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10 reasons why your ex-girlfriend is so mean to you

Is your ex-girlfriend mean to you for…no particular reason?

The period after breaking up is confusing and conflicting and so many different emotions wrapped into one unpleasant package but there’s something you don’t understand: why, of all things, is she still being mean?

While women are supposedly “difficult” to understand, they actually aren’t; it’s just a matter of listening to what she says and observing her behavior, pairing it up with your past experiences with her.

In this article, we’ll walk you through 10 reasons why your ex-girlfriend is mean to you.

1) She wants to validate the breakup

One reason why your ex-girlfriend is mean to you is that she’s trying to validate the breakup.

The two of you made the decision to break up and now she feels like that decision needs to be signed and sealed.

For her, one way to say that you’ve officially called it quits with each other is for her to make enemies out of the two of you by being mean to you.

She could be trying to convince herself that she wants this breakup, at the same time trying to convince you that you want this as well. If she’s mean to you, maybe she thinks it’ll make it more clear to her that you’re not the one for her.

The clearer that is to her, the more she’ll be at peace with the breakup because she’s thinking that if you keep fighting, you probably aren’t meant to be.

2) She has mixed feelings about you

Once it’s done, it’s done, right? No hard feelings?

Well…maybe some feelings.

If she’s truly moved on, she wouldn’t bother being mean.

You just ended a relationship with each other, and depending on the relationship, that could be a big change for both of you. That comes with emotions attached, and those are never easy to control.

Since she can’t control how she feels about you, she could still have lingering feelings for you.

Whether this is in a romantic sense, an angry one, a desperate one, a longing one — she could be feeling all sorts of things that she won’t tell you about, and feeling all of these things at the same time can be frustrating for her.

She might even miss being with you and talking to you, so she’s thinking that negative attention from a fight is still the attention that she wants.

Because she still feels things for you, she still has a connection to you, and that connection can cause her to be mean to you because she might not want it.

3) She’s pretending to be over you

If your ex-girlfriend is mean to you, it could be because she’s pretending to be over you.

She needs to prove to herself and the people around her (including you) that she’s over you, so she could show that by acting out and being hostile, committing to that “enemies” label that she’s chosen to slap onto your now-ended relationship.

Maybe she’s thinking that if she’s mean to you even when she hasn’t moved on, it’ll speed up the process because she’s already acting like she has; kind of like a fake-it-’til-you-make-it scenario.

She hasn’t accepted the breakup because if she has, she wouldn’t keep poking at the wound and stay angry with you. She’d move on.

If this is the case, it could be an explanation for her aggressive (or passive-aggressive) behavior.

This is especially true if she’s mean to you in front of mutual friends; she could be putting on a show, and you’re unfortunately the antagonist in her script.

4) She’s jealous

If you’re dating again, she might be mean to you because she’s jealous and wants you back.

This might not make sense especially if she’s the one who broke things off, but like I said, feelings are hard to control and even harder to get rid of. If she’s jealous, she’s jealous. There’s not much she can do about it.

It might also not make sense because why would she be mean to get you back?

The answer to that is she probably doesn’t mean to. Jealousy is an ugly but overpowering feeling and it’s hard to keep it out of how you speak or how you act.

So if she’s mean to you, it could be the jealousy leaking into her behavior — even if she maybe doesn’t want it to.

5) She’s mad about your past

If your breakup was messy and dramatic and hurtful, you can’t expect her to easily move on from that.

Depending on how long your relationship was, you may have been through a lot together.

That being said, there might have been more than “a lot” towards the end of your relationship, when the reasons for breaking up got more intense and harder to ignore.

Words were said, deeds were done and there’s no erasing that. But that could explain why she’s being so mean to you; she could still be angry over what happened to your relationship.

All of her bad memories from your time together are tied to you, so she might be acting up whenever she sees you because she doesn’t want to be reminded of what happened between you two.

You are unfortunately that reminder, so she could be taking it out on you.

Of course, this isn’t to say that it’s alright for her to be mean to you; like all the reasons here, they’re only explanations and not excuses.

6) She may be acting according to her attachment style

There may be something in her past (before you) that explains why she’s being mean to you or something to do with her attachment style.

Did any attachment issues come up during your relationship? Has she had a similar bad experience with an ex before this?

The breakup might be digging up some old trauma that she’d prefer to stay buried, but now that it’s out in the open, she’s lashing out at you because you’re the reason she had to face it again.

How she views her past experiences can depend on her attachment style.

Everyone has a specific attachment style that shapes how they act in relationships, and they’re usually formed in early childhood. There are four of them:

  1. Secure people feel secure and connected with their romantic partners.
  2. Anxious-preoccupied people often feel emotional hunger, looking for a partner who can complete them.
  3. Dismissive-avoidant people seek isolation and distance themselves from their partners to maintain their pseudo-independence.
  4. Fearful-avoidant people are afraid of being both too close and too distanced from others.

If your ex-girlfriend’s attachment style is one of the three maladaptive ones, there’s a chance that she’s acting out because you did something (breaking up) that triggered any negative emotions that her attachment style brings.

Say she has an anxious-preoccupied attachment style. She could have the tendency to want partners that give her undivided attention and if she suddenly doesn’t have that with you, it could leave her with a tornado of negative emotions — turning you into collateral damage.

7) She’s holding a grudge

Another reason why our ex-girlfriend is mean to you could be that she’s doing it out of spite.

No matter who the dumper and the dumpee were, the breakup must have hurt for her; people don’t like feeling hurt.

Because the breakup (and more directly, you) hurt her, she could be angry because you caused her to feel that way, so she could be trying to guilt you into blaming yourself for what happened.

She wants you to see how much you messed up her life and show you that she doesn’t forgive you.

What better way to do that than to be mean and cause you to see what you “turned her into”?

If she’s making your life more difficult than it needs to be, she’s still mad at you for everything that happened surrounding the breakup. This could even include issues that she had with you even before the breakup process.

She’s holding a grudge, and nothing is more satisfying and personally harmful than holding a grudge.

8) She’s finding her worth

If she starts talking about being a better person and finding herself again, that’s when you know she’s at this stage.

There’s always that point in the breakup process when you get angry at your ex because you realize that you deserve better than how you were treated.

She might be upset if she’s in that mindset of “I should have known better”, causing her to be mean to you because she believes that you wronged her.

In her head, she could be trying to get past the hurdle that is you to get to her goal of a better version of herself. She might think that you’re what’s holding her back from the rest of her life.

This isn’t to say that you necessarily made her feel worthless.

It’s just a fact that some people go through this self-development stage, and before they can start working on their self-development, sometimes they have to pass that checkpoint of anger first.

It just so happens that that checkpoint is you.

9) She doesn’t want to hurt you

Wait, what?

Imagine you’re fresh from a breakup and you’re about to tell your friends and family. Even more specific, imagine you were the dumper.

How exactly do you tell your mutual friends that you broke your ex’s heart…?

Easy — make it look like you broke each others’ hearts.

Even if she’s the one who hurt you, no one wants to look like the bad guy. Solution: pick a fight with you and look like the victim, too.

She doesn’t want to feel like she hurt you because she’ll feel guilty about it, so she’d rather have the two of you hurt each other by being mean to you in the hopes that you’ll take the bait and be mean right back.

10) She thinks you’re not getting the message

If you’re a man, it can be hard for a woman to communicate with you because she feels like you’ll be less open to talking about your emotions.

This could be why your ex-girlfriend is mean to you. She thinks that if she’s mean enough to you, you’ll finally get the message that it’s over — without the awkwardness of trying to have an emotion-riddled conversation with you.

It isn’t always necessary to do this, especially if the breakup was mutual, but it’s especially true if you’re still chasing after her and she really doesn’t want to give it another shot.

What says “leave me alone” better than literally saying “leave me alone”?

So what now?

Now that you’ve uncovered some reasons why your ex-girlfriend is mean to you, you can decide what to do from here.

If you still plan to be in each other’s lives but not as romantic partners anymore, it might be a good idea to give her space and then talk to her when you’re both ready and less emotionally charged.

If you’re still hoping to get a second chance, you have to remove yourself from a place of denial and accept the breakup before you can even attempt to win her back.

This isn’t to say you should stop trying; it means you need to understand and come to terms with what happened so that you can move forward from it together.

If you want to move on from her for good, cut off contact. This method definitely won’t get your ex back, but it’ll be better for your self-development and moving on process. It can be hard to stop contact with someone you loved but the cleaner the cut is, the faster it heals.

Bottom line is that while she may have her reasons for being mean to you, that doesn’t mean that you need to just accept that.

Stand up for yourself and be the more mature person; your future self will thank you.

 

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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