Grey Rocking: What is Grey Rocking Method, how to do, why Grey Rocking and Benefits
The best way to stop abuse of any kind is to go “no contact” with your abuser. But what happens if you, like me MUST speak to your ex because you have kids? Maybe like me, you have a Peace Bond or a Restraining Order against your ex, but it has a clause in it for him to speak to your shared minor child/ren. So that means you MUST speak to him to make arrangements for your kids.
Grey Rocking is the best way to keep your boundaries in place with your toxic ex. It will also help you maintain your sanity and solidarity. It will help you keep your abusive ex at bay. Also, grey rocking will not give him any more opportunity for drama and deceit.
So What IS Grey Rocking Exactly?
Grey Rocking is named after…yup! Grey Rocks! I’ll bet you saw some as recently as TODAY, but did not notice them. They are boring, bland and just blend into the background. So that is what you want to be like- as boring, plain and uninteresting to your abusive ex as possible. Read below about how to be that boring grey rock!
Because toxic people are about impossible to communicate with, grey rocking is a good way to deal with them. I know exactly how frustrating and exhausting it is when your words are twisted and manipulated. Many abusers like my ex will take one fact and “add on” fabricated story lines to it, gaslight and twist your words.
Over time, this can wear down your self esteem and cause you to question your own mental health. This is exactly why grey rocking- essentially making yourself “invisible” by communicating as little and unemotionally as possible works. Some people also choose to appear as plain and boring by for example -dressing down or wearing no makeup.
How Do I Grey Rock?
Its easy, just follow a few simple steps!
- Cut of ALL non essential communication portals- BLOCK your ex from seeing ANY of your social media accounts. In this way he won’t be able to keep up with your personal activities and conversations . Many abusive exes look for reasons to pick fights or manufacture evidence. He may be like my ex “fabricate” things to fight about by twisting facts.
- Try to communicate ONLY in writing and keep good records. Use email, text message- or especially great is a secure co-parenting app like talkingparents.com. Their services allow you to keep your phone and email private. Everything is recorded on talking parents and can be transcribed into court records. Also, last time I checked talkingparents.com provided their services free for victims of domestic violence. Communicating in writing allows you to completely ignore non child focused conversation. Plus it allows you to respond as un emotionally and calmly as possible.
- Keep you communication brief, factual and on topic (THE KIDS). Never offer your opinions, show any emotion. Be polite but a bit frosty- absolutely NO small talk. I play a game with myself- and try to respond with as FEW words as possible yet be clear. I give myself a pat on the back when I can respond with “yes” or “no”!
- Keep your conversations to the essentials- in your case, only about your kids. Grey rocking REQUIRES that you disconnect from your emotions and feelings. Avoid prolonged conversations, no never ending email threads or text bombing. Keep your responses to “yes, no, maybe, or I don’t know” as much as possible.
- If your ex sends you something inflammatory or something to which a response is NOT required, ignore it. If your child is sick, for example-and you have an obligation to tell the other parent- be FACTUAL- for example “Johnny has a little cold, runny nose and no fever”. Never project, give an opinion, or ask a question of your abuser. Adding anything to the conversation will give him a toe hold to twist, manipulate or gaslight.
- IF it does NOT affect your self esteem, it may be helpful to dress plainly or pay less attention to your appearance when you have to see your ex to exchange children. For example, I dress extremely plain and modest, cover my hair, wear no makeup, often sunglasses or hats. I have purposefully gained about 60 lbs in order to appear as unattractive as possible. This so my ex thinks I am not doing well and loses interest because I am not a trophy wife. If I don’t look like a hot “catch” he is less likely to want to hoover me back. Ever notice abusers are usually in relationships with attractive, upwardly mobile women?
What are the Benefits of Grey Rocking?
Narcissists are famous for their relentless pursual of their targets and seeking revenge. Mine is attempting to use our child as a weapon right now by claiming all sorts of falsehoods. He wants 50% custody, while he hides his income to “punish” me so that I have to pay HIM child support and can not pay my bills to look after my other child who is entering college shortly.
The goal of grey rocking is to be as uninteresting as humanly possible to your ex. It will help them to loose interest in you and leave you alone. Abusers in general, type B toxic personalities and narcissists in particular thrive on drama and getting folks upset. Grey rocking helps them loose interest and pursue another target while thinking it was “their idea”.
My ex would pursue a topic relentlessly until I was either frustrated or in tears. I mean, when he wanted something I would not provide or was gaslighting me by twisting around or inventing facts it could go on daily- 2-3 hour per day of yelling or worse for WEEKS.
I started grey rocking him when I realized his toxic personality and he thought he “had me” when I was about 4 months pregnant with our daughter. Because I paid the great majority of the bills, I was still a target until we escaped. Point is, if I had not have been grey rocking him he would still be “on me” now.
He has definitely broken the terms of his peace bond and restraining order on numerous occasions. As much as I feel badly for my ex’s future Mrs.- half of me can hardly WAIT for hm to take up with another target to pay his bills. Only then will he leave me and our child alone and I know it.
What you Should NEVER do When Grey Rocking!
- Never TELL him you are grey rocking him. If he knows you want him to leave you alone, he won’t.
- Never diminish yourself. If, for example, you feel bad about yourself by dressing plainly or not doing your makeup when you are going to see your ex to exchange the child/ren- then do what you have to do to be YOU.
- If for some reason you actually want to STAY in your narcissistic, emotionally abusive, physically abusive, crazy making relationship grey rocking may not help. Remember what I said above about my ex pursuing me still- he wants me to pay his bills. You might be feeding your toxic partner in some other way. Actually, grey rocking can harm- not HIM but YOU. If you grey rock as a long term strategy to avoid gaslighting, outrageous accusations or whatever the favourite tricks of your narc, sociopath or codependant abuser has, it WILL work for that. But IF you actually want this guys affections, attention etc- components of a loving relationship- grey rocking can cause you to loose yourself because you are denying your own needs. It can be self traumatizing- think of a self flagellation monk or other martyr. DO NOT do that to yourself! This is why I recommend ONLY using grey rocking when you are fairly certain you want to give up the relationship. For me, grey rocking helped me to “detach” emotionally from the relationship. I was able see him for truly what he is- a completely self centred, wicked and practiced covert narcissist.
The Bottom Line
I know its awful when you realize you MUST interact with toxic or emotionally abusive people. They can be pretty much impossible to have real communication with. That my friend, is a massive understatement! These people will lie, twist facts, create drama and pick any argument or accusation to feed their toxic needs. Over time, manipulative tactics like these WILL wear you down, lower your self esteem and can make you think you are going crazy! (Did I say that? Did that happen?)
Cutting off all contact with these toxic individuals is the only guaranteed way to prevent additional abuse. But when your kids are not yet 18, no contact is not yet possible. Grey rocking may be the best technique to use to prevent abuse and manipulation.
It can also cause the manipulative person to lose interest in you as a target. If all they ever get from you is unbuttered white bread toast answers- dry and crummy as can be- they JUST MIGHT give up and pick a new person to victimize and feed off of.