A few weeks ago I did some work for my landlord, clearing out one of his properties where the tenants were being evicted so he could get it ready to sell. The landlord is craggily attractive, about my age. He told me he is divorcing his wife. He didn’t say why, and I didn’t ask. I felt embarrassed when he told me this. I really didn’t want to know why. At first I didn’t connect this news with his recruiting of me to help him clear out one of his properties.
I got paid well to help him clean up the place, which was a disaster. The first day I wore a Hazmat suit (due to meth dust and dog fleas). The second day I wore skinny jeans and a tank top. He complimented me on the dragonfly tattoo on the back of my right shoulder.
He didn’t touch me but I noticed the way he kept looking at me, like a dog looks at bowl of food. I didn’t have a problem, in fact I barely registered this. Otherwise, he was perfectly fine. He didn’t try to touch me or make suggestive remarks. We actually had a good time clearing out the place.
He took me out to lunch while the flea bombs were working, an expensive place with excellent Greek and Italian food.
I didn’t hear from him again until this morning. When I saw his name on my phone, I assumed it was about the rent, part of which is late again. But the text said he liked the outfit I wore the last time we worked together, and could I please text him a photo of me in it.
I did not reply to this text.
I know this guy’s a player and probably a narc too. I get strong narcvibes from him. Especially because he’s flirting with me before he’s even divorced. But I don’t want to get on his bad side, because I don’t want to lose my apartment! When your landlord begins to flirt with you, things can get pretty dicey.
I’ve had enough experience dealing with narcissists and am pretty well educated about them too. If he’s really just love bombing me because he sees me as good potential supply, I think I know how to disarm him without angering him: appeal to his ego, while at the same time making the rejection MY fault, putting no responsibility on him. Like a razor blade wrapped in a sugar cube. He’d barely register that it’s a rejection at all. I’d say something like, “I’m really flattered you liked my outfit that day, but I was in an abusive relationship for years and am not over it yet. I’m still just trying to work on myself, find out who I am. I do find you attractive (that would not be a lie, because he is) but right now, I couldn’t handle anything more than just friendship. I’ll be happy to be your friend, but that’s all I can be right now. Besides, you’re not divorced yet. Wait until that happens and then we can talk about this more.” I still have no problem doing work for him should he ask again.
I would not be leading him on or saying anything that would cause narcissistic injury (assuming he is a narcissist at all). It’s also leaving a window of opportunity open, on the off chance that in the future I find he’s not a narcissist at all and someone who might actually be good for me.