How to Maintain NO CONTACT with a toxic or dysfunctional person though the Holidays.
So, you’re going no contact with someone you care about in your life and you came about it one of 3 ways.
- You decided to walk away. Maybe you’re in a relationship with a toxic or dysfunctional person and you concluded you cannot continue to subject yourself to the insanity. It could be that you have an addicted child and although you’re in pain, you need to protect yourself and your family from the continued abuse drug addiction brings with it.
- Someone you love x-communicated you. Their brand of insanity is to abandon or reject you periodically or permanently and it’s happening now.
- You’re on a break. You may or may not be getting back together with this person but for now, space is what’s needed.
The scenario is less important than the outcome. And the result is you’re sad, anxious, hurt, angry and lonely.
I get it. I spent many Holidays navigating my alcoholic father, wondering when he’d catch fire trying to light the kerosene heater, with a Marlboro hanging out of his mouth after 14 Miller Lights. Thinking we should just uninvite him to Thanksgiving this year.
And then there’s another toxic person in my life who plays a mean game of “I love you, go away, come here, I hate you.” And I lost my hand again this year.
I use the tips I’m about to give you and so do the hundreds of clients I’ve coached and counseled over the years.
Incidentally, I’m not so delusional to think that 5 tips are going to be enough to help you successfully navigate this. I realize it’s harder than that. That’s why I’m going to get you started here but also encourage you to send me a message so you can get the support you need.
With that said, let’s dig in.
I like acronyms. Today’s word is GIFTS.
It’s a way to remember that even the most difficult experiences in life are gifts on our path, here to help us get a little further down the trail of enlightenment, understanding compassion and self- love.
- G is for Get Grateful.
I hear you saying, “Say what? How am I supposed to be grateful in this terrible situation? I don’t have my (son, daughter, mother, best friend, husband, girlfriend).
I know it’s hard to find anything to be grateful for in this moment. You wouldn’t choose this for yourself if you had a say.
But you don’t and it is what it is. So, in this case, have gratitude for the respite.
The behavior you’re trying to manage is unmanageable.
When you’re in war with a toxic or dysfunctional person, you’re in a war without weapons. It’s a war you can’t win.
Wave the white flag of surrender and let God’s grace carry you off the battlefield.
This break will provide you with the clear perspective you need. Be grateful for the time and space to let the fog clear.
- I is for Invest in the relationships in front of you.
It’s tempting to put all the focus on the person who’s gone. It’s like you’re coloring a beautiful scene of a rainbow in a park and you have every color in the crayon box except black and suddenly you’re compelled to color a hole in the ground.
When you put your focus on the hole, you miss the rainbow.
The people in your life, who have demonstrated their commitment, love, and energy to you and the one’s who deserve your time and attention. These people provide the light in the dark.
How unfortunate that you should decide you can’t have your dysfunctional loved one at the table yet, you refuse to serve your guests a meal. Instead, you sit around and discuss the empty chair.
If they’re gone, let them be gone. It is what it is. For now.
- F is for Focus on the present.
All we have is the present moment. Nothing is permanent and everything changes. We are wired like the seasons and are meant to follow the same rhythms.
Going no contact is a WINTER.
Now, some people love winter. They like the peaceful quietness and the stillness. They don’t mind that everything dies, because they see it as a white, clean slate being laid down. For them, it’s a time of reflection and contemplation.
For others, it’s torture and something to be endured. They see it as barren, empty, solemn, and lonely.
Everything is frozen and stalled.
NO CONTACT is winter.
Winter is a time of reflection, contemplation, hindsight and vision.
It gets quiet so you can go within.
You cannot rush the winter, you cannot will the winter away, you can simply allow it to be and use it for what it can give you: perspective and clarity.
Don’t worry about what’s coming next.
I don’t know if you’re going to end up working out your issues with your loved one. But I do know that worry and regret will not serve you now.
Likely, you’ve just survived an awful set of experiences that propelled you to this place of taking a break. When you replay those events over and over in your mind, your brain can’t tell the difference between past, present, and future. So, you’re retraumatizing yourself by replaying the incident(s).
It’s best to be here now.
And in THIS moment, you have everything you need.
Take a deep breath and be here now.
Worry will NOT fix this situation. It will only rob you of peace.
- T is for Trade self-righteousness for reality.
You know what I love?
Christmas movies. Walking around a decorated mall, going in the Yankee Candle store and smelling all the Douglas Fir and Christmas cookie candles.
I love decorating my home. Each year, I put up a little village of people complete with lit up houses, and little tiny trees, and fake snow.
Then, I imagine living in one of those villages with people who all love on one another, sing carols to each other, and ice skate on the pond.
Basically, I want life to be like that tiny village.
But that’s not what I have.
What I have are relationships that cause me pain, and suffering, and make me feel rejected or abandoned, if I let them.
I experience pain only if I feel the injustice of my current position. Then, I live in the self-righteousness of life.
“This isn’t fair!”
“I should have what everyone else seems to have.”
“This shouldn’t be happening to me.”
“I deserve to have a functioning family!”
Let’s get real, none of us want to admit we play the victim role. But self-righteous is the victim.
So, let’s trade self-righteousness for reality.
I believe in this concept so much that I’ve made it one of my guiding principles in all my programs and retreats.
When you root in reality, you sever your relationship with how things are supposed be and deal in how they are.
And that’s where your power lays.
If you’re able to see things clearly, you can deal with anything. When you live in how you want it to be, you live in the fantasy of denial. And you stay stuck.
Self- righteousness makes other people’s behavior about you. It says, “Why does this person treat ME this way?”
Reality says a dog barks because it is a dog. And the sun shines because it is the sun.
And your mom treats you this way because she is herself.
Hear me. She is HERSELF before she is Mother (if she ever is mother).
Big distinction there.
When you see people for who they are instead of who you want them to be for you, YOU ARE FREE.
- S is for Support.
I know you and you can handle a lot! You’re the one people come to when it hits the fan because you know HOW to deal in shit.
What if life wasn’t an exercise in tolerating misery?
What if the question wasn’t “how can I put up with this and survive it?”
What if you asked, “How can I have MORE joy, more love, and more peace no matter what others do?”
I know that may be crazy to consider. How can you possibly be happy in the face of all the stuff you’re dealing with?
How can you be happy when your son or daughter is self-destructing?
How can you be happy when your mom rejects you?
How can you be happy when you just broke up with the person you loved the most in the world?
And beyond that, you deserve to be happy no matter what.
But you don’t know HOW to do that. Yet.
But I can teach you.
That’s why I’m here.
I know how because I live in this place of total peace, love, and joy. Even though I have toxic and dysfunctional people in my life.
And now, I help other people just like you learn how to do the same.
If you’re ready to go to the next level and create the relationships you deserve, go to www.LoveCoachHeidi.com and request a consultation.
Or, if you are in a relationship with an addict or alcoholic, check out our revolutionary course to learn how to cope and deal right now. You can find that here…. https://revolutionarygrowth.mykajabi.com/revolutionary-growth-family-program
And as always, if you found this helpful, please share with someone you know is struggling this Holiday Season. Be the light in their dark place.
Know yourself, Be yourself, Love yourself.