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How to implement No Contact

When people realize that that they are involved with a sociopath, the standard advice from Lovefraud is that they should, as quickly as possible, cut the predator out of their lives. That means no phone calls, no e-mails, no texts, and certainly no in-person meetings. It means No Contact.

Of course, there are times when this is difficult, as when our reader works with the sociopath, or they have children together. In these cases, they need to implement No Contact as best they can. But let’s now talk about situations where it is possible to get rid of the person, such as in a dating relationship.

What is the best way to establish No Contact? Clearly, firmly and permanently.

The rules of No Contact

The book called The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker, devotes several pages to the topic of rejecting an unwanted suitor, and these pages are among the most helpful of the entire book.

De Becker writes in the context of a woman who decides she doesn’t want to be involved with a man. Do not, the author says, try to “let him down easy.” Here’s what he writes:

One rule applies to all types of unwanted pursuit: Do not negotiate. Once a woman has made the decision that she doesn’t want a relationship with a particular man, it needs to be said one time, explicitly. Almost any contact after that rejection will be seen as negotiation …  If you tell someone ten times that you don’t want to talk to him, you are talking to him nine times more than you wanted to.

Here are more points that de Becker makes in the book:

  • If you get 30 messages from a pursuer, and finally call him back to say, “stop calling,” he learns that after 30 attempts, he will get a response.
  • If you make an excuse like, “I don’t want to be in a relationship right now,” the stalker assumes you will want to be in a relationship later, and keeps calling.
  • If you say, “You’re a great guy, but I’m not the one for you,” the stalker thinks you’re just confused, and will come around in time.
  • Never explain why you don’t want a relationship. If you give a reason, it gives him something to challenge.
  • A nice or delicate rejection is often taken as affection.

“The way to stop contact is to stop contact,” de Becker says. “I suggest one explicit rejection and after that absolutely no contact. If you call the pursuer back, or agree to meet, or send him  a note, or have somebody warn him off, you buy another six weeks of his unwanted pursuit.”

Giving in

What happens if you’re wishy-washy about No Contact? Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader who we’ll call “Lenore.”

I literally had to count the days that went by as I refused contact with him, and on day 120, I celebrated because I felt healed. Well, on day 121, he emailed me, and against my better judgment, I emailed him back. He told me he had been in therapy, he realized what he had done wrong, he was on medication.

I was cautious and wary, and decided, amidst warnings of concern from my friends and family, to perhaps work on a friendship again. We worked on being friends for a few weeks, and everything was great and fine. I felt in control of the situation.

Then his old behaviors started creeping in. He installed a GPS app on my phone so he could track my whereabouts. He began calling and texting incessantly, and flipping out if I didn’t answer right away. The verbal and psychological abuse had begun again. Fortunately, this time it did not escalate to physical abuse. He began lying again, gaslighting and acting erratically, and began seeing other women on the side. Last night, it once again became too much and I told him not to contact me again because my heart and my spirit couldn’t take any more pain, and his inconsistency is so bad for my son.

So today begins Day One again without him. I am writing you today to tell you that your no contact advice was the best advice I didn’t take. For 120 days I went without him. It took a while, but by day 90 I was happy and free and at peace. Now I am back to square one.

No Contact is the path to healing from an entanglement with a sociopath. The stronger you can be about No Contact, the faster you will recover.

Lovefraud originally published this article on October 11, 2010.


Posted in: Donna Andersen

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12 Comments on "How to implement No Contact"

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I implemented strict no contact for over 12 months, very soon afterwards I sold my house and moved away. A couple of months later I was on holiday and bumped into my ex with his new partner, we had a long, friendly chat before going our separate ways
I felt as if I’d broken his hold on me as I’d dreaded seeing him again. How wrong can you get?, I subsequently realised that his hold on me is as strong as ever! No contact as described in this article is the way forward, break it at your peril.

My wife, who I think has one of the personality disorders commonly talked about on websites I’ve been exploring, has implemented no contact with a temporary restraining order. I think she decided to move on because I am not willing to relinquish control over to her. A sweet lady but the consistent need she has to run her control just outside of reasonable control (I call it control out of control) parameters to me is a person who needs a man who wants to hand over his control to her. I’m too young to consider handing that over just yet, if I ever have to at all. Anyways, that’s just skimming the surface revealing just a glimpse of what has been our experience with each other over the past 2 1/2 years. At times I miss her and want her by my side, but then I just let the tape keep playing in my head and as we all know, the outcome has stayed steadily sadistic, to say the least. It’s best to stay no contact. There are more fish in the sea.

no means no, no phone calls/no texting/no ‘lets talk’..

2 words: Acceptance and Reservation. Respectively speaking, one is our friend, and the other is our foe.

Acceptance of the fact that we were dealing with one of these individuals is what opened the door to liberation and therefore recovery from the nightmare befallen us and those loved ones still around to care. However, acceptance of the situation cannot stop there.. We must also accept the fact that if it is true that we are the victim of a sociopath, then the only way for us to genuinely recover is to completely extract ourselves from their spell.

I understand this is easier said than done, and may be impossible for some to do 100%; but it remains imperative that in spite of the situational circumstances, our intention must be to cut off as much social interaction as we possibly can. This leads me to my second word: Reservation

Any reservations we have about doing this will do nothing but weaken our resolve and ultimately spell out disaster. Reservations will kill us and we cant afford to play these games with ourselves. If we fall in love with someone we did not know was a vampire, our innocence can be blamed for getting us bitten. However, If we know were in love with a vampire and our reservations about staying away from them get us bit.. well then who can we blame but ourselves?

Vampires need blood to survive. Shall we deprive them of that life source and stay away from them once and for all? Or do we give in [again] and serve up that blood in a golden chalice right to their door like room service. The choice is ours, not theirs.

I say choose life..

I am struggling with no contact. Granted he has not contacted me in a week therefore I do not have to actively reject him, this behavior of his has me wondering why he has not contacted me and interrupts my resolve. All of the previous times I have attempted to remove myself from this attachment he has contacted me within a day or so angry and mean mixed with a few I am sorry statements. This relationship is one that started in 8th grade and didn’t reoccur until 31 years later. I have since realized that in 8th grade he was abusive as well leaving a huge wound to rewound and open up some 31 years later. I have allowed lies and hot and cold treatment, alcoholism and verbal abuse. The most recent lie was about porn and his desire for it. Led me to believe he was not into anything such as porn and I discovered it all over his phone. This lie was breaking point and I was emotionally and physically outraged. Haven’t talked in a week, still angry .. still want to be no contact but feeling weak at times in my resolve .. any advice ?

Unfortunately had my own experience recently with a sociopath “Keith” thankfully not as severe as some of the stories on Lovefraud. I think that is mostly because I am familiar with sociopaths because of your wonderfully informative website lovefraud. So I would like to say a big thank you to you and the other contributors to lovefraud which helped me know what and how to implement “no contact”

I met my friend Keith through mutual friends of ours. At first I didn’t really pay attention to him, neither did he. Until I realized we shared the same interests in tv shows, books, video games etc. He took a while to open to me but I wanted to make friends with everyone in my “friend circle”so I persisted. Eventually we began talking and discussing amongst each other and with our friend group.

Everyone had liked hanging around including me Keith because of his good sense of humour, charm and he was overall fun to be around. I was 17 he was 20/21. Even though I didn’t find him very attractive at all in fact if i was being brutally honest would almost my feeling towards his appearance as repugnant. He wasn’t “hideous” but he wasn’t my type and looked lot like my cousin. But, I had fun being around him. He was like a big brother towards me.

I especially saw him like a big brother after an incident I had with a few of my “friends” which ended in us fighting and me running away crying because.. Ken was one of my friends that cheered me up. He asked me what was wrong and seemed really concerned. I didn’t want to tell him at first but he insisted. I then had an anxiety attack just thinking about. He then told me to “You’re having an anxiety attack! calm down, take deep breaths, ” he then got me a glass of water and hugged me. I felt much better and very reassured after he did that. I thanked him for being so kind. He told me not to worry and that he used get anxiety attacks too and asked me if I was now okay to tell him what was wrong. I nodded and told him all about my “friends” bullying, teasing and making me cry. He looked disgusted and said “Next time if they ever bother you again, Tell me. I will make them sorry!” I was surprised and I asked “Really?” He nodded and said “I will show them my hairy fat butt if I have too.” I bursted out laughing as he kept telling me more jokes. From that moment on I felt like I could trust him with almost anything and he was like the older brother I never had.

I began to hangout with him more alone as just friends. I would tell him about my personal issues I had with friends, family, school etc. He would assure me that everything was going be okay and would make jokes about it. I guess he was manipulating me as a became more dependent on him. I was very naiive and stupid there were many “red flags” about him. Such as I always got a really bad “gut feeling” around him. This gut feeling was telling me he was bad and to stay away from him. I really didn’t know why my gut didn’t like him. I even asked him “You know, Keith I always get a really bad vibe from you. Why?” He looked at me confused he asked “What? Why do you get a bad vibe from me?” I shrugged “I don’t know why. I just do.” He was like “Well sometimes gut instincts can be wrong. Sometimes mine were” “I guess. You aren’t using me right? Like why are you so accepting and nice to me?” He looked shocked and replied “Of course not. Why are you so paranoid?” What reason would I have for using you? I’m nice to you because your my friend and your funny, cute and say weird things.” I felt slightly reassured and convinced myself that I was overthinking things and i was judging him because I thought he was unattractive. I was so wrong, I had wished I had listened to my gut and stopped hanging with him earlier.

Another red flag of his was his really dark sense of humour and I would sometimes reciprocate. But, sometimes it be way too dark. Like I told him about one of our I liked which him and other our friends would tease me about. He one day said a joke that I should “kidnap him” and went into long detail about how I should do it. I was taken back at first then I laughed it off. He also made a joke about how we should torture and make a snuff film of my dad’s co worker and her kids because they got my dad fired from his job. I was disturbed but tried to play if off by saying “Nah I would just let my dog bite them.” He was like “yeah and I would feed them to my pet snake. If I had one I love snakes.” I said “yeah snakes are pretty cool.” “I would also feed my snake worthless old people and babies. Oh god I hate babies.” ” Yeah I don’t really like kids either. That’s why I am never having them” I replied really disturbed by his “worthless old people” comment. He said “yup me too, When I see pregnant women I want to punch their stomachs” I thought that was too far I was like “dude seriously?” He laughed it off and said”no of course not I just really don’t like children.”

He also said that he could bully someone to suicide. He said he hadn’t done and could do it if he really wanted to. I’m like “Would you feel bad if you did?” He looked at me like I was crazy said “Hell no! If they pushed me that far that I had to do that. I wouldn’t feel bad one bit.” I asked what would they have to do to warrant that from you? He replied “Hurt me or my friends or family. I wouldn’t do it for no reason.” I asked if he would ever do that to me. He yelled”No way you’re my friend!” He also told me identifies himself as a sadist and dominant from the bdsm community after I made a joke about the 50 shades of grey movie that was out at the time. He said that he hated that because it gave it a “bad reputation” I didn’t really care since it was none of my business and I don’t really judge what people “did in their bedrooms” and he said he only was “sadistic in bedroom and only with consent.” We didn’t talk about it after then.

He lied about the whole sadistic thing being “in the bedroom” Because he would continue to tell his dark humoured jokes. He once said he had cute video of a baby singing to show me . The video he showed me was of the disgusting and disturbing ” Chest bursting birth scene” from the movie Alien. He laughed and I could tell he wanted me to be uncomfortable. But reacted calmly despite the fact that I was really disgusted and I instead showed him a funny video of a fat person singing. He seemed disappointed and annoyed of my lack of reaction to his disturbing video. He would also play mind games with me and gaslight me. Like when I would ask him questions he would change the subject. Or say that I already asked the question even though I never did. Which made me incredibly frustrated. Once, when I was texting him about a party him and our friends were having. I asked him if I was invited.He said maybe but only his friend were aloud. I texted but I’m your friend right?” He ignored my question and started talking about how fun the party will be. I asked him “Um, I am invited to your party right?” He replied “wrong kind of ‘you’re’ ask me again and spell it right this time lazy it’s only 2 more letters!” I did had to ask him a few more before he said that yes I was invited.

Keith and I would call each other names such as I and my friends would call him “teddy bear” because he was a big, tall guy that “seemed” kind and caring. I would call him “chubba bubba” and “gordo” (fatty in spanish) he was fine by being called any of those nicknames. He would call me nicknames as well (which I think were way more nasty than of my mean nicknames) “skeleton” “tiny” “toothpick” etc. Even though I didn’t like some on the nicknames he gave me I handled it because I didn’t wanted to be seen as “overtly sensitive” by him or any of our friends. One day I was talking to him alone in the park (where him and I and our friends would normally hangout) , I was talking about an issue I had with a friend of mine. I felt like he was being condescending and slightly dismissive towards me during our conversion “Well why can’t you just talk to her? Any other regular person would.” I annoyed that he wasn’t being his normal, caring, self and had scoffed and replied sarcastically “whatever gordo (fatty)” (I admit that may had been slightly uncalled for. But our friends and us were used to He then looked at me with a really intense angry glare and grabbed my wrist so hard that he hurt for a split second “Don’t you ever talk to me like that again!” I was stunned I had never seen him act like this before. I mean yeah sure, he had a dark sense of humour and was a jerk sometimes. So at first I assumed that it was my fault and I apologized to him saying “Sorry that I upset you.” He said it was okay and hugged me.

That got me starting to question whether or not he was a sociopath or not. I decided to ask him if he thought he had “anti social personality disorder” He was like “What? I’m introverted but antisocial” he laughed. I explained that ASPD was aka as a sociopath or psychopath. He looked surprised that I asked him that question but not confused or insulted or weirded out that I would even ask such a question like I would except a normal person to be. It was a rather “dull” sort of surprise He replied “Oh, no don’t worry I’m not. I still feel love. I love and care for my parrot and my dad” That was enough for me. I just thought I was reading too much lovefraud and serial killer documentaries. After all how would such a nice guy who was so compassionate through my times of need and offered me support and advice could possibly be a sociopath?

Another reason why I thought Keith couldn’t be a sociopath is because he absolutely adored by dog and would always help play with him and take him for walks whenever I brought him to the park. He said he really loved animals. So I thought maybe he isn’t such a bad guy after all. Boy, I was wrong… One day we were talking about reddit and what subs we visited. He told me some the subs he visited were about watching people die in weird ways. I was very disturbed by that I asked “Why? You don’t… get off on that do you?” He replied simply “No, I just watched out of interest a few times. I haven’t watched a video on that in months.” “Okay…good” I replied still slightly disturbed. He “clarified”that he only really liked to watch it when it was humans dying the ones that “deserved it”

I was still feeling quite disturbed by this but I tried to relate to him in a way by saying “yeah well I believe some criminals deserve the death penalty. But, I don’t believe every bad criminal should die.” “Well I kinda do. I sometimes want to take justice into my own hands because of the evil in this world.” I said ” I understand that, I just hate when people kill animals or children. Innocent things…” He said ” I agree I wouldn’t kill innocent things” I felt like I was getting through to him and told him about how that there are some sick people on the “dark web” that make videos of puppies getting beaten to death. There was a rumoured one on news sites talking of two beautiful women who kicked a puppy to death with their high heels. He said “Oh yeah, I watched that video…” My blood ran cold I was in shock ‘What? Why? I thought he loved animals.’ I thought to myself I asked him how? where did he find it? He shrugged “I dunno some random website..” I asked if he wanted to watch that video on purpose. “Not really…” “Did you feel bad for watching it?” I asked worriedly. “No! Why would I?” He replied non nonchalantly. I at this point was now mixed with disturbed, fear, confusion but most of all anger. “You’re sick…” I blurted through my furred mix of emotions. He then looked at me in with the same intense angry glare at me “What did you just say to me? What the f*&#?!” He said in a very angry and threatening tone. I was really scared of him at this point and thought he might hurt me (which he easily could) as he was 6″1″ I was only 5″1″ so he was very intimidating to me. Lucky I managed to talk my way out of trouble and get on his good side again and we chatted like normal friends before I made up an excuse so that I could leave early he said okay and let me go home like normal.

I couldn’t believe what just happened so I told a few of my friends they told me that I should just stay away from him because he sounds crazy. Which I did, for a month with no contact at all. But, the thing was I didn’t realize how dependent I became on him and there were so many things I wanted to tell him. Because I had grown to trust him with my family, school, friends issues. I felt kind of lonely without him even though I knew he was bad. Which I know was very stupid and did my best to keep my distance from him and didn’t talk to him for a month. What was strange was I never blocked him from any of my social media accounts and he never tried to contacting me during that month. A huge part me was relieved but, a small part of me wanted him to apologize so that we could be friends again, and so it wouldn’t be awkward when my friends mentioned him and me having to leave whenever he was coming to join our group.

A month later, I was hangout with a few of our mutual friends of ours. When he came at first it was awkward and I wanted to leave but our friends were all there and didn’t want to be rude. Keith was being his funny, charming self in front of me and my friends. We were talking like nothing happened before and we were good friends again. After that day we started texting again and I told him about my family issues my grandparents were in an accident and that my Dad has been struggling to find a new job. He was supportive and gave me advice and texted me (normal) jokes to make me feel better. I thought if we could talk like regular friends and I kept my distance from him instead of talking about dark things it would be okay. But, I was sooo wrong because he didn’t want to talk about “regular” things with me.

A week later, I was at friends party at their house. I was sitting on her couch texting someone when Keith came up towards me obviously drunk but not that drunk (He could still form coherent sentences). “Hey… how are you?” I don’t really like talking to drunk people nor did I want to talk to him. But, I also didn’t want to be rude. “Oh…Hey Keith.” “Are you drinking tonight? ” He asked forwardly. “Nah…I don’t drunk besides I’m not old enough quite yet. (Note legal age to drink where I am from is 18.) “Hmmm not even a little bit come on!” I shook my head. He said “Well, maybe your mind later. What having you been doing.” “Nothing much just texting. My dad had trouble finding a new job again…” I said with annoyance. “Well he could get you a job…” I laughed “Oh where? McDonald’s?” “No, for me…” He said I chuckled “For what? soo i could clean your floors?” He said “No, I can think of much better things that you could do for me…” I could tell by his tone of voice that he wasn’t thinking the most purest of thoughts. I was starting to feel uncomfortable and nervously laughed it off and joked “Well we could eat ice cream! Cookies and cream is my favourite ice cream flavour what’s yours?” He smiled at me creepily and starting talking about his favourite bdsm things to do. I was clearly uncomfortable by this and said “Wow…that sounds painful. Yeah no thanks.” He said “Don’t worry I know how to do it so it won’t be painful.” he said failing to reassure me. I then said in a firm tone “No! I told you I am not into that sort of thing!” He laughed “Well you couldn’t say no if you worked for me…” “Dude what the f#%&! That is rapey as hell stop it you’re creeping me out!” I snapped at him. He then looked all innocent and confused “What? I was only joking. Blame you for taking me so seriously” I couldn’t believe that he had the audacity to blame it all on me! “I told you no and stop and I wasn’t into that sort of thing multiple times Keith!” “True…” He said awkwardly.After some awkward silence. He then snickered “Nah, I wouldn’t you anyway, you’re not worth it!” I was furious I wanted to punch him but I knew that wouldn’t be a smart idea knowing our height and weight was drastically different from one other. I grabbed my stuff and just mattered “Whatever” which he returned. I could tell he was angry and annoyed that at me and couldn’t understand why I got so worked up about it. I told my friend that I was leaving she asked me what was wrong I said “Nothing. I’m just tired can I go home please?..” I was fighting back tears. Which she didn’t noticed and okayed me. On my way out Keith had saw me an and stopped me by grabbing my arm “Hey I am sorry about what happened before. You okay?” in his soothing gentle voice. Inside I was furious but I simply replied “Yeah I’m just really tired. I’m going home now.” He asked “Will I see you tomorrow? Or soon?…” “Yeah I will talk to you some other time Keith. Goodnight!” I lied I wasn’t going to talk to him later. I WAS NEVER EVER going to see him ever again after that incident! But I said I would just so he would leave me alone. He even rubbed against my thigh as I was leaving.

I cried on my way home. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed about what happened. I also felt like an idiot for talking to him again when I should of just stayed away. But I thought he was my friend and he cared about me and my issues but no he was a sadistic narcissist who probably was only being nice towards me so that he could try out his bondage sex with me. I felt like such a fool for letting him manipulate me because afterwards I saw all the signs that were exactly said on the lovefraud site. But I remember reading about going “no contact” on lovefraud. So I blocked him on all of my social media sites, changed my phone number and blocked him. Even changed my social media usernames. Unfriended mutual friends with him as hard as that was. But, I didn’t want him having anyway of knowing what I was doing or finding my new username and creating a new account then adding me. I also managed to convinced a couple of mutual female friends that he was a creep. They agreed and unfriended him. I am upset about having to unfriended mutual friends but what I have learned from lovefraud it’s for the best if you truly want to get away from the narc/sociopath. I also stop going to places where we would normally hang out. It was difficult at first because I visited his facebook page a few times. I scolded myself and reminded my self that “No contact” means no checking their social media either.

It’s been months since I’ve last ever saw him and I feel much safer now! I can go back to the normal locations and he is not there anymore! I explained to my friends why I changed all my info they were supportive. Told other girl’s that didn’t know him to stay the hell away from him because he is a creep! They are all grateful that I warned them of him even before knowing him. Something I wish somebody did for me…

I would like to say a big thank you to you Donna and to Lovefraud you have helped me understand the signs of toxic people like Keith. If I didn’t I am worried that Keith might of became even worse and hurt me, Like I have seen sociopaths do once there “nice guy” persona is off just like Keith’s was falling off. Also, thank you very much for helping me understand “no contact” which helped me escape Keith. Next time I know what to look out for having experienced it in real life. And the first sign that something is off I’m leaving!

Jazzel

I’m starting No Contact with psychopath Steve. I talked to him on the phone yesterday. That is the last contact we will have.

Is there any article, in depth blog post that deals with going from LC to NC with a sociopathic mother? . I am in my 40s and have as time and experience as well as research and therapy reached the conclusion my mother is a malignant narcissistic sociopath. I now want nothing to do with her. However she is trying to reach my husband because she wants at my kids now. She sent him a message addressing herself as his “childrens grandmother” in an attempt to communicate with them. Typical “I’ll step right over you to get to them because I refuse to respect you or your boundaries” scenario. I translate this as her keen awareness that young children, although are able to sense danger are not able to wrap their cognition, their full comprehension of a deceptive sociopath. She is giving me the typical “ignore” response to even the gentlest of my rebukes when I have had to lay boundaries. She is trying to write them (the children) letters and likely trying to somehow “hurt ” me and is setting up for that to happen beyond the grave. I know this because out of the blue she sent me a rather long text addressed only to them, accusing my husband of being in a “cult” which is utterly untrue, he is a former Catholic who is searching for a community church to be part of – so that is a lie. And I suspect she has lied often and perhaps incrementally severely about me to other relatives and family friends throughout the years. Also we are considering the process of going LC to NC with a malignant narcissist FIL – (he found our current location information and we are considering relocating so he cannot contact us anymore or send any more mail) Help, advice or wisdom from any of your own experiences with this would be very welcome..

I at times had no contact with my narcissistic mother but I don’t have kids so hopefully someone with kids can reply to you.

This is important.

If you mean it is important to ‘be on the same page’regarding no contact…that is the truest thing that can be said about no contact.I cannot stress sticking together, enough.

Especially if you are a romantic couple. It is near impossible for one of the couple to have no contact, and the other to still have contact, no matter how minimal. You will be and are inevitably and indirectly drawn back into the drama and dysfunction, despite your wanting not to be.

Been there, doing that…

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