There are a lot of challenging emotions like doubt and fear that victims of abuse feel when they go no contact with the narcissist in their life. In our article How to Deal With the Emotions of Going No Contact With a Narcissist we unpacked all of them but it is also really important for victims of abuse to grasp a comprehensive understanding of the reason why going no contact with a narcissist is so important. 

Going no contact with a narcissist is important because it allows you to prioritize your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs, it gives you time to develop healthy trauma responses, it prevents you from justifying, rationalizing, and normalizing abuse, and it allows you to become the best version of yourself.

This article is going to guide you through the importance of going no contact with a narcissist,

Going No Contact With a Narcissist Teaches You to Prioritize Your Thoughts, Feelings, Emotions, and Needs

The main objective of a narcissist is to remain in power and control of their victim for as long as they can and through a cycle of invalidation, devaluation, dehumanization, manipulation, and many different narcissistic behavior patterns, they are often able to remain in power and control for years, if not decades.

What this cycle does is it destroys the victim’s sense of self, ability to conceptualize their own reality accurately, and self-esteem, leaving them almost entirely dependent on the narcissist in their life. This is extremely dangerous because it allows the narcissist to project all of their negative emotions onto the victim, meaning that the victim is a repository for the narcissist’s negative emotions.

We highly recommend that you read our article How Are Narcissists Made for a thorough guide through this but narcissists are so emotionally inadequate that they’re incapable of regulating their own emotions. Instead, they project them onto their victim to avoid compromising their emotional stability. 

Moving on, the reason that this is such a dangerous aspect of narcissistic abuse is because the invalidation, devaluation, dehumanization, manipulation, and narcissistic behavior patterns that plague the relationship teaches the victim to neglect their own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs if they want to stay in the “good graces” of the narcissist.

The invalidation, devaluation, dehumanization, manipulation, and narcissistic behavior patterns that cause this are so intense that victims of narcissistic abuse often feel a tremendous amount of guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety when they even consider prioritizing their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs, even after they’ve physically escaped the narcissistic abuse cycle.

A victim of narcissistic abuse in therapy after going no contact

This is one of the reasons why going no contact with a narcissist is so important. When you cut off all forms of communication with a narcissist it is going to allow you to reconnect with your core values, sense of self, your ability to conceptualize your own version of reality, and thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs.

Their condescending voice may slip into your mind from time to time but with the right approach it is going to be much easier to manage. We’re always going to recommend that you seek the guidance of a qualified professional to make sure that you have the correct approach when dealing with a narcissist, but we have some awesome resources that you can use as well.

We recommend that you start with our article When Should You Go No Contact With a Narcissist to learn about the hidden aspects of going no contact with a narcissist that you need to be aware of. Then you should read Does Going No Contact With a Narcissist Work and Is Going No Contact With a Narcissist Cruel to help remove any negative emotions like doubt or fear that you may have. 

Learning how to be comfortable with prioritizing your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs is the first step that you can take towards a happier, healthier, and more secure life that you can be proud of and it can all start by going no contact with the narcissist in your life.

Going No Contact With a Narcissist Allows You to Develop Healthy Trauma Responses

Having poor or unhealthy trauma responses can hold you back from successfully escaping the narcissistic abuse cycle, healing, and rebuilding your sense of self, core values, and self-esteem. Four of the most common poor or unhealthy trauma responses are flight, freeze, fawn, and fight and they tend to involve a lot of exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, numbness, dissociation, and confusion.

Flight

An unhealthy flight response is when someone runs away from the trauma in their life and this running can be both figurative and literal. For example, someone who develops a shopping addiction to avoid the trauma they have is figuratively running away from their trauma and someone who moves to the other side of the country instead of dealing with their trauma is literally running away from their trauma.

Freeze

An unhealthy freeze response is when someone responds to trauma by literally freezing up. While they are very aware of their surroundings, they remain frozen because they’re trying to gather enough data to make a decision about what they should do next. A simple example of this would be someone unable to think, move, or speak because they’re being yelled at by the narcissist in their life.

Fawn

An unhealthy fawn response is when someone escapes their trauma through people pleasing behaviors. This is actually a very common response to see among victims of narcissistic abuse. A simple example of this would be a victim of narcissistic abuse neglecting their own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs to make sure that the narcissist in their life gets enough validation, admiration, and reassurance.

A victim of narcissistic having a fawn trauma response

Fight

An unhealthy fight response is a manifestation of one’s belief that having power and control over others is the best way to be loved, accepted, and safe. The fight response is actually very common to see within those with narcissistic personalities but it is possible for a victim of narcissistic abuse to develop this type of response as well. A simple example of this would be someone responding with rage to feedback or criticism. 

What Are Healthy Trauma Responses After Going No Contact?

A healthy trauma response is a response to trauma that addresses it in a psychologically effective way that doesn’t involve suppression, aggression, or minimization. A healthy flight response would be a victim of narcissistic abuse being discerning in stressful situations instead of isolating themselves or running from the trauma.

A healthy freeze response would be a victim of narcissistic practicing remaining present in the moment instead of escaping it by freezing. A simple example of this would be someone using breathing techniques in a stressful situation. 

A healthy fawn response would be a victim of narcissistic abuse having empathy and compassion for themselves when they experience the negative emotions that come from healing after narcissistic abuse. This will allow them to ensure that their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs are being cared for. 

A healthy fight response would be a victim of narcissistic abuse setting very firm boundaries in situations where they feel invalidated, devalued, or dehumanized by others in their life. A simple example of this would be a victim of narcissistic abuse refusing to communicate with those who try to get them to reconcile with the narcissist that they’ve gone no contact with.

Going No Contact With a Narcissist Prevents You From Justifying, Rationalizing, and Normalizing Abuse

Cognitive dissonance is to blame for the continuation of many abusive relationships. It is a theory that suggests when we experience an inconsistency among belief, behavior, and information, it causes a tremendous amount of psychological tension. 

To ease this tension we will change one or more of the elements that are causing the inconsistency to make everything consistent. In narcissistic relationships, cognitive dissonance manifests in the form of the justification, rationalization, and ultimately normalization of narcissistic abuse.

A victim of narcissistic abuse justifying her abuser's behavior

When you go no contact with a narcissist it puts you in a position of power and control over your reality. You will not be experiencing the same amount of invalidation, devaluation, dehumanization, and narcissistic abuse that causes the justification, rationalization, and normalization of abuse.

You are going to be able to prioritize your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs. You are going to be able to work on developing healthy trauma responses. You are not going to have to sacrifice your well-being for the narcissist in your life. Life is going to be 100 percent about your happiness, health, and core values. That is why going no contact with the narcissist in your life is so important. 

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

There’s no doubt about it, going no contact with a narcissist is so important and one of the best techniques that you can use to protect yourself from their abuse. It is going to allow you to be comfortable with prioritizing your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs. It is going to give you the time and space needed to develop healthy trauma responses and it is also going to prevent you from justifying, rationalizing, and normalizing abusive behavior.

When you go no contact with a narcissist you are going to become the best version of yourself! However, going no contact isn’t always possible for victims of narcissistic abuse but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. While going no contact is definitely preferred, there are plenty of techniques one could use to protect themselves from the narcissist in their life. 

In our articles How to Go No Contact When You Live Together, How to Go No Contact When You Work Together, and How to Go No Contact When You Have a Child Together, we dive into all of the different techniques that one could use to protect themselves from the narcissist in their life when going no contact is not an option. 

Get a Free Healing Bundle Every Week!


  • 1 Educational Video From a Mental Health Professional
  • 1 Informative PDF About Narcissistic Abuse
  • 1 Journaling Exercise With Multiple Prompts
  • 7 Affirmations for the Upcoming Week
  • Lifetime Access to Our Private Online Community

Get a Free Healing Bundle Every Week!

  • 1 Educational Video From a Mental Health Professional
  • 1 Informative PDF About Narcissistic Abuse
  • 1 Journaling Exercise With Multiple Prompts
  • 7 Affirmations for the Upcoming Week
  • Lifetime Access to Our Private Online Community

All of the content that Unfilteredd creates is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care — please visit here for qualified organizations and here for qualified professionals that you can reach out to for help. This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

References:

Brownridge, Douglas A. “Violence against women post-separation.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 11.5 (2006): 514-530.