This post is for those of you in the position of being unwilling or unable to go no contact with a narcissist.
Almost every bit of information available for those in a relationship with a narcissist basically say the same thing- “just go no contact.” The tone of some articles & even some fellow survivors who say the same thing can be downright shaming, as if being unable or unwilling to go no contact means something is very wrong with you or you’re weak.
While it’s certainly true that no contact is almost always the best way to deal with a narcissist, that doesn’t make it an easy solution. Whoever the narcissist is in your life & no matter how badly that person treats you, it still hurts to end a relationship. The closer the relationship the more it hurts, too, such as ending a relationship with your parent hurts a thousand times more than ending it with someone with whom you have gone on only a couple of dates. Due to the nature of narcissists, they usually abuse those closest to them. This is probably why the most abusive relationships with a narcissist are the closest relationships, such as parents & spouses, & those relationships are very hard to end.
Abusive or not, it still hurts to end a relationship with someone so close to you. Not wanting to end that relationship doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you’re weak. It means you’re normal!
Even if you want to go no contact, it often takes time to work up the inner strength to be able to do it. Narcissists beat their victims down so badly, they can obliterate their self esteem. Once you learn what is happening, it takes time to repair your self esteem & to build up enough strength to go no contact. Or, maybe you know somehow that the timing isn’t right somehow for no contact.. that happened to me with my parents. I wanted to go no contact with them for well over a year before I felt God was saying it was time. There is also the common situation of a victim who lives with a narcissist being financially dependent on that narcissist. It takes time to be able to save enough money to move out, to find a job & a place to live. None of these situations make a person weak or flawed. It simply means they’re in difficult situations.
There are also some folks whose narcissist is pretty low on the spectrum. Yes, that person causes problems but they aren’t over the top in their behavior. Some people would prefer to learn ways to deal with them than end those relationships. That is their right to make that choice
For those of you in those situations, I want to encourage you today.
I know it’s terribly hard being in a relationship with a narcissist in any capacity. Until such time as you are ready & willing to go no contact, there are some things you can do to make your life a little easier.
As always, I recommend praying. Ask God to show you creative & effective ways to cope with the narcissist as well as to help you to go no contact if that is your desired result.
Always remember- narcissists are all about gaining narcissistic supply to prop up their egos. It’s their primary motivation for everything they do. Any attention or reaction you give them, good or bad, provides that supply. Be as boring to the narcissist as possible. Show them no anger, sadness or even joy. Be calm & cool in the presence of the narcissist. Offer simple answers without explanations. Provide no personal information. This is known as the Gray Rock method. Basically, you become as boring to the narcissist as a plain gray rock.
Don’t forget to question things the narcissist says. They are masters of gaslighting & manipulation, so basically almost everything they say can be a lie. Ask yourself if what is being said is true or not. You also can question the narcissist, but if you do so, do it calmly in your gray rock way. “Oh? Why do you think that?” “Explain to me how that makes sense.. I don’t follow you.” Logical, calmly asked questions like that can throw a narcissist off kilter. It lets her know that you’re onto her games & won’t be manipulated.
Keep & enforce healthy boundaries. You have the right to tell the narcissist no & to expect to be treated with respect. You also don’t need to explain your boundaries. Or, if you feel you absolutely must, remember to stay gray rock U keep explanations minimal.
Also remember that whatever they are doing isn’t about you. It’s about them. Yes, that person is hurting & abusing you, but it’s because it makes her feel better. You have done nothing to deserve it & nothing that person says about you is true. Narcissists project their own flaws onto their victims. It doesn’t mean you actually are whatever the narcissist says you are.
If you are hoping to go no contact in the future, low contact may be an excellent option for you. It’s as the name describes- you are in low contact with the narcissist. You don’t take phone calls or visit as often, but only when you feel able. Low contact can be a really good stepping stone to no contact.
While there are no easy solutions for dealing with narcissists, these tactics can help you. And, don’t forget- there isn’t anything wrong with you for being unable or unwilling to go no contact. It’s a big decision, & every person has to do it only when they feel equipped to do so.