Today we’re going to talk about if it’s rude to ignore your ex after a breakup.
And if you stick around until the end of this article, not only am I going to answer the common question of if the No Contact Rule is rude to use on your ex, I’m also going to show you something interesting that we’ve noticed with regards to the psychology of exes after breakups and how it relates to dog psychology.
Yes, I promise you that you read that correctly, dog psychology.
But first, if you’re even considering trying to get an ex back, the first thing you should understand is what kind of chance you have.
Luckily for you, I’ve put together a special quiz to answer that very question. It’s simple and free, and gives you more idea of what to do next.
So, this is a question we get asked a lot here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery and on our YouTube channel – “Is it rude to ignore my ex while I’m in a No Contact Rule period?”
Let’s find out.
Is It Rude To Ignore An Ex After A Breakup?
The best way to start is to define what one of our core strategies is during a No Contact Rule period.
No Contact is about shutting down all communications with an ex for a certain period of time such that you create space for each other, allowing for healing, self-recovery and an opportunity for you to potentially come back together as a couple.
When you look at the definition of No Contact like that, all nice and neatly wrapped up, it doesn’t sound rude.
But a core element of this is not reaching out to your ex, and not replying if he reaches out to you.
- If your ex reaches out to you – you ignore it.
- If they text you, you ignore it.
- If they try to get one of your friends or one of their friends to reach you, you ignore it.
- If they comment on your posts, you ignore it.
That’s where people feel that they are being rude.
The urge to reply is often strong, and people feel that they will ruin all chances of their ex ever speaking to them again if they aren’t polite, nice and accommodating.
But think about it…you’ve probably done quite a lot of ‘being nice’ already.
Did it get you very far?
Did talking, arguing and so on over the breakup get you very far?
Did answering his every message?
So it’s time to try a new strategy.
Maybe being a little bit rude is going to help.
One major thing people often fail to remember is that the No Contact Rule is not usually permanent.
In the cases where it is permanent, that’s for a very good reason – where you have decided you never want to get your ex back, or have decided that it would not be good for you so you need to move on.
But for most people, the No Contact Rule is only going to last anywhere from 21 days to 45 days. Then you will be initiating contact, if he hasn’t already. So it’s not going to last forever, even if it feels like it.
And sometimes, it’s important to be rude to get a point across.
It shows that you are serious about this.
Think about it not as being rude, but as being assertive.
Assertive does not equal rude. Assertive is about stating your needs and your boundaries, and not caving in to what anyone else wants when you know it’s not right for you.
In this case, you are stating with silence that you need to be left alone to heal for a while, without having to stress over contact with the ex who has hurt you.
You are being strong, you know what you want, and you have decided the best course of action for yourself (and for him – the definition of No Contact applies to him as well).
If you’ve always been a bit too nice and bent over backwards to attract him and keep him happy, he needs to know that actually, he can’t have it all his own way.
Reinforcement Of Negative Behaviors = Not Good!
I have this belief that one of the most under-utilized aspects of the No Contact Rule has to do with not reinforcing negative behaviors with an ex.
Oftentimes when you’re talking to an ex after a breakup they are treating you quite poorly, and by talking to them you are reinforcing that poor behavior.
You might think it wouldn’t, but it does.
It can lead to bad habits.
You are perpetuating a cycle of negative communication.
Here’s a situation which is common in breakups where the girl carries on talking to her ex:
You go through a breakup and begin talking to your ex as if the breakup didn’t even occur. You guys are chatting, maybe having drinks, still seeing each other at work, school or even living together.
Next thing you know, he makes a pass at you and wants to sleep with you.
You want him back, and it’s so hard to say no, so you give in and sleep with him. The next thing you know you’re in a ‘friends with benefits’ situation.
He’s getting his cake and eating it, and you aren’t getting what you want, which is a proper relationship with him again. You feel bad.
All of that could have been avoided if you stuck up for yourself and yes, were a little bit rude in the first place.
Calm And Submissive
So now, let’s take a look at what we are trying to achieve from the point of view of how your ex feels about you and your situation, and how being a little bit rude might help.
Put simply, you want him to go from negative to positive thinking when it comes to you.
It is often true that the No Contact Rule in and of itself has little effect when you get back in contact with an ex.
All it does is helps them get back into a calm and submissive state.
By submissive I mean receptive to your overtures towards them.
I’m going to get a bit personal with my next example, but I promise it relates.
My family is about to get their first dog, and like anything I like to do my research before I make an important purchase like this.
So one of the first things I stumbled on was the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan.
Whenever I’d watched someone like this or heard about them in the past, I’d just kind of rolled my eyes and thought that they were some kind of mumbo-jumbo spell-caster type person.
But as I watched him interact with dogs, I realized that his techniques are quite effective and the more I understood his concepts of dog psychology the more it made me think about human psychology.
And perhaps the most interesting aspect of watching him work was the fact that I began to notice the parallels between what the No Contact Rule does to exes and what his four mindframes of dog psychology are.
His whole theory is based on the idea of a calm submissive state.
Not only should you be in a calm and assertive state, but your dog should be in a calm and submissive state.
To get a dog to that state you have to work with them through the four aspects of their mindset.
A dog will exhibit fight or flight behaviors, then avoidance, then submission. The key is getting the dog into a submissive state, because then it will listen to your commands.
The more I watched this show, the more lightbulbs switched on in my head. I started to think, our No Contact Rule kind of does that to exes.
One of the main things a No Contact Rule aims to do is to get you calm, and your ex calm as well. This can be quite an achievement after the pain, arguments and emotion of a breakup, even an amicable one.
A lot of the time when we’re in the middle of No Contact, we’re working on making our clients more assertive so that by the time they talk to their ex they’re calm and assertive, giving them the best chance of having positive interactions once that No Contact Rule period is over.
When you implement a No Contact Rule, your ex will often (not always) go through those four stages.
It might sound a bit ridiculous that I am relating a dog psychology master’s ideas to the No Contact Rule with an ex. Oftentimes dog and human psychology don’t exactly mix, but I think in this particular case it does, especially with those four stages.
So what I’d like to do very briefly is show you examples of how exes react in these four stages. (Note that when you’re dealing with human beings, they don’t always exhibit all of these four stages.)
You implement your No Contact Rule.
Stage #1: Fight
The first thing they are likely to do is fight.
What does that look like?
Your ex fighting with you is them railing against you not responding to them. Y
ou might see an angry text message like, “Why are you ignoring me?” or “Why are you being so childish?”.
They might leave multiple voice messages or even show up at your door.
This is an example of the fight aspect of No Contact psychology.
Their ‘fight’ reactions can be subtler.
They might start posting lots of ‘Look how much fun I’m having’ social media posts, for example. This is still a ‘fight’ or angry reaction – they are annoyed by your ignoring them, and trying to get a reaction.
There’s nothing worse than trying to argue with someone, and they just won’t argue back!
Even if you see nothing like this, it’s likely they are still angry about being ignored, because nobody likes that. (Even if he’s told you to leave him alone, he’ll be surprised when you suddenly do, especially if you were bugging him all the time before.)
Stage #2: Flight
Next we have the ‘flight’ mentality.
After they’ve tried and failed to get your attention, they decide, screw you, I’m going off over here and forget this.
They turn away; they are stubborn and thinking, she’s going to have to reach out to me.
They will totally ignore you, which can be difficult – but remember, like we said, No Contact is not forever.
Some men will start with flight, as the two are closely interconnected.
And then we have those exes who display avoidance.
Stage #3: Avoidance
They may try to reach out to you at the beginning of a No Contact Rule and then when you don’t respond, they decide to avoid you and let you contact them.
Then a couple of days later they try to contact you again, and when they get no response they disappear away again and act all stubborn.
It’s a sort of constant cycle until time allows them to calm down and reach stage four – submission, or more precisely, acceptance.
Stage #4: Acceptance
They’ve accepted the new reality and then they finally calm down.
Only when they’ve reached this calmer state are they going to be receptive to contact from you, and not only receptive but ready to interact in a positive manner, rather than going back to any fight-or-flight states.
They are able to listen to what you want to say. Sometimes they’ll hold over a bit of a grudge about you ignoring them, but mostly they’re over it.
People too often try to break their No Contact Rule period early, and try to have a big conversation when their ex is in one of the first three stages. If he’s still not calm, though, that conversation is likely to disintegrate and turn negative.
So the key is to get your ex into a submissive or accepting mindset. Once they’re in that mindset you have a lot more chance of success of getting positive replies when you reach out.
That doesn’t really answer the question that we started this article with.
I have explained how the No Contact Rule affects your ex, whether he sees it as rude or not.
So, Is No Contact Rude To Your Ex?
But is the No Contact Rule rude to your ex?
It is rude, but it’s by design.
It’s a way of getting your ex to go through those four stages of fight, flight, avoidance and submission.
It’s being cruel to be kind – to both of you.
You’re trying to get them in that acceptance mindset but you now understand that you both need space to change your mindset and get away from all the serious discussions and upsetting conversations that happened around the breakup.
You need to leave some time for them to calm down.
If it takes being a little bit rude to get them to listen to you again later on, it’s worth it. It’s a calculated risk.
A risk is only a risk if you don’t know what you’re doing.
And if you follow your No Contact Rule properly and use all the resources we have available for you – you know exactly what you’re doing.
Thanks for getting to the end of this article. Remember to take the Ex Recovery Quiz to see what your chances are of getting your ex back – it’s essential so you know best how to put these strategies into practice.
And I would personally be so pleased if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel, which has tons more advice on how to handle breakups. You can comment here and on the YouTube channel if you need any more help; I always try to get back to people.