Why Go No Contact with the Narcissist?

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If you’re reading this article, perhaps you’re searching for reasons why No Contact is the best way to sever ties with the Narcissist in your life.  You may have already read some articles and now are confused with all the conflicting information out there, or perhaps you haven’t yet found anything that resonates with how you’re feeling at the moment.

Maybe you found suggestions, tips, and reasons such as:

  • No Contact gives you the upper hand and the last word
  • It’s the most hurtful narcissistic injury you could inflict
  • It provides you with much-wanted revenge
  • It’s a great form of punishment
  • It’s a great way to make the Narcissist miss you

…and so on.

If you’ve been mistreated, discarded, or found out your partner has been unfaithful, the above suggestions may seem appealing.  However, none of them are good reasons for implementing No Contact.

The best reasons for No Contact are:  self-protection, healing, and moving forward into a life that’s free of abuse and full of peace and joy.

The true benefits of No Contact (and sticking to it)

If you attempted No Contact only to break it later, it likely became clear that you gained absolutely nothing from doing so. You didn’t gain closure, an improved relationship, or a sincere apology.  The only person who gains from your breaking NC is the Narcissist, who gains a sense of authority over you, along with a God complex for being able to affect you in such a powerful way

Think about the long-term. If you stick with No Contact and do the self-work required for healing, you will get to a point of recovery and, eventually, happiness.  If you keep breaking No Contact, you will continue through life experiencing that sick feeling of trauma and addiction due to his or her repeated silent treatments, infidelities, lying, exploitation, and making a point to make you feel invalidated.

Breaking No Contact will never provide you with the approval and validation you seek from the Narcissist which, coincidentally, is one of the biggest reasons people break NC. In fact, the more you engage with the Narcissist, the worse you will feel over time as they continue to devalue and invalidate you.

Not maintaining NC can, and often does, lead to severe depression. Though not common, the Narcissist’s exes do sometimes commit suicide for the very reasons listed above.  Don’t become that ex.  If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call a qualified therapist or Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255.

What to do instead of breaking No Contact

Following are some suggestions:

  • Write a letter to the Narcissist describing everything you’re feeling, but don’t send it
  • Find a coach, friend or mentor who can help you stay the course
  • Stop reading so much about Narcissism and, instead, read something uplifting regarding recovery
  • Journal your successes, thoughts, and dreams

Recovery from narcissistic abuse begins with No Contact (or-in the case of shared custody-a strict program of Modified Contact). Further, recovery times are different for everyone and the duration is directly correlated to an individual’s commitment and willingness to put in the healing work required. What can you do today to step onto the path of healing and happiness?

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Lynne gillham says May 8, 2017

I find this so helpful I have remained no contact for 10months and I’m much more happy and getting my life back although I had to change my numbers and loose mutual trust and friends

jonne says December 24, 2016

What if he works with you?
Quitting my job is not an option.
I know i made a huge mistake and i really cant beat my self over it anymore.ive tried no contact but it is imposible.he calims im his property and that i belong to him.when i ignore him he gets mad or tries to make me jealous.i hate him n what he has done to me

    Kim Saeed says December 26, 2016

    Hi Jonne. I wouldn’t necessarily advise quitting your job, but I would certainly recommend beginning a job hunt. Others in your situation have also requested a transfer to another location within their company. It will be uncomfortable for a while, but leaving a toxic situation is always in your best interest, even if it takes a while to accomplish.

Nevaeh says December 15, 2016

Hi, yes, no contact is just for yourself.
Personally I never wanted to hurt the Narc, I just wanted peace.
I got very sick for several days after applying no contact back in July this year- almost had to go to the hospital (I was so sick I could not even smell food or eat anything, was shaking the whole time, even water made me vomit- but I am 100% sure that this was no food poisoning and literally noone around me was sick at that time) I now believe my body tried to get the “madness” out of my system.
Because after about 4 days suddenly the sickness was gone- literally just from one moment to another.
Anyone elese experienced this, too?

Sarah says December 29, 2014

Initially I just wanted to say a massive ‘thank you’ Kim for this website, however as I started typing in turned into something much longer….

I wanted to share my story as a child of an overt bullying narc, and a codependent narc. I think it’s been mentioned on the site here that one of the reasons anyone should cut ties with a narc is due to the impact it can have on kids. It’s so true. Many of the abusive actions a narc does to you as a partner (isolates you, threatens you, steamrolls over your needs etc) they will do to your kids. If there are any readers here who are in a rel with a narc and have kids (or are thinking of having kids), please please get in touch with your inner protective tigress!! You do NOT want to have your kids around a narc. Don’t make excuses for your narc, or go into denial about the abuse that’s happening. Narcs are dangerous. You would not put a toddler in a war zone.

Ok, well here goes – I grew up with two narc parents (yowsers) in a very trapped, messy, scary household. My abusive dad walked out in my late teens, and he tried to ‘re-connect’ with me to build a rel via my mother, but it was power play. After numerous attempts at turning the other cheek & giving him lots of second chances, I couldn’t keep putting myself through repeated heartaches. I went full no contact with him at 21. He maintained contact with my younger brother though, and made threats to him when he was at uni. It re-confirmed to me that my Dad was a piece of work and I had done well to cut ties.

Over this xmas break, he sent me a card via my mother (who he has an address for in case of emergencies) and she passed comments about me being cold hearted for not wanting to get in touch with him. (my mother hasn’t had therapy after their marriage ended, and I believe is in denial that abuse happened. she’s turned her co-dep towards my brother.) It did plant a little seed of doubt, the same old ‘be nice, extend kindness esp over the holidays, people can change’ etc etc.

But after reading your blog posts it reminded me very clearly that 1) in these situations you have to value your own boundaries and safety beyond society’s ideas of ‘being nice, forgive, there’s always a chance you can work things out’ (as it doesn’t apply to narc’s!) and 2) to fricking stop trying to work out the whys and reasons behind a narc’s behaviour. Instead put the attention on your own needs and happiness.

Being in a rel with a narc, your own opinions, needs, being get woefully neglected as it is – your attn is squarely on them, whether you’re trying to fix/appease them or making sure you don’t do anything to set them off in a rage. Once you’re ‘free’ from the narc, you need to put the attn on yourself, rather than keep thinking about them. I realised I’d wasted so much time over the years (inc after going no contact) trying to get answers and some kind of understanding as to why my dad is the way he is, alongside wasting time struggling with myself (no contact vs give him another chance).
My boundaries and personal safety are more important than being liked or being seen as a ‘good, nice person’ (esp when dealing with a narc). I sympathise with anyone who is in a situation with a narc, as they can be super charming and/or deceitful in public, so that when you talk to friends or extended relatives about the narc they can’t believe that ‘charming’ person that bullied you into keeping up appearances in public is actually a monster. I’ve had so many people not believe my experience, because they can’t see what happens behind closed doors. So then you get judged as being cold (esp when you’re cutting ties with a narc in your family!).

So you need to stay strong with your experience, your truth, and your boundaries, even if it seems the world is trying to make you go against your instincts.

It’s been helpful just to share this openly, actually, to people who ‘get it’. Being in a rel with someone who has NPD is so insidious, and slippery, I think the only people who can understand what you’ve been through are others who’ve been through it too.

Thanks Kim for the reminders to stay strong and stick with no contact!

    Jenn says March 23, 2017

    I want to thank you for your comment. My dad is a narc and I went NC with him a little over a year ago, but the road to healing has been rough because I basically lost most of my family of origin as a result. Fortunately, seeing the way my dad treated my mom (and also treated me) made me seek men who were NOT like him so I ended up with a good one, thank GOD. Sadly, my mom has stayed with my dad. However, the damage done to me by my father is profound and I am just trying to work that out so the rest of my life can be better. I was 42 when I finally woke up to the fact that I couldn’t pretend anymore with my family, and while I wish I had done it sooner, I am glad to finally be in a place where I can see the forest for the trees, as hard as it has been. I was the lay-down in my family, the scapegoat, and I couldn’t do it anymore just so we could all pretend we were a “perfect” family. I know this site is predominately dedicated to narcs as love interests/partners, and though my situation is with my dad, a narc is a narc and it still resonates. I was just happy to see something about someone who has dealt with a narc father.

JCS says December 15, 2014

We have a child together so we have to at least interact during switches between homes. I have been maintaining a modified no contact for over a month with him and obviously he doesn’t like it cause today he starting yelling at me trying to get me sucked back in. Trying to stay strong. He is toxic.

    Kim Saeed says December 19, 2014

    JCS, it is more difficult when we have to maintain low contact due to shared custody. It takes more resilience and self-discipline…and certainly lots of trial and error.

    One thing that usually gets us into trouble is believing we have to answer all of their calls for the “sake of the children”. They use that as an excuse to try and engage us. However, we must learn that we don’t have to answer every time they call, and further if the conversation turns to something other than the child(ren), we just end the call. Keep it business-like, and answer only “yes” or “no” whenever possible.

    Don’t fall into the trap of defending yourself. Don’t fall for it when he accuses you of not being a good parent. Just document everything and hang up when he tries to bait you. I realize it may seem harsh, but so is their insistence upon keeping us enmeshed in a toxic dynamic.

Natalie Monroe says December 8, 2014

I’m on day six of no contact. I can’t breath….. It hurts so bad. I keep reminding myself that I don’t want someone like him in my life….but the sting of his rejection weighs heavy on my heart. Aside from that…I’m so angry…mostly at myself.

    Sue says March 27, 2017

    I’m on day 6 to. I totally feel your pain. It’s honestly for the best. Whatever they try to do we must not reply to them. I have just started to go out more and reconnected with some old school friends. My narc enjoyed classical music (I liked some of it) I prefer rock music but he hated it!! I’ve been to a couple of gigs since our split and the old me is making a few appearances and I realise I actually do like me and want me back lol! It’s our time to rediscover ourselves or start to make a fresh new happy life. One thing that held me back to start with was worrying that my ex narc would be ok. I didn’t like thinking he was unhappy. Did he care when I was unhappy? No! He carried on doing exactly what made me unhappy but also kept doing really helpful things just to knock me off balance. I’m glad I found Kim. I’ve read so much contradictory information on the Internet which was confusing me but Kim is so clear and concise it’s exactly what I’m going through and the fog is actually finally lifting. Thank you so much Kim 🙂 I wish everyone going through this much love and best wishes. Keep on working on yourself. The narcs always find some other poor defenceless person to feed them. Just feel sorry for them and move on xx

Linda says December 5, 2014

Interesting! I am wondering if your radio show has started yet Kim? And if so, when is it aired?

lilaosborne says December 3, 2014

Great advice. Only after not having contact for a few months I realized how addicted I was to the highs of being on the pedestal he would place me on. It only took 35 years to realize that I was so much more than those limited times of validation. He knew how to lure me back into that trap after knocking me down time and time again…I guess I’m a slow learner… <3

meredithwyatt1990 says December 3, 2014

Reblogged this on Speak Through Your Heart and Your Mind Will Follow and commented:
For healing it’s very important to keep no contact going for as long as you can. Even after the order has expired, have the discipline to keep it going without the help of the legal system.

meredithwyatt1990 says December 2, 2014

May I share this?

    Kim Saeed says December 3, 2014

    Why, I’d love that 🙂 Please feel free. Thank you so much!

Only Me says December 2, 2014

It’s amazing how once you experience the feeling of healing, peace of mind, and contentment, you wouldn’t want to go back for anything. Having a calm mind and spirit is worth more than we know until you try it and commit to it!

    Kim Saeed says December 3, 2014

    Wonderful insight, Only Me. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

18mitzvot says December 2, 2014

Maybe some people start No Contact for the wrong reasons, but then continue for better reasons, like “I deserve it!” reasons.

    Kim Saeed says December 2, 2014

    Indeed! What a wonderful way to look at it 🙂

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