Grey Rocking Method - Why it Doesn’t Always Work When Dealing with a Narcissist

Photo by Aigerim Kalysheva on Unsplash

A narcissist will exploit your weakness, insecurities and vulnerabilities to have their way. That’s why the best thing to do is to always cut them off and go Full No Contact. When No Contact is not a possibility and you have to communicate with them because you have shared custody or you work in the same place, that’s where you practice the grey rock method. Grey rock method just as the name points out is more of being like a rock when interacting with the narcissist, not giving them any energy or just creating an emotional distance from the narcissist. This can include things like limiting communication, short responses, having one channel of communication or just being boring to the narcissist (read more here on how to practice grey rock method here). It’s a popular method used to handle manipulative people but just like any techniques or method, there’s always a drawback and I’m going to explore why it shouldn’t be used as a long-term measure.

Grey rock in itself doesn’t always work when it comes to breaking free from the narcissist. It’s just a temporary measure so that you can get the time and space to go inwards and heal. A narcissist knows how to play their games and they also know which buttons to press in you when they want to trigger you into submission. They have no limits of what they cannot do, so even if you just do the grey rock, in one way or the other, they will still get to you. The other thing is you’re also most vulnerable after leaving a toxic relationship because your self-esteem has been ruined, you’re still traumatized, you’re probably broke, you’re desperate and just emotionally-shattered. This means that you may not even have the energy to even practice the grey rock in the first place. So, the narc will keep pressing and pressing till they get to you. The traditional grey rock method doesn’t also address the seed of destructions the narcissist had already planted in your head in the course of the relationship. It’s more of physically you might be distancing yourself but they are still in your head tormenting your life ( read on self-gaslighting here). This means that every time they throw that small jab at you even with that brief interaction, you’ll be getting triggered. So, if you’re not healing and you’re just practicing the grey rock, you’re still emotional connected to the narcissist. The thing is you will not implement the grey rock to the fullest because they know how to hit your weak spots and you’re already carrying memories and thoughts of past hurts with you. That’s why you might find yourself struggling and even feeling bad about yourself because you can’t practice the grey rock method to its fullest. You may do it for a few weeks, even months but you just get sucked back in. The traditional grey rock method is okay in the early stages but it should just be a strategy or a key that opens doors to dealing with your inner wounds.

The only way to stop a narcissist is to heal to the point where your insecurities or vulnerabilities cannot be used against you. When you go inwards, you will become an actual ‘grey rock’ because they cannot trigger you and you’ll just see those games as nothing that should elicit an emotional response from you. You will see the narcissist for who they are, with their distorted world views and not as someone who has a grip in your life. When you’re triggered by the actions of the narcissist, it simply means they still have a grip in your life because their actions lead to a response in you. You’ve got to work on yourself to the point where you’re not triggered by what they do and you don’t even bother anymore as it’s just an automatic aspect of your being. So, it’s not really about physical detachment or acting like a grey rock, it’s just more of you being the kind of person that has processed their traumas and inner wounds so that you’re emotionally detached from someone who’s terrorized your life. In conclusion, grey rock method as well as those other strategies are okay in the short-term but you should not stop there, you’ve got to go inwards and roll the big domino. It’s possible to heal and not get triggered, you just have to give your all and be willing to explore within.



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Edwin Bii

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