It is fair to say that narcissists are at their most dangerous when they are angry. It is very common for their anger to turn into an unpredictable, unjustified, and explosive rage that can manifest in the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and/or neglect. To stay both emotionally and physically safe, you have to learn how to respond to an angry narcissist!

The two best ways to respond to an angry narcissist are the Gray Rock Method and the Yellow Rock Method. These techniques are designed to protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs in the face of narcissistic abuse. If used correctly these techniques can help you manage an angry narcissist.

This article is going to guide you through the Gray and Yellow Rock Method so you can stay as physically and emotionally safe from the narcissist in your life as possible. We’ve also created a short video (see below) that goes over the basics of the No Contact Rule. If you are in the position to go No Contact with an angry narcissist, you should do so! In addition to the video below, our No Contact Content Hub has a ton of helpful information.

A Short Video About the No Contact Rule!

What Are the Gray & Yellow Rock Method?

The Gray and Yellow Rock Method are two of the most brilliant techniques that you can use to protect your emotional stability from the narcissist in your life.

The Gray and Yellow Rock Method occurs when you make a conscious and well-informed decision to not participate in the communication and connection in the relationship that you have with the narcissist in your life.

The Gray and Yellow Rock Method have the same principles: by refusing to engage in the communication and connection of the relationship that you have with the narcissist in your life, you are protecting your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs. 

However, there’s a time and place for each method so it is important to know that when you use the Gray Rock Method, there’s a possibility that you could come off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and/or mean. 

Usually, there’s nothing wrong with coming off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and mean when you are healing. 

But because of how good narcissists are at twisting reality to portray others in a negative light, there are certain situations where you should try your hardest to not come off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and mean by using the Yellow Rock Method.

How to Use the Gray Rock Method on an Angry Narcissist

When a narcissist does or says something invalidating, devaluing, degrading, humiliating, dehumanizing, etc., you can use the Gray Rock Method by refusing to acknowledge their abusive behavior. 

In Person

The Narcissist: “You are the dumbest person that I’ve ever met. I have no idea how you got hired here.” 

Your Response: “Have you noticed that the receptionist brought in flowers? They look fantastic!”

Phone Call

The Narcissist : “I am calling the f*cking police on you! You’re going to spend the rest of your life in prison!” 

Your Response: “Hello? Are you there? Helloooo? ” (hang up) or “Oh! Thank you for reminding me! I prerecorded the Law & Order episode that I missed last night! I am going to watch it now, I’ll talk to you later! (hang up)”

a narcissist who is very angry on the phone with their victim who is using the gray rock method.

Text or Email

The Narcissist: “You are so pathetic, I wish I had a son/daughter instead. I would’ve been much happier!”  

Your Response: “Did you know that 51% of deliveries result in a baby boy?!”

How to Use the Yellow Rock Method on an Angry Narcissist

When a narcissist or flying monkey does or says something invalidating, devaluing, degrading, humiliating, dehumanizing, etc., you can use the Yellow Rock Method to refuse to acknowledge their abusive behavior by responding with a professional tone.  

In Person

The Narcissist: “I hate being associated with you because you’re such a loser. You are probably the reason that we aren’t getting promotions this year”

Your Response: “I am sorry that they feel that way, it must be really hard for you.”

Phone Call

The Narcissist: “I am going to expose you to everyone! You are a manipulative backstabber and you’ve destroyed this family!” 

Your Response: “If you feel like you have to expose me to everyone,  I completely understand. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t express your feelings towards me”

Text or Email

The Narcissist:  “You are the most disgusting pig I’ve ever seen. Why can’t you just get into the gym? Seriously, you’re just a waste of space.” 

Your Response: “I just wanted to let you know that I will not respond to you if you are not being respectful.”

a narcissist typing a mean email to his/her victim. The victim responding with the yellow rock method.

What Should You Take Away From This Section?

As a rule of thumb, the Yellow Rock Method should be used when a narcissist’s ability to portray you in a negative light could have significant consequences. 

  • In the midst of a divorce hearing, custody hearing, or some other legal battle. The narcissist could use your “cold”, “uncooperative”, “arrogant”, “distant”, and “mean” demeanor to twist reality and win. 
  • In front of your children. If you come off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and mean you narcissistic co-parent could turn them against you.
  • If you are scared that coming off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and mean could encourage the narcissist to become physically violent.
  • If you are dealing with a narcissist at work, coming off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and mean could cost you your job. 

The list could go on and on but at the end of the day, you are the one who needs to decide if you should use the Gray or the Yellow Rock Method. 

It is important to remember that the Gray and Yellow Rock Method can be used on angry narcissists and in normal/calm conversations with a narcissist. This is because the Gray and Yellow Rock Method are all about protecting your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from the narcissists in your life. 

When they try to bait you into a negative confrontation, you can use the Gray or Yellow Rock Method to prevent yourself from having a negative reaction to their abuse. When they try to have a “normal” conversation with you, the Gray and Yellow Rock Method will prevent you from giving them information that they can use to invalidate, devalue, degrade, humiliate, and/or dehumanize you.

Just to be crystal clear, using the Gray and Yellow Rock Method does not mean that you can’t have thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The purpose of the two techniques is to prevent the narcissists in your life from having access to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. 

Someone learning about the gray and yellow rock method.

You should feel free to express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions when you are in a safe place both physically and emotionally, which usually means that you are away from the narcissists and flying monkeys in your life.

When you get ready to express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a safe place, you should take a very deep breath and try to practice healthy trauma responses. 

What Do You Need to Know About the Gray and Yellow Rock Method Before You Can Successfully Use It?

The Gray and Yellow Rock Method are so effective because they limit the amount of narcissistic supply that narcissists can get out of you while simultaneously protecting you from their abusive behavior. 

To better understand the purpose of the Gray and Yellow Rock Method, it is important that you know narcissistic supply is typically validation, admiration, and reassurance, but it is also “winning” arguments, domination, power, and control.

When a narcissist is trying to bait you into an argument, the Gray and Yellow Rock Method are going to help you respond to the situation without giving away any narcissistic supply.

For an example, imagine that the narcissist in your life is belittling you to try to get you to have a negative response (e.g. yelling, pushing, hitting, etc.). If you respond negatively, they are going to use your response to support the narcissist’s narrative that portrays you as the abuser and the narcissist as the “victim” of your behavior.

A narcissist recruiting flying monkeys.

If you were to use the Gray or Yellow Rock Method instead of having a negative response, the narcissist in your life would have a much harder time supporting their narrative because you wouldn’t be providing them with the narcissistic supply needed to do so. 

In addition to this, you’d also be protecting your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs by refusing to participate in the communication and connection of the relationship that you have with the narcissist in your life. 

The Gray and Yellow Rock Method are two techniques that require you to make conscious and well-informed decisions to successfully use them.

If you consistently use them in your interactions with the narcissist in your life, there’s a high probability that they will eventually find you “boring” because you aren’t providing them with any narcissistic supply, and leave you alone.

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

When you’re dealing with an angry narcissist, the Gray and Yellow Rock Method are two of the best techniques that you can use to protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from being harmed. With that being said, we highly recommend that you look into the No Contact Rule.

Cutting off all forms of communication with a narcissist is by far the best approach that you can have, but it isn’t always a feasible option for those experiencing narcissistic abuse. To find out if it is the right choice for you, check out our No Contact Content Hub for a lot more information!


All of the content that Unfilteredd creates is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care — please visit here for qualified organizations and here for qualified professionals that you can reach out to for help. This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

References

Twenge, Jean M., and W. Keith Campbell. “Isn’t it fun to get the respect that we’re going to deserve?” Narcissism, social rejection, and aggression.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29.2 (2003): 261-272.

Yellow Rock: Communicating with a Narcissist in a Child Custody Situation