Going “No Contact” – Strategies to Make it Work
So you’ve decided that going no contact is the right decision for you. And now you’re wondering how in the world you’re going to make it work. Here are some suggestions –
Make Contact More Difficult
Delete their number from your phone and remove their email from your contacts. If you tend to reach out at a certain time of day, make an effort to be occupied or unavailable during that time. If evening are your downfall, shut down your phone and leave it out of reach. Do whatever you can to make contacting them a conscious and deliberate move, rather than one made out of reflex or habit.
Appoint an Accountability Buddy
Tell a trusted friend or family member about your intentions and ask them to help hold you accountable. If they are okay with it, ask if you can contact them whenever you’re tempted to reach out to your ex. Sometimes just letting someone know helps to keep you strong when you’re feeling weaker.
Deal With Your Social Media Accounts
Social media is wonderful when we want to stay in touch and informed but horrific when we’re trying to sever ties. Delete their profile, unfriend them or block them from all accounts. If you’re still finding that you look them up, consider disabling your account for a time until you’re feeling more able to resist the urge. Your peace of mind is more important that keeping up with the silly cat meme of the day.
Use Visual Reminders
I had a note on my computer for months. It simply said, “Don’t even think about it.” That note was a visual reminder of my intention posted right where I faced the greatest temptation. Consider changing your lock screen or your wallpaper to something that is a reminder about your decision. Consider the times and locations when you want to initiate contact and put a visual reminder in those places.
Remind Yourself Why You Made This Decision
We tend to reach out when we’re doubting our decision to end the relationship. So to counteract that doubt, craft a list of all the reasons that this was the right decision for you. Keep that list handy and refer to it whenever you’re considering making contact.
Find Something Else to Occupy Your Mind
If you’re busy and engaged, you won’t have the time or energy to consider making contact. This is a great time to throw yourself into a new project or to work towards a goal. My personal favorite? Do something with a finish line.
If You Have Children With Them…
There are times when no contact would be the best decision but the presence of children makes that an impossibility. In these cases, creating and maintaining boundaries is of the utmost importance. Decide how much and what kind of contact you must have for the sake of the children. Attempt to limit contact to those methods only. If your ex is manipulative or abusive, email may be your best option as it provides a record and is less intrusive than texting.
Be very clear that the only communication will be about the children. Refrain from responding to messages that intend to provoke an emotional response. If your ex refuses to follow your guidelines, consider mediation. Sometimes they listen better when the request comes from someone else.
And if it’s still awful? Start a countdown calendar until the day your youngest turns eighteen.
Going “No Contact?”
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