Is there is a narcissist or toxic person in your life and you have little choice but to interact with them? That actually walking away and having no contact just isn’t possible, or for your own reasons you have chosen to have this person in your life.
You no doubt wish they were not toxic, but no matter what you do, they will never change.
Do you sometimes feel that your life is a pawn in their never-ending game?
That you have to endure the abuse?
They will always be able to affect you?
Well… how about if that answer was… wait for it… NO!
The narcissist may be in your life, but you can keep them out of your head.
Grey Rocking them requires patience and practise, when used consistently, it will put space between you and the abuser.
The basic idea is that you embody all the excitement of a grey rock. The rock on the path that is ignored, goes unnoticed.
As far as I have read, the phrase “Grey Rock Method” was first coined by blogger Skylar in an article on her website.
You probably know that the most effective way to deal with a narcissist is no contact.
But for various reasons this may not be possible, or just too hard for you to manage.
Those reasons can include:
It is your parent.
You have children with them.
It is someone you work with.
You can’t seem to break the emotional tie with them.
So, how does going grey work with them?
A narcissist, or someone with narcissistic tendencies, is generally the main focus of their own life. They are driven to feel a certain way, to get their needs met, based on the stuff that they carry.
You fit into this somewhere, along with everyone else and they need you to play a role to enable them to play theirs.
When you play the role they need of you, then they can easily be the person they feel they need to be.
When you no longer go along with what they need, they will, sooner or later realise this and start to change what they are doing with you. In fact, it might become so uncomfortable for them they may just leave you alone altogether. Yey!
As I have heard it said many times before – ‘you remove their supply!’
The attention you provide and the need you meet for them, is addictive; they need their “fix” to keep up their ego. If you continue to give them what they want, they will continue to behave in the ways that work when with you.
Have you heard the phrase – ‘it’s like getting blood from a stone’?
Well, that stone is you and the blood is their supply from you.
How to Grey Rock:
Keep dialogue to an absolute minimum. If you don’t have to talk to them, don’t.
When you do have to talk to them, stick to generic subjects like the weather.
If they ask questions, give short closed answers that can’t possibly lead to further conversation – yes/no, maybe. Even just make noises like ‘uh huh’, ‘hmmm’.
If they try and instigate more conversation such asking how you are say ‘good, thank you.’
They ask, “what did you do at the weekend?” you respond ‘I did my ironing/mowed the lawn’ – anything that is unlikely to engage them.
Stick to the facts.
Never, ever talk about your personal life, even the smallest details. You know what they will try and do with that information!
Ask to move your desk away from them at work.
Stay in the car when you drop your kids off at their house. Send your kids to the car when they come to yours.
Only talk to them about your children and don’t let your emotions show through.
Don’t bring up the past.
Look as plain as possible if you have to see them. Remember, if using this approach, the aim is blend in, not be seen.
(this is not who you are – in every other scenario you want to be yourself and stand out for being you).
With your family: Sit at the other end of the table for family meals.
Only speak to the people you want to and keep contact to a minimum with those you want to avoid.
Put yourself into the head space where you won’t allow yourself to be triggered.
On the whole just avoid interacting with them as much as possible.
But, make it as casual, be indifferent and withdrawn (from them).
Don’t make a big thing out of it as this will just set them off and definitely do not tell them or anyone what you are doing!
You are likely to set off in them their deepest held fears around rejection, knocking them off of their self-styled pedestal – who knows what the reaction to that may be.
Subtlety is always the best policy.
Do not ask them questions, regardless of how meaningless it may seem at the time.
Grey Rocking is not easy as they will try and try to get you to be the person you have always been or to get you to react in the way that they need you too. But, on the whole, they will soon get bored and move onto someone who is going to feed their ego.
You may also have a maladaptive need to please, to avoid conflict and not be able to stay in a healthy space if they try and engage you.
Get some support with this. Family friends or someone professional to help you manage the difficulties you may have from withdrawing from these relationships.
As I have mentioned, they are unlikely to let this pass quietly as you are withdrawing from them everything they need to keep up with their persona.
In the next part I will talk about this in more detail and the reactions you are likely to face.
For more information about how to manage toxic/unhealthy relationships in your life, please read my other articles or contact me for your free coaching consultation around how I can help you with your personal situation.
Message me here or call 07709 350019
I look forward to speaking to you.