The Gray Rock Method For Handling A Narcissist (Scenarios & Techniques)

gray rock method

There is a great method that is going to help you put your broken wings back on your body after an encounter with a narcissist. So far, you have learned how to spot a narcissist and you realize that one person in your life fits the mold.

You’ve been struggling with emotional and mental pain caused by the behavior of this narcissist, and you have put up with their abuse for too long. Today is the day that you decide “enough is enough”.

You can either walk out for good (if they are an ex and you have no kids together), or change how you behave around the drama created by the narcissist, even if they accused you of doing exactly that.

They are ungrateful even if you always care about them and try to give them what they ask for. You do this over your own happiness and wishes.

Now that you woke up and smelled the coffee, you realize that you are no longer willing to accept mental abuse, or emotional anguish.

It’s time to get things changed around you. It’s time for the Gray Rock method. The term “Gray Rock” was created by a woman who goes by the name “Skylar.” You can read more about her experience here.

Introduction- The  To Going Gray Rock


It’s going to be really tough to go gray rock with a narcissist unless you truly care about your own mental health first.

The only prerequisite to going gray rock with a narcissist is self-love. The rest will follow naturally.

Other terms used for this method are: Grey rock technique, greyrock, grayrock, grayrocking, grey-rocking, and greyrocking.

Self-love means putting your well-being and your sanity first, above any type of unhealthy “acceptance” by someone you consider so close and dear to your heart.

Now that you woke up, the only way to be in any type of close friendship or relationship with a narcissist is when they, themselves, have an awakening.

This is when they start operating on a deeper conscious level. Maybe they genuinely apologize for all the hurtful behavior that caused you pain. I stress here on the term “genuinely” because you may hear an apology, but it’s not really genuine. You will know a genuine apology when you hear one!

Is this possible for a narcissist to apologize genuinely? Can they be sorry for saying hurtful things or for doing things that injure you emotionally, like put you down in a meeting, throw you under the bus, devalue you hurtfully, or bully you in front of others to make themselves look good? Probably not.

Why You Should Be OK With Going Gray Rock

In all honesty, you don’t need this person in your life, at least not now.

It might take you a while to heal, but blocking them from your social media and ignoring all future attempts to rekindle the romance or the friendship would be the safest idea.

Most likely, they unfriended you or blocked from their social media first, especially if they already have new supply in their life. If your ex is coming back now because they have trouble with the new relationship, you may relive some of the victimization times you had before.

This is especially true if they have broken all the rules, all the boundaries, and continue to hoover you (suck you back in, like the dirt machine with the same brand name) without respects your time, your emotions, and your feelings.

Life is too short to give so many chances to people who only care about themselves. This is especially true if you have had a recent awakening and an “aha” moment about your own evolution and self-worth.

Realizing that you deserve better prompts you to better handle “deal breaker behaviors” that no longer have a positive impact on your life. You have to remember that a narcissist will operate on a low awareness level.

In a moment of selfishness or mean-spirited behavior they will ignore your needs, and any rules you made together. They will put their own interest first at any cost. They will gaslight you (devalue you and hurt your feelings while making you think that you messed up) and make things look like they are your fault, saying how “ridiculous you reacted” to something hurtful that they did.

Going Gray Rock PinterestRemember… No reaction is a good reaction. Play the role of a robot that might have infliction in his or her voice, but who has no emotions!  You want to capture that academy award of your life!

The Gray Rock Method (Scenarios and Techniques)

Imagine a gray rock in the middle of a beautiful field. It’s a rock. It doesn’t move. It doesn’t change colors. It is solid and it is stable, even if there’s wind around it.

You want to be this rock. You want to be stable, unchanged, and unmoved by all the wind and all the elements.

How does that translate to humans?

Simple. You want to stop stirring any encouraging emotions towards the narcissist in your life. The hope here is that he or she will get bored trying to get a reaction out of you and hopefully (eventually) leave you alone.

Think of this as an invitation to a mind game by your narcissist, and now it’s time to play along. You have reached a point where you cannot continue on the same path of getting hurt, arguing without end, and giving your narcissist the pleasure to come back at you again and again.

It does take some practice, but re-affirm your goal when it gets hard: You want the game to be over.

General Scenarios

You need to consider this general method in order to keep your sanity and your emotional safety. This can apply to any situation. Here are some tips:

  • When you are being provoked, stay calm.
  • Do not respond with any type of emotion. They know that if they provoke you, they can get a reaction.
  • Don’t give them the pleasure of knowing what you’re up to. What they don’t know is that you are going “gray rock” on them. These people see themselves in different lenses and you need to learn how they operate. They sometimes have zero remorse that they are hurting you, and zero empathy.

A good way to get good at reacting in front of a narcissist is to practice what you would say.

  • Rehearse your thoughts and words by recording yourself and listening back, or by enlisting the help of a trusted friend. The idea is to stay non-reactive, non-spicy, and boring like a gray rock.
  • Let them get bored and let them go bark at someone else’s tree.
  • If the narcissist continues to talk and take charge of the conversation, you must find a way to shift gears.
  • Shift the attention to something really boring, like what your neighbor did with his yard, or what kind of a car wash you got… Discuss it all in utter boring details. This will get them bored out of their mind and hopefully move on.

An Ex (No Children Together)

And now, let’s talk about specifics!

Here are some highlights from the exact gray rock technique, where you can gray rock your way to a more peaceful existence with a narcissist.

We will give some scenarios and ways to behave around the problematic person.  

This narcissist can be anybody: An ex with children, or an ex without. They can be a family member, a friend, or a co-worker.

Let’s set the stage. Let’s pick an ex who has no common children with you.

You have been enjoying the peaceful “no contact” phase with your narcissist after a breakup. You heard from a friend that they started dating someone new immediately after the relationship ended with you, and they even got engaged to this new supply after 2 months of dating, but the engagement didn’t last and they broke up.

You don’t know the details, but you are disgusted with how fast they moved from you to the other person. The phone rings. You pick up the phone by mistake. It’s your ex!

  • Know that the hoovering method is about to start. No. they are not going to come use your Hoover dirt duster. Yes, this is actually a term. No, they are going to attempt to hoover you and suck you back into their own space again!
  • Don’t give in to ANY of their attempts. You can even say something like “Hey, I’m in the middle of something, can we talk later?” or say something like “Sorry… I really have to go. I’ll try to call you later.”
  • If they say “Hey, I missed you”, say something like “Awww. Thanks… I went to this new restaurant the other day, and the food was really good. I saw Emily there. You know Emily, right? She’s going to help me write that proposal. Did I tell you about it? Let me tell you more…” Blah blah blah your way to the end of the conversation, and STAY IN CHARGE!

You’re neither lying here, nor being deceitful. You’re simply shifting the conversation from spicy to boring.

Learn HOW to be boring from this video.

Make the conversation short if you can, but really boring and meaningless. If they want to talk, then make the conversation about YOU! Shift the conversation to what you did today, what you ate, how you woke up, how bad your traffic commute was, etc.

I can assure you that the narcissist will not really enjoy this conversation because it’s not about THEM.

An Ex (With Common Children)

Here are some potential scenarios:

Narc ex (after breaking up with current love interest and telling you about it): “You know I have missed you. I would love to come and see you tonight. We can have dinner at that Thai place you love so much, my treat!”

You: “I can’t tonight. Sorry. I made other plans. Hey, did you know that Marc and Lauren from work just moved next door? Yesterday, Lauren and I went to the spa that just opened up on 1st avenue. We did our nails. I picked this bluish purple color and… (and continue boring the heck out of them).”


Abusive narc ex: “I can’t believe that you are telling our son that he can go camping with you next week. Are you forgetting that he has to help me do the yard and he needs to be here with his dad?”

You: “I will talk to Tyler and see what he wants to do. I will text you back the answer because I’m going to a meeting in a short while.”

Make sure to reverse roles, in case your narcissist is a female.

Eventually, the narcissist will get bored that they can’t get a reaction out of you and will get off the phone.

The more you bore them, the more they get the hint, and eventually they will stop wanting to connect with you.

Should I Involve My Children? 

One caution about involving the children in the mix… don’t do it.

Do not talk negatively about the other parent in front of the children. They will sense the animosity and you want to make sure not to turn them into little narcissists. Just let them know how much you love them and that the other parent is trying their best.

A Co-worker Or A Friend

Another scenario is going grey rock on someone at work: You need your job and your boss or co-worker has to be a part of it.

The same thing can apply to a friend (so called friend) who is about to become an ex friend.

You will become an emotionless person around the narcissist with non-encouraging behavior. Eventually this becomes a behavior that preserves your sanity while putting the narcissist in a neutral space.

Narc co-worker or current friend: “I can’t believe you have not responded to my texts or emails. I thought I’d use my neighbor’s phone, and here you are. You know I got a raise, right? Heck yeah! I’m the smartest one in the company. Are you avoiding me? Do you want to do something tonight?”

You: “Nice. No, I’m not avoiding you. I am just super busy these days. Sorry, I have plans tonight. In fact, I can’t talk much right now as I’m about to leave the house and I’m in a hurry (and try to get off the call as fast as you can, or shift to boring conversation mode). Hey, did you hear about that new dog kettle that opened up next door? My neighbor brought their poodle there this morning and they did such a great job… They have (list all the services they have).”

A Boss Or Someone Your Report To

If the narcissist is a co-worker that you only socialize with at work, they will eventually get bored and move to bully someone else.

If the abuse is coming from a higher up at work, do not engage in any reaction other than something like:

Your boss: “How many times do I have to tell you to (fill in the blank with your situation) to upload the report by Thursday? Are you stupid or something? You know darn well that I’m trying to get that promotion, but no… You always have to make me look bad!”

You: “I will do the report again”, or “I will work on it”.

In the case of reporting directly to a narcissistic manager, you have some options:

  • If they belittle and put you down, do not provoke them, but do start looking for another job.
  • Document everything with dates, events, witnesses, but without making it known to anyone. This could be your backup plan if your narcissist harasses you further and you’re still unable to find another job.
  • Worst case scenario (and while you look for other work), get the help of the HR department to maintain the peace. They will most likely interfere, giving you some time and space until your situation changes.

Gray rocking your way out of being provoked at work is a great way to either keep your job, or gain time before you look for another one.

A Family Member

If you have to deal with the narcissist because of blood relations, like a sibling, a mother, father, or child, then you definitely want to consider the gray rock strategy.

These people may need you to go gray rock on them: Your siblings, children, or extended family, but to be honest, it will be extremely hard to completely cut off your mom, dad, sister, brother, or children out of your life.

Learn how to neutralize their energy.

  • Do not engage in the family member bashing or put down.
  • Keep the conversation super short and try to get off the phone.
  • Of course, next time, let VM pick up the call, and if the narc family member leaves nasty calls about how you’re avoiding them, just ignore and delete them.
  • Next time you talk to the narc, explain how busy you are, and keep the conversation short.
  • They will continue to bash you, but you will not be a part of it.

Narc family member who can take care of themselves just fine: “Can you believe what your stupid sister did again? She left me all alone here in the middle of the night to go bar with her friends. I need you to come keep me company.”

You: “Sorry, but I can’t. I am very busy tonight (start your boring conversation about trivial things).”

The Bottom Line On Going Gray Rock 

In order for the gray rock method to work, you MUST become boring. This is against who you really are, but for the sake of getting out from the situation with your sanity intact, you must.

You become like a robot, without emotions.

Talk about your laundry, your day at the sap, and try to not mention anybody that they might feel threatened about.

You don’t want to stir any type of behavior in your narcissist that will bring on additional drama and headaches, or make them feel jealous or angry for any reason.

The idea is to bore the heck out of them, and YOU CAN DO IT!

Be well.