In an era where digital communication has made it easier than ever to connect with others, it’s also become a tool for manipulation by narcissists. For those entangled in such a relationship, finding the space to move on and heal can be difficult. When you are dealing with a narcissist who is determined to hoover you back into their world, ghosting them might be the only viable option.
But what does ghosting a narcissist entail and how can it be done effectively?
This guide will walk you through the process.
Understanding The Narcissist
Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, coupled with a lack of empathy for others.
Narcissists are often perceived as charming and charismatic, skillfully using these traits to manipulate others into fulfilling their needs without regard for the other person’s feelings or well-being.
The Narcissistic Abuse Cycle
The narcissistic abuse cycle typically follows a pattern: idealization, devaluation, and discard.
Idealization: In this phase, the narcissist showers their target with affection and admiration, a tactic known as “love bombing“. The target is placed on a pedestal, made to feel special, and often believes they have found their perfect partner.
Devaluation: Once the narcissist feels secure in the relationship, they begin to devalue their partner. This can involve subtle put-downs, gaslighting, and manipulative behaviors that serve to undermine the partner’s self-esteem.
Discard: The final phase occurs when the narcissist feels they have drained all the value from their partner. They may abruptly end the relationship or emotionally withdraw. However, this doesn’t mean the cycle ends; the narcissist often returns to previous victims, starting the cycle anew.
The Narcissist’s Arsenal of Manipulative Tactics
Escaping the clutches of a narcissist can be an uphill battle.
As you attempt to break free, they deploy a range of manipulative tactics to pull you back into their world. Understanding these tactics can equip you to withstand their attempts and firmly cut ties.
Hoovering – The Pull of False Promises
When a narcissist senses you pulling away, they often resort to a manipulation tactic known as hoovering. Named after the Hoover vacuum, it involves sucking you back into the relationship through various means.
They will promise to change, expressing remorse for their actions and vowing to treat you better.
In addition they will shower you with affection, reminding you of the good times you shared.
However, these promises and displays of affection are typically short-lived, only serving to pull you back into their toxic web.
Love Bombing – The Illusion of Affection
Love bombing is another common tactic used by narcissists.
It involves excessive and over the top demonstrations of affection and love, designed to reel you back into the relationship.
Narcissists often use love bombing at the start of a relationship or after a discard phase, making you feel special and loved.
This sudden influx of affection can be incredibly confusing, leading you to question your decision to leave.
Guilt-Tripping and Blame-Shifting: The Tools of Emotional Manipulation
Narcissists are experts at guilt-tripping and blame-shifting, using these tools to prevent you from breaking free.
Guilt-tripping involves making you feel guilty for wanting to leave or expressing dissatisfaction with the relationship.
Blame-shifting, on the other hand, involves the narcissist refusing to take responsibility for their actions. Instead, they shift the blame onto you, in an attempt to convince you that their abusive behavior is your fault.
These tactics can be incredibly damaging, leading to self-doubt and lower self-esteem. Recognizing them for what they are is the first step towards resisting their manipulation.
Why Should You Consider Ghosting a Narcissist?
Relationships with narcissists can be an emotional roller-coaster. One moment, you’re being showered with love and attention. The next, you’re being subjected to criticism, manipulation, and emotional abuse.
Given this toxic dynamic, why should you consider ghosting a narcissist?
Can’t you just explain your feelings and part ways amicably?
Unfortunately, direct communication often doesn’t work with narcissists. They are likely to dismiss your feelings, twist your words, and use your vulnerabilities against you.
The Power of Ghosting
Ghosting a narcissist, therefore, can often be the most effective way to break free.
Ghosting involves cutting off all contact without explanation. While it may seem harsh, it is often the only way to ensure a clean break from a narcissist.
By ghosting a narcissist, you deprive them of the opportunity to manipulate you further. You remove yourself from their sphere of influence and reclaim your power.
The Logistics of Ghosting a Narcissist
Ghosting a narcissist isn’t as simple as just ignoring their calls and messages.
It requires a strategic plan to avoid the narcissist’s attempts to draw you back in.
Here are some steps to effectively start ghosting a narcissist:
Strengthen Your Resolve
Breaking free from a narcissistic relationship and ghosting a narcissist can be a daunting task.
The manipulative tactics of a narcissist can make you question your decisions, often leading to feelings of guilt and self-doubt.
Recognizing this manipulation for what it is – the narcissist’s attempt to maintain control – can be a powerful first step towards strengthening your resolve to break free.
One of the most critical aspects of strengthening your resolve is reminding yourself of your worth. You deserve respect, kindness, and genuine love – none of which a narcissist can truly offer.
Make a list of your strengths, accomplishments, and positive traits. Reflect on these regularly to reinforce your self-worth and counteract any negative messages the narcissist has instilled in you.
Surrounding yourself with supportive people can also significantly strengthen your resolve. Trusted friends, family members, or professional therapists can provide validation, encouragement, and a safe space to express your feelings.
Online communities and support groups for victims of narcissistic abuse can also be immensely helpful, offering a platform to share experiences and gain insights from others who have been in similar situations.
The Most Important Step When Ghosting a Narcissist – Blocking All Communication
Ghosting a narcissist involves severing all forms of communication, effectively making yourself unreachable.
This strategy is crucial in ensuring a clean break and protecting your mental health.
Here’s a more detailed look at how to block all lines of communication with a narcissist, including dealing with their flying monkeys.
Ghosting a Narcissist – Block Them on Social Media
In today’s digital age, social media platforms can become a hotbed for narcissistic manipulation.
To successfully ghost a narcissist, it’s essential to block them across all your social media accounts. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and any other platform where they could potentially contact you or view your activities.
Remember, this also extends to mutual friends who might unknowingly share information about you with the narcissist.
It might be necessary to limit what these individuals can see on your social media accounts or have an honest conversation with them about your decision to cut ties.
Ghosting a Narcissist – Delete Their Contact Information
Deleting the narcissist’s contact information from your phone, email, and other communication devices can help resist the temptation to reach out or respond to their attempts at contact.
You should also block their phone number and email address.
Ghosting a Narcissist – Change Your Routine
If you share common haunts, like a favorite café, gym, or bookstore, consider changing your routine to avoid accidental encounters.
This might feel inconvenient initially, but it can significantly reduce the chances of running into the narcissist, thereby minimizing their opportunities to manipulate or guilt-trip you back into the relationship.
Ghosting a Narcissist – Dealing with Their Flying Monkeys
‘Flying monkeys’ is a term derived from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and refers to individuals who act on behalf of the narcissist, often without realizing it. They might relay information about you to the narcissist, or vice versa, serving as a link between you two.
To prevent this, it’s crucial to inform your mutual friends about your decision to ghost the narcissist.
Explain why you’ve chosen to cut ties and ask for their support in maintaining no contact.
If certain individuals continue to act as flying monkeys, you may need to consider distancing yourself from them as well.
In conclusion, while blocking all communication with a narcissist can be challenging, it’s a necessary step in breaking free from their toxic influence. Remember, you’re doing this to protect your mental health and wellbeing, and you have every right to do so.
Practice Self-Care: Navigating the Aftermath of Ghosting a Narcissist
Ghosting a narcissist can take a significant emotional toll. The process can be fraught with guilt, self-doubt, and a myriad of other challenging emotions.
However, prioritizing self-care during this time can provide much-needed healing and resilience. Here’s a closer look at how to care for your physical and emotional health after cutting ties with a narcissist.
Physical health is a critical component of overall wellbeing. Regular exercise can help alleviate stress, improve mood, and boost self-esteem. You don’t need to engage in strenuous workouts—simple activities like walking, yoga, or dancing can be effective.
Eating a balanced diet is also essential. Nutritious food can enhance your energy levels, support your immune system, and contribute to better mental health. Try to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats into your daily meals.
Also, ensure you’re getting enough rest. Sleep plays a vital role in emotional regulation and cognitive function. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Emotional self-care involves acknowledging your feelings and giving yourself permission to experience them without judgment.
It’s okay to feel sadness, anger, relief, or any other emotion that arises during this period.
Engaging in activities that bring you joy can be therapeutic.
Whether it’s reading a book, painting, gardening, or listening to your favorite music, these activities can provide a welcome distraction and boost your mood.
Mental self-care can involve mindfulness practices like meditation or journaling, which can help process your feelings and reduce anxiety.
Therapy or counseling can also provide valuable support and coping strategies during this time.
Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family can also aid in your recovery.
They can offer a listening ear, words of encouragement, or simply the comfort of their presence.
Joining support groups—online or offline—for people who have experienced narcissistic abuse can also provide a sense of community and shared understanding.
Final Thoughts on Ghosting a Narcissist
Once you’ve started ghosting a narcissist, the hardest part is sticking to it. Narcissists are skilled at pulling you back into their web. Stay strong and remind yourself of why you chose to cut ties.
Ghosting a narcissist is not an act of cruelty, but a necessary step towards self-preservation and healing.
It’s about reclaiming your autonomy, prioritizing your mental health, and breaking free from a destructive relationship that can erode your self-esteem and emotional wellbeing.
This process, however, is often easier said than done. It can be fraught with guilt, self-doubt, and a host of other challenging emotions.
But remember, these feelings are temporary and will diminish over time, especially as you begin to experience the benefits of a life free from the narcissist’s influence.
Practicing self-care, seeking support from trusted friends or professionals, and maintaining zero contact are crucial during this period.
It’s also important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people have walked this path before you and have emerged stronger and healthier on the other side.
Lastly, remember that your worth is not defined by the narcissist’s perception of you. You deserve respect, kindness, and genuine love, none of which a narcissist can truly offer. By choosing to ghost a narcissist, you are choosing to prioritize yourself and your wellbeing.
It’s a journey filled with challenges, but it’s also one of profound growth and self-discovery. With time, patience, and self-compassion, you can navigate this path successfully and emerge stronger than ever before.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ghosting A Narcissist
What does it mean to ghost a narcissist?
Ghosting a narcissist means cutting off all forms of communication with them, effectively making yourself unreachable. This includes blocking them on social media, deleting their contact information, and avoiding places where you might run into them.
Is it okay to ghost a narcissist?
Yes, it’s okay and often necessary. Ghosting a narcissist is a self-preservation step to protect your mental and emotional health from further manipulation and abuse.
How can I successfully ghost a narcissist?
Successful ghosting involves blocking the narcissist on all communication platforms, deleting their contact information, changing your routine to avoid running into them, and dealing with any ‘flying monkeys’—people who might unknowingly act on behalf of the narcissist.
How can I deal with the emotional toll of ghosting a narcissist?
Prioritize self-care during this period. Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that bring you joy. It’s also beneficial to seek support from trusted friends, family, or a mental health professional.
Is it normal to feel guilty after ghosting a narcissist?
Yes, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions, including guilt, after ghosting a narcissist. Remember, these feelings are temporary and will diminish over time. It’s okay to prioritize your wellbeing and take the time you need to heal.
Can I ever re-establish contact with a narcissist after ghosting them?
It’s generally not advisable to re-establish contact with a narcissist after ghosting them, as this could lead to a cycle of abuse. The decision, however, ultimately lies with you. If you do decide to reconnect, ensure you have strong boundaries in place and seek support if needed.
What if the narcissist tries to contact me after I’ve ghosted them?
If a narcissist tries to contact you after you’ve ghosted them, it’s best to maintain your stance and not respond. If they persist or resort to harassment, consider seeking legal advice or involving law enforcement.