Working with suspected narc

(6 Posts)
ChubbyForensics Sat 26-Sep-20 17:24:55

I work in a room with mostly one other person, there used to be more comings and goings but now due to covid this has reduced a lot so most of the time it is just me and this one other person. There are things i can do outside of the room but she rarely leaves it so i give her a break from me but she does not give me a break from her. She has been snippy the last few weeks and everything i say she tells me i am wrong or tries to get a dramatic reaction. She has ramped it up since i had a day off work a few weeks ago for a job interview. We used to be friends and she would have other enemies that she focused her negativity on, i believe she always needs to have an antagonistic relationship with someone, it just happens that i am now in the firing line. She is quite elderly (boomer), I am a graduate and when a managerial position came up we both applied for the job and i got it despite her many more years of experience. She did not take this well.

I talk to her as little as possible and try not to respond in a negative way back. I've thought of keeping a tally chart as to how many times a day she tells me i am wrong, just to make things lighter.

I am becoming worn down by it and believe she is feeding off creating a toxic work environment for me.

Any tips on how to deal with this situation please wise mumsnetters as i need to protect my well being for the sake of my lovely family who deserve a well balanced mum who isn't worn down.

OP’s posts: |
BF2748 Sun 27-Sep-20 09:54:38

Sorry to hear this op! So hard especially as it’s only you two i bet you feel on eggshells and don’t Escape it whilst you’re there.

I would tell her straight up that you’re not going to tolerate her talking to you in a certain way. She needs to be put back in her place and you’re going to have to tell her firmly that if she is bitter that she didn’t get the job she’s going to have to get on with it, but you won’t be disrespected by her because you got the job. The days of her talking to you like crap are over. I know you may not like confrontation, I don’t know many people that do, but learn to stand up for yourself. You not engaging with her isn’t stopping her from acting like this you need to tell her to back off. Maybe tell her that you used to get along and you’re not going to be her target because no one else is around. If she’s going to be like that tell her she’s going to have to work in another area of the office.

You saying keeping a tally chart to keep it light doesn’t help because for you you’re seeing it as reminder of being treated like crap and if you mention it to her it looks passive aggressive you need to be direct with her, show her you mean business, be strong.

Are you her manager? If so talk to her like one, make it clear she will be reprimanded if she continues to talk to you like that as her superior. Let her know you’ve let things slide because you once respected her but she has to improve her Behaviour otherwise you’ll have no choice but to talk to your colleagues about the action to take.

You can sort this! Get some confidence and tell her once and for all!!

whatisforteamum Sun 27-Sep-20 22:39:08

I know how you feel.I find myself in a similar situation.Life can be hideous if you find yourself trapped with a disrespectful work colleague or even worse team.
Do you have a boss above you? Can they support you at all?.good luck with it all.

ChubbyForensics Tue 29-Sep-20 19:53:49

Thank you for your advice, when I read it it gave me more confidence and things improved on Monday without me having to say anything directly as I had a different attitude. Things had been allowed to slide due to the previous friendship and her being more experienced at the job. Our new boss wants more people to have a leadership role so last week I officially became line manager to 2 of my colleagues in the department so this may have upset her also.
It does seem as though she is deliberately antagonistic and would love a big showdown or argument or me complaining to our boss, she thrives on it but I do agree that ignoring the bad behaviour did not stop it but I don't want to be manipulated into reacting as she wants.
I will see how things are going forward, I feel a lot less friendly to her and have definitely become less tolerant of her deliberately trying to upset my well being. She is obviously very used to this dynamic.

OP’s posts: |
ChubbyForensics Tue 29-Sep-20 20:04:28

Thank you for your message, sorry to hear you have a similar situation to deal with. I haven't got my boss involved yet as I think this will add to the drama, I will need to give examples of things she had done and said and she will deny them, this happened back in March and she loves the drama of that kind of thing.
I will do if necessary though. Today for example I said the work seems to be slowing down a bit now - I meant that we are getting through the more urgent work and there was now less of it. She took it personally and said well I certainly haven't been slowing down I've done loads of work today. I said so have I, but she was inferring that I hadn't done much and I was slowing down. Everything I say is twisted so I speak to her very little.

OP’s posts: |
carlywurky Thu 01-Oct-20 20:49:11

I think I recognise this type. It's incredibly wearing to be around. My one would have reacted the same way about the work slowing comment - more to defend herself than attack though. She is hyper sensitive to actual or perceived criticism. I had to pick my battles or everything became a time sapping drama involving as many people as she could drag in.

What I found is she actually wanted boundaries. When she pushed me too far (nasty comments to other team members to try and undermine me) I dealt with her firmly, often to the point that she cried (from me being direct, I'm never unkind). That then reset things for a few weeks/months until it happened again. It wasn't the working relationship I'd want with anyone but it was what it was. I changed team not long ago so she went to another manager. The relief..

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