Sometimes we deliberately behave badly just to make the other person hate us because it will benefit the other person.
Example: a boyfriend has some health problem and knows that he can't continue his life with her with his bad health. Then he behaves like he is not loving his girlfriend because she has to live a happy life with another.

I need a phrase or expression for behaving so.

  • 1
    He laid a La Traviata on her. Sep 10, 2020 at 19:13
  • What is the exact sentence you will use this in? Sep 10, 2020 at 20:44
  • The verb “incite” would be good here.
    – Xanne
    Sep 11, 2020 at 20:57

3 Answers 3


He's pushing her away. That's the most classic/commonly used phrase I can think of to describe that situation.



Incite suggests provoking emotion that would not otherwise be felt, and action that would not otherwise be taken.

tr.v. in·cit·ed, in·cit·ing, in·cites

To provoke and urge on: troublemakers who incite riots; inciting workers to strike. See

Synonyms at provoke. [Middle English encyten, from Old French enciter,

from Latin incitāre, to urge forward : in-, intensive pref.; see IN-2

  • citāre, to stimulate, frequentative of ciēre, to put in motion; see keiə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.] in·citement n. in·citer n. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English

Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=incite


You could say his behaviour is sacrificial,

[To] sacrifice: 2. give up (something valued) for the sake of other considerations.

Or it is self-deprivation,

Voluntary denial or suppression of one's own interests or desires.

If you want to portray him in a good light, you'd say he was selfless:

Concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one's own; unselfish.

He probably thinks he is behaving for the greater good, which is to say

a general advantage that you can only gain by losing or harming something that is considered less important

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