Have you been in a situation where you tried to break free from someone you suspect is a narcissist, but it felt like no matter what you did, you just couldn’t escape their toxic stronghold over your life?
Did you experience the never-ending Hoover where they wouldn’t stop calling you, having flowers delivered, checking out your Facebook page, or even stopping by your place unannounced?
Before you knew it, they were contacting your friends, your family, or even your boss to “ask about you”?
Or, maybe you’re in the middle of a custody battle and it seems the three-ring circus will go on forevermore?
To make matters worse, you keep reading about other people who have already left their toxic partners and seem to be living in Dreamland, while you feel utterly powerless to do anything about your own situation?
The first days of trying to maintain No Contact can seem impossible…I have been there. It feels like you’re faced with an all-consuming life sentence and feel completely ill-equipped and unprepared to deal with it. You’re wracked with anxiety, guilt, and fear and you feel like one more encounter with the narcissist will push you over the edge into La La Land.
You wonder… is freedom in the cards for me, or am I doomed to a life of emotional slavery?
And if freedom is possible, what do I need to do to get it?
Today, I answer those questions for you. Normally, what feels like an impossible situation involves seeing things from a different perspective and realizing that you have way more power than you give yourself credit for. Much of what seems like the narcissist having complete control over your life involves making practical adjustments and cutting out various forms of self-sabotage that keep you entwined with your toxic Ex.
6 Best Ways to Get Rid of a Narcissist
Technically, there are hundreds of ways, but I’ll give you the six most common ones I’ve seen work in the real world.
This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen it thousands of times on recovery forums and the comment sections on various blogs. People are frustrated because the narcissist texted them or left a voicemail, and won’t leave them alone when they’ve made it clear to the narcissist they want to end things.
This approach leaves all the power in the narcissist’s hands.
If the narcissist can contact you, you haven’t gone No Contact. No Contact involves more than simply not calling them or not responding to their texts and voicemails. That’s No Response and as long as the narcissist has a way to get in touch with you at will, it will be impossible to move on. You cannot take a passive stand when it comes to getting rid of the narcissist.
If you haven’t blocked the narcissist’s phone number, then it’s an indicator, conscious or unconscious, that you aren’t yet serious about ending the relationship. Maybe you secretly hold out hope they’ll finally change or, at the very least, let you know how sorry they are. Sadly, neither of those outcomes will ever happen – even if they do apologize, it’s all a smokescreen…as you’ll discover should you make the choice to remain No Response.
Maybe you have blocked the narcissist, but now they’ve resorted to calling you from different, blocked, or unknown numbers. In this case, you’re going to need to up the ante.
It won’t be convenient and it probably feels like the equivalent of having to go to a 15-panel job interview, but if the narcissist has started calling you from different numbers, you’ll need to change your cell phone number – even if you share kids and even if you use your number for work.
If you share custody of your children with your Ex, not sharing your cell phone number with them is part of the Extreme Modified Contact approach. Allow them access to your landline, instead. If you don’t have one, order one and then change your cell phone number.
In the case of using your number for work, it’s really not as hard as you might think. In fact, I just changed mine last week, even though I use my number for work.
This step is critical because it’s easy to mistake the narcissist’s attempts to contact you as meaning they miss you when in reality, they only want your energy. This energy may be positive or negative, doesn’t matter. To the narcissist, they’re equally fulfilling. In fact, they often enjoy negative energy more. This is what is meant by emotional vampirism. You can stop leaking your energy to them- which drains you and makes them feel energized – by blocking them completely.
You can stop leaking your energy to them- which drains you and makes them feel energized – by blocking them completely.
If you really want to make a point and show the narcissist that you’ve taken your power back, then the only approach to achieve this is to not engage if they show up – especially if they stop by your place unannounced.
A normal person would realize that if they’ve been blocked from contacting you, then you are serious about moving forward without them…and they would accept it and move forward, too.
Not narcissists. Like a jungle cat chasing down a young antelope, they often do not give up at the mere blocking of cell phone access. Do not mistake their showing up as their having had an epiphany and realizing the depth of pain they’ve caused – even if they’re holding flowers or begging. In fact, if they try to engage with you, their intention is to cause more damage and trauma because they intuitively understand that this is how they can keep you hooked.
Chances are, you’ve been obsessing about writing the narcissist a letter, sharing your discovery of their disorder with them, contacting their spouse or their side-supply, outing them to the public, suggesting couple’s therapy, telling them you’re seeing a therapist or coach because of them, agreeing to “just be friends” or any and all variations of trying to change the inevitable.
We’ve been taught as a society that we can achieve the impossible if we just don’t give up. While this may be true in many cases, when it comes to narcissistic abuse, following this advice will lead to your complete and utter downfall. No amount of counseling, religion, or herculean efforts on your part will change the outcome. Not because you lack skills or cannot affect positive change in your life, but because you are dealing with a narcissist. When you finally stop trying to help, pursue, or change someone else – especially someone who doesn’t want to change – you will, ironically, feel more powerful.
Many people don’t realize that the reason they feel so insecure and needy after going No Contact is that they have an insecure attachment style, which manifests as open, raw emotional wounding, as well as crippling feelings of abandonment and rejection in the wake of narcissistic abuse.
People with insecure attachment styles focus intently on keeping their partners close, at the expense of their own interests and even their own values. This partly explains why narcissistic abuse victims cave into demands such as having three-ways or agreeing to work and pay all the bills while the narcissist frolics and plays with their other supply sources.
This happens because they’re desperately trying to attach to the narcissist, which only leads to more feelings of primal panic. The only way to counteract this feeling is to find an emotionally available attachment figure after you’ve initiated No Contact. This might be a friend, family member, therapist, coach, or God – in other words, someone who can be your Rock of Gibraltar…at least during your initial months of No Contact. (avoid well-meaning, but unhelpful people who tell you to just get over it or insist on asking you why you can’t just leave already).
This sixth step is perhaps the most important of all. It is designed to reverse the impact of your perceived abandonment by questioning the credibility and importance of the narcissist. Revoke the power you’ve given them by looking closely at his or her integrity. This involves a transition from idealizing the narcissist to making a realistic assessment of their actual importance.
For example, why would you let the narcissist dictate whether or not you’re desirable/attractive/ worthy/important when you know they’re a pathological liar?
Why take to heart their seemingly “heartfelt” last email or letter explaining all the reasons they can’t be with you when, in reality, they know you will take the blame on your shoulders and the letter is simply their way of justifying their bailing on you for the new supply? (who they’ll immediately triangulate with you, by the way)
Why feel guilty and inefficient when they point out how you “weren’t capable” of being able to work 12- hour days, plus keep up the house, plus make homemade meals, plus keep up with all the anniversaries and birthdays of your relatives when all the narcissist did was plant their butt on the couch, eating pizza, and binging on Netflix (and/or porn) for weeks on end?
Why poo-poo other peoples’ praiseful comments about your attractiveness, accomplishments, creativity, and grit, but then internalize the narcissist’s self-serving (and FALSE) criticisms?
You may be getting it now…yes, the narcissist is simply a colossal dud in disguise and they’ve tried their darnedest to keep you from seeing it by tearing down your self-esteem. What kind of human being does that? Those who are Cowards and Washouts.
It definitely hurts when someone you love seems to reject you. but you must remember that narcissists play on your fear of abandonment to keep you in their snare, while at the same time, causing you to put them on a pedestal.
It’s time to knock them off the pedestal and see them for who they really are.
Kim Saeed is a narcissistic abuse recovery expert on a mission to help abuse survivors to heal, find purpose, and live joyfully after No Contact. She also hosts a podcast called Heal, Grow, Evolve, where she aims to help people create meaningful lives and relationships after emotional abuse. Listen and subscribe at www.healgrowevolvewithkim.com