So you've made the break, and gone No Contact. You're determined the relationship is over, yet you live in dread of bumping into your ex when you're out and about. So what the heck can you do to prepare yourself and not fall to pieces if you do run into them? Many of the people I work with tell me they live in dread of bumping into their ex, and when they have the misfortunate for that to happen, it sends them into a complete tailspin and derails them from any progress they were making, and I want to help you to make that much less likely.
There ARE things you can do to protect yourself. You can do to make life easier for yourself in the unfortunate that you do run into you ex, and I’m going to share 3 simple tips that will help you to be prepared for any unexpected run ins!
Firstly, plan ahead and play the scene out in your mind… so sit down, think about all the possible places you might run into your ex –
and when I say ‘ex, that doesn’t just mean ex-partner – this applies to any narc you have gone ‘No contact’ with… so think about where they might turn up… and even totally implausible places, and imagine the scene in your head. See yourself carrying out these different scenarios I’m going to talk about in a minute.
Also, imagine the scenario where you run into your ex-partner, and he’s with his shiny new supply. Picture that too so that you’ll be ready for it, it won’t send you into a tailspin, and you can evade them as quickly as possible.
Write it out
Next, Write out a few ‘Instant / Escape’ Phrases that you can say in any given situation, and practice them so that they sound real and comfortable coming out of your mouth. Forewarned is forearmed as they say, and this is one of the best mental preps you can possibly do to cover yourself in the event that you do run into your nasty ex.
Be alert & ready for action
When you’re out and about, scan your surroundings, but always be decisive and focused on where you are going. If you have trusted friends (who are NOT friends with the narc, this is absolutely critical), get them to keep their eyes out for you too.
Wear headphones… even if you’re not listening to anything.
Keep your eye out for them and pretend you didn’t see them if you do… if they call you, you wouldn’t hear them if you had NO music playing, but they won’t know that.
Keep moving… keep going where you were going and don’t get sidetracked by their attempts to stop you… don’t be reactive, just be in a hurry and keep moving. – If you’ve practiced a few phrases already as I’ve suggested, they should spring to mind pretty quickly and you just say them, and keep going.
If they do come up in front of you
Keep your body turned away from them – hips and feet away from them – this body language shuts them out without you having to say anything – and of course, as I’ve said, trot out your escape phrase!
RESIST the urge to engage in conversation. Don’t answer any direct questions. Don’t think that you’ve got to be polite. You don’t owe this person ANYTHING, and your business, on any given day, is NONE of their business.
If you’re stopped dead in front of them and feel trapped, have your escape line at the ready – say ‘Wow…’ look at your watch and suddenly remember you have an appointment – say a breezy ‘hey! I’m late for an appointment! gotta go’ and get out of there fast.
If they start ranting and raving at you (which happens!), WALK AWAY. Do not stand there listening to them. Just turn, in silence, and get away from them. You do not have to put up with this BS. No matter what they say, walk away.
The key is to be as unreactive to THEM as possible… you’re the one in control and it’s vital for you to remember this. Your reaction is what the narc is craving, and you don’t have to give it to them. Remember you don’t owe them anything. They’ve taken enough already and vow that they are not going to take anything more from you.
Practice these tips in your mind and they will help you to be strong if you do run into your ex.
If you want more help and support to recover and heal from Narcissistic Abuse, check out my Contact Page