By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 25th, 2021

Yesterday one of my coaching clients asked me a pretty simple question,

How can I make my ex feel guilty if they broke up with me.

It’s a really interesting question because I had never thought to think about actively trying to make an ex feel guilty (you’ll find out why in a moment.)

So, I figured I’d write an article and film a video with my thoughts on it.

That’s what this is.

Let’s get started.

How To Make Your Ex Feel Guilty

Going forward I’d like to operate under a certain assumption and that assumption is that you are trying to get your ex back.

In other words, how does guilt fit into the overall strategy of trying to win your ex back and is it a good idea or not.

There are five main things I’d like to cover in this article. Grasp these five things and you should be well on your way to improve the odds of getting your ex back.

  1. Trying to guilt your ex is actually a bad idea and I have proof
  2. Your goal should instead be regret
  3. The best revenge in life is massive success
  4. Make sure you show, don’t tell
  5. Consequences are important to give

Let’s begin!

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Trying To Guilt Your Ex Is Actually A Bad Idea

Look, I’m not going to sit here and deny that “guilt trips” can’t be effective.

In certain situations they can be.

However, I’m very big into opportunity cost.

Are you familiar with the term?

Opportunity Cost: The loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

Essentially can you be doing something else besides a “guilt trip” that will yield better results than the one that you will get from a “guilt trip?”

The answer to that is yes.

But before I tell you what that alternative is let me make a case for why “guilting” your ex is actually a very bad idea.

The Big Two 

There are two primary reasons for why I would stay away from guilting your ex.

  1. Avoidance
  2. Resentfulness

Let me break it down for you.

When psychologists have studied how people responded to effective guilt trips they’ve found that people tend to have one of two reactions.

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They will either avoid you or become very resentful about the fact that you are using guilt.

Now, last time I checked those weren’t exactly great things for getting your ex back.

In my humble opinion the risk is too great to use guilt.

Instead, I’d utilize…

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Regret Is The Way To Go

At it’s core trying to get an ex back is all about convincing a human being to do something they don’t want to do.

Your ex currently doesn’t want to get back together with you.

That much is clear because you probably wouldn’t be searching the internet for answers on how to get them back if they were.

What we know about human beings is that we are very self interested creatures.

Now, what do you think I mean by that?

Put frankly, we are usually going to take the course of action that we think is going to be best for us.

So, if you look at it in these terms you have one main goal when it comes to getting your ex back, convince them that being with you is the best option.

But how?

How do you do that?


Regret is often a strong enough emotion to create action.

I’m a big fan of causality chains.

Are you familiar with what that is?

Put simply, every cause creates an effect and every effect creates a cause which in turn creates a cause.

It’s a never ending process.

Often my clients experience in trying to get their exes back looks a little something like this,

All it takes is one small cause to get the party started and things just go from there.

A guilt trip is not a cause it’s an effect.

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It’s something that you are going to enforce on your ex because of what you want.

Instead, what you should be focusing on is creating a set of circumstances to create regret within your ex.

Regret is their cause

It’s the first domino falling that will inevitably lead to your reconnection.

For example,

It all starts with regret!

Now, this begs an interesting question.

How do you make your ex regret their decision to leave you?

Well, you could probably watch this,

Or you could probably read this but in my opinion it boils down to three core concepts,

  1. The Best Revenge In Life Is Massive Success
  2. Show Don’t Tell
  3. Consequences Are Important To Give

Let’s talk about those things now.

1. The Best Revenge In Life Is Massive Success

Frank Sinatra once uttered the immortal phrase,

The best revenge in life is massive success

It just became our rallying cry!

In Ex Boyfriend Recovery PRO, I talk about the idea of the Gatsby Method which I coined after the great novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

**Spoiler Alert**

In the book, Gatsby tries to win his love back by throwing this elaborate parties and showing off his immense wealth,

The whole premise is predicated on the fact that people want what they can’t have and if you show them what they are missing out on without you they will be drawn back towards you.

Hence, the “gatsby method” was born.

This was what Frank Sinatra meant when he said that the best revenge in life is massive success.

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But here’s where most people make their first mistake.

Instead of indirectly showing off their success they directly do it.

The worst thing you can do is something like this,

Why is this such a massive mistake?

Well, that seamlessly transitions us to the next point I’d like to make.

2. Show Don’t Tell

The whole goal throughout this process is to make your ex regret not being with you.

Pretty simple strategy, right?

But have you ever sat back and actually thought about how you actually start regretting something?

When I look at my own experiences with regret it often happens when something indirect makes me think about it.

I may be watching a movie and something in the movie reminds me of it.

I may be talking to a friend and they bring something up.

The point is that regret is often created indirectly.

Let’s take the text message example above.

In it you have someone who is trying to be direct about creating regret.

They are literally saying,

“I’m attending a concert by your favorite band.”

This isn’t exactly a “guilt trip” it’s more like a “regret trip.”

Now, if you recall a few of the points I made above about why “guilting” your ex was a bad idea.

Quick Refresher:

  1. It creates avoidance
  2. It creates resentment

Well, being very forceful about creating direct regret can have much of the same impact.

Instead, I often tell my clients to show, don’t tell.

What do you think I mean by that?

Well, lets continue our little concert example.

Instead of directly telling your ex about it, it’s actually more effective to show them the experience so they are literally watching it from afar.

Facebook is great for something like this.

You could literally post a picture like this,

With a caption like,

“Best concert ever.”

Remember, regret is missing out on something you wish you could have been a part of.

It’s all about opportunity cost.

It’s all about showing your ex that instead of doing the thing they are doing they should be doing this thing instead.

But you can’t be direct about it, you have to be indirect about it so they come to that conclusion on their own.

3. Consequences Are Important To Give

Regret isn’t 100% about opportunity cost.

It’s also about respect.

Let me ask you a question.

How often have you regretted leaving someone that you didn’t respect?

Chances are you can’t think of many examples, right?

It’s shocking to me how often I am coaching someone and they sit there and say,

“My ex did this, this and this to me”

And I’ll literally shake my head over the phone and think,

Why did you let them treat you that way?

Consequences are important to give because they make the other person respect you whether you believe it or not.

I’ll give you an example.

Let’s say that you have a dog.

It’s a cute one and you love it more than anything,

It’s just got one tiny problem. It pees and poops everywhere in your house.

What do you do?

Do you simply do nothing and let it keep ruining everything?


Most likely you’re going to give it a consequence.

People are the same way.

If you establish a precedent that it’s ok for your ex to treat you in a certain way they are going to continue treating you that way.

Instead, I advise my clients to give their ex a consequence to fit the punishment.

Let’s say that you are in the process of trying to get your ex back and they say something rude to you or maybe even tell you that there is no chance that the two of you will ever get back together again.

It’s actually a lot more common than you think for them to say something like that.

An ideal consequence to give them is to show them what reality would be like without you.

  • Do a no contact rule
  • Go out on a date

But whatever you do don’t tell them about the consequence, show them.

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5 thoughts on “How To Make Your Ex Feel Guilty After A Breakup”

  1. İrina

    October 1, 2018 at 8:27 am

    My bf and I were together for 3,5 months. It may seem a short relationship, but, we shared a lot. He is a really distant gut to people. He says it is really difficult for him to accept somebody to his life. During our relationship he was not really showing his real feelings. He was telling me this how he is. We were fighting since the beginning and I dumbed him several times, and he always wanted to come back. These break ups were not real. It was the way I showed my anger. Somehow, I damaged the trust between us. Last week, for time fisrt time he told me he loves me. He is a workholic huy. He works a lot. Even we live so close (5 mins away from each other), we were not able so see each other often. It made me a crazy gf that yells everything, sent him thousand texts and call him even I knew he cannot answer me. Staurday, 2 days ago, everything was normal. He took an appointment from the doctor for me. He said he wants to be with me while my visit to hospital. Before he picked me up from my house, I told him I dont want to go because the day before he didnt come to see me. He was so angry. During Saturday he was so distant and we fought a lot, and he did not come to see me. I went out with my frined, and got drunk and told him to come and pick me up. When he came, he was super upset. I told the anger in his eyes. He took me my house and left me there by saying he will come back. I felt sick and went to hospital by letting him know and he came and visit me at hospital. After I felt ok, he took me to his home to take car. When we wake up, I told him we should talk about our problems. first, he said he doesnt want to talk about, but I knew something wa so wrong. He was still so angry. After I insisted we should talk, he startst: We love each other but we damage each other. This was the summary of what he was telling me. I started to cry and begged him to not finish. He told this is the best thing for both of us. I told him to not forget me and hugged him, he started to cry too (He is a guy that will not cry for his life. He can control his emotions 100%, but he was crying infront of me). He told 3,5 months was the best months of this life. but we should finish. I told him that while loving each other it is so stupid to break up. We can take a break instead, and he accepted this. Now I feel he pretented it was a break because I was crying and sad. I didnt write him anything since he left me at home after this conversation. He told me that if I need anything, I should let him know even we are on a break. I dont know what to do… I can do no contact but I am afraid taht he will forget me and he will be happier without my craziness. Please help.

    1. Chris Seiter

      October 1, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Irina!

      I agree, his words or not matching his actions. I think you should start up No Contact. I have books and all kinds of resources I have written about this topic of no contact and the ex recovery process. You want to have a sensible plan going forward so tap into my resources.

    2. Chris Seiter

      October 1, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Irina!

      I agree, his words or not matching his actions. I think you should start up No Contact. I have books and all kinds of resources I have written about this topic of no contact and the ex recovery process. You want to have a sensible plan going forward so tap into my resources.

  2. B

    September 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    i was abroad studying for 6 weeks and my ex broke up with me the day i got back after a small argument we had while i was about to come back. we did argue a lot throughout the course of our relationships over mistakes he made and me being unable to fully let go of them and my anxious tendencies and insecurities. the 6 weeks away from each other probably made us drift even more. when breaking up with me he said he felt tired and numb after all the fights we had and he said he wanted to focus more on himself and his career and was unable to put in any more effort into me and us. for about 2 weeks after i continued reaching out as it was his birthday and i wanted to spend it with him as he made my birthday very special and i wanted to do the same for him. each time i tried to reach out and even on his birthday, he was cold and harsh, rejecting me time after time. since then (end of august) i’ve cut off all contact completely and worked on improving myself but still have not heard from him and am unsure if i should reach out first. he has recently come back from a solo trip to a music festival where i assume he hooked up with girls as his friend has told me he was drinking alot there. does this mean that he’s already moved on or do i still have a chance of getting him back? i know i hurt him a lot with all the mistrust that i gave him even after he tried to make ammends for his mistakes and i want another chance to prove to him and myself that i can be a better person. i really felt like he was the one for me and he’s told me on many occasions (even during the breakup) that he’s never felt this way before and how special what we had was to him. we were together for almost 2 years. please help.

    1. Chris Seiter

      September 19, 2018 at 12:11 am

      Hi B!

      It will probably serve you to have a blueprint to follow. I encourage you to check out my home page as I have lots of resources there for you.