Even when a marriage ends amicably, a co-parenting relationship can be complicated. Misunderstandings, resentments, and conflicts can arise even when both parents have the best intentions for their children and wish to exist peacefully. If you're co-parenting with a narcissist, the situation can become even more stressful and challenging due to your ex-partner’s harmful traits and behaviors. Whether you're in the midst of a high-conflict divorce or following family court orders, the yellow rock method may make communicating with a narcissist easier and help you to present in the best possible light for court.
What Is the Gray Rock Method?
The gray rock method is a form of communication designed to help a person interact with a narcissist. It gets its name from the idea that a gray rock blends in with its surroundings and doesn't stand out. This type of communication aims to make the narcissist bored, so they want to move on from trying to inundate and control your life. Some cornerstones of gray rock communication include:
Only communicating in writing via text, email, or a co-parenting app like TalkingParents or OurFamilyWizard
Providing only short answers that relate to logistics
Not allowing any emotion to come through in your messages
Reminding the narcissist about the court judgment or deferring to the parenting plan
Shutting down disagreements by saying things like, "Your failure to comply with the court order has been noted," and then refusing to engage further.
The gray rock method of communication makes it difficult for the narcissist to stir up conflict and gives them little to use against you during divorce proceedings. When the narcissist realizes they will not be able to provoke or manipulate you, they may become uninterested and turn their attention elsewhere.
While the Gray rock method of communication is ideal whenever one is forced to communicate with a narcissist, it can have devastating effects on the healthy parent in the family court system. When a family court judge or family court professional reads grey rock communication, the writer is portrayed as rigid, angry and bitter.
What Is the Yellow Rock Method?
Remember that practice makes perfect and learning how to communicate with a narcissist in a court-approved fashion is like learning a foreign language and its like navigating a foreign culture.
The yellow rock method is a spin on the gray rock method. It involves adding some niceties to gray rock communication. Its name comes from the idea that a yellow rock appears friendlier, warmer and more inviting than a gray rock. However, it is still ultimately gray rock and unlikely to hold a narcissist's interest for a prolonged period.
With yellow rock communication, the healthy parent is able to be authentic to who they are and this shows through in the communication. It is important to keep in mind that everything written is done under the assumption that a judge or other family court professional will be reading the communication. By showcasing a reasonable, courteous style of communication, one presents better in the eyes of the family court system.
How To Communicate with a Narcissist with the Yellow Rock Method
To employ the yellow rock communication method when dealing with a narcissist, follow these tips:
Envision yourself talking to a colleague or an employer. Communication should be courteous and true to who you are, sans emotion and small talk.
Stay focused on the present and immediate future, not bringing in past discussions or engaging in attempts by the narcissist to rehash past events.
Steer the conversation in a productive direction ignoring digs and poor behavior on the part of the narcissist. Only respond to the logistical items.
Take control of false narratives with a statement like, “I disagree with your version of events and prefer to put this behind us. Can we move forward and bring the conversation back to Amy’s soccer enrollment?”
Remember that your communication strategy has nothing to do with the narcissist and everything to do with how you are perceived by family court professionals.
Celebrate communication victories when they occur and don't allow negative interactions to cause you to abandon your efforts. Consistency is key.
When triggered by the narcissist's attempts to derail you, step away from the communication and revisit it after getting yourself recentered.