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The One Rule You Need To Effectively Communicate With a Narcissist

The One Rule You Need to Use to Effectively Communicate With a Narcissist

Having an open and honest conversation with a narcissist can feel like a nightmare. Most of us find communicating with narcissistic people challenging to say the least. In fact, it can leave us feeling emotionally hurt and traumatized at times. This is why the best way to interact with them is to not allow them into your head. Let us introduce you to the Gray Rock Rule.

“Withhold admiration from a narcissist and be disliked. Give it and be treated with indifference.” – Mason Cooley


This is the Only Way to Communicate With a Narcissist Effectively

If you are personally or professionally involved with a narcissist in a toxic relationship and due to the circumstances, you aren’t able to make the most effective action for dealing with it (going no contact), you might find yourself struggling to have a reasonable conversation with him or her.

This is because, by nature, the narcissist is wired to instigate drama, manipulate and generally do his best to make it all about him. This can be both exhausting and frustrating for anyone trying to deal with a narc.


The One Rule You Need to Use to Effectively Communicate With a Narcissist

A narcissist’s toolbox is full of manipulative tactics – you would not believe how many different ways they’ll try to get what they want (not to mention how “low” they’ll go).

There’s one simple rule when it comes to communicating effectively with a narcissist – and it’s so basic that you’ll be shocked when I tell you what it is.

The rule is: do not engage the narcissist.

What do I mean by this?

It’s simple: keep emotion out of it. When the narcissist tries to manipulate and provoke you, which he or she inevitably will, you have to maintain an air of professional-type detachment. Try to see the narcissist as almost a stranger and communicate with him on that level.

“Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life in his own terms.” -Elizabeth Bowen


The Gray Rock Rule

Some people refer to this rule as the “gray rock” rule of communication. According to, you deal with the narcissist if you have to, “but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the parasite must go elsewhere for his supply of drama.”

By sticking to the gray rock rule, you can bet that your narcissist will lose interest quickly. That’s because it’ll retrain his brain to consider you “boring” and essentially, you’ll no longer be an effective source of narcissistic supply.

He’ll move on and find someone else to torture if all goes as expected – and with a narcissist, it generally does – they’re not especially unpredictable, believe it or not.

“Sometimes it’s better to end something & try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible.” – Karen Salmansohn


Need help dealing with a narcissistic relationship? You might enjoy my book, Your Love is My Drug: How to Shut Down a Narcissist, Detoxify Your Relationships & Live the Awesome Life You Really Deserve, Starting Right Now

Now it’s your turn. What are the most effective ways you’ve found to deal with a narcissist? Have you tried the “gray rock” method before? Does it work for you? Share your thoughts and experiences below. 


Here’s an interesting video on the Gray Rock Rule that can help you get started:


By becoming emotionally unresponsive to the strategies, manipulations, lies, and attacks of the narcissist, you can effectively reduce their worth and impact in your life. The Gray Rock Rule is highly powerful in de-arming a narcissistic individual, especially when you have to interact with them on a daily basis. It will protect you from getting hurt and adversely affecting your mental and emotional well being.

No one likes to play with a boring toy. The moment you become a colorless and unreactive gray rock in their life, they will quickly shift their narcissistic focus to a new more colorful victim.

You are not here to entertain their toxicity.

Don’t engage.

Written By Angela Atkinson
Originally Published On

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How To Deal With A Narcissist In Your Life – A Brief Guide
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Dealing with Toxic Family Members: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

The One Rule You Need to Use to Effectively Communicate With a Narcissist

The One Rule You Need To Effectively Communicate With a Narcissist

Angie Atkinson

Certified Life Coach, Author, Survivor. Discover, Understand and Overcome Narcissistic Abuse with Certified Life Coach, author and survivor Angie Atkinson, a recognized expert in narcissism in relationships and narcissistic personality disorder. As creator of the DUO Method of Healing, it's her mission to to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires - into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. As you can see when you visit the freebies page at, Atkinson's online daily magazine, she's all about paying it forward.View Author posts