Sometimes fate forces you and an ex to see each other every day, like if you work together. Here's what to say to your ex in that situation while being civil.

While sparks may have flown when your first met each other in the office, break ups inevitably do happen sometimes. When they do, having your ex in your workspace is probably the last thing you want to happen.

Admittedly, being in a situation where you see your ex every day, can be extremely difficult on the heart and on the mind. It can even make it harder for you to move on. 

In a recent survey conducted by YourTango.com, 81% of singles admitted to thinking about their ex an unhealthy amount. 

For us, this was no surprise. It just proves that most of us are hung up on our exes! So, seeing how prominent thoughts of an ex can be, naturally, the next question is: how can we survive if we have to see our ex every day?

In an attempt to answer, today we will cover some ideas on what to say to your ex if fate, unfortunately, forces you to see them after your break up. 

The 3 key elements to hone in on: 

What to say to your ex can be really tricky as on the inside, you may be fighting back tears or rage. But on the outside, you have to remain calm, cool and collected. Luckily, there are three key emotional factors you can lean on.  

(1) Confidence

Whether you want to get back with them or are still just dealing with grief, don't let on to your ex that something is up. 

Even if acting confident may be hard when the wound is still fresh, it's all about faking it until you make it. 

After all, it was Charles Darwin who first claimed that “The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensi­fies it.” In other words, smiling or acting confident on the outside, can eventually make you feel confident and happy on the inside. 

(2) Stay professional 

If it is outside of a work environment that you are seeing your ex, it is still important to stay professional. 

If you can't think of what to say to your ex, perhaps just don't say anything at all!

In fact, an article by Business Insider suggests that remaining silent can put the ball in the other person's court which can buy you more time to reflect on what you actually want or SHOULD say. 

Sure, a few seconds of silence may be uncomfortable, but learning to use silence to your advantage and learning to become more mindful is a great strategy when you don't know what to say to your ex.

(3) Be optimistic 

Emotionally, it is no secret that the period right after a break up can be a tumultuous time. Seeing your ex every day brings up questions in your head such as "Does he/she think of me?" "Why did this happen?" "Do they still love me?" 

We urge you to be optimistic in the sense that, eventually, you will be able to regain control of your single life and feel like an individual again.

The power of suggestion is real, and with this optimism in mind, you can get past those cringe-worthy moments of seeing your ex.

What to say to your ex in a world where social media exists... 

Independent.co.uk claims that a third of people IN a relationship still have glanced at their ex's Facebook page. That's a lot! 

Another study found that internet use correlates strongly with social anxiety and depression. 

You probably didn't need the reminder, but the way in which your ex appears on social media is not an accurate representation of what he or she is like in real life. Behind that flashy Instagram, they may be just as heartbroken as you are. 

Regardless, don't focus on social media. If you are struggling with what to say to your ex's face, mentioning a detail of their life that they didn't actually tell you in person, just sends the message that you are still hung up on them. 

If you can't help yourself, block them on all social media platforms. It is already enough that you see them every day, so why torture yourself more? 

Separate work from your ex

Whether it is at the workplace or on the street, you probably aren't seeing your ex to go on a date with them. Therefore, you should keep your personal affairs aside. 

Don't talk about your personal relationship with each other. You've said what needed to be said and you've done what needed to be done. If you really truly feel like the conversation needs to be opened up again, be strategic about where. 

In addition to not discussing your relationship with your ex themselves, keep all talk of them strictly to particular friends and family members. Having all your co-workers be involved in your business, just makes the situation that much harder. And at least one of your co-workers is sure to let slip something you said back to your ex. Don’t risk this and you will maintain your façade of confidence. 

It's similar to keeping your bed and your desk separate. Research says that if your body gets used to doing work in your bed, it can be hard to go to sleep at night because your brain does not associate your bed with sleep. 

The same is true here. If you talk about your ex wherever and whenever, your brain will begin to associate your place of work and other locations with your ex. There will be reminders of them everywhere!

At the end of the day, it's about closure 

Your ex is human, just like you. Once you've gotten proper closure, The Journal of Positive Psychology, says that it takes about three months to start to feel like yourself again and see your break up in a positive light. 

To conclude, it can be hard to figure out what to say your ex. But we should also warn you that getting back with your ex is probably a tempting and BAD idea. 

Whether for reconciliation or revenge, hooking up with your ex can re-stir all the emotional progress you have made. 30% of people in this study, admitted to getting back with their ex at least once after a break up!

Don't be a part of this statistic!

For more on breakups, relationships, and love click here... and good luck!

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   


Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS