Making The Case For Being Petty After A Breakup

Breakups suck no matter the outcome. Your ex may have broken things off delicately, saying you're better as friends — which is never a good idea, to be honest — while other relationships ended with the two of you at each other's throats. In either case, it's difficult to deny there's a part of you that wants to seek revenge on them for breaking your heart. Maybe you feel like slashing their tires on that dumb car you've always hated, or you want to take their last roll of toilet paper with you on your way out. (Can you imagine their face when they realize they're trapped on the toilet? Good luck!)


In other words, you're petty, and that's understandable. The issue is pettiness gets a bad rap, especially in romantic relationships. A lot of people think being petty is immature and childish, and they have a point — kind of. Is cleaning the toilet with their toothbrush the most adult thing to do? Not really, but believe it or not, being petty after a breakup is a good thing. If your heart is still aching and the only cure is to go out with your ex's brother, have at it, Petty Betty. Go fix that broken heart.

It's both therapeutic and empowering

If you've ever witnessed karma get its kiss from someone who wronged you, like an ex or the jerk who cut in front of you at Starbucks, you know how good it feels. It releases dopamine in the brain, per Hey Sigmund, which is why being petty feels like you've hit the payback jackpot. Some people go to therapy to help them cope, but therapy isn't a cure-all. Plus, not everyone can afford the luxury of paying a stranger to listen to their problems. And because there's no prize for taking the high road, why not let your petty side come out and play?


When someone breaks up with you, it's okay to feel like dirt — like they've taken away what makes you special. Stooping low and getting revenge can help you regain that control. It's like telling your ex they can't break your spirit, no matter how hard they try. Your pettiness level is whatever you decide. Ask yourself what would justify the heartbreak they've caused. Would sending them a package of glitter make you feel better, or are you not satisfied until you sleep with their best friend? (Honestly, both are fantastic options.) 

It boosts your self-worth

If someone tries to shame you for being petty, tell them to buzz off. At the end of the day, you're the one with the broken heart, and you deserve to have some fun — even if it's at your ex's expense. Showing off your pettiness tells other people you aren't a doormat they can walk all over. Patterns are patterns for a reason, so if you continuously let people into your life who treat you like dirt, don't be surprised when it happens again. Show everyone how petty you can really be, and watch how they desperately try to stay on your good side.


Sure, your friends might think it's immature to spend time crafting an Instagram that shames your ex, but deep down, they're probably thinking what a total boss you are. The best part is that you can apply this level of pettiness to all relationships, not just romantic ones. Did your best friend hook up with your fiancé the day before the wedding? Go ahead and air it out on TikTok (and don't forget to tag her). You know what they say: When the going gets tough, the tough gets revenge.

Being spiteful fuels productivity

When you feel spiteful after a breakup, it's like a fire has been lit underneath you. It fuels your desire to make your ex feel the same pain they caused you. It's totally understandable; however, instead of using that energy to send screenshots of him flirting with another girl to his mom, channel it to become a better version of yourself. If you've been putting off working out, take these feelings of pettiness and get yourself to the gym. Just think about how hot you're going to look and how dumb your ex is going to feel for letting you go.


It's about taking those feelings of aggression and turning them into motivation. Remember, the opposite of love isn't hate — it's indifference. When you really start to focus on yourself after a breakup, you'll be astonished at how much your life can really change for the better. Not to mention, when your ex sees how well you're doing without them, well ... that's the greatest revenge of all.