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10 False Beliefs About No Contact - Part 2

What you learn in this class: Help with identifying problems in critical skills Staying Motivated, Facing Reality, Staying Accountable, so that you can focus on tackling the solution in these critical skills areas.

In part 1 of 10 False Beliefs About No Contact I explain how believing that No Contact may make them spontaneously combust into a better person or believing that they'll feel remorse when you start NC, or believing that sending them texts and receiving crumbs of attention is a sign of how much they're thinking about you are all ways of keeping you stuck in a cycle of pain and exposing you to more hurt. Here are the last five...

6. It's mean-spirited and nasty to cut someone off. I don't want to seem like I'm not a nice person or that I'm 'immature'.

Don't be a martyr. It might not be what you want to hear, but hear it you must. It's not mean-spirited or nasty - it's called having boundaries, which in turn is having self-esteem.

It's the equivalent of suggesting that saying NO or opting out of something and being unwilling to participate in something that isn't working for you and is causing you pain, is mean-spirited, nasty, immature, or whatever negative connotation it is that you've attached to these actions. Do you think that people are mean-spirited, nasty, immature etc when they say NO to you?

It's also self-preservation because I'm going to assume that you've tried to break up and that you've been with an adult. If you think you can slide out of a relationship with no pain and looking 'perfect', think again. I'm yet to meet one person who has said "Oh such and such is so lovely. They give really good breakup."

Breakups hurt, even when they're done 'nicely'. If you keep trying to out-nice someone who would mistreat you to the point where you would even have to contemplate NC, you will be at their mercy from here until the end of time because you will worry more about how you look, instead of concerning yourself with how you treat you or are being treated.

Space is actually your human right. You don't have to be nasty about NC. You have a right to ask for space and they, if they have an ounce of decency, should respect this. You're not being immature - it's actually a sign of emotional maturity when you will do for you or for another person, what they can't do for the situation, which is bring an end to things, even when your egos want to say and do things to limit the discomfort in the short-term and protect your images. Breaking up with someone doesn't make you a bad person. Many people who fear NC are trying to prevent a 'judgement' being made against them - it is actually you who judges you, hence when you start to see NC as an act of love for yourself, you won't judge you so harshly, if at all.

The Lesson: Don't judge you, judge the situation. You're not negotiating with a hostage taker that's threatening to blow up a building with people in it - it's a breakup. Evaluate the situation and recognise whether a traditional breakup has been made difficult, if not impossible, by behaviour and events that signify that NC is needed.

7. Good, lovable people don't need to do NC.

'Good', 'lovable' people do need to do NC. NC is not an indictment of your quality as a person; it's actually indicative of the quality of the relationship which is an independent, intangible matter that is the creation of the two of you. You are not the entire relationship. Nor are they. You will find that people who have good self-esteem and call a spade a spade on an unhealthy situation, will do NC. They won't like it, but they'll look beyond the short-term pain and how they may be perceived. If you think that by avoiding NC that you're preventing being thought of badly, it's a waste of energy as it's like trying to control the uncontrollable.

The person who has to live with you is you.

How can you love you, when so much of your energy is spent trying to appease someone who doesn't treat you with consistent and ongoing love, care, trust, and respect?

The Lesson: Never judge you on a perspective gained from an unhealthy situation. Bad things happen to good, lovable people . Good, lovable people find themselves in bad situations, sometimes because they see too much good in others without the evidence to support it, because they are too compassionate and loving.

8. They'll commit suicide or go over the edge if I'm not in contact with them.

The best way to illustrate this is that over the seven years of writing Baggage Reclaim, I've had so many emails from people who are doing NC but want to check if they can break it because their ex has threatened suicide. These people would be in a major panic and most ended up breaking NC. Do you know what happened? They got in touch and the person was having a great time or acted like they had no idea what they were talking about.

Now I appreciate that this is a tricky situation and you have to evaluate your own situation, but the truth is that you cannot remain in an unhealthy situation out of fear of what they may or may not do, and if you're genuinely concerned about them, if anything you should be helping them to get professional support. You cannot stay in a relationship out of guilt or pity, neither of which are anything close to love. It's also the same if you feel that they'll go over the edge - staying with them isn't going to prevent them from going over the edge plus it's no way to maintain a relationship.

The Lesson: Feeling like a person cannot or will not survive without you, is codependency, is a code red alert. It's difficult for someone to take responsibility for their own lives, if someone is willing to do it for them and they in turn are only too happy to offload it.

9. I will not be able to get over this without all of the answers, getting on good terms with them, or being 100% certain that they haven't changed into what I want with someone else.

Here's the truth: Every day people experience the sudden loss of a loved one through death, often being left with unanswered questions. These people have to grieve the loss of these loved ones, their hopes, dreams, and the relationship and they cannot get the answers that they may need. They have to look within themselves, grieve and work their way through the loss, alone or with the help of friends and family. There is no such thing as 'all of the answers'. It's subjective. This isn't to say that it's not frustrating, but particularly when someone is alive and well and able to give answers but has so far struggled to, hanging around on the off-chance that they become Professor Relationship or provide you with everything that you need to be satisfied with the past, you, and your future possibilities is an avoidance tactic. You were in this relationship too - trust your own judgement, work your way through it.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? The majority of people have to get over the relationship first before getting onto good terms happens.

It's very difficult to extract these 'good terms 'from someone who you need to do NC with. Why prioritise being on good terms with them? Can't you just get on with your life? What are you trying to prevent? Being forgotten from their life?

You're not that forgettable but you do both have to move on. Examine your need to remain front and centre of someone's mind forever and ever more. If you even know a little about relationships, even though we can get very preoccupied with thinking about something all the time, many of us are inclined to avoid thinking about something. It doesn't mean that it's forgotten - it means that they hurl themselves into distraction thoughts and activities, like you're doing by thinking about them all the time, but quietly avoiding thinking about you or moving forward....

You don't need to confirm that they're X, Y, Z or whatever or keep guard that they don't move on. They're not your property and you're not their keeper. The decision to break up has been made - you cannot hang around on the off-chance of them changing because you must accept them as they are.

The Lesson: You can and will get over this but you do have to choose where you put your energy - on the 'can't' or on the 'will'?

10. Eventually they will see how upset I am and will do the right thing.

I wouldn't hold your breath. Often their idea of doing the right thing is cutting you off or starting up a relationship with someone else, often while still pursuing, pestering, arguing, or sleeping with you. Don't wait around for someone to choose you or develop an empathetic bone in their body. You should recognise how upset you are and do something about it.

The Lesson: Recognise and validate your own feelings. You are your boss, not them. Never, ever wait around for someone to do the right thing by you - it means you already know what it is, you're just not honouring it in your own life.