What Happens When You Go Grey Rock on a Narcissist?

A narcissist loves to corner you until your emotions spill over. As soon as they do, they step away and shine a light on you. 

“Look how crazy and deluded this person is,” they innocently tell others.

Well, there is actually a very interesting and effective way to handle being cornered.

You don’t allow it.


Grey rock is a method known by many and used by those affected by narcissists. Its aim is to call time on the game the narcissist is trying to play, and it works by you taking control.

Don’t get me wrong here, it’s not a method that promises to end any narcissistic abuse, but it does put you back in the driver’s seat.

I want to guide you through exactly what happens when you go grey rock – and how everything can change.

What Exactly is Grey Rock?

Think about being on a beach, and you’re walking on millions of tiny, glistening white, pink, and green rocks underneath you. They’re beautiful and you just can’t take your eyes off them.

Do you notice the grey one over there?


Oh, that’s right. Because the grey one just kind of blends into the background, nobody wants to spot it or pay attention to it because it doesn’t really offer them anything. 

Well, you can be just like that grey rock when you’re around a narcissist. You can sit there, and be as invisible as you can, all by limiting your emotions around them.

When they try to engage in a war of words with you, you ignore them or mumble, ‘Uh-huh, okay.’

When they continue to prod you for a response, you carry on and do the same.

Eventually, with a frustrated sigh, the narcissist retreats, giving up on you entirely. 

They give up because they haven’t got what they wanted from you.

You’re a grey rock.

“I Want to Try Grey Rock – What Will Happen?”

Well, there are two sides to this coin, one involves you, and one involves the narcissist. 

Let’s start with you, because you’re far more important.


When you go grey rock, what you take away is the supply you’ve been unknowingly providing for the narcissist. 

It’s not your fault, but over time spent with them, they’ve learned what to extract from you that leaves you feeling so tired and confused, and using it to ignite their own energy and self-esteem. They’ve learned to literally build their own ego using other people’s good character. 

By refusing to give up what could be kept for you, you can learn to rebuild your self-esteem. By going grey rock, you are applying boundaries that keep the drama at bay and giving yourself the opportunity to remain in your own space, both physically and emotionally. 

You get to avoid the narcissistic rage as the narcissist give up trying to get a reaction from you. 

The Narcissist

Now, the narcissist is going to initially be a little confused at this sudden change in dynamics. They’ve, for so long, been used to being able to treat you a certain way, and go to you if they need supply and conflict. 

They know you, and now you’re showing them that actually, they don’t know you that well. 

The narcissist will panic at the failure of their ability to light the familiar fire, and they will desperately look around to see who their next victim is going to be.

They can’t possibly not have supply, so somebody, a rather unsuspecting person is going to be next on their hit list, which doesn’t bode well for them but at least it gives you the break you were looking for. 

Prepare For The Comments

They will come, for sure! 

They will spot your change and begin showing how disgruntled they are.

Oh I see. Too good to talk to me now, are you?

What are you, some kind of glorified therapist now?

They want to turn it into a demeaning space, but what they’re really doing is trying to get you to explain what’s going on because you’re no longer feeding them, and they know they’ve been found out.

What Are You Refusing The Narcissist by Going Grey Rock?

Well, aside from starving them of an argument, you’re interestingly refusing several other things that work in your favor. 

Validation – Refusing to engage with what the narcissist is trying to engage you in means you are no longer validating them. You’re no longer allowing them to be the dominant voice. You’re asking them to stop talking without actually asking them, and narcissists love to talk. 

Drama -What use is each day without a little drama? Well, that’s what the narcissist likes to wonder anyway. Exactly what do they do if there are no feathers to ruffle? Who do they get to annoy now? What part are you going to play to them? It’s a confusing time, but they know they’re not getting the usual drama now your refusal to meet them where they are is evident. 

Your Own Insecurities—How we respond to a narcissist can sometimes reveal a pattern of our own insecurities. For example, if you try hard to ask the narcissist what’s wrong if they’re purposely giving you the silent treatment, you are feeding them the belief that they’re needed and giving that attention to them.

It also proves that you are worried you’ve done something wrong and shows how bothered you are when, in fact, you haven’t done a thing. Going grey rock basically means you leave them to sulk and sit comfortably in your own space instead of feeling the need to give more of yourself away for nothing in return. 

Power – Handing over your words to a narcissist is like handing over your power. 

Here, take it, it’s yours. 

No! Stop!

It is not the narcissist’s. It belongs to you and you have every right to keep it. 

The narcissist won’t like it of course, but that’s not your problem. 

The Discard vs. The Discomfort

Going grey rock leaves you wide open for being discarded, which is where the narcissist no longer wants to be around you, because you’re giving them nothing. 

It can be a cruel reminder of times past when you felt ‘not important enough’ for someone and were ignored or ghosted, but it’s important not to compare the two. These feelings will rise, and they will want to naturally draw you back to the narcissist like before, but don’t give in.

The discomfort of grey rocking far outweighs the long-term suffering you’ll endure if you continue to engage with them in detrimental ways. 

While it may not be in your nature to be so ‘sold and uncaring,’ you’re doing it for a purpose, and that purpose is your well-being. 

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