10 Reasons Why You Must Avoid Badmouthing Your Ex-Boss

Badmouthing your ex-boss can be injurious to your career and your health

Badmouthing your ex-boss CONCEPT

Talking negatively about an ex-boss or former company can do damage in places where you might not expect it to. Here are 10 reasons to avoid badmouthing your ex-boss.

10 Reasons to Avoid Badmouthing Your Ex-Boss

1. It projects a bad image

Your current managers will automatically think that this is how you would talk about them as well. Basically, it’s just bad form, and you’ll never look cool doing it.

2. Bad for your emotional health

Letting go is so much better for your emotional wellbeing than being spiteful. It’s helpful to accept that whomever you were working for brought something good into your life.

3. What comes around goes around

Call it karma if you like, but most of us have seen how this works. So why tempt fate? Keep the negativity to yourself, and trust that things will balance themselves out.

4. You may need to deal with your ex-boss again

It will make things difficult for you if you have to deal again with your past employers or managers, and they know you’ve been badmouthing them. Besides, you never know where you’ll end up. How many people do you know who are once again working for companies or with people who once let them go?

5. Reflects a negative attitude

Everyone eventually tires of the same old song. Your co-workers or business associates may be too kind to tell you, so ask them if your behavior is over the top. Negative people aren’t fun to do business with either so maintain an appropriate attitude around clients and teammates.

6. Dwelling on the past is unhealthy emotionally

If you can’t stop the thoughts in your head or get past the feelings on your own, it’s usually a sign that you have some unfinished business.

7. Holding on to anger and pain is also unhealthy

Check yourself and make sure you’re not neglecting your body and hurting yourself. If you find that thoughts of your past co-workers or managers make you tighten your muscles, spend some time exercising or get a massage.

8. Feeling uncomfortable is a waste of time

If you’re like the rest of us, you have far too many other more positive things to put your time and energy into. Focus on your next goal or most recent accomplishments.

9. If you need to vent, do it with a professional

Maybe your current employer has an EAP [Employee Assistance Plan] that offers some free therapy. This might be a good way to use that benefit.

10. Not all was bad

The truth is that working for them wasn’t all bad. You chose to work there for a reason and that you probably learned a thing or two doing so.


Remember that every time you send out negative thoughts, you are also feeling them. So for the sake of your mental wellbeing, keep your memories as nice as possible. Besides, it can become awkward or reflect poorly on your character if you badmouth your ex-boss.

This article was first published in the August 2010 issue of Complete Wellbeing Magazine. Update on 27 June 2023.

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Barton Goldsmith
Dr Barton Goldsmith, PhD, an award-winning and highly sought-after keynote speaker, business consultant and internationally syndicated author, has helped develop creative and balanced leadership in several Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organisations worldwide. He lives in California, USA.


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