Going no-contact can feel like a last-resort and you might feel miserable at first – but you know that in the end, it’ll be worth the trouble.
Trust me when I tell you that it feels like you’ve had a huge ton of bricks lifted from your chest/shoulders when you finally get the courage to stop contacting, interacting with and dealing with the narcissist.
It’s never easy to go no-contact, even when it’s not your choice. It feels like a combination of rejection and failure, mixed with confusing feelings of regret and maybe even guilt – especially when you’re dealing with a family member or even a long-term spouse.
That’s partly because of the drug-like effect narcissists have on us – we crave their approval and love.
It’s like the proverbial carrot on a stick, though – we’ll never actually reach it, but they dangle it in front of us like we might – and so we’re perpetually chasing it.
One way to help yourself get through the tough times is to focus on what’s good about the situation in that moment.
In that spirit, I’ve put together this list of things that you’ll no longer need to deal with once you’ve gone no-contact with a narcissist – so if you’re struggling with your decision today, please consider the following.
When you go no-contact, you no longer have to deal with:
1. Gaslighting and manipulation.
2. Being treated like you’re stupid, crazy or not good enough.
3. Giving up your time and energy for someone who doesn’t deserve it.
4. Babying/codding the narc.
5. Harassing phone calls, text messages and conversations.
6. Passive-aggressive Facebook posts.
7. Humiliation and degradation.
8. Ruined weekends, holidays and birthdays.
9. Being isolated and not allowed to have real friends.
10. Having no control of your money.
11. Being financially abused.
12. Not worrying if the rent/grocery money gets spent.
13. Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning.
14. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hear the narc’s car pull in.
15. Being yelled at for looking the wrong way.
16. Being treated like your thoughts and feelings aren’t legitimate.
17. Sending or giving gifts and cards on birthdays and holidays that will never be considered “good enough” for the narc.
18. Narcissistic limbo – having to wait for the narcissist to commit before you can RSVP to an event or party. And missing out on the parties and events you want to attend (and having no one to make you feel awful while you do).
19. Being held responsible for things you can’t control (such as other people’s behavior) and being “punished” when things don’t go the narc’s way.
20. Having to keep your kids or pets quiet in order to keep the narc happy.
21. Feeling like you’re wasting your life.
22. Being dissociated and suffering from the worst symptoms of narcissistic abuse-induced PTSD.
23. Missing out when your friends have a GNO.
24. Narccissistic altruism – when a narcissist is “generous” but expects you to “perform” for him/her.
25. Not being heard. Narcs never really listen – they just wait until you’re done talking so they can say what they have to say.
26. Your entire life being all about someone else.
27. Everything always being YOUR FAULT.
28. Always being WRONG, even when you’re not.
29. Never being a priority.
30. Having your other relationships destroyed.
31. Never being treated with love, respect or empathy.
32. The narcissist’s deep and erroneous sense of entitlement.
33. Having to tell the narc how amazing he is every day or risk the wrath of his ego.
34. Having to put the narc’s needs before yours and even your kids.
35. Extreme aggression mixed with passive aggression.
36. The narc’s inability to handle any criticism at all.
37. Having to say “I’m sorry” when you don’t mean it (and he doesn’t desrrvve it) just to keep the peace.
38. Having to make excuses for the narcissist all the time.
39. Having to explain why you didn’t show up for an important event.
40. The devalue and discard phases.
41. The repeating abuse cycles of rollercoaster proportion.
42. Having huge arguments over tiny things.
43. Being disregarded when you have a legitimate concern.
44. Having all of your happy moments and successes ruined by the narc.
45. Accepting less than you deserve.
46. Feeling alone in a crowded room.
47. The tiny betrayals that a narcissist puts you through every day.
48. And the bigger betrayals.
49. Doing things you would have once thought unthinkable to get the narc to stay happy.
50. The “look” you get out in public that means you screwed up – and that you’ll be “getting it” when you get home.
51. Getting in trouble like a “bad kid.”
52. Feeling like your life is beyond your control.
53. Apathy and the daily struggle to find meaning in your life.
54. Forgetting who you are.
55. Feeling like literally everyone else is better than you, at least in the narcissist’s eyes.
56. Not enjoying your food because your stomach always hurts.
57. Living under the narc’s iron fist.
58. Feeling guilty for not living up to the narc’s ridiculous expectations.
59. Wondering if you really are the problem.
60. Trying to fix an unfixable person.
61. Being responsible for the narcissist’s emotions.
62. Pretending to like stuff you don’t to make the narc happy.
63. Having to beg the narc to do basic things (like “babysit” his own child so you can go to work).
64. Trying to protect other people in your life from the narcissist’s rages.
65. Interacting with someone who believes they are above the rules.
66. Saying “Please don’t be mad!”
67. Flying monkeys.
69. Being part of a narcissistic harem.
70. Feeling guilty when you do ANYTHING for yourself (or your kids).
71. Having to sneak around to take care of your kids’ material needs. (For example, if you need to buy your kid some new shoes but the narcissist refuses to let you spend the money because he needs to buy beer.)
72. Cheating and/or inappropriate friendships with the opposite sex.
73. Constantly being compared to other people.
74. Being expected to give 100 percent and get nothing back.
75. Double standards.
76. Having to go along with the narc’s lies to save face.
77. Love bombing, hoovering and the related forms of manipulation.
78. Being treated like an object or possession.
79. The narc’s grandiosity.
80. The “dual personalities” thing – one personality at home and another in public.
81. Being exploited when it suits the narc.
82. Being the subject of envy and being hated for it.
83. Watching the narc be sweet to someone else when he’s been an ass to you.
84. Watching your kids’ hearts break when he fails them, yet again.
85. Trying to hold it together when he breaks your heart, yet again.
86. Having your fears and insecurities used against you.
87. Having to rescue the narcissist.
88. Having yourself placed in various types of “danger” in order to be rescued by the narc when he feels like being a hero.
89. Having the narc talk about you behind your back and break your confidence.
90. Being told that you’re lazy, boring or otherwise unsavory.
91. Being taken for granted.
92. Being put down all the time so the narcissist can build himself up.
93. Always walking on eggshells.
94. Cognitive distortion – watching the narcissist believe his own lies and getting mad if you don’t.
95. Being forced to do everything the narcissist wants when it comes to your look – your hair color and style, the clothes you wear, etc.
96. The weird sex stuff.
97. Being publicly confronted and humiliated when the narcissist feels you’ve wronged him.
98. Having to defend yourself after the narc tells everyone how crazy you are and realizing it’s pointless.
99. Being told that what you witnessed and heard isn’t real.
100.Having all of your boundaries crossed relentlessly.
101. Being undermined.
102. Constant criticism of the destructive variety.
103. Narcissistic injury.
That’s my list for today. What would you add? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. Let’s discuss it.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.