What to Do When Grey Rock Doesn’t Work: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Hacks

What to Do When Grey Rock Doesn’t Work: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Hacks

When Grey Rock Doesn’t Work – What do you do when you grey rock a narcissist’s gaslighting and it doesn’t work? How do you deal with that and what do you do instead?

You use the Grey Rock Method when you cannot terminate all communication for some reason. But sometimes codependency prevents you from seeing the benefits of the gray rock technique.

Before we get into what to do when gray rock doesn’t work, we should first discuss exactly what this “Gray Rock” thing is, and how you can use it effectively.

Gray rock is a simple but highly effective way of dealing with narcissists, and in a nutshell, it means that you respond to the narcissist as briefly, and factually as possible. You don’t give them any of your emotions when you use gray rock; instead, you keep it as boring as you can: monotone, detached and as vague as possible.

Then, if the narcissist treats you badly, you simply ignore it. You go on as though they hadn’t reacted at all.

If they act like they aren’t “getting” what you’re doing, keep up with it and ignore it. Same goes for what to do if they irritate or upset you – keep going and ignore their response.

But what do you do when grey rock doesn’t work? That’s what we’re talking about in this video (watch here or on YouTube).

More Resources on Using the Gray Rock (Grey Rock) Method

 

Living Narcissist Abuse Syndrome

Living Narcissist Abuse Syndrome

Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a fellow survivor of narcissistic abuse. Read more stories right here, and submit your own here

I was raised in an ideal family, according to most people who know them. Relatively high standing in their community, very well known and respected in their religious network.

But behind closed doors, my parents and my siblings bullied me mercilessly, usually amongst themselves but sometimes in front of others too.

This trend has continued recently, as they have been ‘framing’ me online.

What has been most devastating is that everybody seems convinced that they are wonderful people and believe their lies, but nobody will believe what I have gone through.

They think that I am crazy (which my family freely implies). Maybe some people are aware of who they really are, but they’re afraid that they would be on the receiving end of their antics if they show any sign of siding with any of the people they pick on.

I cringe when I recall how I was unable to avoid the abuse due to the way that I was raised to be such a ‘good girl’ no matter what happened to me. In the network people think my parents are brilliant parents because they appeared to have such nice children. I was actually inviting and drawing abuse to me like a magnet.

It was not until I had some space from my family and children of my own that I realized how terribly my own mother treated me and managed to step away from the toxic network that I was raised in. I could never treat my own children the way she has treated me; nor would I allow anyone to. I want to raise my children in a way that they do not tolerate staying around for anyone who tries to hurt them. The love for my children has been a huge inspiration for me in my healing.

My family enjoyed pushing all my buttons to provoke me and when I snapped they would shame me for being so terrible and call me crazy. I now realize this was gaslighting. At the dinner table, they would call me names and make fun of me: they told me that I would be a lonely old spinster with cats that nobody would want to be around. I was afraid for years that believing this was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

One sibling would do all in her power to destroy my friendships, to have them only be friends to her, this also applied to my boyfriends. Another would do all in her power to have my boyfriends date her.

I was madly in love with one boy and foolishly confided to her that I knew he wasn’t the best looking guy ever…but that whenever I saw him my heart skipped a beat. The relationship started to go downhill very fast after this.

When he broke off with me angrily saying that ‘I wasn’t so good looking and he could do better than me’, I realized what had happened. One of my siblings begged me to lend them money when I had just gotten paid. I explained that I really needed that cash for my rent at the end of the month. They insisted they would have the money back to me in time for when the rent was due. When I followed up on this they told me they had sent the money to my mom’s account, my mom denied receiving it. I was left in trouble to pay my rent and to this day I don’t know who was lying about the money.

In desperation, I stopped bringing home any of my friends or boyfriends. I met a man and without their interference, things progressed and we got engaged.

One month before I was due to be married, my younger sister (who had previously said she would never get married), announced that she was engaged to be married. The wedding date? One week before mine.

I asked my mother (who was splitting the money she was contributing as her gift for my wedding with my sister) how she could let my sister do this. My mother’s reply was ‘Do what?’

This was my life. I asked my mother who is famous for her baking if she would make my wedding cake, and she agreed. The day before the wedding, I learned she had changed her mind. She had no intention to make the cake.

I was amazed…she is the woman who is always there for anyone who needs it at church, having made so many wedding cakes for my friends. She makes them beautiful wedding shawls and knits blankets for their babies.

But when it comes to me, nothing.

My sister couldn’t have her wedding the week before mine, as she had forgotten to sign a document and instead, she got married on the day of my husband and my wedding reception in his country.

I was unable to attend her wedding.

I couldn’t understand what it was for the longest time… that I seemed to be surrounded by awful people and I believed that I must be imagining it.

Was I imagining it or was it really just me?

It turns out that it actually was me, but not how I expected. I was attracting these kinds of people into my life and allowing them to stay.

And in the meantime, they were not giving any room for healthier relationships to draw close to me.

I had had enough.

In one year, I cut contact with three women that I considered to be close friends because they all were becoming increasingly abusive toward me, verbally and emotionally manipulative. Then my own mother in law physically intimidated and threatened me in my home in front of my children. At this point, I started to make the connections to my upbringing and the dynamic that I had been drawn into.

I had never challenged anyone before and my mother in law did not take the “no contact” kindly as it threatened her reputation. My MIL took the opportunity at a family wedding to try to create a scene to make herself look innocent and me the aggressor.

I had one of my children with me and I realized at this point that she would stop at nothing to protect her facade. So refuse to allow the children near her without close supervision. I hadn’t recognized her narcissism at all until that last time she would be in our home and then it came super clear from every single interaction after that.

She told me to forgive her and get over it. She referred to my husband only as ‘My son’ and the children as ‘my grandchildren’ as though they were not people in their own right.

She emailed me, copying my husband, and implied that I was sabotaging his birthday and not allowing him to spend it with family.

The truth was I was actually quoting what he had told me to write so it backfired somewhat. She almost did succeed in splitting up our family as my husband struggled to accept the reality of his mother and how she was affecting me.

Virtually his entire family are in denial and downplay what she does. I can see that my husband is like me in ways- a people pleaser.. and I see that as I have gotten stronger and happier, learned boundaries and no longer apologize for doing what works for my family, so has he too.

We are are in our 40’s and finally have allowed ourselves to have peace and be truly happy! My heart is with you who feel alone navigating this in your life. Do not let the bastards get you down. Do not let them push you into choosing to isolate yourself further.

I almost deleted my Facebook account several times. Had I done it, I would have cut myself off from what would become my largest support while coming to terms with everything. For a long time, I thought that maybe it was all my own fault as I was told that I am deserving of the treatment I received, but now I know that it is not.

I never go out of my way to hurt anyone. I still feel I’m doing something ‘wrong’ sharing this even though I know in my head that I’m not. Just part of the process of healing.

Be patient with and kind to yourself. Reading and learning as much as you can can help with healing. I’ve learned ‘not to wrestle with pigs, because we both get dirty and the pig likes it.’

When one door closes it truly does allow space for another to open, and you can choose to keep it open or close it to make space for another if it does not bring a mutually fulfilling and rewarding relationship. Big hugs!

Did this story speak to you? You might want to check out these resources.

Is Your Partner Cheating on You? Take the Infidelity Test

Is Your Partner Cheating on You? Take the Infidelity Test

Are you worried that your spouse might be having an affair? For a number of reasons, it can be hard to tell if your spouse is cheating on you. But if you’re willing to look closely, many cheating spouses eventually show signs of being unfaithful, most of which are associated with their behavior.

If you’re worried that your spouse or partner has been cheating on you, start figuring it out now by taking this test. When you finish the test, you’ll be given your results as well as some help with what to do next.

What Narcissists Think When They Make You Cry

What Narcissists Think When They Make You Cry

Are Narcissists Ever Remorseful When You Cry? This is Why Narcissists Love to See You Cry

Have you ever noticed that narcissists seem to love it when you cry? Or at least they seem to intentionally cause it to happen, and then use your tears as a way to either manipulate you or make themselves the victim? If this feels familiar to you, you might want to take a look at this video where I’m digging into the psychology of narcissists, toxic people and those actually diagnosed with NPD (or narcissistic personality disorder) to figure out why they seem to smirk or get happier when they see you crying.

11 Ways to Keep a Positive Attitude (When It Seems Impossible!): Toxic Relationship Recovery

11 Ways to Keep a Positive Attitude (When It Seems Impossible!): Toxic Relationship Recovery

You may have developed a bit of a negative attitude after having dealt with a toxic relationship, and that’s totally understandable. I’ve got good news for you, and I’ve got bad news.

The bad news is that your attitude impacts everything in your life – from here on out, anyway. Your happiness, satisfaction, career, and relationships are all impacted by your attitude.

But hey – that’s also the good news because you have complete control over your attitude. Honestly, you do. Especially once you’ve left the toxic relationship.

Obviously, your toxic relationship (and even healing from one) can make maintaining a positive mental attitude even more challenging. But, if you want to turn your life around, having a good attitude is the first step to making everything else possible. A positive mental attitude is crucial to success and happiness!

I know it feels difficult for you right now, but I’ve got your back. Try these strategies to maintain a positive attitude, even when it feels impossible.

1. Plan an exciting future. If you have a future that excites you, it’s easy to feel positive about life. Even if things are challenging today, you have an exciting life to look forward to. Think about the kind of life you’d like to live. Plan your future and ensure that it’s appealing to you. It should be motivating enough to put a smile on your face. After all, you’re not used to having the freedom of choice after having spent so long connected to a narcissist – take your power and run with it, baby!

2. Be successful each day. Set yourself up to be successful each day. You can do this by making a short to-do list that you know you can complete. Give yourself the experience of being successful each day. You can start with something as simple as making your bed and flossing your teeth before work. I like to use a bullet journal to help me stay on track.

3. Keep your thoughts positive. Positive thoughts lead to a positive attitude. Your brain is always thinking something, and you have control over your thoughts if you choose to exercise that control. Pay attention to what you’re thinking and keep your mind occupied with thoughts that serve you. I like to call this intentional vibration management.

4. Remember your triumphs. If you’re feeling down or hopeless, take a few minutes to remember all the amazing things you’ve accomplished. It’s easy to forget all the things you’ve already mastered and succeeded at, especially when times are tough.

5. Remind yourself that you’re making progress. Even if you’re struggling in your narcissistic abuse recovery, you’re NORMAL, and you’re still making progress. It might be challenging to see, or it might be less progress than you like. However, it’s still progress and a good reason to have a positive attitude.

6. Have something fun to look forward to. What do you have to look forward to in the next month? It could be a movie with a friend or a weekend getaway. Maybe you’re finally going to buy that shirt you’ve had your eye on. Get your groove on, already!

7. Eliminate the negative from your life. The negative things in your life can drag you down. Removing as many of these negative things from your life as possible can make positivity a lot easier to find and maintain. You know exactly what (and WHO) we’re talking about here, right?

8. Surround yourself with people that support you. Rather than spending time with toxic people who seem to suck all the air out of a room, try surrounding yourself with those that lift you up. Life is much easier and more enjoyable with positive people in your corner. Make a list of the people in your life and give them a rating. Determine which of them help you and which are harmful. Start making a few adjustments.

9. Forgive yourself. Okay, you’ve made a few mistakes, picked a toxic partner, maybe, or put up with a toxic friend or family member for too long. And maybe you even squandered a few opportunities. Who hasn’t? It’s time to forgive yourself for your missteps and enjoy your life again. What do you gain by holding a grudge against yourself?

10. Shift your focus. I mean, focus on what you CAN control and not what you can not. This is a HUGE deal. Why waste your energy on anything that you cannot change or affect in any way? It sounds much simpler than it actually is, but it truly works to make your life better (and to keep your thoughts more positive!).

11. Try my daily gratitude practice. Every day, think of 10 things you’re grateful for and 3 things you love about yourself. Talk about raising your vibration! You will be shocked at how effective this can be!

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Journaling Prompt

Ask yourself the following questions and record the answers in your journal.

  1. Do you have a positive attitude in general?
  2. Are you optimistic or pessimistic? How do you think that influences your life?
  3. How has being in a relationship with a toxic person changed your ability to stay positive?
  4. What do you need to do in order to release the negative energy from your life.

Be honest with yourself, but also compassionate. After you write in your journal, set it aside for the night. Then, take a few minutes to review what you wrote tomorrow. What insights can you gain? What changes do you need to make? You might be surprised at how very effective this exercise can be.

Remember this: Having a positive mental attitude leads to much faster recovery from narcissistic abuse. You’ll also be happier and be more attractive to others if you choose to be. Try to see the bright side of things and expect the best – just maintain your awareness and your boundaries at the same time. Life is more challenging when you have a negative attitude.

Helpful Resources for Shifting Your Perception and Taking Back Your Life

 

Gaslighting Examples- How It Feels and Ways to Recover

Gaslighting Examples- How It Feels and Ways to Recover

Gaslighting, what is it and how does it feel? Also, ways to deal with it and recover after.

Lise Colucci is one of the narcissistic abuse recovery life coaches at QueenBeeing.com.

For info or to schedule a coaching appointment with Lise go to https://queenbeeing.com/lise-colucci-c

Join The QueenBeeing SPANily (Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships) – AKA “The SPANily” – at https://queenbeeing.com/span.

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