I found myself in an endless cycle. I was getting hurt day after day and I couldn’t do anything about it. I fought and I tried to confront him, but it was only getting worse. As my emotional state was deteriorating and my stress level was higher, he was happier.
Narcissists draw energy from their victims when they are in their most vulnerable states. Your misery and agony are what keeps them alive. They are like parasites who feed off of other organisms and do nothing in return.
That’s what I was—a source of emotional food. My every tear and anxiety attack made him stronger. Doubting in myself and thinking I’m not good enough pushed his ego sky high. That was all he needed from me.
Even when I dumped him, I couldn’t get rid of him. He had some kind of power over me. He knew how to emotionally hook me and bring me back every time I tried to escape. He would turn on his irresistible charm, his goodie face and I thought he had changed. I thought he finally understood that he was acting like a piece of shit. But, psychopaths don’t work that way and I didn’t know that, so I foolishly tried to understand him.
Those were just one of his numerous lies to get what he wanted, to use me until there was nothing left of me to use.
There is no easy way to break free from a narcissistic relationship. As you may already know, when you wanted to leave, or if you actually left, your narc addiction kicked in. You knew that you needed a dose of him. You couldn’t just go on and live your life without him in it because he made sure that you missed him. He knew exactly how to manipulate you into staying.
He wasn’t such an idiot all the time. There were times when you loved him so much—when he appeared to be something completely different than what he really was. But, that was all a lie, of course. And the problem appeared because you hung on to this lie and hoped it could be true.
You secretly don’t want to let go because you hope it’s not too late to turn things around. You still hope there is something good in him and you can take it out and change him.
You hope that he could really be considerate and loving. You hope that he could make you his priority, but the truth is, he only looks out for himself. Deep down inside, he is a poor little insecure boy who turned into a monster to hide his vulnerabilities and his shortcomings. And you’re his victim, his tool to feel good about himself.
But listen, when you find yourself struggling with whether you’ve made a good decision for leaving him or when you find yourself under his pressure of wanting you back, just remember that you are not in love with him but in something he pretends to be, something that doesn’t exist.
I know it’s not easy to just walk away—especially if you’ve lived with him, have children with him or you have to keep seeing him because he is your boss—or pretty much anyone you can’t avoid in your life. All others say that no contact is the most effective way to get rid of a narcissist for good. But what happens when you don’t have that option? What happens when there are things that force you to keep seeing him and prolonging your pain? Then you use the Gray Rock method.
What is the Gray Rock method?
The whole point is to really become a gray rock. A rock that is so boring and unattractive that no one would look at it twice. Using the grey rock method, you’ll become completely unattractive for him to interact with. Your abusive ex will lose interest in you and eventually leave you alone.
Look at it this way. Imagine him being a small boy and small boys want toys to play with—only a narc doesn’t want toys because his toys are people. He plays with people and their feelings, and that has serious consequences.
In a narc’s eyes, you are the same as the toy. He knows he can do whatever he wants with you because he has the control. He can create scenarios he likes and make you dance to the music he plays. Narcs are in complete control over you.
Why does this method work?
He wants to play with you and if you become boring and unattractive to look at, he will lose interest, like boys do with toys. While the toys are brand new and while they have some attraction, the ‘boys’ will play with them because they get something back—satisfaction—and as long as they keep getting satisfaction, they will keep playing. But, when the toy becomes old and worn down, they will toss it because they get nothing in return.
That’s why by using this method, you’re turning yourself into a boring, unattractive, plain old toy he doesn’t want to play with anymore. You become this gray rock that shows no feelings whatsoever.
And where there are no emotions, there are no narcissists to drain them.
He wants all the attention he can get from you and once you become cold and indifferent and deny him that attention, love and affection, he will stop playing with you because he can’t get anything from the game; he benefits nothing.
How to use the Gray Rock method?
Don’t create chaos or drama.
Narcissists feed off of chaos and drama. They will provoke you just to get that state because when you’re an emotional wreck, they are the happiest they can be. To avoid this, try to talk about superficial things. Talk about how you’ve washed your car or how you had to run some errands. Talk about everything that sounds boring and unexciting, anything that won’t give them a reason to create drama.
Don’t talk about your personal life.
Don’t talk about anything that has something to do with you or your accomplishments. It will give them material to suck your energy dry and turn your happiness into misery. Narcissists are known to be jealous of anything they don’t have and you do. So, don’t give them a chance to be jealous. Stay quiet and if he tries to talk about your life, steer the conversation in another direction. Smoothly avoid answering the question.
Don’t react to his provocations.
He will try to provoke any kind of emotion from you, usually only the negative ones. He will provoke you and try to annoy you. But, whatever he does, you have to deny him seeing any reaction from you. It’s hard to stay indifferent—especially when something makes you sad or hurt—but keep in mind that’s exactly what he wants. He wants to see emotion, so he can use it.
Don’t ask him questions.
They have this crazy need for constant attention; they are real attention-seekers. When you enable them with what they want, there is no way of stopping them. So, when you meet with your narcissist, don’t ever ask him anything about his life. If you do, it will give him a chance to rub his accomplishments (real or fake) right into your face. He will use the situation and turn it around to make you feel worthless because he is doing so great and in his eyes, you’re a complete failure.
Don’t ever mention the past.
They want you to relive those bad moments again (and again) because each time, it will provoke sadness and fear, and you’re risking opening old wounds which have barely healed. But, if this happens and it probably will, the best thing you can do it to accept responsibility for the end of your relationship (even if you don’t since it wasn’t your fault). If you try to deny that you are to blame because your relationship ended, he will attack you and scream at you which will once again provoke negative feelings in you from which he will feed off.
It’s not easy to gray rock someone because they bring you to the point where you want to scream at them and practically strangle them. They provoke you and bring out the worst in you. But in these situations, if you want a long-term solution, you have to pretend that nothing gets to you. You have to be as uninteresting as a grey rock and hopefully, he will leave you again and find another victim to use.
The downside to the grey rock method
Don’t use it when you can go no contact. The grey rock method is reserved only for situations when you absolutely have to see him—you can’t avoid it no matter what you do. Don’t use it if you still have feelings for him and you actually don’t want to cut off every contact with him. Just remember though that having unnecessary contact with a narcissist may endanger you and enable him to lure you back into his trap. No matter how strong you think you are, this is a game in which he will win every single time.
Another dangerous thing that can happen if you use the Gray Rock method is that you can go numb and appear emotionless with people with whom you don’t want to act in that way. This method can consume you and you can easily forget where to draw the line.
The bottom line is, don’t be a new shiny toy he craves to play with, be a boring and unattractive rock he will just pass by.