When you go no contact with a narcissist.
The first step to breaking free and recovering from narcissistic abuse. Once you are out safely is no contact. It’s not always possible to do no contact. If you can, this is the best thing you can do. If not, it’s grey rock. Yet, so many people do get a little stuck in the no contact stage. Whether it’s due to the need for closure, self-esteem issues, the trauma bond, a need to seek revenge, not being able to let go, allowing the narcissist to contact you by not blocking them, or you find ways to contact them. You are far from alone. This, however, will only keep you trapped in the endless cycle of misery and pain that comes with a toxic relationship. Yes, it takes practice. It is a learning curve. Some people do get it straight away. For others, it takes time. Start with telling yourself after you’ve achieved one day of no contact. You will reward yourself, whatever that reward is for you, to keep you on track, then think of something to reward yourself after seven days, again after fourteen days, then after one month, and keep your mind focused on that reward or that treat, whatever it is for you. You’re not allowed it if you break no Contact, then keep going until your mind can see that life without the narcissist is much more peaceful, joyful and happy. As humans, most of us are incredibly creative in our ability to deny the negative consequences of our own actions and choices. No, you did not deserve the Abuse, no one deserves the Abuse, and with the added toxic words from the narcissists gaslighting, projection, blame-shifting and other manipulation methods, our minds end up with so many different confusing stories. So if we give ourselves a positive reward, it helps us through this no contact step.
So what is no contact?
What no contact isn’t, and what hoover manipulation moves might the narcissist try after no contact?
Sometimes going no contact isn’t the hard part. It’s the guilt we feel, if it’s the other parent to our children, a friend, ex-partner, our own parents or siblings, as we care for and build a bond, we can feel a large amount of guilt, depending on what extent you’ve been through, some can just feel anger and resentment, or we can work through both, these are both normal emotions after a narcissistic relationship.
Most often, we deceive ourselves into thinking that if we just reach out, if we just try to explain our point of view, if we can just get them to understand, it will not have any negative consequences in any serious way if we break no contact, just once, just to see, Sometimes life just seems far too painful without them, as they’ve downplayed their abuse and shifted the blame onto you, so we have that self-doubt and question ourselves, so we go for that quick fix of gaining relief believing the narcissist will help or wanting answers from them. It can be very hard to resist. In the case of a toxic relationship, most of us become so addicted to those crazy cycles we’ve fallen into with the narcissist, due to the human needs being met in negative ways and the trauma bond, that we find any excuse we can to let them back into our life so we can experience temporary relief from the pain we are feeling.
The worst thing about excuses is within our own minds; they are incredibly valid.
Because of the six human needs being met in negative ways and the trauma bonding, we are weaning ourselves off a drug from all those highs and lows the narcissist puts us through. But just as the alcoholic who gives in and takes that one drink will likely end up going straight out on a bender, then having to start over, often when the narcissist comes for the hoover, you end up taking them back. It takes an average of seven attempts for people to get out and stay out of these kinds of relationships, so if you stayed out on the first or the twenty-first, you’re not alone. If you haven’t yet, you can. You will just do so safely. Although the narcissistic personality disorder is on a spectrum, those with little to no empathy can be dangerous. Some are mentally abusive. Some are mentally and physically, so make a safe exit plan.
If you have already tried no contact or grey rock and broken it, you might already know all too well that we are the ones who pay the price for breaking No Contact. Our only hope for true recovery and freedom is by taking those baby steps each. Every day, riding out the storms of the times we want to reach out, the times we want to defend ourselves to the mass smear campaigns and those feelings of withdrawal and the cravings most of us do have at the start for contact with the narcissist that you may well have early on in the process. The steps to losing the narcissist and indeed withdrawing from them are the same as quitting any other addictive substance. Your addiction and the thoughts and feelings it produces in you are nothing to be ashamed of at all. You are far from alone in how you feel. Yet it is something you need to, and you will overcome. We have a remarkable ability within ourselves to alter our own mindsets and recreate ourselves, and you have a greater chance of doing so by sticking to no contact or grey rock. So you can lift the brain fog and the toxic spell they put us under, to day by day, start seeing clearly and thinking clearly for ourselves while starting then using your present to focus on creating a much happier future for yourself.
What is and how to implement no contact.
No Contact is no Contact with someone. There is a number of specific things you need to do when it comes to no contact with a narcissist to make sure that it’s genuinely no contact. Most of us do slip up at first, as it is Unnatural to most. It’s a learning curve, so please don’t worry if you have or do. Just go again.
1. Blocking them from your mobile phone. Some phones no longer allow the complete blocking of numbers. Do not listen to any voicemails left by the narcissist, as tempting as this may be. Save them in case you need to them for a possible harassment/stalking, non-molestation or restraining orders. Some phone plans allow you to call your service provider and block numbers through them using a password. Let a friend or family member handle the password so that you won’t have the ability to unblock the narcissist’s number. Sometimes you might have to take the step just to get a new number and let all your contacts know, don’t tell those who you suspect might inform the narcissist of your new number. This method has proven highly successful for many people who had problems maintaining No Contact and unblocking the narcissist from their phones during moments of weakness. Again please don’t worry if you’ve had those moments. It’s ok, just like learning anything. Keep going until you succeed.
2. Blocking the narcissist from your email accounts. If you feel the need to explain what you are doing, then send them a final email immediately before blocking them. I would recommend not explaining, but some of us find it easier to do so. Don’t look for a reply because doing so will only lead to more crazy-making. Don’t talk yourself into thinking you can negotiate with them. All you’ll ever get in return is blame-shifting, project and all the other forms of psychological manipulation that you’ve been subjected to so many times before.
3. Blocking them from all of your social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Snapchat, Facetime, youtube, Pinterest, TikTok, eBay, LinkedIn￼ etc. Make a complete list of all the networks you use and remove them from all of them, and some narcissists have been known to contact through eBay and YouTube. So if you can not block, close the accounts, and open new ones, yes, it’s annoying, but short term pain for long term gain. Many of us have a hard time hitting the unfriend button on the narcissist on our social media networks and then hitting delete and block. This is usually due to two things. First, most of us believe it’s cruel. If you find yourself with this thought, write down all those times you’ve needed them and they were not there for you. You’d do well to recognise the fact that, for all the sympathy you may show the narcissist, they are plotting ways to get to you. Some will use social media to show you their replacement of you and how well they are apparently treating them.
Another reason that you may find it’s hard to block the narcissist from your social networks is because you might not feel ready, or you may not be fully prepared to completely and permanently remove them from your life. NO CONTACT can feel like a death. Only they are still alive. In many ways, it is like one, the person you thought they were, the dreams you were sold and were never delivered. You have to remove negative and toxic people from your life for your own sanity. Remember that the person you loved and who is now gone from your life was really just an illusion, anyway. Start creating new dreams for yourself and focusing on making those a reality as you can. You’re in charge of your mind and your life. Now is the time to take back control of you.
4. Do not answer the door if they come over, as the abusive narcissist will often do just that when they have no other way or means of contacting you. But don’t be fooled by them, do not open the door. It only shows the narcissist that they are still inside your head, which is all they really want. We can often feel and think that ignoring them is being unkind and cruel. Nevertheless, if you open the door, they will be validated in their idea that you are inferior and easy to fool and that they genuinely are superior and can do as they please. Ignore those feelings and remember just how baldly they’ve treated you and let you down, not been there for you when you truly needed them, that they do it to cause you psychological pain. You are doing it to remove that pain from your life. If they are persistent and continue knocking on your door, walk away from it, go to a far room. Call the police. This can be challenging to do, but it’s hard for police to gain enough evidence to charge these people, so building up that record of their games helps you in the future. You are taking a stand. All they want is power and control, so those who persist don’t think they are doing it because they love or care. They are doing it either because they want to use you for something or realise they are losing control of you.
5. Not responding to any of the narcissist’s friends or family that they send your way in order to give you information from the narcissist or in order to provide the narcissist with information about you. You will most likely have to block and delete their family, friends and mutual friends. Only have one trusted friend that you share your struggles with. You will need to inform everyone else who tries to initiate a conversation with you regarding the narcissist that you are moving on and prefer not to talk about the situation. Or if someone tells you something that the narcissist has said, respond with. “Oh, this is very interesting. Please tell me what I did next.” If you have mutual friends, you might have to leave them with the narcissist. The only other thing is not to inform them of anything about you, or if you believe the narcissist is getting information from someone you know, tell those you think it might be a different story and then wait to see which one the narcissist finds out about, their your flying monkey, no contact them, yes that’s hard, but remember they are telling things about you to others. People who don’t respect you are not needed in your life. Joining support groups can help you connect with others who understand what you’ve been through.
6. Any letters that arrive from them to you give them to a good friend or relative to open and let them see if it’s a legal matter or just another of the narcissist’s attempts at hoovering. If you are being harassed, give them to the police. Any that arrive for them, simply put return to sender and back into the post box. not opening any cards, boxes or packages that they might have delivered to your home or work. If you are at home when the delivery person arrives, determine if it’s something from the narcissist and, if so, refuse the delivery. If you aren’t home and the item is left at your door, give it to a trusted friend or neighbour without opening it. If you think it may have evidence, give it to the police. Or mark as a return to sender and take to sorting office.
7. Do not accept any new friend requests on social networks, as these are often online surveillance cameras for the narcissists, especially if it’s a new profile with no picture. The new friend request could either be the narcissist themselves or one of their flying monkeys sent to monitor your Facebook activity. You may find that ignoring friend requests is rude or mean, but you’ll want to let go of this. Now is the time to protect yourself and do what’s right and best for you. You have every right to your privacy and peaceful and happy life. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept the request.
No contact is not.
1. Ignoring and blocking for a few days in the hopes they’ll see your point of view and take on board your thoughts and feelings, in the hope that they have a personality transplant and genuinely love and care for you. They have a disorder. It’s who they are. It did not start with you. It will not end with you. When they are repeatedly cruel, hurtful and destructive, then play nice. They play nice because they want something from you, not because they have changed. Those mistakes they keep making are who they are. They don’t want to, nor will they change. Real change is changed behaviour which they can not do permanently as they don’t believe they are the problem, as they are lacking in those cognitive reflection skills.
2. leaving it open for them to contact you, and you just decide if you want to react or not. You need to block and delete everything.
3. leaving them on your social media to show them how happy your new life is or unblocking them.
4. giving their friends or family information about you or what’s happening, hoping they’ll talk sense to the narcissist. Even if they believed you over them, they would not be able to talk sense into a narcissist.
Games they might try after no contact.
Some ways, a narcissist might try to suck you back into what seems like their never-ending games, yet these games can end with you when you stop playing and start living for yourself, and why no contact is vital.
Unwittingly during the relationship, the narcissist learned all they needed to about you, they know all your weaknesses and your insecurities, and they’re going to use each and everyone against you now to bring you down. They remember your emotional triggers, your pain and your fears, and they will use them against you.
When a narcissist wants you back or wants revenge, they will throw all they can at you. You’ve gone into your new life wise and strong you no longer want them. You know you need to heal from trauma bonding, CPTSD, anxiety, and you’re working so hard to do so. Then come to the messages. Even when blocked, some narcissist still find a way to contact you.
When they come at you, if they start nice, you might think back to. “If only I’d have done this or not that.” start telling yourself No ifs, No Buts. They are toxic.
You might still be weaning yourself off them like the comedown from a highly addictive drug. The more games they throw, the more your mind gets stuck in the past with them. Do they miss me? To what are they going to do next?
If you’ve broken up before and tried to stay free, you might notice they have a pattern of tantrums they go around. The more you go no contact and don’t respond, the more some will escalate. Once they have tried them all, they might circle back to the start.
Some are lazy and will leave you alone for the most part, and some will have plenty of other sources and just go all out to hurt you. It all depends on the narcissist you were tangled up with.
Some will play the waiting game, as most often, throughout the relationship, the narcissist will have manipulated you through the silent treatment. As they feel entitled and above all others, they will have learned that you are the one to give in, reach out and fix things, so most will wait it out. Narcissists do hate being ignored, though, so if they’ve not got someone else feeding them attention, they might try these sooner rather than later. Some can be years down the line.
A narcissist feeds on attention, excitement, drama and control,
Ways they get to you.
1. Opening a conversation up, They might send you a message about a memory of a great time you had together, to bring up the good, to pull on your heartstrings, with an “I miss you, we were good together” and the rest, you do your best not to respond. They will up it to the fact they have never felt this way about anyone before. Now part of you might be pleased that the shoe is finally on the other foot, yet it also confuses you and makes you start to believe perhaps they do care, yet still, you do not respond. They might keep going, and at some point, you could respond with a simple “we are over.” Or give an explanation as you’re feeling bad, not responding, then the narcissist has what they wanted. Contact. You might then get more pity plays off. “I can not live without you.” “You said you’d always love me.” “I need you and want us back together.” This potentially can open your heart more, and you might respond more in-depth, giving away the fact you did love them, but they’ve hurt you so much, the narcissist will love this. Now they will try to open up a full conversation with you, and you’ve been sucked straight back into the vortex of doom and gloom.
If memory doesn’t work, they might go for the pity play, and some will even fake illnesses within themselves or the children. They might try jealousy. They will try and try until they find something that gets your attention.
Write down the abuse and the bad things that happened to you within the relationship. Every time you start to doubt yourself and think of responding, look at it and remember just how manipulative they are. If you break no contact or begin to respond, just stop responding and start no contact again. Don’t focus on the slip-up; focus on you will succeed this time.
2. Announce they ended the relationship. You will have most likely spit up a few times in the past. If this time was your choice to end it, you might notice that the narcissist is telling people it was them to leave you and how crazy you are. Facebook status is changing, people telling you things they are saying, and it can hurt, yet more lies. Your abandonment issues might kick in.
Stop and refocus, don’t go trying to make your point. You know the truth. We don’t need to be tit for tat on who Finished with who. Yes, it knocks out that sense of pride and ego that you finally made it out, but all you need to focus on is the main fact that you are out, what others think or believe is not for you, know your own truth. And focus on the fact that you are now free, don’t get drawn into the battle of who ended with who. Focus on you’re out.
3. The emergency. They might come to you with a crisis again, pulling your empathy of wanting to help people. They might claim to have an illness, knowing you’ll want to help and feel bad for not doing so.
Remember, first. This is possibly a complete lie. Second, if it’s true, you can not help them, you’ve tried too many times before, and it will only ever hurt you. They’ll get help if they need it. Ask yourself. How many times has that person truly helped me with good intentions? Work on you and leave them to it, do not get drawn into the games. When a narcissist promises to change, they will change just long enough to suck you back in, and then once you are back in, they will punish you for making them seek therapy as, in their minds, it’s all your fault. They do not change, only their lies, their manipulation or their partner, never themselves.
4. Abuse by proxy, damage property, smearing your name, having flying monkeys or enablers come at you, dragging you through the court, changing passwords on your social media, hurting those you love, threats, financial abuse again through courts or stealing from you, stalking you, hurting you and trying to destroy you any way they can. They want to punish you for walking free. Also, as they project and believe in their reality that what they did to you, you did to them, they want revenge. If you’ve had to take the children no contact because they are not safe around the narcissist, the narcissist will blame you to all others, and if you do not let them pick children up when it suits and ignore children when it suits, they will blame you as to why they don’t have them. They are never accountable or responsible. To them, the faults within themselves and their lives are always someone else fault. They want your attention and a lot enjoy the court system as they can be the star of the show and remind themselves that they still exist to you.
If it’s court and the clown wants to drag you to the circus, prepare and learn to become the ringmaster, focus on the outcome you need and get as much support and backing as you can, get rest and take care of yourself. Pull away when you get drawn in, heal any wounds, look at your true reality and beliefs, look for the opportunities, for example, if it’s divorce, focus on what is rightfully yours and stand firm, children if you had a belief that children should always see the other parent, focus on the fact that’s only the case if the other parent is safe, look for the positives on how well the children are doing without them, how the children anxiety and attachment is healing, look at it as the last bit of the puzzle and finally getting closure, they are not looking for compromise they are looking to win, write the outcome you want and go all out to get it. If they are smearing your name, leave them to it, focus on you, don’t get drawn into the battle. The truth will come out far quicker. Write down any triggers and heal them within.
5. The new relationship. Most narcissists move on fast with a new person, often making sure you know. Some will even move in with someone close to where you live. If they believe they are losing control over you, they’ll have a backup or three waiting. They will go all out to flaunt this to you, to try and cause your pain and trauma, they will be looking like the happiest loved up a couple you ever met, to leave you questioning what was wrong with me? Where’s my dream gone? What’s so special about them? Might they move them into your home? Playing happy families with your children?
Don’t try to get into a new relationship fast yourself; it will only hurt you more. Don’t try to warn the news. They are being sold the dream they’ll not listen to you, if they come to you when it becomes their nightmare you can help, other than that stay out of it, you need to heal you, so outside situations no longer affect you on the inside. Cry it out, scream it out, know the narcissist is only doing to them what they did to you and work on loving who you are.
6. Leaving belongings behind or keeping yours as a way of staying in touch with you.
If they are yours, try to get someone else to get them, if at all possible let them go and move on, if it’s theirs, return them, remove from your home and give them back, leave at their home and take a photo and send, or deliver to a friend of theirs.
7. Making contact about random things, asking about unimportant random things.
Ignore ignore ignore.
8. Claiming they will change. They might promise change, offer a long deep conversation and offer to see councillors, work on their issues, get themselves help and want your support, they are pulling you in on your empathy towards others. It can be hard to resist as it goes against your nature.
Don’t fall for their manipulation and lies. You need to heal yourself. Remember how many other times they’ve promised a change only to cause you more pain. Focus on the fact you can not help them. You’ve tried so many times just to get further hurt if they want to go get help. It’s none of your business. Leave them to it and focus on helping yourself.
It did not start with you, and it will not end with you.
9. They might get with your new partners’ ex to play games, especially if you all have children.
Try to avoid them finding out about your new life in the first place. If they do this, then there will be a storm you have to ride out until the narcissist gets fed up and leaves them for someone new.
Get a good support network in place, people who understand what you’ve been through, get reality checks from good people if you are struggling to give them yourself.
If you can ignore all attempts for communication if the children still see them, limited contact and are incredibly dull.
Unfollow on social media. They will post things to trigger you.
Be careful about mutual friends, it’s hard, but you might need to remove some from your life.
Stick with no contact, stick to observe, don’t absorb if you can not go no contact, go grey rock, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so. Keep working on who you are, creating new routines and new dreams for you.
The two sides to a narcissist after no contact.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Anger and resentment.
How to leave.
Why they always think they are right.
Why the can not compromise.