Using the “gray rock” method when divorcing a narcissist

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | Family Law

You suspect (or know) that your spouse is either a full-blown narcissist or has strong traits of someone with narcissistic personality disorder. You fully expect, based on everything you’ve experienced in the past, for them to make your divorce process as drawn-out, difficult and painful as possible.

Could the “gray rock” approach to the situation help?

What’s the gray rock method of dealing with a toxic person?

When you’re dealing with someone who seems to delight in inflicting pain on others and lacks any empathy, you have to recognize one thing: Any response you might take to their antics is likely to be counter-productive. For example:

  • If you explain your point of view, you’re going to hand them information that they’ll figure out how to use against you. Telling a narcissist what you want and why you want it only guarantees they’ll try to keep you from getting it.
  • If you placate their most recent demands, that only ensures that you’ll find yourself gradually pushed into agreements and situations that are disadvantageous to you. A narcissist lives by the motto of “If they give an inch, take a mile.”
  • If you argue with them and engage with well-deserved hostility, you’re feeding their innermost desires. They want to be the center of your attention at all times, and negative attention is perfectly fine.

So how do you fight back without actually fighting? You simply separate yourself as much as you can, physically and emotionally. No matter what they do, say or demand, you shrug your shoulders and say, “I guess we’ll see what the court says,” and then go back to whatever you were doing.

Ask no questions, make no statements and try to limit your communication to noncommittal phrases like “Maybe.” In short, you try to be as engaging and interesting as a gray rock.

The reality is that any divorce from a narcissist is likely to end up in court, so get experienced legal guidance as early as you can..