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The no contact rule simply states “do not contact an ex after a breakup.” It’s the first step for those who have a deep belief that their relationship still has a chance. This rule gives an individual some breathing space to get his or her head together. Acknowledging the fact of the breakup, and deciding to follow this rule helps to reduce the effects of anger, fear, panic and anxiety.

The length of time has to be long enough so a person can get a handle on issues in the relationship.

The Rule Protects Self-Esteem

By committing to this rule, the person removes the possibility of offending an ex with excessively aggressive actions: drunk dialing, or text messaging for example. Actions designed to infuriate him and push him away.

These actions same actions also show the world how low your own self esteem has come. Each time you intrude in your ex’s life in an undignified way, you’re chiseling away at your own self esteem. When you finally wake up you’ll feel like a fool.

The no contact rule prevents you from acting out your sense of victimization. Even if you feel justified your ex has chosen not to deal with you at this time so you should respect his wishes. When you communicate with him again, you want it to be a mutual decision. Mutual, even if you are the one who is initiating communication.

No Contact Doesn’t Mean Staying Home Pining Your Life Away

The value of the no contact rule does not lie solely in not communicating with your ex. During that time, you are keeping busy developing your life. You take the time and energy to work on yourself in any way you feel necessary. You may decide to focus more on your career. You may decide to get involved in a new hobby or find a new one.

It doesn’t mean you can’t seek emotional support. You get that from friends and family. You put yourself out there socially. You develop a plan to get yourself together, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

How Long is Long Enough?

As a general idea, the minimum amount of time required is one month. It takes at least that time to get some measure of insight and control over those desperate feelings. It takes time to follow through on the various goals you’ve laid out for yourself to stop the pain.

The minimum amount of time assumes you have done it faithfully. That means you haven’t been sneaky about it. You haven’t tried to bend the rules. For example, you don’t find yourself unexpectedly in the same places he frequents. You’re not calling him and listening to the sound of the voicemail, etc.

As you can see, no contact rule gives you the space to get over conflicted emotions created by anxiety, panic, desperation, anger, jealousy, bitterness and vengeance. When in the grip of those emotions you can’t communicate effectively with your ex anyway. You use this period of time to develop insight into the relationship, as well as spending energy on yourself.

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