15 Concerning Things Narcissists Do When You Go No Contact

Going no contact with a narcissist can feel like a breath of fresh air. You’ve finally broken free from their manipulative cycle of abuse, but the healing journey isn’t always linear. Narcissists, notorious for their need for control, often despise being abandoned.

Here, we explore 15 concerning signs a narcissist might use to try and weasel their way back into your life after you’ve gone no contact.

1. The Hoover Maneuver: Love Bombing with a Hidden Agenda

Narcissists excel at manipulation. One common tactic is the “Hoover maneuver,” where they bombard you with affection and apologies after a period of silence. This sudden charm offensive will lower your guard and lure you back into the relationship.

Be wary of overly sentimental messages, gifts on your doorstep, or declarations of undying love. Remember, their goal is regaining control, not genuine reconciliation.

2. Guilt Trips Galore: Weaponizing Your Emotions

Narcissists are experts at playing the victim. They might send messages about how devastated they are by your absence or how much they “need” you. They might highlight past “sacrifices” they made for you, twisting memories to make you feel responsible for their happiness.

Please don’t fall for their emotional manipulation. Their pain is likely exaggerated, and a healthy relationship shouldn’t rely on guilt to survive.

3. The Smear Campaign: Painting You as the Villain

If love bombing and guilt trips fail, a narcissist might resort to character assassination. They might spread lies and rumors about you to your friends, family, or colleagues. Their goal is to damage your reputation and garner sympathy for themselves.

Remember, those who truly know you will see through their slanderous tactics. Focus on rebuilding trust with those who matter most.

4. The “Just Checking In” Facade: Testing the Waters

Narcissists might reach out with seemingly harmless messages, feigning concern or simply “checking in.” These messages subtly gauge your emotional state and see if you’re open to communication.

Be aware of their casual approach. Any form of contact can be a gateway back into their manipulative cycle.

5. Exploiting Your Compassion: The Damsel (or Dude) in Distress Act

Narcissists have a knack for playing the helpless victim. They might contact you with a fabricated sob story about a financial crisis, a health scare, or a family emergency. They aim to trigger your compassion and pull you back to “rescue” them. Remember, you can’t fix them, and setting boundaries is crucial to protect yourself from further emotional manipulation.

6. Faux Apologies: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

A genuine apology acknowledges wrongdoing and expresses a desire to change. A narcissist’s apology, however, is often self-serving and lacks sincerity. They might apologize for your reaction to their behavior, subtly shifting the blame onto you.

Don’t be fooled by their empty words. Look for concrete actions that demonstrate genuine remorse and a willingness to change.

7. Triangulation: Divide and Conquer

Narcissists might try to pit you against someone else, like a new love interest or a close friend. They might gossip about the other person or try to stir up jealousy.

Their goal is to create drama and chaos, ultimately regaining control over your emotions and isolating you from your support system.

8. The Social Media Charade: Maintaining Appearances

In the age of social media, narcissists can use online platforms to try and get a reaction from you. They might post sentimental throwbacks of the two of you or cryptic messages that seem directed at you.

Don’t engage! Limiting their access to your social media profiles or taking a temporary break from these platforms can help minimize their attempts to manipulate you.

9. The Birthday or Holiday Ploy: Using Tradition as a Weapon

Narcissists understand the importance of traditions and celebrations. They might use birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries as an excuse to reach out. They might send a card or try to guilt you into spending the day together.

Here, establishing new traditions with supportive loved ones is vital. It empowers you to reclaim and celebrate these occasions on your own terms, free from their manipulation.

10. The “Let’s Be Friends” Ruse: A Trojan Horse Disguised as Goodwill

Narcissists might propose a casual friendship after no contact. This seemingly harmless offer often masks a hidden agenda. They might hope to maintain access and control over you or use the friendship as a stepping stone to a romantic reconnection.

Remember, true friendships are built on mutual respect and emotional support, qualities often absent in narcissistic relationships.

11. Preying on Vulnerability: Twisting Your Kindness

Sometimes, life throws curveballs. A personal loss, illness, or significant setback can leave you feeling emotionally vulnerable. Narcissists have a keen eye for such moments. They might use your vulnerability to their advantage, offering empty words of support or feigning empathy.

Don’t mistake their opportunistic behavior for genuine care. Lean on your trusted support system during difficult times, those who will offer genuine compassion without manipulation.

12. The “I’ve Changed” Charade: Empty Promises and Broken Trust

Narcissists might try to convince you they’ve undergone a dramatic transformation. They might claim therapy, self-reflection, or a newfound spiritual awakening has changed them for the better.

Be wary of such pronouncements. Real change takes consistent effort and is reflected in actions, not just words. Don’t fall prey to empty promises. Trust is earned, and a history of manipulative behavior requires concrete evidence of lasting change.

14. The “Fake Illness” Fabrication: Playing the Medical Card

Just like the damsel (or dude) in distress act, a narcissist might resort to fabricating a medical condition to gain your sympathy and attention. They might exaggerate symptoms or even create elaborate stories about a fake illness.

Don’t be afraid to ask for verification from a healthcare professional or encourage them to contact trusted friends or family for support. Actual illness deserves genuine concern, but manipulation tactics designed to pull at your heartstrings deserve firm boundaries.

15. The “Accidental” Encounter: Orchestrated Coincidences

Narcissists might engineer a chance encounter, bumping into you at your favorite coffee shop or appearing at a social event you’re attending. These “coincidences” are often calculated attempts to re-enter your life and gauge your openness to communication.

Staying vigilant and avoiding places you know they frequent can minimize the risk of these staged encounters. If an encounter does occur, be polite but firm. A simple “hello” and a swift exit convey that you’re not open to re-engagement.

The Bottom Line

Remember, the healing journey after narcissistic abuse takes time and self-compassion. Going no contact is a decisive step, but it’s essential to be aware of the tactics narcissists might use to try and break down your boundaries.

By recognizing these red flags and staying strong, you can navigate the ” FOG” – fear, obligation, and guilt – they often use to manipulate.

Focus on self-care, surround yourself with supportive loved ones, and prioritize your emotional well-being. With time and resilience, you can heal from the past and build a future free from narcissistic manipulation.

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