If you are personally or professionally involved with a narcissist in a toxic relationship and due to the circumstances, you aren’t able to take the most effective action for dealing with it (going no contact), you might find yourself struggling to have a reasonable conversation with him or her.
This is because, by nature, the narcissist is wired to instigate drama, manipulate and generally do his best to make it all about him. This can be both exhausting and frustrating for anyone trying to deal with a narc.
The One Rule You Need to Use to Effectively Communicate With a Narcissist
There’s one simple rule when it comes to communicating effectively with a narcissist – and it’s so basic that you’ll be shocked when I tell you what it is.
The rule is: do not engage the narcissist.
What do I mean by this?
It’s simple: keep emotion out of it. When the narcissist tries to manipulate and provoke you, which he or she inevitably will, you have to maintain an air of professional-type detachment. Try to see the narcissist as almost a stranger and communicate with him on that level.
The Gray Rock Rule
Some people refer to this rule as the “gray rock” rule of communication. According to LoveFraud.com, you deal with the narcissist if you have to, “but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the parasite must go elsewhere for his supply of drama.”
By sticking to the gray rock rule, you can bet that your narcissist will lose interest quickly. That’s because it’ll retrain his brain to consider you “boring” and essentially, you’ll no longer be an effective source of narcissistic supply.
He’ll move on and find someone else to torture, if all goes as expected – and with a narcissist, it generally does – they’re not especially unpredictable, believe it or not.
Need help dealing with a narcissistic relationship? You might enjoy my book, Your Love is My Drug: How to Shut Down a Narcissist, Detoxify Your Relationships & Live the Awesome Life You Really Deserve, Starting Right Now.
Now it’s your turn. What are the most effective ways you’ve found to deal with a narcissist? Have you tried the “gray rock” method before? Does it work for you? Share your thoughts and experiences below.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.