In this day and age, it seems people throw the word crazy around as if it means nothing. Crazy people do exist, but that doesn’t mean everyone with a mental health issue is crazy or that the people who react in ways you aren’t expecting are crazy.
Now, when you look up the definition of crazy, it says something along the lines of “not mentally sound” and a lot of definitions also mention wild or aggressive behaviors. I’m sorry Jake, the woman who got a little clingy trying to make things work while you were cheating on her isn’t crazy and by calling her that to others you’re just projecting. Whenever you come across someone who calls all of their exes crazy you really need to consider whether that’s the case.
Sure, there are people in this world with crazy exes but if someone claims every single one of their exes is crazy perhaps the issue isn’t within the exes but within the person his or herself. I recently came across a Psychology Today article that touched on this more properly and it really got me thinking. How many people say their exes are crazy all the while them having merely reacted to the things the person who claims they are crazy was doing?
How a person talks about their ex says as much, if not more, about the speaker than the person they’re characterizing. What’s interesting psychologically is that, based on the two-way nature of relationships and the messy complexity inherent in the interpretation of behaviors and the expression of emotions, it’s typically problematic to apply total guilt or total innocence to just one member of the dyad. In many cases, suggesting that one member of a couple is all good and the other is all bad or “crazy” isn’t a fair characterization of either member of a couple.
There’s no question that some flagrant behaviors in the context of a couple are morally wrong and even illegal. For example, physically abusive behaviors are clear-cut examples of behaviors that are ethically wrong and illegal. In the case of such relationships ending, what is a fair way to characterize the other person overall? In these instances, calling the ex “crazy” is not necessarily an accurate description. What does the word “crazy” mean, after all? In cases of behavior that is widely established to be unethical, cruel, or even illegal, it’s fair and justifiable to say that the ex was abusive, maladjusted, and cruel. The problem is that scores of men and women who didn’t necessarily suffer abuse or other extreme victimization publicly refer to their ex as ”crazy.”
In many cases, it’s a warning sign when someone calls their ex “crazy.” In some relationships, one partner ends up acting “crazy” because, as a pattern, they have been lied to, controlled, cheated on, or manipulated. Such experiences can cause so much distress and anxiety that the individual becomes overly emotional, stuck in a fight-or-flight response given their intuition that the relationship isn’t emotionally safe. In many cases, it can be the one calling the other “crazy” who is actually fairly disordered.
Being so overly quick to dismiss someone in such a way can show some serious issues within. While most people won’t think twice about this kind of thing, it’s worth looking into. For some reason when someone says they have a crazy ex we tend to just take that at face value and perhaps we shouldn’t.
What do you think about all of this? Do you have a crazy ex or are you perhaps exaggerating in some ways without realizing? I for one think we all need to be more aware of the way we word things and how we treat people.