Most folks who implement the Grey Rock method are actually digging themselves into a deeper hole.
If you’ve been reading about narcissism, whether in regards to a romantic partner or business colleague, you’ve no doubt come across the term “Grey Rock Method”.
According to a contributor named Skylar on 180rule.com ,
“The Grey Rock Method is primarily a way of encouraging a narcissist, psychopath, stalker, or another emotionally unbalanced person, to lose interest in you. It differs from No Contact in that you don’t blatantly try to avoid contact with the disordered individual. Instead, you allow contact but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the mentally unwell person must go elsewhere to get their need for drama gratified.
One might say that Grey Rock is a way of breaking up with a psychopath by using the old, “It’s not you, it’s me.” excuse, except that you act it out instead of saying it and the psychopath comes to that conclusion on his own.”
It’s important to emphasize again that you should never explain to a narcissist or psychopath that you are implementing the Grey Rock Method because they will only use that information to continue manipulating and dominating you— hence why Skylar mentions that you should “act it out”.
“You don’t just practice Grey Rock, you BECOME a Grey Rock. There are grey rocks and pebbles everywhere you go, but you never notice them. None of them attract your attention. You don’t remember any specific rock you saw today because they blend with the scenery. That is the type of boring that you want to channel when you are dealing with a psychopath. Your boring persona will camouflage you and the psychopath won’t even notice you were there. This method strikes at the heart of the psychopath’s motivation: to avoid boredom.”
The Grey Rock technique has been used successfully in many cases of workplace narcissism and certain co-parenting conditions with narcissistic individuals. However, these are two of the rare occasions when Grey Rock should be used. It should not be used in cases where shared custody is not an issue or the narcissist doesn’t work with the victim, yet I see this happen frequently with clients and folks on the recovery forums.
Below, I explain the basics of the Grey Rock method and how it is often used as a shoo-in for No Response.
What is Grey Rock?
Theoretically, Grey Rock enables you to communicate with the narcissist without being sucked into the Narcissistic Vortex. In cases of shared custody, it theoretically allows you to make rational decisions about whether or not the narcissist’s emails or voice mails truly need a response or if their communications are a trap.
A good rule of thumb is to only communicate using yes, no, and specific dates and times.
If necessary, insist on using a monitored email system, such as Our Family Wizard, which is a wonderful co-parenting platform that allows you to communicate about your children without being harassed by the difficult narcissist.
The platform includes email, expense logs, and an electronic journal so you can keep detailed documentation of missed visitations and other things which may prove advantageous in the event you have to go to court.
You can further avoid falling into the Narcissistic Vortex by not responding to any jabs that are made regarding your parenting style or lifestyle choices. A good example of the Vortex is their mentioning something about your dealings with the children or the fact that you’ve begun dating again, and you subsequently sending them email tsunamis explaining your actions or becoming ensued in a long texting crusade–and before you know it, hours of your day have been wasted.
The self-sabotaging version of the Grey Rock Method
Frequently, abuse victims consider themselves as having employed the Grey Rock method when really they’ve gone No Response, neither of which should be utilized except for the two situations previously mentioned (which is when Modified or Low Contact is required).
Often, this is a self-sabotaging behavior that victims employ in order to leave the door open for the narcissist, hoping there might be that one time the narcissist has The Divine Epiphany and makes lasting improvements.
Subconsciously or deliberately, Grey Rock is regularly used as a shoo-in for No Response and used interchangeably with No Contact. If the narcissist is able to get in touch with you by phone, cell, email, or social media, this is No Response, and it’s one of the primary reasons why victims of narcissistic abuse remain stuck in their abusive relationships far beyond practical limits.
If you are not married and trying to end a relationship with a narcissist, then the best strategy is to have no contact with him or her. You end the relationship cold-turkey, as if giving up an addiction. No Contact means the narcissist can’t get in touch with you. It also means you don’t cyber-stalk them or drive by their regular stomping grounds to see what they’re up to.
Those who implement No Contact in its true form have a much higher chance of detaching, healing, and realizing happiness.
On the other hand, No Response means you allow them to call, text, or email, and you decide whether or not to respond. Those who implement No Response usually stay enmeshed in the hypnotic influence of the Narcissistic Vortex, remaining stuck in dysfunctional patterns with the narcissist years after the so-called “end” of the relationship.
Typically, this leads to existing as a secondary source of supply and being the fall back when relationship dramas arise with the narcissist’s other partners. (And yes, it’s possible he or she may try to call from a blocked or unknown number, but that isn’t a valid reason to leave lines of communication open).
What to Do
No Contact is hard because it’s accepting that the relationship over. It means admitting it wasn’t based on love, but on control and manipulation. Accept that the narcissist will not change. Give up trying to find potential loopholes in the narcissist’s behaviors in hopes of finding ways the relationship could have worked or what you could have done differently to make them wake up and love you.
If you do share custody or work with the narcissist, then Extreme Modified Contact is your best line of attack. It allows you to stop being manipulated into taking responsibility for things that weren’t your fault to begin with.
Learning how to effectively deal with a narcissist, especially in cases of divorce and custody issues, can’t be accomplished by reading just this one article. It takes practice, research, and a good attorney. Don’t try to do this alone and definitely don’t put things off until the last minute.
Unfortunately, the narcissist’s victim is the last person in the world who is going to make the narcissist awaken to their dysfunctional and toxic behaviors. If you are a victim, you must walk away because the narcissist’s abuse and unreasonableness will always outlast your sanity.
Narcissists are constantly looking for people they can devour…and playing dead (grey rock) DOESN’T work.
Since narcissists are predators (like many of the big felines) putting yourself in a submissive position will result in your DEMISE.
So many people want to believe that the narcissist they’re with is somehow different from the rest; that the narcissist THEY know isn’t a predator. But what else do you call someone who is constantly hunting down people they can prey upon?
If you believe you’re dealing with a narcissistic person, you can’t turn a blind eye to their true intent. Watch Season 1 of Dirty John and you’ll see EXACTLY what I’m talking about. Though most narcissists are not as deadly as John Meehan, they do engage is the SAME deceptive and predatory patterns.
But, I’m not just talking about physical survival…your emotional survival is absolutely at risk if you’re involved with a narcissist and there is NO way around it.
Grey Rocking takes way too much of your mental and physical energy. Even if you can ignore the narcissist’s games and hooks for a short period of time, it still wreaks havoc on your psyche, your central nervous system, and ultimately, your mental and physical health.
This is why grey rock should only be used on a limited basis and only for a short period of time. If you share kids with the narcissist, then extreme modified contact should be implemented…which is the closest you can get to no contact when you share kids. Hint – the success of Extreme Modified Contact relies on not giving the narcissist access to your cell phone unless it’s specifically stated in your custody order to do so.
The only other rare cases are if you work together or own a business together.
It’s so easy for us to convince ourselves that we don’t need to block the narcissist for one reason or another. Unfortunately, this is the worst form of self-sabotage that will ultimately ruin your life.
If this article resonates with you and you know it’s time to stop the chaos, end the mental torture, and begin healing your life. Then I’d love for you to join me in our Warrior Inner Circle by claiming your free Beginner’s Healing Roadmap.
You can sign up right here.
If you’re ready to go deeper and change your life right now, I offer a wide range of effective resources and techniques to protect against toxic people – in my bestselling program, The Essential Break Free Bootcamp.
I’m excited to share with you the psychological tools that I and thousands of others have used to heal from narcissistic abuse.
Explore techniques derived from behavioral therapy (vetted by the psychological and neuro-psychological communities) to finally heal your life.
Learn more here!
 The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths. Retrieved April 30, 2018, from https://180rule.com/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/
Your healed life starts with one step...
Get immediate access to this FREE recovery series to receive:
- My top resources for narcissistic abuse recovery
- Tips to detox from painful relationships
- Strategies to overpower your addiction to the narcissist
- and More!
Yes! Now check your email to confirm your spot in the mini-course and get your Beginner's Freedom Roadmap now!
IMPORTANT!! Adobe Reader is required as this is a PDF document. Check the bottom of your screen for an instant download or your downloads folder!