When they use gray rock on you?

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Unknown

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When they use gray rock on you?
« on: November 25, 2019, 09:54:36 AM »
Something strange happened the other day at work, and it has bothered me since. :stars:
My office is around the corner from the executive secretary, within a few feet actually. She started about 6 months ago and I can't put  my finger on what's wrong with her. My PD radar has gone off since I met her...When I've asked her the most innocuous question, it seems like she counts to 10 to respond to anything. It seems like she holds back what she is thinking, and I am left wondering, what is she thinking?? She also refuses to answer direct questions, which I also find odd. It is quite unsettling being around her.. I get this strange feeling, like she thinks *I*  am the PD?!? I can't describe it but kind of like DARVO.

 She often takes my mail down to the mail room. She had offered and I obliged. (Bad move on me.) backstory: When I started, I asked MY boss if she types out (the occasional letter we sent out) to the person's address to make it look more professional. She said no, it's not necessary. Besides, I didn't know how to use the computer/envelope feeder on this particular office machine anyway, so I let it go since she said she didn't do it herself, and since she said it wasn't necessary I let it go. I don't think my boss even knows how to use the envelope feeder either, so due to that, she didn't teach me, or due to not caring, I am not sure which, but either way,  I let it go.

 Keep in mind, this secretary is not my boss, not even close,  nor do we have the same job. However, I do correspond with clients as my job requires. I remember one time, this secretary  openly criticized a phrase I had used. (she saw the letter- back story irrelevant) . I was taken aback because I don't go around critiquing someone else's tasks, like she just did. I remember thinking to myself,  Who does she think she is? She just met me is is already criticizing and giving out unsolicited and rather inappropriate advice.
I cannot remember what I said, but I felt really triggered, and I probably JADED.
( sadly, The ''old me'' comes out, in times of stress. 'working on it' will be my life's work.)


Since then, I've been handwriting the addresses, which obviously didn't sit well with this secretary, taking my mail down, because the other day she mentioned to me you know, the computer remembers the address you put in the letter, to do so. Next time you write a letter, I can show  you how to do it.
 I said, great, ok , thanks for the tip....Yet, against my better wisdom, (before my brain could stop me)  I JADED because I guess I felt defensive. I  told her I thought of typing them out to look more professional, yet I was told it wasn't necessary. 
she made no further comment. Just was silent. She made absolutely  no comment to that, not even a "hmm" or sound. It was unsettling. That kind of bothered me because the least she could do, was validate that yes, it looked unprofessional. After-all, she was the one offering to show me how to do it.  But if not for that reason, why??

She offered up no explanation for her unsolicited advice.

I had even acknowledged that it appeared less professional. When someone admits that, the least the person can do is validate. Am I wrong? I guess I was looking for her to explain herself, such as, acknowledging that is precisely the reason she solicited her help. No biggie. Just tell me your motive . I can accept your offer to  fix it,  we can laugh about it, and go about our day. I feel like she "grey rocked" me - yet, I did nothing to deserve it.
Anyone experience this?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 10:28:57 AM by Unknown »

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clara

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Re: When they use gray rock on you?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 11:39:50 AM »
A uNPD friend of mine uses a technique he calls "strategic silence."  That he told me about it tells me he is absolutely aware of what he's doing and why.  It's a trick to get you to tell him more information than you otherwise would have.  I've learned to respond by waiting him out, although at this point I think he does it more out of habit than anything he thinks he might be getting from me.   So, this is one possibility if she's a PD.  And yes, your co-worker could be gray rocking you in some attempt to show her power over you (by showing how she doesn't have to answer if she doesn't want to, which is being petty), or it could be something else going on in her communication style.  Some people simply don't know how to effectively communicate.  Her advice has no follow-through. She can't explain why she said what she said, because perhaps she doesn't really know.  Maybe she feels compelled to give advice because she somehow thinks it's what she needs to be doing.  If that's the case, it makes sense that she doesn't really respond when you explain why you did what you did.  She's not interested in the advice per se, just the giving of it.  This is something narcs do, but that doesn't mean she's NPD.  She could also be on the spectrum.  There are a number of possibilities going on, but her behavior is on her.  Give her a simple "okay, thank you" and be done with it.  You don't need to explain yourself to her.  You don't need to answer to her.  If she starts button-pushing or looking for your triggers, just walk away.  Say,  "excuse me, I have to get going" and get away from her.  Show her that you're not available for her behavior. 

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Unknown

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Re: When they use gray rock on you?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 02:44:09 PM »
Thank you, Clara

I appreciate your input. I'm gonna shake it off. I admit, hard for me to do when I really try hard to do good by people, to treat people the way I would expected to be treated, and when people do this kind of stuff, it is hard to shake off. It truly triggers me and bothers me.
I agree, I know too little about her to "label" her anything pathological. Nor would that be fair.

Yet, the "strategic silence" sure does seem on target! That's so manipulative, and mind boggling that PD people actually think up these "strategic" ways. I feel upset just thinking about their covert, manipulative ways.

I am curious about your comment about your uNPD friend. How is it possible to be friends with someone with NPD?
The way  I see it, NPD folks have no capacity for true friendship; true, authentic  reciprocity.
Is it just a superficial friendship? - -  in that you know exactly what you are dealing with, thus, can "tolerate" it? This is a sincere inquiry.  :)
I have had such a hard time with my FOO, there is no way I'd voluntarily subject myself to one.more.toxic. person; not willingly anyway.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 02:49:12 PM by Unknown »

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clara

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Re: When they use gray rock on you?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2019, 11:46:16 AM »
I agree that PD friendships are almost always more trouble than they're worth, because they're usually so one-sided (with you doing the giving and the PD doing the receiving).  This friendship goes back about 15 years, before I knew anything about PDs, and then went NC for over two years because I was tired of the abuse and being the one making all the effort, but got hoovered back in due to a project we'd worked on some years ago and he wanted to do more work on.  Since I have an ongoing interest in this project as well, I allowed myself to get hoovered while being fully aware what a toxic NPD he can be.  I put in place strong boundaries, such as not responding when he starts making demands, or countering with my own demands which is something I never did in the past.  Also, since neither of us have much invested in the relationship any more, we can be causal friends just fine, and I can actually enjoy being with him as long as I limit our interactions.  But no, I would never seek out such a friendship today, because I know better.  I no longer waste my time with (chosen) relationships I get nothing out of, and am not afraid to be selfish in that regard!