Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

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. 

how to communicate effectively with narcissist

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

A narcissist’s toolbox is full of manipulative tactics – you would not believe how many different ways they’ll try to get what they want (not to mention how “low” they’ll go).  

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, 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. 

(Visited 52,609 times, 2 visits today)

9 Responses to This is the Only Way to Communicate With a Narcissist Effectively

  1. I wish I’d known about this before he left, the gray rock method to stop the weird fights. It took getting a false protection order served on me to finally understand exactly what was going on. I am thankful that it didn’t get granted, since he was accusing me of all the things he was doing. I wonder when the nightmares I still have will stop.

  2. I wish that I’d understood and held him to his word the first time only 2-3 weeks into the scam marriage, when he told me he considered me like a sister and that he married me to help me and that he did it to do something fun and different. Nothing about love. It would have saved me tons of grief and pain!

  3. Mother was a narcissist and funny haha I ended up living with a man/child for the last 29 years. Of course we have no relationship at all and I don’t engage him about anything anymore so over the years he has made my son his besty apparently which I heard not long ago that he was telling him since my son was young how much alike they are and he stayed with me for him. I didn’t really realize what he was about partially anyway untill I got pregnant with my daughter ( whom we both wanted) at least that was what I was told. When I got pregnant though it was all excitement about the son he was going to have…ummm could be a girl. Anyway into my 5th month went in for a check up to find out I had an std which he vehemently denied giving me stating it must have been dormant in my body???? Yes he’s a real mind fuck. I’m still living with him as I’m not able to leave and support myself right now. Bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression- My son is totally brainwashed by him and isn’t talking to me now and my poor daughter who is 22 now just moved out 4 months ago. He has basically ignored her like he does me and shes now in a toxic relationship. I’m 57 and totally lost. I wish someone could help. I don’t even know who I am.

    • Hi Karen, get to either a support group or psychologist to help you sort through it all. It does take a long time to recover but you need help doing it and be surrounded by people who understand. Take care

    • I understand your pain. I am so very sorry. My husband of 24 years has turned vehemently against me. He kicked out my 19 year old son out of my home. He is besties with my 17 year old son and has discarded my 14 year old daughter along with me. I have just started working 2 jobs because he took all money away from me. I too cannot support myself yet. I pray and have family support. Hang in there. Surely this won’t last forever. You can have a happy life I believe.

  4. My oldest sister is a dead set narcissist. I love her to death, but i can not take it anymore. I have completely shut her out of my life. I have two daughters. 18 and 11. She started on my oldest one when she was young. She told her she was fat. It gave her a complex her whole life growing thru her teenage years. Well, now she is 18 the baby fat fell off and she looks amazing! (Of course she said she never said that) Typical. Well, the final straw was, she started in on my 11 yr old. I let her have it and told her i was done tolerating her unacceptable comments. Its a sad situation. I wish she would realize and get some professional help. Your articles have helped me tremendously. I sincerely appreciate your advise. I wish it didn’t have to be this way.

  5. I have joint custody with my ex narc. I chose to do that as my daughter has no contact and she was 11 at the time. Our experience with the local courts was they would force her to have visits, as they did with other family members – including my cousins child who was molested by her ‘narc sick father- but courts didn’t believe her. But the Narc stays away as requested but not without punishing me for allowing myself to be “manipulated by our daughter”. I have been implementing the gray rock- not engaging- and for the most part he thinks he’s getting what he wants- but it’s very hard when he is threatening my daughter and threatening me with our son- so I have taken to recording every conversation – keeps me calm and he looks CRAZY! Plus- if I ever need it for my lawyer I look sane, and it helps to keep me calm and without emotion.

  6. Just don’t talk to them at all as it protects you.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!