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Have you realized that a narcissist has stolen your heart or lured you into a trap you can’t get out of? Maybe they crushed your spirit, drained your energy, and obliterated your hope.
Whether you’re deeply in love, feel guilty or responsible, or hang onto the idea they might change, you are in a toxic relationship. The only way out may be to go no contact with narcissist.
How in the world do we ever become entangled with narcissists? There are many reasons. Number one, I believe, is that narcissists are cunning, witty, and charming.
It’s how they lure us in once they decide we’re their next target. Unless we are experienced in spotting them, it’s easy to be fooled. Even then, experience isn’t always foolproof.
Other reasons we fall victim to narcissists include our own vulnerabilities, empath nature, loneliness, and a yearning to be loved. These traits are red meat to narcissists who only seek to satisfy their own needs and desires.
This is why, so often, we are blindsided by them and don’t realize until it’s too late that we’ve been had.
In this article, I will explain what going no contact with a narcissist means, lay out effective steps to take, and give you a few resources to help you conquer this dilemma and free yourself.
What Does Going No Contact with Narcissist Mean?
Going no contact with a narcissist is a deliberate decision to act upon severing all ties and communications with a narcissistic person.
It includes cutting off connections with them by phone, meeting in person, texting, messaging, emailing, or on any social media platform.
Going no contact also means avoiding any potential situation that would place you in the vicinity of that person or sending or receiving communications through friends, family, or any other avenue.
11 Effective Steps for Going No Contact with a Narcissist
Maintaining a relationship with a narcissist is possible, but it takes compliance and hard work by the narcissist to earn the privilege of keeping you in their life. By their very nature, it rarely happens, but it is possible.
To stop the manipulation, abuse, and harmful behaviors, you will most likely need to break up and have no contact with that person.
Ultimately, you will regain your physical and mental health, joy, peace, happiness, and a new beginning. Let’s get started on how to do this!
1. Do soul-searching and prepare for the breakup.
The first thing you must do is recognize the abuse your narcissist has been hitting you with. Stop making excuses for them and decide to do what is best for yourself and your children, if you have any.
Then, you’ll need to prepare for the breakup by making lists, creating a plan, garnering support, and outlining things you need to do to protect yourself and make a successful break from the relationship.
Soul-searching and preparation are for your benefit, not the narcissist’s. These are measures to nail down Step No. 1:
- Recognize the abuse and the dangers in your relationship.
- Make a determined decision to go no contact with your narcissist.
- Make a list of incidents and reasons you must go no contact and break up.
- Have a Plan A and Plan B.
- Gather important financial documents and move your money to a safe place.
- Take preemptive measures to protect your credit score.
- Separate and protect your assets.
- Tell someone you truly trust to get your support net ready.
- Emotionally separate yourself from the narcissist.
- Get rid of photos and reminders of the relationship.
- Talk to a professional therapist.
- Work on your thoughts to avoid obsessing over them and break the addiction.
- If you can, remove your most valuable belongings from the home and to a safe place.
- Ask for help if you need to. You don’t have to feel alone.
- Always let someone you trust know where you are and how you’re doing.
2. Emotions aside, just do it.
You know it’s the right thing to do. Arguing with the conflicting emotions inside you is not helpful. Don’t linger or rationalize; just go, even if you leave a few things behind. Things can be replaced. Your physical and mental health cannot.
Don’t give your narcissist an opportunity to lovebomb you out of leaving or try to talk yourself out of it. If you’re waiting for that to happen, stop.
You’re only making it harder on yourself. When you know it’s time to go, and you’ve made the decision, just go.
3. Block, block, and block.
Block their phone numbers. Block their email. Block their social media and messenger apps. Block all avenues of communication. Change your door key.
If children are involved, get immediate advice from a therapist and a family lawyer to protect yourself and your children.
You may need to block mutual friends, especially if they begin to become conduits for the narcissist to send messages to you. They may even try to manipulate you into going back to the narcissist because they know them as a good person. Block!
4. Keep a journal.
While it is fresh on your mind, write down why you left the narcissist, the harmful things they said or did, and how it affected your life, health, and mental health or that of your children. Note dates, times, and details.
Ways to journal include:
This is important because the mind plays tricks on us, and memories or the severity of a situation fade with time. You may need documentation or to remind yourself down the road about how bad it actually was. Also, it’s therapeutic.
5. Be ready for an attempted battle.
It's important to know how to respond to a narcissist when they refuse to respect the boundaries of no contact. They don’t like being cut off from their property, which you are.
They will not respect the boundaries of no contact unless they already have another target in the pipeline, and then it will only be after they realize they’ve lost all control over you.
To start, they will be horrifyingly angry, but with a third person in the mix, it won’t last as long. That would actually be the best-case scenario for you, even though the heartbreak will initially be intense.
You had a tight connection, precisely how the narcissist planned from the beginning.
This topic has two parts: how the narcissist refuses to respect boundaries and how you respond.
When you have no contact with a narcissist, they will panic because you took their power from them, even when they have another relationship or two waiting in the wings. It’s good to understand what to expect, so you can be better prepared to respond.
These are some ways the narcissist will refuse to respect boundaries of no contact:
The following are ways you may respond to the lack of respect for no contact:
6. Remember, the narcissist will find a new target.
The narcissist will hammer you for a while, but they will soon find a new target.
Don’t be tempted to be flattered that the narcissist seems to be going crazy over losing you. It’s a trick, and no, things will not get better if you go back.
In fact, they will get worse because now it appears you were never serious about leaving, and you are too weak to actually stick with it.
When you don’t go back, there will be fireworks for a while, but it will be short-lived.
The truth is, instead of admitting they have a problem, the narcissist will, most often, simply move on to the next target to see what they can drain from the next victim. It is always about what you have to offer the narcissist.
7. Be patient with yourself and grieve.
Don’t fall into the “blame yourself” game. It’s just not true. The narcissist has conditioned your brain to view everything as your fault. It’s time to bat that down, stand up, and call the kettle black.
You will grieve because you gave your all to someone who used and drained you and didn’t care what condition they left you in. You surely loved them, or you wouldn’t have sacrificed so much to be with them. Take the time to grieve properly. Join a grief support group or network with others.
8. Remember to give yourself self-care daily.
Love yourself. You are worthy and deserving of love and pampering. You have given all you had to a narcissist for no telling how long.
It is time for you to receive the love and care that you need. Do something kind for yourself every day and review affirmations to lift you up.
These are a few things you can do for yourself:
9. Get professional counseling or therapy.
Going no contact with a narcissist will not suddenly be a breath of fresh air. You will suffer anxiety and likely trauma. You’ll need help recovering.
Later on, after the initial impact and first stages, it will become lighter and freer, but it isn’t going to happen right away.
Here are some ways counseling or therapy can help:
Counseling or therapy will help you focus on your healing. You will learn to meditate, calm erratic thoughts, and stabilize yourself for a beautiful, exciting life just ahead.
10. Stay busy, make new friends, and be active.
Yes. You need your time to grieve, but you can’t live there. Enough life has already been sucked out of you, and now it is time to recreate yourself by being who you are and doing what you love.
You have a new life now. Get out there and live your life! This is your time to do the things you love to do. Go dancing, make new friends, take a road trip, join a pickleball team, or go play board games on Tuesday nights.
Whatever fits your flavor and makes you thrive, go do that!
Here are some great activities to keep you busy:
11. Never look back!
Narcissists do not change, ever. They cannot. Their personality is an inherent trait. There is no reason to reflect on what is past and will never come around again.
It only serves to strap that ball and chain to your emotions that will not allow you to move forward or develop new healthy relationships.
Cut it loose, and never look back! You have too many excellent and exciting things to live for!
Resources to Help You Go No Contact with a Narcissist
Honestly, I cannot write this article without extending a few resources to help you get through your breakup and going no contact with your narcissist. It is just too devastating.
Check out these excellent resources with hyperlinks provided:
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or chat on the website.
- Contact the Resources for Victims of Teen Dating Violence through Youth.gov.
- Contact the Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence.
- Contact the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health.
- Call 988 or visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s website.
- Contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness website or call (800) 950-6264.
- Find online counseling or therapy.
- Review materials about breaking up with a narcissist by Dr. Judith Orloff.
- Review articles on narcissism at Happier Human.
Final Thoughts on Going No Contact with a Narcissist
The only way a relationship with a narcissist can ever be successful is if the narcissist gets serious professional psychiatric treatment. Again, it rarely happens because the narcissist believes they are perfect and everyone else is messed up and inferior to them.
Then, you must go no contact with that person to save yourself, recover, and live out a happier life. You can do this! Check out 11 Steps for Going No Contact with Your Toxic Parents for additional helpful ideas.
And if you're looking for articles about narcissist and narcissism, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 15 Subtle Ways to Manipulate a Narcissist in Your Life
- 11 Weird Things That Covert Narcissists Do
- 19 Weird Things That Narcissists Do to Manipulate People
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.