5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No 1 Item 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




  1. I have mentioned before that it is items of MY OWN that have ever presence attached. Clothing and lingerie that I wore on our dates for example – when I come across them, I want to tear them to shreds. But, they are some of my favorite items. Very frustrating.

    1. Yes, I have blouses and pretty tee shirts like that. I try to wear them now when I can. These are items that I would deliberately wear when I knew he would be around my office, back when I had fooled myself into thinking that *I* was the seducer–ha !ha! Joke was on me.

      1. Oh lisk. The joke is on me too because after I gave in to his overtures, I thought I was the one seducing HIM as well 🙄

  2. OMG this is the lightbulb for me. The triggers from gifts he bought me are overwhelming. It’s taken me 8 months post discard to even be able to begin to start the process of removing them.

    I broke NC as well just to try and get personal items of mine back and also to give him back his things which are still here which are also massive massive triggers.

    I believed he would be decent enough – who was I fooling?!? – to sort this out for me but he did the opposite. Originally he was desperate for his things back and it was the first hoovers I got but the minute I wanted to be rid of anything tying me to him and told him I was ready to sort giving him his things back lo and behold he was so busy for the next 2 months he couldn’t spare an hour of his time. He had the control back again.

    What did this do? Cause me more pain, put me further back to the road to recovery, broke NC only to have to begin from scratch again and also confirmed once more just what I am dealing with.

    In a normal relationship keeping momento’s isn’t a bad thing. I have things from my relationship with my ex pre ex narc and they don’t give me any triggers or cause me pain, they bring back happy memories despite the relationship never going to be a long term thing. Yet with my ex narc anything he gave me or items of his cause horrific painful triggers and bringing back confusing memories of happier times that weren’t real as well as all the awful times of psychological abuse and devaluation where I felt less than human from his constant withdrawing, his moving goal posts, then his back to the love bombing only for it to repeat all over again year in year out for over 10 years. All those emotions and pain from having simple objects in my house he has bought me etc etc. Powerful and frightening all at the same time and it’s amazing just how much of an impact simple momento’s have.

    It was the last thing tying us together and I thought if I could just be rid of this one last tie it would give me the closure I needed. Realistically closure doesn’t exist and the only closure I will get is to continue NC, continue healing one day at a time and keep on coming to HG’s website as this has given me more understanding and closure than anything I would ever get from my ex narc.

    I never understood how he was when I was with him, let alone when I was discarded for his new supply, so in reality nothing has changed except I’m free from him and his mindf**kery!

    I don’t know if anyone else felt it tough to part with items from your time with your narcissist but I know I did and deep down I know it was because a part of me wanted to believe he wasn’t a narcissist and that he would realise I was good and he’d made a big mistake and would come back all apologetic and we could start again. I shudder when I think back to how I felt immediately post discard and how I humiliated myself trying to make him see sense. Reading HG’s posts and viewers comments makes me see I wasn’t alone and that his behaviours over the years were classic behaviours of a narcissist.

  3. Hi HG. I have a ring from my ex narc which I wear every day however I have no desire to contact him when I look at it and tbh it strengthens my determination not to. What about the items my ex narc has kept of mine which he refuses to return, why would he do this if they are of no value and have no meaning to him?

    1. Not in the sense you would understand Lisk, they act as hoover triggers. Yes, items will be saved, not always. It all depends on whether such retention achieves the aims of the narcissist.

  4. But you can’t and shouldn’t return a child you have together ? Narcs view them as property. Get full custody or primary custodian .

  5. I through out all of his stuff after my first correspondence with HG. Why should I give it back, I bought most of it. It felt Great!!

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