This month’s Realms of Relationships column is about going ‘No Contact’. Sometimes in life we’re faced with becoming stuck in unhealthy relationships and that can mean anything from enduring an abuser or narcissist, but it can also relate to any unhealthy relationship we allow with someone in our life who demeans us, belittles, demands of us, or shows no interest or compassion for us, yet remain a part of our lives.
Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – October 2021 – No Contact – The Breaking Point
No Contact – The Breaking Point
I write a lot here about difficult relationships, the challenges about them, the symptoms, and I share my experience and my resolutions about handling some of these conflicts. In this issue, I’m going to talk about the No Contact rule.
This method is usually a last resort to ending a relationship after several other remedies have been applied without success.
When we have struggled with people who hurt, ignore, or harm us, either mentally or physically, and there is no solution left for handling these people, other than continuing to put up with them or creating distance from them wherever we can, sometimes all we can do is go full-blown No Contact. Yes, you can read 100 books on psychology about these issues, but when we reach the last end of the rope where we can no longer endure a toxic relationship, this may become the only option we’re left with to seek peace.
So, what is no contact exactly?
No Contact means taking a firm stance to remove ourselves from another person’s life or situation. It can often be a difficult process, especially when feelings of guilt intervene, but this is sometimes necessary to bring back sanity and peace. And despite our decision to go through with the process, it can still be difficult. And sometimes, despite our decision to break free, we may still get swept back into that person’s drama. Friend or family, sometimes we just have to let go to save ourselves. No Contact means the relationship is over. This is a self-protective measure we should take when a relationship isn’t just not fulfilling us, but becomes bad for our mental health. It’s a measure that will often entail grieving the loss of that relationship despite our choosing to sever ties with that person.
So what is the process for No Contact?
First, we should set our internal boundaries. Once we decide to go No Contact, we must stop filling our minds with the situation and playing the hurt hits over and over in our heads. If we’re at this point in a relationship, it’s time to stop thinking about them, the hurt, the words, the guilt and the pain they’ve caused us, and think about ourselves. When we’ve exhausted every avenue of trying to discuss and fix, and they either don’t see the problem or aren’t interested in repairing anything, it may be time to banish them. Going No Contact is not only a physical action, but a mental one too.
Going No Contact means: no phoning, no texting, no engagement on social media or otherwise, no talking, no partaking in events around them. It means staying strong when confronted by those we’ve walked away from and remembering the many reasons why we chose to delete that person from our lives. The object is to remove our presence from their life.
Like any loss in life, we may well go through some of the grieving stages, similar to how we do when we lose a loved one. During this process, we may experience mixed emotions such as: I’m a bad person for doing this, I don’t want to make bad blood, I don’t want people to be angry at me. I know this ritual through my own experience. I lived it when I finally had to use it with my mother. And since my husband’s passing, I’ve realized a lot about the people who’ve been a part of my life with ‘new eyes’. One thing I know from experience is that a deep loss of a loved one will forever change you.
What can help when we’re weighing the scales about a certain relationship is to write out our feelings. Make a list of the pros and cons of the relationship in question. Look at the good parts and the painful parts. If the painful parts far outweigh the good and you’ve already given the relationship many chances with the same outcome, it may be time to consider this method.
Toxic people are manipulative people. They have an inherent knack for knowing how to overpower others. It’s important not to allow these people to define us by manipulating us into feeling obligation or guilt when we attempt to distance ourselves mentally and physically from that person. Going No Contact is often akin to abstaining from a harmful substance like drugs or booze. And just like going through any detox program, we will undoubtedly go through some withdrawal symptoms after removing a person from our lives. And yes, second thoughts, guilt, and remembering some of the better times, may all pop into our heads during the cleansing, but the idea is to remain strong in our resolution for a greater good. In essence, creating No Contact is self-love and for self- preservation. . . Please continue reading at Sally’s Smorgasbord