1. GET YOUR STORIES STRAIGHT—IN PRIVATE.
Even if your breakup wasn't as amicable as it could be, you can still try to see to it that your mutual friends and acquaintances aren't forced to take sides. After all, you don’t want to put your friends in the awkward situation of having to decide which of you they can invite to their birthday parties, barkada movie dates, and the like. Sometimes just telling him you’ll keep mum about your breakup to everyone but your closest friends if he’ll do the same will have him simmering down.
Of course, if push comes to shove, you’ll want to talk things over with your ex. If you do, make sure to do it with only the two of you present, so that your friends and loved ones won’t get involved. Resolving your problems quietly without the interference of outside sources will also make it easier for the two of you to clear things up on your own.
2. PLAY DEFENSE, NOT OFFENSE.
You don't want to be the first to start airing dirty laundry in public, but you can and should defend yourself against insulting remarks—as long as you pick the remarks you react to. Dismiss name-calling as the immature act it is (calling you a b**** is just meaningless venting), but if he wrongfully accuses you of cheating or anything that maligns your character, you have the right to defend yourself.
Explain your actions calmly and reasonably—and be willing to give the points to your ex and his friends when the things they say are valid, even if it’s just an acknowledgment that you could’ve handled a situation better or your words or actions could have been misunderstood. This takes us to our next point.
It takes two to break a relationship, just as it takes two to make it. Look back on your breakup and the events leading up to it, recognize what you did wrong, and apologize for it. Don’t play the “he did more wrong than I did, so he should be the first to say sorry” game because it’s more than likely your ex is doing the exact same thing.
Own up to your mistakes and share your regret over them—your ex may be suffering from a case of over-defensiveness, wanting to lash out at you before you can do the same to him, or even just wanting to prove to himself that he’s not a bad guy and still deserves love and a lasting relationship someday. Prove to him that you know that you were both wrong about some things and both right about others by taking the high road and acknowledging where your missteps were.
4. SHARE YOUR SIDE OF THE STORY WITH YOUR NEAREST AND DEAREST.
Although it hurts when acquaintances view you in a bad light should they believe your ex’s allegations rather than yours, it’s really your family and friends you should be reassuring (and who should be reassuring you). Tell them about your relationship and breakup—remember not to spare yourself and share your mistakes with them as well—in a one-on-one or intimate conversation. Tell them about what they might be hearing from others, and let them know what’s truth and what isn’t. Don’t ask them to defend you against your detractors—it’s their decision whether to do so or not—but do ask them to consider what you’ve said.
If you have mutual friends with your ex, it’s not your place to ask them not to take sides for or against you. All you can do is ask that they listen to you, see your side of things, so that they can at least understand what’s been going on. They’ll appreciate hearing the info from the horse’s mouth, or so to speak.
5. REMEMBER THAT DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOR.
Or, in Tagalog, huwag mo nang patulan. Once you’ve said your piece, don’t keep firing verbal volleys at your ex. Just keep your own counsel in public and confide with trusted friends in private. If he’s spreading lies about you, don’t forget that your loved ones and your true friends know the truth, and that’s the most important thing. Don’t descend to his level by sharing bad things about him. Revenge might feel good, but in the end, your bad behavior will not correct or be excused by his.
(Photo from The Break-Up courtesy of Universal Pictures)
Want to read more articles about relationship breakups? Check these out on FN:
- Real Love vs. Love on the Rebound: 5 Indications He's a Breakup Blues Boyfriend
- Michelle Van Eimeren wishes Ogie and Regine the best + Befriending your ex and his new girl
- Ruffa Gutierrez Says She Wants to Remain Friends with John Lloyd Cruz: The Pros and Cons Of Being Friends With Your Ex
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