5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No. 1



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




  1. This is a most excellent article. The comments are excellent, as well. I have so many excuses…sentimentality is just the beginning. Im gonna have to read this one over and over and over😖

  2. The narcissist gave my husband so many extravagant gifts. It’s her pattern to do this with men and she’s actually shown up at a bar with a car full of items she’d gifted to a man she’d fallen out with, selling them out of her trunk.

    All that expensive stuff she gave my husband was dropped off at the Goodwill store immediately. There was no way she was getting any of it back. She went into a narcissistic rage when she used that stuff as an excuse to show up where he was working to ask for it back, LOL. It was extremely satisfying to thwart her hoover attempt and know that she was out thousands of dollars.

    1. nsymns
      There is a search function on the upper right under “Knowing the Narcissist” type: no contact mistakes into the search bar and then you can scroll through them all.

  3. I agree, retention of most anything is a bad idea, especially those momentos or souvenirs or even the boxes of cards he’d written the most lovely words in. After everything was coming out, therapy wise, people in our lives, Facebook which I left almost immediately, all only produced new realities in my mind that those memories of vacations and photos in boxes he wanted nothing to do with. (BUT he demanded prints of the two Golden Retrievers), we had that both died in the same year. I told the judge I wasn’t unpacked, (I wasn’t) where I’d moved to, so she didn’t make me do that. What he did demand that I had to do was divide the ashes of both those dogs equally and provide them to his Atty. My vets office said that was the very first time anyone had ever requested that. I was not surprised. Disgusted but not surprised. By that time nothing surprised me. He purgered himself with each and every question under oath. (Which I knew he thought was a joke).

    All those years of what I believed were good memories all became terribly tainted and make me ill to this day. Over 5 years since the divorce. I’ve yet to trust myself enough to date. It seems the world is full of these people now and I want nothing to do with it.

  4. Gracias H.G. por todos las sabias enseñanzas que nos estas dando, para cuando videos en español realmente lo necesitamos. Llevo 3 meses de no contacto con mi narcisista, esta siendo realmente duro no para de pavonearse con ella por todos sitios mostrandole a todo el mundo lo felices que son y mientras yo aqui destrozada sin saber cual fue realmente el motivo del descarte. Menos mal que tu nos enseñaste un camino. Gracias

  5. I totally agree with this post. The most favorite thing that my Narcissist gave me was a necklace. I knew I would dispose of it but it was very nice and I often received compliments on it. I had stopped wearing it after the break up, but one day I decided I would put it back on and the next person who complimented me on it I would take it off my neck and give it to them. It took almost 2 months but finally it happened, it was an empowering moment and the person was delighted to accept it.

    Yay me.

    Eight months later I am still purging crap, but getting there.

    1. Empath, I’m extremely proud of you! That had to feel very empowering! Giving it to someone with no connection to enjoy it was kind to them and a huge purge for yourself. I applaud you!

  6. I have small kids with my narcissist ex. For their sake I don’t feel right deleting pictures of them with their dad. Thoughts?

    1. You need to balance the need for a total purge and no contact with this empathic trait of guilt. Why not store the pictures somewhere else for 6 months until you have established a total no contact regime and lowered your emotional thinking. You can then re-introduce the pictures then when your ET is far lower and the subsequent increase in ET caused by these pictures will not be as dangerous.

      1. That was excellent advice, HG… not that you don’t already think so. ☺

        When I was marinating in my ET, looking at pictures was extremely difficult. I still hold onto my photos, but it is mostly for the opportunity to take a glance for a reminder that I don’t find him as attractive as I once did. I realize that it is still a risk, but once that ET simmers down, our perspective truly does change.

      2. Greetings HG, I read your articles for a long time, I wonder if you have one that lists a list of our characteristics that betray us as an empathic being?

    2. I always think of the many many difficulties, the non narc parent has to deal with. I’m so lucky we didn’t have kids. Was a second marriage for us both but of 16 years together until he left. Then nearly back two Hell filled horrific years to divorce him.
      I agree with HG Tudor, to put them away for 6 months or longer or give them to a trusted friend or family member to hold onto. If they’re seeing their dad, they should be taking more pics of themselves and with dad, right? Small kids live in the present, thank goodness. Don’t concern yourself with those pictures. A simple “mommy misplaced them” for now if they ask, I would think would be fine.
      Good luck and stay strong!

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