Left Hand Path Blog

The Beauty of No Contact

done-with-you

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Over the years, I have used the No Contact rule in various situations in order to give myself time to reflect on a relationship and to protect myself from further drama.  The most common use of the NC rule occurs after a couple breaks up, but I have used it in friendships and business relationships where I discovered a betrayal or lost trust in the other person.

During the few times in my life where I was betrayed, it made more sense to utilize NC than to confront the person who betrayed me.  I’m not afraid of confrontation but I found that NC tends to work out better for all people involved, especially me.  First and foremost, it gives me the time and space I need to reflect on the situation and accept responsibility my part in it.  It also gives me time to recover emotionally which may take weeks, months or even years, which is why I usually don’t set a particular time limit.

There is no downside to the No Contact rule that I can see, and the advantages are many.  They include the following:

  • NC gives all parties a time-out to reflect on the situation.

  • It gives all parties time to recover and make changes in their own thinking, behavior, or actions.

  • It gives all parties time to decide how to move forward

  • NC means you are not giving the other person or persons any more ammunition to use against you.

  • By initiating NC, you are essentially taking your power back. The other party has no idea what you are thinking, feeling and doing.  This huge advantage cannot be underestimated.

  • When you no longer make yourself available, the other person will go through various stages of withdrawal which may start with anger, but eventually changes into a more productive reality check.

  • NC is a demonstration of maturity. Instead of lashing out and getting angry about a betrayal or a bad situation, you are showing the world that you are in control of your own emotions and able to move forward without losing your cool. 

There are people in my social and/or business circles, whom I no longer trust.  But we have mutual friends so I use NC to minimize the contamination of toxic gossip and negativity into those circles.  They know damned well what they did and I don’t need to remind them as my absence says it all.

When you stop tolerating drama and withdraw from a situation and move on, you are demonstrating that you have better things to do with your life and people will automatically respect you for that.  Regardless of how horrible the gossip about you, others will grow to see you as the mature one and begin to question the veracity of the blather; especially when you refuse to acknowledge it. 

Those who gossip and betray others feed off of the negative energy it creates, and the more people they involve the more they feast.  Essentially, they are energy vampires and the best thing you can do is cut them off and move on.  They are miserable people who thrive on misery; best not to let them drag you into their bucket of slime. 

This can get tricky at times, for some of the more advanced vampires will tempt you with gifts, a high paying job or romantic love.  Some will even use their friends to try to convince you to rejoin them in their feeding pit. 

One year my son was offered a summer internship at NASA, but there was a psychotic energy vampire firmly attached to it.  After enduring many embarrassing situations where the vampire held the internship over his head and used it to belittle him, he no longer wanted to accept it.  He already knew what he needed to do but called me first, to get my perspective.  I advised him to send a polite letter declining the offer, then to enjoy the summer attending music festivals with his friends instead.  Sure NASA looks good on a resume, but the benefit was not worth my son’s self-respect; nothing is.

I recently initiated NC in a dating relationship because the man got drunk and acted crazy and rude on our second date.  Right after the date, I blocked him on social media and moved on, no big deal.  Except it apparently was a big deal to him as he used his friends to try to get to me with the guise of helping me find employment.  I found this amusing as I have no problems finding work.  I ignored his text messages and stayed away from his friends because I didn’t want to get caught up in a web of crazy.

Others have offered me well-paying jobs and other business opportunities but my self-worth is not for sale.  I learned that the hard way when I accepted a high paying position working with a volatile person who took me for a ride on the world’s nastiest emotional roller coaster.  He negatively misinterpreted damned near everything I said, and I found myself constantly explaining myself and apologizing when I said or did nothing wrong. If I said it was a beautiful day, he would think that I was being sarcastic or read some sort of cryptic, negative message in it.  I felt I was walking on eggshells and I never knew if I was still going to have a job the next week or even the next day.  I finally left after becoming so emotionally drained I had no choice, and it took months for me to recover.  I initiated the No Contact rule and in this case, it’s indefinite. 

I also initiated NC in a dating situation where the man was clearly stringing me along.  We had a minor confrontation about it when I wrote a blog about men who string women along, and he said he loved me, but the very next night he broke off our dating relationship, so I initiated NC.  I deserve better than that.

In another dating situation, I initiated NC after being strung along and placed on the back burner for 6 months.  In this case he wanted all the benefits of a committed relationship without the commitment.  During the last 2 weeks or so, he saw me for an hour or so one day, then he rushed off.  A few days later, he called me to rant, but ignored my questions and suggestions.  When I pointed this out, he got angry and cut the phone call short, saying he had to go.  It was clearly a one-sided relationship with him reaping the benefits of my company whenever it suited him, and without concern for my feelings.  I should have initiated NC long before that point but I cared too much for him, which is a trap we all fall into at times, and I don’t beat myself up for it.  But at that point, I realized that I needed to love me more than him so I initiated NC.

I felt both sadness and relief when I initiated NC.  It’s always sad when you no longer have contact with someone you truly care about, regardless of the circumstances.  But self-protection is not an option.

Over the years I received some feedback about how the No Contact rule affects those on the receiving end.  I will share some of the responses and my thoughts about them from a woman’s point of view.

No matter how badly the other person disrespected me or took me for granted, they almost always try to initiate contact once they realize they I can’t be reached.  And when they don’t get a timely response, they may enlist mutual friends to intervene.  They may be feeling genuinely sad but what are they really sad about?  Are they sad about losing me?  No.  They are sad about losing their control over me.  This is the cold harsh reality.  If they truly cared about me, the NC rule would never have been necessary.

As NC continues, the other person usually becomes angry when their attempts to initiate contact go unfulfilled.  The balance of control has clearly flipped and they are extremely uncomfortable in their new role of powerlessness over me.

Imagine you are dealing with a demanding two year old child who repeatedly throws his favorite toy down the stairs.  Eventually the toy breaks and mommy throws it away.  At first he panics and looks around for it, and when he doesn’t find it right away he cries.  When crying doesn’t bring his toy back, he screams and throws a temper tantrum.  No matter how many times mommy explains that he broke the toy, he refuses to accept it.  He just wants his toy and he wants it NOW!

In the last case, the man put me on the back burner of his life and left me there.  One day I just jumped off the stove and disappeared….. without his permission….

If you are strong enough to ignore the texts, calls, and pleas from his friends, then eventually they will stop.  And honestly, this is the hardest part for me because I have to face that it’s truly over.  Sure, I know I could re-initiate contact at any time but then I start to ask myself if I really want to jump back on to that merry-go-round again.  I start asking myself if it’s worth the trouble and begin to analyze the reasons why I accepted crumbs when I deserved the whole cake.  And that, my friends, is the beauty of No Contact.