How To Treat An Ex Who Treated You Badly

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Written By Alexis

Alexis has 7 years of experience as a relationship therapist, a degree in psychology, and a deep personal understanding of human relationships.

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how to treat an ex who treated you badly

Breaking up with someone is rarely a walk in the park, especially when your ex has treated you poorly. 

It seems like there’s not much to be done about it, right? The pain and hurt from such an experience can be overwhelming, leaving you with mixed emotions, including anger, sadness, and frustration. 

This begs for the answer to the question: how to treat an ex who treated you badly? 

While it’s natural to feel hurt and even seek revenge, harbouring negativity towards your ex will only weigh you down and hinder your personal growth. 

Instead, rising above the bitterness and handling the situation with maturity and grace can lead to healing and empowerment. 

There are simple yet powerful ways to navigate the aftermath of a breakup with an ex who treated you badly. 

Embracing these timeless sayings can provide valuable insights and reminders of your strength to overcome challenging circumstances. 

From choosing kindness over retaliation to understanding the importance of forgiveness, I will delve into how you can help yourself find inner peace and move forward with your life.

Forgiveness, in particular, is a powerful tool that can free you from resentment. 

While it may be clichéd, forgiving your ex doesn’t mean excusing their hurtful behaviour; it’s about freeing yourself from the burden of holding grudges. 

As the saying goes, “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” By letting go of bitterness, you create space for healing and personal growth, allowing yourself to start anew without carrying the weight of the past. 

A little bit of quick wit and social awareness is all it takes to make those unpleasant situations less embarrassing and more tolerable. 

Simple Ways On How to Treat an Ex Who Treated You Badly 

1. Kill them with kindness

While it might be tempting to retaliate and give equally to an ex who treated you badly a taste of their own medicine, an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind; therefore, taking the high road is a wiser choice. 

Treat them with kindness, even if they don’t deserve it. Doing so demonstrates strength and maturity, proving their hurtful actions won’t bring you down. 

Remember, it’s not about showing weakness but refusing to let their negativity affect your character.

ALSO READ: How To Get Out Of Emotionally Abusive Relationship

2. Forgive and forget

As stated earlier: Forgiveness is a powerful tool that can free you from resentment. 

As clichéd as it may sound, forgiving your ex doesn’t mean condoning their behaviour; it’s about releasing yourself from the burden of holding grudges. 

To err is human; to forgive is divine is a wise saying about how to treat an ex who treated you badly. 

Holding onto bitterness only hinders your growth and happiness. Embrace the idea of starting fresh without carrying the weight of the past.

3. Time heals all wounds

It might not feel like it now, but the pain will subside with time. Healing is a gradual process, and as each day passes, you’ll become stronger and more resilient. 

Allow yourself to grieve the end of the relationship, but also give yourself permission to heal and move on from how your ex treated you. 

Remember, the future holds endless possibilities; every ending is a new beginning.

4. Living well is the best revenge

It can send a powerful statement when your ex sees you thriving and happy. Focus on your personal growth, pursue your passions, and surround yourself with positive influencers. 

Honestly, I can say “the best revenge is massive success.” 

Living well shows your ex that their mistreatment hasn’t broken you. Let your success be the ultimate response to their negativity.

5. Ask How They Are Sometimes

Inquire about their well-being, but avoid seeming overly eager or amiable. 

Adopt a casual demeanour, as you would when greeting an acquaintance, yet show curiosity in the response.

6. Be Respectful Towards Your Ex

No matter what transpires between you two, maintain composure and courtesy. Maintain your composure and conduct yourself with dignity.

Remember that you have the courage and self-assurance to face some interactions with your ex. 

Instead of letting them control your emotions, focus on your development and well-being. 

You’ll demonstrate to them and yourself that you’re progressing in life if you maintain your composure and dignity. You can do this.

7. Actions speak louder than words

Talk is cheap: rather than engaging in heated arguments or endless discussions about past grievances, let your actions do the talking. 

Show your ex that you’re moving forward and building a fulfilling life without them. 

Speak positively about your plans and achievements, and avoid getting entangled in pointless drama. Positive actions will always have a more significant impact than empty words. 

8. Leave It Brief

Do small talk and be gentle when you both meet at a function, but avoid needless discussions. 

You’re no longer required to follow up with them, so keep it brief and straightforward.

9. Rise like a phoenix from the ashes

Use this challenging experience as an opportunity for personal growth; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Channel the pain and disappointment into strength and resilience. 

Just like a phoenix rising from the ashes, emerge from this situation more assertive and more determined than ever; this is an excellent way to handle an ex who treated you badly. 

Focus on becoming the best version of yourself, and let the past be a stepping stone to a brighter future.

10. Don’t cry over spilt milk

 Instead of dwelling on what went wrong in the past, focus on the present and what you can do to improve your life. 

Learn from the mistakes made during the relationship, and use those lessons to make better choices. 

Cleaning up spilt milk is much more productive than crying over it. This is crucial if you are to get better at how to treat an ex who treated you badly; clean up and move on. 

11. Turn pain into purpose

Dealing with a hurtful breakup can feel like life has handed you a bag of lemons. Instead of letting the sour taste of pain consume you, use it as an opportunity to turn your pain into purpose. 

Channel your emotions and energy into activities that bring fulfilment and meaning to your life. 

Engage in hobbies, volunteer work, or personal projects that align with your passions and values. 

You’ll find strength and a renewed sense of self-worth by shifting your focus from the hurtful past to a purposeful present.

12. Don’t pretend you’re unaware of them

Don’t act like you don’t know them when you run into your ex. You can use a polite grin or a nod to recognize their presence as you look at them. 

You’re both strong enough to deal with seeing one another outdoors without the entire world imploding.

13. Choose the Right Path

Be the stronger person in such awkward situations. When you see your ex, exude warmth and civility. If you are hesitant to do so, there’s no reason to take part in pointless chats. 

This is an excellent strategy on how to treat an ex who has treated you badly. 

I’ve got three words to offer you if you’re experiencing the need to address them about their previous cruel behaviour:

ALSO READ: The Moment A Women Realizes She Has Lost A Good Man

Don’t do it!

It’s normal to feel angry and want to react violently, but doing so won’t help you find closure. It’s imperative that you follow suit now that they have moved on. 

I realize it’s easier said than done, but this is a chance to be empathetic and rise beyond the circumstance.

14. Embrace the power of self-care

It’s easy to neglect self-care when going through emotional turmoil, but it’s precisely what you need the most. 

Take time for yourself and engage in joyful and relaxed activities. Your ex won’t see you as a low-life. 

Whether exercising, meditating, reading, or spending time in nature, prioritize activities that nurture your well-being. 

Taking care of yourself will enable you to handle the situation clearly and calmly.

15. Set healthy boundaries

Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial. Define what you will and won’t tolerate in your interactions with them. 

Limit the time and energy you invest in discussing past conflicts, and avoid getting drawn into unnecessary arguments. 

By setting clear boundaries, you protect yourself from further emotional harm and create space for healing and growth.

16. Be Courteous

Be courteous if you run into your ex. Avoid disputes and embarrassing situations by refraining from bringing up past incidents. 

Maintain a positive attitude; you are better than that.

17. Stay True to Your Plans

Don’t alter your plans to avoid running into your ex. If you usually visit the farmers market on Saturdays and it coincides with their visit, keep your routine the same.

Treat your ex who treated your badly as a stranger you meet at the groceries store. 

Similarly, if you both attend the same gym in the evenings, don’t change your schedule or switch to another gym to avoid them.

You don’t have to worry about bumping into them; you’ve come this far, so don’t back off now.

If they don’t like it, they can adjust their plans. You have every right to be where you want to be.

18. Protect Yourself

Finally, it’s wise to delete your ex’s phone number. Imagine this scenario – you bump into them on the street, exchange friendly words, and suddenly all those old feelings rush back.

In a vulnerable state, you might text or make a call you’ll regret later.

By deleting their number, you’re safeguarding yourself from impulsive actions that may stem your emotions.


You’ve got the tools to treat your ex like a pro. It’s all about embracing your confidence, taking the high road, and maintaining your composure. 

Radiate kindness and set boundaries that protect your well-being.

Cleaning up spilt milk is much more productive than crying over it. This is crucial if you are to get better at how to treat an ex who treated you badly; clean up and move on. 

Remember, you don’t owe your ex anything and you have every right to prioritize your happiness and peace of mind. Stay strong, stay true to yourself, and let life unfold as it’s meant to be.

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