Ever had to deal with an emotionally draining person? Someone who seems like an emotional vulture, feeding off discomfort, angst, and negativity?
A few months ago, when dealing with an extremely challenging situation, I learnt about the “Grey Rock” technique. It’s based on the idea that emotional vampires feed off emotional reactions. Thus, when you don’t react, you are no longer attractive and the vampire moves on.
To do this technique, you imagine and channel a Grey Rock: uninteresting, uninspiring, and bland. You recognise the emotional hooks that are being thrown out but do not respond to them. You respond in a very neutral, disinterested tone.
For example. let’s say someone says, in a very agitated tone of voice: “You should have checked with me!! This has really messed things up for me!!!”. You might respond with “Oh? That’s no good” [in a very neutral and calm tone of voice].
“I’m very disappointed in you!! You never listen to what I’m saying!” You might try “That’s very disappointing” (in a bland tone of voice).
“You should know better! Why do you keep doing…!!” You might say “Thanks for that. I could do that differently I guess” (in a light tone of voice).
Perhaps it’s not an emotional vulture you’re dealing with. Perhaps it’s someone who is highly critical. Perhaps it’s someone who pushes your buttons and makes it hard to focus.
Can you see the Grey Rock Technique being of use to you?