The quality of self-control is often disregarded nowadays. People offer numerous excuses for their actions and blame the circumstances on choices that they themselves have made. “I couldn’t help myself” or “I just could not say no” are two of the excuses and the reasons why many people miss out on opportunities for success. Self control and discipline can be similar but they are very different. You can exercise self-control without being a disciplined person. One example of this is the choice to not assault someone who says something rude to you even though in your head you imagine your fist connecting with their face. We all know people who have been sucked into the drama of their friends. This can manifest in many different ways and many times a plan of action is required in order to entangle oneself from the messy web. For some, that person is their weakness or their drug. They can have their whole lives together but that one chink in their armor sets them up for pain because they just can’t say no. They can’t ignore the phone call, text, or facebook message. The interesting thing is that the person did not always have the amount of power over them. At some point you gave them the ability to suck you in. Many times this happens in romantic relationships that have gone bad but emotions are still heavily involved. Sometimes it becomes necessary to put yourself on a no-contact order with this person. This order is self-mandated as opposed to the legal ramifications of a restraining order. It requires a firm choice and enough self control to follow through even on days that are rough. You are making the choice to go “cold turkey” in order to break some relational bonds that are no longer benefitting you in any way. This means that you might experience some sort of emotional withdrawals because you’re breaking a habit that has become almost second nature. You have to be honest with yourself and also realistic in making this a life decision and not a “for right now” choice. The thing about a self-imposed no contact order is that it doesn’t work unless you actually stick to it. You can’t afford to have a weak day and sometimes this even requires an accountability partner of sorts because you have to break the habit. A few years back I had a friend who I talked to every night for a MINIMUM of two hours that sometimes went to 7 hours. This nightly practice continued for about 5 or 6 months. When the friendship suddenly disintegrated one day, it took me almost 7 months to get back on a regular sleep schedule because this person had occupied such a prominent place in my life and suddenly they didn’t. No contact orders also work when you need to take a break and evaluate a friendship or relationship. You aren’t required to explain to the other person that you won’t be taking their calls, responding to texts, or talking to them for a certain period of time. You can let your actions speak for you. How the other person handles you taking time away from them will be very telling of their maturity level and the true nature of the relationship. No contact orders can also be good when you start to question your investment of time and energy in a relationship that does not appear to be reciprocated. When you’re always the one making the effort and giving, a no contact order can give you some clarity on your expectations and what needs to change in order for the relationship to be successful.