Chris Brown and model Karrueche Tran attend the Alexander Wang x H&M Pre-Shop Party at H&M on Nov. 5, 2014, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for H&M

Chris Brown has made yet another mess after breaking up (again) with his on-off girlfriend Karrueche Tran. The pair recently split, and Brown took to social media late Saturday night to vent his frustrations about his ex.

“We’ve got scars, some of them u gave me, some of them I’ve caused,” he wrote on his official Instagram page. “That ride or die act we have been fooling the world with obviously ain’t working. I was locked up for damn near 4 months and only got 1 visit from you while u was hosting parties and taking secret trips to Toronto, going on dates with Drake!

“So let’s not try to save face for public opinion,” he continued. “I don’t need to play victim so people can take my side.”

Ouch. And wildly inappropriate. I guess someone told him that, because he quickly deleted his comments and less than 24 hours later issued a public apology to his ex.

“Being young and dumb is one of my strong suits,” read Brown’s Instagram caption to a picture showing him with his head hanging low (in shame?). “I love hard and react impulsively when I’m hurt at times. I don’t think social media is a place to air out or hash out personal problems.”

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You think?

He added: “Everybody know I love that girl … I just want baby girl to know I apologise [sic].”

Um, OK.

Of course, Brown isn’t the only one venting on social media. Anyone with a social media account has a friend (or is the friend) who posts bitter rants or subliminal digs about his or her ex (or current) partner. According to a study, “Social Media Regret” by consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo, 32 percent of people say they’ve posted something online that they regretted. (That’s it?)

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In case you’re one of the people prone to venting like Brown—and 32 percent of other Americans—here are five suggestions that will help you save face, avoid embarrassment and save you another apology:

1. To state the obvious: Stay off social media.

Unlike celebrities (or bloggers), you probably know most of your social media friends and followers personally, and rantings about your personal life aren’t likely to make the blogs (unless you’re friends with me … I’m kidding. Sort of.) Still, they don’t need to know all of your business, especially when you’re dissing your ex.

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When I see people flip out on Facebook, my first thought is, “Yikes.” It shows me that you lack boundaries and don’t have a lot of friends, or else you would have called one of them instead of getting messy with your whole social network. It also makes me wonder, if we ever had a falling out, would you blast me, too?

The mature people who follow or friend you read, maybe comment (with opinions on your situation that you may not like), and most keep scrolling. The worst of your friends take screenshots of your update (before you erase it) and send a private message to a mutual friend to gossip about you.

2. Vent to a friend (and not the instigating or gossipy one).

Rejection hurts, even for folks with great coping skills. Sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on, someone to listen. Call that friend, the one who will tell you, “It’s gonna be OK,” even if it’s the end of the world. Even if that person goes and tells all your business, you can deny everything if word gets out, because there’s no screenshot.

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3. Write it out … on paper.

Step away from the phone (unless you’re calling a friend, obviously). It is not your friend right now. Neither is your laptop with its too convenient email and Internet access. Grab a journal or a notepad or just a blank page of paper from the printer and put all that time you spent learning cursive to use. This is your opportunity to pour out everything—the memories, the hurt, the rage; nothing is off-limits because no one is ever going to see it. When you’re done, you have two options: Burn it or fold it up, stick it in an envelope and tuck it away somewhere safe (whatever you do, do not send it). Pull it out in six months so you can see how far (hopefully) you’ve come.

If you just must, must send it to your ex, a handwritten letter (sans the rage) is way more heartfelt and more likely to be well-received than a series of texts or a drawn-out email.

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4. Work out.

It’s as much for the boost of adrenaline (i.e., the natural hormone that makes you feel good) and exhausting your energy as it is for killing time so you don’t do anything impulsive, like blow up on social media or contact your ex with wild rants and accusations—or, worse, beg to be taken back.

5. Calm down and call your ex.

You’ve had a misunderstanding, a fight or a breakup. You’ve got a problem with only one particular person, so if it’s a fresh situation and you can maintain a level head—and that person hasn’t told you not to contact him or her—try to hash it out or at least agree to disagree so you can both move on like mature adults and without everyone in your business.

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Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. Follow her on Twitter.