Breaking No Contact: A Decision You’ll Regret? The Truth Revealed

Ah the perils of breaking no contact AND admitting it. But let’s be honest about this because we all do it from time to time.

You’ll get it out when no ones watching.

Sit there alone and pray no one catches you in the middle of it.

Mindlessly scrolling your Instagram for hours.

I’m talking about phones, obviously!

Why, what were you thinking?!

Anyway…

I can feel myself sinking into my seat and shaking my head as I type this. 

The shame, I know. 

It’s also embarrassing to admit – especially when all I do is preach for you to go no contact.

Hypocrite, right?

But I did it, I managed to find a sneaky way onto my ex’s Insta profile and I had a wee browse.

There, I said it.

I did the thing you’re not supposed to.

And don’t tell me you haven’t done that before, because I know you have – we’ve all done it!

The shameful act of social media stalking. Ugh 🥴 it’s so cringe to say it out loud!

But it’s a very real thing that we all do and I’d be lying if I didn’t mention it. It’s part of moving on. It happens. So let’s talk about it.

When You go No Contact, it Implies The Following Set of Rules:

No…

  • Talking
  • Messaging
  • Emailing
  • Seeing each other
  • Asking about them through others
  • Following them on social media
  • Checking up on them on social media

You get the picture.

It’s a set of strict boundaries designed to help you cut all emotional ties with your ex narcissist. So having a little looksy on their instagram, is breaking that no contact rule. 

Why Breaking No Contact With a Narcissist is Riskier in The Beginning

I want to chat to you about why breaking no contact is especially risky at the start of a break-up. 

You know how cutting out drugs in the early stages of addiction can be a lifesaver? Well, going no contact with a toxic person is pretty much the same deal. Except instead of getting rid of a drug, the harmful ‘substance’ is a human!

Think of it this way: going no contact is like going cold turkey.

It’s tough, and you might feel like you’re going through withdrawal. But it’s the best way to protect yourself from further emotional harm caused by your ex-narcissist. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid: painful at first but you’ll thank yourself later.

You’re minimising the temptation of going back to them and allowing you time to grieve the relationship. The first step of no contact is to remove their influence from your life. So that you can fall out of love with them.

The unique characteristics of narcissistic relationships make it difficult to move on. So disciplining yourself to go no contact in the beginning is vital for the following reasons:

To avoid hoovering

Narcissists always want control, it’s how they get their kick. So if you’ve been discarded and they don’t have a supply they’re happy with, they’ll attempt a hoover. They’ll entice you back into the cycle at the early stages of your break up – when you’re most vulnerable.

By going no contact early on, you can protect yourself from these attempts and set clear boundaries.

Your emotions are heightened 

Emotions can be particularly intense at the start. You feel everything: anger, sadness, hope, confusion, desperation. You just don’t know how to pull yourself out of this hole. And what living through narcissistic abuse cycles unconsciously teaches you is: 

The only thing that stops the pain, is to return to the narcissist for comfort. 

Without realising, you’ve learnt a pattern. When you examine your relationship you’ll notice all the back and forth. The good followed by bad. You’ll see that they’ve been the ones to harm you as well as heal you. Every time they’ve hurt you, you’ve become reliant on them to soothe your emotions. Rather than comforting yourself. So you’re used to living this cycle without even seeing it. 

And when you’re aware of this, you have to break it. The only way to do that is to cut off the narcissist’s supply – you. Otherwise they’ll just keep using your emotional vulnerability to manipulate you and keep you engaged in the relationship, i.e. the cycle. 

So going no contact will give you space to process those emotions. It gives you time to evaluate your relationship and see how unhealthy it was. Because trust me, you’ll slowly start to feel better without them. And you’ll make decisions based on what’s best for you, rather than what the narcissist wants. 

It sets a precedent

Going no contact early on sends a clear message to the narcissist that:

You’re not going to put up with their shit anymore. 

It’s showing them that you’ve clocked on to what’s happening. And when they know that, they can’t control you. Once you’ve figured out what’s going on, you have the power back. You can decide whether you want to keep living through the same scenarios. Or if you’d rather take the steps to heal yourself instead.

It helps with healing 

The longer you stay, the more you’ll delay your healing. You need to detach yourself from them and the cycle.

Sure it won’t be an easy ride. But don’t look at the whole picture. Take it a day at a time, even an hour at a time. Whatever makes it doable. Maybe have a calendar that you can tick off each day that goes by without them. It helps visualise your progress and see how far you’ve come.

The first 2 weeks is killer. It feels impossible. You’re constantly tempted by your inner voice to find excuses to contact them. You’re doubting yourself whether this is the right choice for you. Hey, you might even feel guilty for taking such extreme actions.

But I promise you, you’re not. Your history with them is proof of that. It’s ok to pick yourself and cut out people who harm you. You’d want that for your best friend, so want it for yourself too. 

Why writing a list might stop you from breaking no contact

Write out a list on your phone of every bad thing they did to you and how awful you felt. And before you crack and reach out to them, let yourself read it. Remind yourself of all the horrible things you’ve lived through. It’s easy to remember the happy times when you’re trying to justify contacting them.

“We are so encapsulated by the good aspects of the relationship that we want to believe and deceive ourselves that it was better than it actually was”.

Writing things down lets you see the facts for themselves. Or phone a friend. I’m sure they’ll jump at the chance to slag your ex off and discourage you from breaking no contact! 

Going no contact will be challenging – especially if you’re codependent or have a history of trauma. So make sure you gather your girlfriends together when you need the support the most. And if you can afford it, make an appointment with a therapist. They’ll help you see the light and make you realise why you need to stay away. 

Why Breaking No Contact With a Narcissist is Different

It’s normal to break up and have some space from your ex while you get over them. But when it comes to break ups with narcissists, it’s a whole other story. 

Narcissistic break ups are different because of the A word: 

(They’re) Assholes.

Haha, jokes! 

They are. But in all seriousness, it’s because of abuse

Narcissists are manipulative and abusive. So cutting them off is not drastic, it’s necessary. It’s the only shield you have to protect yourself from further harm.

Here’s what makes breaking no contact with a narcissist different:

Boundaries

They have no respect for your boundaries. Even if you’ve broken up with them, they may still try to engage with you. So having strict no contact, like blocking them, helps set a firm boundary with them. It’s showing them that their behaviour is not acceptable and you won’t tolerate it.

Hoovering

Yes an ex may try to win you back. But a narcissist will try to lure you back. They’ll use manipulation tactics like love bombing and fauxpologies. Or they’ll play the victim and try to guilt you into returning. Narcissists want the last word, so if you’ve ended it and bruised their ego, they’ll be back with a vengeance. No contact is a way to keep you safe from their hoovering attempts.

Trauma bonding

Falling out of love with someone is hard. Breaking a trauma bond feels harder. 

Trauma bonds are formed when you’re attached to someone who’s hurting you or is just generally toxic. And it’s tough to break because narcissists have a habit of keeping you on your toes. You never know when you’ll get love or when they’ll withdraw it, leaving you feeling anxious and uncertain.

Plus, there’s the whole cycle of abuse thing to contend with. Narcissists often go through an idealisation phase where they’re all lovey-dovey. Only to turn around and treat you like shit in the devaluation phase. 

And the kicker?

These folks keep promising things will get better, but they never do. They’re constantly bread-crumbing you with hope.

Trauma bonds are like a bad addiction. So, imagine you’re hooked on something that makes you feel good, but is ultimately bad for you. That’s pretty much what it feels like.

Like a drug, trauma bonds can mess with your brain chemistry, making you feel all sorts of wacky emotions. You get a quick hit of pleasure, but it’s fleeting. And before you know it, you’re craving more. So when the narcissist pulls away after a period of adoration, you feel anxious not knowing when they’ll return again.

And just like addiction, there’s a whole bunch of guilt and shame mixed in. You know that being in this toxic relationship is bad for you. But you can’t seem to quit. It’s like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of misery.

So the no contact rule gives you time and space to detach yourself from them and break the trauma bond.

Why do People Break No Contact?

It can be for many reasons: curiosity, loneliness, vulnerability, validation. Perhaps to even say something revengeful.

You know that empty void when you feel a bit sad or lonely after a break up? 

That’s the danger zone as it makes you reach out for comfort in unhealthy places. Like going on Tinder or texting your ex. They’re not actually fixing the core problem. And neither of them end up working because they’re only temporary fixes. 

You need to figure out why you need someone else to make you feel better. We’re born alone and die alone, so we need to self soothe. 

Sorry, took the tone down there a bit!

But it’s true. Learn how to make yourself feel better because that’s going to help you more in the long run. Life’s hard a lot of the time and we’re going to face many obstacles. And it’s a lot easier when you don’t depend on someone else to make you feel happy. 

Obviously we all need friends and family, but they can’t fix your problems. They’re just there when you need support; they’ll help you talk things through. But it’s always you who resolves your problems.

I know what you’re thinking:

Why did I I break no contact?

Bottom line – I was just being nosey. 

I want to be very clear that I didn’t miss him. I don’t ever miss him to be honest. I quite frankly nothing him. But some part of my sleep-deprived-self needed a little hit of self harm that day.

Let’s rewind a bit…

It was a Friday afternoon and I was ridiculously overtired. I’d got home around 4am that morning. 

A couple of friends and I drove up to Dunedin from Queenstown, to watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But we also drove back that same night. So we’re talking about 8 hours in the car plus the gig. It was a bit of a mental thing to do, but totally worth it!

I didn’t get enough shut eye and spent most the day on the sofa binging TV. And like you do, I began having a scroll on Instagram. 

I started watching one of my ex’s friends stories (who I probably should’ve stopped following). But he’s a pretty successful guy and I actually really admire his work. Anyway, long story short, I unexpectedly caught a glimpse of my ex in one of the images.

And then this little voice crept into my head: 

“Wonder what that prick’s up to now?” 

I’d heard through the grapevine that he’d gotten married. So part of me was wondering whether that relationship had fallen to shit yet. I was hoping his partner might’ve seen through the façade and fled. And the other part was yearning to see him miserable.

So, I’m knee-deep in his social history. And feeling a little sick with myself, like:

“Fuck sake Laura, what you doing mate? Just stop.”

And like the saying, curiosity killed the cat, it definitely killed my vibe. That minor slip up and I’m back undoing everything I’d learned not to.

Years of no contact that amounted to one cheeky stalk.

Was it Worth Breaking No Contact?

Fuck no.

Luckily I’m at that stage of healing where it didn’t affect me that much. Of course, it made me doubt myself. Certainly made me question a few things. But it didn’t ruin me like it could have done in the beginning.

I can actually laugh about it now. Because I knew it was a terrible idea when I was crossing the line. For one, I did it in secret. And two, I was worried I’d get caught peeping.

On some level, I wanted validation that what I went through was real. Confirmation that he hadn’t changed. But the truth is, I’m never going to get those answers. And seeking them isn’t healthy. 

Social media is too accessible, breaking no contact is easy when you have that vice. But there are barriers you can put up to make it harder for you to stalk. Like me, I realised that I hadn’t been as tight with my restrictions as I’d initially thought. I’d missed the odd few links to my ex.

So to protect myself, I had to go back into Instagram and remove those connections. It’s not worth it in the long run. There’s nothing to gain from knowing anything about him. 

On one hand, if I know he’s happy, then I’ll only wish he wasn’t. On the other hand, if he’s sad, it still doesn’t change what he did to me. So what’s the point?

Why you Shouldn’t Break No Contact to Stalk Their Social Media

Social media’s a lie

Instagram is never going to reveal an accurate portrayal of someones life. Nobody posts pics of them depressed, or videos of them talking about how shit their life is. Everything you learn from Instagram is just simulations, a collection of highlights.

So as you can probably guess, when I broke no contact I didn’t see pictures of him depressed. I saw no clues of a miserable life. In fact, what I saw was the complete opposite: a man living out his dreams and happily married. Or so it seemed that way.

And, even though I don’t care about him, it still brought up some emotions for me. It made me question whether what I experienced was all in my head; I gaslighted myself. Despite the hundreds of dollars I spent on therapy, a few photos erased the reality I healed from. 

But a video call with LP later, brought me back down to Earth. She validated what I was feeling and got me laughing about it again! Sometimes that’s all you need: confirmation you’re normal from someone who’s been through a similar experience. 

Maybe we’re that source for you? Wanna share your embarrassing “I broke no contact” story (and all I got was these lousy feelings)? Well, there’s a handy comment box just below for that! Be brave, I’ve shared my cringe!

Instagram encourages you to overthink everything

Seeing pictures of his wife made me think about her. But not in a jealous way. It was sympathy, like “I hope you’re hanging in ok, hun”.

There’s this deep sense of compassion you build up for your exes next ‘victim’. You’re rooting for them to become aware of their circumstances. But at the same time, you’re hoping their relationship isn’t as chaotic as yours was with them. 

And it makes you wonder, will she ever find out about me? Will she discover the truth of what happened in our relationship? Or will I forever be painted as the crazy ex-girlfriend?

Not only that, but you’ll fantasise about the possibility of her sliding into your DM’s one day: Anticipating there might be something wrong in her relationship. So, she’s looking to you (the ex) for clarity and answers. And then maybe you’ll empower her to dump him. You’ll form this incredible bond that’s only shared between exes of the same person.

Blah blah blah. What a daydream!

It’s madness the way your mind conjures up all these ‘what ifs’! But all these thoughts will come to light and reopen old wounds. Just because you had a five minute scroll. 

So if you’re in a place to handle that, in a day or two, your mind will calm down again. But if you’re not doing well mentally, you’ve opened up a whole can of worms. And it’ll only make you feel worse (whilst driving you insane).

You’ve come so far, why break no contact?

Come on girl, you’ve gone two months without any contact. Do you want to risk all that progress you’ve made?

Breaking no contact can set you back when you’re still fresh into your healing. You might not be prepared for what you’ll see. And that could crush you again.

You’re already dealing with a mammoth break up, and seeing what they’re up to online will add to that pain. Stalking them is a form of self-harm. Because when you do it, you know it’s bad for you. But you can’t look away. 

You’ve also got the danger of accidentally liking an old pic. And that’s fucking embarrassing!! 

We’ve all been there and know the stark humiliation of liking a pic – from back in 2015 – when they were with the lads sunning it up in Marbs! Don’t invite that risk into your life. You don’t want to feel mortified as well as hurt. 

It’s scrolling suicide.

While breaking no contact seems tempting in the moment, it’s wiser to weigh up the potential consequences first. 

Before you jump in, ask yourself this one question:

Will breaking no contact add value to my life?

If it’s a no, you’ve got your answer. Put the phone down and walk away. 

Grab a tequila instead and celebrate your win! Cheers to your self control and prioritising your emotional well-being. Well done babe, I’m proud of you!

Why The No Contact Rule is Vital For Healing

Once you’ve detached your emotions, you see the toxicity of the relationship and you realise you’re better off without them.

And the longer you practice keeping them out of your life, the easier it gets. So when you have the odd hiccup along the way, the more manageable it becomes. Because you’ve already done the hardest part – getting over them.

The no contact rule helps end their influence over your life. Your relationship (probably without your awareness) was largely dictated by them. Every emotion you felt, the actions you would and wouldn’t take, all controlled by the narcissist.

So when you remove them from your life, it gives you space and time to think for yourself again. Like I said earlier on, you need to look after you and be in charge of your happiness. It’s your healing journey.

We can sometimes lose our sense of self in relationships. We’re used to being in a couple, thinking about what do we want versus what do I want. So when you get your freedom back and you’re solely responsible for yourself, it’s overwhelming. 

You need to retrain your brain to only think about you now. Try and replace your thoughts about them onto focusing on what you want. So when you start to wonder what they’re up to. And you’re tempted to unblock them and look at their Facebook, take a pause for a second. Allow your brain time to catch up with your thoughts and interfere with your actions.

And if you do give in to your devil voice, it’s back to square one.

But Does One Slip up Mean Starting All Over Again?

To a certain extent, yes. You kinda are starting all over again. Because like an alcoholic, if you have one drink, day one of no alcohol starts again the following day.

But it doesn’t discredit all the hard work you did before. That’s still valid. All those days where you didn’t see or speak to your narcissist still count. It’s still progress from where you left off. 

A slip up is a slip up, don’t let it lead you down a path of self destruction. It’s easy to think “fuck it” and carry on stalking the next day and so on. But where’s that going to get you? 

It’s a much bigger battle to fight if you let it become a pattern. Because before you know it, you’ll be digging yourself out of a much bigger hole.

Narcissistic relationships are addictive, you’re trauma bonded after all. And we all know how difficult overcoming addiction is. 

“The voice of addiction is very sneaky. It can rationalise anything and it is very persuasive. It’s important to remember that even a little bit of poison is still poison. You don’t get cancer from one cigarette. You don’t get cancer from smoking one single cigarette after you’ve quit. You get cancer from continuing to smoke.” 

If You do Break No Contact

Be compassionate towards yourself. Understand it was a mistake, and it’s very normal for this to happen. But don’t let it undo all your hard work. Let it be a one-off error in judgement and promise to do better next time. Remind yourself again of why no contact is necessary.

Tomorrow’s a new day, a fresh start, a blank slate. And you can dictate how you want it to go. Do you want to waste more of your time and energy looking at your ex’s life? Or do you want to go and live yours?

I know what I’d choose. Because at the end of the day…

Breaking no contact:

  • Doesn’t make you any happier
  • Won’t feel good
  • Reopens old wounds
  • Delays your healing
  • Sets you back emotionally
  • And their social media won’t be an accurate picture of their life.

So next time I have a moment of weakness, I’m going to hold on to the lessons I learned this time. And I hope you do too.

2 thoughts on “Breaking No Contact: A Decision You’ll Regret? The Truth Revealed”

  1. Coming up to 10 months no contact now! It works, I can go a whole month without a single thought of the scumbag coming into my head & when it does it’s a phew! Dodged a bullet! I blocked all of his friends & family so there’s no accidentally coming across him on SM. It’s starting to feel very liberating!

    1. It really does work! It might take a while to instil but when you practice it daily it gets easier. And like you said, the pain eventually turns to relief! 10 Months is a long time, I’m really proud of you 🤍

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