A Way To Deal With Abusers, Manipulators And Narcissists: Grey Rock Method


All of us would have come across abusers, manipulators and narcissists, who linger around us on a daily or regular basis. The emotional energy battery usually drains in us while we are interacting or communicating with them. We can feel these emotions through displeasure and stress. Sometimes, you wouldn’t know how to cut them off or escape or avoid the situation that involves their mistreatment and invective language forced on us. 

It is exhausting to put up with such nasty behaviour. I recently came across a technique that can act as a protecting shield to defend ourselves from toxic beings. And it’s called the Grey Rock Method. The Grey rock method potentially helps anybody in any given circumstance when chancing upon a threat.

In 2013, a psychology blogger named Skylar first coined the term Grey Rock Method. The goal behind this method was primarily for psychopaths and other emotionally unbalanced individuals who are addicted to drama and can’t stand to be bored. By using the above technique, they will lose interest in hurting people. 

What is Grey Rock Method? 

As the name suggests, rock, the method involves communication or approaching the toxic individuals in an uninspiring and flat way. These days majority of the people take delight in seeing people in pain. It is an effective way to deal with people who are demolishing lives and provides an opportunity to self-reflect.

Let’s take a minute to think about it. If you are arguing with anyone toxic by nature, sometimes you cannot withstand certain words, or you might be a victim to physical knockdowns. 

The individuals causing trouble to you knows your emotional capacity and would target you to attain power. They will go to any extent and use various tactics to make you respond or react in a hurtful way. 

When you weep and wail to respond or react to the other toxic person’s actions, even the slightest hint of you experiencing hurt and pain gives them gratification. In other words, they gain a sense of power that establishes an ability to cause discomfort in you. By not responding to them as expectedly, it could escalate their attempts to engage you by saying cruel or hurtful things.

How To Use It?

When you adopt the grey rock method’s course of action, such as using non-reactive and indifferent answers would not entertain and intrigue their expectation which would disconnect you from communication. In addition, the person could move on. Here are few suggestions on how to carry out impersonal conversations.

  1.  Use short answers such as yes, no or I don’t know. 
  2. Avoid disclosing personal opinions or information unnecessarily. 
  3. To remain detached from emotion, focus on breathing and avoid eye contact. 
  4. Distance yourself from people who are close to them. 
  5. Withdraw from them socially too. That includes social media. 

Beware Sign Before Using It

Furthermore, therapists all around the world prefer using this as a defence mechanism. But every client has reported one hindrance. While you are trying to practice this, initially, the person who is not used to your ignorant behaviour would get confused. And few of them might perhaps torture you double the usual time. If you lead to non-stimulating answers during the given situation. Unintentionally, it can prompt them to move on. 

However, researchers are still studying the given condition. But few bloggers and mental health professionals believe that this method is not for long time assistance. Nevertheless, highly recommended for people who cannot escalate in a relationship immediately. 

It is far easier said than done. I do not know your situation. Maybe you could use it as an outline to avoid interactions. I always learnt from my friend the practice of being untouched. Regularly, some people argue or trigger my traumas. I realised staying unaffected for their given comment strips away their power. Maybe learn to use this when you do not know what to do. You could approach a different pathway using the method as a base.  

I would also suggest you get help from your friend or anyone who could extend their hands to talk about what’s happening? It could provide you with mental support to get through it. 

I am reminded of Buddhism’s primary tenets to accept negativity that comes your way by developing calmness, restraint and self-regulation. It’s a way to detach yourself from stained events and emotions.

PS: Share us your experiences with manipulators, abusers and manipulators? Also, give your opinion on the above piece or any technique you are using to safeguard yourself.

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