Psychology and reasoning behind bad-mouthing an ex? How to respond? Watch

Alfissti
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Anyone want to share some insights and or theories on this issue?

I always thought if you have nothing good to say about someone then the best thing to do is to say nothing at all. I've parted ways with colleagues and employees whom I never quite liked or had little to say about them and always felt the best thing to reply when asked was "No comment"

Also how would you normally respond to those bad-mouthing from an ex-partner?
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llys
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I don't know, to be honest, but I do have some theories.

Here is one: I think that when people are together with someone, they feel the need to pretend to be happy to people on the outside, even if they aren't, because they are scared of what other people think. But when they then split up with the person, the rush of relief that they can finally stop pretending is so great that they temporarily lose common sense and just take great joy in badmouthing said person.
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Alfissti
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(Original post by llys)
I don't know, to be honest, but I do have some theories.

Here is one: I think that when people are together with someone, they feel the need to pretend to be happy to people on the outside, even if they aren't, because they are scared of what other people think. But when they then split up with the person, the rush of relief that they can finally stop pretending is so great that they temporarily lose common sense and just take great joy in badmouthing said person.
Very interesting observation!!
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Freu
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There's a psychological theory of relationship breakdown that talks about phases you go through, particularly relevant to this thread are the social phase and the grave dressing phase whereby each partner creates the story that will be presented to their social circles. The stories for each partner are rarely the same, because they're constructed to make the person feel better about the breakdown of the relationship. I think there are loads of reasons to make the other half come across badly, like to make you seem like the winner of the argument in front of your friends, to make it seem like you're too good for them and boost your confidence after the blow of breaking up, to point out to yourself what their flaws were in order to make better choices in a new partner, etc etc.

It all depends on the situation really, some people break up quite well and go through the grave-dressing phase without making the other person out to be a total ****, and instead just justify it by saying that you weren't a good match or the timing wasn't right or w/e.
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To be honest it really depends on the breakup. People often say things they don't mean when they're hurt/upset/angry, so if it was a particularly nasty breakup and someone was mistreated, then it's just a way to vent out the emotion. I think both people also feel a degree of bitterness that it didn't work out and so feel the need to justify the reasons for ending the relationship/the relationship being ended by one of them.

When my ex and I split up, he was absolutely horrific towards me (and still is), and he caused a lot of pain and upset, not just for me, but for all our old friends. During the first month I wasn't particularly nice about him because I was really hurt and betrayed but still had really strong feelings for him. He let me down when I needed him most, but since then I have been the bigger person. I apologised for the things I said, but tbh the way he's behaved is much, much worse and his actions speak for themselves.

I think if he had attempted to be civil with me/make an effort with our mutual friends after, instead of ditching them, I would've been ok. It was just the complete lack of consideration that hurt.

You're mourning the loss of what used to be and I guess you go through a grieving process for the relationship.
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Alfissti
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(Original post by Freu)
There's a psychological theory of relationship breakdown that talks about phases you go through, particularly relevant to this thread are the social phase and the grave dressing phase whereby each partner creates the story that will be presented to their social circles. The stories for each partner are rarely the same, because they're constructed to make the person feel better about the breakdown of the relationship. I think there are loads of reasons to make the other half come across badly, like to make you seem like the winner of the argument in front of your friends, to make it seem like you're too good for them and boost your confidence after the blow of breaking up, to point out to yourself what their flaws were in order to make better choices in a new partner, etc etc.

It all depends on the situation really, some people break up quite well and go through the grave-dressing phase without making the other person out to be a total ****, and instead just justify it by saying that you weren't a good match or the timing wasn't right or w/e.
Interesting observation and does make a lot of sense, more interesting is why do they think people care.
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Alfissti
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(Original post by Anonymous)
To be honest it really depends on the breakup. People often say things they don't mean when they're hurt/upset/angry, so if it was a particularly nasty breakup and someone was mistreated, then it's just a way to vent out the emotion. I think both people also feel a degree of bitterness that it didn't work out and so feel the need to justify the reasons for ending the relationship/the relationship being ended by one of them.

When my ex and I split up, he was absolutely horrific towards me (and still is), and he caused a lot of pain and upset, not just for me, but for all our old friends. During the first month I wasn't particularly nice about him because I was really hurt and betrayed but still had really strong feelings for him. He let me down when I needed him most, but since then I have been the bigger person. I apologised for the things I said, but tbh the way he's behaved is much, much worse and his actions speak for themselves.

I think if he had attempted to be civil with me/make an effort with our mutual friends after, instead of ditching them, I would've been ok. It was just the complete lack of consideration that hurt.

You're mourning the loss of what used to be and I guess you go through a grieving process for the relationship.
Sorry to hear of your experience, hope it didn't cause any irreparable damage.
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Riku
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As my wise learning mentor said, 'everybody wants to feel like the good guy in a bad situation'
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(Original post by Alfissti)
Sorry to hear of your experience, hope it didn't cause any irreparable damage.
Ah, don't worry haha. It has in terms of us ever being friends. It's been nearly 3 months now and I'm doing fine, whereas he will try to find anything to bring me back down and cause drama. Sometimes it takes a while for the hurt and anger to subside.

I've forgiven him for it I just hope one day he can forgive me too. It's always a really difficult situation because so many different things can influence peoples' behaviour after breakups. I know that the people my ex hangs around with now play a big part in how he behaves towards me. They actively encourage him to be nasty. Drink and drugs etc also change people if they start doing that kind of stuff to cope with the breakup.

I think on his part it is easier to be horrible to me/about me because it makes the way he broke up with me and the way he's been since somewhat justifiable (in his eyes), because he convinces himself I'm an awful person and he was right to end things with me in the way he did.
He claims he can't see a problem with how he broke up with me, but he forces himself into denial so that he doesn't have to deal with it and finds it easiest to place the blame on me. People have very guilty consciences after breaking up sometimes.

For both dumpee and dumper it's kind of a way of forcing yourself into thinking that you no longer love or care about the other person. Again, it's denial.

The best way to respond is to just ignore it and rise above it. I tried to talk to my ex about what he and his friends had been saying/doing and the whole situation escalated ridiculously. You're best off just leaving your ex to it, they'll stop eventually when they begin to get bored and realise the only option they have is to get over you and accept that they did wrong/the relationship is over.
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Alfissti
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(Original post by Anonymous)

I've forgiven him for it I just hope one day he can forgive me too. It's always a really difficult situation because so many different things can influence peoples' behaviour after breakups. I know that the people my ex hangs around with now play a big part in how he behaves towards me. They actively encourage him to be nasty. Drink and drugs etc also change people if they start doing that kind of stuff to cope with the breakup.

The best way to respond is to just ignore it and rise above it. I tried to talk to my ex about what he and his friends had been saying/doing and the whole situation escalated ridiculously. You're best off just leaving your ex to it, they'll stop eventually when they begin to get bored and realise the only option they have is to get over you and accept that they did wrong/the relationship is over.
I'm happy to read that you have found it in you to forgive him and move on with life, it sure seems that he hasn't quite moved on.

It is interesting that you brought up the issue on the company he hangs out with.

My ex has been going all out to wash dirty linen in public. Seems no one is being spared and she is doing her utmost best to turn people against me.

First she contacted my parents, they never got on from day 1 but simply tolerated each other, she told them she had dumped me and gave them plenty of flak about how she had been treated by them, she told them she has left me but she isn't giving them the pleasure to celebrate and said since I had left our youngest daughter with them they will always have to see the ex's face in the daughter, yeah she does look 100% like the mother. Then she told my mother it must suck that her son all along preferred her mum and all kinds of hurtful stuff and she started telling them even after the split I treated her mum very well and that proved her point.

Then it was to our kids, first she tells the eldest she will never be my favourite and that was the real reason why I didn't send her to US for studies. Then she told the 2nd that I didn't love her as much as the eldest and I was most likely going to abandon her, then said I would always favour our 3rd because he is our only son. Then she told the 3rd I hated him because he doesn't do as well as his 2 elder sisters in school and told him he isn't my favourite either otherwise I would have kept him in Singapore like his youngest sister. Thankfully the elder 2 ignored their mother's vile words. Unfortunately the 3rd who is now 8 is affected by her words and his teacher told me he seems a bit low in morale now.

She tried to damage the good relationship I have with her mother, she starts by saying I am only nice to her because she has some use to me and need her to help take care of our 2 kids, then she started painting a picture of me as being the horrible one and she is taking my side. Thankfully the old lady told her to shut up and go to hell. Then she said she didn't want to get involved and to come back to see the kids when she had fixed her attitude.

Then there is her sister, she and her partner both work for me and the ex told them they both should quit before I turn nasty on them and fire them. They both gave their notice to quit though my right-hand person at that business that hired them told them both that their employment was a separate matter, he didn't want to quit but the sister forced him to quit at the same time. She then joined the chorus with the ex to bad-mouth me saying I mistreated her at work and always over-worked her and her partner. She tried to get a few of the others to quit on me as well. Thankfully other than her partner who had no choice but to listen to the sister no one else left.

Then there were 3 friends who were our mutual friends from a charity group I used to be involved in, these were the 3 that she first confided in I believe and 2 of them are basically man-hating feminist types so they by default would have taken her side and I found out from the 3rd that the other 2 had been telling the ex to bad-mouth me as otherwise everyone will think of her as the bad-guy. Thankfully the 3rd one said she didn't want to get involved.

Been a constant nightmare to fight all these fires she keeps starting, first started when I decided to empty out and close our joint account at the bank, this obviously also cancelled all credit facilities and she started firing at me for closing that account, I told her to give me her bank account and I will transfer the money there and also to give me the loan number for the car she took so I could settle the loan on it, she refuses to give me both and then starts bad mouthing me that I've mistreated her and treating her as a gold-digger.

I've decided to let it be, I just told my right-hand persons at the business I operate to bar her from entering the premise and under no circumstances she is to be allowed to enter any of the private areas. Also cancelled the phone line I had for her so she has stopped bugging my parents or our eldest who lives in UK.

I also decided to take the high ground to not retaliate as I don't want to make the situation worse than it already is. No point adding fuel to the fire. In any case she has decided to move 850km away and in future would only be around here once a fortnight so I just have to wait it out and after she is gone will try to fix if there is anything to fix.

Forgive her? While I didn't think she would do this and become this way I've decided no point holding a grudge against her and better to forgive and forget.
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yo radical one
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I would send a text

"Shut it or nudy pics getting realised"

Not that I advocate actually doing that
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