People who didn’t grow up ACoN* often don’t understand the idea of No Contact. They think it means not forgiving or holding a grudge, but that’s not always the case. While Shunning and No Contact might look the same, they are done for entirely different reasons due to the motivation of the person who does it.
Shunning by the Narc is usually a form of manipulation and control, while No Contact by the Victim/Victor is usually the act of setting a boundary. Since the Narc uses the empathy of the Victim/Victor to abuse them and creates a damaging cycle for the Victim/Victor, sometimes the only safe thing we can do is go No Contact. So while No Contact might look a lot like shunning, there is a big difference. Here is a comparison between the two.
Narc Shunning is offensive with a desire to control and sabotage the Victim’s self.
No Contact is defensive to protect the personal boundaries of the Victor’s self.
Narc Shunning happens when the Narc can’t get any more money or use from the Victim.
No Contact happens when the Victor decides to stop being used by the Narc.
Narc Shunning is done by an enraged Narc to get revenge on the Victim.
No Contact is the grieving Victor refusing to be abused by the Narc.
Narc Shunning involves the Narc encouraging other people to shun and isolate the Victim—often through bullying tactics and spreading rumors.
No Contact is the Victor setting personal boundaries without asking others to join.
Narc Shunning is often used as manipulation to pressure the Victim to conform.
No Contact is the Victor simply saying no to the Narc’s agenda.
Narc Shunning is often dishonest because it is used by the Narc to manipulate the Victim back into relationship.
No Contact is the Victor walking away realizing the Narc is incapable of an honest relationship.
Narc Shunning is disrespect.
No Contact is the Victor showing respect by shaking the dust off of her feet–not maliciously or revengefully, but simply letting the Narc go because the Victor realizes the Narc is incapable of empathy, honesty and respect.
Narc Shunning is war—the Narc wishes to control the Victim and steal their resources and self.
No Contact is a white flag of surrender—not surrender to the Narc, but to the fact the Victor will never be able to change the Narc, so the Victor reclaims self and stops wishing to change the Narc.
Narc Shunning is a form of slavery for both the Narc and Victim.
No Contact is a form of freedom–releasing the Narc and letting them go sets both people free from their expectations.
*ACoN–Adult Child of Narcissists