How To Break Free From The Narcissist When Forced Working Together?

Q: Hello, My ex-boyfriend has NPD. I broke up with him 6 months ago after years of emotional abuse. I am finally free of his control, manipulation and drama. The problem is that we work together and I have to see him 5 days a week. I work about 20 feet from him all day long and have to listen to him brag and put on a show about how wonderful he thinks he is and how wonderful his life is now. Many days I can handle things just fine but others are extremely difficult. I have to listen to whispers in his office with male coworkers, his flirting with the receptionist and his all day fake happiness. My job pays well and I am a single mother of 2 so simply finding another job is not so simple. I live in a rural area where good jobs are hard to find.

My question is this: how do I ever completely break free when I have to be near him 40 hours a week? How can I ever fully move on and heal from the pain he caused me? Just when I think I am 100% over him, I fall into a funk and get depressed about the whole situation. Not depressed that I am no longer with him, but that he caused so much damage emotionally to me and it is hard to move on with such a hurtful person sitting 20 feet from me 5 days a week. Thank you for any insights you have.

A: That is truly a difficult situation to be in. You are going to have to develop a tough skin and a hard heart to be able to continue to work that closely with him. Is there professional help available in your rural area? They could help you develop strategies and coping skills to manage this. I know finding the time is hard when you are working and a single parent but it can help you survive each day. The other alternative is to relocate if there are no good paying jobs in your area. As hard as that is, you owe it to yourself and children to be able to move on and regain happiness in your life.

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6 thoughts on “How To Break Free From The Narcissist When Forced Working Together?”

  1. I do understand that it’s hard, but being a single parent is much harder. You stated that you’re not depressed anymore which is over half the battle. I was in a position of having to live under the same roof with the narcissist that I had been involved with for almost 2 years, we had lived together.. I placed all of his stuff in another room, made a point of keeping my room door closed at all times, I never spoke to him, every time I would think about answering his question, I would think about all the times he ignored me. Every time I would hesitate doing something, considering his feelings, respecting his feelings, I would think of all the times he had no concern for my feelings and how he disrespected me. I took him to small claims court, won my case and garnished his wages. My point being, you have to fight back in any legal, psychological, monetarily, and ethical ways that you can. Be creative, I know that you can, you’re a single parent. Don’t allow his evil narcissistic mess of a life continue to dictate your life by leaving your job or moving. You could do enough to cause him to leave his job and/or move. They have feelings, an Achilles Heel, you know what they are. Use what you can to your advantage.

  2. Amen. I to work in the same building. I’m so mad at me. I saw all the red flags but I still gave him a chance. When he new I was in 100% the true self came out. No more love bombing suddenly I was just a piece of s%^ to him. He started with the name calling. And shaming me behind my back. He would rage if I needed anything. He didn’t even plan. A nice dinner for my fithtyith b-day. So I decide. No more. That pissed him off he sold my things that he had given me to use at his home. He started given me the silent treatment after he was the one texting 100 times a week an phoning. Now I’m not allowed to call him. But he can come into my area at work and use that fake charm and say hi to me like nothing happened. I’m so mad that I let that loser even touch me. It’s disgusting. How can people be so selfish and thoughtless. Towards others. I knew the things he did in his past wouldn’t be any diffrent from the things he tried to do to me. He always told me he could never lie to me. But he did. He told me to belive and trust in him while the whole time I caught him cheating and in several lies. He told me I would go to hell because I was the wrong one always quoting things from the bible. What a monster. He has everything yet has earn non of it.

    • This sounds so similar. In eight years my bf never made it to one birthday, not mine or my daughter’s. Not one christmas did he not dump me the night before. Not one valentine’s day, new years, or even HIS birthday. He dumped me in a rage before every single one of these basic events. And we occasionally work in the same orchestra, where he will one day show up with flowers in front of everyone, and the next day call me a F++ing b***h in front of the same group. He lies constantly but knows how to charm orher women so they are all talking about me and how ‘difficult’ I am. Even in group therapy situations he’s ended up having relationships with almost every woman in our group. It’s so painful. My daughter talks with a therapist now but the damge he has done even to her at her young age fills me with shame and remorse for continuing to believe and need him to treat me better.

  3. It is often not to easy to up and move or to relocate from a job. I too am in a similar situation. I met my narcissist at work and work with him. At this prsent time im not side by side or in the same work section with him. A few months ago i change locaction to get away from him however ive come back to the same location. By me reading about this disorder and praying everyday it is helping me to ignore ignore ignore. Today i walk past him and he was running his mouth with two younger women. I held my head up high and walk past as if he wasnt even there. Never giving him eye contact. I too just toughen up my skin, and build up my heart and keep on going. It is a difficult task, but it can be done. Protect your heart from evil.

  4. In order to cope from day to day, you do have to toughen up for sure.
    From first hand experience, I can suggest a number of things you can do.
    Mindfulness meditation is great as you will build up stamina for living in the present. You therefore will not depleat your energy on living in the past or ruminating about the future. Soon his mind games will bounce off your “sheild of protection.”
    Start looking for a new job. Learn how to send resume`s online…
    See a therapist. Talking to a professional will help give you strength and increase your knowledge.
    Spend time online reading and studying about NPD`s. The more you know and understand about them, the better you will be able to understand their “childish,bullylike” ways.
    Good LucK.

  5. I would move away. I think it’s too hard to stay in that situation, and it only keeps you from healing and moving on. I would relocate and find another job so you can be completely free from him. For me it is hard enough recovering when I never see my NPD. If I had to see him every day at work, I cannot even imagine what shape I would be in. I would definitely find a new job!


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