When They Act Like 'It Didn't Happen'

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#1 Mar 29 - 2PM
Anonymous (not verified)
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When They Act Like 'It Didn't Happen'

Acting Like It Didn't Happen
by Kathy Krajco

Acting like it didn't happen, and getting you to act like it didn't happen, is the most diabolical dirty trick in the narcissist's bag of dirty tricks.

If you don't, she will accuse you of "dredging up the past," which is a sin, you know, because you must "forgive and forget."

Even though the offender doesn't admit what she did. Let alone that it was wrong.

Neither does the offender show remorse. What for? since she neither admits that she did it nor that it was wrong. And if she isn't contrite, why should she refrain from doing it again?

Amend the damage he did? What damage? It didn't happen. Hey, even if he ruined your professional career by calumniating you all over town to paint a perfect picture of himself and call it you, he isn't required to repair any damage.

Does the offender offer you assurances that he will never do it again? Hah! Why SHOULD he?

Look again: She hasn't been required to admit what she did, let alone that anything she did was wrong. She isn't sorry/contrite. Quite the contrary: today she is happy as a lark, as though her rage yesterday relieved a bad case of constipation. She incurred no liability, so she pays no price (YOU pay the price for what she did) and isn't held accountable to make amends and repair the damages. So, why should the offender offer any guarantees that she won't do it again? Do WHAT again?

Bottom line: she did nothing wrong = she has every right to do it again. By forgiving the unforgivable, you gave her a carte blanche to.

And before holier-than-thous start regurgitating pious slogans and scripture at me, I challenge them to consult their own theologians on this matter. For, they agree with me 100%.

Notice what's missing there. All the elements of a thing called "repentance." It isn't strictly a religious term: it is just as essential in a secular context. Without repentance on the part of the offender, there can be no reconciliation between the offender and offendee. A state of war/hostilities still exists, because the attacker attacked, and without assurances to the contrary, PRESUMABLY will attack again.

Hence the existing state of hostility.

What? You must treat someone you know is going to attack you as a friend? We TRUST friends. We must trust an enemy? You must tolerate an enemy in your home? You must be vulnerable to an enemy by allowing her into a close enough relationship with you so that she can get personal information about you? You must let her within arm's reach? You must let this predator near your children? Let's get real!

You are nuts if you don't keep that threat at bay and far away from you, deterring her by threatening hostile action in return if she ever crosses the line.

That's not only the only sane thing to do, it's in accordance with Natural Law, and it's your human right to self defense and self preservation and the pursuit of happiness.

Which just goes to show why honesty is the best policy, as the saying goes. By acting as if it didn't happen, you are acting out a lie. It DID happen. And you are not only lying about that, you are lying about the very nature of your relationship with the narcissist: you are portraying it as a friendly relationship when it is a hostile one, a predatory one in which you are the prey.

No sheep is stupid enough to associate with a wolf as though a state of peace exists between them, so why are people pressured to associate with a narcissistic abuser as though a state of peace exists between them? That's not only stupid and crazy, it's a lie in deed.

Why lie?

A forthright enemy, adversary, or opponent is respectable. A treacherous one = one who acts out a charade of being on friendly terms with you, is contemptible human sludge. This is the con artist, the snake in the grass, the parasite, the traitor = the malignant narcissist = the scum of the earth.

But Wait -- It's a Catch-22

Yes, though you MUST resist and refuse to act as though it didn't happen, you CAN'T. For, as I pointed out in my previous post, it's a Catch-22. Why? Because a narcissist FORCES you behave as she wants you to. To do this, she exploits the decency, goodwill, and humanity in you to FORCE you to act as if it didn't happen.

Time and time and time again. A thousand times, she erases yesterday's assault on you by forcing you act today as though it didn't happen.

How? By simply throwing a temper tantrum if you don't.

That's it. No brilliant grand strategy -- nothing but the old temper-tantrum tactic of a three-year old.

And it works. Because narcissists are three-year-olds and are relentless. They are weird people who don't mind fighting all the time. In fact, they enjoy fighting and therefore PICK fights. Fighting is a release for all that pent up rage inside.

Thus they bludgeon you into acting like it didn't happen by just throwing a fit if you don't. They NEVER quit insisting that you act out their charade for them. If you refuse to act like it didn't happen, they punish you by abusing you even worse. That's nothing but negative reinforcement, like we train a dog with. If you contradict their lies, they just repeat them one billion times to have the last word. They NEVER quit, because Narcissists are from Pluto and LIKE fighting: it's an opportunity for them to land blows on you.

They NEVER tire of it. To the contrary, they THRIVE on it. The narcissist is a three-year-old spoiled brat who will erupt into a temper tantrum the moment you depart from her script and fail to act like it didn't happen. That's the stick she herds you with.

She has a lifetime of practice at these temper tantrums. Like a three-year-old, she deliberately makes her temper tantrum as obnoxious as possible, so that you can't stand the sight and sound of it. She makes faces, becoming an obnoxious, loud, irrational, raging, ogre. To keep you from making a point, she emits a wall of Nimrod-ean nonsense to bounce everything you say right back in your face. To keep you from getting in a word edgewise, she emits a blast of noise to drown out your voice and shout you down. To revise history, she repeats her lie about yesterday one billion times if necessary, like a three-year-old, to get the last word. All these devices have but one end: to block your every attempt to communicate with her in order to REASON with her.

She thus behaves so repulsively during one of her fits that you will do ANYTHING to avoid being assaulted with the sights and sounds of one -- especially that wide-open maw of hers.

So, what are you going to do? Fight all the time? Fight every single day for the rest of your life? Or give in and let the brat have her way? We eventually do give in and just "act like it didn't happen" to have some peace. Why? Because, like every spoiled brat, she can carry on for an hour, whereas you are outraged and silenced in less than a minute. Because you can't bring yourself to stoop to such undignified behavior. Because YOU have some self respect. She doesn't.

So, what are you going to do? Fight all the time or give in and act like it didn't happen?

I don't know. All I know is that there is no such thing as peaceful co-existence with someone suffering from NPD. (Exception, another narcissist can get along with one. But that is a marriage of convenience between two people who fear each other, scorpions who form a mutual non-aggression pact.)

Some people have apparently managed to occupy a household with a narcissist by separating within it = by drawing the battle lines within it. Lines the narcissist dare not cross. They force her to leave them alone by showing that they have teeth and claws too, and won't hesitate to use them on her.

That may be the best choice in some cases. But, when at all possible, a better life is life free of the burden of the parasitic narcissist. She is a disease. It's better to cure a disease by getting rid of it than to merely control it. So, when possible, the solution is to kick the narcissist out of your life.

Don't feel guilty about this. In fact, this is the only thing you can do that MIGHT help her. It might bring on a narcissistic crisis and thus force her to face facts and seek psychiatric care.

But then again, it might not.

On the other hand, ENABLING the narcissist will surely lead to her only getting worse, never facing facts, and never seeking psychiatric care.

So, it's better to take a chance on action that might do the narcissist some good -- even if it's a long shot -- than to continue enabling her and thus ensure her doom.

HE is responsible for what he is, not you. You can't fix him. In fact, as prey, you are the LAST people in the world who can have any good influence on him. That takes professionals, strangers, people he cannot hurt.

All you should feel morally obligated to do is nothing that encourages her to get worse. In other words, all you should feel morally obligated to do is to stop enabling her.

The rest is out of your hands.


Oct 27 - 10PM
Amazed's picture

Wow, that is so eloquent, and I completely relate

Get this, My N completely denied that we had a 3 1/2 year relationship. Denied we had a 3 1/2 year relationship! He lied to keep his woman he was living with (her role was to provide a place for him to live) put the blame all on me 'oh she is lying to you' and acted like nothing ever happened. After 3 years, when I broke it off and exposed him, he had no emotional contact with me, and acted like it never, ever happened. Just like that. He was 'building a life with me' 'Envisioned me in white' Wanted to travel to Hawaii and drive the coast on our honeymoon. All this emotional,,'deep' emotional exchange. After he was exposed, not a peep. Acted like it never happend. Talk about f'ed up!! A normal break up is much much different than a pathological. wow,,talk about no validation.. no validation of yourself as a person. They are so off perspective. I hear, and relate to your rant. If you stayed calm during their tantrum as you have suggested, kudos to you. Their outbursts are like try outs for broadway. Next.
Oct 27 - 5PM
time_to_move_on's picture

mine used to...

physically shove me around, probably around 4 occasions (this is separate to his threat to kill me which even he couldn't really justify, though he did try by saying "everyone has fights, look at so and so"). I tried to reason with him at a later date and say, "I really don't like it when you push me". He'd look confused and say "I used to push other girlfriends". I'd say, "it scares me". Him, "But I don't hit you". And that was him being "nice" as he was trying to get back with me, usually it would be "well you once hit me across the back, you're just as bad" and so on. argh.
Oct 27 - 7AM
Ellen's picture

Is this like

Hi Is this like everytime he left - i don't remember why but it would be a surprise anyway. I think often it was about money or he would say i was controlling. He would walk out about every two months and stay away for a couple of nights. He would then return and we wouldn't really talk about it. One time leading right up to xmas he went and then after two days he phoned and said i'm in Sainsbury's shall i bring up a turkey (lol what is it with foul and narcs, must be their foul play). He came back with the xmas dinner and we carried on. So i am as much at fault here cos i never talked either. I don't know why didn't now cos it seems weird for him to leave and come back like nothing happened. He would leap from the car and run around for an hour or more sometimes. Then he would get over it and carry on. I wonder if he will have stopped that with the OW cos she probably won't be as challenging as i was. When he pushed me and my son back in January he didn't talk about it with my son or me even. I reckon he has been fighting this aggressive side to him all the time and i never knew. Thats crazy behaviour isn't it. It must be something bad to jump out of a car and run backwards and forwards for a few hours.
Oct 27 - 7AM (Reply to #26)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


That's INSANE behavior. The only 'emotion' they ever 'feel' is aggression: http://www.lisaescott.com/forum/2009/03/24/wolves-sheeps-clothing exNH always jumped out of the car when no one agreed with him. A couple months ago I gave him a lift. When the kids didn't agree with him he started ranting and jumped out of the car. I kept driving. Didn't even stop to check on him this time. Why bother? make no mistake... they are SICK! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Pathologicals only discard the best, most precious of gems of people... not the worst. They despise the strong, principled, decent & honest. Their discarding of you is then their highest commendation of your worth!" - A.V.
Oct 27 - 10PM (Reply to #27)
Amazed's picture

Thank you for this post Barbara

After reading the first paragraph, I am stunned. The covert aggression stuff, so powerful. Thank you.
Sep 14 - 5PM
tasha's picture

never happened

things like- 'dont know what your talkin about woman' or 'stop bringing up the past-i can't even remember back then' or 'your making things up as you go-i did'nt do that' or 'when?you only remember what you want to remember' or 'why don't you just get over it' My ex husband said anything NOT to acknowlege his wrong doings. It's like he had his version of events and I had mine-and mine was 'made up'.
Sep 14 - 12PM
ruby tinker (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

follow up

I have been looking into NPD for quite a bit of time now. I didn't understand what was happening. What I don't get is why everyone around the N goes along with what they are doing and never says anything? Sweeps it under the carpet.
Sep 14 - 4PM (Reply to #23)
dolce (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


I always spoke up for myself. I am a strong woman and had learned from my past not to take a mans crap. But you know what? It didnt matter. When dealing with my N NOTHING mattered!
Sep 14 - 1PM (Reply to #22)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


because of the Ns brainwashing or they are clueless because the N seems normal ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
Sep 12 - 10PM
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


see top post! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
Aug 10 - 10PM
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

when the Narc acts like it 'didn't happen'

SEE TOP POST ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Articles & information for abuse victims - Updated Daily Online Coaching for Victims of Narcissists/ Psychopaths
Jun 8 - 6PM
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

grossot - bumped this up for you

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Free articles & information for abuse victims: http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com Effective Coaching for Victims of Pathologicals http://one2one4victims.webs.com/
Mar 29 - 3PM
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


Passive-Aggressive behavior was removed from the DSMV a few years ago and incorporated under NPD as an element of NPD behavior. "I refuse to discuss this". Means: It's not part of my reality - so, NEXT! ~~~~~~~~~~~ "Pathologicals only discard the best, the most precious of gems of people... not the worst. They keep fellow abusers, gossips & enabling lackeys close. They despise the principled & honest. Their discarding of you is then their highest commendation!" - A. Valerious
Mar 29 - 3PM
cassiemay's picture

it didn't happen

Very well stated. I would add that another ploy used is not to throw a tantrum, but simply be passive-aggressive. No responses whatsoever to your issues or concerns or needs. It doesn't look or sound so nasty as a tantrum yet is just as effective. They are "above" it all and thus refuse to address it. They punish you by withdrawing any attention whatsoever. They leave the room. They say "I refuse to discuss this". They ignore you and leave you feeling crazy. Not only are you stuck with no resolution to your feelings or thoughts, but you are clearly inferior because you seem to "need" it so much. YOU are the crazy one here and YOU are the one acting crazy. One of my husband's favorite things to say was "I just want a peaceful home." What he meant: Don't rock the boat in anyway or you are wrong and creating a disturbance in My otherwise completely sane and normal life.
Oct 27 - 8PM (Reply to #16)
AnotherPath's picture

agree totally. My exN would

agree totally. My exN would say " with due respect, I'm bored now but thanks for the input`' He'd walk off go up stair to his best friend "the internet`' and masturbate.

Ending the dance

Sep 5 - 4PM (Reply to #10)
Rose-Marie (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

"I just want a peaceful home"

This remark hit home: "I just want a peaceful home" very similar comment to one of the last nasty things N2 said to me "you will be okay as long as you toe the line!" Different comment - same meaning. Amazing. Hope he has found someone else willing to toe his line and do as he says, but I wouldn't bet on it. Rosy
Oct 5 - 8AM (Reply to #11)
Ellen's picture

peace my ass

When my ex left he said 'i just want peace' it left me thinking that it was something we were doing so there wasn't peace in our home. Funny it seems quite peaceful now he's gone.
Oct 5 - 1PM (Reply to #12)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


'wanting peace' - means LET ME PREY ON OTHERS AND DON'T EXPOSE ME! Psycho-Boy told everyone I was "harming his beloved wife because I was jealous and obsessed with him" Wife believed him. Puhleeze these guys are pathetic. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Pathologicals only discard the best, most precious of gems of people... not the worst. They despise the strong, principled, decent & honest. Their discarding of you is then their highest commendation of your worth!" - A.V.
Oct 5 - 2PM (Reply to #13)
Ellen's picture

really well that fits

No way, my ex said that around the time that he left. I didn't know it would mean let me prey on others though cos i had no idea about all of this then. So maybe he knew i'd figured it cos i used to say 'how long will you last this time then, normally 6-7 weeks before a fit so you must be due one. (I had noticed a pattern). He also said well if you and a pyschologist can't figure it out (about him) then noone could.. He must've known about himself.
Oct 27 - 8PM (Reply to #15)
AnotherPath's picture

Oh he's so above a

Oh he's so above a psychologist , they're so beneath him, he can fool them he's so intelligent he knows so much about psychology how dare they even think they come close to his level, he's so above it in the game....... blah blah...... he's actually so deformed is the truth. Why waste the time on someone who doesn't even want to "see" who he really is, a low life full of rage, envious, self-loathing, depressed, delusional failure masturbator, misogynist

Ending the dance

Oct 5 - 2PM (Reply to #14)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


either he knew about himself or he realized he was a predator and didn't care or he felt completely superior to the psychologist (many of them do) are you still in therapy? ~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Pathologicals only discard the best, most precious of gems of people... not the worst. They despise the strong, principled, decent & honest. Their discarding of you is then their highest commendation of your worth!" - A.V.
Jun 9 - 12AM (Reply to #8)
Suzie (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

I didn't know this was happening to other people

I never knew that this type of abuse went on in other houses. The name calling, the physical abuse yes. I knew that was commen but the withdrawing and the switching it on to me I thought was oringinal. Mine would also add in" I have nothing to talk to you about until you have something intelligant to say". What a pig. Leah
Jun 9 - 9AM (Reply to #9)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


the horrible facts are this happens to THOUSANDS - yes THOUSANDS of men & women across North America EVERY SINGLE DAY. Many are too brainwashed, embarrassed or both to talk about it. A GREAT book for you to read Leah would be WHY DOES HE DO THAT? by Lundy Bancroft. here's an excerpt: http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com/2006/08/from-why-does-he-do-that-inside-minds.html Here's the CYCLE OF ABUSE: http://www.heart-2-heart.ca/women/page5.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Effective Coaching for Victims of Pathologicals http://one2one4victims.webs.com/
Mar 30 - 7AM (Reply to #2)
Mariline's picture

In fact, it is completely

In fact, it is completely true. Your ex keeps texting you on your mobile and I ask for explanations? No answer, no explanation, simply a rage and my self thrown at my home and silence for days. You treat badly my son, as my 7 yrs old was happily playing a game at the TV but you had to see the sport program so you just switched the game off and sat on the sofa to see your program....without a word. Was he worth an explanation? No, of course....after all he was just MY son. And when I went away for this, just told me "F@@@ o@@" ( the top pf bon ton). And millions, millions of episodes like these. Not a word of excuse, not an explanation. Never. OMG. how could I handle all that? OMG how lucky I am to be RID of him!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember: Safe People are people who draw you closer to who you were meant to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. They encourage you to be your most loving, growing self. (Emotional Abusers- Heartless Bitches International)
Sep 5 - 4PM (Reply to #3)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

when the Narc acts like 'it never happened'

SEE TOP POST ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
Oct 5 - 7AM (Reply to #4)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

narcs love to act like "it never happened"

SEE TOP POST ~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Pathologicals only discard the best, most precious of gems of people... not the worst. They despise the strong, principled, decent & honest. Their discarding of you is then their highest commendation of your worth!" - A.V.
Oct 27 - 1PM (Reply to #5)
itreallyisabouthim's picture

This was a totally

This was a totally crazy-making aspect of dealing with my N. It still is. I sent him an e-mail outlining his horrific acts in front of and regarding the children last week. Told him I wanted no conversation at exchanges, everything via e-mail or text. How does he respond? Promises the kids we're doing something together as a family at the end of our last visit. Called me repeatedly, apparently thinking I'd be excited (?!?!?) about his idea. Talked to me directly about it at the exchange. When I tried to get away as soon as possible and said "no" to his crazy idea, he called my family and friends to try to figure out why I'm so upset with him. It's like nothing in the past (as in just last week) happened or matters. It's all about what he wants today. It is mind-numbing.
Oct 27 - 7PM (Reply to #6)
itreallyisabouthim's picture

Ew, barf. The "I just want

Ew, barf. The "I just want a peaceful home" comment. My N would say such things. He would also get disgusted with me when I brought up my opinions or preferences, saying in a really condescending tone, "We have two beautiful daughters, we live in a beautiful place, we are healthy (completely ignoring that he was slowly destroying mine)". Like all of that meant that I was not allowed to say anything about anything. I was intruding into "his" reality and he did not appreciate it. Now be a lamb and go sit over there and take care of our beautiful children...
Oct 27 - 10PM (Reply to #7)
Hoping2Heal (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

All so common. Mine has said

All so common. Mine has said of only i would have minded we'd still be together. I make him feel like a failure if I'm having a bad day. Still dont know how MY day makes HIm feel that way, but whatever. If i texted him and he wouldnt reply I'd ask why and he'd say it wasnt worth responding to. Since we split he contacts me and I respond, BUT most of the time if I contact him...SILENT TREATMENT. That was my usual form of punishment if I or one of MY kids "hurt" his feelings. He was such a sensitive man, you know? Ha! And regarding the silent treatment he KNOWS i hate that worse than anything I think thats why he does it so much now. Starting to feel a little anger....hooray! FINALLY.....