Going no contact sounds easy, yet most of us make the same common mistakes, making it harder than it is.
No contact is simply no contact in any way, shape or form, so why can this step in recovery seem like another hurdle?
Our beliefs play a massive role in going no contact, a belief that others care, that others can understand if only we explain it another away, beliefs to being kind to others, not understanding, just as we are allowed our beliefs, others are allowed theirs. As much as it provokes our emotions when people don’t understand ours or try to change ours, it can cause feelings in others. Everyone is allowed their own beliefs. We don’t have to agree; that’s what makes us individuals; with good intentions, there’s no wrong way or right way to live your life. Just because we don’t agree, doesn’t mean we have to force someone to agree with us, this only causes conflict, anger and resentment, we can agree to disagree, and for those who can not, we can safely walk away. The belief they can be good, as we live a reality when they do treat us well, their admiration face, their attention-seeking face when they flatter us, offer false promises, that was real we lived those moments then when their envious face strikes out we live that moment too, however with their gaslighting of us, then their false apology, our belief that they can be nice can leave us trapped with someone who can also treat us how we should never be treated.
Guilt, they’re my mum/dad, they raised me, what about the children? Fear from what they might do, or the people who you might be cut off from, judgment from others. These are all good emotions when used correctly when that empathy stops us from hurting others, nevertheless when the others hurt us, those very emotions that are designed to stop us from hurting others only end up hurting ourselves, keeping us locked in the pain of the past. That fear that serves to protect us in most situations can keep us trapped in dangerous places. You do have to find a safe way out.
Most of the time, we don’t even realise we are being abused; most abusers will create an environment of insecurity, instability, confusion and fear; they will withhold affection, attention and support, to destroy our beliefs, our boundaries, our self-esteem. Hence, they gain full power and control over us, all while telling us they love us, bringing their admiration face back out, and treating us well, having good times with us; we live those moments. Those moments give us that hope that they can be a kind, loving person. Yet, we, at the same time, for fear of reactions from them, fear of them getting angry with us, or fear of abandonment, change who we are. Change our beliefs to suit them, believing through their manipulation that we caused them to mistreat us; abuse is abuse; there is no excuse, it’s never your fault, they are responsible for their own behaviour.
We can begin to shut down and hide our real selves, as when we are ourselves around a narcissist, they invalidate us with “Are you going to wear that?” Or “You look bad in that.” Causing us to doubt ourselves. The same with our true feelings, we begin to hide them through fear of being misunderstood or causing an argument, as often when we try to express our feelings to a narcissist, they will gaslight us with ”You’re too sensitive.” We give up on our opinions for fear of causing an argument, of them giving us the silent treatment. We slowly lose who we are to please the narcissist. Mental abuse is often a subtle form of abuse by the narcissist coercive controlling us, and it’s gradually training us on how we should behave.
Most often, subconsciously, we will then end up walking on eggshells around not only the narcissist, others too, believing we are protecting ourselves from judgment or further abuse, as we’re left full of self-doubts. Usually, when we still can not work out the situation that we are in, that we are indeed being abused, and we are slowly losing our own values, beliefs and boundaries.
No contact isn’t easy, when we’ve been gaslighted, when we are left with anxiety and little confidence, self-doubt, hope, fear, thinking everything is our fault, apologising to others all the time, no longer feeling how we used to feel, making excuses for others behaviour, feeling isolated, lost and hopeless, making it’s increasing difficult to make our own life choices.
No contact mistakes.
1. Not starting no contact because we think it’s unkind. No contact is not to punish them; some people put off going no contact due to the guilt they feel or asking themselves. ”Am I the narcissist?” their silent treatment is to punish as they felt criticism or you didn’t do, as they say, your no contact is to free yourself.
Going no contact isn’t about controlling them, Punishing them, or getting them to do what you want them to do; going no contact is placing healthy boundaries around yourself.
2. 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, those good times are lived because life is going their way, not because they have changed, those mistakes they keep making is 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 lack in those cognitive reflection skills.
3. leaving it open for them to contact you, and you just decide if you want to respond or not; you need to block and delete on everything.
4. leaving them on your social media to show them how happy your new life is, or unblocking them. Checking their social media, this is only ever going to trigger emotional pain in you, and when you reach the point it doesn’t, you wouldn’t be checking anyway.
5. giving their friends or family information about you, or what’s happening, in the hope 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.
6. Giving them a 30-day break to learn the error of their ways, although it has been know to get some started on no contact, just don’t expect a narcissist to learn from the error of their ways and come back; they’re only going to come back to use you for something, and most will punish you for failing silent on them.
7. Thinking you can ask the narcissist to stop bothering you, first if they know they’re getting to you, they’ll do it more. Second, part of the disorder is a sense of entitlement, dominance, a belief they are special and a lack of empathy. Therefore they’re not interested in how you feel or what you think. They’re interested in exploiting others and controlling others to get their needs met. Some narcissists will take you, asking them to stop bothering you as criticism of their sense of entitlement and belief they are special. They might take this as a challenge to smear your name all the more and do their best to destroy you.
When they can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you.
A narcissist thrives on conflict and drama; they don’t care for your boundaries, a narcissist doesn’t care for your well being, your boundaries, or your beliefs, they’re not interested in what you want, and they are going to do exactly what they want to do.
8. Wanting them to understand your point of view, it’s normal to want to explain our intentions to others, to try and reach an understanding, or compromise with others. It’s more than tempting when they come at you, or you hear from their flying monkeys what they’ve said about you, to want to defend yourself, this is only ever going to play into their hands, as the narcissist will twist the story to play the hero or the victim and make you out to be the villain, the best thing you can do is step to one side and no longer play. Eventually, the narcissist will trip over their own words.
We do not need to tell others how they should treat us; that is on them and their beliefs; we need to say to ourselves how we want to be treated. If someone is unwilling or unable to treat us with the compassion we deserve, we need to say to ourselves that we’re no longer going to allow it. Yes, it can make you feel mean, it can make you feel guilt; narcissists will very often use emotional blackmail to pull you back in, ”After all I’ve done for you?” ”What will people think of you?” ”How can you do this to me.” and survivors can say these when they’ve been discarded, who are trauma bonded and want them back, survivors will have bent over backwards to help the narcissist, with a narcissist when you think about what they’ve done for you, it is often very little positive and a whole load of negative. Don’t let them use your emotions against you.
Your mind controls your emotions, and you control your mind.
Click the links below to join Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
Games to watch out for when you go no Contact. https://youtu.be/lAjay4ta0rYt.