Ignoring the Narcissist

Ignoring the Narcissist

“Until you let go of all the toxic people in your life you will never be able to grow into your fullest potential. Let them go so you can grow.”  ~DLQ

Are you trying to ignore a narcissist in your life? Ignoring the narcissist is nearly always easier said than done. Thanks to their obvious need for attention and admiration, the narcissist is always in attention-seeking mode. And when you’ve been a primary source of narcissistic supply, you are a prime target for attention-seeking behavior (including hoovering, once you’ve left or are planning to leave a narcissist – where the narcissist tries to suck you back into the relationship). In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to successfully ignore a narcissist.

How do you ignore a narcissist?

Ignoring a narcissist might feel counterintuitive, especially if you’ve been connected to them for a long time. That’s understandable. But how do you do it? You can begin with no contact, if that is an option for you.

What is ‘no contact’ with a narcissist?

No Contact is practically required to heal after narcissistic abuse. It involves removing yourself from the narcissist’s life completely, and you stop seeing, speaking to, and interacting with the narcissist. This allows you to clear your life of the negative energy they bring into every room. We’ll get into more detail about this in a moment.

What if you have kids or are otherwise legally obligated to the narcissist? 

If you’re forced to deal with the narcissist due to having kids together or being legally required to for some other reason, then you will want to use the gray rock method.

What is the Gray Rock Method?

The gray rock method is a technique, named and first published by a writer called Skylar, who advises that you act about as interesting as a “grey rock” – as in, you act boring and don’t react to the narcissist’s attempts to engage you in drama. The tactic is highly effective but also infuriating for narcissists. Please note: this technique can be dangerous if you are dealing with any physical abuse as the narcissist may not react well. I don’t advise that you use this if you are in physical danger. In that case, I suggest you look into emergency resources to get you away safely.

How do you avoid getting pulled back into the relationship with a narcissist? 

“You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.” ~Daniell Koepke

This playlist will help you learn how to stick with your plan to ignore the narcissist so you can avoid getting sucked back into their drama and manipulation.

Why would you want to ignore a narcissist?

Since toxic narcissists tend to be emotionally abusive and controlling, most of the time, the only way you can fully heal from a relationship with one is to go “no contact.” This is more than just ignoring them – it’s completely removing them from your life. While no contact isn’t always possible, due to sharing kids, family responsibilities or business connections, for example, it’s truly the best option for healing. When it’s impossible to fully ignore a narcissist due to circumstances beyond your control, you can opt for “low contact,” which means you only communicate with them about whatever you’re legally required to communicate about. You keep it all business, and you do not involve emotion in your communication.

What do narcissists do when you ignore them?

What are the effects of ignoring a narcissist? What is the typical narcissist’s reaction to being ignored? You can expect a number of different reactions when you ignore a narcissist. For example, you might see narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury. The narcissist will attempt to get your attention by revisiting the love-bombing phase and/or by trying to “hoover you” back into the relationship.

In this video, I explain 11 things you can expect to deal with when you ignore a narcissist. You’ll learn what happens when you ignore a narcissist, a toxic person or anyone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Plus, I’ll give you 7 quick ways to deal with the situation so you can stay no contact and stay safe.

Do you need to go no contact in order to ignore a narcissist?

Since no contact is not always an option, you might wonder if it’s necessary to successfully ignore a narcissist. Technically, you do not need to go no contact in order to ignore a narcissist, but it’s always the ideal option. While it’s very uncomfortable and stressful at first, going no contact with a narcissist is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only will you end the gaslighting and manipulation, but you might actually find yourself some peace and self-love in the process. Whether you’re going no contact by divorce or by some other method, you may need to consider what to expect from the narcissist when you go no contact. In this video, I outline 10 things narcissists do when you go no contact.

How do you deal with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact?

“Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” – Robert Tew

You might also need to know how to deal with a narcissist when you can’t go no contact.

Even though no contact is really the only way to resolve a toxic relationship, going no contact isn’t always possible in the immediate future. In this video, I go into detail about how to make a narcissist be nice to you as often as possible, and how to talk to a narcissist to make life easier. You will learn exactly what to do to make narcissists treat you better.

Why is it so hard to ignore a narcissist?

If you’ve ever tried to ignore a narcissist, then you know how difficult it can be. It feels impossible to us, especially in the beginning. That’s because we are often trauma bonded with the toxic people in our lives. Trauma bonding is similar to Stockholm Syndrome. It’s is a condition that causes the victims of narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships to develop a psychological dependence on the narcissist as a survival strategy during abuse. Your brain also makes recovering from a toxic relationship significantly more difficult.

Think you’re trauma bonded? Take this quiz and find out right now. 

Why do you keep missing a narcissist even when you know better?

Another reason it’s so hard to ignore a narcissist is that once we’ve gone no contact and are no longer putting up with daily abuse, we can develop abuse amnesia. This is a common issue for survivors who manage to finally go no contact or leave the narcissist. It’s sort of the ugly side of the whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing.  You literally sort of “forget” all of the bad stuff – the abuse, the gaslighting, the manipulation – all of it – and you even begin to romanticize the reality of your toxic relationship. Abuse amnesia can be very toxic for you, not to mention dangerous. as it very often leads to reuniting with your abuser. In this video, I explain what abuse amnesia is in more detail, why it happens and one powerful way to overcome it.

How can I get support for ignoring the narcissist?

One of the best ways you can stick to your plan to ignore a narcissist is to get some support. You can get the support you need in a number of ways. Here are a few to consider.

 

The Narcissistic Whirl Response to Gray Rock

The Narcissistic Whirl Response to Gray Rock

Narcissistic Manipulation Technique: The Narcissistic Whirl Response to Gray Rock – How Narcissists React When You Successfully Gray Rock

Ever notice how some narcissists will have a complete meltdown if you don’t pay enough attention to them? Have you noticed how, when you try to use the gray rock method to deal with their gaslighting tactics, the meltdowns are a little different? I call this the narcissistic whirl response. Here is what you need to know.

What is the Narcissistic Whirl?

What is the narcissistic whirl? It’s a term I’ve coined for the quickly-shifting emotions of narcissists during conversations and interactions – especially with their primary source of supply.

In other words, the narcissistic whirl is a common response a narcissist will give you when you turn the tables on them by using the gray rock method in response to the narcissist’s attempt to gaslight and manipulate you.

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a pervasive and highly-effective tactic meant to manipulate you into questioning your own sanity, your own perception of the world around you and even your own thoughts. It is used by most narcissists and is done in order to make you feel crazy and confused. The goal in most cases is to get you under control and make you dependent on the narcissist. You doubt yourself and your ability to make choices or even decide exactly what you’re seeing around you. Learn more about gaslighting and how to deal with it here.

What is the gray rock method?

Gray rock (or grey rock) is a coping technique to deal with an abusive narcissist who is actively gaslighting you. It was named and first published by a writer called Skylar.

How does the gray rock method work?

Skylar advises that you act boring and don’t react to the narcissist’s attempts to engage you in drama. The tactic is highly effective but also infuriating for narcissists to experience. Use with caution if you are dealing with any physical abuse as the narcissist may not react well.

Here is some additional help with using the gray rock method on your own.

Watch this video where I fill you in on the details of the narcissistic whirl response to the gray rock method – does it sound familiar to you? If you stick around through the end, I’ll also teach you how to deal with this particular technique without completely losing your mind – and what it means if it’s happening to you.


Narcissist Manipulation Technique: The Narcissistic Whirl Response to Gray Rock – How Narcissists React When You Successfully Gray Rock The Narcissistic Whirl

Helpful Articles and Information on Narcissistic Manipulation Techniques

Toxic Relationship Recovery: Using the Grey Rock Method (Safely)

Toxic Relationship Recovery: Using the Grey Rock Method (Safely)

We all know narcissists can be obnoxious. Their over-inflated egos, excessive need for attention (aka drama), and arrogant attitude make it difficult to deal with them sometimes. It’s enough to drive any normal person crazy.

To put it mildly, communicating with a narcissist can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it matters that they comprehend what you’re saying. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt exasperated when trying to have simple conversations with narcissists who have become agitated and who are actively gaslighting.

Gray Rock method explained

Using the Grey Rock Method Safely

So a while back, I wrote this post about the only way to effectively communicate with a narcissist, and in my experience, it’s the truth. In the post, I mentioned the Grey Rock Method, so I thought I’d offer a bit of background and explanation on where it came from. The Grey Rock Method is an ideal way to respond to a narcissist who is actively gaslighting you.

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a pervasive and highly effective manipulation tactic used by most narcissists, a form of psychological abuse meant to manipulate you by psychological means into questioning your own sanity. It is pure brainwashing. In addition to toxic narcissists, many abusers and cult leaders use this tactic, not to mention dictators. They do it slowly and subtly – so it kind of sneaks up on you before you realize it’s happening.

This is where your abuser causes you to doubt your own memory, perception, and sanity. The term comes from the 1938 stage play Gaslight and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations, in which a husband tries to convince his wife that she is insane by making small adjustments to their home and then convincing her that she is imagining the changes.

How do you recognize when a narcissist is gaslighting?

So, how do you know when to use the grey rock method? It’s going to be most effective when the narcissist is gaslighting you. They will be thicker than concrete walls, intentionally trying to misunderstand you and assume the worst of you, in every single word. You find yourself feeling hopeless like you’re unable to make your point – and if you’re like me, it’s especially frustrating because you probably have no problem communicating with literally everyone else in your life.

I mean – honestly, this has happened to me more times than I  can count during conversations with narcissists – and I am a writer who communicates for a living.

Gaslighting behaviors include: 

  • Withholding: refusing or failing to acknowledge actions or events
  • Blocking: refusing or failing to listen to, acknowledge, or validate ideas, feelings, or opinions
  • Trivializing: dismissing concerns as inconsequential or overly sensitive
  • Forgetting: claiming not to remember what actually happened
  • Countering: claiming that others’ perceptions are wrong
  • Projecting: blaming others for their actions
  • See more signs of gaslighting here. 

Gaslighting is abusive because it is used to subvert honest communication. The abuser doesn’t want to talk about whatever problem there is; they want to persuade you that you are mistaken about what’s happening. They want you to doubt your own perceptions, your own memory; they want you to feel confused and off-balance, so that the only reasonable response is to do whatever they say.

What is the “Grey Rock” Method?

The grey rock method is a form of emotional self-defense used to cope with people who attack your emotions. It is a powerful strategy to shut down any kind of narcissistic abuse, behavior, or attack by anyone, without violating your boundaries. It allows you to disengage from the narcissist and refrain from making him or her wrong. It’s all about appearing to be somewhat indifferent to narcissists’ behavior.

How do you use the “Grey Rock” Method?

When someone is acting out of emotion, trying to manipulate you, they are not being rational. So your goal is not to think of a clever response – it’s to avoid being pulled into responding emotionally yourself. To do that, it helps to remember that most of our communication happens non-verbally. So respond non-verbally.

In other words, do your best to avoid feeling sorry for them if they’re feeling sorry for themselves, don’t get mad at them if they’re mad at you, don’t take it personally if they’re taking it personally.

The best way to deal with an emotionally manipulative person is not to react emotionally yourself at all — which is what the grey rock method aims to make easy for you. Think of it as practice in learning not to care about things that don’t matter.

When you’re using the grey rock method, you’re supposed to act boring and don’t react to the narcissist’s attempts to engage you in drama. Essentially, you don’t give them any of your energy or emotion; you literally act like you’re as boring as a grey rock. This helps you to become less attractive to manipulative people such as narcissists.

While the grey rock method will not fix the situation in the long term,  it can help you regain some control and keep things calm when you do need to deal with a narcissist. The grey rock method is highly effective but also infuriating for narcissists to experience.

Who invented the “Grey Rock” Method?

As far as I can tell in my research, the “Grey Rock” method was so named by a person named Skylar in this post, written in 2012.

In part, Skylar says the grey rock method is, “primarily a way of encouraging a narcissist, psychopath, stalker or another emotionally unbalanced person, to lose interest in you.”

How does the Grey Rock Method differ from the No-Contact rule?

Skylar says that the difference is “you don’t blatantly try to avoid contact with the disordered individual.”

Instead, she advises, “you allow contact but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the mentally unwell person must go elsewhere to get their need for drama gratified.”

Skylar adds: “One might say that Grey Rock is a way of breaking up with a psychopath by using the old, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ excuse, except that you act it out instead of saying it and the psychopath comes to that conclusion on his own.”

Why does the Grey Rock Method work?

According to Skylar: “There are gray rocks and pebbles everywhere you go, but you never notice them. None of them attract your attention. You don’t remember any specific rock you saw today because they blend with the scenery. That is the type of boring that you want to channel when you are dealing with a psychopath. Your boring persona will camouflage you and the psychopath won’t even notice you were there.  This method strikes at the heart of the psychopath’s motivation:  to avoid boredom.”

What are the most important components of successfully using the Grey Rock Method?

  • Rule number one when it comes to practicing the Grey Rock Method is to never tell the narcissist you’re doing so. If you do, he’ll definitely figure out a way to use it against you.
  • Never ask questions of the narcissist and don’t offer any “committal” responses – just say things like “hmm” or “mhmm” – keep it casual.
  • If possible, discuss only “safe” topics, such as the news, social media – fashion, cooking, etc. Nothing that would be personal – even if the narcissist begs you for it. Drama-free is the way to be!
  • Try to be distracted during the conversation so that you don’t have to directly look the narcissist in the eye the whole time. Make it something simple like doodling in a notebook or checking your text messages, or something more complicated such as knitting a scarf or working on a document for work. If you focus a bit more on your activity, you won’t be as directly affected by the narcissist’s attempts to manipulate you during the conversation.
  • Most importantly during this practice, keep your head in the game and don’t allow the narcissist to get inside your head. Narcissists are expert “guilt-trippers” and have no qualms about making you “feel bad” so that you’ll try to justify or defend your intentions – don’t fall into the trap.

What else should I consider before I try the Grey Rock Method?

One important thing to know about the Grey Rock  Method is that there is a level at which it can become unsafe for you psychologically – and that’s when you begin to experience symptoms of dissociation.

A lot of people don’t realize that these two are connected, but here’s what happens.

When you learn to use this method and you find out how effective it can be when it comes to dealing with your narcissist, you may find that it is a great way to deal with EVERYTHING that is an issue in your life.

The problem with this is that you begin to truly stop caring – and your ability to feel your own emotions diminishes. This is a major issue because you don’t just stop feeling pain and anxiety – you stop feeling the good stuff too.

If you think you’re dissociating, it’s time to take further action to deal with your narcissist – you can start here, with this resource page.

This video playlist offers additional insight into the grey rock method, how to use it safely, and what to do if it fails. 

Do you think you’re being gaslighted?

Take this gaslighting self-assessment and find out right now.

Now it’s your turn – have you ever used the Grey Rock Method? How did it work for you, and what tips would you offer for someone who’s trying it for the first time? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

how to control a narcissist

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Did you know? Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

Related articles

Pin It on Pinterest