In this piece, we look into grey rocking, a technique used to divert a toxic person’s behaviour by acting as unresponsive as you can when you’re interacting with them. So, what is the grey rock method?
You don’t necessarily need to have a narcissistic ex to feel like you need new tools to cope with the challenges of co-parenting. Sometimes it’s just tricky to get along with your ex, so we need all the advice we can get, right?
Psychologists advise grey rocking is a technique used to divert a toxic person’s behaviour by acting as unresponsive as you can when you’re interacting with them. Essentially it’s about channelling a big, grey rock – acting stable, blank and uninteresting.
I’d get really wound up by my ex when it came to transition day. She tended to nag about plans with my daughter and tried to micro-manage how our week would go. - Anon, single father
Experts suggest grey rocking can be really useful in dealing with a narcissist or in particular. You essentially aim to be as uninteresting and unresponsive as possible. You refuse to feed their need for drama and attention. You envisage yourself as a rock and channel the best static, grey, unresponsive, uninteresting rock you can be. If they start gaslighting you or use manipulative tactics or simply start to attempt to rile you, disengage, avoid eye contact and remain stable and blank. If it’s over text or phone, give short, concise responses. A simple emoji response for example over a detailed reply. The objective is to become uninteresting to the toxic person and remove yourself from their entanglement and need for drama.
I’m all for having a harmonious relationship with her, but I have tried a bit of grey rocking after reading about it and it’s made a big difference to how we get along and co-parent. - Anon, Single Father
Feel you need more tactics to deal with a narcissist and heal from their abuse? Check out Annie Kaszina’s advice on healing from narcissistic abuse.