5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No. 1 Items Retention



It is well understood that no contact is the effective approach to tackling our kind. Whether your entanglement with a narcissist was in a romantic context, familial or a friend, the aim is to cut that person out of your life forever so that the cessation of fuel supply forces the narcissist to seek an alternative source and leave you alone. The concept is an easy one ; have nothing to do with us and cut off all means of contact. Execution is somewhat more difficult. You will have to overcome significant emotional hurdles which cause you to either want to continue some form of contact or leaving a route open for an approach to be made “just in case”. You will have to conquer innate empathic desires for answers, to know the truth of what has happened, to know what the narcissist is now doing, whether he or she is alright. You will have to make changes – whether that is blocking numbers, altering e-mail contacts, staying off social media or more significant ones such as moving jobs and/or home. You will also face a determined opponent who will be reacting badly to the sudden cessation of a source of fuel  and also the inherent criticism that comes with such a bold move on your part. Dependent on the precise nature of your narcissist, you will be hoovered, often in ingenious and intense manners, you will face appeals to your better nature, your sympathy will be milked, you will be threatened and charmed. Resisting much of this proves difficult and even more so when you are ground down, exhausted and bewildered. Nevertheless, should you grasp fortitude and bolster your resolve to execute no contact, it remains the most effective way of forcing us to seek our fuel elsewhere and in the process provide you with a much needed respite

This road to being left alone is paved with difficulties and often they are of your own making. This may arise from under-estimating who you are dealing with through to the complacency which arises as a consequence of the perception that a period of silence on our part means that it is finally and completely over. There are five common mistakes that are made when people implement no contact and we begin with item retention.

1. Item Retention

People like mementos. Whether it is a reminder of a wonderful holiday in the sun, a trip to a concert or a sporting final, people like to collect something which is a tangible reminder of the experience.  A link is made between that item and the experience and picking up that glass lighthouse with different coloured sands inside of it transports the holder back to the sun-kissed shores of a Greek island and the blissful times that were spent there. It might be that pilfered plastic seat taken from the stadium when the football club moved to pastures new and the zealous fans helped themselves to a memento. It may sit in the garden shed, but every so often it is touched or gazed at as the memories of victory (and defeat) come surging back, triggered by looking at this piece of coloured plastic. The associations are powerful. The emotions that were experienced are imprinted on that person and they are able to summon them or indeed the memories and emotions rise in an involuntary fashion just by their eyes looking on the memento. They are transported back to the concert, the triumph of completing a marathon, the first music exam passed, the memory of a relative who in their dying days would sit with that blanket over their knees. Indeed, the blanket is kept in a box so that every now and then, the holder can hold the blanket to their face and smell their deceased relative still and in so doing intense emotions are evoked through such an act.

This is no different with our kind. I have explained about Ever Presence and our instinctive (and in some cases calculated) laying down of  triggers throughout our entanglement. This Ever Presence is very powerful and allows us to linger in your memory, maintain a grip on your heart and pave the way for a successful hoover in the future.

Some people make the error of retaining those items which were both gifted to you and which we purposefully left behind. They think that whilst no contact has been implemented there is no harm in having those reminders of better times. The first present that was given to you as we seduced you, a jumper of ours which we have left in the wardrobe which still smells of our fragrance or a particularly special gift given to you on our first anniversary of being together. Sometimes the item may prove to be expensive and/or practical to you and you are loathe to remove it for those reasons. More often however it is because you still wish to retain some reminder of what we had together, so that every once in a while you can sit and hold that stuffed toy, or let your fingers trace the ornate frame of a beautiful landscape we gave you and conjure up the memories of when we were together. It may be one item, it may be several.

Do not do it. All items – be they gifts or our possessions which have been left – must be purged.

By allowing yourself to retain this connection you are enabling us to live large in your memory. This means that you are allowing emotion to govern you, rather than the cool, hard logic which is needed to keep no contact effective and in place. By giving emotion the opportunity to surface and interfere in your no contact you are weakening it. You allow yourself to consider matters such as

“We had such a wonderful time when he gave me this, I wonder what he is doing now?”

“I have always loved this item, I could never get rid of it, we had some special times together”

“It is bittersweet holding this now and thinking of her, but I still crave her. It wouldn’t do any harm just to chat would it?”

“I remember this so well, seems like such a long time ago, I can put it behind me now, so it would not hurt if I contacted him.”

As I have repeatedly explained, there is a reason you were ensnared by our kind. You have an innate ability to attract our kind and be susceptible to our overtures and that will never leave you. Yes, you will become adept at recognising our kind and knowing you ought to stay away from us, but many of you will fall for us again if you allow yourself to interact with us. You cannot help it. Some of you have greater resistance and may well be able to interact without plunging back into the quagmire you once struggled in but why would you ever want to risk finding out what the outcome would be? The fact that you were once ensnared means that there always remains a risk of it happening again. You have acquired the knowledge and that knowledge tells you what we look like, what we do and why you must maintain no contact. That knowledge is based on icy logic and that is why it is effective. As soon as you give any emotional thinking the opportunity to govern you, then this icy logic is abandoned. You may even be thinking “i should not do this” but you are unable to fight the emotional thinking which has taken you over and is drawing you back into our grasp. You will always remain vulnerable to us. That is how you have been built, in the same way that I have been built to always need fuel. You are able to protect this vulnerability by staying away from us and evading the new vultures which come sweeping towards you.

By allowing yourself to retain some kind of trinket, trophy or object you are giving the emotional contagion that we placed inside of you the chance to surface. This then wants to govern your thoughts and once it does, it will create a considerable risk that you will make an approach to us and thus break your no contact. Even if you do not place yourself in a sphere of influence in that way, your nostalgic interaction with this item places you at risk that if we execute a hoover against you, you will crumble and respond to it.

If you keep some totem of your supposed love, a memento of those fabricated ecstasies, you are sitting with a time bomb. It will keep reminding you of us and this will hinder your forward advance which is required to enable you to recover. As you know, much of what we do is designed to paralyse you so that you cannot escape us. This paralysis is caused by our varied manipulations. The keeping of a memento is self-inflicted and a potential for us to infect you again.You are keeping the ghost of us with you. Our haunting is allowed to continue and by glancing on this item, holding it, touching it, smelling it or caressing it you are allowing the poison to continue to flow through you and in so doing the experience which may feel reassuring to you amidst all of the pain that you are enduring, only serves to weaken your resolve. The greatest risk is that you are puncturing holes in your logic vessel as you try to cross the emotional sea (see The Post Discard Battle – Part Two ) and in so doing you will fall into that emotional sea once again. Once that happens it becomes far easier for us to ensnare you.

No matter how strong you might feel, no matter how much you feel that a mere object cannot have such an effect, you ought not to take that risk. Whether it is a gift we gave you, something created through the golden period or a trinket of delightful times then it poses a risk. If those items belong to us, you are exposing yourself to a double risk. Viewing those items has the potential to affect you in the way that has been described above. It is also provides us with a ready reason and excuse to make contact with you and to see you for the purposes of collecting those items. By enabling us to appear directly in front of you, from our point of view at worst we will gather fuel from you and at best we will successfully seduce you once again and resume the Formal Relationship. Once you give us a toe hold, we will take it and use it to hoover you and apply our manipulations once again. Combine this determination on our part with your inherent susceptibility to our kind and the fact that you are allowing emotional thinking to surface and override your logical thinking, you are exposing yourself to danger once again.

Do not keep those items. Purge them all. Return our property and expunge everything else. Retention risks infection.5-common-no-contact-mistakes-2



45 thoughts on “5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No. 1 Items Retention”

  1. I read the book in one sitting and thought “why didn’t I click on to this material ages ago?” I will definitely be using the tools you provide in this book. Excellent read! I am starting “Your Fault: Blame and the Narcissist.” tonight. Thank you so much… you are helping me with issues I have had since childhood, in ways that nothing else has helped.

  2. I broke contact with my ex narc to return all of his belongings. He still has some of mine. I am guessing he will use it later to hoover me, which means I lose out on about $50 of crafting supplies for my business. I guess better to lose $50 than to lose my mind again to have any contact.
    HG can you write something about the physical after effects of narcissistic abuse and how to overcome them? I am struggling to get back to old routines, feeling physically, mentally and emotionally drained after 10 days no contact. (I broke no contact after 14 days… now sticking to NC for good.) If you aren’t inclined to write on this, is there an article you recommend? Thank you so much.

  3. Dear Mr Tudor,
    Thankyou for replying to my questions ……. your answers were really interesting. Your locked cupboard in your study (where no one is allowed) with those interesting contents,(do you have them named, as there would be so many). It would make for exciting reading about you. Would you be willing to share some more personal/routine things along that nature with us? I mean, when you come home, do you slip into a smoking jacket with a glass of scotch and stare into an open fire? Do you have the same breakfast each morning? How often do you go out to dinner? Do you have a cleaner? Do you do your own grocery shopping and cooking an washing ? When do you find time to be a narc, work and play, date your girlfriend and blog? Do you go to a gym?
    Allow us know “you” a bit better!
    Thanking you

  4. Dear Mr Tudor,
    Kath, in the Facebook comments asks if she should bin her narc’s lifelong photos and the Swiss Army knife his dad gave him …
    what would happen if she did?
    (Personally I would send them back to him)

    1. If the property belongs to him it should be returned (either posted or by a third party, not the victim) to the narcissist.

      1. But what would happen if she did bin them …. what would you do?
        Ta muchly!

      2. Then that provides an opening for a complaint for criminal damage and/or to threaten (or commence) civil proceedings for the unlawful interference with goods, or just repeated blaming “You destroyed MY property”. It depends on the circumstances.

  5. The tHiNg kept his ex wifes wedding ring on a candle stick in his bedroom. Theyd be separated for 8 years! At first I thought it really odd, until….I sort of started to work him out. I then decided he was keeping it as a trophy. When he finally got a divorce (only because we wanted to get married), he sent it back to her. Just the ring, in an envelope. (thats what he told me anyhow..)
    Why would he keep her ring HG? As a trophy like I thought? She lived on the other side of the country, so its not like he would use it as an excuse for a hoover yeah? Thanks heaps.

      1. That reminds me of the narc I was with for 17 years!
        He had a quilt that was made for him and his first wife and he brought it into our marriage for 15 years and the first thing he wanted in our separation was the quilt back😂 to give to his third wifey ..
        I wanted to have our names and married dates and dates of divorce stitched on 😂

  6. “Cool, hard logic that’s needed” whew….. that phrase alone has grounded me as I maintain no contact with my exnarc. I’ve never met someone who could manipulate and victimize himself so well as to pull on my heart strings and sway me to do whatever he wanted. He played being the prey so well but he in fact was the predator…. pity was his hook and he had reeled me into his net over and over again. I’d never seen a grown man cry so much and it really made me believe he was incredibly sensitive and that I needed to be careful with his heart….. yet at the same time he felt so utterly empty… it didn’t make any sense to me. I was good at giving him the benefit of the doubt and excusing his behavior so it was easy to ignore that unsettling feeling. I tried to handle his empty soul and horrid behavior with grace and stoic like positivity and focus on nurturing him and his many false wounds. I realize now how foolish that was. I’d had enough after my brother died and he used my extra emotional vulnerability to exploit me into supporting his drug addictions. I’d try to escape many times but I always got sucked back again. A year goes by and I suddenly wake up to the fact that I’ve got this manchild sleeping in my bed all day long while I work to support his addictions. I’m glad it was only a year and if it wasn’t for HG’s exposure to reveal just what’s really going on in the narc’s head, I know I’d start to feel bad for the ex and allow his initial grand hoover to pull me back in. I’ve purged him of my home and I blocked him, all of his friends and his family from contacting me. He cannot contact me unless he shows up at my place in tears which he was always so good at….. but now I know what he is really thinking. Now I know just how empty he really is. I am but a mere appliance to him and he is only crying because of the fuel I took away and the cool hard logic will help me call the police if he does. Thank you HG…. “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

  7. Fair warning. Great article. Coincides with only just finding a bottle of aftershave in the bottom drawer of my dresser few days ago…under some things of mine! I never put it there when he was here..no way.

    Stupidly I’ve smelled it..afterall one little sniff couldn’t hurt could it? I’m stronger now
    Yes I am. Absolutely.
    …but it did hurt even so. Stupid stupid me.
    Putting my head in the lion’s mouth!
    Anyway…I’ve pulled it out again double quick.
    This article is sharp like the crack of a whip..I hear ya…and I’m on it.
    The article feels protective and i appreciate the guidance for the hundredth time already.
    Thank you HG. 🌹

  8. Just had a flash back. I burned the sweat pant-y cuuuute bottoms and a top which had the sports team on them i (he so by proxy me) liked. i hated to purge but had begun to read HG by then. knew it was a must. i was in my apartment bath room. and used matches. haha. had to put in toilet when flames got too big. then as i put lid down realized the seat was wooden. ikr. lol it all worked out. they weren’t burned to ashes just enough to feel good and take to trash. ta-da.

  9. You will always remain vulnerable to us. That is how you have been built, in the same way that I have been built to always need fuel. You are able to protect this vulnerability by staying away from us and evading the new vultures which come sweeping towards you.
    It’s a compliment & curse.
    We. Are. This. Way. <\3

  10. My narc broke up with me 4 months ago staring I was cheap and did not like to spend money when I wined and dined her..and blocked me from her phone..it came out of no were..sence then I have met a wonderful woman and is so happy now so will my ex narc try to come back or should i not worry because I don’t want her coming back in to my life now that I’m happy.

    1. MK—pardon me, the name is probably tainting my point of view. if it’s been a whole 4mos and you’re “so happy” with the new supply, perhaps you are the narc. maybe i am for judging you. it seems an odd thing to say. oh hey my new gf and i are fabulous. fingers x’d my narc doesn’t come back. you sure you don’t want her to and this isn’t but a shit show?

      1. All I said was my ex narc and I have been broke up for a little over four months and I’m in a new and happy relationship and wanted to know if they will some how some day try to return and try to cause a problem in my life..your painting a picture of me being a narc myself for asking a question.

    2. Marvin Kennedy
      If you stay out of the spheres of influence, then a hoover will only happen when there is a Hoover Trigger (caused by you entering the 6th sphere over which you have no control) AND the hoover execution criteria are met. Please see ‘Spheres of Influence’ and ‘Hoover Time’.

      I hope you don’t mind HG, I used copy and paste for this one.

      1. You are welcome HG. If you don’t mind, I would love to answer questions to help me learn the dynamic, however, I do not want to be rude, so if they are addressed to you, I will VERY prudent before I even consider responding. Accuracy is also very important, as well.

      2. Ass hole is an insult and not a helpful term really with regards to understanding disorders. May make people feel better by using it, which is fair enough, but it is of no forensic value.

      3. Hello Marvin

        I get what you are saying. There are several narcissistic parents that I am around, who have created narcissistic children, and I get to observe their behavior. Three of the boys are violent lessers, a 10-year old and two 7-year olds. It is like living in the Twilight Zone.

      1. Well,we been dating for a year and I treated her very very well, you can say I treat her the way a woman suppose to treat a woman..then all of a Sutton she started wanting more and more and I refused to yet I couldn’t get her to bake me a cake out of a year..anyway so one day out of know were she text me saying Marvin your too cheap and don’t like to spend money then said I hope you have a good life..dont try to contact me because I blocked you on everything..dont understand we spent a lot of time together and had fun for a year.

      2. It’s my fault for thinking you can change these people.guess I deserve everything I got. The great part is I moved on and is happy now..just wanted to know if that animal would try to come back later.

      3. Marvin,

        I’ve gotta keep it 100 with you. Nothing you said makes any sense lol. Also I must add no one could ever get me to bake a cake lmao so that’s not that unusual 😂. There is a whole bunch of information missing from what you wrote. I honestly don’t know where to start.

  11. Yikes! I wanted ask “Even if they are dead?” but I guess I know the answer to that. I have already started to purge, caused by my outrage.

    “Throw it away, throw it away, nothing left to do but throw it all away…..”


    1. Perse
      Especially if they’re dead. Otherwise memories of past pain they caused can haunt you from beyond the grave.

  12. I am proud that I did not give him back his foto album. And it was his album! I do not know where it is at the moment, somewhere in my flat. If he wants his trophy back he has to pay me my money back. I nearly destroyed every memory in his flat that he had on me. Nothing left at his home, which reminds of me. It is as if I never existed.
    His gifts I gave most of them away to people who had use for it or use them myself, for example the expensive purse which I use every day, filled with my money. That reminds me every day that he was only interested in my money, not me and I am satisfied that he did not succeed very much.
    All his texts are safe in my mobile phone. Perhaps some day they are useful for evidence to support someone else. No, I do not destroy things to help him to get away with his evil deeds.

    If empaths destroy every thing, that would help to expose him some day, they only help the narc to play his evil games further.

    Each thing that I still own is combined with an evil deed of him now in my memory – just another way to deal with it.

    He does not know that I have an ugly picture of him. That still hangs at the door. People can look at it. He looks as if he is an alcoholic. Not my fault, if people think he drinks too much. I always say: “He was a little bit stressed at that time. Yes, you are right, I should do that picture away. I always forget to do it. ”

    Is that behaviour narcissistic? Yes, it is. I am sure. I am aware of that.

    In my case there is no risk of emotional infection anymore.

  13. i just knew no contact was the only way to set myself free , however before that desicion I knew I had enough . He crossed a line I never knew was there to cross ! a light came on inside and I just knew it was over after almost 20 years . I was devestated on diazepam, sleeping tablets to get me through the first week , however I also knew I wouldn’t allow him to ever treat me badly again . I’m not sure without knowing I had truly enough would I of been able to discard his letter without reading his pathetic excuse . I gave it to a friend of his unopened I took myself to the jewellers and sold my wedding ring the week later , blocked him from my phone and when he tried to phone from different number I blocked that too . He couldn’t get in which made him mad . One time I had a sneak at his Facebook and those emotional feelings came back in my stomach so I never did that again . I knew if I listened I would let him back in but I knew he didn’t deserve a minute of my time . Something just happened inside that said ” GAME OVER ”
    Sometimes we have to go a few rounds to escape and I knew this was my time . I have three beautiful girls who he seen twice I don’t consult him over the kids , HG advised to email him to discuss times with the kids can take it from there , he also suggested he wouldn’t really be interested ln the kids , guess what ? HG was spot on , he isn’t bothered in the kids as he can not get to me through them so there no use really . I was broken into tiny little pieces on 5th November 2016 and i locked myself away with no contact and read a lot mainly HG books etc , I actually couldn’t even hear his name my stomache would drop !and now I can honestly say no contact helped me concentrate on myself and I put myself together and feel like this time I put myself together with super glue , as when I was with him I was held together by paper glue and was waiting to collapse each and every year .
    I will have a tiny black mark in my soul , but that makes me who I am and I’m grateful at these difficult times they made me strong xxx best wishes everyone with no contact .
    Thank god I escaped and I’m free … NO CONTACT all the way my friends if you can .

      1. Dear Mr Tudor,
        Are you able to elaborate what you’ve kept and how do you keep them away from your partner ( I believe you live together) and how you use them to Hoover ?
        Many thanks

      2. Hi SOP, I do not live with my girlfriend although she is allowed to stay over. I have kept books, pictures, clothing fragrances, teddy bears, sporting equipment, keys, work material, DVDs, medical supplies, passports and much more besides. They are placed in a locked cupboard in my study. Nobody ever goes in the study but me.

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