Here’s Why Talking Trash About Your Ex Can Help You Move On After A Breakup


You want to take the high road, you really do. You’re a strong, smart, mature adult who doesn’t need to resort to low blows in order to get revenge on a crappy ex. However, sometimes you really can’t help yourself. Being the bigger person doesn’t always feel worth it, and there are times when you want to sit around talking trash about your ex and all the reasons they suck. Try not to be too hard on yourself about this. After all, it might just be good for you.

Why do we love badmouthing our exes so much?

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure this one out. Talking s**t about someone who screwed you over or treated you like crap is natural. It’s a way to express outrage, shock, amusement, and all the other extreme emotions that can come with breakups. There’s something about that just sorta fills your whole body with adrenaline and gets you all amped up. It allows you to momentarily forget about the fact that you’re really sad and heartbroken. Instead. you feel like you can take on the world, even if only for a moment. It’s like a drug.

Is talking trash about your ex (or anyone) healthy?

This is a toughie. It can be healthy to vent about a former partner and relationship in many ways. Keeping your emotions under wraps can quickly become overwhelming and have a detrimental effect on your mental and even physical health. As human beings, we need to be able to offload what’s going on in our heads and hearts. Talking trash may not necessarily be productive, but the emotional relief it provides can be seriously beneficial.

That being said, it’s possible to take it too far. By becoming fixated on tearing your ex down to the people around you, you run the risk of ruining your own reputation instead. You can quickly paint yourself as bitter and petty, especially if your ex is happily moving on and paying you no mind. Becoming known as a bunny boiler is not a good look, and could even impact your future relationships.

Furthermore, talking trash about someone can harm their reputation and hurt their feelings. Yes, you should care about this even if they are your ex. Engaging in this behavior may also make it harder for the two of you to reconcile or maintain a civil relationship, especially if you have mutual friends or if you may need to interact with each other in the future.

You’ll need to tread carefully. However, if you’re smart, venting about your ex can expedite the healing process.

How trash talking your ex can help you move on

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  1. It helps you process your emotions. Unloading about your ex with your best friends or family can help you process and release negative emotions that may still be lingering after the breakup. Talking about your feelings can help you make sense of them and gain closure even if you don’t realize it in the moment. Upon reflection, you might just work through some tough emotions you’ve been hanging on to for a while.
  2. It helps you gain perspective. Talking trash can also help you get your head around the relationship and what went wrong. By looking at the situation objectively, you can learn from your experiences and use this new knowledge to move forward. Admittedly, this revelation may take a while to come, but it’s refreshing when it does.
  3. It reduces stress. Venting can be a stress reliever and can help reduce anxiety and depression. Talking about your experiences can help you feel more in control of your emotions and less overwhelmed. Again, keeping things pent up is going to make you feel more tense and upset. By giving voice to what’s going on inside you, you can relinquish its power over you.
  4. You can reclaim your own power. Talking trash about your ex can seriously help you feel like you have regained some power and control in the situation. If you felt mistreated or wronged in the relationship, it can be a way to assert yourself and reclaim your self-respect. This is all in your head, of course — your ex has no idea you’re verbally eviscerating him to your friends. However, the effect it has on your psyche is palpable.
  5. It’s a great way to call on and strengthen your support system. Venting to a trusted friend or therapist can also help you feel less alone. Talking about your experiences with someone who listens and offers guidance highlights just how connected you are with others. Once you realize you’re not on your own and there are people around you who care and can help, everything changes for the better.
  6. It can promote healing. Venting can be an important part of the healing process, as it helps you work through what you’re feeling and what happened and showing you there’s a brighter future ahead. By talking about your experiences and processing your emotions, you can begin to let go of the past and focus on building a happy and healthy life.

A final note

Like many things, talking trash requires caution and moderation to be successful. By getting caught up in a cycle of tearing your ex down, you could end up impeding your own progress and actually setting the healing process back. It’s important to moderate your own behavior. If you feel yourself becoming too fixated, you should stop the behavior in its tracks and examine why it’s having such a hold on you.

There’s no one perfect way to move on after a breakup. Everyone is different, as is every relationship. As a result, the time it takes to get over your ex and the journey to getting there is individual to you. Try not to force things and let yourself be in the moment. You’ll make it to the other side, we promise.

Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia