5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No. 4 The Need To “Sign Off”


The most common conclusion to the romantic entanglement with our kind is for you to be discarded. Certainly this is what happens the first time around for most people. Later on, the likelihood of it ending because you escape increases as a consequence of either increased knowledge or awareness and/or being unwilling or unable to endure the consequences of your treatment for any longer.

Where you have been discarded, it is understandably common for victims to do a number of things, which includes :-

  1. Trying to resurrect the Formal Relationship with us;
  2. Wanting answers as to why you were discarded;
  3. Wanting answers to understand how you have been treated;
  4. Wanting to address outstanding issues such as financial and/or property issues;
  5. Wanting us to understand how much you love us/you are hurt/you are angry etc

Whilst you may want to tear a strip off us and give us a piece of your mind it is usually the case when you have been discarded that your response is not so much an aggressive one, but more one of bewilderment, pleading, trying to get together again and sort matters out, or eventual resignation and hurt with a recognition of the need to tie up those loose ends such as money owed, the return of possessions and so forth. The general stance by those discarded is not usually aggressive in nature.

When you have been discarded from being our Intimate Partner Primary Source this has happened most of the time because you have been replaced by somebody else. We have somebody new, exciting and with that wonderful positive fuel which we want to last forever. This means that you will be effectively deleted from our minds. This is the ideal opportunity for you to establish your no contact. We have focused elsewhere and we do not want you interfering with our new embedded primary source. You are actually being given a head start at no contact but most people do not take this opportunity. This is because they cannot make sense of what has happened to them, nor what they need to do. They remain in the emotional sea and unable to make any progress.

The desire to sign off and gain some kind of closure by engaging in items 1-5 above (and more besides) means that you try to contact us, whether it is in person, by letter, telephone call or electronic message. At best you will be politely rebuffed and if you accept that rejection and stay out of our way, you are highly unlikely to hear anything more from us until the new primary source is devalued and we come after you by virtue of the hoover. However, if you continue to want to achieve the “sign off” by engaging in sustained contact you will receive malign hoovers to drive you away. You will be smeared even further and you will be triangulated with the new primary source.

However it will not end there.

If you eventually stay away and look at implementing no contact, your post discard behaviour has generated a significant risk to maintaining that no contact. You have already been painted black by virtue of being a treacherous and failed appliance. Your failure to accept you have been discarded (because you keep contacting us) not only infuriates us because we see it as our right to engage in the golden period with the new primary source free from interference from you, but you are failing to do what we want. Yes, we will issue malign hoovers for the purposes of drawing negative fuel from you when there is engagement. Your insolent behaviour for not  staying out of our way means that when Follow-Up Hoovers occur at a later stage (subject as ever to the Hoover Trigger and Hoover Execution Criteria) is likely to result in a malice obsession trigger so that there are repeated Hoover Triggers and that we will embark on a malign campaign against you.

Thus, when your replacement is being devalued, we will be seeking a replacement and one of two things will happen. We will either devalue the existing primary source, seduce a fresh prospective primary source AND malign hoover you by way of punishment or we will devalue the existing primary source, seduce you once again and do so purely for the purpose of drawing you back in. You will be drawn back in but only as an Intimate Partner Secondary Source and then we will torment you. You will be placed on the shelf for long periods by way of punishment. You will be subjected to devaluing behaviour, this being one of the exceptions to when IPSSs usually enjoy elongated golden periods.

It tends to be the case that the Lesser and Lower Mid Rangers will adopt for the malign hoover campaign only. The Upper Mid Ranger and Greaters will adopt one or the other given their greater degree of sophistication and calculation.

Thus the desire to seek some kind of sign off with us when we discard you has numerous effects but so far as no contact is concerned you have created the risk that we will come after you with a vengeance either in a malign fashion or to torment you further by bringing you back under our wing in a supposedly benign fashion.

Your repeated failure to do what we wanted post discard means you run the risk of creating a malice obsession with us and thus this will cause repeated Hoover Triggers so that in ordinary circumstances you may well have reduced the Hoover Triggers to a very low level, but now, you are causing them frequently with the consequences that follow as we keep hoovering looking to disrupt your attempt at no contact.

Thus, that is the risk where you have been discarded. What of when you have escaped?

In this situation you are far more likely to have resolve, worked things out, planned and perhaps you even know what we are. Combine this with how you have been treated by us means that the desire to “sign off”with us in some way is huge. In the case of your escape, this manifests usually in the following ways:-

  1. Seeking to expose us to third parties;
  2. Telling us how terrible we are;
  3. Looking to hurt us in some way;
  4. Unleashing your anger on us;
  5. Telling us we need to change and seek help.

In essence your sign off is not so much about seeking answers and/or sorting things out as it might be when you have been discarded but it is about getting one over on us.

You will undoubtedly feel better for telling us what  obnoxious, unfaithful, hurtful bastards we are. You will feel a sense of relief at telling us how you hate us or how you pity us. You will feel a sense of accomplishment by telling us what we are. However with all of that comes a considerable risk to the no contact you will want to put in place once you have escaped.

First of all, the usual “sign off” is done in a fuel filled manner. If you confront us you will be utterly unable to deliver your tirade or announcement without giving us fuel. Even if by telephone or in a letter it will be fuel filled. I have seen it often. This means that your last act as you escape is to remind us of what an excellent fuel provider you are. The consequence of this means that the Initial Grand Hoover which follows as we seek to bring you back under our control will be fiercer. If the IGH does not work and we are forced to find a new primary source, when there is a Hoover Trigger for a Follow-Up Hoover further in time, you will automatically lower  the bar on the Hoover Execution Criteria because you have given us an excellent fuel imprint at “sign off”. Thus you increase the risk of successful hoovers.

If you have wounded us through this sign off (which usually happens with exposure attempts rather than your final message to us) then this  creates a risk to your intended no contact. The IGH becomes furious as we are driven to assert control, gain fuel and heal the wound. You will also have created the risk of causing a malice obsession so that if the IGH fails, you have increased the risk of Hoover Triggers when we devalue your replacement. Thus when you are trying to maintain no contact we will keep hoovering you with intensity. Either from a frenzied IGH or later through repeatedly triggered Follow-Up Hoovers which will be malign in nature.

Accordingly, whilst the desire to “sign off” with us in some way will be either inevitable (post discard since you do not know what you are dealing with) or difficult to resist (post escape because you want your final say to us) the fact of signing off will increase the risk that your no contact implementation will fail.

Resist the temptation to sign off and thus maximise your chances of a successful no contact implementation.



  1. HG,

    Where would I read more about the topic of fuel or malice obsessions?
    (I’ve read “What is Making Him Come Back?”)


    1. The article mentioned is the one where the obsessions are addressed. I may expand on them in future work.

  2. HG, does implementing no contact have any effect on the narcissist if they have disengaged and have a new IPPS? I know you have written about how the narcissist responds to no contact if you escape but do they have the same response in the case of them having disengaged?

    1. Usually no because the narcissist is no longer interested in you, since you have been disengaged from and replaced.

  3. Thank you HG! Would signing off, e.g. pls don’t contact me, followed by rigid no contact wound or infuriate an UMRN?

  4. HG, I was discarded after 2nd cycle. Pursued the sign off. Was hesitant but encouraged by him to make peace despite him having new supply. No peace made? got huge rage. Made a further attempt at friendship, was told he doesn’t think it is possible now and wants a clean break. Tried to discuss logistics, got random replies when he felt like it. Sent final email saying clearly nothing left to say, we should no longer have contact, wish you all the best. What will happen now?

    1. I need more information to provide an accurate answer and therefore you should organise a consultation.

  5. Omg so so true HG , sometimes I imagine you are like Batman helping the empaths ,all dark mysterious .Then I read your posts and you become the Joker .Why is that Batman is more alluring .

  6. What if you give a fuel filled initial sign off by telephone post discard, followed a couple of days later by a conciliatory text message accepting the end of the relationship and wishing you well?

    1. Why do that, you are just providing fuel, engaging with the narcissist (and thus making your emotional thinking spike) and increasing the risk of hoovers in the future.

      1. HG, thank you for your response. Unfortunately it was before I knew what I was dealing with. I have a tendency to react very strongly when I’m upset, then try and make things better when I’ve calmed down. I know better now, thanks to you.

        1. Yes because invariably you will provide fuel, it may be Challenge Fuel (which means we will have something to prove to assert superiority again) or pure fuel (thus this lowers the hoover bar as your tasty fuel lingers in the subconscious as an attracting factor).

  7. Mr. Tudor,

    A victim escaped and went no contact almost two years ago. There was a massive Grand Hoover, a narc (mid range) even told her he would kill himself if she doesn’t come back but she stayed indiffifrent. She healed and found another man, they are planning to get married. After the engagement she unblocked the narc (probably to show him how happy she is and wound him). He blocked her in response but on the other hand started passive hoovering with social media posts, photos, love songs about his undying love for her. About her being the love of his life. Of couse he does it between his other relationships which always end badly.

    My question is – if he sees her happy (planning the wedding, building a house together with a new man) why he doesn’t act wounded (fury, silent treatment, withdraw), instead he indirectely profess his love for her on social media? And why he blocks her if he want to encourage her to resurect their relationship?

    1. He blocks to assert his superiority and to provoke. The passive hoovers are to draw fuel from other parties, to create a facade and may not actually be designed to draw her back to him – if he desires that, her contentment with another acts as deterrent to him hoovering directly and therefore he needs her to contact him in order to lessen the risk of potential wounding.

  8. hi HG

    I wasn’t able to keep no contact after my so long -tried escape .
    Another year has passed, hell on earth caused by insults and aggressive treatments still on… and we are not “together” yet..
    remember my story?
    In the meantime the declarations of love and promises still are made…

    lately after seriousely gave him an ultimatum and asking to do something to prove what he says, 4 days ago announced on facebook that he is engaged to me !!!! Although i am flattered and happy about that… i am also paranoid, wondering what is happening !!!! Seeing that his rage is getting worse.

    i will appreciate any input .
    i am really in a total confused state of mind, and desperate.
    Thank you HG

    1. Hi Broken

      You say you are happy and flattered and paranoid. What causes your happiness? Are you happy because you feel flattered?

      Happy and paranoid is a strange combination of feelings – so I would say there must be something that you confuse in your mind. How to find out? I think the best thing to do is: try to analyze and break down what you are happy about. There is a good chance that basically it has nothing (anymore) to do with the guy.

      Maybe you are happy because you feel loved, admired and/or wanted. Good! Nothing wrong with that. Maybe you really loved this guy before an he revives this feelings in you.


      He messed with those feelings. He kinda corrupted them. And left you confused.
      Feeling loved/connected and having the desire to bond with another person is a good thing. But maybe he is not the guy to do this with. Maybe these literally mixed feelings are making you think you are paranoid. You are not. He probably is…

      Get clarity in your mind. Analyze your feelings. What do you feel? How come that you feel paranoid? What makes you feel happy? Why did you give him this ultimatum? What did you think/want at that moment? Ask yourself questions. It will help you make the good choices.
      Take care.

      1. Hi shesaw

        it is a too long story.
        Way too long. HG knows it, and i hope for his input. without habing to book another consultation.
        Anyway i’ll try to answer you.
        i am happy because i have been hoping for many years that the relationship would be as it should… in the open and committed.
        However i am paranoid because i think i am more deluded than ever ….
        yes,,, i still love who he was… he keeps me hoping ….

      2. Hi Broken

        A good general rule to follow: are you feeling happy about what is happening now (happy as in ‘a stable sense of satisfaction and feeling good’)? If yes, then go for it. If no (and that definitely is what your posts are sending out) then do not go for it.

        My point of view: this man made you feel weak, paranoid and lost.
        Not a good relationship-opportunity. Be brave (you can! Its very rewarding), save yourself and get out.

        Read, read, read to stay out. Understand what is happening to you. Knowledge is your weapon against his insanity.

    2. Hi broken,

      I do not know your story but felt your post.
      Please get yourself away from him if at all possible, he can not prove anything to you other then repeating what you have already experienced.
      If his rage is getting worse that will not stop, if he has only given you future faking mixed with abusive treatment, then that is all he will ever give you.
      Please know you are worth more then that, you are worth more then he can actually give you, and he will never be able to prove anything to you other then what his actions have already proven.

      It’s hard to give advise here, because I do not know what you are living through. I guess the point is that you are “living through it”, not living how you want to live, your bearing a hurt and burden of his making.
      I can only advocate escape and no contact, telling yourself that there would be no difference if you stayed in the relationship, as he hasn’t given you any evidence of change only fakery.
      You can make a difference for you though, you can choose you..
      I have replied as I felt your post, I hope my words do not evoke pain but thought, maybe of a different future.

    3. Broken (for some reason all of my replies are to Caroline – sorry Caroline – I do not know why that is happening), did he ask you to marry him before he announced on FB that you are engaged? If not, you should definitely be paranoid and wondering what is happening.

      1. I am in total confusion, shock, pain … paranoic … and more pain…
        i will write more tomorrow ..
        thank you for your care.

        1. Sorry to hear that, Broken. Do keep us posted. Stay here and work through it. It really helped me.

      2. Broken, you sound panicked. Panicked animals ( yes we are animals too) make mistakes . Try to calm yourself. Breath. Breath. Step away from it all. Take a hot bath, be with nature, what ever it takes to calm your mind. I listen to Georgian chants or read from I-Ching until my brain stops moving. Then eat something and sleep. Then you can look at things from a distance. Observe them. See them for what they really are. But you can’t do that with your mind racing. Stay away from alcohol or drugs. They cloud your mind even more. When you learn to control your panic, you gain some control over the situation. He’s trying to panic you. Its intentional. If you’re running in circles, you’re under his control. Controlling your emotions is key. You may feel fear, but do not show it. It’s like blood in the water. Let it out when you’re alone, safe. Be slow and methodical when he’s pushing. Check you’re steps carefully, predict the outcomes before you act. Be prepared for backlash. Slowly, calmly, methodically back away from him.

      3. SMH

        He posted and anmounced our engagment to show me that he is
        “serious”… but no, he didn’t asked me to marry him….. although in the past when i went no contact a few times he said he would ..(we are having this relationship for 10 years. I was married with kids, he lives with his mother and father, we never lived together, i am a widow now .. he just turned 30.. and i am much much older than him..) I am italian, he is english.

        The first few years was the “heavenly stage” it was a long heaven…. then in 2015 he drastically changed … that is when i suspected he found a younger woman (long story; and he always denies it) he gradually started to be aggressive and verbally abusive when i confronted him ….. then i found HG writings and i started to see the “real picture” of what is really happening.. eventually i told him of what i think he is …. of course he got upset …. but if i would say for example in this way to him: ” ohhhhhh ….you my adorable narcissist…” he would like it….

        . i am deluded and i am still in the game… hoping for something that i do not even know what is that “something” anymore …
        i feel betrayed, humiliated, thrown in the gutter… rejected…. despised.. and yet when he changes tune with intense love bombing .. i want to believe him .

        There is no hope for me.

        1. Broken, There is always hope but if he posted that without even having spoken to you about it, well, I don’t know what to say. That is really a master manipulation. Have you consulted with HG? I have not but I don’t think I need it right now. I would recommend it because it seems to help a lot of people.

  9. Of course I signed off because I didn’t know all of this. Can one tell a hoover intent by how one signed off? During escape I explained gently but directly why I was leaving (didn’t want to be in an affair anymore – simples). I left the possibility open for contact if he and IPPS split up (I didn’t know what I was dealing with). I got a relatively benign IGH and follow ups. Still later I wounded him inadvertently, and then raged at the ST that followed. Later I apologized for hurting him. Then I tried to expose him in a very underhanded way. My emotional thinking was clearly all over the place. I think I’ve crossed the emotional sea now but he is indirectly hoovering.

    Nothing malign I said ever stuck, so I doubt he cares that I called him a psychopath or tried to expose him (he might not even know). The last direct thing was the apology. Would he consider that positive or negative fuel? Is he hoovering to see if I am still interested or to punish me (for escape, for raging, for exposure)? He always acts like ‘nothing’ happened, even after months and months of NC, so it is plausible that he thinks nothing happened! I am determined to stay NC but if that fails, I would like some insight into his intention. Thank you!

    1. SMH
      He was probably secretly chuffed to be called a psychopath. More wounding may have occurred if you’d said blankly that he was always wrong, and his ideas sucked. “And I take back my apology”

      1. LOL Caroline. You are absolutely right. He even said he wanted to see me after that. We did, I sprung something on him that put me in control, we exchanged angry words, he tried to hug me and left. I texted an apology but he didn’t apologise because of course he is NEVER wrong. I’d take back my apology but that would mean breaking NC.

      2. Caroline, I dreamt last night that I contacted him and then he blocked me – I think it was via email but I saw that he blocked me. It was like a jail cell door with a big X over it. He wanted me to see it. I guess I know subconsciously what his hoover intentions are. FLIP THAT SCRIPT. Too bad and too sad.

    2. SMH
      Perhaps you should consult with HG?! He would be able to answer all of you questions. Try the email consult, that way you have his answers with you when ever you may need them.

      1. You are probably right, FoolMe1Time. I always have these multi-part questions that would best be answered through a consultation. I don’t think I entirely trust HG though because as a greater he doesn’t see shades of grey and I think I prefer my grey world to his black and white one. I am not that cynical and I like to get feedback from commenters too, so I am always grateful when someone responds! Thanks!

        1. SMH, trusting HG in the context of a professional consultation is very wise. I don’t think you will find him to be cynical. I hope you will consider it as it is most helpful.

          1. I will consider it if narc directly hoovers, MB. I am afraid HG will otherwise trigger me as his personality and actions are similar to my narc’s and I don’t think I have quite enough distance yet.

          2. I understand SMH. Im sorry that you have suffered so much.

            As somebody that’s crazy about HG, I also understand that my perspective may be a bit skewed.

    3. SMH, if they are hoovering, you can count on the fact they are taking the temp to see if/how you respond and adjust accordingly. They will take any kind of interaction. FM1T is right with having a consult. You can just blend your gray thinking with his observations. It’s like adding texture to a painting. It will give more depth for you to review the situation.

      1. Thanks, Clarece. If I take what I know from the normal pattern – I leave (four times), he waits, I break NC (he did once), he persuades me back into the FR, I have to assume that this is what is happening again, right? I mean how many mistakes does it take for my idiot brain to learn??!!

        I see my main tasks as 1) not breaking NC; 2) getting my ET back in balance (not ‘under control’ as I do not want to become a different person). I think I have done both except I blocked him, so that is breaking NC, and I am still here, which means my ET is not entirely back in balance. But almost there! HG has helped me tremendously just by having this site. If narc directly hoovers, I will have a consult.

    4. SMH
      so very interesting to read about your dream. Thanks for sharing it.

      I have that same sort of experience too, especially with Ns and abusive situations.
      I suspect because we are detail hounds and love subtleties and nuances, and are able to consider all shades of grey, in dreaming sleep our minds make sense of what we couldn’t find words for. What we can’t quite put our finger on.
      We awaken with “this is what this is” revelation, which we can then describe clearly.
      We know it with substance and in 3-D.
      It incorporates all of the subconscious and intuitive data we collect about the situation.

      I also am aware that I’m not an impulse buyer, and like to consider the data/options before making a choice. Then I choose with conviction and have greater resulting happiness.
      I think that dreaming in metaphors is the way I’m wired to work.
      You too?
      Then we can see the issues, formulate a strategy to fix/modify/deal with, or grieve the loss of, and then do quality assurance on that process.

      Ha ha! Who wouldn’t love us?
      I hope you’re well today.

      1. Thanks for your thoughts, Caroline. I rarely dream about narc but I have before. They do help me to process my thoughts and feelings but it all depends on how well I can read narc. I feel like I know him well at this point, so the hoover would be used to discard me, though he has actually never discarded me. The actual pattern has been quite different. I always think he is shutting me out after I escape (four times now). It then turns out that he is waiting, ‘delighted’ when I return, and persuades me back into the FR. So I don’t entirely trust my dreams! But this one did give me pause. Right before this I had been thinking of letting him know that I spotted him and he cannot manipulate me (really breaking NC). Now I can barely conjure him up, so the dream had some effect. We’ve been NC for much longer than this period now, so it seems something has really shifted for me, thanks to this site!

  10. You make it sound like we should be afraid??? why ever should we be? The Narc is either blocked so he is rendered powerless or if not blocked we can just ignore it and take great pleasure in knowing the Narc is wounded by being ignored. I did all the things you say would have annoyed the Narc and I wait longingly to get a Hoover so I can have some mind game fun with him. Would be mostly monosyllabic wind up and then tons of ignoring. I’m not scared or threatened, bring it on! but I know he won’t he’s scared of me…. I just feel pity for him.

  11. This site has been so helpful to me. An eye-opening experience. Somehow, gaining knowledge about narcissism was therapeutic. I feel less stupid now. And it was, in a twisted way, fun to be able to predict the narc’s next move. I went no contact (not in the proper way) and when the hoover came (a text with a song, asking how I was doing, like nothing happened) I actually recognized it as a hoover. Some months ago, I would’ve thought he really missed me. We’ve done a few cycles already, and I fell for the hoovers, every time again.
    But, I couldn’t resist the feeling that I had to sign off. That was a mistake. I should’ve ignored that text. All he did was type 3 words, and then sit back and wait for me to write another long text, filled with fuel of course. I wish I hadn’t done that. It was just an ego boost for him.
    I didn’t go no contact the way I should have (blocking him in every possible way) because, to be honest, I was very curious. Curious about the hoover. Curious if he would use my birthday as an excuse to get in touch. It’s all stupid and useless.
    Thank you for all the information. For your videos on youtube. Your voice gives me the chills, but I love to listen to the information coming from someone who knows. An expert. Especially since you’re so articulate. This site is a gem.

    1. ‘it’s all stupid and useless”
      Well said Rachel.
      If you add ‘meaningless and draining’, you’d be describing my experience.

  12. Three thoughts: The Burning Bed, Sleeping with the Enemy, Death and the Maiden. Good night. 😉

  13. What about when the narc signs off via email , explicitly saying he will have the lost word and any replies will be ignored? What is he trying to achieve? I haven’t contacted him in well over a month and he said he sent the email at the “suggestion of a professional marriage counselor”, telling me he’s trying to get back with his wife and that, when I defended one of the lies he told her about me, I was being “mean and spiteful@ to her (yeah, while the douchebag is lying to her still and saying he’s enjoying his new life of truth and honesty.) So, why send that email when I haven’t contacted him? Malign Hoover?

    1. And since when do marriage counselors suggest that a man contact the other woman when she’s already out of the picture? Does that jibe?

    2. It might be disengagement, it may be a hoover designed to provoke a response, it might be a response by way of the assertion of superiority with regard to the provision of Challenge Fuel. I would need more detail with regard to the circumstances to provide an accurate response and therefore a consultation is the appropriate forum.

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