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Responding to a Narcissist’s Silent Treatment

Responding to a Narcissist’s Silent Treatment

Turn the Game Around and Play it Better

Have you ever found yourself being ignored by someone and you have no idea why? A narcissist will deliberately ignore their target in order to cause harm, often encouraging others to do the same (Ostracism).

What have you, the target done to deserve being ignored?

More than likely nothing of any significance. A narcissist will react to any perceived slight, real or imagined with any punishment that they deem fits your crime, the silent treatment being a favourite in their arsenal.

We all have an inherent need to belong. To be shut out especially by those we love, is debilitating even to the strongest of people. By being ignored or ostracised, we are left feeling worthless with our self-esteem at an all-time low.

The narcissist will express their disapproval by shutting down, withdrawing any love or affection, refusing to communicate and denying their target any explanation. Why?

Avoidance, control, disempowerment and / or punishment, punishment for some perceived slight that their target is completely unaware of. They know how they are making the other person feel but in their sick and twisted mind, they believe that somehow they deserve it. Their emotional maturity is typical of a five year old child who sulks and storms off until they get what they want.

(Don’t confuse the silent treatment with no contact which is a process undertaken to protect ourselves, to give us time to heal and recover, not to punish or hurt anyone).

How does a narcissist expect you to react?

A narcissist wants the target of their abuse, and be in no doubt their silence is abuse, to reach out, plead and beg for their very existence to be recognised. Responding in such a way will give the narcissist their much needed narcissistic supply. The narcissist will read all your texts and emails and will get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from them. Oh, how it makes them feel important! It is perfectly normal, for a target of this form of abuse, to reach out in an attempt to resolve the situation. Your phone calls will likely go to voicemail, your texts or emails will be ignored. All your attempts at communication will be met with a deafening silence.

This passive aggressive behaviour is usually a repetitive form of emotional abuse which the narcissist will practice time and time again with each episode of silence often lasting a little longer than the one before. This is intentional manipulation which conditions the target for future mind control.

What these people do not anticipate is your knowledge of their twisted mind games. They don’t expect you to know how to play these mind games better than they can. Instead of crawling back to them, let them crawl back into whatever hole they have created for themselves and give them a taste of their own medicine.

How do you play a narcissist and play better?

Don’t give them their desired result. Don’t beg and plead to be recognised. Let their silence teach you something. Let this deadly silence teach you that you can carry on without them. Use this period of silence as a time to re-evaluate your position. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out what you’ve done wrong. I know you want answers but don’t chase them for any. They know that by not getting an answer from them, you will likely start blaming yourself. You’ll apologise when you’ve no idea what you’re apologising for and try to do everything right this time, until the next time. Don’t play into their hands.

If a narcissist sees that they are not getting their desired response, this particular period of silence is likely to come to an end. However, bear in mind that if a narcissist believes this particular form of manipulation isn’t effective as far as you are concerned, they may switch to some other manipulative tactic.

Respect yourself enough to know that someone who loves you would never treat you in such a contemptuous manner. People who love you don’t withhold love, they give it. People who love you have your back. They don’t stab you in it.

When someone gives you the silent treatment, return the favour, walk away, close the door and lock it behind you.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is available on Amazon

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What is emotional Abuse?

What is emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse may be referred to as psychological violence or mental abuse, which involves subjecting someone to behaviour which may result in psychological distress or trauma such as chronic depression, stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotional abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse, sometimes even more so. How do you know if you are being emotionally abused? The answer is in the way a person makes you feel as a result of their behaviour. If someone controls your life, puts you down and creates feelings of low self-worth, you are being abused. If someone is stopping you from being yourself, expressing yourself or isolating you from your friends and family, you are being emotionally abused.

Examples of emotional abuse include:

• Aggressive behaviour towards you.

• Controlling behaviour.

• Criticism.

• Making you feel bad about yourself.

• Isolating you from friends and family.

• Name calling.

• Being made to feel guilty.

• Giving you the silent treatment.

• Financial abuse.

The aim of an emotional abuser is to gradually chip away at your self-esteem and independence so that, in time, you become a shell of your former self. Eventually, you may feel trapped with no way out of the relationship. You may feel that you can’t manage without this abusive person in your life. You can, and you will with the correct help and support.

Written by
Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What to expect if you decide to stay with a narcissist

What to expect if you decide to stay with a narcissist

Some people feel for one reason or another that they will remain with their abusive partner, parent or other family member. Despite overwhelming advice that leaving an abusive personality is the best thing one can possibly do for oneself in order to enjoy a normal peaceful life, some find that they cannot walk away. I have been in touch with so many people over the years who have stayed with an abusive partner for maybe thirty or forty years, clinging to the hope that somehow this person will change for the better. Their hopes and dreams were shattered when time revealed there was no improvement in behaviour. Sadly the only changes they witnessed were that the behaviour got considerably worse as they aged.

The best advice that I could give anyone is to create as much distance as you can between you and a toxic individual. Do not engage with them on any level.

Don’t stay with a narcissist because you feel obligated to do so. It is not selfish to think about yourself, it is absolutely necessary.

For those brave souls who wish to remain in close proximity with a narcissistic personality be prepared for the challenges that you will inevitably face as you share your life with these individuals. Keep your expectations low and be prepared for a rough ride.

By all means, set your boundaries but rest assured, the narcissist will disregard them and cross those lines time and time again.

Give up the idea of living your life on your terms. Familiarise yourself with the term, ‘double standards’. There will be a set of standards you will be expected to live by. However, these standards will not apply to them. You will be expected to live your life as the narcissist sees fit and abide by their rules. You will lose your individuality as you strive to achieve the impossible… i.e. making them happy. As most of us know, we are responsible for our own happiness. We cannot rely on others to do that for us. However, a narcissist doesn’t see things that way. They need your endless attention and admiration so that they can feel some semblance of contentment for short periods of time. The narcissist will get bored relatively quickly and you will find that you are not doing enough to ensure that these snippets of contentment last for long.

Invest in thick soled shoes or boots to protect your feet from sharp edges as you constantly walk on eggshells, tip toeing round this person so you don’t upset them with a casual glance, remark or dare I say, disagreement.

Lose yourself as you serve your master or mistress. Your friends will disappear as after all, you cannot be loyal to two masters so they’re not really going to have a place in your life any more. No doubt, you’ll be told what bad people they are so you’re really much better off without them. Your isolation will ensure that you have no one to turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on.

Let go of any idea that your thoughts, needs and wishes will be respected. Your emotional well-being is not of their concern. They will never feel your pain as you struggle to make sense of the hurt they cause you as a result of their cruel words and actions. You are more than likely just being too sensitive.

Grow accustomed to their anger and absorb their rage and expect to bear the brunt of these uncontrollable episodes.

Learn to forgive them their misdemeanours over and over again but don’t expect them to forgive yours.

As your life slips by, try not to dwell on the past, on the ‘what ifs’ or the ‘ could have beens’. Try not to think of how much better life would have been if you had walked away all those years ago. It was your decision to stay with someone who will never appreciate the sacrifices you made for them.

Written by Anne McCrea


Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

Amazon UK

Amazon US



Maybe it’s a holiday you have been planning for some time and the narcissist knows just how much you have been looking forward to the break. Maybe it’s a reunion for your closest friends or a special birthday party. Whatever the occasion, the narcissist will do their utmost to make sure that it doesn’t turn out to be as special as you had hoped. They want you to share in their own misery.

They don’t like to see others happy unless of course, they are the cause of such happiness. Happiness seems so alien to them. Why should you experience joy when they rarely feel fulfilled? Why should they have to put up with being in the company of your friends or family? They are simply jealous of your close friends or the close relationship you have with members of your own family. They know that they haven’t and never will have that close bond with anyone. If the celebration is a birthday party or graduation celebration, they don’t want someone else receiving all the attention that should be directed towards them. Perhaps if they look dejected, everyone will feel sorry for them and turn their attention where it belongs. The narcissist will do anything in their power to sabotage the occasion.

As your holiday fast approaches, don’t be surprised if the narcissist picks a fight with you, and cancels the holiday at the last minute. They may have just found your replacement. Should you find yourself on holiday with a toxic person, and you are doing your best to make the most of your time, they are going to hate to see you enjoying life. They will go all out to ensure that the holiday will go downhill from there on. They will make a condescending remark just to dampen your spirits, or provoke an argument, basically anything to bring your mood down to a similar level as their own.

Whilst on holiday, you may be directing all your attention on making sure the kids have fun. Isn’t that what normal parents do? Don’t forget this person is far from normal. They want your attention, so they may resort to huffing and bad behaviour to get it. Any attention is better than none.

You want the narcissist to enjoy the holiday or special event, so you try your very best to draw them out of their mood, but no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work. You feel like they are making you suffer for your efforts to make them smile and be happy. It is like they see you as an enemy, and certainly treat you like one. Only a sick and twisted individual would get some sort of pleasure from ruining holidays and other important events.

What can you do to avoid the narcissist spoiling special events?

Remember that if you are having a good day the narcissist will do anything to spoil it. They want to make the day memorable for all the wrong reasons. Don’t give them the opportunity. Let them be miserable, let them drown in their pool of negativity and self-pity. Carry on and leave them to it. Enjoy yourself and let them be. If they happen to come off with some disparaging remark, just respond with something like, ‘Fascinating,’ or ‘Interesting,’ and go and do your own thing and above all, enjoy the occasion.

Now that Christmas time is upon us, there is of course the chance that the narcissist will do all in their power to make it a memorable one. They may decide not to show up. Great! There will be more for everyone else. If however, they decide to grace you with their presence, there just may be a silver lining. If things don’t go to plan, the turkey is overcooked and the narcissist is so busy doing everything in their box of tricks to be the centre of attention, who is ever going to notice if the turkey isn’t perfect?

Written by Anne McCrea


Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.


Stop Blaming Yourself

Stop Blaming Yourself

How many of us have blamed ourselves for staying too long? Many of us saw red flags at the very beginning but what did we do? Yes, I would take a wild guess and say that most of us ignored them. It wasn’t because we were stupid for not realising how toxic someone was. Manipulative people have played this game before.

‘Stop blaming yourself for taking too long to see just how toxic someone is. As the saying goes, “You can’t blame yourself for not knowing something before you learned it.” Sometimes we are blinded by what we don’t want to see. These people are good at what they do. They are masters of manipulation, lying and shifting blame and placing it where it does not belong. They simply took advantage of your kind heart.’

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you had known then, what you know now, you probably wouldn’t have put up with their noxious behaviour as long as you did. I know that I would have kicked a certain someone to the kerb in the early stages, had I have had the knowledge that I have now. There have been times when I looked back and questioned my sanity. Why did I put up with his bad behaviour time and time again? I was a strong person before I met him. How could I have loved someone who put others down constantly? (If not to their face, then certainly behind their back). I certainly saw red flags but I ignored them hoping for change that would never come.

One of the first red flags occurred when we were on holiday in Gran Canaria. We had gone for dinner in the hotel’s rather dimly lit restaurant. The waiter came over to our table and asked us if we had chosen a bottle of wine from the wine list. In the dim light of the restaurant, I couldn’t make out the writing on the list and handed the menu to him saying that I couldn’t read it. He shouted across the table, “Just pick a f—— wine.” Somehow I lost my appetite and got up from the table and left.

On a city break in Krakow, we were again in a restaurant having dinner when my mother phoned me. My father had dementia at the time and was confused with his finances. My partner became annoyed that I had accepted the phone call and showed his anger in the restaurant before walking out. Needless to say, this was rather embarrassing in front of other diners. I subsequently paid for the meal and walked outside. “Thanks for f—— nothing was his response.” He didn’t speak to me for the remainder of the holiday.

I believe if my horses were not at his yard at the time, I would never have had any contact with him again. As time passed, he managed to work his way into my good books again and behaved himself for a while!

I was subjected to the silent treatment time and time again for some perceived slight. His son who obviously hadn’t a mind of his own would join in these pathetic little mind games.

I can say now without doubt that I facilitated this dysfunctional relationship. I should have nipped it in the bud long before I did, in the very early days, but instead I stayed with this toxic individual hoping that he would change and stop behaving like a spoiled five year old brat. He never did but I got wiser. I learned about narcissism, toxic behaviour and the unlikelihood that these people will ever change. I put on my hiking boots, started walking and never looked back.

Did it hurt? Hell, yes, at the time and for some time after.  Do I regret not leaving sooner? I believe that if I had walked away much sooner, the hurt would not have run so deep but then, I may never have studied the subject of NPD which led to the Facebook page, website and now my book, Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering The Illusion. I believe that something good has come out of this difficult period in my life, so for those reasons, I can’t honestly say that I have regrets.

This man who I knew for many years and went out with for six, is a part of my past. He showed me the kind of person who I do not want to be. He is the sort of man who places value on the material things in life at the cost of his personal relationships. Happiness will elude him because he will always want more and nothing and nobody will ever be enough. I count myself lucky that I eventually found the wisdom to know the sort of man he was, is and always will be. I know that I am a stronger person now, maybe stronger than I was before I met him. Some of life’s lessons are tough. Life is never easy but for each and every struggle we overcome, we know that we handled it, we handled it all and we’re still here to prove it.

We can’t blame ourselves for not realising that some people are inherently evil. People with kind hearts simply believe that there is good in everyone and forgive too many times hoping that these toxic individuals will eventually see how they treat others and mend their ways. Sadly, this doesn’t happen very often. So forgive yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong. The only one who needs forgiveness is the person who hurt you time and time again without a second thought. Whether you decide to forgive them or not is entirely up to you. I personally, do not believe that I need to forgive someone who is not sorry for their behaviour. I don’t feel bitter, just indifferent.

Remember, you placed your trust in someone who didn’t deserve one second of your time. You gave your love to someone who will never understand what that word means let alone feel what it’s like to really love someone. That’s their problem. Their dysfunction is not your burden to carry.

Written by Anne McCrea

(From Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon)

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Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse: Shattering The Illusion

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse: Shattering The Illusion

Extract from Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse: Shattering the Illusion

(Available now on Amazon)

In an ideal world, we would live and interact with kind, considerate folk who have our best interests at heart.  Sadly, that is a far cry from the world we live in today.  There appears to be an increase in people who are simply out for themselves, people who are controlling and demanding, people who put their needs before those of anyone else, and people who refuse to play by society’s rules.  They trample on anyone on their way to the top.  There are those who need constant attention and admiration, who will put others down to elevate themselves, those who will cause unimaginable pain to those closest to them and show zero empathy, shame or remorse.  This world is full of people who will lie, who will destroy someone’s reputation, because in their twisted minds, they believe somehow that they deserve it.

Unfortunately, many of these people fly under the radar, hiding their true colours behind a false identity, a false self. To the outside world they appear charismatic and charming, but behind closed doors, they are hostile, manipulative and exploitive. These individuals may appear normal, but they are con artists and master manipulators, who are often believed by those around them.  This type of personality frequently displays an air of grandiosity and arrogance, but behind the false exterior there often lies a vulnerability and such a very fragile ego, an ego that is so very easily dented. If you are the one guilty of a ‘crime’, as they see it, you will pay and pay very dearly.  Nothing will ever be their fault.  No matter what goes wrong in their lives, they will never self-reflect and admit to the possibility that they may be to blame.

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Being Alone Doesn’t Always Mean You’re Lonely

Being Alone Doesn’t Always Mean You’re Lonely

Being alone has a power that very few people can handle.’
Steve Aitcheson

‘People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true.  Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.’
Kim Culbertson

In the course of my work on the Facebook page and website I have found that many people who have been subjected to abuse prefer to be alone for much of the time.  They are fed up with a world full of people who are all out for themselves with no regard for how their behaviour or words affects those around them.   People who are happy with their own company are not necessarily anti-social.  They simply choose to be alone rather than subject themselves to fake people and back stabbers.

‘There’s a difference between loneliness and being alone.’

‘If you make friends with yourself, you will never be alone.’
Maxwell Maltz

When you have been deeply hurt by someone, you often find that you distance yourself from people in order to protect yourself.  If you don’t let people get too close, they can’t cause the same type of pain that you’ve experienced in the past.  It’s a form of self-preservation.  Although these people may be described by some as loners, they are just quite content in their own company.  Unlike a narcissist who can’t abide being alone due to the lack of narcissistic supply, these people don’t need others in order to make their lives complete.  They don’t need to be in the spotlight.   These strong individuals can survive and thrive alone or with a small, tight knit circle of friends and / or relatives. 

To become a part of their inner circle is not an easy accomplishment.  They tend to be very selective when it comes to letting people get close.  Due to their learning experience from their past, they often develop solid, strong boundaries.  They’re not going to let just anybody become a part of that circle until they’ve been vetted!  If you are lucky enough to find yourself accepted into their inner circle, you’ve probably found one of the most trustworthy, solid, loyal friends that you’ll ever find.  These people are the rare gems of humanity that sadly, one doesn’t come across too often nowadays.

They’ve gained knowledge and wisdom from the rough paths that they have travelled.  They have had their struggles but survived each and every stone that life threw at them and they became stronger as a result.  They understand life’s problems because they’ve been there.  They’ll be your rock when you need someone to lean on.  Just don’t betray them.  They can spot a fake a mile off.  That’s a road well-travelled and they’re not going down that route again.  Once they’re done, they’re done and so, my friend, are you.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

No Contact

No Contact

When all else fails, sometimes the only option for a target of abuse is to cut all contact with a toxic person. If someone is bringing more unhappiness into your life than they are pleasure, this may be your last resort. I appreciate that this is not possible for everyone, for example when you have children with a toxic personality. In this case, your best option may be to impose limited contact where all interactions are kept to an absolute minimum and in writing when and where possible.

No contact is quite simply a set of rules that you impose on yourself to help you and aid recovery. These rules are NOT put in place with the intention of hurting anyone. The only one who suffers if you break those rules is yourself. Going no contact with an abusive personality is giving you the best possible opportunity to recover from abuse.

What exactly will no contact entail?

  • Do not text.
  • Do not make or receive phone calls. (If they ring you from an unknown number, hang up when you hear their voice).
  • Do not respond to emails.
  • Block them on social media.
  • Avoid looking at photographs. (Looking at photographs will keep their memory alive in your mind. It is like opening a wound and not letting it knit together and heal. Close that photo album for the time being).
  • Do not snoop on Facebook or other social media. (You don’t need to know what they are doing or who they are doing it with).
  • Do not meet up.
  • If you pass them on the street, look the other way.
  • If they leave you an email, don’t read it.
  • Avoid going to places where you might run into them.
  • If you happen to work with them, keep to the rules when and where possible. Keep communication on a business level only.

Let the abusive personality know that you are severing contact and ask them not to contact you in any way. They may not respect your decision but the ball is in your court now. Show no emotion. You are in control. When a narcissist realises that you are now no longer under their control, they may eventually give up and stop trying to make contact with you.

Keep these rules in place for as long as you need to, until you are fully recovered or perhaps for all eternity. Some people have let their guard down only to find that breaking no contact has taken them right back to where they started. If there is absolutely no benefit to you for breaking no contact, why would you? The vast majority of toxic people are not going to see the light and change who they are. If you put your hand in the fire once and got burned, why would you do it again to see if it still hurts?

Above all, protect yourself and don’t let a toxic person back into your life to hurt you all over again. The past is a place of reference. Learn from it. Grow from it but don’t dwell on it. There is a reason some people should be regarded as an unpleasant memory. They have no part to play in your future.

Written by
Anne McCrea


Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

Amazon UK

Amazon US



(In a nutshell from a narcissist’s point of view)

When you first become entangled with me, you will always belong to me.  You become mine, my property, to do with as I see fit.  Your opinions, hopes and dreams are immaterial to me.  You need to stop thinking of yourself and put my needs above all else.  Give me all your time, attention and admiration or there will be hell to pay.  Your hell, not mine.

In the beginning you were the centre of my world.  Soon I will be the centre of yours.

You will learn to accept my version of the truth.  I will never be responsible when things go wrong, and believe me, they will.  It’s inevitable.  Don’t expect me to ever accept blame.  It will never be my fault.  I don’t make mistakes.  Instead I will shift the blame on to you each and every time.

I will manipulate you into thinking the way I do.  I will control your mind and your free will, so that you start to think that you no longer have a mind of your own.

You will become so confused that you start to doubt your own reality, your very sanity and the ability to trust yourself will be slowly eroded.

I know who is good for you and who is not.  If your friends and family are not on my team, you will be urged, manipulated and eventually forced into discarding them.  When you have isolated yourself from your friends and family, you will be completely at my mercy, having no one but me, to turn to for support.

I will read your mind.  I know what you are thinking even when you don’t know yourself.

I am above the law.  Normal rules apply to everyone else, not me.  What was once yours, now belongs to me.  What is mine, is mine.  If I want something I will have no qualms in taking it.  Borrowing is another word for permanent possession, mine.

I will control your happiness or lack thereof.  You will not be happy unless that happiness is brought about by me.  I will control your moods so that my shame becomes yours.

Do not set boundaries.  I will see those as barriers to be torn down and crossed and I will succeed.

Do not ever question me on where I am going or what I am doing.  You have no right to know.  Never criticize me for my behaviour.  My behaviour is always above reproach.  If you can’t accept that, then you have no place within my fold.

Whatever you do for me will never be enough.  You could have done more or have done better.  That’s just the way it is and will always be.  Don’t expect gratitude from me.  I will always be dissatisfied with your efforts.  When you see my dissatisfaction, you will try harder and harder to please me and do a better job next time.  I am pulling your strings and you don’t even know it.  To see your never ending struggle to please me amuses me for a time.  I deserve special treatment, you couldn’t rise to the challenge and failed to meet what was expected.

The goal posts never remain static.  They will be moved again and again to meet my   unreachable expectations.

I will continually put you down so that you are no reflection of who you once were.

If I move on or if you leave me, I will show you how insignificant you were to me, as I move on to someone else as if you never existed.

I reserve the right to come back to you when I see fit.  You will receive me with open arms as I come back into your life for a while.  Nothing in life is permanent.

If I lose control over you, I will control how other people see you.  I will let people know how you hurt me and they will believe me because I have already sowed the seeds.

Never cross me.  I will never forget and I will never forgive.  I will get my revenge.

I win, you lose.  That’s just the way it is.

Remember that you are nothing without me.  You need me.  I do not need you.

Remember that the narcissist needs somebody, anybody more than you do.  They cannot survive without their supply.  When you realize this, you’ll know that the only one being fooled is themselves.


Written  by Anne McCrea


Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion is now available on Amazon.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Narcissism / Mobbing in the Workplace

Narcissism / Mobbing in the Workplace

Narcissists don’t think that normal rules of decency and morality apply to them. They have no qualms in intimidating and harassing their employees or co-workers and making their lives miserable.  Taking credit for another’s work, blaming others for their own mistakes, outbursts of rage, jealousy when other workers are better or smarter than they are themselves, are all commonplace.

Narcissists pretend well.  They often appear to be charming and considerate but it’s the covert put downs and subtle digs that often go unnoticed by many.

If a narcissist is in a job that they cannot do very well, they will resent their co-workers who can do the job so much better and these feelings of ‘someone being able to do the job better,’ will give the narcissist a valid reason to target them.

The person being bullied may feel intimidated, offended and unjustifiably criticized. The workplace bully abuses their co-workers motivated by their own insecurities and selfishness. Their desire to succeed is foremost in their minds. In order to achieve their goal they will trample on anyone who they see as competition. Bullying in the workplace can take many different forms such as:

  • Discrediting someone’s reputation with lies and gossip.
  • Sabotaging a colleague’s work.
  • Isolation / ostracism.
  • Refusing to answer their telephone calls or emails.
  • Being regularly undermined.
  • Failure to provide the necessary information, equipment, tools for the task in hand.
  • Withholding important information such as deadlines, meetings and social gatherings.
  • Threats of job loss.
  • Being rude and talking down to colleagues.
  • Stealing and then accusing others of the theft.
  • Having your right to training or promotion denied.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Unfair treatment.
  • Reacts to criticism with denial and blame shifting.
  • Moves on to a new target once their present target has left.

Mobbing is an insidious form of psychological abuse committed by a group of people and has devastating consequences. Studies have proven that people in a group will behave in a manner that they would never do alone. Normal common decency is cast aside and someone who was once a valued member of a group, is shunned and ostracised. The person is excluded from work meetings, social events and their very presence is not recognised. They are often falsely accused of wrongdoings and find themselves the subject of gossip and slander. People find themselves being attacked by their co-workers, superiors and subordinates. Over a period of time, possibly weeks or months, this form of abuse will chip away at someone’s dignity and their self-respect. We have to remember that human nature dictates that we have an inherent need to belong. Although the scars left by this particular form of abuse are not visible, they are long lasting and more painful than physical wounds. Long term ostracism often results in alienation, low self-esteem, depression and physical illness. Shunning is an act of aggression which can have deadly consequences on the target. There will be those in the workplace setting who may not take an active role in bullying a target but they cannot shirk responsibility for their inaction. Their failure to take a stand, their lack of integrity and their inaction has enabled the abuse to continue. The longer their behaviour continues, the harder it is to bring it to an end. Suggestions for those who are being bullied or harassed:

If the problems cannot be sorted out informally talk to…

  1. Management
  2. Human Resources (HR) department
  3. Trade union representative

If harassment continues most countries provide legal action through employment tribunals. It is not advisable to turn to your abusers for their approval. Choose to be in the company of people with morals and integrity, people who have whatever it takes to stand up against the crowd, to stand up for honesty and human decency. Abuse is often directed at one specific target and may go unnoticed by management and colleagues. In some cases, management may be at the helm of the abuse in an effort to force the target to resign.

When things go wrong, don’t expect the narcissist to accept the blame.  It’s not going to happen.  It’s got to be someone else’s fault.  You may think because you are efficient at your job and have great results, that the narcissistic boss will be thankful.  They won’t.  It’s a reflection on them, you work for them and they trained you to do the job.  Your outstanding contribution will all be down to them so don’t waste your time trying to convince them otherwise.

Don’t be fooled into becoming ‘friends’ with the narcissistic boss or co-worker. Their view on friendship is totally different from a normal person’s understanding of what friendship really is.  If they are being friendly, it is because they want something from you.  If you are of no use to them, they don’t want your friendship.  Don’t go down that route.

The narcissist boss will obtain narcissistic supply by denying their workers their entitlements. Don’t expect them to abide by rules or regulations. Normal rules and regulations don’t apply to them. A good boss will have respect for their workers and should quickly notice if there is someone been bullied in the workplace.

Possible signs of bullying may include:

  • A drop in the standard of an employee’s work for no obvious reason.
  • Long term sick leave due to stress.
  • Employee seeking early retirement.
  • Succession of people leaving employment unexpectedly.

Some employers will not acknowledge that there is a problem in the workforce and fail to address it as they should, and may even try to conceal it. They should note that a happy workforce is a productive one and that failing to address bullying may have a profound effect on the business as a whole.

There’s a big difference between a firm hand and an iron fist. Employees can be motivated by being valued and encouraged rather than through fear. This is what separates the good boss from the bad.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering The Illusion is now available on Amazon.

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