The extreme relentlessness of a narcissist is exhausting. They are constantly coming at you with manipulation tactics such as gaslighting, stonewalling, narcissistic rage, baiting, hoovering, love bombing, and many others that make protecting yourself and healing from narcissistic abuse feel impossible.

A narcissist will give up when you show them that you are not a viable source of narcissistic supply by restraining yourself from engaging in every single meaningful interaction with them through either the Gray Rock Method, Yellow Rock Method, Firewall Method, No Contact Method, or Low Contact Method. 

In this article you are going to learn how to use each of these techniques to make the narcissist in your life give up so that you can protect yourself and heal from narcissistic abuse.

5 Techniques That You Can Use to Make a Narcissist Give Up

The reason that the Gray Rock Method, Yellow Rock Method, Firewall Method, Low Contact Method, and No Contact Method can make a narcissist give up is because they drastically reduce the amount of narcissistic supply that the narcissist in your life has access to. 

Narcissistic supply is the validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control that narcissists manipulate others into giving them.

Narcissistic supply is a fundamental requirement for a narcissist’s emotional stability because they use it to construct a self-perception that helps them suppress all of their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

These techniques (i.e. the Gray Rock Method, Yellow Rock Method, Firewall Method, Low Contact Method, and the No Contact Method) prevent this regulation from happening, forcing the narcissist to give up and find a new source of supply!

Suggested Reading!

To grasp a comprehensive understanding of the massive role that narcissistic supply plays in a narcissist’s life, you should check out our article How Are Narcissists Made as soon as possible

The Gray Rock Method

The Gray Rock Method is a form of communication that you can use to protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from the narcissist in your life.

To use the Gray Rock Method you have to restrain yourself from engaging in meaningful interactions with the narcissist in your life. 

When we use the term “meaningful interactions” we are referring to any interaction that gives the abusive people in your life access to your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs.

A Short Video That Teaches You How to Use the Gray Rock Method

For the best experience, please rotate your mobile device sideways.

A Quote From One of Our Community Members!

This has really worked with my ex-husband. We have two kids together so I couldn’t go no contact. He was threatening me, like threatening to kidnap my kids, so I took my time to gray rock him into ‘submission’ because he is just so bored with me. I still get upset with myself sometimes because I spent so much time trying to ‘win. However, with gray rock, I did eventually win and I can help my kids win too. – Jennifer

The Yellow Rock Method

The Yellow Rock Method is another form of communication that you can use to protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from a narcissist.

The Yellow Rock Method is very similar to the Gray Rock Method because they both require you to restrain yourself from engaging in meaningful interactions with the narcissist in your life. 

A Short Video That Teaches You How to Use the Yellow Rock Method

For the best experience, please rotate your mobile device sideways.

The difference between the Gray Rock Method and the Yellow Rock Method is 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. When you use the Yellow Rock Method, you have a much more professional approach that makes you come off as more respectful. 

Usually, there’s nothing wrong with coming off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and/or mean when you are healing and keeping abusive people away from your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs.

But because of how good abusers are at twisting reality to portray you in a negative light, there are certain situations that you should try your hardest to not come off as cold, uncooperative, distant, arrogant, and/or mean (e.g. a custody battle, at work, in front of your children).

The Yellow Rock Method is a brilliant alternative to the Gray Rock Method that you can use in situations where an abuser’s ability to portray you in a negative light could have very negative consequences on your life (e.g. losing a custody battle).

A Quote From One of Our Community Members!

I started my healing journey with the Gray Rock Method but quickly changed to the Yellow Rock Method so my actions aren’t taken the wrong way in court. It has worked really well for me but there is one problem that I have been having with it. Because I am not being as cold, distant, and standoffish as I would like to be, the narc takes my behavior as a sign that she can pursue me romantically. I have had to work really hard to find the perfect balance between the Gray and Yellow Rock Method and it has worked really well! I highly recommend it for anyone going through a divorce!- William

The Firewall Method

In abusive environments, the term “firewall” refers to a defense system that you can build to protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from the narcissist in your life. 

In a computer, a firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules.

To build a firewall that protects your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from the narcissist in your life, you need to create your own defense system and construct a defined set of rules that it abides by. 

The Firewall Method is a very sophisticated technique that you can use on abusers who have a high conflict personality, meaning that they have a pattern of behavior that increases or keeps conflicts going instead of calming and/or resolving them.

The purpose of a firewall in a computer is to provide protection against outside cyber attackers by shielding your computer or network from malicious or unnecessary network traffic. When this gets translated into the language of abusive environments, the narcissists are the cyber attackers. 

The malicious and unnecessary network traffic that they are hurling at you are the manipulative and abusive tactics that they use to manipulate you into questioning your sanity, doubt your reality, developing a negative self-perception, and abandon your boundaries (e.g. gaslighting, mirroring, love bombing, future faking, intermittent reinforcement).

And your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs are the computer or network that your firewall is protecting. 

The Firewall Method adds an extra layer to the conscious and well-informed decisions that are being made when you use the Gray or Yellow Rock Method by restraining yourself from engaging in meaningful interactions with the abusive people in your life, or the No Contact Rule by cutting off all forms of communication with the abusive people in your life.

Building a solid firewall puts you in a position from which you can effectively protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from past, present, and future abusers.  

A Quote From Two of Our Community Members!

I tried to use the Gray Rock Method but I found it to be extremely difficult to maintain because of how aggressive my ex-husband was. He would just belittle me until I broke and engaged in an argument. For me, the Firewall Method is a better concept because it helps me visualize a shield of light around me every time I’m around the narcissistic people in my life. – Olivia

I was recently in contact with a narcissistic person from my past and had to use the Firewall Method when conversation started to move in a toxic/abusive direction. The narc wanted to have the last word and I let her because the Firewall Method has taught me that I don’t need to prove her wrong. I felt so proud of myself that I didn’t dance the dance I was invited to. – Nancy

The Low Contact Method

The Low Contact Method is a variation of the No Contact Method that is designed to help you protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from the narcissist in your life when you have to see them every once in a while or when for some reason you have to break the No Contact Method (e.g. a funeral, a wedding, a court case, etc.).

The Low Contact Method uses the concept of the Gray and Yellow Rock Method. 

Meaning that you become very selective about where, when, how, and why you cross paths with the narcissist in your life, and when you do cross paths, you restrain yourself from engaging in meaningful interactions with them.

Just to be clear, this technique should not be used if you are in a position from which you can use the No Contact Method on the narcissist in your life. This technique should only be used by those who can’t avoid crossing paths with them (example below).

A Quote From One of Our Community Members!

I have a supervisor at work who is narcissistic. When I first started the job I thought that we might be able to be friends but it was impossible so I started using the Low Contact Method. The only time that we interact is when we are talking about work or the weather. It is super boring and I know he talks about how boring I am behind my back, but Low Contact is the only thing keeping me protected, sane, and employed! – Donald 

Using the Low Contact Method means that on the days that you do have to cross paths with the narcissist in your life, you are making a conscious and well-informed decision to restraining yourself from engaging in meaningful interactions with them.

It is a fantastic technique because it allows you to be present at important events in your life (e.g. funerals, weddings, family gatherings, work environments, etc.) while simultaneously protecting your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs.

A Quote From One of Our Community Members!

I have been practicing Low Contact Method for many years without having a name for it. It is the ONLY strategy that has helped me with my narcissistic family. Over the years they have tried to pressure me to participate more frequently in some family activities, which is so terrifying and frustrating at the same time. But, I know, if I want to stay physically, mentally and emotionally healthy, I must continue to practice the Low Contact Method! – Kimberly

The No Contact Method

The No Contact Method is a strategy that you can use to create space to heal from and process the emotional abuse/manipulative tactics used to keep you engaged in the narcissistic abuse cycle by the narcissist, their flying monkeys and enablers.

A Quote From One of Our Community Members!

Going no contact with a narcissist is absolutely liberating. I have been using the No Contact Method for 13 months now and I have never felt more happy or healthy in my life! I can’t believe I got myself back! I thought I had lost myself forever. – Carol

The No Contact Method involves ending all physical and psychological forms of contact that you have with the abusive person in your life. 

This may look like:

  • Not responding to their text messages or phone calls
  • Not agreeing/promising to meetup with them or “stay in touch”
  • Not checking up on their social media or keeping tabs on their posts 
  • Not gathering information about their lives through your friends or spending all your time talking about them
  • Not accepting gifts or favors (no matter how tempting) from them
  • Not listening to music that you associate with them
  • Not digging up old photographic memories of them (with or without you in them)
  • Taking proactive steps to heal yourself from intrusive, unwanted, and traumatic painful memories

That being said, not everyone will agree, nor are they meant to understand all of your reasons for deciding to go No Contact.

In fact, it is unfortunately not uncommon for people opting to go No Contact to receive pushback in the form of name calling (“oh, you’re so dramatic!”, “you’re so mean!”, “that’s very immature of you!”), minimizing, guilting, shaming, disapproval, poorly placed judgment etc. from the world around them. 

A narcissist enabler shaming someone trying to go no contact with the narcissist

However, it’s important to remember why you’re going No Contact and to practice discernment, the ability to judge well, when reminding others that this particular boundary that you are setting is not up for debate.

The gaslighting, disapproval, and judgment that you will likely experience from other people while using the No Contact Method is a terrible feeling but serves as a constant reminder of a forgotten aspect of the No Contact Method: when you go no contact with an abuser, you need to go no contact with their flying monkeys and enablers as well. 

The No Contact Method is about completely removing yourself from the narcissistic abuse cycle so you can rebuild, heal, and become the best version of yourself.

You need to surround yourself with people who are willing and able to support you throughout your healing journey or you could find yourself back in the narcissistic abuse cycle for months, years, and even decades to come. 

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

When used correctly, these five techniques will make the narcissist in your life give up!


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

Bosson, Jennifer K., et al. “Untangling the links between narcissism and self‐esteem: A theoretical and empirical review.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 2.3 (2008): 1415-1439.

Rhodewalt, Frederick, and Benjamin Peterson. “Narcissism.” (2009).