No Contact means that you take control of your communication with your ex. Take steps to prevent or minimize the chances of being contacted. This protects you against disruption from the other party. Also prevents you from making regretful mistakes in the moment of weakness. You’ll take preventative measures and effort to end the communication, even if you feel the urge to do so.
You pick up when they call. However, this is your emotional response to the hope, that they may have changed. You feel compelled to reply to their texts, no matter how absurd their content is. Part of this is because of the fears and thoughts attached to not responding. I’ll cover common communication channels later in this article and how to deal with each.
Do You Need To Notify?
People who are familiar with the No Contact Rule quickly find themselves paralyzed by the question of whether to let their ex know they’re ending contact.
It’s important to understand that the rule doesn’t mean that you are doing it to hurt them intentionally. Also, the No Contact Rule is the action portion of setting new boundaries. They have to know what’s going on just as you have.
If you are compelled to let them know, you can do it by phone (using your voice not text), or, if this is impossible, you can send them an email or letter.
- Keep it simple. Anything else will lead to a lot of unnecessary discussions, or yet another opportunity for an argument. This is not a democratic decision. You don’t need their approval.
- Keep it brief. Don’t send an essay or a novel.
- Be kind, not mean. Don’t say things that are dishonest or disrespectful. Later you may feel guilty if you are mean.
- Be the reason. It doesn’t make sense for you to keep things the same as they are now.
- It shouldn’t be interpreted as a statement of your emotions. If it is done wrongly, it will lead to an ego stroke.
- Don’t reply if they respond. It immediately drags you back into the discussion and weakens your credibility. Five simple words will suffice if you cannot contain your response finger.
You need to limit their ability to reach you via your phone, whether it’s home, mobile, work, Skype, or any other. You should hang up if they call you from an unknown number or catch you by surprise at work.
Texts like “Hope you’re well …?” or “I miss our talks” and other such, are simply fishing for attention.
These sorts of texts are a lazy way to reach out and give you crumbs of attention. Texts can create the illusion that you are on someone’s mind. Also, they are open to interpretation because they are read the way you believe they were written.
Evaluate Your Phone Habits
Think about how you use your phone. If you spend hours answering messages, checking voicemail, and taking calls, you may struggle with the No Contact Rule. Try these new habits:
- After a certain hour, turn off your phone.
- Check your phone less frequently, for example: when you arrive at work, at lunchtime, after work, and before you go to bed.
- Have something to read, or limit how much time you spend on your phone when you traveling.
- Return the calls you receive after 9 pm the next day.
- Use the “Do Not Disturb” setting.
Consider Changing Your Phone Number
- If they are not able to respect your boundaries, contact your network provider to block their number.
- You may also need to change your number.
- You should only reveal your new number to people you know and ask no one else to give access to it.
- Don’t give someone the ‘power’ over your life. This is the main reason for changing your numbers.
If you feel that changing your phone number is too drastic, leave your number on voicemail, or to get a temporary, pay-as-you-go phone.
- It is best to limit or eliminate communication over email.
- Find in your email filtering and blocking settings. You can set it up so based on keywords or email addresses you can redirect mail to certain folders.
- If you are on the same email type (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail), ensure that you are invisible and disable the chat function if they message you.
- Once you establish the No Contact Rule and still get an email message, you can reply and ask them to stop contacting you. After that, it’s okay to ignore and delete.
No matter if you are a Facebook user or not, this section is essential. Facebook can become your Achilles heel if you start to keep tabs on your ex and torture yourself about what they’re doing. Even those who don’t use Facebook can be sucked into the pastime of “rifling” if their ex’s page’s ‘public.
Social networking is such a convenient way to spy without leaving any trace. It’s crucial to establish boundaries and remove distractions.
- Facebook is the Kryptonite for people with low self-esteem.
- Take a Facebook vacation until you feel more at ease within yourself, or find yourself constantly checking it. This will allow you to regain your self-control.
- Hide your ex’s profile on Facebook if you find it difficult to handle it, as well as the profiles of mutual friends you haven’t yet unfriended.
- Unfriend anyone who doesn’t treat you well, or behaves in a way that violates your boundaries after a breakup.
- Do not look through someone’s photo collection online or investigating every person they are connected with.
- Be careful about the content of your status updates! It’s best to avoid posting statuses that give the impression that your life has fallen apart. Or that you are angry, and going crazy.
- Blocking your ex is not the best idea. It can be difficult to unblock/reblock. There is a time delay for unblocking depending on how frequently you have done it. If you decide to change your mind and re-block, there will also be a minimum 48-hour delay. Instead, you can simply block the messaging permissions to them.
- You must still follow the No Contact Rule even if you want to keep friends on Facebook. Liking, commenting, or responding on Facebook will send mixed messages. This may give the impression that they are okay to reach out to you.
- If both you and your ex are in the profile picture, then change it.
- You block someone who keeps messaging you after you have defriended them. You can also change your settings to restrict who can message you. Do not get involved in the ‘rage blocking’, ‘nostalgia-induced unblocking’, and then panicking cycle. There is a time delay for unblocking depending on how frequently you have done it. If you decide to change your mind and re-block, there will also be a minimum 48-hour delay.
Although I don’t hear nearly as many complaints about Twitter issues during the No Contact as I do about Facebook, heavy-weight drama still happens. This is because Twitter is about so much more than your circle of friends.
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t talk about them on Twitter.
- Don’t read their feed and spare yourself the drama. I would also avoid reading their mentions.
- Use block function. It stops their tweets showing in your feed and any @ replies from showing in your mentions. But it doesn’t mean that they won’t read your updates or that they can’t or won’t tweet about you.
One reason Linkedin is mentioned here is that if you look at your ex’s profile or they will be aware of it. The site allows each user to see who has been looking at their profile. This is something many people don’t know until their ex is notified about you checking in on them. So don’t do it.
Dating Sites and Blogs
It is not recommended to visit sites that you know your ex uses. That can give you a glimpse into their lives, and it will wear negatively on you.
You can potentially find out when they last logged in and whether they are active, like on many dating sites. Don’t be the person who creates a fake profile, just to find out about the ex.
It is important to avoid doing anything online that could connect you with your ex. That also includes credit checks and even looking at their worksite. You don’t want to feed the curiosity beast. You could end up torturing yourself by searching the internet for any information on your ex. Not healthy! Once you establish the No Contact Rule, stick to it. It’s for the best.