Link on Gray Rock, Medium Chill and Robot Mode that I Keep Handy

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I have found this description of gray rock, medium chill and robot mode very helpful.  I emailed it to myself and keep it handy on my smartphone so I can take a few moments to look at it during the day as needed.

How to Protect Yourself from Emotional Manipulators; Gray Rock, Medium Chill and Robot Mode
Three techniques for dealing with emotional manipulators are "Gray Rock", "Medium Chill", and "Robot Mode".   There is a lot of overlap in the three concepts.  I present all three because most people identify more easily with one than the other.  Take whatever works for you.

Gray Rock

The Gray Rock method originates from the idea that people with cluster B personality disorders (antisocials, borderlines, narcissists and histrionics) thrive on chaos and drama.  It is the emotional equivalent of playing dead.  When a bear is attacking you, experts will tell you to play dead.  The bear will paw you a bit, lose interest and wander off.  Gray Rock is the same philosophy.  If cluster Bs thrive on chaos and drama, you want the opposite.  When you must engage with the Narcissist, only talk about boring things; paying the bills, getting an oil change, doing your laundry.  Do not discuss anything which would excite them or upset them.  Don't push their buttons or try to make them jealous.  Do not provoke them.  And do not let them provoke you.  If they try to take a dig at you, make a disparaging remark or make you jealous, ignore them.  When they try to push your buttons, don't react.  Pretend to be a gray rock - boring, quiet and still.  This is especially true for texts and phone calls which try to hook you into a debate or an argument.  Ignore them if you can.  If you must respond, stick to the facts and do not waver. 

Medium Chill

Medium Chill is  something you utilize to allow the cluster B's attempts to get inside your head to flow over you without effect.  You want to wall off your emotional responses and protect them from manipulation.  Maintain a flat expression, or perhaps even a vaguely pleasant expression and block off your emotions so they have no way of telling whether they're having an effect - and chill.

The theory behind Medium Chill is that a cluster B's goal is to provoke an emotional response from you.   They crave having power over you and seeing the disruption to your mind they're able to exercise.  They manipulate you to get an emotional response from you.  And it doesn't matter what the emotional response is.  A fight is as good as happiness, a screaming curse as good as words of love.   They just want a reaction.  They just want attention.  And they do not care how much it upsets you or affects you because they have no empathy.  It's all about them and they demand you respond to them.

Provoking an outburst from you also allows them to write you off - to themselves and others - as the crazy one.  You are the one behaving badly.  All they said was (insert manipulative maneuver here)  and you just went off!

Give them no outward sign that you're affected by their manipulations and they will move on to someone more easily manipulated.

Robot Mode

Robot Mode works much the same way.  It consists primarily of locking away your emotions and intellectualizing about what is happening between you and the manipulator - instead of feeling it.  You must realize the manipulator is reading your emotions and calculating responses based upon what they read.  If you stop thinking about what your feeling and block off your emotions you are free to analyze what is happening with a cool and detached mind and make better decisions about how to respond - or not to respond.

Remember, they are an emotional manipulator whose goal is to provoke you to react, or even better, overreact.  Then they can derail you from the point you were trying to make, or their bad behavior which you were confronting them about, or the boundary you were trying to set.  If they can provoke you to behave badly enough, they can cast you as the crazy one.

Also remember the cluster B's emotions are often very limited and very shallow.  They feel no empathy and no remorse. 

Why Not Just Talk to Them?

Given that they experience no empathy and no remorse, trying to "connect" with them is futile.  If someone feels no remorse and no empathy, what is there to connect with???   Because their emotions are extremely limited, or non-existent, they view people who have emotions as being "weak" and easily manipulated.  They resent the fact that you feel and realize there is something missing in them because they do not.  But they will never own this, nor are most of them even conscious of it themselves.  This is what is happening on the subconscious level. Consciously, they just sneer at you for being so "weak" and get off on exerting their power over you by manipulating your emotions.

Also, because they experience no remorse, they are not bound by conscience, morality, ideals, principles or "doing the right thing".  They are not loyal friends, lovers or parents.  They are not fair bosses.  The right thing for a cluster B is whatever suits them at the moment.  What effect that will have on others is absolutely unimportant to the cluster B.  It's all about them and what they want.  How do you interact with someone like that?  The three methods above.

By putting your emotions out of reach and blocking them off you take away their ammunition against you.  They are unable to "read" you.  By cutting off your emotions, you are now on the same playing field with them.  You can calmly calculate your next move,  just as they do.  You are now talking to a Robot as a Robot.  Robots don't emote.  They don't react.  Robots don't care.  Robots can't be guilted, or shamed, or bullied. 

It's important to point out that Robot Mode is not about dissociation, spacing out, tuning out or "leaving the room" mentally.  It's about being more present, more aware, more in the moment.  You have to stay with your body and in your mind in order to protect yourself.  It's about walling off your emotions so they are protected, not disconnected.  It's about staying on guard.  It's about putting up your defenses and protecting the sensitive, caring, empathetic part of yourself the cluster B seeks to manipulate. 
"If you can cut yourself – your mind – free of what other people do and say…and what the whirling chaos sweeps in from outside…then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you. " ~ Marcus Aurelius



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Re: Link on Gray Rock, Medium Chill and Robot Mode that I Keep Handy
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 12:54:56 PM »
I just found this, Laurie.  Thanks so much for posting it.  It's exactly what I need.
"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.



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Re: Link on Gray Rock, Medium Chill and Robot Mode that I Keep Handy
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2020, 01:52:12 PM »
I'm still having a hard time understanding the differences between these approaches, but some version or combination of these is what I've been practicing and it had helped to reduce drama and rages and verbal abuse in my home.



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Re: Link on Gray Rock, Medium Chill and Robot Mode that I Keep Handy
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2020, 04:01:37 PM »
Very interesting, Laurie.  Thank you for sharing it here.

I seem to use a combination.  I started with "Detach with love" which is an Al-anon technique.  Added in Medium Chill and then some Grey Rocking.  I hadn't heard of Robot Mode.  Good to read.

Me changing my reaction has 100% changed the dynamic in my home. uPD hubby is still uPD hubby but the vast majority of the time he is pleasant.  I know it is down to my behaviours and not his because if I fall off the wagon and forget to Med Chill, GR etc off he goes!  Trying to manipulate anything and everything out of me and also is nasty! 

I think these techniques are life changers. 

I do think though that if the PD is violent at all, forgot techniques and get the heck away from them.