There's a woman who has to visit my firm regularly on business, and I always go into my usual narcissistic persona with her, as I do with most people really, but especially those who don't know me so well. (The closer that I get to people, the less of this I do - it's almost like a wierd form of manic anxiety.)
So I'm chatty, irreverent, laugh-a-minute, and leave this woman (like everyone else with whom I come into contact), thinking that we get on really well. With women, this sometimes translates into offers of friendship, followed by a puzzling (polite) rejection from me. Men sometimes think that I fancy them, and ask me out. (Or very occassionally proposition me. Less as I get older.)
Anyway, this woman will be making her final visit to my firm in a couple of weeks. (Tell a lie; she'll be visiting twice more, and I have to speak to her for business reasons.) She has already said, "You'll have to pop in for a cup of tea sometime.", which I somehow managed to avoid answering. (She lives nearby.) Today, she told me that she'll miss seeing me when she visits, and suggested going for a drink. I managed to deflect her with a joke about getting drunk, but as she left, she hugged me. She obviously likes me, and is going to pursue the idea of friendship.
I can say in all honesty and humility that my public self is likeable, since 'she' is not me - I don't need to explain that to other narcissists. I understand why that self will attract offers of friendship. Non-narcissists might say, "Well, don't act like that, then.", but I've been trying to change for most of my life, and self awareness hasn't changed my behaviour as far as my public persona goes.
Anyway...........what am I going to say to this woman, when she tries to make arrangements to meet up? (I'll be seeing her at work, and I really do not want to suggest meeting up outside the office even once. I've thought of just explaining that I'm happy with the 4 people already in my life, and am too much of a homebody to want extra friends.
Any suggestions? How do others cope in similar circumstances?