What Happens When You See The Narcissist After No Contact?

 / 

, ,
you see the narcissist

So, you went no contact with a narcissist, either because you left them or they left you. In any case, you decided that you’ve had just about enough of a toxic relationship and you finally decided to make the commitment to yourself: you have gone no contact, once and for all.

No Contact is a coping technique that is practically required to heal after narcissistic abuse. It involves removing yourself from the narcissist’s life. You stop seeing, speaking to, and interacting with the narcissist.

This allows you to clear your life of the negative energy they bring into every room so that you have the space you need to heal without dealing with the toxic influence of your former personal tormentor.

Now, for the record,  you might have gone no contact with a partner or former partner, or maybe it was a family member or a friend. In any case, initially, you might find yourself on the “pink cloud” that many people report they experience during narcissistic abuse recovery.

Pink Clouding In Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

“Pink clouding” is a term that is used to describe the feeling of elation that many addicts and alcoholics feel shortly after detoxing and moving into sobriety. I first heard it used in our community by Kim Saeed.

When you’re on the pink cloud, you will feel excited and hopeful in ways you didn’t before, and things in your life might seem to be moving in the right direction for the first time in a long time.

Unfortunately, there’s one big problem with the “pink cloud” syndrome – and that is quite simply that it can make us dangerously overconfident in one way: we might think we’re fully recovered when we’re actually just beginning.

The worst part is that this overconfidence can sadly lead to what I call a sort of “relapse” where we fall back in with the narcissist. For example, when you first leave a narcissist, you can start to see the possibilities of a life without constant control and codependency.

The pink cloud is very common for survivors of narcissistic abuse who have just gone no contact. We are often so relieved that we aren’t dealing with the everyday stress of dealing with a narcissist’s drama and mind games that we don’t even consider the possibility that we’ve still got some work to do before we can say we’re truly healed and ready to move forward.

Related: 7 Myths About Narcissistic Abuse That Need To Be Dismissed Now

Unresolved Trauma In Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

When you do go no contact, you might find yourself feeling totally liberated and free. This is an amazing feeling! But being in a relationship with a narcissist will leave you with a whole bunch of unresolved trauma that you’re going to need to work through if you’re going to create the life you really want and deserve for yourself.

The trauma you experienced manifests itself in trauma bonding, which is a condition that causes you to develop a psychological dependence on the narcissist while you’re in the relationship with them.

It is sort of a survival strategy that many survivors develop during these toxic relationships, but it also makes recovering much more difficult afterward as you’re literally addicted to the narcissist and the toxic relationship in the same way as an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol or a drug addict is addicted to their drug of choice.

Related: How Narcissistic Abuse Changes You

That means that even if you logically know you aren’t interested in having the narcissist in your life anymore, there is some part of you that will have a hard time saying no if the narcissist is able to contact you once the relationship ends.

This is exactly WHY we recommend that you go no contact if possible when you end a relationship with a narcissist. (Of course, if you have kids together, you might need to just go low-contact, where you use the gray rock method to avoid drama, and where you only communicate about the business of raising your child, without emotion – and only as absolutely necessary).

The trauma bonding factor means that you’re going to need to be careful to avoid the narcissist as often as you can so you can avoid the dreaded “relapse.” But what if you happen to run into the narcissist in public after you go no contact? What happens if you see the narcissist?

Because unless you move to a different city, that’s a really serious possibility. And sadly, more common than you’d expect.

How Does The Narcissist Perceive You After No Contact?

You will wonder how they could potentially perceive you – and that all depends on how long it has been since you went no contact, and how much you have healed since that time. Let’s talk about it.

What Happens If You Have Not Yet Healed After Going No Contact And You See The Narcissist?

I’m going to tell you something that I would never tell you in any other case. If you haven’t healed and you happen to see the narcissist after going no contact, I want you to take a page from the narcissist’s book and put on a sort of mask.

Why? Because if the narcissist sees that you have not healed after the damage they caused you in this toxic, unhealthy relationship, they will absolutely RELISH the idea that they’ve somehow won the relationship. They will definitely think of you as weak and they will even attempt to reinforce the idea they probably spent a lot of years putting into your head – that you’re worthless or at least somehow inferior to them.

So, rather than giving them the narcissistic supply they’d inevitably get from seeing you feeling miserable and alone without them, I want you to totally fake it. PRETEND you’re doing great, no matter how you feel in the moment.

Don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing they’ve hurt you. In general, if the narcissist thinks they’ve sort of “won” the relationship, they might pretend to ignore you or just look at you with contempt – acting as if you are clearly beneath them.

So, what can you do to appear healed even when you’re not? Well, consider what telltale signs you might be showing if you’re feeling miserable. Chances are that the narcissist would recognize that you’re hurting by the way you carry yourself, the way you dress, and by your body language if you don’t speak to them.

So, for now, just tidy yourself up and keep yourself looking as fresh as you can when you go out in public. Maybe put some good music in your ears as you get ready and in the car or on the walk to wherever you’re going – that’ll help to at least temporarily boost your spirits.

Related: How To Get Your Ex Back Using The No Contact Rule

What Happens If You Are Healing When The Narcissist Who You Went No Contact With Sees You?

If the narcissist sees you after you go no contact with them and you seem confident, you are dressed well, and you appear to be healthy, then they may begin to idolize you again. This will be especially true if you have moved on with another partner, and even if they are with another partner – or source of supply.

They might indicate the desire to connect with you on some level – and there might be a tiny part of you that secretly hopes that will happen. That’s your trauma bonding coming back to bite you in the proverbial butt.

But always remember that the narcissist’s idea of a relationship is ugly, to put it mildly – and they really don’t want to have a real relationship with you. They will, as always, just hurt you over and over again. You know you’re better off without them.

If the narcissist sees you after years of you going no contact with them and they have seen that you have healed on some level, they could try to trap you again. They may think you would have forgotten about what they did to you and would try to reel you in. They may even tell you they have changed, but their intentions would not be any different.

On the flip side, if you have healed yourself and you seem to be quite well to the narcissist, they may actually ignore and avoid you due to their sense of pride. They actually could see you as superior to them which would dig into their insecurities. That is the level of healing you want to attain.

Just remember your reasons: You had enough of the narcissistic abuse and once and for all you went no contact with the narcissist who made your life a living hell.

What Else Should You Do If You See The Narcissist After No Contact?

Not that you’re out for revenge or anything, but if you were it would serve you well to remember that the best revenge is served cold.

Remember what narcissists need more than anything? Attention. Narcissistic supply. In other words, narcissists hate to be ignored. So one way to deal with them is to give them exactly what they deserve – NOTHING. None of your attention and none of your energy. You can just walk away.

Now, you have to know that the narcissist will need to pretend that there’s something wrong with you when you do this. They will never be able to admit to themselves (or to anyone else) that they mistreated or abused you in any way. In fact, they’ve probably already told everyone how crazy or terrible YOU are and most likely portrayed themselves as the victim.

But what if ignoring them isn’t an option? Then what are you supposed to do? Well, you can just nod or smile in acknowledgment and keep on walking. It’s really all about keeping your composure and maintaining your dignity.

Related: 10 Rules Of No Contact With A Narcissist

This next part is really important. Despite the fact that you would probably rather be poked in the eye with a sharp stick than see this person, you’re going to have to put your feelings on the back burner for a minute. Why? Because under no circumstances should you allow the narcissist or anyone nearby to see that you’re in any way bothered by the narcissist’s presence?

Pay attention to the little details here – be very aware of your facial expression and avoid showing any signs of disgust. (If you’re anything like me, your face has a way of telling all your secrets – so you might want to practice your poker face in the mirror ahead of time to be safe.)

And if you want to avoid giving the narcissist that little zing of satisfaction they will inevitably feel if they think you look or seem anything less than amazing, you want to appear indifferent. Act like they’re any acquaintance you’ve ever met – like they’re just somebody you don’t really know very well almost.

Even if it absolutely tortures you to see them, never let them see you sweat – even if you need to go cry in your car afterward.

Regardless of how much or how little you’ve healed if or when you happen to see the narcissist after going no contact, just be sure you don’t react to them at all – or if you do, keep it brief, polite, and business-like.

Remember that the narcissist will be watching closely, looking for any reaction at all. They will get a little “hit” of narcissistic supply if they think you miss them or you’re having a hard time without them.  So just be sure to avoid giving them even a slight hint that you are affected by not having them in your life – unless the effects you display are positive.

Related: 8 Signs You Are The Victim of an Abusive “Hoovering” Narcissist

What If The Narcissist Approaches You And Attempts To Hoover You?

Play it cool, like ice. Just don’t give them the chance to trap you again. Remember that no matter how hard they swear they’ve changed, or they will change, they absolutely will not. As always, they’d continue to be the person they’ve always been. You went no contact for a reason, so don’t give up on yourself.

Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful. Also, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related video:


Written by Angela Atkinson
Originally appeared on Queenbeeing.com

and is republished with permission.
See Narcissist After No Contact pin
you see the narcissist pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Response

  1. Tina Chambers Avatar
    Tina Chambers

    I loved this article! I went no contact for 10 months & one day while driving, I just happen to see my ex walking down the street.. I freaked out, flipped him off & then thought to myself.. STOP! You need to go talk to him! .. I turned my truck around, said a prayer asking God to help me to stay calm & to say the right things. I sat there sorta reving my diesel truck engine, watching him cower behind his friend, looking as if he was trying to hide, & barely looking my direction. Lol. I knew he knew it was me! I pulled up behind them, and he ran up onto the sidewalk, immediately turned around & said… “Hey, Nice truck.. really nice!” He already knew I had this truck! Then he complimented me on how great I looked.. wow! And then he basically just started bs-ing, rambling on & on about, well… nothing! I stopped him, mid sentence & said.. “I didn’t actually stop to catch up with you. I saw you & figured I’d stop & tell you, that I forgive you for all the crap you did to me. I just thought you should know that.” He was like, “All the crap, I did to you?.. Ha ha ha, it’s more like all the crap you did to me!” And I calmly replied.. ” Well, I didn’t stop to debate with you either. So, maybe you need to get your sh** together & make something out of your life.” He then proceeded to bitch and moan about how his life is all screwed up because of his parents & on & on he went.. I told him, I needed to get going. He asked for a ride. I said No. He asked me for some money. I said No. I said good-bye & then I drove off. I had a smile on my face, & I didn’t even look back, at him through my rear view mirror! Done! It felt great & it was so healing for me!! We were only together for 8 months. He was Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Verbally, Psychologically & Financially Abusive. I don’t know all of the terminology, but he was a very resourceful Sociopath/Narcissist. (It did take me another 10 months & probably 15+ attempts to finally escape safely!) I went back to my hometown & sought help there. I got Counseling, went to support groups, & then was able to get safe at a very confidential Domestic Violence Shelter. I did a lot of inner work & was educated on the cycle of abuse. I’ve healed a lot of trauma & still continue counseling & work on healing daily. I am also a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate now & I’m helping bring awareness to what abuse is. I want to eventually go on the road and share my story. Because, my life was a “Mess” & now I’m turning it into a “Message”… One of love, joy, healing & hope! TLC

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Are Narcissists Delusional? 7 Signs Of A Delusional Narcissist

Are Narcissists Delusional? Signs Of Delusional Narcissists

Are narcissists delusional? It’s a question that has intrigued and confused many people out there. You must have come across certain people who seem to be a bit too obsessed with themselves, and who are always seeking admiration and validation from others. But what lies beneath this self-absorbed façade?

Are these people simply self-centered beings, or is there something lurking beneath the surface? Today, we are going to take a deep dive into the world of the delusional narcissist, and discuss seven glaring signs of a delusional narcissist.

So, are you ready to have your mind blown as we explore the darker side of narcissism and the tangled path it leads down? First let’s talk a bit about whether narcissists are delusional or not.



Up Next

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? 8 Ways Narcissists Can Muddle Your Brain

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? Reasons Why It Happens

Have you ever heard of the term “brain fog”? Brain fog is like a maddening haze that seems to muddle your thoughts, makes you forget what you were saying, and has you searching for your clothes in the trash bin? Well, today we are going to talk about a specific sort of brain fog – brain fog after narcissistic abuse.

Imagine that you have just escaped from a toxic and abusive relationship with a narcissist. You are slowly picking up the pieces and trying to get your life back in order, but somehow you feel like your head is not in the right place. Everything still feels very odd and you still feel very lost.

Even though you are free from the clutches of your narcissistic ex, this bizarre mental fog just won’t lift. Let’s explore how narcissists cause brain fog, and the link between brain fog and narcissistic abuse.



Up Next

Manipulating A Manipulator: 8 Subtle Tricks That Will Give You The Upper Hand

Manipulating A Manipulator: Subtle Psychological Tactics

Ever found yourself tangled in a web spun by a master manipulator? It’s a frustrating dance where you are treated like a pawn in their toxic mind games, and your are always the one who is one step behind. But what if I told you there’s a way to turn the tables? What if manipulating a manipulator may not be that hard?

Yes, you read it right. This isn’t just about defending yourself and holding onto your sanity; it’s about mastering the art of subtle manipulation.

In this article, we are going to talk about eight remarkably clever and subtle manipulation tactics that will empower you to regain control and outwit even the most cunning of manipulators. So, are you ready?

Related:



Up Next

Toxic Bosses Unmasked: 20 Warning Signs to Watch For

Toxic Bosses Unmasked: Warning Signs to Watch For

Having a toxic boss can really take a toll on you mentally, and toxic bosses are seriously so horrible. This article is going to help you understand the traits of a toxic boss so that you know which behaviors are not normal and ethical. Read on to know more about the signs of a toxic boss or toxic bosses.

We hear about toxic bosses all the time, but how do you know when a boss is “toxic”? “Toxic” is, of course, a vague descriptor. Are bosses toxic when they throw fits and scream, or only when they break the law?

Or are they toxic when they are immoral or unethical? Are they toxic if they’re nice one day and nasty the next, or just when they make you uncomfortable, nervous, or sick? These are valid questions because these individuals are easy to identify when their behaviors are outrageous; but perhaps less so when their behavior



Up Next

How to Deal With a Compulsive Liar: 9 Effective Compulsive Lying Treatment Techniques for Peaceful Relationships

Tips for Compulsive Lying Treatment and Restoring Trust

Ever met someone who constantly distorts the truth, weaves elaborate tales or downright lies all the time? Dealing with a compulsive liar can be perplexing and frustrating. This is why it is crucial that you learn about compulsive lying treatment and how to deal with compulsive lying in a healthy way. 

Welcome to the world of compulsive liars and compulsive lying, where every story seems too good to be true. These individuals spin elaborate tales effortlessly, blurring the lines between fact and fiction. 

Let’s unravel the psychology behind this intriguing phenomenon by exploring the mysteries surrounding compulsive lying, exploring compulsive liar symptoms, what causes compulsive lying, and most importantly, the available compulsive lying treatment options. 



Up Next

7 Glaring Characteristics Of A Shallow, Superficial Person

Superficial Person: Major Signs Of A Shallow Person

In a world where social media reigns supreme, appearances often take center stage, and the allure of superficiality can be hard to resist. You must have encountered many such people whose charm seems as fleeting as a summer breeze, leaving you wanting for something deeper and more meaningful. Well, you may have come across a superficial person.

Today we are going to take a deep dive into the world of superficial, shallow people, characteristics of a superficial person, and how to deal with a superficial person, so that you know how to distinguish between a genuine person and a not-so-genuine one.

Where facades reign supreme and authenticity takes a backseat, let’s explore how the world of a superficial person looks like.



Up Next

Spirituality Or Ego? What Is Spiritual Narcissism And How To Spot A Spiritual Narcissist

Ego in Disguise: The Hidden Faces of Spiritual Narcissism

Ever met someone who seems to have achieved spiritual enlightenment but is more interested in flaunting their “superiority” than spreading love and compassion? Enter the realm of spiritual narcissism – a phenomenon that hides behind the façade of spirituality while harboring self-centered motives. 

These individuals exude an air of spiritual superiority. It’s like meeting a guru with an ego the size of Mount Everest. They are quick to shower you with their seeming enlightenment, yet their actions may leave you feeling disheartened or even manipulated.

Today, let us uncover what is spiritual narcissism, explore the spiritual narcissist