Breaking up is hard to do, but it’s even harder when the person you are breaking up with is a narcissist. Narcissists are known for their manipulative behaviours and their attempts to gaslight their partners. So if you’ve finally found the strength to end the relationship, congratulations! You’ve taken a major step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the hard work doesn’t end there. If you want to truly heal and move on, you’ll need to follow one key rule: the No Contact Rule.
What is the No Contact Rule?
The No Contact Rule is pretty self-explanatory. It involves completely cutting off all communication with an ex-partner, including texts, phone calls, social media, and in-person interactions.
This rule goes beyond just ignoring your ex. It means cutting off all contact, including indirect connections such as mutual friends and shared social groups.
The No Contact Rule is essential because it eliminates any opportunity for your ex to try to manipulate or abuse you through various forms of communication. It also allows you to focus on healing from the emotional wounds you incurred during the relationship.
If you are unable to totally cut off communication because you have children or other shared responsibilities, you should make all communications strictly business-like and limit interactions to the absolute minimum necessary.
It will not be easy. The narcissist will try to break the No Contact Rule, whether through pleading, love-bombing, or offensive behaviour. It’s essential to remain strong and stay true to yourself to minimize any potential for abuse to resurface.
Why is the No Contact Rule Important?
There are a lot of reasons why the No Contact Rule is important. First and foremost, it will help you heal. When you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, your self-esteem has almost certainly taken a hit. By removing this person from your life, you give yourself the opportunity to build yourself back up. You can focus on your needs and your own happiness.
Eliminating contact also helps you start to break the cycle of abuse. A narcissist will try to get back in your life by any means necessary. If you engage with them or respond to their messages, you’re opening yourself up to more manipulation and pain.
How to Implement the No Contact Rule
Going no contact with a narcissistic ex-partner can be a challenging and daunting process. However, it’s important to prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing in order to heal from the damage inflicted by the relationship.
Here are the stages of going no contact with a narcissistic ex-partner, along with some tips to help navigate each stage:
Accept the Breakup
Acceptance is the crucial first step of breaking away from a narcissist ex-partner. Recognize that the relationship is toxic and that you deserve better.
One of the most important things to remember is to set boundaries, both for yourself and towards your ex-partner. Be firm in your boundaries and stick to them. For example, you might choose to limit communication to only essential information regarding shared custody or financial arrangements.
This is the most critical step in going no contact. Block all methods of communication with your ex-partner, including phone, email, social media, and messaging apps. You can also use third-party apps or plugins to help filter out unwanted calls or messages.
Remove any contact information for your ex-partner from your phone or other devices, including email addresses and social media handles. This will make it harder for you to give in to the temptation to reach out to them. You should also block them wherever possible, to keep them from contacting you.
If possible, avoid any locations or events where you might run into your ex-partner. This can also mean asking mutual friends or family members not to share information about your whereabouts or daily activities.
If you feel unsafe or threatened, consider seeking a restraining order or other legal protection. This is particularly important if your ex-partner has a history of abusive behavior or if you fear for your safety.
Implementing the no contact rule can be a lonely and isolating process. Lean on friends, family members, or a support group for encouragement and guidance. These individuals will be your support system when you’re feeling vulnerable or struggling to stay on track with your no contact efforts.
Spend time with people who uplift and encourage you. Being around individuals who value you for who you are and support your journey can be incredibly healing.
You should also consider talking to professional therapist, who can provide a listening ear and help you work through any emotional challenges.
Rebuild Your Sense of Self
One of the most insidious effects of being in a relationship with a narcissistic partner is the deep sense of self-doubt and low self-esteem that can come from constant criticism and verbal abuse. It’s essential to take active steps to rebuild your sense of self-worth as part of the process of going no contact.
Start by taking care of yourself physically. Eat well, get enough sleep, and engage in regular exercise. Exercise can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and release endorphins that can elevate your mood.
Make a list of your skills and accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Challenge negative self-talk by reminding yourself of your achievements, talents, and capabilities.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Recognize that healing is a process and that everyone has setbacks. Practice self-compassion by forgiving yourself for mistakes and being patient with yourself as you navigate the ups and downs of the journey.
Grieve the Relationship
Moving on from an intense relationship can only begin once we allow ourselves to experience and process the loss fully. While difficult to accept, moving on from a narcissistic ex-partner involves acknowledging that the end of your relationship is not only a break-up but that it involves a grieving process. It is essential to allow yourself time and space to work through a range of emotions such as the hurt, betrayal, anger, and confusion that often come with a break-up.
Allow yourself to connect with and acknowledge your feelings. Embrace the pain and sadness that comes with the end of the relationship. It’s essential to give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions come up, whether it’s anger, confusion or sadness.
Allow yourself to be compassionate and kind as you work through your emotions. Remember to be patient and gentle with yourself. Self-compassion can help you regain self-confidence and self-worth, reinforcing a positive mindset and perspective.
Finally, it’s time to move forward. Accept that your relationship with your narcissistic ex-partner is over for good, and cut all contact. Focus on building positive relationships with friends and family, and creating a fulfilling life for yourself away from the toxicity of the past.
In conclusion, going no contact with a narcissistic ex-partner can be a difficult journey, but one that is worth taking in order to prioritize your own happiness and wellbeing. Remember to be patient, seek support when needed, and trust that you will come out stronger on the other side.
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