What games to look out for when you go no contact?
Be it an ex-partner, friend, boss or parent, as the narcissist personality disorder is a disorder, and to be on the spectrum, they need at least five of the nine characteristics, meaning those on the disorder are motivated by very similar beliefs, thoughts and feelings. When we don’t have the awareness, knowledge or understanding, we just don’t know; however, when we do see. We can see just how predictable their behaviour is so that we can stay one step ahead of their games by no longer questioning their games, by stepping to one side and staying out of their games. Letting them live their life while we live ours.
Going with no contact is incredibly difficult at the start. As our emotions are running high, we might have trauma bonding. Our attachment system is open to them, our object consistency, and our human needs taking us back to painful places we are not meant to be.
Part of the disorder is a lack of empathy, so those moments when it seems like they just don’t care? They don’t, which is why they can come at us with hurtful twisted games; they feel entitled, so those moments when they’re doing all they can to get their own way are because they believe they are special. They are preoccupied with getting their own needs met, thinking they are entitled and deserving of special attention. They feel criticism when those around them don’t agree. Therefore they will exploit people to get their needs met. They will hurt people and sabotage people as they feel resentful and they hold a grudge.
Whether they discarded you or you ended the relationship with them. As a narcissist gaslights to distort our reality, they use fear, obligation or guilt to manipulate. All this causes that brain fog, so we can no longer think clearly. We blame ourselves and have emotional outbursts, full of self-doubt, questioning if we are enough, which is most understandable after being in this kind of relationship with the things they put us through. When we work through the painful past and start doing all the right things, no contact if we can, limited contact and grey rock if you can not, rising above, not reacting and only responding if needed, staying out of the arguments, observing not absorbing, working on you, turning inward and healing your wounds, working towards new dreams and new goals. You are trying your best to move on with your own life without toxic people bringing you down.
Yet when you finally break free, it seems like the relationship was the calm before the storm, when we get the courage and strength to break free, or when the pain of staying seems greater than the pain of leaving. We leave, and then all hell seems to break loose; it’s devastating and draining. The narcissist appears just to be coming at you with game after game, it can be exhausting and so challenging as they keep dragging you into the past or fearful of your future while you just worked all that out or trying to work it all out, and you wish to leave it all in the past and move on.
During the relationship, the narcissist learned all they needed to about you. They know all your weaknesses, your insecurities, and all your strengths, the things you care about the most. They’re going to use each and everyone against you now to try and bring you down. They remember your emotional triggers, your pain and your fears, and they will use them against you; why we have to do the inner work of healing these so they can no longer use them against us?
When a narcissist wants you back or wants revenge, they will throw all they can at you.
No one throws a bigger tantrum than a narcissist whose lost control of someone else mind.
When they come at you, if they start nice, you might think back to. “If only I had done this or if I hadn’t done that.” the toxic words they often gaslighted into our subconscious.
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.
A narcissist feeds on excitement, drama, and control.
Ways they get to you.
1. Announce they ended the relationship with you and get their flying monkeys or enablers to make sure you find out. 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. This might trigger any unhealed abandonment issues. Or that understandably, you want people to know the truth; you want to be heard and understood. It might cause your feelings of anger and resentment, which is normal.
How to handle.
Stop and refocus, know and own your own truth, and 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 can feel like it knocks out that sense of pride and ego that you finally made it out. Still, all you need to focus on is the main fact that you are out, be proud of that, be proud of yourself, 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.
2. Opening a conversation up, They might deposit some money into your bank, message through social media. 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 a “Do you remember when? I miss those times, do you?” and all the rest, when we do our best not to respond, some will then up the games. They might start with 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, caring that you might be hurting their feelings. When you do respond, the narcissist has what they wanted the 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 empathy and attachment more, and you might respond more in-depth, wanting to explain yourself, giving away the fact you did love them, that you care for others, and it’s ok to care. Just don’t let the wrong people know you do or take advantage of the fact you do. Once they have a response, the narcissist then has something to work from to pull on your heartstrings, your emotions, such as guilt, and use your empathy against you. 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, if they don’t get your attention, they might go after the things you care about the most, as these are the things you’ll most passionately defend.
How to handle.
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 answer, just stop responding and start no contact again. Don’t focus on the slip-up; focus on you will succeed this time.
3. The emergency. They might come to you with a crisis, pulling your empathy of wanting to help people; they might claim to have an illness knowing you’ll want to help and would feel guilty for not doing so.
How to handle.
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 offer that false apology, chase you, and 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. The smear campaign, possibly one of their most hideous games after no contact. Abuse by proxy, damaging 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, as they believe you’ve criticised their entitlement for having control over you. 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 the children up when it suits the narcissist and allow them to 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.
How to handle.
Don’t ask why me? What will they do next? They’re still controlling me. This keeps our minds locked in and our emotions running high, our lives in hypervigilance, with our anxiety running high, and yes, their games are hiddious. But we have the power to control our minds. It’s a learning curve. It takes time and work. Still, we can achieve this. They are doing these things because they’ve lost control and want to regain it. They want to keep dragging you into their drama to validate themselves. They’re doing this because they’ve lost control. By you dealing with each storm as it comes, you’re taking back control, and these storms will pass.
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 actual reality and beliefs, and 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 to look after them, look for the positives on how well the children are doing without them, how the children’s anxiety and attachment are 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, don’t play their game. They want you to defend yourself, so they can twist it and use you against you. Instead, give them nothing, focus on yourself, and don’t get drawn into the battle. The truth will out far quicker. If you have to scream and cry it out at the start, do so, and then you’ll not carry the pain with you; just don’t let the narcissist know. Write down any triggers and heal them within.
5. The new relationship. Most move on fast with a new person.
Nobody Falls in love faster than a narcissist who needs someone to live with.
Most often, a narcissist will jump straight into another relationship to prove to themselves they can make a relationship work until that one fails, to which they’ll blame the other person and move on to another. All too often, they make sure you know they’re with someone new, their need for attention, their need to show others that they are special, their need to dominate and be in control, to exploit others to get their needs met, 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? Some even move them into your home while your bed side is still warm. Playing happy families with your children?
How to handle.
Don’t try to get into a new relationship fast yourself; it will only hurt you more. Don’t try to warn the new, and they are being idealised, mirrored and sold the dream that you once were. 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 yourself 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. They feel entitled to swing by when they like to collect their stuff, and they feel entitled to keep yours.
How to disarm.
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 them at their home and take a photo and send them, or deliver to a friend of theirs.
7. The false apology and false promises that they will change. They might go for long deep conversations 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 to walk away and not help them. They might go for the future faking, where they will promise that home, that marriage, the children, a narcissistic boss might offer that pay rise, to be a parent that’s there for you, one can turn to so that it gives you the false hope.
How to handle.
Please 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 to focus on how many times they said they would, then didn’t and claimed,” I never said that.” when you know full well they did, remember how they lied to you, confuse you, and blamed it all on you. 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 partner’s 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, and 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, they have 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 go no contact, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so. Keep working on who you are, creating new routines and new dreams for yourself.
The two sides to a narcissist after no contact.
Click the links below to join Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.