How to Disengage using the Gray Rock Method

This post was written by Rhonda Wasserman

Original content by Ashley Berges

Plain, boring, non-descriptive, these words describe a gray rock.  Safeguarding yourself against narcissistic abuse, manipulators, and gas lighters by using the gray rock method is a very useful and effective technique.  

Gray rocking is the ability to make yourself not interesting to someone else.  It gives you the power to not reveal information about yourself even when pushed to do so.

Gray rocking is an excellent technique to use when you need to get emotional distance or cut someone out of your life.  You can use gray rocking in any situation. This technique will work when implemented correctly.

The best time to implement the gray rock technique is when dealing with someone who takes the information you have given them and turns it against you.  It gives you the power to safeguard yourself against the person throwing your words back in your face. 

The first thing you need to do is identify when to use the gray rock technique. It is important to be aware of who and when someone is asking you questions and wants to dive deeper into your feelings.  Often it is highly manipulative people who act like they care, but are just trying to get information out of you. 

1. Texting conversation:

When the conversation takes place over text, be very generic.  Your replies should be very short and simple, “how are you”, “I am good”, and “I am at work”.  The replies should be comments that you would use with someone you work with and do not know very well.  You do not want to share any information about what is going on in your life. Most likely, in the past, when you shared personal information with this person, they did not respect it.

2.  Phone conversation:

Phone conversations are another area in which you can use gray rocking.  It may be a parent whom you are having a conversation with.  You have realized that your parent has narcissistic tendencies.  In the past when you have shared your feelings with them, they made fun of, criticized, or ignored you.  Instead of talking about yourself, you need to gray rock the conversation.  Ask more questions than answers.  Inquirer about how they are doing, and what is going on in their life.  When you get asked questions, be boring and keep your responses simple

It is important to learn how to share your personal information with people you can trust. Often, you feel left empty by the narcissist. When you share your deep thoughts with them, they tend to make light of what you have just told them. It is good to have an emotional disconnect with them and only talk about surface level topics to safeguard yourself.  The more non-interesting you become, the more likely the narcissist will lose interest and back away.  Narcissists thrive on drama, if you are not giving them the drama, they will move on to someone else in search of the drama.

When you think about a gray rock, think about how not interesting it can be.  This technique should become part of your arsenal to combat this kind of emotional and psychological abuse.  Gray rocking helps you to step back emotionally without being dragged through the hot coals.  

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