What Happens When You Ignore a Narcissist?

The need for constant acceptance, a demanding ego, and toxic and victimizing behavior. Do you know how to separate yourself from the kind of behavior of the typical narcissist?
What Happens When You Ignore a Narcissist?

Last update: 19 December, 2021

There are many reasons why someone may want to be the center of attention. It might be for a certain achievement or skill or even for their new hairstyle. However, it’s also true that some people simply need the acceptance of others. This is the case with narcissists. Therefore, we ask the question, what happens when you ignore a narcissist?

Narcissistic people have an inordinate sense of their own importance. They need the admiration of others and don’t like feeling that anyone is superior to them. They also have difficulty empathizing with others.

In this article, we’ll talk about what happens when you ignore a narcissist. They’re people who are extremely difficult to deal with, particularly if you don’t pay attention to them.

Traits of narcissistic people

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), states that narcissistic people possess a series of very clear characteristics. For example, a dominating pattern of greatness, an overriding need for admiration, and a profound lack of empathy.

To become the center of attention, narcissists adopt different strategies. One of them is usually seduction. This isn’t a romantic form of seduction, but a way of cajoling those around them in order to satisfy their egos.

Due to the greatness they attribute to themselves, narcissists claim to be the best at everything. In fact, if they feel that someone is better than them, they tend to look down on that person. In some cases, they may even humiliate them

These toxic traits often demonstrate the true personality of the narcissist. That’s why many around them try to get away from them.

Silhouette of a narcissistic boy

What happens when you ignore a narcissist?

It’s normal that, at some point in a relationship with a narcissist, you’ll be forced to reject or ignore them. However, this is a process that can present all kinds of complications. Mainly because the narcissist feels really frustrated when they’re not accepted by those around them.

Narcissists believe that to be a part of their life is a privilege for which you should be grateful. This is due to the extremely superior image they have of themselves. That’s why they simply can’t believe that a friend, family member, or partner could ever reject them.

As a matter of fact, narcissists have the need to project an immaculate image. However, when you don’t play their game, you expose their fragility.

These types of thoughts and feelings can lead the narcissist to behave aggressively. Their ego is damaged and they unleash their anger in order to show that they’re better than you, the person who’s disrupted their life.

The narcissist will exhibit obsessive behavior toward you when you ignore them. However, they’ll make others believe that it was they who ended the relationship.

This is due to the superior image they have of themselves compared to others. As a matter of fact, a narcissistic person can’t bear for the rest of the world to find out that they’ve been rejected, as they consider it to be a humiliation.

Man covering his face with a mask

Things not to do with a narcissist

However, there are also more risks in dealing with narcissistic people. They’re complex personalities who can create toxic situations in your relational circles. For this reason, we want to give you a few tips for dealing with these types of people:

  • Don’t feed their ego. As you know, narcissists need constant acceptance. That’s why it’s important that you don’t participate in feeding their ego. They’ll demand compliments and gestures of approval, but you shouldn’t give them tools with which to manipulate you.

  • You don’t have to justify yourself. On many occasions, a narcissist will use sarcasm or pose compromising questions to make you feel bad about your decisions. However, you don’t have to justify your decisions or feelings. In fact, the more you do it, the more risk you run that they’ll take advantage of you or make you doubt yourself.

  • Don’t relativize their behavior. When one of your friends is a narcissist, you tend to relativize their behavior. This is perfectly understandable as that person is your friend. Nevertheless, you should never justify their toxic and complacent attitudes, as they can easily turn against you.

  • Don’t expect them to take responsibility. Narcissistic people are characterized by holding those around them responsible for their own problems. They believe they’re never the cause of their own misfortunes. That’s why, when you have something to reproach them for, don’t expect them to take responsibility for their actions.

  • Don’t expect them to empathize. After all, one of the most unique traits of narcissists is that they have a profound lack of empathy. Therefore, when it comes to meeting the needs of others, they don’t, as they prefer to attend to their own problems.

As you can see, dealing with these types of people can be difficult; especially when they feel you’ve upset them. That’s why you must always take into account the toxic attitudes that you might witness when you ignore a narcissist.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2002). Manual Diagnóstico y Estadístico de los Trastornos Mentales DSM-V. Barcelona: Masson.) pp 669-672
  • Peris, L. (2016). Patología Dual en Trastornos de Personalidad. Barcelona: EdikaMed. Recuperado de http://www.edikamedformacion. com/cursos/22/pdf/personalidad. pdf.
  • Villa, Elena. “Psicopatología”. Universidad Jaume I. Castellón.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.