If you’re reading this, you might've learned why the No Contact Rule should work - but you’re not fully convinced.
You might ask yourself:
These are legitimate questions, some of which are answered in a separate lesson. But in the majority of cases, No Contact will only help. If you’re forced to interact with your ex, minimize the length of your conversations as much as possible and don’t talk about the relationship.
If you’re still doubtful, you’re making the assumption that you’re capable of figuring out a better approach. You may be right, but the odds are against you.
Here are the biggest mistakes “No Contact deniers” have made when they break the rule too soon:
Overanalyzing something their ex said and jumping to (wrong) conclusions
Appearing insincere or “off” because they’re trying to hold back the panic
Attempting to reduce uncertainty and make off-putting ultimatums
Asking about reuniting some day
Asking how they can prove they’ve changed
Asking about why the breakup happened
Accidentally or intentionally get into old arguments
Get overly-emotional when their ex doesn’t respond the way they hope
Ex is late for a meet up or changes venues last minute
Ex starts talking about others they’re dating
Ex reassures they’re not getting back together
These mistakes are all caused by a mixture of anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and a poor understanding of why the breakup happened. The No Contact time period is your opportunity to self-improve, reflect on your past actions, and be more level-headed about the situation. With the boost in confidence and a better understanding of how you could improve, you’re much more likely to avoid these mistakes.
The main reason you doubt the No Contact Rule is because you think you’re not at risk of making the mistakes listed above. You may have known your ex for years or even decades and feel like you, of all people, know how to engage with them properly. Or you think your situation is unique and a generic rule can't applied.
Here’s why you’re probably wrong.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when talking to their ex is blurting out whatever is on their mind, unfiltered by whatever raw emotion they feel at the time. This often leads to making the mistakes listed above, making the situation worse and leaving them feeling even more vulnerable. Unfortunately, this mistake is so hard to avoid, it’s almost inevitable.
After a breakup, your old relationship with your ex dies. The old relationship had the level of trust necessary for allowing open and honest communication. Since the trust is broken (almost instantaneously) it’s hard not to continue communicating in the same style that’s been exercised and encouraged for months, years or even decades.
You cannot revive the old relationship. It died after the breakup. You need to create a new one. And you cannot rely on the same open and honest communication style you’ve used in the past. Instead, Playing Strategically is your best option, i.e., using an indirect, ambiguous, yet ethical style of communication to strategically maximize one’s self-interests.
You already play strategically in most your relationships, like with new acquaintances, potential employers, business partners or dates; it’s not even an option, it’s mandatory. In these relationships, there are information gaps that prevent both parties from engaging in open and honest communication. You’d be foolish to think otherwise. Neither side collected enough evidence about whether being completely honest is against their own best interests. In these types of relationships, you have to avoid being 100% honest all the time and play strategically instead.
Playing Strategically is not the ideal communication style to sustain a long-term, trusting relationship with another person. But it’s a perfectly fine for starting one.