The Grey Rock Technique for Dealing with Psychopaths

Why the Grey Rock technique works on psychopaths and really anyone who is being obnoxious.


Some bullies are psychopaths. I realize it may seem like all of them are, but many are not. They have simply learned that being intimidating or abusive gets them what they want. But even if they aren’t bullying or being manipulative because they enjoy seeing other people in turmoil or stress or pain, the Grey Rock technique will work because it is essentially a clever way of teaching the operant conditioning protocol of how to extinguish an unwanted behavior (which is what I also teach in my book – hint hint).

The way you extinguish an unwanted behavior is to stop responding to the behavior. You are going for a neutral response. To accomplish this, the Gey Rock technique has you imagine that in the face of the button pushing done by the psycho or sociopath or sadist or whatever, you present to them yourself as a big grey boring emotionless rock. (See:

Most bullies want to see your emotions and feed off them. So, don’t give them emotions. Give them emotional neutrality in the form of a grey unmovable rock instead.

Your goal is to be as boring as a grey rock. Bullies want your attention. They thrive on the drama and your emotions. By hiding your emotions and responding in a bored tone of voice (as I repeatedly recommend) you become boring to the bully or psychopath. The bored tone is way more important than what you actually say, but you should have something prepared to say and you should practice saying it in a bored tone of voice so that WHEN you are next confronted, you will drawl out your boring and bored response all while making eye contact (ideally) and with a blank but slightly bemused face.

You can also use this boring as a grey rock technique to selectively draw their attention away from the things that matter to you and onto things you don’t care about. You do this by pretending that you are interested or concerned about. You are basically giving them false bait. And they will most likely take it. Then, you have the pleasure of watching them attempt to attack the thing you care about and fail because – you don’t care! And because you don’t care – your response to what they are doing will either be bored, or worse, amused. Bullies and psychopaths don’t like that.