wikiHow to Be a Good Person After a Break Up

Just about everyone will go through a painful breakup at some point. You're not alone in being tempted to let your anger surface. However, taking the high road and trying to be a good person in spite of your pain can help you grow as an individual and get over the relationship. With time, you may even be able to repair your friendship.


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    Cut off all contact - for now. Cutting down interactions with your ex after a messy breakup will reduce the temptation to get into another screaming match. Even if you plan to stay friends with your ex, give yourself some space at first. Getting over the breakup will only be more difficult if you're constantly reminded of what you lost or why you're angry.
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    Find a safe way to release your rage. Hurt feelings are a natural consequence of a breakup, and allowing yourself to mourn the end of the relationship is part of moving on. Instead of directing your angry energy toward ranting about your ex, though, try to find an activity that will help you let out your emotions in a safe and constructive way. Try a new hobby, or revisit a favorite pastime.
    • A lot of people find that taking up an intense physical activity is the best way to do this. Showing aggression while playing a sport is one of the few socially acceptable ways to get angry, and the sheer exhaustion of hard work can distract you from the breakup. (And all the activity can help you tone up before you hit the dating scene again!)
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    Resist the urge to expose your ex's flaws. After breaking up with someone, you probably know all sorts of unsavory and unlikable things about him or her. As much as you want to trumpet these things to the world, hold off. As the old saying goes, dragging someone else through the mud gets you dirty, too. If the information is not directly relevant to the health or safety of another person, zip it.
    • If you really can't put off the temptation, write down everything nasty about your ex on a piece of paper. Fold it up and store it in a secret location, planning all along to eventually destroy it. When you finally feel like you're over the breakup, get rid of it.
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    Don't talk to everyone about the breakup. Of course you should discuss the breakup with a few trusted friends, but don't succumb to the temptation to broadcast the event to anyone who will listen - even if you only want to talk about how hurt you are. Keeping your mouth shut communicates that you can be trusted to keep private matters private.
    • If someone outside your immediate circle asks you directly about the issue, smile and politely say, "I'd rather not talk about it. Thanks for understanding."
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    Focus on your best qualities. Instead of dwelling on what it is about you that contributed to the breakup, turn your attention to appreciating your best traits. If you must, look in the mirror and say out loud what you like about yourself, or write down the compliments other people pay you in one easy-to-access location. Repeat these exercises as often as you need to. Building up your confidence will lessen the temptation to tear down your ex.
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    Acknowledge the good. There had to be something worthwhile about the relationship, or you wouldn't have entered it in the first place. Even if the majority of it was terrible, it still contributed to your personal growth in some way. Once you have a little distance from the breakup, take note of the valuable things you gained from dating your ex, and remember that you can't change the past - you can only learn from it.


  • Resist the urge to dive into another relationship right away. Instead, use this time to heal and work on yourself before you start directing your attention to dating someone else.
  • Delete your ex's phone number and email address (at least for now). Having access to this information when you're distressed could have negative consequences.
  • Don't use your mutual friends as ammunition. If someone you're close to wants to keep up a friendship with your ex, try to accept it gracefully.


  • If you possess sexual images of your ex, do not share them with anyone else and delete them immediately. If your ex is considered a minor in your jurisdiction, spreading those images could constitute sexual exploitation of a minor (a felony) even if you're a minor, as well.
  • Be aware that making defamatory or malicious remarks about your ex - whether it's in text or in speech - can potentially get you sued for libel or slander.

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Categories: Relationship Issues | Breaking Up