It can be extremely awkward when you break up with your significant other and then have to face them at work the next day. There are a number of ways you can handle this, though, depending on how bad the split was.
Laugh it Off
It’s always good to have a sense of humor about things. Laughing at something gives it less power over you, like the late comedian Joan Rivers once said. So, when you return to work, just keep a lighthearted, humorous demeanor, and if you need to interact with the ex, just treat them as if you have blown everything off. Smile at them, joke around, and just be the happiest person in the world. You’re proving that personal and professional don’t interact for you, and that nothing can distract your from your responsibilities.
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If you are more of a quiet, non-confrontational personality, you could also avoid the person at all costs. If you come into contact with him/her, just go the other way. Don’t make eye contact, and don’t speak to them. You can pretend like they do not exist. This is excellent if you simply want to forget them, and if you want to exact revenge. People hate being ignored even more than receiving negative attention. You could even take off for a few days if you need time to cool down. Finding another job is more extreme, but you could consider this if you do not want to see your ex again, no matter what the cost.
Try to Get Them Back
You may still have feelings for the co-worker, and want to use the workplace time to score another chance. This can be done without obstructing your duties. You may go out of your way to help the co-worker, for example, giving him/her a hand with an overwhelming task. You could also buy him/her lunch on your break. You are both in the captive in the same workplace all day, so you could certainly take advantage of this if you want to win your ex back.
This choice requires a good deal of anger and creativity, and is not encouraged, but if the breakup was bad enough, and it helps you to handle it, whatever. If the person was abusive, you could spread this around the office. You could take legal action, and possibly cost the person his/her reputation, or even their job. You could tell the boss that you feel as though the person is trying to intimidate you. Beats having to see them every day after they hurt you, right? Hey, in certain cases, it may be necessary.
Whatever You Do, it is Important to Seek Solace
Whether it be friends, family, or co-workers, it is important to have a strong foundation of emotional support during this time. This could help give you the confidence you need to face the person again, and still remain as focused and dedicated to your work as you normally are. Maybe you have another significant other around the corner that propels you. It is much better feeling alone in this, although you could certainly do it alone, if you prefer.
There are a variety of ways to handle things when a relationship with a co-worker crashes and burns. It all depends on what type of personality you have, how bad the relationship went, and how far you are willing to go. It is important to think this through before dating a co-worker.