I (20s) got fairly close with an older male (40s) in a senior position in my agency and it seemed a harmless banter filled friendship until I was going through a depressive slump and we starting having phone calls outside work hours and he insisted he would be there for me and I’m special etc, then suddenly went cold. I then found out he was doing the same thing with another girl in the agency, and has a history of this behaviour. What do I do? It’s made me proper resent this agency

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Oh girl it sounds like he’s a master manipulator who gets his kicks from using his power and fake empathy to draw vulnerable girls in and then watch them suffer as he pulls back. Make it your mission to understand this - and at all costs project a couldn’t care less demeanour. He has sociopathic issues. Don’t feed them. Only Show your strong, confident side and don’t give him any reason to think you’re intimidated. He’ll likely come crawling back as soon as you do this convincingly. Be prepared: make your mind up now that if/when he does, you’re gonna treat him like someone who you don’t care to engage with: pleasant, polite, amused even, but totally indifferent. Be impenetrable to him. Then sit back and enjoy watching him realise he lost his power over you. One final thought: he can only get to you if you let him take up your head space. DONT let him consume your thoughts. You got this.

likehelpful

This is such a sweet and helpful message. You’re so right- thank you!

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Move on from him and if he's left that bad of a bitter taste about the company, leave that too. He's just a man though so if you think that aside from him that the rest of the agency experience is positive, just continue on with your business and in respect for yourself, keep the personal feelings at home.

If you really want to take it another step if you think it's appropriate, report him to HR.

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Ok, before anyone “exposes” anyone, let’s be clear that nothing described here seems to be particularly offensive. By her own admission she was freely engaging in conversations with him, and she is a grown adult fully capable of making the decision to do so. There was no harassment, no unwanted advances, and seemingly just someone trying to be supportive. And we have no idea why he “went cold” or what he may have perceived as a reason to “go cold.” We had an executive assistant who developed a crush on a senior VP before, and when he realized what was happening, he (rightfully) changed how he interacted with her to prevent any misunderstanding. I am not saying that is what is happening here, because I do not know. But we do not know the details, and we should not be an angry mob about a man we do not know, in a situation we do not understand, based on details that have not revealed enough for us to judge.

likesmart

You will meet a lot of people in your career who will manipulate you and your emotions - intentionally or not. Best advice I can give you is to keep clear boundaries in work versus personal and guard yourself well.

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I think it’s a good lesson to learn, don’t get involved in an emotional relationship with a superior who is much older than you. It’s nice to be friendly but keep some distance and keep it professional for exactly this reason. It can affect your career in a bad way.

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He sounds extremely toxic. This unfortunately is not entirely rare in our business. Men look for ego stroking and “specialness” from young women. As the young person, it feels good to get this attention as you are building your career and acknowledgement from a superior feels promising. You should report him to HR or at least warn other young women at your agency. We need to support one another and be aware of bad behavior. I’m so sorry you went through that.

likeuplifting

Why is everyone so thirsty to doxx people?

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I know, especially because we don’t know the whole story and he didn’t do anything that crossed the line. They were both at fault for getting involved outside of the office.

OP - what is it that you want from him?

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I agree with @Publicis1 - I do not condone anyone being exposed on this platform@. Publicis1 I yes we all likely bring our own bias and interpretation to fill in the knowledge gaps but respectfully not sure it matters because the goal here is to provide support for OP who feels confused and hurt. Regardless of the facts, she feels bad so.... no brainer there.

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Expose him! Who is he?

@publicis1 - why you scared? He knew what he was doing and took advantage of his position (i.e. told her she was special, etc). Maybe more women have had similar experiences with him.

Seriously? @publicis1. Telling her she’s special is creepy. Telling her she’s talented is empowering. How do you speak to your younger female colleagues? Yes, I’m 100% sure you’re an older man and need to be educated on how to appropriately talk to your younger female partners.

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Ok...I (20s) have a series of male mentors in their 30s/40s/50s that will regularly say things like that I’m talented or special etc. can’t say I’ve ever felt it was inappropriate or crossed a line.

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