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‘Grey rocking’: how to get a toxic narcissist out of your life | Psychology

Name: Gray swing.

Years: Relatively new.

Appearance: As incredibly dull and insensitive as a rock.

IT’S OKAY. OKAY? That is all? Don’t you want me to tell you what Gray Rocking really is?

Of course. That is better. It’s a new and seemingly very effective way to get toxic narcissists out of your life for good. Doesn’t that sound great?

I guess. You are being weird. Regardless, gray rocking is a communication tool whereby you deprive narcissists of the attention they crave by denying them any form of commitment. It’s especially helpful for me, because I’m constantly surrounded by all kinds of toxic people. Have I mentioned this before?

Maybe. The key to gray rocking, according to US-based marriage and family therapist Holly Richmond, is to literally imagine that you are a gray rock. “You are this immovable, impenetrable force that has no interest,” she says. “If you are asked a question, say yes or no, and do not give details of your life or admit that you practice this gray rock method.”

IT’S OKAY. And then… wait a minute, are you rocking me grey?

Nope. It’s okay. For a moment he worried me that you thought he was a narcissist. Regardless, narcissists have fun eliciting emotional responses in their targets, good or bad. They like it when you yell or defend yourself, because you’re giving them more ammunition. Did you know that?

Yes. Therefore, the best response is to avoid eye contact, keep your tone of voice flat, and deny them any meaningful engagement.

Wow. Wow? That is all? I just told you about the biggest weapon you could have against a toxic narcissist, and all you can say is, ‘Wow!’ What the hell is wrong with you?

Whatever. Of course, some people will find themselves tied to a narcissist no matter what, perhaps because they have children together or work in inseparably close places. In that case, it’s best to use a technique known as “yellow rolling.” This is where you offer slightly longer answers that, however, don’t give anything away from you. A classic example is, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that.’

Wow, I didn’t know that. Are you sure you’re not gray rocking me?

Yes. God, you’re being so boring today. I should probably point out that rocking gray risks aggravating the narcissist. Afraid of losing control over you, they may try even harder to provoke a reaction.

IT’S OKAY. You know people only read Pass Notes for my bits, right? They always say how much they hate the parts in bold.

Wow, I didn’t know that. Good is true! I’m cool and you suck, everyone says so.

Of course. This is not fun. I’m going to go and bother the crossword page instead.

Gave: “Grey rocking can remove narcissists from your life forever.”

do not tell: “Hey, this sounds amazing! Please tell me more in great detail.”

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