10 ways to make your ex miserable and unhappy

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The pain of a breakup is like no other. And so it makes sense that we want our ex to feel that pain too.

I don’t think there’s a person on the planet that hasn’t fantasized about their ex being miserable without them.

We want them to be sorry, we want them to suffer. But how can you do that (and in a way that won’t backfire on you)?

Here are 10 ways to make your ex miserable that really work.

10 ways to make your ex miserable and unhappy

1) Ignore them

Cutting contact with an ex really is one of the best things you can do after a breakup.

Your ex is used to seeing you and speaking to you whenever they want. The frustration of suddenly not knowing what an ex is up to can be infuriating.

If your ex doesn’t hear from you. If you don’t text, you don’t call and you stop all contact cold turkey, they are left imagining what you are up to.

Our imagination can be powerful and weave all sorts of stories. Keep them guessing by removing rights to your life.

You often want what you can’t have, right? So make yourself out of bounds to them.

This tactic also works well for other good reasons.

If they’re going to miss you, it gives them a chance to do that. Remember, you can’t miss someone if they are still around.

In order to trigger a feeling of loss, you need to feel lost to your ex.

But perhaps the best reason is that ignoring your ex allows you the space and time you need to slowly start to feel better.

And as we will come to see, this is actually the secret key to ultimately showing your ex exactly what they lost.

2) Remove them from social media

Think of part A as ignoring them and removing them from social media as the important part B.

Because it is going to be so much more effective if they have absolutely no window into what is happening in your life.

Even if you don’t speak directly to them, if they still get to watch your stories, read your posts, and look at photos of whatever you’re doing — they still have access to you.

They won’t feel that panic of loss or wonder what you’re doing because they can still check up on you whenever they want.

To keep them guessing they cannot know anything about what’s going on in your life right now. 

Research shows that when we break up with someone, their absence creates a separation response that triggers sadness and grief — basically all those classic symptoms of heartache.

And if you want your ex to suffer like you are, then you need to trigger this separation response in them too.

And the best way to do that after a breakup is to make sure they feel your absence.

3) Focus on yourself

I know this sounds counterintuitive.

You want to hear ways to make your ex miserable, so what has focusing on yourself got to do with that?

But here’s the thing:

As I’ve already alluded to, the best way to really stick it to your ex is actually to make them realize what they are missing.

And can I be honest?

The truth is that if you get stuck feeling bitter and miserable, the truth is that they’re probably not missing out on a whole lot. And they’re going to know it.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, feeling better after a breakup is bound to take time.

But imagine bumping into your ex and being happy and smiling. Think of how annoying that will be for them to see that you are doing fine.

In order to get yourself to that place, don’t get too caught up in them. Instead, try to bring your attention to your own self-love, self-esteem, and self-care.

Because, as we’ll see next, this is the key to being the baddest ass version of yourself right now.

4) Be the best version of yourself

Your ex clearly fell for you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have dated in the first place.

Which means they saw in you so many attractive and appealing qualities. Those things are all still there.

What better revenge than to remind your ex, not only of all your amazing traits that they found irresistible when you first met, but to keep on getting even better.

A breakup is the best time to find the motivation to start something new and work on your own personal growth and development.

That could be starting a course or doing something you’ve always wanted to learn.

It might be getting to know yourself better through self-discovery and reading personal development books.

Ask yourself, what do I admire? What kind of a person do I want to be? And set about making the changes in your life that can support that.

It’s far more likely to dawn on your ex what a catch they have let slip through their fingers if you blossom into an even more epic person than before.

So if you really want to drive your ex crazy, work on being the best person you can be. And obviously, not just to send a message to your ex, but for yourself and your own future too.

5) Go out and have fun

I’m not going to lie:

For many of us going out and having fun can be the last thing on our minds after a breakup.

It’s common to want to curl up on the sofa, eat a pint of ice cream, and sob into our pillow. Well, that’s how I feel anyway.

And it is good to have a little bit of a cathartic wallow after a split. You’ve got to let it out.

But at some point soon, you also have to try to bring back some normality and cheer yourself up.

Of course, this is going to be best for you but it’s also your best chance of making your ex unhappy.

How would you feel if you thought your ex was out there having a good time? It would make you feel pretty annoyed, and kinda miserable, right?

So try to enjoy your free time, hang with friends, do hobbies, play sports, and follow your interests.

Show your ex that life hasn’t stopped, simply because they are no longer around.

6) Don’t let them see your pain

Refuse to let them see how much you’re hurting.

The reality is that we all want to think our ex is miserable without us. So if you hide your suffering from your ex, it will drive them nuts to think you’re ok.

That doesn’t mean hiding your feelings from everyone, but just them. They’ve lost the right to this level of intimacy with you.

Don’t have outbursts, don’t text them 100 times, don’t drunk dial them and leave incoherent messages asking why they’re not picking up.

Instead, let your feelings out to people who really care. Mourn privately and keep your dignity.

7) Keep it classy

Whilst we’re on the topic of dignity, the number one rule for every breakup is:

Keep. It. Classy.

I’ve read some advice out there about how to make an ex miserable that I think is really misguided.


Because it resorts to childish and petty tactics.

Whilst we want to hurt our exes, being obvious about it only makes us look small.

If you start saying bitter things or acting immaturely they are actually far more likely to be relieved to see the back of you rather than be unhappy that they lost you.

Taking the moral high ground, even when someone else is acting like a jerk, is always the best way to secretly infuriate anyone.

8) Let them think you’re over them

Clearly, you’re not over your ex yet, because it takes time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still fake it till you make it.

But there is a catch.

You should avoid purposely doing things for the sole reason of trying to make them jealous or looking for a reaction out of them. Because in all honesty, it almost always backfires.

That’s why it has to be primarily to make you feel good. Because the bottom line is that the more you feel good, the more that will probably infuriate your ex.

Research shows that smiling, even when you don’t feel happy, still tricks the brain and boosts your mood. So a little bit of faking it can actually be good for you.

When you are ready to think about dating, go for it. Rebounds aren’t always a bad idea. Studies show they help us move on and boost our confidence.

But it doesn’t have to involve dating, expanding your social group and meeting new people will have the same effect.

If you are hanging around with some new faces, it might just bring out a little bit of the green-eyed monster. And let’s face it, a little bit of jealousy never hurts when you want your ex to feel miserable!

9) Heal

You know what they say, time heals all wounds. But you can also help the process along.

It’s going to require a bit of self-awareness and some soul-searching. But the rewards can be truly life-changing.

Practice forgiveness and express and process how you are feeling in constructive ways.

And above all else, work on understanding the role of relationships in your life and the most important relationship of all — the one you have with yourself.

I know it sounds a bit heavy, but this deeper work is so powerful.

The ability people have to hurt you reduces when you strengthen this relationship with yourself and make YOU the center of your own Universe.

If you want to learn simple and effective techniques to do this then I really recommend you check out this free video from world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê.

I guarantee his teachings will give you a whole new perspective on love and romance. One that empowers you and puts you in the driving seat. So you are no longer at the mercy of someone else for your own validation and happiness.

What better way to make your ex miserable than take away their power to make you miserable?

Here’s the link again to that free video

10) Move on

Believe me, I’m no saint. In the midst of heartache, we all feel the temptation to turn to psychological mind games or acts of revenge to hurt our ex.

Because we’re hurting and we are in pain.

I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a good reason…

The best revenge really is to go out there and lead the best life you can. Because it always ends up coming down to this wise saying:

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

I know it’s easier said than done, but continuing to focus on them by trying to make them miserable will only keep you captive…not them.

You cannot project your pain onto someone else.

I know it feels like hurting them will make you feel better. But I promise you that any satisfaction will only be short-lived and it won’t take away your pain.

It’s totally normal to want our exes to hurt like we do. But at the end of the day, putting our attention on them is a red herring, because when we do so we give away our power.

They don’t have the power to take your pain away. That power lies with you and only you.

The courage you cultivate and find within to take care of yourself and heal your own wounds will make you into a stronger person.

And ironically, you moving on from your ex to rise up even higher in life is still going to be the best revenge you could ever serve up.

Louise Jackson

My passion in life is communication in all its many forms. I enjoy nothing more than deep chats about life, love and the Universe. With a masters degree in Journalism, I’m a former BBC news reporter and newsreader. But around 8 years ago I swapped the studio for a life on the open road. Lisbon, Portugal is currently where I call home. My personal development articles have featured in Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, Thrive Global and more.

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