’s see the 7 reasons why a narcissist ignores you.

#1 They’re Bored

Yawn. Life has become too predictable. What can I do to inject a little zest into it again?

Well, to you or I, plenty! Take a walk, go on a weekend trip, see friends, do some home repairs … we think outside the box and not a soul is affected negatively by it.


They will zone in on the first person they can think of who will buy their games, and get to work.

You’d think ignoring somebody would take very little effort, but it’s not the case with narcissists.

They try hard to get their point across by giving you the brush off. It’s almost as though they can gain your attention purposely and then walk away to prove a point. 

When a narcissist is bored, they ignore the board games and head straight to their bored games instead.

The drama they so crave always comes next.

#2 They Want to Assert Their Control

Control is the central theme to anything a narcissist does. Underneath the not-so-glossy exterior lies anxious, insecure souls that cannot rest until they feel people are doing what they want them to do.

Like puppets on a string, they will move and maneuver the way the narcissist sees fit. Sometimes that can be done by the narcissist using the cold shoulder.

It isn’t just cold – it’s freezing. 

If the narcissist feels as though they’re losing grip of somebody, things will change quickly. Instead of that person breaking free and escaping the clutches of control, more control is instead heaped on.

Isn’t it funny how that’s done by ignoring you?

Well, the deeper you look into the obnoxious narcissistic abuse cycle, the more you’ll understand that the act of ignoring only works if there is attachment already present. 

Pulling you back in  by not giving you the time of day will see you, like clockwork, practically run back to their side asking what they did wrong. How they can make it better. Why they’re being ignored. 

The narcissist will likely wait until the last nano-second before they reel you back in.

#3 To Manipulate You

I want to go to the movies this Friday. 

I’m sorry, I can’t go. I promised my sister I’d take her out for her birthday. 

I really want to go. Can’t you reorganize?

I’m sorry, no. It’s all booked. 

Cue the silence…

This isn’t the same as a punishment. This isn’t the narcissist being mad at you for not choosing them. This is instead, “I’m going to remain silent until you do what I want you to do.”

Does it work?

You would be surprised how often people have said this has happened to them, and how it has worked time and time again. 

The silence here works as a kind of “thinking period” for you. “They’re upset. Maybe I could rearrange it for Saturday so everybody gets to be happy.”

Yes and there you are, making allowances for their silence. A narcissist who ignores you in order to get what they want will know their silence works the very first time you cave and do what they ask of you. 

#4 To Punish You

Now this is a different ball game. A narcissist ignoring you to punish you can look like:

You cooked a meal they didn’t want.

You unintentionally broke their favorite cup.

You watched your usual TV show you like to watch together, without them. 

Petty? Always.

Effective? Always.

Narcissists love to punish. If a person isn’t conforming to their rules or thought processes, there will be all hell to pay. 

The punishment will trigger an anxious response from the other person, similar to point three.

You’ll apologize, overly so. You’ll say sorry so many times, they may even get mad at you for saying it. 

I’m afraid it is a case of walking on eggshells. That’s what most people say they feel they’re doing when I ask them about their experience of narcissistic abuse. They’re waiting for the next time they’re completely stonewalled. They begin to anticipate every little thing they do to be wrong or simply ‘not quite right.’

After the silence will usually come the rage, but only when they feel like it. 

#5 You’re in the Discard Phase

The discard phase of the narcissistic abuse cycle follows the devaluation phase. The narcissist here is fully done with you. They’ve no interest in you at all, and they want you to know it.

This is harmful, truly harmful. You will feel:


Low in self-esteem.

Severely lacking in confidence.





Your apologies will start to sound like words you use to appease somebody, rather than to explain your regret at something genuine. 

The narcissist will turn those taps as cold as they can during the discard phase. When you’ve just about had enough, they will turn it back to hot to keep you hooked. 

People ask me how attachments are formed – this is how. 

#6 You Stopped Giving Them Attention

You’re officially of no use to them.

This isn’t about punishing you for taking away their supply, it’s more about you being of no use to them.

You’ll see this in friendship circles mainly, in families or at work. Lack of attention usually aligns with the narcissist finding a new, more exciting source of supply. A new person who thinks they’re ‘fabulous,’ or somebody who answers to their beck and call.

Narcissists don’t like attention. They don’t smile and say ‘thank you’ if somebody pays them a compliment. They need attention. They go so far as forcefully extracting it from you all the while you freely allow it.

If you refuse to allow it, or are unswayed by their demands they’ll treat you as if you don’t exist. 

#7 They’re Scared

If you love too hard, the narcissist will pull away.

They won’t know what to do with themselves, and the saddest part is – it’s all down to their lack of self-worth.

Hard to believe a narcissist may have a lack of self worth, isn’t it? They walk around with such a grandiose aura that you’d never be able to tell. 

In truth, they’re masters of disguise. They hide what they bring out in you. 

If a narcissist is scared, they will back off and ignore you in the hope emotions will simmer down. They don’t want to feel too safe, in case it all gets taken away from them. 

Yep – those attachment issues rise once more. 

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