Narc Shunning vs. No Contact

Narc Shunning and No Contact
might look a lot alike,
but there’s a big difference.

no contact, shunning, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissist,

While narc shunning and no contact might look the same, they happen for entirely different reasons depending on the motivation of the person who does it. While narc shunning is an act of manipulation by the narcissist, no contact is an act of self-preservation by the survivor.

Abusers use tactics of reward and punishment to manipulate and control their victims. Thus shunning is a form of punishment with the hope the narcissist can gain access to the survivor again when the narc hoovers back to suck them in. Because the narcissist uses the empathy of the survivor to abuse them and wreaks a damaging cycle in their life, sometimes the only safe thing a survivor can do is go no contact.

Some people question if going no contact is just refusing to forgive or holding a grudge, but it’s neither. The difference between forgiveness and reconciliation is that forgiveness only requires one person, while reconciliation requires two. You can forgive someone without them being in your life, but reconciliation takes a commitment from both parties to continue a healthy relationship.

No contact means the narcissist causes more harm and chaos to the survivor’s life than they can handle for their health. When a survivor goes no contact, it usually happens because the survivor has lost hope of any reconciliation with the narcissist.

Both of these situations are painful for the survivor. For one thing they are usually shunned by more than the narcissist. This is because the narc thinks of relationships as a game and tries to win as many people as pawns to the narc’s side as possible. It hurts the survivor to be shunned by their entire family or social group.

No contact is also painful as shunning–even though the survivor has made the choice. It takes deep introspection to decide if it’s worth it in some cases, while in others no contact is a basic act of survival because the survivor is in danger. Either way the survivor will feel alone.

If you are new to going no contact, it’s important to find healthy people and kindred spirits to keep your time and mind occupied. The greatest danger of either going no contact or being shunned is the survivor might get lonely and go back to their abuser, so having support is vital for good mental health.

Here are some differences between Narc Shunning and No Contact

Narc Shunning is an offensive move by the narcissist to control the survivor
No Contact is a defensive move to protect boundaries of the survivor

Narc Shunning happens when the narcissist can’t get any more narc feed
No Contact happens when the survivor decides to stop feeding the narc

Narc Shunning is done by an enraged narcissist to get revenge
No Contact happens when a survivor refuses to be abused

Narc Shunning includes the narc asking people to shun the survivor
No Contact is the survivor setting personal boundaries

Narc Shunning is manipulation by the narcissist
No Contact is the survivor simply saying no to the narc’s manipulation

Narc Shunning is dishonest because the narcissist doesn’t mean to stay away
No Contact is the survivor walking away for good

Narc Shunning is the narcissist showing the survivor disrespect
No Contact is the survivor honoring respect for herself

Narc Shunning is all out war by the narcissist to control the survivor
No Contact is a white flag of surrender by giving up on the relationship

Narc Shunning is a form of slavery for both the narcissist and survivor
No Contact is a form of freedom to release the narcissist from her abuser


9 thoughts on “Narc Shunning vs. No Contact”

  1. This is the BEST article I have ever read about this. I went no contact with my family of Origin a little over a year ago. It was the hardest yet best decision I ever made. Once I got grounded in it, the freedom was amazing. And, I was able to see clearly more and more of the cycle of abuse, how I was brought up in it and subsequently bought into it and even how I was passing it on to my children. The healing God brought me and the changes it brought to my well being physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually have been worth all the pain of going no contact.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for sharing a part of your story. I hope you can create many good memories with your children!

    I’m also glad you brought up God. I often mention my faith in subtle ways–not to hide anything, but to be sensitive to those who have been abused in the name of religion. Readers tell me speaking about God is often a huge trigger for them. My guess is the God they heard about is not at all the God I know, but at the same time I don’t wish to trigger anyone.

    Here’s the thing: many Christians will tell us that going No Contact is unchristian, but in Romans 1, Paul speaks of God letting people go their own way. No Contact is the last resort, a way to let go of someone who is not healthy and is harmful to us. It is god-like to let people go if they’re not acting out of love in the relationship.

    Blessings on your and yours,

    Peace and freedom!



  3. After the “great divorce” from my FO it took me 4 years to go no contact. I spent all those years forgiving repeated acts of . . . . . Then a defining moment came when our Dad died. I won’t go into all the details of the abuse that crashed down on me then – the shunning was immense and provoking. I forgave them and went no contact. I could no longer pay the price required for admission to their lives. God was with me every step of the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Its reassuring for me to hear of Sandys NC. how did you manage things with your children? what did u say to them about not seeing the grandparents anymore. I’m settled on NC for myself and my mental health. I know I cant change my parents. also for my daughter, but I don’t how to put it to her.
    Unfortunately my ex husband takes my 5 yr old daughter to see them once a month or so on a Sunday when he’s with her. I’ve asked him not to but he ignores me. Him and my mum are covert narcs (from what i’ve read about it) and they are talking to my daughter inappropriately and making out that I’m a problem which is starting to affect the way my daughter feels with me, causing her to doubt me, is what I sense and make out from some of what she has said. Its horrible. I don’t want her to grow up doubting me cos I’m her mum and that’s going to be anxiety provoking for her who relies on me. Its obviously abusive what they are doing. Anyway, the point is that Im settled on NC but my ex is interfering. I think my only option for trying to stop these meetups, and protect my daughter from their manipuations, is to ask my solicitor to advise him to stop (both the meetups and undermining me, manipulating etc), perhaps threatening to reduce his contact if he doesn’t agree to, and if I do that I then worry that he still then will tell my daughter that I am the one stopping contact with her grandparents and as make me the baddie What do I say to my daughter? I cant tell a 5yr old about dysfunctional families and personality disturbances! Help
    Any suggestions? I’m so stressed

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was what my aching soul needed to read tonight. I am in no contact (except for information about our children) with my soon to be ex husband. I once thought communication was our strong point but he used it to emotionally and verbally abuse me. This weekend I am giving him the divorce papers. My state has extremely archaic divorce laws and absolutely no separation laws. It’s been a terrible roller coaster ride for the last 1 1/2 years of separation but I’m healing slowly but surely after too many years of hoping he would change.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Sarah,

    I’m sorry you were abused but I’m glad you’re getting free from your abuser. It seems the healing can only come once the survivor realizes the abuser will never change. Shaonnon Thomas talks about this in her book Healing from Hidden Abuse. I hightly reccomend it.

    Peace and freedom to you,


  7. Very powerful. And spot on. One of the best articles I’ve read on the subject of no contact. No contact is defense of one’s self and not a tactic of war. The war is over with no contact. The war the narcissist has will continue to rage within them, but only they can fight that battle. Some have the wrong view that no contact is the same as being unforgiving or holding a grudge. Nothing is farther from the truth. Letting go of someone is extremely painfully. It is a hard won freedom from lies, manipulation and deceit. The longer no contact is maintain, the clearer the extent of the abuse will become. Each person must choose who they will be. And no one has the right to dictate that to another. Accepting the truth about a narcissist, that it’s what they choose to be, can also be powerful. Now is the time to decide what we, as a survivor will be, and fearlessly pursue it.

    Liked by 1 person

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