“How can you hate and delete people and be on the journey toward inner peace?
Forgive everyone, clear the karma. Recontact them and heal it, tell them you hold no negativity. Even if you didn’t like what they did. They are not their conduct. Everyone that you had some connection with your exes, family, siblings even if they have died their karmic traces live in you, so heal it, show appreciation. Maybe you shared some good moments? Heal it all. You are powerful, your love, your compassion.
Learn from the ones that trigger you- Shed light on light.”
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Crestone October, 2023
This quote was from one of my spiritual teachers on retreat this year. He’s speaking to the callous tendency for people to have a very low tolerance for conflict and to use social media to be blocking and discarding people, wantonly. He actually suggested for us to unblock people, and even recontact all old exes, friends and relatives who we may be estranged from and heal any hurt, conflict or karma. Furthermore, he wanted us to do this even if they have passed, heal it in your mind or ceremonially. I agree with him, and one of my other teachers told me that part of our Bodhisattva vow is that we are obligated to resolve conflict or pain with someone if we can, even if it wasn’t our fault. I wrote an article about living and dying without regret here.
This is very noble, a true Buddha’s mind and heart would always be open, vast, compassionate, and welcoming, with no karmic entanglements. This is a very big, HOWEVER, when it comes to relating with narcissistic people, the normal relational rules change dramatically.
Idealize, Devalue, Discard, Hoover- Rinse and Don’t Repeat
Most of us understand, by now, the basic patterning of what it’s like to have been in contact with the person who is high on the narcissistic spectrum. Unfortunately, people with these disorders are not capable of having healthy, supportive, equitable relationships. Narcissistic or antisocial people are caught in a painful repeating cycle of: Love bombing, idealize and then devaluing and insulting you and then when you confront them or can see behind their mask, they will usually have a narcissistic rage or injury. Right in the midst of the emotional attack, which can be brutal, they will typically block, discard or silence you. Then, there are the infamous smear campaigns to justify what they did, and sometimes they will try to hook or hoover you back into their lair, for another cat and mouse batting.
There is no way to break this pattern, and there’s nothing that you can do to heal it by fixing them. Let me repeat: “There is no way to break this pattern, and there’s nothing that you can do to heal it by fixing them.”
Narcissistic or antisocial people flourish by having a target of blame to hide their hidden shadow. They often have an inflated, grandiose sense of self, can do no wrong, have no empathy, conscience, or accountability. They very rarely ever seek help or therapy, and any apologies are typically used as a manipulation tactic to hoover you back in to the cycle.
I really believe that there are even sadistic tendencies, they actually enjoy knowing that they have power and control over you and receive narcissistic supply by you staying hurt, disempowered or even disabled. It’s not about love, it’s a game of who wins. As much as we may genuinely love this person, appreciate them and are hurting, we’re simply caught in a very powerful, toxic trauma bond of longing to heal.
However, there’s no way to heal it relationally with a person who is disordered. Narcissists and antisocials are different, we must see that and love and value ourselves enough to get out. The only way to heal is to stop re-traumatizing ourselves, and rebuild our inner foundation that was broken by being in contact, and being emotionally vulnerable to a narcissist.
Reality Testing List
There are a few ways to heal if you feel an overwhelming amount of unprocessed grief and emotion after you’ve been discarded. One way is to write a long letter to the narcissist, never send it and then burn it ceremonially and wish them well. Secondly, since we were emotionally gaslit, it’s hard to remember all the hurtful things that transpired, so it’s a good idea to make a REALITY list of the hurt, abuse and their disordered conduct. Keep that on your phone and read it whenever you feel any hope that you could resolve it with this person that hurt you, so thoroughly and deeply. The first list, name it: “This is Not Love, This is a Trauma Bond“. Then in contrast, write a second list called “I Call In Genuine Love.” In the second list, talk about the qualities of genuine love and respect that you would like to create in your life and in all relationships.
5 Ways to Go No Contact
Going no contact with a narcissist can be challenging, but is often necessary for your mental and emotional well-being, and healing cannot really begin if we keep exposing our nervous systems to harm. I know it’s hard, and seems uncompassionate, but we must know and finally admit that these people DO NOT LOVE US. Here are five ways to go no contact with a narcissist and why it’s important to heal:
- Block Communication: Block their phone number, email, and ALL social media accounts. Make it difficult for them to reach out to you.
- Set Boundaries: Inform mutual friends and family members about your decision to go no contact, and ask for their support in not relaying messages from the narcissist.
- Remove Triggers: Get rid of reminders of the narcissist, such as gifts, photos, and belongings that may evoke painful memories.
- Seek Professional Help: Consider therapy, counseling or coaching to help you cope with the emotional aftermath of the relationship and develop strategies for healing.
- Focus on Self-Care: Invest in self-care activities that promote your emotional and physical well-being. This may include exercise, meditation, journaling, and spending time with supportive friends and family, to rebuild your emotional and physical well-being.
Why it’s imperative to heal after narcissistic abuse:
- Recovery from Emotional Abuse: Narcissists engage in devastating emotional abuse, manipulation, and gaslighting that can damage or break the foundation of our being. Healing allows us to regain our self-esteem and self-worth.
- Break the Cycle: Going no or low contact breaks the trauma bond and cycle of abuse and codependency, allowing you to build healthier relationships in the future.
- Your Mental Health: Narcissistic abuse can lead to depression, anxiety, physical problems, PTSD and CPTSD. Healing is essential to address these emotional and mental health issues and move forward.
- Personal Growth: Be grateful that this happened! Why? The process of healing can lead to personal growth, self-discovery and genuine spiritual evolution. You can learn from the experience and become a stronger, more resilient and compassionate individual.
- Protect Your Well-Being: Fall in love with your life! Prioritizing your healing helps protect your overall well-being and allows you to live a happier, more fulfilling life. You can give yourself the love and care that you were longing for in the toxic connection.
What is Gray Rock and Low Contact (Yellow Rock)?
- Gray Rock: Gray rock is a technique used when you must have some contact with a narcissist, such as in co-parenting or work situations. It involves becoming emotionally unresponsive and as boring as a gray rock. You avoid showing strong emotions or engaging in drama, making yourself an uninteresting target for the narcissist’s manipulation.
- Low Contact or Yellow Rock: Low contact means limiting contact with a narcissist to the bare minimum necessary, typically for legal, social, practical or unavoidable reasons. You reduce communication to what is strictly required, avoiding unnecessary engagement to minimize exposure to their toxicity, and include the basic social formality.
Both gray rock and yellow rock, or low contact, can be strategies to protect yourself from the negative effects of a narcissist while maintaining some level of interaction when going fully no contact is not possible or practical. I know from first-hand experience, this whole process is very difficult. We always want to see the good in people, and we always long to resolve conflict. However, we must understand thoroughly that narcissistic or antisocial people actually thrive on conflict and no resolve is possible.
Internal No Contact, Where it Really Matters
Having been discarded, we do tend to ruminate and it never feels resolved. We have to find a way to uncover inner peace, health, and wellness even after this type of abuse. No contact isn’t just about social media blocking, it’s about not giving that person any more mental or emotional energy.
There’s an old story of two celibate monks who encountered a beautiful woman at the foot of a small river that they needed to cross. One of the monks offers to pick her up and brings her across the river and drops her off at the other side. After about a mile of walking, his friend says “you know it’s against our monastic vows for you to have picked up that woman like that.” The monk replies “I dropped her off a mile ago, why are you still carrying her with you?” The ultimate no contact is to let them go from your mind and heart. We can wish them well, and pray that through education and social awareness, that we learn to spot these types of people and don’t get entrapped by toxic people or patterns.
It’s also important to remember that healing and seeking professional support from a therapist, support group or coach, are crucial, regardless of the level of contact you maintain with a narcissist. With education, no contact and self-care, very deep and profound emotional and soul-level healing, over time is not only possible, but… probable.
Warmest healing wishes to all in your recovery!