A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The Gray Rock Method (or, the Grey Rock Method)*

One of our dear readers turned our attention toward this article here:

The Gray Rock Method of Dealing with Psychopaths [Internet Archive link]
Note from Barb Roberts, added 6 Aug 2013 — the author of the article above goes by the name of Skylar on her current blog; we have changed the link at her request so it now goes to her current blog, 180rule.com

Addit from Barb, Nov 2014:  the color is spelled grAy in America, but grEy in England. Go figure! 

Essentially, the author writes that one way of warding off the attacks of an abuser (particularly one with whom a victim shares custody of children) is to be a “boring person”. To be a gray rock; to be bland. In other words, to have an emotionless affect when an abuser jabs. Many psychopaths, sociopaths or those who are just flat out emotionally draining crave drama. If we do not give into that drama, they will soon lose interest and, perhaps, wander away on their own, eventually looking for a new place to stir up crazy. This method is different than just cutting abusers off. Now, there are times when an abuser needs to be cut off and, if at all possible, please do it. There are other times where it seems impossible, as in joint custody or family issues. The gray rock method may or may not be helpful.

The article makes sense and there is much good to be pulled from it. At the same time, we want to caution readers to recognize that it is not written from a Christian world view. That does not mean there are not some gems in there (as we have seen time and time again from “secular” psychologists and authors). But, there are a few times in reading the article where it is obvious the author may not share the same values as we. We also cannot claim that the gray rock method. will “work”. But, it might. And it is certainly something to explore.

One positive aspect of the gray rock method is that it keeps the victim from feeling powerless or losing control. It may anger the abuser more — for he or she cannot get a “rise” out of the victim — but it may aid in helping the victim to stop feeling so powerless, crazy or out of control.


  1. KingsDaughter

    One of the “blessings” of enduring my abusive marriage was learning to bring all of my emotions to Christ while essentially becoming a “gray rock” to my spouse. I’m not advocating this for physical abuse, but in my case where manipulation and control were concerned it was quite effective at subsiding some abuse and most importantly growing my character and faith (a sweet sweet reward).
    James 1:2-4

    • MeganC

      Yes, KingsDaughter. I agree with you and should have put that in the article. It can often be dangerous for a woman to be a “grey rock”. When I would try this method, I would often be called “cold” or “ice queen” and the anger would grow and it would be worse for me. However, in dealing with emails that just want to suck me into the drama, I have tried this and it has worked! And with those who I can tell are covert aggressive just in every day life. Kept things short and vanilla. 🙂 Living with someone who is abusive is different, which is why I felt so strongly about qualifying in the article.

      • KingsDaughter

        I love reading your posts and comments, MeganC. You really have a beautiful heart and a sweet sensitivity to those who are hurting while providing appropriate information. Thank You!

      • MeganC

        Thank you, KD!! Hugs!

  2. Barnabasintraining

    Very clever. 🙂

  3. Jeff Crippen

    One of our readers asked me (Jeff C) to post this comment for them:

    I tried the gray rock method for years, not on purpose but just because I learned that he craved a reaction and would use whatever reaction I gave as ammunition for future attacks. He hated it. His response was to go after the children, especially our son. He found that by wounding the kids, he would finally get the reaction he craved.

    I think this one is dangerous advice. My abuser wasn’t going after the children in front of me– he took them off a distance and waylaid them there. Of course once I found out, he learned that he could get double. He’d get a satisfying jolt from bullying his son in small doses in front of me, he could control me by threatening to go after the boy or by punishing me. He would give me that look, then turn and head straight for the children.

    In my case, the gray rock method escalated things. And if there is joint custody, the mom wouldn’t be aware if the abuser pulled this one on his weekends.

    • Barnabasintraining

      Hmm. I guess they would just see it as a new challenge, then. I wonder if there’s a way to determine if this method would help or hurt before it’s tried?

      • Jeff S

        I think another concern (and is why there’s a disclaimer about non Christian thinking in the post) is that this can be used manipulatively to try and change behavior rather than defensively.

        I think it probably is a much better tactic to use when the contact is no longer intimate in nature- that is during a separation or after a divorce. Where you are living in close contact. In my case doing this kind of thing (which ain’t planned, it was just a natural overflow of setting up boundaries) definitely resulted in escalation.

    • Memphis Rayne

      I just read this readers comment. Its terrifying. I am in horror over the likeness, the exact same tactic with my children, especially the “boy” being used to control me….and ya i an see the grey rock method being an escalator, abusers get a sick high on driving their victoms to hysterics so i could see where if you just “grey rocked” an abusive spouse it would up the ante, and they would bring out the heavy artillery, in this case going after the children. That is EXACTLY what the MIW did to me for years provoking me into confrontation by using the children to control me. Most abusers would sense that they were not able to invade you mental space, and that would make them red line as the above person mention. I do not think changing our behaviour would make a difference in wether or not we will continue to be abused by an abusive spouse, and pretending to change how we feel when being abused, well? Its a little mind tweaking? A grey rock is kinda the goal of what the abuser wants you to be, emotionless, lifeless, dull with no light left. So no I do not get it? Sounds risky.

      On a way different front, I used a similiar tactic with my Mother who was severely emotionally abusive towards me…..for survival, because asking her to accept any responsibility for hurting me was futile, I had to imagine a cold steel door that I could pull down everytime she entered the room and insulted me. It kinda worked. But after awhile it just became exhausting.
      For her though that is an entirely different scenario than the abusive spouse

      ..BUT on a lighter note, for my parents situation I found that when I felt stressed upon them visiting what worked the very best was before they showed up, I made sure I had fully stocked under my bath sink several bottles of Chardonnay and a cork screw.(just bottles, glasses were not required ).. I would set the kids up with a movie, have them invite Gma to watch along with them, then slowly, very slowly slip out of the room, I would run a long LONG LOOOONG hot bath, lock my bedroom door, then my bathroom door….turn up the music and pretend I was sick on the toilet or something…..(its really funny, because I never drank, in fact hated wine) but I felt better when i was done, relaxed, a bit pickled, and happily re entered the room without any reactions to insults. This method I will call the Gray Hair method, (what you store under the bath sink is your call, somebody once told me that Chardonnay helped prevent premature greying??….oh? crap? it could of been my Mom?) Also, of course, I definately would not advise this in abusive spouse situations( most of us experience very little alone time when living with an abuser) Mothers, Dads and in-laws only.

      • Jodi

        Memphis- it’s funny the phrases that you pick out of some of these comments. This one really stood out to me and it’s a point that I don’t think has really been delved into a lot here yet. “most of us experience very little alone time when living with an abuser”
        This is sooooo true! I could never be alone- in the tub, on the toilet (if I was in there “too long”- he would always come and check on me-even at someone elses house (embarrassing!). No matter what I did, he had to be there around me- not talking to me at all of course (because I was busy)-but always there. It was stifling. And always staring at me- I couldn’t touch anything on my body without him asking ‘what’s wrong, why did you do that?” etc. constant monitoring of my every look, action, thought. I had forgotten that until I read your comment. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I can’t breathe.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Jodi H – Abusers are trespassers and non-respecters of boundaries. A person with boundaries is much more difficult to control, so he was making sure that you didn’t / couldn’t have any. The thing goes disguised, at least initially, as “love and concern.” Of course there is a double standard as always. If you had tried similar things with him, he would have blasted you.

      • Jodi

        That is so true Jeff. I would get nothing but indignance and huffing and puffing and dirty looks.

      • Memphis Rayne

        Yep to both Jodi H and Jeff C. NEVER did I take a shower, or use the bathroom by myself. A hot tub was out of the question, too indulgent for me in his mind. Always standing, lurking at the door, habitually ripping over the shower curtain as if to “catch” me doing something??? In fact tying in with both the issues, alone time and my chldren,…he would wait until I got into the bathroom or shower to abuse the kids, that way I had to drop everything and fly into the other room to see whats wrong! This became such a routine that Iliterally I NEVER showered if he was home, Did not matter what the kids were doing, even if they were napping he would go in and kick them out of bed just to make them scream and cry for me,unfortunately he was home alot so this became just one more hoop to jump through. I was not aloud to talk on the phone, for any reason, did not matter who it was to. The cell phone became such a tool for him to abuse, I had to kill it. (I drove it over repeadetly with the car) then in one of his “nice” modes he bought a new one stating I needed it for “normal purposes” like “normal people” that one got the hammer to it and now rests in peace in our old backyard. But the staring? yes it is creepy, the glares, the snarls, the disgusting looks. If I complain at all then he would just say “”What? I am NOT suppose to look at my wife?” oooooh? it gives me goosies = ( He was notorious for doing this at church!!! Sitting next to me looking down his snout at me, glaring until I said something…I guess he was afraid God might actually speak to me.

      • MeganC

        Oh my goodness. Do we have a post for this? I could NOT have any privacy. Just like Jeff C said — there are no boundaries with abusers. And my ex HATED the Boundaries book because he said there should be nothing between two married people. That “I belonged to him and he belonged to me.” But, the way he would TWIST that . . . I can barely stand to think about it. But, it was the same thing. I couldn’t take a shower without fear or go to the bathroom without fear. It is like he loved to put me off balance and keep me insecure about when he would walk it. I did the same thing — got to where I would take showers when he wasn’t home. 😦 And now, I am a freak show about my “private bathroom time”. 😦

      • Jodi

        I ended up dressing in the closet and locking the bathroom door. He always said the same thing ” You are my wife,don’t I have a right?”

      • KingsDaughter

        Megan, Funny that you mentioned this, ” there are no boundaries with abusers. And my ex HATED the Boundaries book because he said there should be nothing between two married people”. When we were engaged (waayyy before I had ANY clue of his controlling tendencies) my fiance actually brought up this book and how unbiblical he felt it was! Apparently his ex had tried to get him to go through the Boundaries Bible Study. Kicking myself for not picking up on this! Previously, I had been a huge Cloud & Townsend fan! I just bought a TON of their books! lol!
        As I read so many of these comments my stomach drops and lightbulbs go off(on?)!

      • Barnabasintraining

        most of us experience very little alone time when living with an abuser

        And then there’s what this gets turned into when those he’s befuddled describe it. Oh man. They think he’s oh so loving and isn’t it wonderful how he longs to spend time with her, and they have no earthly idea how abusive and smothering it really is. Because, of course, he doesn’t see it that way. He just can’t get enough of her! I mean, that’s reasonable, right? Right? RIGHT? RIGHT?

        Geesh. 😦

      • Sunflower

        And if I smiled at him just a little, that meant I wanted sex. Now. Oh veh!

  4. Anonymous

    Jan Silvious in her book, Foolproofing your Life, speaks of imagining yourself in a castle and pulling your bridge over your moat. She quotes Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” I don’t think she is using that Scripture as a way to manipulate the fool, but as a way to protect oneself from the fool. Not letting oneself stay entangled in the emotional drama and mental turmoil, but rather focusing on God’s names and characteristics, and letting thoughts of God fill the mind instead is really helpful to the soul.

    • MeganC

      That’s really neat, Anon. I like that.

  5. Marina

    I have never heard of this before BUT after reading everything I can about narcissist and sociopaths, I cam to the conclusion this was the only way to deal with them. And it does work pretty good for ,my 12 year old daughter as her father baits her all the time. It is not her nature to be a cold rock but we role play a lot. He uses me to bait her and she knows she cannot defend me so I role play with her on being “boring”. Never disrespectful but ‘boring”. Let things role off her back as he baits her. He moved out of town and remarried (met on a Christian singles site and married another Christian 4 mos later) so that helps and she sees him only once a month. I have noticed he is ok seeing her even fewer hours and they do sort of things more and more they don’t have to talk much. So I think it definitely works. I think a big part of his seeing her is so his new wife will think he is the great dad he says he is while making me look like the problem. (fine with me, whatever works and keeps him at bay)

    They do not like to work hard at anything with relationships and they seek the drama to fill their own supply so if no drama, it becomes work because Drama is fun to them. A way to control others emotions. NO control, no fun. The key is being boring but never disdainful as that causes anger. If you had to do this in same house every day not sure it is possible. But it is a way for older children to learn to deal with sociopathic parent.

    He was constantly using scripture on her (he is one of those) to make himself look like a great Christian and make her feel guilty. They key is for you to make sure your children know Jesus and what He is really like.

    I am hoping she will learn early she cannot change people and to have boundaries. We talk about this all the time.

    • Wow Marina, I wish I’d had you as my coach when my daughter was going on visitation!

    • Not Too Late

      You’re right that being disdainful seems to make him angry. It’s really hard being boring without seeming disrespectful, because in his eyes, anything less than fawning over him is disdainful. Not being full of smiles and bubbly acceptance is seen as being disrespectful, even hateful.

      I’m gonna try role-playing with my kids, as I have found they tend to either simmer, or blow up. Even one that managed to be like a gray rock would once in a while explode. Heck, I now recall hearing a pastor say that he couldn’t talk to him for long before getting enraged, so how in the world do we expect kids to do it?! Maybe my kids will show me it is possible!

  6. Katy

    OK – We’ve got a 6 -week summer visitation coming up and I think I’m going to do this role playing with my kids ahead of time. Thanks for posting this!!

  7. Kathy seldon

    I get how that can be really useful, but this really just nags at me deep down. That grey rock response is so intrinsic in my passive / covert aggressive abuser that it would feel like stooping to his level. You would have to constantly check your heart to make sure you weren’t fighting abuse with abuse. The other danger I see is the fine line between becoming a grey rock and becoming a dead spirit. I died in my spirit because I became a grey rock for protection and I will never go that route again. I understand the need to protect yourself from dangerous psychopaths and stalkers, and I see how this would work in joint custody situations because it is for a very small chunk of your overall time. But this just seems so very dangerous to me. It forces you to once again silence who you are in the presence of an abuser, the part about eliminating your beauty and the things that make you interesting when you are with that person is exactly what I have been trying heal from. Can’t we be the beautiful, lovely, eccentric, creative people we are? I don’t want to discount anyone else’s situation, or judge another person, because I know everyone does what they feel they must do I order to survive. I don’t think I can ever take this particular road again, because the thought of losing even a piece of myself to another person again makes me sad, sick, terrified and angry all at the same time.

    Marina, you look like you have a really good handle on how to do this, I think it’s great that you are helping you daughter in that way.

  8. Song

    Thank you for sharing this article, Megan. The timing is perfect! As many times as I experience thoughts, information, conversations, information, etc. that confirm and line up marker on along a trail, I continue to be in awe and grateful for a relationship with God and how He listens and responds to my cries of help.
    This concept of becoming boring, I can confirm that it works. It has helped the decline of frequency of verbal and emotional abuse I’ve experienced. Knowing why the abuser does what they do and learning how to recognize and not respond to the set-ups helps us be to better prepared to protect ourselves.
    I can also confirm what JeffC posted from a reader….it can be dangerous. As the writer stated in the article; “Conversely, when the reward stops coming, he becomes agitated. He experiences oppressive boredom and he will counter it by creating more drama. If we stay the course and show no emotions, the psychopath will eventually decide that his toy is broken. It doesn’t squirt emotions when he squeezes it anymore!” That agitation that comes can be slight to deadly. It depends on the scale of abuse the abuser engages in and of what they are capable. And sometimes it’s difficult to know how far and desperate they will become to regain their drama supply. Please proceed with caution.
    Another caution, especially if you are still living with your abuser, is the possibility of losing yourself, your emotions, and starting to believe you really are a boring person. Like an actor that stays in character when they are off of the stage or in front of the camera, having to switch and become boring when the abuser is around can become a role that is hard to jump in and out of.
    I believe in the this concept of Gray Rocking. It is another great tool to add to the tool chest in trying to stay safe.
    Thanks, again Megan.

  9. Jeff Crippen

    So it sounds like, in light of all of these good comments — proceed with caution when thinking about being a rock. Each person will need to analyze their own situation. What works well in one case may not in another, or as some of you have cautioned, even be dangerous.

  10. Song

    Megan, Barbara, Jeff C, and Jeff S,
    I’ve come across a website and blog on emotional and verbal abuse that I am checking out. So far, the information has been good and helpful. I thought you all may be interested in taking a look at them and see if they would be appropriate for A Cry For Justice.
    Respect-me R.U.L.E.S
    ‘You are a target’ [Internet Archive link] This one is a free workshop. I’m going through it right now. I don’t have the book yet, and their workbook isn’t available until later in the year, but the information is still good.

  11. Barnabasintraining

    OK. I see I have to revise my original opinion about this being clever. I guess it’s really proceed at your own risk. :/

  12. loreal

    Please look up the Jezebel Spirit and you will know how to deal with your Narcissistic psychopath.

    • Can you please tell us what you mean, Loreal?

      • Barnabasintraining

        I was wondering that myself. (?)

    • Loreal, you may not be aware, but many male domestic abusers falsely accuse their wives of ‘having a Jezebel spirit’. And “Jezebel spirit” is a phrase that is bandied around a lot in Pentecostal-style churches as a way of denigrating any woman who may not toe the party line that’s being run by the (predominantly male) leadership.

      Also, people who purport to be experts on things demonic often assert that the Jezebel spirit is more common in women than men. It seems to me that such assertions may be simply those people’s own opinions or biases: surely there is no reliable research to validate such assertions?! So we are reluctant to use the term ‘Jezebel spirit’ on this blog.

      If you want to talk about your personal experiences of your ex displaying what seemed like demonized behaviour, that is okay, but we are not comfortable with general assertions about the so-called Jezebel spirit, because the term can be very triggering for some of our readers.

      I hope you can understand where we are coming from.

      • loreal

        I totally understand, it was a bit triggering for me at first too. 🙂 Thanks Barbara.

  13. loreal

    We are not dealing with or fighting people….

  14. Anna

    I’ve been Gray Rocking pretty effectively I think, but X still pokes at me pretty regularly. I wonder if he isn’t self stimulating in this department. He never really needed me to participate in arguments. Since he knew what I thought (or told me he did anyway) and he is intellectually superior to me, he claimed that he could argue my position better than me. It was a bizarre thing to watch, him arguing with himself. So I figure he probably is still arguing with me in his head and he pokes me every once in a while with an out of bounds question or accusation just to see what other thoughts he can assign to me and argue with. Who knows? He hasn’t escalated on me or the kids. And I feel better for not adding real fuel to his fire. So I’ll keep trying it to see what happens.

  15. skylar

    Hi Everyone,
    I’m the author of that Gray Rock article. I posted it on lovefraud before I had my own website. If you go to my site at 180rule.com, you can see that I am a Christian. The other articles will give you a better idea of my view on psychopaths. The About page will tell you some of my experiences.

    It seems as if sometimes the gray rock method is misunderstood. “Boring” is not always “blah” or “dead”. One woman uses platitudes to be boring. She cheerfully tells her psychopathic daughter that “oh well, it’s water under the bridge.” when the daughter tries to start drama. Another woman I know, just talks about characters on TV. She loves her TV shows.

    If you think that hiding your true emotions is unchristian, then remember what Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6) Our emotions are what make us human, they are precious pearls. The psychopaths want to feed on our emotions and like vampires, they want to turn us into raging, angry, vengeful beings, like themselves. Gray Rock is when we refuse to allow our emotions to be manipulated. Of course you still feel your emotions. They are important and they are what inform us of something being wrong to begin with. The change is in your reactions, not your emotions.

    If you read the article you know that I don’t recommend Gray Rock as the end all solution for manipulating psychopaths into doing or being what you want. It is a temporary protection until you can escape with your SANITY. My ex was poisoning me, with strychnine, among other things. No amount of gray rock was going to change that. His plan to kill me was going to happen, with or without my cooperation. I had to finally run.

    AFTER I ran, I learned about gray rock. All the previous times, over 25 years, that I had left him, he would manage to get me to come back by being persistent and by targeting my emotions. He would play me like a violin, knowing exactly how to elicit all the right tones. The last time, because I used gray rock, he was unable to figure out which strings to pluck. None of them registered what he expected. I’ve been free from him for 4 years now.

    The Gray Rock article does address the problem of children being targeted to elicit your emotions. This is one of the most difficult problems, but using the example of birds protecting their young from a hunting cat, we can see how gray rock can be used to move the psychopath’s attention away from your young.

    IMO, manipulative people need to control other people because they can’t control themselves. Many of you very perceptively noted that we shouldn’t play the control game with the abuser. We should not be trying to control him/her with our own emotions because we would be acting like them. Our responsibility is to control OURSELVES. With Gray Rock that is what we are doing. We do have the responsibility to help our children to control themselves too, since they are still learning. So this is one place where our responsibility does extend outside of ourselves.

    Megan, thanks for linking to the article. Would it be possible for you to change the link on that article? So that it goes here:
    The Gray Rock Method of Dealing With Psychopaths [Internet Archive link]

    That way, if anyone wants to comment or ask questions about it, I can respond. I no longer visit the lovefraud blog.

  16. Bebaioó Charis

    Excellent. All the responses and the one from the author of “Gray Rock”, thank you!

    It’s been years now that God has been opening my eyes to the truth about evil. Every encounter with a psychopath is more wisdom gained. I can’t help but think that NONE of us were taught the TRUTH about God’s word when we were growing up. Most of us were raised with the trite and dangerous lies that all people are good underneath it all, or simply misunderstood. That with enough prayer, perfect “modeling” behavior on our part, self-sacrifice and on and on, we can bring even the most hard-hearted person to the Lord. I can’t help but notice that it is all US doing all the work, “helping” God out, if you will. I was taught to give, give, give and never ask for anything in return as my reward would be in heaven. I was taught to pray endlessly for the worst people in my family as they needed it. The implication was that I didn’t need it (I’d been told this as well) as I had it all and should therefore give to those less able.

    It’s painfully unbelievable to me now that all of the parenting I received was from psychopaths who were incapable of loving me or even caring about me and saw my conscience as a tool they could use to keep me behaving and quiet. It worked like a charm and I was extremely well-behaved and self-sacrificing and internilized all their hatred towards me and made it my own. Years into God showing me the truth about evil and the truth about himself, has also opened my eyes to the cruel way we with a conscience, are abused by many. When I watch (rarely) the TLC show with the family with all the kids, I can more clearly see how I was indoctrinated into this way of thinking. I’ve also read articles written by those who have been raised in the “Quiver Full” type of cults and how they start young with abuse such as “blanket training” and other cruel tactics that can destroy children with a conscience and especially those who are hsp (highly sensitive people, which is actually a biologically “wired” person who is extra sensitive to love, pain etc. and who are even more conscienceance than normal). If you are able to view this show notice that ALL the behaviors demanded from the children (and parents) are EXTERNAL compliance. They care NOTHING for the feelings or spiritual needs of their children and they force the girls into one mold and the boys into another. There is no place for individualism. Does this go with God’s word or God’s creation? Did he give us all unique DNA so that we could all conform externally? No. He DELIBERATELY made us each so unique that there would be no mistaking that although we were SO different on the outside, that when one has his spirit on the INSIDE, clearly this spirit was from God.

    The Gray Rock method as explained by the author’s comment above is great. We have learned to use it and modify it as needed. We (my one adult non-psychopathic child) and I practice all the time. After each encounter with the psychopath, we discuss his latest tactic, and do our best to prepare when he tries to manipulate us the next time. For those who know about psychopaths, you know that they are just like their father the devil and that there is no truth in them. They lie and coherce and try to dominate and try to force us to worship them and this is ALL they do ALL the time. It is inate behavior for a psychoapth and that’s why it doesn’t matter what language they speak, what culture they were raised in, these characteristics are always present. The biggest difference I see with my child and myself is that this child WAS loved (by me) and allowed a chance to voice what they observed. I didn’t know anything about evil or psychopathy when I was raising them, but I wanted to let my children be who God made them to be. So this child is much more able to see the psychopath’s tactics and abuse because they weren’t forced to deny what they observed, and this ended up being the gift God gave to me. He allowed me to know this wonderful person who also happens to be my child, and through their eyes, I can see what was done to me and to also know how abusive it is. This child is the ONLY person in my entire life that has EVER loved me and who has EVER stood up for me. I didn’t even realize that I accepted that I would be slandered by everyone, placed in positions where I was responsible for all the work and blamed for all the failures. This had been my entire way of life and I didn’t ever understand it. I’d tried to get help from a young age as I was severly depressed and each time I was told that I needed to do more, be more tolerant and understanding and forgive everyone as otherwise I would never be forgiven. (This is still the norm for many abuse victims as we still deny the truth about evil and psychopathy.) I now know that severe depression in the presence of evil is the RIGHT response. We were not made to endure endless abuse and evil and we cannot thrive and grow WITHOUT love, and God NEVER tells us to PRETEND that evil isn’t real or to deny that it’s not HORRIBLE. The opposite is true. We are supposed to learn to recognize evil, stay away from it and to snatch people from it if given the chance. We are NOT to accept it as normal and NOBODY who claims to be of God is told that they can do whatever they want to when they are placed in a position of authority over another. On the contrary, God ALWAYS has guidelines and they are always about mercy, justice, righteousness and taking care of the vulnerable. The vulnerable are not supposed to pretend that they are NOT vulnerable (as psychopaths tell us we should), but should be able to admit that we need help and love and care. (Psychopaths love to use our weaknesses against us, God uses our weaknesses to show us how much he loves us.)

    Corrie Ten Boom was the Dutch Christian woman who hid Jews during the second world war and was eventually placed in prison. Many of her family members died in prison or as a result of helping hide the Jews. She wrote the book “The Hiding Place.” She made a VERY important point when she talked about what one must do when the enemy is in charge (during war). She had been raised to be COMPLETELY honest and it’s what she loved most about her father. That he NEVER lied to her and she could ALWAYS count on him to love her, and in this love, tell her the truth. But when they decided to start to hide and help the Jews, she had to learn to “lie” in order to survive and so do God’s work. (They all did drills where they would be woken in the middle of the night with a light shone in their faces and yelled at, “Where are the Jews!” Corrie had to practice over and over and over in order to learn to NOT tell the truth, so as to protect and save the hidden Jews.) Now, for many of us forced to “tell the truth” to and by a psychopath (who actually just used this truth to control us and give them the right words to use on others in order to better to manipulate them), we may have a hard time with either. But during war, and make no mistake, we are on the battlefield of life and it IS spiritual battle, we must learn to keep the truth alive in our hearts and minds through God’s word, but when dealing with an evil one (psychopath), we should try to not reveal our hearts when we can help it. (Don’t worry over this though as God knows our hearts and our minds and he will always help those who are his.) King David did this when he acted “insane’ (1 Samuel 21:13), Abraham and Issac too did this. God KNOWS our hearts, he KNOWS our motives and he will help and will honour his children.

    Maybe if we trained our children from youth and were allowed to admit that evil was real; to know that some people are completely evil and to be able to be protected from them, we may not have to be in the position that most of us are in. (To have to use the Gray Rock method of dealing with a person.) But until that time comes (unlikely) learn to use it and use it well. There is no truth whatsoever in a psychopath, just like in their father the devil (John 8:43-45) and they, like the devil, only use truth as a way to manipulate those of us with a heart or to twist it to confuse and destroy us. But we know from God’s word that the truth will set US free, (John 8:32), (those of us with a conscience) so guard your heart and your mind with God’s word (Proverbs 4:23), pray for protection from the evil one (John 17:15), and don’t throw the pearls of truth and wisdom before swine (Matthew 7:6). You are NOT alone if Jesus is in your heart, and each person here is on your side and knows first hand the hell you’re going through. Use our testimony to gain strength and to shore yourself up, we’re all grateful you are here and grateful we have somewhere to share and be blessed.

  17. Suzanne

    I think that many victims of abuse know this intuitively. The difficulty comes in being able to control your emotions. By the time I was able to see it (the Gray Rock method) I’d been trained for years to immediately react to abuse as a victim (shamed, humiliated, weak, no self-esteem). Overcoming that programmed reaction is not easy.

  18. soldiergirl

    You finally get to a place where you have no more emotions to give, or maybe its realizing that you need to save your emotions from being continually drained..
    Either way the abuser is hoping to get his anticipated “pay off” from seeing a reaction or an emotional unraveling from his target..
    This is what they seek and set the stage for.
    They will mastermind a whole performance including a cast of unwitting players just to provoke their target at times.
    And that is what gives them their sense of “power over”
    Remove that “pay off” from the equation, and they are left “waiting for it”.
    Grey rock also can be leaving the room,(or the house) while they are still setting the stage for drama, and empowers the target with an effective recourse against abuse.

  19. Trissan Dicomes, BIFF Response Coordinator

    Hi everyone,
    Someone recently mentioned the Grey Rock method to me, so I’m just now hearing about it. While it’s true that not giving in to pressure to respond to the person in a similarly dramatic fashion can be very useful, some of the comments from people here about retaliation for being so deadpan is concerning. I tend to agree with some of the commenters who say this may be best used in text and email communications.

    We teach a couple of similar techniques for dealing with difficult people or those with personality disorders. They are both centered on understanding some of the psychology behind habitual bad behavior, and then using that knowledge to your advantage in ways that help you extricate yourself from the difficult situations without inflaming them further.

    One of them is the BIFF Response, which helps calm down the drama in those times when you do need to respond. This is geared towards written communications and can be used verbally.

    The other method is giving people your EAR (empathy, attention, and respect), which is a means for dealing with harsh people in verbal confrontation. Don’t let the name fool you: it’s not giving them a pass to mistreat you, but to use the technique to get through to them to shorten the drama for yourself.

    There are articles, information and products for both of these methods on the High Conflict Institute and BIFF Response websites, if anyone is interested.

  20. katlady

    I was advised to go gray rock this morning, I didn’t know what it meant so I Googled and found myself reading about something I’ve done so many times, I believe it’s part of our built in survival mechanism..for lack of a better word. I may be wrong, but I feel it plain as day when I need to be quiet n make myself less visual, ty [thank you?] for the information.

    • twbtc

      Hi Katlady,

      Welcome to the blog – glad you found our little community.

      You will notice that I slightly changed your screen name to help protect your identity. I don’t know your situation – if it is potentially unsafe, but we always encourage our commenters to read our New Users’ page as it gives tips for staying safe when commenting on the blog.

      Again, Welcome!!

  21. Reblogged this on A Cry For Justice and commented:

    “Gray Rock” is a strategy that can be helpful when interacting with someone who has chronically abused or mistreated you.

  22. Linn

    I come from a dysfunctional family with domestic violence / alcoholism when growing up, and then dealing with my sister’s drug abuse and raising her children for ten years. There is almost always major drama when my family gets together. And I am always perceived as the “stable” one. I play “rock” pretty well, but I also have learned that you need to have an outlet for your true feelings. I wasn’t even sure if I had any feelings after so many years of dealing with everyone else’s. Several years ago I got counseling, and it helped tremendously. This year, due to health issues, moving and trips abroad with family members I am having my OWN Christmas, and it’s quite refreshing to choose to do what I want with whom I want and not need to “adjust” for all of the drama.

    • Linn, thank you for sharing this bit of your story — it really encouraged me. 🙂

      I am not sure what I’m feeling but I know in last few days I’ve been very tired and have been shedding tears and feeling worthless…. you said “I wasn’t even sure if I had any feelings after so many years of dealing with everyone else’s” and that struck a bell with me.

  23. K-Anon

    Thank you so much for reposting this article. I am using an anonymous name and so feel safe in participating in this very insightful, healing, and helpful site. I have seen a need for such a site from a Christian perspective, but found none on my long journey for decades with my NPD covert abusive spouse, with whom I am now in the middle of divorce (a very painful divorce, and a surreal experience). I know the Lord has provided for me and for my children through this site, which I have recently discovered. I have envisioned such a site for many years, and thought of doing one myself someday. However, I have found this one, and it is a God-send. Thank you.

    • Dear K-Anon, welcome to the blog and I’m glad you are finding it so helpful! 🙂

      The process of divorcing an abuser can be full of unexpected potholes with shots fired by snipers as one drags oneself through the mess, the delays, the paperwork, the lies the abuser puts up, not to mention the unbelieving looks from bystanders and extended family. It’s like running the gauntlet. So you have been wise to use an anonymous name here.

      To run the gauntlet is to take part in a form of corporal punishment in which the party judged guilty is forced to run between two rows of soldiers who strike out and attack them. (Source: Running the gauntlet)

      Running the gauntlet, as practised by american indians

    • And by the way, we like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And after reading the New Users’ Info page, you might like to look at our FAQ page if you haven’t already done so.

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