The Silent Treatment

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desertpine

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The Silent Treatment
« on: April 02, 2018, 09:02:32 PM »
This is week number two that my colleague is giving me the silent treatment. She did this for 3 weeks earlier this year then spoke with me for a week. Now she treats me like I am a piece of furniture. She won't make eye contact, stays at a distance so we aren't in the same room together, and overall seems to be avoiding any chance of an encounter. It feels hostile and very cold. I don't know if she's punishing me or what.  It is a small office and we work across the hall from each other. We are the only ones in the office except for someone who comes in for part of a day once a week.  We both run our own business out of the office space, so there is no manager or supervisor to reach out to.  I had no idea it would feel so dehumanizing to be treated with such disdain.  I sublet the office from her and the lease  isn't up for another 6 months.  I haven't had an experience like this since I was a child and had a falling out with a best friend over something petty. It feels so juvenile.  >:(    Nothing like an adult acting out like a child because she can't resolve conflict  :thumbdown:  She has traits of OCPD and maybe NPD - idk. She said she's resentful because I see her as a workaholic but should see her as a dedicated person taking care of her responsibilities.  As if working after surgery when she was supposed to be home resting was a sign of a loyal hard worker.  I see it as compulsive and poor self-care to go to work after surgery when the discharge plan calls for staying home from work in order to rest and recover. She did that herself and then encouraged me to do the same (she tends to advice me to do things the way she does them- both personal and professional).  :(    I  set a boundary about that and she was offended when I did. So what do you do when a colleague is giving you the silent treatment over setting boundaries and disengaging from co-dependent behavior? 

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NoVoice357

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 05:18:36 AM »
Hi Desertpine,

She is not childish, she seems to have a NPD. PDs do not change and their behaviour is the same at school, at work or in nursing homes. You did or said something to her that she perceived as criticism.
 
Your PD colleague wants NS from you. She wants you to react by starting an argument or asking her why she is not talking you. She wants you to worry and ask her if you did something wrong or if you hurt her feelings. She wants you to raise your voice.  She wants to provoke any kind of emotional reaction (NS).

Do not do anything of those things, do not show her you are upset, do not ask her anything about the ST at all. Carry on as usual, as if you do not care about the ST. Say hello to her as usual and if she does not respond, do not say anything, do not show any emotions.
If she sees she cannot make you react and get NS, she will stop the ST and switch to being nice and pleasant to you again to get positive NS.

Questioning the Silence  - FAQs re the Narcissistís use of ST by H G Tudor
https://narcsite.com/2017/07/11/questioning-the-silence-faqs-re-the-narcissists-use-of-silence-treatment/


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Malini

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 11:03:39 AM »
Desert pine,
That sounds awful. I had a boss like this and I finally handed in my notice. Is there any way you can give up the lease when it is over, it doesn't sound as if you can trust this person to be a pleasant colleague in the long term. The silent treatment is a horrible punishment and is supposed to make us feel shameful.

I would ignore her as much as you can. I wouldn't try and engage with her. Shut your door on the hallway and put your head down and focus on the job. You're not going to change her. If silent treatment is her only response to the issue you raised, it doesn't look hopeful that you can resolve your differences. A clear indicator is that this the second time she's doing it  in a couple of months.

Take care.
"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky

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desertpine

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 11:33:11 AM »
Thank you - what is NS?

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NoVoice357

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 01:28:21 PM »
NS = Narcissistic Supply, also called Fuel

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desertpine

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 08:25:43 PM »
Ah yes - thank you for explaining the NS! That makes sense.

After doing some journaling this morning, I am feeling better. I was able to feel the pain and begin to grieve the loss of who I thought she was and the relationship I hoped we could have. I realized that part of my reaction is that I had a similar experience with a boyfriend 15 years ago - initially he was charming and then he became controlling. But it took me a while to recognize what was happening - I was blind to his PD behavior just like I was to my colleague's - until a lightbulb moment and the pieces all fell together.
  At work today I began to feel amused by how hard she works to ignore me. I nearly walked into her and let out a brief yelp because it surprised me. She totally avoided any recognition that we nearly walked into each other - kept her head down and walked briskly down the hall. Reminded me of a horse with blinders on or a petulant child.  My heart still pounds a bit but at least I'm finding some amusement in how hard she is working to pretend I don't exist.

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NoVoice357

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 06:23:39 AM »
Desertpine,

I attract the same kind of people.:aaauuugh:  PD women seem to be friendly, pleasant, calm and compassionate when we first meet them. They pretend to be good listeners too (Actually, they are looking for information, our weaknesses...). We cannot see anything wrong with them. Then they become controlling, judgemental and passive-aggressive (ST and so on). Red flags begin to show.   :stars:

Ö and let out a brief yelp because it surprised me.

A brief yelp (emotional reaction) is NS. I would have reacted in a similar way. You can see that it is not possible to be in direct physical contact with PDs and to stop giving them NS. We can reduce it but we will never be able to stop it completely because of our body language including microexpressions.
As long as we feed the PD with NS, they will not go somewhere else to get it. NC is the only solution.

There is a helpful article by H G Tudor about how to reduce giving fuel (NS) to the PD when total NC is not possible. It was published yesterday. I find it very interesting when the author writes about body language and fuel (NS). Hope this helps.

How To Reduce Giving Fuel To The Narcissist
https://narcsite.com/2018/04/04/how-to-reduce-giving-fuel-to-the-narcissist/

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desertpine

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2018, 11:17:33 AM »
Thank you for the link. I hadnít considered how that Yelp was fuel for her. I think Iíve been trying to create openings and opportunities to at least make eye contact. I thought Iíd be stooping to her level by avoiding her like she avoids me, or treating her the same way she is treating me. I can see though that I need to focus more on protecting my energy by resisting the urge to create opportunities to connect. I guess thatís part of grieving and fully accepting the truth that our relationship canít be repaired. Itís so sad .  :'(

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Salsera

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2018, 06:40:05 PM »
Thank you for the link. I hadnít considered how that Yelp was fuel for her. I think Iíve been trying to create openings and opportunities to at least make eye contact. I thought Iíd be stooping to her level by avoiding her like she avoids me, or treating her the same way she is treating me. I can see though that I need to focus more on protecting my energy by resisting the urge to create opportunities to connect. I guess thatís part of grieving and fully accepting the truth that our relationship canít be repaired. Itís so sad .  :'(

I would start looking for new office space immediately.

I would run for the hills, as PD's behavior does not improve.  :rundog:

Why not send her an email detailing her abusive behavior, simply to be used later on, after you have left before the lease is up, to document the unbearable conditions and to prove that you shouldn't have to pay for the time left on the lease?
"Faith is taking the first step even when you donít see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Hazy111

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 07:17:05 PM »
I second what Salsera said.

I was once the victim of the silent treatment at a small office i worked in where i was a trainee. The woman had a modicum of power and l christened her the "queen bee". Everyone seemed to bow to her, or appeared to. I didnt know about Borderline or PD then. But looking back she was the classic "Queen"

I was new and was ultra helpful, i now know she saw this as a weakness to be exploited,  she saw me as an inferior.  There were numerous incidents that were off , a really belittling birthday card, various comments etc,  then i was given the silent  treatment for not making her "tea" one day.

 I mentioned this to a colleague and then i heard  it all, chapter and verse. Unsurprisingly i wasnt the first to get the treatment. Luckily i didnt have to stay once qualified. It would have been dreadful having to suck up to her just to get along. One person left because of her whilst i was there. Its just wearisome and childish. The boss was intimidated by her. She got away with a hell of a lot because no one was prepared to confront her. It was like the bully at school. She was having an affair of course which she barely concealed.

Any relationship, will be on "her terms", it wont be equal.

What others have said is right. They wont change. Leave when you can. Good luck

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desertpine

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 08:24:41 PM »
I found a new office space and signed a lease. I'm really excited! I sent an email to my colleague and the landlord that I will be leaving. The colleague has continued with the silent treatment and I've been successful with avoiding interactions with her. It does feel better to do that.
I had my attorney review the lease and I don't have any legal grounds in breaking the lease. So I'll take the hit and pay - it would not be worth my time and energy to fight that battle.  I also don't know if she'd try to be vindictive and I'll need her cooperation as I transition to a different office. I'll need her to work with me for things like letting me know if mail or packages were delivered.

I agree with her being exploitative  of my generosity and helpfulness. I've seen how she exploits people with soft boundaries and that she gives gifts in order to secure someone's loyalty. 

I have 3 months left in my current office and I wonder how long the silent treatment will last. I think it will last at least a month. And I expect at some point she'll write a lengthy, dramatic letter. That's been her MO with other people she had a falling out with in the past.


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NoVoice357

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2018, 07:10:45 AM »
She will not cooperate. She will open your mail and packages to gather information about you. She will keep them or throw it away. She will never tell you about it. She will deny everything or deflect.
I think three months is enough to arrange for your mail and packages to be delivered elsewhere like a post office. You can rent a P.O. box. Change your email account and telephone numbers and send notifications to all your clients. I would start now that you are in the transition period.

Do not tell her anything about your new contact details and about your plans. She will probably start a smear campaign and will try to sabotage your plans, if she can, so avoid giving her any kind of information.   Let her use your old email account to contact you when you are gone.

Good luck!

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Hazy111

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 09:08:16 PM »
 :yeahthat:


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Salsera

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2018, 10:30:06 PM »
She will not cooperate. She will open your mail and packages to gather information about you. She will keep them or throw it away. She will never tell you about it. She will deny everything or deflect.
I think three months is enough to arrange for your mail and packages to be delivered elsewhere like a post office. You can rent a P.O. box. Change your email account and telephone numbers and send notifications to all your clients. I would start now that you are in the transition period.

Do not tell her anything about your new contact details and about your plans. She will probably start a smear campaign and will try to sabotage your plans, if she can, so avoid giving her any kind of information.   Let her use your old email account to contact you when you are gone.

Good luck!
:yeahthat:
My advice - zip it and stay away from her. If she speaks to you, do not give any answers. She will do whatever it is that she's going to do no matter what. You do not have to be nice to her.

Glad to hear you are moving on!
"Faith is taking the first step even when you donít see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Wilderhearts

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2018, 08:32:18 PM »
Desertpine, you should be really proud of yourself for prioritizing your safety and wellbeing, and recognizing that those things are worth buying your way out of your lease.  That sends a strong message, although at the same time your actions are focused on you and your needs, and have nothing to do with getting a reaction from her. :applause:


I attract the same kind of people.:aaauuugh:  PD women seem to be friendly, pleasant, calm and compassionate when we first meet them. They pretend to be good listeners too (Actually, they are looking for information, our weaknesses...). We cannot see anything wrong with them. Then they become controlling, judgemental and passive-aggressive (ST and so on). Red flags begin to show.   :stars:

Holy smokes, yes!!!  The charm of female PDs looks so different than the charm of male PDs.  I think you hit the nail on the head with the "listening" - I recognized this later on with an uOCPD when I found she was only interested in asking questions about personal, sensitive things that I really felt she just wanted to judge me for, or like she needed to know in order to keep tabs on me and know where I was, what I was going to be doing.  It was never the normal "how was your day" or "doing anything fun for the weekend"?  It shook me up that I couldn't spot her PD flags right away, then my friend helped me realize I normally spot PD males.  So, how do we differentiate these PD women from just friendly women so we don't keep getting sucked into engaging with them?

Also I recognize that this is a bit of a tangent to the original post, even if it's related. If that's against ootf forum etiquette I apologize!

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desertpine

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2018, 08:46:53 PM »
Thank you all for your kind words. Sure enough, a month has passed and we are not speaking, not making eye contact. Two months to go and then I'll be in my own new space. I'm even considering leaving sooner - 2 more months sounds of this may be more stress than I want to endure.

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NoVoice357

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2018, 09:40:02 AM »
The charm of female PDs looks so different than the charm of male PDs.  I think you hit the nail on the head with the "listening" - I recognized this later on with an uOCPD when I found she was only interested in asking questions about personal, sensitive things that I really felt she just wanted to judge me for, or like she needed to know in order to keep tabs on me and know where I was, what I was going to be doing.  It was never the normal "how was your day" or "doing anything fun for the weekend"?  It shook me up that I couldn't spot her PD flags right away, then my friend helped me realize I normally spot PD males.  So, how do we differentiate these PD women from just friendly women so we don't keep getting sucked into engaging with them?

Wilderhearts,

I have just read your post. Like you, I can spot male PDs quite easily but I cannot do it with female PDs until it is too late. I am glad that you are interested in this topic too. Unfortunately, there is very little information as to how female PDs ensnare their victims when it comes to friendships. Only once did I find some kind of report about it but it was quite vague.  I made my own list. I hope other OOTF members are interested in it too and they can give some feedback.
Shall we open a new thread to avoid hijacking this one?


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desertpine

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2018, 08:21:08 PM »
I agree on a new thread about spotting NPD in women but I wonder if it really is about men vs women, or different shades and intensities of the PD symptoms. Maybe it's like cancer in that  there are different types. Or maybe it's a combination of both the gender and type of NPD that can make a difference.
Anyway - let's start a new thread about it.

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elly87

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2018, 06:45:46 PM »
good for you for moving on with a new office space! I can totally empathize as I have been on a roller coaster ride with a female PD coworker of mine and have now gotten off, but am receiving the silent treatment as a result. She will not even respond to my good morning greetings. It really validated my understanding of her PD because functional people don't behave that way, especially not in a professional setting! It makes me thankful that I am finally free of her and while it's a bit odd, I've been building polite friendships(not too close) with others at work so that's more than enough socializing here for me!   I hope your new space helps you achieve some peace!

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desertpine

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Re: The Silent Treatment
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2018, 11:05:14 AM »
Thank you! Itís good to hear the support. In talking with my T I realized Iíve been trying to take responsibility for what isnít mine. Like maybe I am really insensitive and did something awful to deserve the silent treatment for weeks at a time. But my T helped to keep me grounded- nothing I did deserves this treatment. I did not harm her or her loved ones, do anything criminal or threatening. I set boundaries and maintained them. I may have pushed the line by calling her a workaholic and anxious but that does not mean I deserve to be treated like this. It isnít normal for an adult to do this - itís more normal for a toddler or young child but not a 70 year old professional psychologist. Boom- my T woke me up with that! I gotta learn and remember Itís not my fault.