How to Handle Encounters with Your Narcissistic Ex in Public

How to Handle Encounters with Your Narcissistic Ex in Public how to handle encounters with your narcissistic ex in public
Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Today, I am going to be answering the question of “what to do if you see your narcissistic ex out in a public setting after going no contact?”

Let’s be real, seeing an ex who treated you like trash is never fun and easy, especially if they were heavily narcissistic and manipulative. After you finally went no contact to escape their mind games, running into them in public can stir up all those old feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion. You may feel panicky and anxious, not knowing what to do. Should you greet them, smile, or just walk away as if you don’t even know them? So, what do you do when you see your narcissistic ex in a public setting, especially when you’re practicing full no contact with them?

First thing’s first, don’t break no contact. I know the urge to scream at them or rehash the past might be strong, but engaging with a narc never ends well. They’ll just suck you back into their toxic world of manipulation. The smartest move is to act like they don’t even exist. Give them no acknowledgement, no reaction, non-whatsoever. Gray rock your way in that public place if you can.

If you have to be in the same space, avoid them as much as possible. Don’t make eye contact, don’t linger near them, just go about your business. If they try to approach you or get a rise out of you, keep calm and walk away. Narcs thrive on getting an emotional reaction, so denying them that takes away their power. Narcissists know how to press your buttons and may go to great lengths, even resorting to public humiliation, to provoke you. You don’t have to play the hero or waste your energy explaining logical nuances to them. It’s wiser to look foolish or even run away than to stand there trying to call them out or engage in a verbal fight. There’s no point in fighting; by staying away, you’re already winning, and there’s much more to gain by maintaining your distance.

Chances are they’ll try to bait you by pretending everything is all right or playing the victim. Don’t fall for it! They’re just fishing for supply and haven’t changed one bit behind that fake facade. Your mind might try to compare your current life with their seemingly flamboyant and “clean” appearance, but don’t listen to that voice. It’s the same voice that hooked you during the love-bombing phase, when you fell for their looks and superficial charm, ignoring the underlying emptiness. Stay strong in the knowledge that their issues have nothing to do with you. You broke free, and they’re just bitter they can’t control you anymore.

If you start feeling triggered by their presence, take a breather. Go to the bathroom, call a friend, do some deep breathing — whatever you need to recenter yourself. Remind yourself how far you’ve come in your healing and that this narc holds no power over you now.

The bottom line is, you’re the one who got out. Don’t let one accidental run-in erase all your progress. Stay cool, stay strong, and keep looking towards your bright, narc-free future. You’ve got this!

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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