Depending on the circumstances, there are many different things that narcissists could say about their exes. If they are afraid that one of their exes will expose them to others, they could speak very negatively about them. However, if the narcissist is trying to make their new partner jealous, insecure, competitive, etc., they could speak very positively about their ex.

As a general rule, narcissists will say negative things about their exes when they want to invalidate, devalue, degrade, and minimize them and positive things when they want to use their exes to maintain a positive public persona or manipulate their current partner into feeling jealous, insecure, competitive, etc.

This article has the information that you need to understand the “logic” behind the negative and positive things that narcissists say about their exes. To start things off, we’ve created a short video (see below) about narcissists speaking positively about their exes to maintain a positive public image.

A Short Video About “Positive” Things That Narcissists Say About Their Exes

Why Do Narcissists Say Negative Things About Their Exes? 

When the relationship that a narcissist has with a romantic partner ends, they feel very vulnerable. This is because their exes, and other people that they abuse, are often the only ones who can see straight through the charming, special, successful, desirable, unique, charismatic, and virtuous public persona that narcissists have. 

Meaning that the people they abuse are often the only ones who can expose their abusive behavior to others. On some level narcissists know this and it makes them feel scared, vulnerable, and powerless.

Suggested Reading: What Happens When You Expose a Narcissist to Others?

To stop their exes from exposing them, narcissists will try to invalidate, devalue, degrade, and minimize their exes’ perception of reality as quickly as possible. This is most commonly seen in the form of flying monkeys. 

Narcissists Will Say Negative Things About Their Exes to Create Flying Monkeys

A flying monkey is a person who actively supports the narcissist’s narrative that portrays the people they abuse as the problem and themselves as someone who has been deeply affected by their behavior. To create these flying monkeys a narcissist will spread lies about the people they abused that are designed to discredit their perception of reality.

a narcissist saying negative things about her ex.

10 Negative Things That a Narcissists Say About Their Exes to Create Flying Monkeys

  1. I hate to be the one to tell you but (blank) has been drinking a lot and extremely abusive lately. 
  2. We are breaking up because he/she cheated on me. 
  3. I love him/her so much but he/she doesn’t want me to succeed. It was just last week he/she called my work and told them that I was stealing from the company. 
  4. He/she tells me that I am worthless all of the time. 
  5. I’m scared for our kids’ future. He/she drained their college fund to pay off his/her gambling debts.
  6. He/she pushed me down the stairs and forced me to believe that it was my fault.
  7. I promised him/her not to tell you guys but I feel lost and I know he/she needs help. Last month he/she found out that he/she is bipolar, that is why the stuff he/she has been saying about me sounds so crazy!
  8. I’m lost and I don’t know what to do anymore. He/she has been trying to turn our children against me by telling them these crazy lies. 
  9. I’m sorry that we haven’t seen each other in a while, he/she has been stalking me so I had to change addresses and go ghost for a while. 
  10. He/she has been telling all of our mutual friends that I hit our children when the truth is that it is him/her who is abusing our kids. I need your help, I don’t have anyone else to turn to and I’m scared for my kids’ life. 

Why Do Narcissists Say Positive Things About Their Exes?

One of the techniques that narcissists use to get enough validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control is triangulation. It occurs when a narcissist makes one-on-one situations into two-on-one situations by involving a third-party to create a power imbalance. 

These “situations” can be conversations, disagreements, feudes, arguments, etc., but the point is that the narcissist will find some way to bring in a third party to dominate the conversation. We spoke about this a lot in our article Why Do Narcissists Triangulate You With an Ex but this is a very common tactic that narcissists use that often manifests in the form of speaking positively about an ex romantic partner. 

The reason for this is that triangulation is designed to cause the narcissist’s victim a lot of self-doubt, trust issues, paranoia, anxiety, and jealousy. When a narcissist says something positive about an ex, they do so in such a manner that manipulates their current partner into feeling like they have to be as good or better than the narcissist’s ex to deserve being with them. 

a narcissist saying positive things about his ex to triangulate.

10 Positive Things That Narcissists Say About Their Exes to During Triangulation

  1. I’m not going to lie, this date reminds me of my ex, we had such an amazing relationship. 
  2. My ex is an amazing cook, we had so many great date nights because of it. 
  3. He/she made me feel so special, he/she would do ANYTHING for me. 
  4. My ex is the hardest working person that I know. He/she works full-time, is starting his/her own business on the side, and STILL finds the time to go to the gym 5 times a week.
  5. I’m really happy to be with you because you are amazing, but there are some days that I really miss my ex. Not because I want to be with them but because he/she was my best friend. I miss having a best friend. 
  6. Don’t get jealous but my ex was the best dancer ever. I know dancing is your passion and everything but his/her skills were breathtaking. 
  7. I was really happy in my past relationship, my ex knew me better than I think anyone ever could. 
  8. I wish you would stop trying to get me to go to Spain with you. My ex took me there and we had the most amazing time. He/she made it so memorable and I doubt anyone could top that. 
  9. I had two kids before I met my ex. He/she was amazing with them. Honestly, they were the father/mother that my kids never had. 
  10. My ex works really hard. I didn’t have to pay for a single thing when we were together. He/she made sure that all my needs were fulfilled. 

Triangulation is a very tricky form of manipulation that narcissists will use because the positive things that they say about their exes to manipulate others are very subtle and hard to call out. With that being said, it is still a very manipulative technique that narcissists use to make their current partners feel doubtful about themselves, paranoid, anxious, and jealous. 

Suggested Readings: 6 Insightful Examples of Triangulation In Narcissistic Relationships, and 15 Phrases That Narcissists Use to Manipulate Others Through Triangulation

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

There are so many different things that a narcissist could say about their exes but it all depends on their agenda. If they are trying to protect themselves from being exposed, they could speak very negatively about their exes.

If they are trying to maintain a good public persona or triangulate their new partner, they could say very positive things about their exes. It all depends on the narcissist’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs!.


All of the content that Unfilteredd creates is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care — please visit here for qualified organizations and here for qualified professionals that you can reach out to for help. This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

References:

Peterson, Julie Longua; Dehart, Tracy, In Defense of Self-Love: An Observational Study on Narcissists’ Negative Behavior During Romantic Relationship Conflict. Self and Identity 13(4) 2014, pp. 477-490.

Seidman, Gwendolyn, and Brooke Schlott. “Narcissistic admiration and rivalry and reactions to romantic breakup.” Personality and Individual Differences 186 (2022): 111342.