It is possible that many of you are familiar with the term “narcissist”, we might hear it often and sometimes we are forced to endure the narcissistic behavior of those who surround us. Basically, these people feel an excessive and exaggerated admiration by themselves, by their physical appearance or their skills or qualities. Dealing with someone who responds to these issues can be complicated, but in fact, there is a way to do it. It is the Gray Rock Method.
What is The Gray Rock Method?
The Gray Rock Method consists of refraining from any emotional reaction that can be used by the narcissistic person in their manipulation. Any form of attention towards them serves them as fuel, that is why they seek it tirelessly, and the main reason why they act in the way they do. Our words or gestures are the food of the narcissist. So in the end, what this method is based on is to be emotionally neutral.
What do we have to keep in mind?
Explaining what the Gray Rock Method consists on can be simple, however, to apply it to real life is not usually THAT simple for everyone. So it is important to keep in mind certain aspects that help us doing this when zero contact with a narcissistic person is not possible, either because they are family, or we meet them at work, or there is any other bond that connects us.
Consider the characteristics that define a narcissist:
These people are unable to establish bonds, and their empathy is non-existent, reason why it doesn’t make any sense to take it personally. We must accept the personality traits and act accordingly, disconnect emotionally from them or the conversation.
Observe the interactions with the narcissist without making value judgment or interpretations:
Something it might be helpful if we observe carefully their words and actions in the same way that we would watch a movie. Thus, it is easier to know oneself and the narcissist. Here it is also important to keep a clear head.
Clearly identify how they provoke the emotional reactions:
This can be seen through what is mentioned in the previous point, and is undoubtedly the key aspect to stop “feeding” the narcissist in question.
Acknowledging the aspects of oneself:
The narcissist can criticize certain personal aspects such as age, gender, sexual orientation, the way we talk or interact with others, etc. So if we know in advance what the narcissistic person is going to use against us, we can be prepared for it so it doesn’t surprise us.
Make a checklist (or mind list) of past situations:
Make a list of former narcissistic behaviors can help find certain patterns that are repeated. This can be useful to stop believing fully in the person suffering from the disorder and being able to finally move on.
Certainly, showing indifference to the narcissist is a task that requires effort, and that does not always work the first time we try it. However, with time and proper willpower, we can all learn not to use emotional language in our dialogue, not showing any interest in their personal affairs, not telling them anything about our situation, and avoiding providing them the fuel they need.
Post made possible thanks to Montse M. and Noelia S.