A common question asked by people who have gone no contact with a narcissist is, “What’s next? What happens when you go no contact with a narcissist?”
When you go no contact with a narcissist, they will try to manipulate you into breaking no contact, you will experience many confusing thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and eventually, you will experience personal growth and healing.
In this article, I will guide you through these three things to help you better understand what happens when you go no contact with a narcissist.
1.) They Will Try to Manipulate You Into Breaking No Contact
The first thing you should expect when going no contact with a narcissist is for them to try to manipulate you into breaking no contact.
Here are five tactics a narcissist could use to try to do this. I’ve also added simple examples of these tactics to help you better understand each one:
Hoovering is a tactic narcissists use to try to draw their target back into the relationship after the target has distanced themselves from them.
After weeks of no contact, you receive a text from the narcissist in your life that says:
“Hey, I’ve been thinking a lot and realize how much I miss you. Can we talk? I think we were really great together.”
Suggested Reading: How to Deal With a Narcissist Who Is Hoovering
The term “self-victimization” refers to someone portraying themselves as a victim, even if they are not, to gain sympathy and attention or to manipulate others.
You’ve decided to cut ties with the narcissist in your life. Instead of respecting your decision, they text your mutual friends the following:
“I can’t believe (Your Name) just abandoned our friendship without even talking to me. I’ve always been there for them and now I feel so hurt and alone.”
Triangulation is when someone turns a one-on-one situation into a two-on-one situation by involving a third party.
You’ve decided to distance yourself from your narcissistic colleague.
A week later, another colleague of yours confronts you and says this:
“Hey, (The Narcissist) told me about the issues between you two. He’s really upset and wanted me to ask if you’d reconsider.”
4.) Threatening or Intimidating You
Threatening or intimidating you means trying to scare or force you into doing something or prevent you from doing something by making you feel afraid or uneasy.
After going no contact, you receive a message from the narcissist that says:
“I just wanted to let you know that if you think you can just walk away and everything will be fine, you’re wrong. You’ll regret this.”
5.) Isolating You
Isolation is a tactic where the narcissist tries to cut off their target from external sources of support, such as friends, family, or colleagues.
After going no contact with the narcissist in your life, you attempt to reconnect with your old friends.
However, you notice them being strangely cold or avoidant, so you approach your friend, Mia.
Mia hesitates, then says:
“(The Narcissist) has been telling everyone that you left because you met someone else and that you’ve said terrible things about all of us. I wasn’t sure how to approach you about it, but it’s caused a lot of people to pull away from you.”
Suggested Reading: 5 Ways That Narcissists Isolate You
2.) You Will Experience Many Confusing Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions
The second thing you should expect when going no contact with a narcissist is to experience many confusing thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Here are five thoughts, feelings, and emotions you could experience. I’ve also added possible causes to help you better understand each one of them.
Guilt is an emotion that arises when a person perceives that they’ve done something wrong or failed to live up to their own standards.
After going no contact, you could feel guilty about:
- Being the one to end the relationship.
- Not seeing the signs earlier.
- Not “helping” or “fixing” the narcissist.
Suggested Reading: 10 Tactics Narcissists Use to Make You Feel Guilty
Doubt is a sense of uncertainty or confusion about one’s feelings, thoughts, or actions.
After going no contact, you could doubt:
- Your own memories after being gaslighted.
- Whether cutting ties was the right decision.
- Your own feelings and reactions.
Grief is a natural response to loss, particularly the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed.
After going no contact, you could grieve:
- The loss of what the relationship could have been.
- The time and emotions invested.
- The shared memories and moments.
Rumination involves repetitive thinking or dwelling on negative feelings and distress and their causes and consequences.
After going no contact, you could ruminate on:
- Past incidents of manipulation.
- “What if” scenarios about the relationship.
- Moments where you felt powerless or controlled.
Suggested Reading: How to Stop Ruminating After Narcissistic Abuse
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.
After going no contact, you could feel anxious about:
- Potential retaliation or confrontation.
- Starting new relationships or trusting others.
- Rebuilding life without the narcissist.
3.) You Will Experience Personal Growth and Healing
The third thing you should expect when going no contact with a narcissist is to experience personal growth and healing.
Generally speaking, this is because when you distance yourself from the narcissist in your life, it creates space for:
Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting your well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress.
- Allows you to rejuvenate and heal.
- Reminds you of your worth.
- Rebuilds your self-esteem.
- Helps you reclaim control over your well-being.
2.) Healthy Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are guidelines, rules, or limits you establish to identify safe and permissible ways for others to behave toward you.
Establishing and maintaining boundaries:
- Protects you from further abuse or manipulation.
- Helps you control who gets access to your life.
- Ensures your relationships are respectful and mutually beneficial.
Suggested Reading: How to Set Boundaries with a Narcissist (6 Steps)
Self-reflection is the act of giving thoughtful consideration to your own behaviors, beliefs, motivations, and emotions.
It helps you:
- Identify patterns that might not serve you well.
- Heal past wounds.
- Make choices aligned with your core hopes, beliefs, and values.
4.) A Healthy Support Network
A healthy support network is a group of individuals who provide emotional, psychological, and sometimes material support.
Surrounding yourself with understanding and supportive individuals provides a safe space to express feelings, get validation, and receive guidance.
5.) Emotional and Mental Clarity
This refers to the ability to think clearly, perceive situations accurately, understand your emotions, and respond to situations in a balanced manner.
Gaining clarity allows you to perceive situations without the fog of manipulation.
This is important because it means you can make decisions based on what’s best for you and reduce the risk of falling into narcissistic relationships in the future.
What Should You Take Away from This Article?
Going no contact with a narcissist isn’t easy.
They will try to manipulate you into breaking no contact, and you will experience many confusing thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
However, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel because, eventually, going no contact with a narcissist brings tremendous personal growth and healing.
About the Author
Hey, I’m Elijah.
I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years.
I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.
Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.