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Fallen for a colleague

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I've worked with the same guy for 6 years and we have always got on well. We have similar roles and responsibilities within a pressured workplace, I have a slight position of seniority over him and we are both governed by an overall boss that we are both accountable to. In the last 6 months our overall boss has started to become flirty with the guy and although it is not reciprocated and he handles it well, it has changed the team dynamic. He finds her difficult as she can be intense and unpredictable to work for and has made it clear many times that he finds me better to work for, as I take a more reasoned, calm and assured approach, he respects how hard I work and seems professionally in awe. He looks out for me, compliments my work and work ethic and protects me when things get tough, but all in a subtle way. So, im not really sure why this has suddenly happened, but over the last two months particularly, Ive found myself really falling for him, but feel this is now just making me socially awkward around him and shows me to him in a really poor light! I am now overanalysing our interactions which is making me struggle to make eye contact even! Even if my feelings were reciprocated I am dping everything to make him feel im an idiot! It is a classic 'I love him so much when he is gone, but when he's near me, I don't let on' scenario. I think as I've become more irritated and protective of him from our overall bosses affections, then I've realised I'm the one who has fallen head over heels! And the poor man probably just wishes we would both leave him alone! We are both in other very long standing relationships so nothing can ever come of it, i just don't know now how to stop feeling this way.

Fallen for a colleague

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Hi London Girl! That makes two Brits this week! Must be shite weather in YUK at the mo., then? HAHAHA. Right, then...Not reading ahead, just sentance-by-sentance... "I've worked with the same guy for 6 years and we have always got on well. We have similar roles and responsibilities within a pressured workplace," How pressured out of 10? Can you say what sort of industry? You're completely anonononymous, remember. Oh, and we had another fallen for a colleague thread just last week or so so... feel free to spill all the details. "I have a slight position of seniority over him" Noted. Shouldn't be a problem, but could be. Depends on the bloke, usually. Also, it would depend on your respective ages - rsvp? "and we are both governed by an overall boss that we are both accountable to." Noted. "In the last 6 months our overall boss has started to become flirty with the guy" Your mutual boss is a woman, I take it? How unprofessional! NOTED. "and although it is not reciprocated and he handles it well," So what. It's still Sexual Harrassment if it's unwanted (which I'm sure she can quite easily tell...so it's plain Harrassment passed-off as Sexual, then). "it has changed the team dynamic." Then that is Office Bullying. " He finds her difficult as she can be intense and unpredictable" Narc trait 1 as above (prof and personal boundary-crashing). And 2 (refusing to cease). And 3 (detrimenting the general atmosphere and group dynamic, both: Ambient Control...akin to telling-off a staff-member by shouting at them disrespectfully in front of third party witnesses). Now 3: volatility and going needlessly and unprofessionally Over-The-Top. This clearly toxic woman's breaking UK Employment Law. Unless it's changed since bloody Brexit and Covid? Have you looked into it? Do you know about ACAS (they're brill - they do it all for you!)? (Just for Info Is Power purposes, preparing in-case, but confidence mainly, for-now). "to work for and has made it clear many times that he finds me better to work for," Well, obviously he would. What's his point? Is he expecting you to rescue him? Is it your job to? If it is, you're going to have to. "as I take a more reasoned, calm and assured approach, he respects how hard I work and seems professionally in awe. He looks out for me, compliments my work and work ethic and protects me when things get tough, but all in a subtle way." Looks out for you how? "So, im not really sure why this has suddenly happened, but over the last two months particularly, Ive found myself really falling for him, but feel this is now just making me socially awkward around him" Woah-woah-woah! How have we jumped from the fact you don't want to have a professional meeting with your 'next-up' and would rather see if things mend themselves (yeah, I see ya), straight to, now you're falling for him??? Why? Because you saw his softer/vulnerable side? But what happened to advocating for him, as is your official status role (I presume, by your seniority, no matter if slight?) " and shows me to him in a really poor light! I am now overanalysing our interactions which is making me struggle to make eye contact even! Even if my feelings were reciprocated I am dping everything to make him feel im an idiot! It is a classic 'I love him so much when he is gone, but when he's near me, I don't let on' scenario. I think as I've become more irritated and protective of him from our overall bosses affections, then I've realised I'm the one who has fallen head over heels!" So, yes, in other words. "Hmm..........". I smell a baby rat. "And the poor man probably just wishes we would both leave him alone! We are both in other very long standing relationships so nothing can ever come of it, i just don't know now how to stop feeling this way." Never mind all of that. If he eventual takes tribunal action against her - you're gonna be in the sh*t as well - for neglecting your position and role! I mean - I've heard of subconsciously creating a distraction for the sake of procrastination when something really cringe- and fear-inducing nags from the top of your To Do list, but - seriously?? So you can sense this woman's a complete monster, then? And that confronting, no matter how respectfully, could get her contriving to fire you? And PS: is she jealous of you and your friendship with him, do you think? RsVP. PS: You realise, the appropriate thing to do WITH A TOXIC is the double-pincer job. You and he have that (gentle) complaint meeting WITH her. Only, you don't tell her there'll be the two of you. However, as his official representative in that office, and given the topic - it's entirely appropriate in any court of law. (So PRRRTH! to her.)

Fallen for a colleague

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Forgot to add: And so is not forewarning her you'll be with him. She's already long proven she doesn't work right and reacts unpredictably so, why WOULD you tell her and risk her cancelling it altogether? See? YOU, matey, have ALL the power here. She's done enough to get herself fired for Gross Misconduct, already. Where's HER boss? Again, if you fear, based on real, pervasive evidence that you won't get a reasonable, adult, professonal, respectful reaction/response from her, you are allowed to go one above her head. ALL the power. Methinks you and he need a cafe lunch to discuss. But exit and return to the office separately, I would...even shouting at him, Good luck at the dentist!, and him replying, 'Cheers, have a nice lunch with your mum!'. Because, if she's a toxic then Pathological Envy will be in there somewhere. Better safe than sorry. OR you can ask for a meeting with your HR Officer (for advice on how to handle her) if your co. has one? But you definitely don't want her having the meeting FOR you. You need to insist you be present as technically he is YOUR member of staff, not witchy's.

Fallen for a colleague

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Why is she suddenly being flirty only in the last 6 months, though? Got to ask: is there even the remotest possibility and/or sign that she and he have slept together or something? Also - how long has HE worked there?

Fallen for a colleague

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Hold fire a bit, though. Answer all of my questions first. There may be a lot more to this than meets the eye, that you aren't aware of. I don't know, but....he's got me looking a bit fishily at him, as well, tbh. Not sure why just yet.... I'll have a think... You have one too...

Fallen for a colleague

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"and has made it clear many times that he finds me better to work for," It's this. Something about it. It could be 'help-help-help'. But it equally could be lick-lick-lick: him soft-soaping you....buttering you up...lulling you into a false sense of security. If you do that enough, you can go TOO far an have the woman so hooked on your approval (especially if you're used to being starved of credit/recognition/praise) that she 'falls in-love' with you (and then goes, How the hell did THAT happen!?). Sorry I've spun your chair a good 45 Degrees, but... what do you think of the view now? Can you potentially smell what I smell? I mean, your whole vibe up there does smack of - Who, ME?!..this is so not LIKE me! Correct? It COULD be very subtle Triangulation, you see. Aka sh*t-stirring. Between she and you. After your job. Well anyway... let's see how long he's been there and take it from there. But let's at least eliminate it from the enquiry, first. PS: When did he first start up with the approval and flattery like that?

Fallen for a colleague

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Or are you paralysed into lack of action because deep-down you sense that he handles it A BIT TOO well, ACTUALLY? I.e. keeps handling it masterfully/subtly, yet doesn't use that capability to actually put a permanent stop to it when it wouldn't take much more of a stretch to do so. Hmmmmm.... Prove me wrong, because I don't trust him, either.

Fallen for a colleague

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((My double brackets and asterisks)) https://www.happierhuman.com/narcissistic-triangulation-wa1/ "Narcissism is a personality style where the individual, called a narcissist, is excessively interested in satisfying their own needs while overlooking yours. As a result of a lack of empathy, narcissists tend to form relationships solely to gain control and satisfy those needs. Narcissists employ different types of psychological manipulation tactics to stay in control. Narcissistic triangulation is one of those. By controlling others, they’re able to achieve a steady flow of narcissistic supply. ((Like, being fancied by and (because of inevitable frustration) vyed for amongst female colleagues, whether as an end in itself (puppeteer-ing for sport) or means to cheating their way up the ladder (removing human barriers - you and/or she - to his own career promotion path). Stick around for more on what triangulation means and what it looks like in different settings. Most importantly, I’ve provided tips on how to handle this type of manipulation. What Is Narcissistic Triangulation? Triangulation is a harmful psychological and passive-aggressive tool used by narcissists and other types of manipulative personalities. It involves the narcissist complaining about you ((your boss)) to someone else ((you)) in an attempt to solve a problem in their favor. In this scenario, the narcissist is the “complainer” ((him)), you ((your Boss)) are the “victim” of manipulation, and the third person ((you)) functions as their “ally” ((- definitely!)) Instead of handling the disagreement directly with you ((her)), they do so through a back channel. ((you!)) ((See how it's fitting?)) Narcissistic individuals create the triangle to gain the upper hand when they begin to lose control of the situation. ((Has anything fairly recently made him feel a loss of control in the office? Was some responsibility/chore taken away from him? If yes - by her?)) Usually, they’ll bring in someone loyal who will do their ‘bidding’. ((You)) The person ((You)) is seen as the narcissist’s defender or ‘flying monkey.’ ((In that case, it'd be HER job he'd be after - hypothetically at this case-building stage, I should add)) Narcissists have many flying monkeys that they’ll quickly dispatch to act on their behalf. ((And there he meanwhile is - handling it like a pro yet not going all the way as a pro (funny, that)... just looking puppy-dog eyes at YOU...to take action FOR him...and yet the fact of being only SLIGHTLY his senior does give him the freedom to take her to task, directly, without your input; all he'd need were your permission and/or support. Yet - nothing... just buttering you up and looking helpless, making you feel like he - Mr Handles Her Beautifully - needs your rescuing...Am I right?)) The narcissist will give the third person ((you)) the impression you ((she)) committed some wrong against them ((him)). ((Still fitting, look?)) ((Question: were you present as a full witness to each and every single one of the things he's reported her as having done/failed at?)) Not only is this a breach of your ((her)) privacy, the narcissist usually omits critical facts favorable to you ((her)). The individual ((you)) then comes and takes their side. ((In fact, it seems he over-hit on that score, hence you've mysteriously fallen for him!)) ((PS: Spath-Narcs are the ones that over-shoot and end up going too far, like, hypothetically, he has!)) This ends up making you ((her)) look like the villain and the narcissist ((him?)) the victim. Triangulation causes negative emotional effects on victims whether or not it’s done intentionally. ((Even the whole office!)) The effects range from emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and loss of trust to developing poor self-esteem. Why Do Narcissists Triangulate? The truth of the matter is, certain narcissists are always scheming and plotting ways to manipulate situations in their favor. It’s a core part of their nature and hard to get rid of. In this case, you’ll notice they practice triangulation more in their close relationships, e.g., with their romantic partners, relatives, siblings, or friends. *****However, a narcissistic boss–or even a co-worker–may triangulate you with your colleagues to enhance or undermine your productivity.***** A third party is often introduced to create insecurity, make you doubt yourself, or undermine your integrity. Narcissists also use this form of emotional abuse to distract from the real issue, play the victim, and ‘win’ the argument. If they’re successful, this lets them escape responsibility and *****feel superior.***** If the person is your romantic partner, they may triangulate you with someone else to make you feel jealous or create a power imbalance. ((When you said, affecting the office dynamic, could creating an atmosphere of power imbalance equaLLY describe how it feels lately?)) Narcissistic Triangulation Types and Examples Someone who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or tendencies may create a triangle if they feel vulnerable, *****wish to avoid tough conversations***** ((socially climbing narcs get you - "muggins" - to do it so that they keep their popularity position and you're the one seen as the boat-rocker/trouble-maker)) *****or feel intimidated by you.****** ((- in awe of you, you said)) ((it's fitting and fitting, isn't it!)) Let’s take a look at examples of how it can manifest in various relationship dynamics. Narcissistic Triangulation in Relationships A narcissist may bring up an ex-lover or someone they’re aware you’re not thrilled about. They may speak highly of the person. ((I wonder whether he could be over-praising you to her while complaining about her to you?...and even vice-versa??)) If it’s an ex, they might say, “He/she was such a great partner” or “He/she wants me back.” Mentioning another man or woman can make you feel jealous or inferior to the third party. The goal is to make you react negatively. Getting you worked up reassures them that you care. Mentioning another man or woman can make you ((her)) feel jealous or inferior to the third party ((you)). The goal is to make you ((her)) react negatively. Getting you ((her)) worked up reassures them that you ((she?)) care. Remember, narcissists need to consistently know that other people admire and love them. Otherwise, they feel worthless. Just so you know, my narcissistic ex used triangulation to defend why he cheated. Like there’s ever a good reason for infidelity. He said the other woman gave him the attention he needed. I removed myself from the triangle and gave him my blessings to be with the other woman. By doing so, I denied him the chance of making me feel jealous and inadequate. Responding to triangulation that way also dealt a huge blow to his already fragile self-esteem. It wasn’t that I didn’t give him lots of time, attention, love, and care. The problem is that narcissistic individuals have an endless need for narcissistic supply. ((You can alter the pronouns now, to suit)) These include attention, sex, admiration, and validation. Regardless of how much you give, it’s never ever fulfilling. They need a steady flow of fuel from different people to bolster their fragile egos 24-7. Narcissistic Triangulation in Friendships The narcissist may use triangulation tactics to create strife between you and another common friend. They may say, “You know I’m a better friend than X. She always gossips about you.” This is to distract you from their narcissistic tendencies and fish for compliments from you. If not, they may try to convince you that they love and admire a certain friend very much. Don’t fall for it. The narcissist is only saying this to make you *****compete with and provide more narcissistic fuel than the other friend.***** ((Still fits)) Narcissistic Triangulation at Work The workplace could become an environment for gaslighting and triangulation if your boss is a narcissist. They already hold power over you and may use it to their advantage. One example is comparing you with your workmate to make you feel incompetent or work harder. ((- only, it's not your boss who's doing it, it's him - hypothetically...but if he is a Narc then, as far as misogynistic him would be concerned, he's the rightful, real boss because he's the man (or so he convinces himself))) On the flip side, they may confide in you about something negative your colleague said about you. They’re doing this to make you think they got your back. That way, they can exploit favors from you in the future. ((?? Is this what you meant by, looks out for you, and, protects you when things get tough?)) In another workplace scenario, a fellow employee may triangulate your boss in a spat between you two. This activates the boss, who gets involved to settle the dispute even though it has nothing to do with them. Usually, a co-worker will do this if they know the boss will take their side. How Do Narcissists Benefit from Triangulation? As the old adage goes, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd.” All triangulation does is create more problems for everyone involved. Dark narcissists, in particular, thrive on chaos and causing emotional harm to others. ((Have you noticed him acting bored, lately? Please bear in mind that a lot of them have become smoked out of the woodwork since the pressures of Brexit and Covid; many have become exacerbated as Coverts into Sociopathic territory (official fact).)) After looking at the examples of narcissistic triangulation, you may have noticed the narcissist gets something out of each situation. Praise, attention, admiration, reassurance, control, a self-esteem boost, or an “I-told-you-so” moment are among the perks. They are willing to manipulate situations and put people against each other if that is what it takes. Individuals who practice this type of narcissistic abuse on others never really stop. They just find new targets or victims. Usually, this happens when their targets catch on to their games and turn the tables on the narcissist. A Step-by-Step Way to Respond to and Stop Narcissistic Triangulation Involving third parties in your relationship with family, friends, or co-workers is all about what the narcissist wants. You may be a victim of this style of narcissistic abuse if they have a pattern of putting you against others or vice versa." ((or anyone before now, that you know about??) Now that you know what triangulation by a narcissist looks like, it’s time to shut it down and protect your mental health. Below are some tactics you could try. Beware. Going up against them can be emotionally draining, as narcissists do not like to be held accountable. Step 1: Be aware of when triangulation is happening Understanding what narcissists usually say and do when in the process of triangulation is the first key step to confronting it. Of course, they use other manipulative methods, such as deflection, gaslighting, and crazy making. However, the primary tell-tale sign they’re triangulating is when they rely on a third person to mediate on their behalf. Another sign is comparing your qualities to those of another person in a negative way. Saying someone else is better than you is how the narcissist manipulates you into getting their way. Step 2: Request a meeting with all parties Getting the narcissist and their henchmen to agree to a meeting isn’t going to be easy. Narcissists are tricky and are careful with linking you with their allies. " _________________________________________________________________________________________________ ...And so on and so forth - check it out. But you can see what had my nose twitching, now, can't you. Too much fits. My advice for-now, therefore, is proceed with the utomost of caution in case he is one and you help him take you from the frying-pan (her) into the fire ((him as your boss and no longer nice.

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