How to Stop People Putting You Down

So many times I’ve wanted to deliver the perfect put-down at the perfect time, that withering or hilarious comment that makes me look really bloody clever, when all I could think of to say was along the lines of “Yeah? Well, you’re a big poopy-head who lives in a poop-castle.

Wit and timing sure make for a fantastic combination that can squarely shut someone up and have everyone else in hysterics, but aside from a witty one-liner there’s another brand of put-down that’s a different beast entirely.

The consistent, hurtful put-down…

People are losing self-esteem and self-confidence because they’re on the receiving end of consistent put-downs from a friend, loved one or family member.

Their identity is being damaged one put-down at a time; their life is diminishing one line at a time; they live in fear of the next put-down and feel powerless to do anything about it.

So if YOU are the one delivering put-downs to a loved one, a friend or a co-worker, let me be clear.


It’s totally unacceptable to not only show such a fundamental lack of respect, but to deliver words that consistently damage another individual just so that you can feel better about yourself for a moment.


See, the tragedy is that if you’re told enough times that you’re not good enough sooner or later you’ll start to believe it, especially if the someone who’s telling you you’re not good enough is someone you care about or love.

I’ve worked with people who have been at the receiving end of this behaviour and every week I hear from someone new who’s right there, living it.

It breaks my heart every time.

It makes people shrink into themselves and limits life, and there’s no reason for it to happen.

Below, I’ve given you ideas for how to change things if you’ve been receiving hurtful put-downs, but at this point I feel duty-bound to say something.

I’m not qualified to comment on the deep issue of emotional or domestic abuse, and while the line I’m drawing is a grey one, I’m making a distinction between emotional abuse (defined by the US Department of Justice as “causing fear by intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends, destruction of pets and property, forcing isolation from family, friends, or school or work”) and consistent, verbal put down behaviour; that ongoing state of power put in place by someone in a relationship for the purposes of control, self-validation or transference.

With that said, here we go.

1. Own your stuff

People sometimes say silly things (I know I do) and taking everything personally is going to turn you into an anxious, paranoid wreck.

Too many people take too many things personally; the person saying the thing in the first place could be more sensitive, sure, but the cadence of perception is all yours.

There’s a line between being able to brush off potentially damaging comments and not tolerating someone who puts you down; and that line is one that you own.

You brain normally takes the workload of perception off you, automatically taking the situation you’re in and creating a world of thought – and resultant feelings – based on what it pulls together from past experience, memory and its deep desire to be safe.

So the very first step in creating change is to become aware of the thoughts you have in these specific situations (before, during and after the put-down behaviour).

Do you think “Oh no, I hate this, I need to not say or do anything“? Do you think “If I just get through the next few minutes it will be okay again“? Or do you think “I deserve this; I’m not good enough“?

Feelings emerge from thinking, so if you have thoughts about not being good enough you’re going to feel pretty shitty. If you have thoughts about needing to stay still or be quiet you’ll feel small and powerless. If you have thoughts about deserving what’s being given to you you’ll feel like you’re not okay in a world that is okay.


Challenge your response to the put-down behaviour. Write down a thought diary if it helps you get clarity on the thinking that happens. Be rampantly curious about the thoughts you have and the resultant feelings.

Then look for the opportunity to think about it differently, and be ready to choose a better thought. A thought that doesn’t cast you as a victim but honours who you are and sees you standing tall.

2. It’s not about you

The reasons that someone decides to put you down are many, but often boil down to these few things:


One of the things our brain loves is to feel important and to have status. It creates behaviour that it believes will enhance that status, even if it needs to compromise or short-circuit a belief about what’s “right” or appropriate. The brain will create thinking that supports a causal link between put-down behaviour and enhancing status, and once that’s in place it’ll use what it knows to achieve status by reducing someone else’s.


Unaccepted or unacknowledged pain is the foundation for anger and bitterness. With pain as a foundation, that anger and bitterness leaks out as behaviour – regardless of the impact or intention.


Being in control of the environment has a substantial impact on the level of stress we feel. If you believe that you’re in control of your environment – even if that means keeping someone else “in their place” – you’ll feel much more certain about what will happen, and that sense of autonomy and certainty fuels the release of the brain’s feel good chemicals.

All of this – and you have to fully acknowledge this – is about them, not you.

If you find yourself on the receiving end, think “This is not about me” and recognise that the stuff in their head is theirs alone, and you’re not responsible for any of it.

Nor are you responsible for fixing it.

3. Teach them

I learned something from TV’s Dr Phil that I’ve always remembered.


Thanks Dr Phil. Wonderfully simple and extraordinarily true.

See, if your response to their behaviour is to smooth things over, take it, ignore it or accept it, you’re teaching them that their behaviour is acceptable and they’ll keep on keeping on.

People are dumb like that, they’ll do what works until they have strong evidence that it doesn’t work, and that’s evidence that only you can create.

I get that it’s hard, but you need to start letting them know through your responses that you expect something different and something better from them. It’s your job to let them know that you expect to be treated with respect.


But if this is where you are, I think you understand that you need to start, even if it’s scary…

Remember that teaching them how to treat you doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic event. It doesn’t mean that you’re rocking the boat, and it doesn’t mean that things will get worse. Watch out for the thoughts you’ll have that make it easy to not start teaching them how to treat you, then start as simply as you can.

Break the patterns that lead to put-down behaviour. Hold up your hand to interrupt them. Ask them for respect and consideration. State the fact that you’re not willing to put-up with the way things have been. Let them know you expect them to treat you differently.

How to Stop People Putting You Down

4. Get support

When a light is shone on what’s been happening, putting a stop to put-down behaviour can happen pretty quickly. But sometimes it can take a while to shift thinking and behaviour that’s been well-rehearsed on both sides.


You deserve to be treated with love and respect, and you have to be consistent in both the creation of thinking to support that belief and in changing your behaviour in ways that honour it.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do this alone.

You’re allowed to find support to help you be consistent, you’re allowed to have a shoulder to cry on when it’s hard and you’re allowed to find help in doing what you know is the best thing to do. Doesn’t matter if it’s from a best friend, a family member, a support group or a professional – it’s being supported that matters.

If it gets hard, don’t give in. If you get tired, don’t give up. Feeling supported makes a world of difference.

5. Get out

When you’ve done what you can and they’re still putting you down, you need to consider 2 questions – “How else can I turn this around?” and “What am I prepared to do to turn things around?”

If, having considered those questions, you’re coming up blank then there’s really only one choice left to you.


You can’t reach into their head and change their thoughts and behaviour, and it will always remain unacceptable to be on the receiving end of put-down behaviour (no matter how your brain might try to trick you into thinking it’s okay).

People either get how things need to work or they don’t, and there’s no way you should suffer at the hands of someone who just doesn’t get it.

If, at the end, you’ve done what you can and they’re still putting you down, you owe it to yourself to get out and get something better.

If you’re being put down you’re not alone.

Staying Up When You're Put Down

Staying Up When You're Put Down

It’s immensely damaging when someone who should be showing you respect puts you down or makes you feel small, but you don’t have to put up with it.

You deserve better.

  • Discover an amazing way to change how you experience hurtful put-downs
  • Learn how to safely grow your self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Spot the patterns that lead to a put-down and how you can interrupt them
  • Find out what you can do if you’ve tried to change things but it’s just not working
  • Discover the things that will make the biggest difference to you

  • I get put down from my sister & brother, I stick up for myself but they turn things around & make it all about them,

  • It isn’t that easy as this story portrays. I was raised with hurtful things always being said to me, I didn’t think it bothered me until I became an adult with children of my own. I recreated the behavior, my husband belittles me and my mother still does it, I wait allllll day for the hurt to be said to me because I know it’s coming! It has put me into a state of not knowing who I am anymore! The only reason I don’t give up is because of my babies. They need better from me, I don’t let them see the hurt but I’m so torn inside

    • To you All going through this. Please don’t give up I have had the same treatment and I am 60+ now and so pleased I didn’t let Them Win!! My Mother was jealous of me and played me and my brother against each other by saying he was the favourite and I was the wretched unwanted daughter. I could write a book and people would probably call me a liar because they wouldn’t understand that I am a Warrior. Give your life to your babies and spend your time having fun with them and taking them out every day. I pushed mine out in their prams everyday and later we spent time in the fields with the dog kicking a ball, picnicing and fishing for little tiddlers in the river with our nets. Don’t let your mother or your husband put you down. Tell them you want respect and don’t see your mother every day. Mine has passed away now sadly I think she missed a lot with her Grandchildren? Enjoy music. I used to play ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen and ‘I’m still standing’ by Elton John when I was ironing and I still play my favourite 70s music now and go to concerts when they are on. I am 67 now and still belittled by people jealous because apparently I don’t look my age? Strange I don’t give a Toss now. Age can have its advantages. Best wishes.

  • Good article. I have some input here to help add proof in what you have posted no this site.

    A little back story to show I have qualification in what I say and know.

    My father died when I was 9 years old. I was the youngest of 4. My father and mother are and were (both are now passed away) great parents. I am now 41 years old. My father was one to calm my fears, answer my hard questions; trust me, I could ask some very hard questions at times. I was very observant as a child and still am. Long story short, after his passing I was sexually abused by a female at 9, bullied in school by my peers and some of my teachers all the way until I was 16 and quit school because I was sick of it all. Me being the weakest of the 4 kids since I was so young, my mother took out all her fears, anger, and hurt of my father being gone on me. I was borderline agoreaphobic(spell check that). I tried to commit suicide when I was around 11. What stopped me was the method I used happen to be broken. I could never stomach the guts to go for a second time and took it as that was my sign that I was going to have to be strong. I decided to make a pact with myself one day riding the bus home from school. I was in my 7th grade year. We had this mentally handicaped girl on our bus and this girl had a liking for this African-American guy that was around 15 or 16. Most of the high schoolers except for some ruthlessly picked on her. The made her blow up a condom, couldn’t tell you if it was a used one or not, they poured heinz 57 sauce in her hair, would shut her hail into the window, and the guy she had a crush on I mentioned earier decided he didn’t like her flirting with him and hauled off and started punching her in her face and head. The day I saw that broke me. I said to myself; Kirk, what kind of a person are you if you allow fear to keep you from standing up to people. So I said I would never let that kind of behavior happen around me ever again.

    It took me years to work past all the abuse I took to move closer to my dream of being a business owner doing what I love. Too many times adults would tell me I would never accomplish xyz. Stop my hard work by shutting figuritive doors in my face out of sheer dislike of me. I can tell you it is a very odd feling at first to make a strong stand for yourself and others. People will throw a 5 year old tantrum at first. That is their way of trying to back you down. Never give in or up and you will have the feeling of true freedom in life.

    I know everyone can do it. Hang in there and stay strong. Remember fear is an acronym for False Evidence Apperaing Real.

  • So I’m a university student. Which means I met a lot of people and eventually met my new “besfriend” here. I already knew he’s the kind of person who likes to put-down other people(me). He’s a quite friendly person and people thinks that me and him are a really good friends but actually its the opposite. I’ve been trying to get away from him but he keeps following me around. I just don’t want to be his friend anymore. It’s just so hard. The hardest part is, I just don’t like how other people think of him as a good person. Basically I’m the only one who know how he really is. How should I deal with this? I mean I like being alone and I do have other friends besides him but he kept to interfering with my friendship with other people. Which makes my friend is his friend. He’s just the type of friend who use other friends to be popular. I hate it. Someone please help me….

  • i got him to acknowledge that his behavior is abusive… but now he puts me down and says… well im not trying to put you down but ectectect. i moved states to get space, seeing as im pregnant and already have depression/anxiety before our relationship. its hard and im having to get medication now because of him… for the sake of the baby and myself, i would like it to work out but, fuck… when i open up and share how i feel and get turned down and told, basically, thay my feelings are irrelevant because im not trying hard enough when i know i am.. is frustrating, belittling, lonely, and down right depressing.

  • Emily where do I begin. Stand up for yourself quit being a doormat. Period. My boyfriend belittled me time after time and he learned the terrifying flip side of the Aquarius Pisces cusp. I put the fear of god in his ass. We have explosive tempers.

  • My co-worker is driving me crazy. He seems to me dry drunking. I’ve been devorced for 16 years from an alcoholic. I know the signs very well. The controlling ways and put downs. I’m asking to move to another line. I have to take care of me I DESERVE RESPECT

  • I am at my witts end. I don’t know what to do. My fiancé can be so great but when he gets mad he says such mean hurtful hateful things. He has no fuse. I don’t know how much more I can take. Where to start….
    Well I’m not ugly or heavy set & im in my mid 40’s. I’m told by him why do you have so many wrinkles? I want a trophy wife! Are u going to be that? If not I will find me a trophy wife. Oh I like your hair this way. Oh did you know that you have a triple chin when you look down? You are a baby. You are a cry baby. I’m so sick of being treated like crap

    • Hope you ditched him. He never loved you so why are you with him? We don’t need to be reliant on men. Be independent and not afraid of being on your own. You will enjoy the freedom.

  • I’ve been struggling with social anxiety for a very long time now, but it’s getting worse all the time. I can’t go out in public without being laughed at and made fun of. It happens almost every time I go out someplace. For example, I went to Walmart and some girl told the guy that was with her that I was weird and then she looked at me and started laughing as hard as she could. It is so humiliating, hurtful and imbarassing when this happens. I don’t understand why people treat me this way. I don’t know why they do it. I don’t see anything wrong with the way I look. Anyway, this is taking over my life so much that it’s making me very depressed and sick to my stomach. I can’t go out places and enjoy myself. I can’t enjoy my life at all. I always try to avoid crowded places because of it. I can’t go to amusement parks, restaurants, etc. Is there any advice you can give me so I can get my life back? Thank you.

  • I don’t agree with Dr Phil on this though I have never seen Dr Phil- – what I do believe in is that many of us are fortunate to have had decent parenting and to NOT abuse others- why do we have to teach those people to treat US with the respect we deserve- many of these people don’t understand- they are clueless – they feel empty- they need to hurt and maim a person to feel good themselves-
    We, for different reasons can’t always walk away- we are in situations where, if we do respond, then others will feel uncomfortable-My ex husband shares a business with me- he delights in subtle put downs or awkward questioning of me in FRONT of customers/clients- I do speak to him when they have left-I have told him to NOT put me in such an awkward (both for me and the customers) situation- But he is a very unkind human- who has never ever bonded with another being and telling him makes no difference- He lacks compassion- he has ruined the business as he hurts the feelings of customers- some people seem to enjoy his bantering- but to me, it is rude-I wish I could leave my business- walk away but I’d be homeless- I am no longer young- In the divorce it would have died as it could not be split- And there was not sufficient for me to survive on. I am surviving as best I can- he is much, much older so, one day, he will no longer be a part of this-I am waiting for that day.

  • Great advice! Since I’m really experiencing being put down after marriage and been married for 23 years now. Imagine, the long years of agony. Maybe you call me crazy because I let people abuse me for that long years.

  • A close friend has begun talking about me in front of another friend of hers, as if I’m not in the room. “Annie’s always late.” “Annie has very thin lips.” “Look how red Annie’s cheeks are.” “Annie’s always buying things and taking them back.” “Annie’s so funny… She always….!”
    That was just one time. She thinks it’s hilarious to make fun of me. Intimate details I’ve told her about myself become public knowledge.

    I tried talking to her in private about how hurtful her comments are, and she said she was glad I told her. Then the next time I was with her and another friend of hers, she again began subtly putting me down and I pulled her up on it.

    “Well,” she said, in front of this other person, “I told …… what you said, and she thinks you’re being too sensitive.”

    Here’s the thing. Although she talks about her other friends behind their back, she doesn’t do it in front of them, like she does to me.

    Am I too sensitive?

  • I remember my abusive parents given me put downs, and people at school, I used to hurt myself because I let it get to me and I would often remember those awful things they called me like worthless, a piece of crap, a looser, a nobody, a sick child for having a disability,, and how noone can like me for that or at least Love me. I can just SMILE NOW. CAUSE God has love me and shown me he does.

  • I have read about half the comments on this thread. I see how it’s so important that people be friends with themselves. I am learning to do that.

    My birth family did a bunch of toxic things to me. I returned with more toxic words. Last Christmas, I wrote them all a letter apologizing, but saying I wouldn’t attend family functions until we worked it out. I wasn’t willing to endure more abuse. I got a letter back from my sister saying I had opportuntunities to love, but I didn’t. That didn’t sit well with me. She was one of the people that didn’t invite me to family things and now she’s blaming me for not showing up? On top of it, I knew they were gossiping about me too. My other sister must’ve told them (I still have a relationship with her) something because I got another email telling me I was a bitch and I didn’t “let her” go to things. I never once said she couldn’t go to things but I was blamed when she didn’t. Maybe just maybe everyone is sick of their bullshit. Anyway, I have since deleted them from my life. I only talk to my one sister on occasion but we don’t do much together.

    I also left a bad church experience. I no longer talk to them either. I was constantly being told I needed to change, I wasn’t loving, ect. Members would attack me on Facebook. It was horrible. My husband didn’t want to leave so I stood up for myself and said I will no longer go.

    My husband is a good guy most of the time, but when we get in disagreements, he puts me down. Today he told me no one likes me, no one wants to be my friend and I am insecure and my reasons for leaving the church was because I get mad over petty things. My reasons for leaving were far from petty. I put up with 3 1/2 years of being told I needed to be fixed plus harassment and the pastors abusing their roles. I should’ve left sooner. But it seems like he would’ve rather I just got so depressed I killed myself instead of leaving. He can’t deal with perceived failures. I was adamant and said “you are wrong”. He later apologized but my heart hurts. Whenever we fight, he has to say the meanest things. I become the bad guy. He puts the wrongs that they did to me on my shoulders. For instance, he said if I wouldn’t have added those people to my Facebook page, I wouldn’t have gotten hurt. So basically it’s my fault they harassed me.

    I have tried counseling before with him and he is such a good talker and can state his case calmly and smoothly, I feel like he just bull shits the counselor. Sometimes I am very adamant about where I stand but sometimes I just get tired of defending myself.

    Most of the time he cares about me and seems to have my best interest at heart but he comes from a family where his dad was in charge of everything and his mom was a mousy woman who didn’t get a say in the marriage. I am much more independent and more so lately as i’ve discovered how to speak up for myself. Maybe he is struggling with that. I am just done being everyone’s victim. If I don’t speak up, who will?

    I know his dad was extremely critical of him so I do have empathy that he’s insecure himself. But sometimes I get tired of feeling like shit just because I want to do something different or have a different opinion. I get tired of feeling inferior to him because he can argue in circles and make more sense at times on his points. I don’t owe anyone my serenity, not even him.

    At this point I need to figure out how to not continue to put up with his put downs. It’s not an easy thing.

  • You get to a point in your life where everything seems like it’s sorting itself out that then, that same person who can love you, and attempt to give you the world is the same person to belittle you or demean your status as in my case. I’m pregnant, with who I thought was the ideal person for me but all along I seen the signs, the anger, the temper, the threats, and sometimes they stop for a while but when an argument comes up, here they come again, the threats, the “I’m not anything, I won’t ever be anything, can’t take care of myself” and it’s to the point where I am the mother of his child and he announces it to the world as to be so proud but this is not how a mother should be treated. Obviously there’s so much more to every relationship but for now, for a year now I’ve began to doubt my self worth and really where I stand. It’s a fight in my head. I hope the best for all of you. Never in my wildest dreams did i think if end up here. Broken, lost, confused, and well; in pieces.

    • So sorry to hear how low you’re feeling. Really. You need to take care of yourself and your child, first and foremost – you guys need to be okay. That can happen by putting in place the things that nourish you and give you the kind of experience you want, and it can also happen by stating simply and clearly what you need from your partner – for you and for your family. Don’t make ultimatum’s, but talk about it in terms that you’re in this together and you want a great family life for your child.

  • He asks what’s wrong I say nothing . There really is nothing yet he starts yelling at me saying there is and keeps saying what he thinks I’m thinking ? He cuts me down over and over I asked him to show me respect and stop saying I am someone I’m not , but he won’t stop ? He had a wife who was not nice he says ? I feel like I live in her shadow but I’m nothing like her ? Yet he always says things to me that I’m thinking that’s negative about who I am and I say no I think this witch is the total opposite of what he’s saying but he does not believe me ????? Frustrated

    • I can hear that frustration Kelly. Not a nice place to be. You can’t change him, and it’s not your job to fix him. It is down to you to let him know what you need in the relationship, so spend some time thinking about the qualities, feelings and experience you want to have in the relationship. This isn’t a wish-list or a tick-list (i.e he may or may not be able to help those things happen), but it’s a way for you to stand firm with what you need.

  • I’m on my second marriage. He constantly puts me down over silly things, I don’t know music, the tv shows I enjoy are stupid and he puts them down too, and my family, or my cooking. It’s funny when I hear him talking business on the phone, he’s so polite and humble. He constantly tells me, I’m ate up. When I asked him what that meant, he said my brain is. ate up. I know, I know, why do I stay? It’s been 7 years and I’ve had enough. I know I’m a great loving, smart, compassionate person, and not hard to look at.. I’ve wasted 7 years too many and I will never make that mistake ever again.

  • I have been with my guy for 18.5 years and have three girls with him. He has been making fun of our girls cause of the school they go to. But they have all A’s. He makes fun of them if they make a mistake and tells them that they are dumb. He also makes fun of me cause of the way I look. I dont have the best looking body. I have some mols and he tells me at lease I don’t look like a elephant like you do. He also makes fun of my parents that I love very much. He says a lot of mean and hurtful things to me and my oldest daughter like slut and white trash. I have tried and tried to get out but. He always does This sweet talking to get me back. Like he tells me he want Do it anymore are cheat on me anymore. But he had cheated on me with Facebook with a few girls from a different country. I am So down about myself how can i get stronge to get my self back up again.

  • My situation is complicated, or maybe I’m just fooling myself. I feel like my wife puts me down a lot, but it’s only direct put-downs during our frequent fights. She says things like, “you exhaust everyone” and “you are the reason our lives are crazy” (we adopted 6 kids from foster care, because of my passion, but she went along with it all.). Other than this, though, her comments are more passive-aggressive and subtle. She accuses me of taking everything personally, even though we’ve been together 13 years and I didn’t identify what I felt she was doing until 3 years ago. I feel so bad about myself. I’ve always struggled with self-esteem because of my own traumatic background. It feels like she preys on this. Yet, between rounds of her hurting me, she will genuinely say nice things to me and complement me. I’ve called her out, pushed her to therapy (which she quit) and sent her letters. It never gets better or brings acknowledgement of my feelings. I try to be strong, but I’m so sad and lonely. I have no close friends, family is not supportive and I gave up my career to stay home with kids. I’ve got very little self-esteem left and part of me feels like such a loser that I can’t make it on my own. She’s so manipulative and awful! I’m dying inside and don’t know how to leave…

  • I have a friend that insults me, and calls me random things that I get really confused on what he is trying to say. Lately, other people at my school have been making fun of me too, and I wonder if they are right. Maybe there is something wrong with the way I look, talk, and act, but I can’t believe that my friend insults me constantly. I don’t know if he is just showing off and spreading rumors, or if there really is something wrong with me. I have no clue. Should I not be his friend anymore, or should I warn him? I need help! 🙁

  • Best thing to do is tell them – “What a personality.” Then walk out. Don’t look back. Don’t put in any energy. If you see them again act like there not there. Totally ignore them. If they try to interact. Repeat the above. Let those jerks go!

  • I borrowed money from a friend – 2 mos ago/who use to be like loan shark/since ive been financially in crisis (i am a single mom of 4-no financial support from their father)—–till now i just made partial payment—she insulted me tru txt-saying hurtful msgs—-and talks about me to our other friends—im so hurt with all of the things she said towards me and threatens me to post this on social media—-and put me on shame….. when i came to read this article of yours, it made me think that even if i owe her money i dont deserved to be treated like this—to be pinned down—-…it came to my thoughts what i read from the bible—“Pray for those who insult you.” Luke 6:28. I am going to pay her this Nov 15 — but she wants to have the money this fri—–till now she send me msgs that so insulting—-I ddnt reply—-May God Bless her. I just hope the everything will turn out right—May God bless me too—-so i may not cause pain to others….

  • I found your article very helpful and it was like looking in a mirror considering the put downs I have had constantly from a very young age right up to the age of about 40 or so, all from my parents and brother, also my maternal grandmother before she passed away. I am 52 now and a few years ago decided once and for all to first of all put in writing all the hurtful things they have done and said and how it affected my whole life, I wanted answers. Well, as I knew would happen, they denied everything and said I was the one who was in the wrong etc etc. Anyway, I wrote back two lines simply saying I wanted nothing more to do with any of them. Since then, my life has been one of contentment – I’m a single mum with three children – I focus all my attention of my children, I am NOT victim and the past is forgotten – incidentally, I always seemed to attract overbearing friends and boyfriends – my ex husband was the same and, crazy as it may sound to a lot of people, I no longer have or want friends at all and I am truly content with life now. I would be interested to hear if anybody else has had similar experiences to mine and maybe feel the same?

  • Hey, I came on to this site as I am trying to grow as an individual but I was questioning weather this is possible as I am with someone who puts me down and seems to get great confidence in making me feel small. I have been with him for six years and we have two lovely amazing children, he is always to busy for us but when he is around which is very rarely he always puts me down as a mother as well as a woman. He makes me question weather I am womanly enough for him or weather I am even loving enough for my children and it sometimes feels like my mind is starting to believe him then when I am alone at night or out with the kids my mind tells me he is talking trash and that I shouldn’t believe him at that point I feel uplifted and I feel as though I am growing as a person then it starts again and my mind will start to believe what he says and then it takes me a few days to get over the hurtful words and it goes around in circles. I sometimes think these comments are just as bad as a beating but these comments they start to swim around in our minds and months and years can go past but they won’t go. I wish I could leave this situation with this man but it’s not often possible when you have built s home together and have 2 children.

  • Thank you I really needed to hear this today. I realised today that my skin has been worn so thin now by years of put downs from my husband. But I have to do something different. I cannot allow it to continue. I literally felt like I was crumbling inside today, I went from ok to a mess with one criticism it’s got that bad. I have nothing left. My life feels on hold as my confidence is at an all time low. I love the idea that you need to teach people how to treat you. Enough. Breath. I am ok. It’s ok. I can only get this way if I join in. I am not going to join in anymore. I need my power back. I am standing up tall, if my body feels tall my mind feels stronger too – thanks x

  • Pretty much my family( minus my youngest siblings who are innocent.) it really tests me as a person in a sense, because I have found my worth and could care less what anyone thinks let alone my parents. Yet, when I have these moments where my mom tries to disown me and set me up as a criminal I wonder if I should continue contact right now. I understand the fragile nature of life and it hurts me to not talk to her in some way, but after the way she talks to me for the most childish reasons… I mean really horrible mean things. Sorry to everyone going through whatever. Find your peace.

  • I am in my early 40’s and have been looking back in my life and evaluating how I HAVE LET the negative comments and behavior of others affect me mentally and manifest in my own behavior. One memory seems to stand out as a turning point. I was 12 and had a crush on an older boy. I had never talked to him or made any attempt to be noticed by him, I only admired him from afar. I took private art lessons and was talking to a girl I went to school with who was in the art class. I was being a typical 12 year old girl and talked about how cute this boy was – the idle chatter of a preteen. The girl had an older sister who knew the boy I liked and came to class the following week and wrote me a note telling me all the awful things this boy had said about me because she told him I liked him. She took great delight in informing me of what had supposedly been said. I threw the note away and another student dug it out of the trash and taunted me with it, adding to my humiliation. I don’t know if it was true or she made it up because I am fairly certain this boy had no idea I even existed. Regardless, it left the impression on me that my feelings for someone were something that could cause shame for not only me but for the other person. I reasoned that even if she had been lying that I had to be such a joke that the mere idea of me liking a boy was cause for ridicule because everyone but me knew what a fool I was. I let that idea fester and grow and used even a perceived rejection as proof that I was an embarrassment to others and myself. I took every negative comment, whether related to relationships with men or not, and tied it to my worth for finding a partner. If I dated a man I really liked, I always felt I was hanging on by a thread and became far too accommodating. If the man chose me, well, there had to be something wrong with him for wanting me and I sent out signals letting him know this. As a result, I married an alcoholic who habitually lied. I am no longer married and glad of it. It has taken me almost 30 years to fully grasp what I had let become my internal dialogue. I still struggle with realizing I am an attractive (far more attractive than the horrible girl who wrote the note -haha) and educated woman with a Master’s Degree who can make my own way in this world. I’m trying to come to terms with this concept and have to fight with myself to not automatically assume that my feelings for another person are unwelcome unless that person has some flaw to want me. Even though I have come to terms with a lot of things, I don’t want to think I have my negative internal dialogue under control but justify a circumstance as an exception to go back to old and bad habits. Does anyone have any advice on how to put the final nail in the coffin of the self defeating thought that is a shadow of its former self but still lingers and tells me to be guarded because I am the joke that everyone but me knows about?

  • My boyfriend of 6 years screams almost every time we have an disagreement. He calls me stupid, insecure, retarded, annoying, selfish, weak, and other names I shouldn’t say. I’m at the point where I believe him when he says I cause him to act this way. With everything else in my life I am “tough” but with him I feel helpless and powerless. I constantly hope he will “care” enough to stop after I’ve told him I want respect but it just continues. I know he resents me for a lot of things. I don’t know what else to do.

  • Hi I’m a married 26 year old with a bit of a history. I was abused as a child and I now recreationally drink and use cocaine. I don’t know why because I hate doing it. My dad never praises me for anything even though I’m married have a good job and my own place. My husband drinks and uses with me too once a week but he then tells me it’s my fault, I’m the one with the problem not him. I will pay for our partying and always pay half of bills and food. He works too and tells me he wants me to see a councillor get help and be clean. I do all the domestic things work and pay half the bills but he says I’m irresponsible and that I’m just a drunk even tho I drink once a week. He tells me he wants to help me but constantly brings up the past asks me the same questions over and over to explain my days in detail but goes mad if I do the same. When I’m trying to go straight he brings up occasions when I’ve been drunk in the past or done silly things whilst drunk. He says he wants me to live a positive life and not do drugs be constantly reminds me of my down falls what do I do?

  • My husband allows members of his family to put me down, in fact, at times, it seems that he encourages it. We have been married a long time, have grown kids. I don’t have much of a natal family. So, what family I have left is this spouse, a mentally ill sister, and a son and basically estranged daughter. He has lots of family and I feel I have no one.

    We just had a cousin of his visit and she treated me as though I was invisible. I suppose there was progress, because although he did not see this at all at first, when I took him to task for it, toward the end of the visit, he did speak up for me and say “didn’t you hear what she said?” He didn’t like this cousin either because she was bossy, so I suppose that helped.

    I do try to stand up for myself, but in family situations, if I do anything other than not react, I get “you spoiled the visit, it is all your fault,” etc.

    I feel like I have been fighting this particular battle my entire married life and it has not gotten a lot better.

    What do I do, I am old and beat up, have had several different cancer scares, have difficulty with a lot of physical activity for various reasons. Leaving just does not seem like an option, but I am so tired of this!

  • i finished counseling in May. Doing so much better but what surprises me is how easy it is for me to be the door mat. My best friend belittles me as a joke, over and over. Last night I was at party and she struck again. I got up and left. This morning I got an apology. How easy it was to feel like I was stupid. To start falling into that hole of self destruction. Two key words I learned from my counceler is Stop It. One for myself.not to give them control of my emotions. Two they won’t stop until you tell them to Stop It.

    • Donna,
      It is so easy, isn’t it? Reading your post makes me think your “friend” is an annoyance to many and that you have more power than you think. It is very easy to see things this way when in the position of the onlooker but much, much harder when you are the one living it. Even when we can’t see our own power, we can often see it so clearly for others – whether we assign them positive or negative power. I deal with feeling stupid and unsupported also. I have had many regrets over knowing I was right in a situation and not expressing it for fear of making a scene or possibly the fear of *gasp* getting my own way and the irrational guilt that accompanies that. My point is that your therapist is correct. People like your friend will continue to pull their stunts because they think they can be absolved with a mumbled apology. I understsnd the internal conflict that arises from debating whether to adress the inappropriate person at the time and taking the risk they will escalate the situation or leaving. No one is going to proactively stand up for you (or me) unless they have a personal stake in the matter with hostile feelings of their own against the offender. What I have noticed though, is that when someone stands up for himself or herself is that others often follow. Now, to take my own advice. I wish you well and want to say that we don’t ever lose friends, we just find out who the real ones are.

  • I’ve been living with the fact my grandma (I live with my grandma, mother, and younger sister) who’s not satisfied until she’s done putting me and my sister down. I’m struggling to find a job I know I’ll enjoy and be qualified for (all I’ve done was one sales rep position, then went to school, then was pretty much fixing computers for people from time to time), but all I’m getting from her is “You’re an invalid, can’t do anything right even if you found work – the longest you’ll last in that job is as long as the time it takes for you step in that door. If anything, you’re so demented you should get locked up at a mental institution” pretty much forever.

    I’ve tried to tell her that’s it’s wrong to think negatively of me, but she always sees it as a challenge to her “authority” and shuts me down almost immediately. If not that, she’ll respond with “If you did what I said, then we wouldn’t be having this problem”.

    I can’t exactly just up and move out either – asides from troubles with job searches, I don’t really have anyone else that I can stay with either.

  • Hello,
    right now I dont know how to move on. People ran over me all my life and I know it is my fault because I let them do this. Now I am close to 50 years old. The last 5 years I got a lot more confident and changed some things in my life.
    The ironic thing is that it was because somebody supported me. He got an important part of my life and it always helped me talking with him. The thing is he is bipolar and this can be difficult at times. He can be very mean at times, is not patient if I make a fault. At times he can be very hurtful, tell me that I have no learning curve, think like an ant, being an imbecile or worthless. Then again being charming and nice but over the last years losing patience. If I do something which make him very angry he punish me with silence. I have to say that we are living in different countries. This is fine for me and with email and many calls it does not feel as terrible as it sound.
    But I have also trouble with my family. I am divorced and have two sons, 23 and 18 years old. The older one suffer from depression which is pretty bad right now. He live in an own apartement but losing his job now. I am worried that he will get in debt and that I will be acountable for this. He got very irritable at the weekend and it was so bad that I thought I have to hospitalize him. He calmed down but refuse to seek help and I dont know anymore how to help him. The younger son fell out of school, can not hold a job for more then two days. Is hiding and elude himself dont stand up for himself or take responsibility for his life. I dont know what is wrong with him.
    Tomorrow I have a meeting in a counseling center to see what I can do. I told him that I want that he go there but not sure if he will. He always lies at me and come and go like he want.
    Right now my friend is mad at me again about something stupid I did. It really was stupid and tried to appologize. He stay quiet for 8 days now and it is killing me. It feels like the only light in my life left. I know this is stupid because I should be enough light for myself. But this all and more is too much for me right now and I dont know where to get energy from. I have not really friends or none I would tell such things.
    I also had trouble with my sister, she always pulled me down and I did not want this anymore. She thought she had once again to tell me what to do and I told her to stay out of my life. I know this is hard for my mother but I can not allow that every body is treating me like I am still 10 years old.
    I am a grown woman which does know what she want and how she want to live.
    But why is it so difficult for others to respect this? Being supportive or doing their own best and not being another burden hanging on my legs?

  • I have few friends who put me down so i thought maybe it was something wrong with me but no, its not as there are other people who really like me. I have this one fren who unfortunately is in the same circle of people who puts me down. He is popular, everyone hangs out with him , they love his company, i did too but i dont anymore. Unfortunately almost all my friends are in the same circle. He drains me when im with him, when i am the phone, chat or messaging, things are ok but when we actually meet, things start getting worse in few minutes. As soon as i meet him, he has something to comment about my belly, dress i wear… i respond with a smile and laughter to ease myself then he knowingly or unknowingly starts making fun of me, and mostly me and no others in the same group. From my shoes, to phone to what i drive to wat i speak to everything , he starts pulling me down but in a funny way which makes it look like he is a funny guy to others but actually its not for me…and i try to avoid meeting him for few days , but the worst thing is he keeps calling me or messaging me on why im not joining him or acting busy…i cant ignore for long time as i fear loosing my other friends who hangout with him…i thought of maybe completely ignoring him or just tell him wat i think about his acts and behavior but doing so will put me in uncomfortable where i might look like the one complaining and not others. In fact few others enjoy the funny talks about me as its not about them but about me only mostly. Wat should i do? Be silent yet meet him or just walk out, create my own way out ?? This will lead me into loneliness for a while and i would have to delete him from fb as well….not sure wat should i do?

    • Have you ever told your friend honestly that he is hurting you with his comments?
      You should tell him this and see what he has to say. Maybe he is not aware of it or because of your reaction, laughing to make yourself ease, that it is ok what he is doing.

      I would not be afraid of loneliness if he does not stop treating you like this.

  • My boyfriend of two yrs had gradually accused me of cheating, being a liar, manipulating him when I cry, you name it. I believe he’s also been gaslighting me. When I confort him, I’m the crazy one. According to him no amount of therapy will save me.
    I’ve seeked counseling alone and with him, he’s the one that always ends up dropping the sessions.
    I believe he’s even planted things in my house to accuse me of cheating on him. I just don’t get it. It’s insane.

    I try to send and give him positive affirmations, he gets insulted. Calls me a hypocrite for sending him these things. He knows I’m a spiritual woman, uses that against me.

    Accuses me of being on the cell with other men just because his text take a bit longer to send. Accuses me of men being at my house just because I miss a text or a call from him.
    I work 11pm-7am as a nurse. I’m tired. I come home and sleep. I’m a mother of two girls. I’m tired!!!
    He thinks I have the time and energy to mess around.

    He’s cheated on me in the past and when I found I was angry and heartbroken. In the I forgave him and worked it out. I found out again about the same woman. So I gave up and cheated only once. I don’t condone what I did, but I will admit I did it out of anger and revenge.

    That’s over a year ago and him and I have tried making it work. He always punishes me for what I did. But he can smoothe through what he did and just tell me he’s not doing that anymore.
    To him though, I’m still the cheater.
    It’s insanity. I’ve distance myself And it’s gotten worse with him.
    I feel like I’m dealing with a sociopath,

  • I keep getting put down online by my former friend at its becoming too much. I took a break from his group of disciples it seems like, and still every time I slip up or join his party on ps4, I get the words, “Get out Sam. Why are you hear?” I just want to roast him. I want to deliver the ultimate insult to everything he loves. So that he proceeds to crumble into oblivion. Not literally of course. But that’s the gist of my feelings. I just need some help.

  • Hi,
    My parents are always putting me down. They find faults in everything I do. Especially academically, even though I am trying my best to improve my grades and looking for many different ways to study, sometimes A Levels isnt that easy! As time goes by, I start ignoring them when they are putting me down in a way or another. However,this comes off as an act of arrogance to them and would only worsen the situation. Of course, I have tried reasoning many times but it would seem that parents are supposed to be ALWAYS right.In my opinion, they are trying hard to hold onto the authority and superiority as parents. What should I do?? They hardly credit anything I do right… Overall, they are just your average parents and I do admit that they aren’t that bad. However, I want to know if there is any ways to improve this situation as their behaviour has been making me feel lousy about myself, being stupid and that everything is probably impossible for me because I am not good enough. I really tried to ignore them but going through the same thing for almost 20years is not even something you can just laugh off about. /:

  • I have a boyfriend of four and a half years. We have 3 children together. He has proposed to me but I no longer wear my ring because I don’t believe he deserves the fiancee title.
    We have always done what he wants to do and it’s mainly business affairs. He was physically abusive but has been pretty decent the last 6 months but I’m tired of him belittling me. I did come from a broken home, my dad was seldomly in my life and I’ve never had a father/daughter talk. I married young and divorced about almost 8 years. I lived with my mom when I met this guy. So throughout our dating and his drinking, he always throws in my face… I am nothing, I have nothing, look where you are in life and look what I have. I am so tired of trying to be a better person when he constantly knocks me down with his words. I’ve been threatened if I leave with the kids. I’m a loving and caring person and it kills me inside to stay with such a monster and someone who mistreats me. I just want someone who will love me for me as a person now than bring up my past. Someone who will build memories together and build up each other than being knocked down. What are your thoughts?

  • I am married and have 3 beautiful children whom I adore. My husband and I dated for about two and half years before marrying. Experienced loads of interference from his side of the family. My husband gave them the upper voice to say and do whatever they pleased to me. He listened to them through the years and began lowering me when he spoke to them. I cut my ties with those people since I discovered how jealous they were of me. The only regret I have is, it took me this long and wasted time to realize how manipulative he is because he kept convincing me that he has changed. I am ready to move on with my life without my husband but he refuses.

  • I have just got home from work I have a new insecure colleague who is constantly putting me down as a joke. I let him know that I don’t appreciate the comments and now he’s telling me I am sensitive. for some reason I attract these kind of people! It makes me very unhappy! There is nothing worse than been referred to as simple dumb etc especially on front of others

  • I can’t really stand with my father’s bad temper, especially he likes to yell at me over minor stufffs, like my handwriting is not good, my computer skills are totally zero although I have been to Malaysia to take an IT course for about two years and so on. Except me, I do still have a younger sister and a younger brother, but my father never say anything to them although he dissatisfy in the works they have done. I’m really tired of all of these. Some of the comments which I have seen in other website, saying that we should try to talk back. But in our culture as a Chinese, we cant talk back to our parents, what we can do is just keeping quiet. This makes me feeling pressure whenever he ask me to do computer works for him. I knew that I’m a disabled person, but I try very hard in seeking jobs to do outside, rather than staying at home and waited for him to yell at me. It’s difficult to find jobs for the disabled in the country where I was born, Brunei Darussalam BUT what can I do? Any comments to tell me what should I do?

  • I am a loner (not by choice) I just seem to be disconnected from everyone else. I feel like I don’t belong with the generation I am in, I don’t like the things they like, and I do not hold the same moral views with them either. But, I still try to make friends at school because I am extremely depressed being all alone, all of the time. But every single time I try to make friends, I have to put on this fake shell and act like someone I am not. So, the friends I make aren’t really friends with the real me. I can’t be myself because again, I am a loner, and no one wants to be friends with a loner. Every time I try to make new friends being myself, I get shunned, insulted and put down. I am at the pinnacle of loneliness and I have been here before. You never realize how pointless life seems until you are this lonely. Nobody cares, they are all for themselves, there is no love, there is no serenity, there is no life. It is the saddest feeling when you realize your closest “friends” and “family” don’t even know who you really are and no one cares. Why should they? For all they know you are perfectly happy and fine. But, nothing is fine and it never will be, you have been emotionally scarred for the rest of your life, there is no healing that. Humans, we are all disgustingly cold, cruel, and callous. Empathy, what a barren, valueless word.

  • Thank you for writing this book. I will definitely try some of the strategies. I was severely bullied as a kid for my over bite, by one particular kid. My Mother wouldn’t get me braces or acknowledge that this was happening. (. Another story in itself). This left me with no self esteem. I am now 55 and have had many adult bullies in my life. My learned response is even now not to say anything. I know I have to learn some standard and quick responses when someone tries to do this. These people exist everywhere in life. I realize that it’s more about them, but it’s still hard to take.

    I think this sort of thing should be taught in schools to help children deal with bullies. Whatever they’re doing now is not working.

  • I’m really hurt and not sure how to handle this exactly. My boyfriend (58) and I (50) have been seeing each other for a year and a half. We are in love. 4 years ago I came out of 20 year abusive relationship, and it still tends to get in the way. My boyfriends father is dying he told me that he needed all his attention for his father and I’m a distraction. I told him that I was not a distraction that I was a person that opened their heart and life up to him. He told me that kind of response is not helping us at all. He’s stopped telling me he loves me and basically has put me aside supposedly for now. I said I understood he needed this time with his Father, and I would wait for him. But I really don’t understand why an I Love you and hope your ok every once in a while is out of the question.. I’m really confused, I’ve seen and felt how much this person loves me, and I feel really selfish feeling like I’ve been abandoned while he tends to his father.

    • Dear Elizabeth, I just ended a 4 month relationship a few days ago. When I read what you wrote it seemed I could relate to the energy behind your boyfriend’s behavior and response, as well as your confusion. I am 52 and have been in a few psychologically abusive relationships and when I read your comments and his, I felt “uh oh, she isn’t recognizing that she may be committing to a relationship that will ultimately be hurtful or unsatisfying (at best)”…because he is saying no; setting a clear personal boundary, (as odd as it may feel, and may actually be), and you are trying to have him reconsider and shift the boundary. A red flag to me was him actually calling you a distraction. Ouch, not good. Maybe the relationship being distracting to him for reasons he could kindly lay out, but to say to you you are a distraction and try to shut down your responses saying it is not helping at all? Didn’t sound caring. Sounded, honestly, like he was basically discarding involvement with your relationship. Potentially concerning.
      As painful as it may be, listening to what he is communicating is respectful and wise, particularly in regard to a long term mutually respectful and loving relationship . To accept his wishes at this time, and do your own life things, even recovery work involving past abuse issues, will make you better for life in general, for all others in your life, including this man if he chooses to reenter your life. You may find yourself seeing the situation, you, and him, differently if you accept his wishes, take time away and not dwell on him and or the way you imagine life would be with him. Everything could change for you if you take a real break from the relationship and reevaluate where you are at in life and if you are on the path to guide you best toward fulfilling your life purposes…

  • yes…! i m vivek… i m feed up of my friends becoz they are trying to change my behaviour for the wrong thing i have not after three mistake… when i m wrong they tell me you r wrong …i agreed but somtimes not everytime i have noticed they are wrong and when i tell them their mistake they dont deserve their they refuse it,….and tell that now also u r wrong….and they agree with my truth i m having some personal problems inspite of giving solution they tease me u will never change …u will leave behing …i m feed up of all this… when i tell my personal experence about how some people hurt me then also they tell that u r only wrong… u r only havong problems sayong that no friends will join u…..everytime they discourage me and underestimate…but…i know when i m wrong….(everytime the person is not wrong sometime the person who is pointing out the mistakes he is also wrong…but no…they dont agree and are coming and asking for me to help them and nothing)give me some solutions i m feed up…and they are sometime blackmailing that u will not get success with joining group or friends like us but the truth is that i have complete my work with my struggle and when i ask them for help they tell they dont have time to help inspite of they are having freee…they refuse,,…and they are selfish means they are rich ,,,…)please help me in alll possible ways….and read all msg may you will feel bored to read such big msg but plsz read and this is life experience )plszzzzz….tell me solutionsss…waiting for reply…..

  • “Remember this” many people who put other people down in my personal opinion have some sort of mental disability and are not worth the time or trouble to worry about. They may also be jealous, evil-minded, etc. and you can never fix these types of people so keep well away from them even if they are close to you, and let them fight among themselves as that is exactly what they deserve in my option.
    They don’t deserve the privileged of your presents so just get as far away from them as possible they will only get you into trouble big-time, My favorite line Piss Off’ I know a line of elaborate word combinations. Hope this helps.

  • I can relate with most of what is being said. I gotta say, I have found few things as satisfying as putting one of these assholes in a state of complete and total dispair.
    My step father is what some would call a dick. I loved this human flaw despite the constant blows to my ego and moms self respect.

    Divorce happened and it all went downhill fast, not fast enough for him however. Years pass, he is now a drunk with little to his name in a third world country. I am not satisfied with this. He needs to feel worse, his transgressions don’t even hold up a candle to some of the shit peopke have done to me.

    Being the vengeful little shit that I am, I should draw more joy from these developments, but quite frankly, I stopped caring about the result. The act however, just twisting that knife a little deeper I find an ecstasy worth pursuing.

    The look on people’s faces when they see what they turned their back on is without price. Some of you will call me crazy or sick, and I am in agreement. I was so weak that I became a result of my environment, what is worse is I have known this for years. If that isn’t insane behaviour I don’t know what is.

  • i dont have much time for details, but i can say this, my childhood friend who considers me family has decided that i am a terrible person only when i have good fortune come my way. the older i get the harder it is for me to spend time with her because of this anger she has against me. when i found love, had my baby and now am getting married she verbally attacks me, accusing me of wrong doing that i had no hand in at all. now iam unable to even talk with my other family out of almost fear that it will eventually be turned into some negitive thing about her that i said or did towards her. today we were supose to hang out at a local park so she can see me and my baby but she texted me canceling saying a bunch of hurtful things and trying to tell me that im doing things i truely am not, and if she would take the time to hang out with me instead of critisizing me, she would know that her accusations and mean words were wrong. but she refuses to listen. she refuses to accept that her way and her plans dont always follow my plans. so now i dont evenwant to tell her about any events that benifit my life, much less involve her, simply because she finds some way to make something wonderful into something painful and i feel guilty for even enjoying those moments that rarely come along in the first place… like when i first had my baby, trying to feed her naturally, she made me so stressed and belittled that i eventually couldnt even feed her that way without feeling uncomfortable. the way i felt towards my own baby was just… i donteven have words todiscribe how aweful that was… ugh… but if i dont involve her she makes it seem like i am the villan for not tellingher or involving her as a big part ofmy life. so no matter what, i am the bad guy and i dont even do anything to deserve it. ugh…

    • This sounds like a friend who hasn’t been treating you in a kind, friendly manner Mishy.

      Imagine you had a dear friend who you cared deeply about. This friend is in exactly the situation you describe. What would you suggest they do?

      I think you’ve been amazing to put up with this all this time, and to still remember the fact that you’ve done nothing to deserve it. You don’t need to put up with being treated this way, so how can you keep yourself nourished with all the things that make you feel alive, while also making choices about your relationship that honour the fact that you’re whole and worthy of respect and love?

  • So, I accidentally stumbled upon this site. Googling awesome put downs. See the reason I was googling that was because I have this older sister. And ever since I was little she was always an asshole to me. Ever thru my preteen years and high school adolescence she always found a way to insult me. And put me down, say I looked gross or fat. My clothes were ugly. And even when it was Christmas she would purposely buy me small clothes just so she could ask if they fit in front of everyone and I would embarrassingly reply…no. My dad said she’s always been jealous of me.Even my mother in law says she’s envious of my kind heart, and successful relationship… Even now in the year 2015 our alcoholic mother is dying, getting on dialysis.And thru this whole shenanigans, she’s been trying to take control of the situation. She clearly wants to be the center of attention. By insulting me and telling me I’ve done nothing for my mother but I was the only one who helped mom for years. She only started shOwing up and caring when mom started to die… So now I’m trying to turn over a new leaf by…defending myself…how do I do that??

    • I’m so sorry Vivian. Really.

      Please don’t get wrapped up in the story that your sister is peddling and trying to get you to believe.

      You have a full heart, and you care deeply. Perhaps now is the time to stand up to your sister, but I think it’s best to do that from a place of love and kindness rather than bitterness and anger, right?

      What’s a way you could do that?

  • I was married for 27 years and had 2 kids with a man who constantly put me down. But get this – he said I made him feel bad about himself just by being me – go figure. I finally left him, dated for a while and then remarried. At first my second husband was wonderful. He treated me with respect, helped with cooking and housekeeping, carried in the groceries, held my hand, opened doors for me, gave me sentimental cards and gifts, etc. Then after about a year, he turned into my first husband – yikes! Now he expects me to wait on him and clean up after him. He never helps me with anything anymore. And the worst part is that he also started putting me down all the time. I know you said it’s not about me and it’s their problem, but since both of them started out being nice and turned hateful, could it be me? Could something about my personality be causing them to treat me this way? Or could some evil demon be following me around and taking over the bodies of the men I marry? Or do men like this just pretend to be nice at first to lure in women like me? (My 2nd husband actually even told me that he treated me nice at first to lure me in, so that’s not just my imagination.) I’m old and I don’t want to go through a divorce again. Can’t I fix something about myself to make him treat me like he did when we first met?

    • Thanks so much for being so honest in your story.

      I don’t think there’s anything in you that needs to be fixed, but perhaps it’s how you respond to the negative behaviour that sends a message that it’s okay for them to do that? Could that be the case?

      I’m a firm believer that you treat people how to treat you, and you can set fresh expectations that you deserve to be treated with kindness rather than anger.

      So rather than looking for something in yourself to fix, what if there was a way to treat yourself with more kindness and love?

  • Hi I’m 30 years old, I’ve been with my fiance for 8 years ,we have a 7 year old together.I can’t get him to stop belittling me and I tell him over and over to stop!He always has a smart remark to say about me .I don’t work,but I do the house wife job.I had a job being a nanny ,but it was really hard,I was trying to do that plus everything still at my house.He will not help do anything unless it was something he wanted to do.If I ask him to clean the house cause I was tired,he would say why all you do is watch kids .He always calling me dum because he feels I should understand something once and ifI ddon’t I’m stupid.I have a fear of doing alot of stuff driving , walking by myself ect.He always puts me down saying how bad of a driver I would be if I tired to learn.I remember one time we got into an argument with my son in the car he was trying to say he was right and I was telling him no so long story short he ended up smacking me in the face it only happen one time but I do believe he could do it again . He has a temper and I know when to just shut down.

    • Oh boy, that sucks.

      Do you remember how you used to feel? How you still might feel when everything’s quiet? That sense of who you are, way down inside, right at your core?

      What’s a way you could be kind to that sense of who you are? What’s a loving gesture towards yourself?

  • I am in a relationship that is definately full of putdowns. I can never do anything right. Everything I do isn’t good enough. Cooking, cleaning, paying bills- he even thinks i don’t do any work whilst I’m at work and tells me how lazy I am. He will come home from work and tell me how lazy I’ve been yet i’ve worked a full day, started cooking dinner, fed the fur kid and put all the laundry away AND made his lunch… yet it’s still not good enough.
    Fights stem from his negativity towards everything i do, and he belittles me to bring me down to his mood. It’s a cycle of good to bad, one week it’ll be okay and i can tolerate his moods and critisicm and the next he ups the crap and because i try not to take part, he will go silent on me for days. I am always the one smoothing it over, always the one to make the move to get him to talk to me.
    I feel like i should tell him that he is slowly killing my confidence, my bright happy self- which he has said will lead me to leave him (this is why i think he is setting out to destroy me). I love my partner and i have left him before. But i go back, thinking that it’ll be different.
    I’m too scared to stand up for myself- because the fall out will be days of silent treatment and awkwardness in the house.
    I don’t know how to get out of this. I don’t know if he’ll ever change. I know that if i stay i won’t ever be myself again

    • If you do nothing Ash, the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.

      So instead of smoothing things over, not wanting to upset him, or feeling like you need to earn his love, what’s a different route you could take? What’s a little experiment you could run, where you just change how you respond to him?

      Whatever you do, and please do something, always remember that you deserve a life where you can flourish.

  • Let start off by saying the person I am today is totally different from the person I was before and I’ve made a lot of bad choices. I have two nephews who always put me down by calling me a loser, idiot etc. I’m 42 years old and I use to be bullied by my younger cousins but I just don’t associate myself with them anymore. My two nephews look up to them because they have nice things like cars and money. And there’s me who doesn’t care about those things. The only time my nephews are good to me is if they need something from me. When the two get together they say hurtful rude things but try to do it secretly but I hear what they say but I just pretend not to hear it. I’m really tired of it and I told my one nephew I’m done with him. I’m not going to take the abuse if they can’t even respect me. It’s so frustrating because I left the relationship with my guy cousins because of this now my guy cousins are manipulating my nephews to dislike me and that’s what’s happening. I’ve never did anything wrong to deserve this crap.

    • So sorry to hear that Eric.

      What’s a different choice you could make? One that respects the fact that you’re whole and worthy of respect?

  • I just had my mother tell me ‘you are nothing good. There is something wrong with you.’ She is always telling me how much like my father or my grandma I am and she hates both of them. I hate both of them, as they have been the worst. My mother gets insulted by my grandma, and my father won’t say a word, because honestly, I don’t think he has the guts to stand up to anybody. I always stand up to her. God, I kill myself everyday to make my life, because I know I have no family support from my father or relatives. And then there is my mother, insulting me, belittling me likke I am a lost cause. Now, I might have my bad moments, but I don’t know what I did to deserve it.
    I just got out of a bad relationship and I am fighting depression from three years. I am trying everyday to not give up and be strong. I was going so great, but today when because of a silly mistake, she told me what she did, it hurt. In the heart. I believed it for a minute, that maybe I am just going to end up like my father, a loser.
    Just wanted to went. Thanks..

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing where you are SB.

      You’re clearly trying hard to create a life for yourself, and I admire that so much. And it’s so painful when people who should be there cheering you on are the ones tearing you down.

      I think you know that what your mother tells you isn’t true, but of course that doesn’t stop it from hurting. Perhaps, what hurts most is the fear that they might, after all, be right.

      But she isn’t SB. She isn’t right.

      You have a wonderful heart, and a whole future ahead of you where richness and ease can be parts of your experience.

      Start making small, simple choices that serve you well and keep you nourished. Honour what’s at your core, and through the strength and peace that comes from that, I genuinely hope that things improve. Do let me know how I can support you.

  • I don’t remember put downs as such when I was a child from my Parents that came later but I still feel the sting of betrayal when my Mother would hound my Father so much that he would take his frustrations out on me with his belt. There were many good times and we seemed like any normal family. For me there was always an underlying sense of fear, for being the eldest I was naturally the first in line to be punished. And punished I was often. It didn’t take much to upset my Mother and so secretly I grew to fear and despise her. Dreading my Father coming home from work, hence she should accuse me of some childish offence. A child will love a parent unconditionally and do anything for their approval. I did crave acceptance and approval. A very confusing world it is when one minute your Parents say they love you and the next intimidate and hurt you with a strap.
    Insecurity plus fear equals love > -becomes a core belief.
    My Father once told me that I would be the cause of my Mother being sent to the ‘Phyc Ward’ I was 9 and he wasn’t joking. I was the child but I learnt her needs came before mine.
    I remember learning to hide my feelings and although I was very insecure as I grew older I became adept at masking it, not unlike a Actress on the stage.
    Of course I rebelled when I started working and had some independence, but my Mother still put her needs first. She demanded a quarter of my weekly wages and I paid it. She criticised my choice of career but enjoyed the perks.
    In my early twenties I discovered that alcohol filled some void inside me and gave me incredible confidence and self-worth. I met a handsome loser and married him much to my Parents disappointment. I thought he was all things they weren’t to me, loyal and protective. I was ignorant and too young to understand that the black eye he gave me two weeks before our wedding wouldn’t be the last. Of course, I was pregnant and blinded by love and He was so sorry. I was already desensitised to love with pain, wasn’t I?
    My Mother tells me regularly that my wedding day was the worst day of HER life. Poor her.
    We were married for 11 years of break ups and make ups. With two perfect hostages, our children.His abuse was degrading, he’d smash anything that I held dear, I lost most of my friends as they couldn’t take the dramas anymore….but I needed him so desperately, it sounds insane and it was. Classic co-dependence syndrome.
    I was 38 when I discovered I was pregnant with our third child, a 10 year age gap. I knew I couldn’t subject another child to this shipwreck of a marriage but I had no means to support myself and was financially and emotionally bankrupted.
    So I found myself at the mercy of my Parents. Grateful for their support and ashamed of what my choices in life had produced. The shame was crippling and I could smell their disappointment. For me It was humiliation that never ends. I had no credibility in their eyes and it was evident they had no respect for me Hell, I had little for myself . I couldn’t even trust my own judgement.
    Our inner voices can be the most destructive, when we believe the lies told to us long enough.
    Eventually the belief that I was useless to everyone, and a hindrance I tried to take my life. I broke completely.
    I spent a month in a Phyc Hospitol. Ironic, isn’t it.
    That was 8 years ago now.
    Since then I see a Phyco therapist who has been my lifeline and I highly recommend it. A person you can absolutely trust and with no need to feel you unburdened to much.A professional friend who won’t throw your vulnerabilities back in your face or ‘put you down’ if you don’t obey. When triggers or tricky days happen it’s reassuring to know you have a safe place to go and confide in a real person. I look forward to my sessions with somebody who REALLY listens and gives me constructive tools and support for living.
    The reason why I am sharing my story with you today is not for any ‘poor me’ trip but to show that if Nothing changes, Nothing changes. And you can easily waste your life on somebody who will never change. You must learn to be in control and hold onto it!!
    In a few months I will be 50 years old and I am still susceptible to old beliefs even with all the lessons I have learnt…and am suspicious of people and choosy about who I let into my life. I have immense pride in my little house I have created. It is always a safe and peaceful home without raised voices and unpredictable violent eruptions.
    I suffer Social Phobia now and Anxiety Disorder all symptoms of PTSD . My Mothers barbs have morphed into pointing out my failure to do something with my life, telling me to grow up ( that one makes me laugh) when I have challenged her. If I don’t visit her often enough I’m the worst, yet I live five kms away and she visits me rarely. I have tried distancing myself only to be riddled with guilt and anger at myself for feeling this way, it’s a merry-go-round of emotions.
    Boundaries and ‘self love’ are concepts I can understand but find hard to implement. Isn’t turning a half century time to say enough!! To give myself permission to be Grown-up, not waiting for permission but to just take it…and be a best friend to myself!!

    I hope my story helps somebody’s decision easier …Good Luck to All


  • I have been in this relationship for 6 years. I have 2 kids, 3 and a half years old and 3 months old. After my first child my fiancé started bringing me down. Calling me horrible name, telling me how worthless I am as a mother, wife, friend, employee. Wen we fight he laughs at me, spits at me, comes for me like he wants to hit me. He has hit me a few times and thrown me around. One time I had to be rushed for stitches in my head from him. I feel so alone, I’ve lost both my parents and have no close family. He is an amazing father though. He is so good with the kids. How can I take that away from my children. I don’t wanna be treated like this anymore but I can’t leave him cause my kids will suffer.

    • Dear H, You HAVE to leave.. somehow. Amazing dad or not, this man is and will be setting an example for your children of how to act. Also, they’ll see that it must be okay because you stick around for it. Is this what you want your children to think is right? No! With the kids ages, of course he isn’t abusing them yet. If he is comfortable treating you this way, once the children are of an age where they speak their mind and act in ways that are out of his control… Enough said. Make concessions now to improve your situation. He can be an “amazing father” from under a separate roof!

    • H, he’s not an amazing father. He may have that capacity, but right now he’s not demonstrating it. An amazing father isn’t abusive and violent.

      Please recognise that in no way is it acceptable for him to behave this way towards you, and in no way do you deserve it or need to put up with it for the sake of your kids.

      If someone you cared about was in your situation, what advice would you give them? How would you support them through the difficult decisions ahead? You deserve to give yourself that same care and attention.

  • Hi I was married for 30 years single now for 7. So, ive met a nice guy it seemed 3 years ago. All of a sudden lately he has become a different person. Sucking his thump laughing if we have a problem, refusing to talk about any issues, hiding his phone, putting passwords on everything, accusing me of other men, etc. When I visit him, I must clean, cook as he asked me to and if I do so, I am told he doesnt want a woman he do it better. Its like
    my mind is running crazy, i do not know what is coming or happening so I refused his proposal and i also refused to move in with him. Now he is acting like a child, punishing me all the time and putting me down wherever he can, like telling everybody we are not a couple etc. Should I leave him or any suggestions? I do love him, however his wife of 20 years left him because of abuse.

    • I can’t tell you what to do Jenna. You probably know that.

      All I can say is that you deserve to be treated with respect, and you don’t have to prove to him that you’re worthy of love. You already are worthy.

      A helpful way to move forwards can be to run a little experiment. Try something different for a week or two, whether it’s your response to his behaviour, how you choose to react or how you perceive the narrative you’re in, and see what happens.

  • These postings are amazing to read. I had the same problem until it became too much and I emailed everyone and gave them a piece of my mind. None spoke to me for years and them we started talking again. This time they were respectful. All was fine, then one of them started up again and I, once again, gave them a piece of my mind; this time in person, in their face. Never heard a peep out of them ever again. After reading the answers on this site I am more determined than ever to never allow people to treat me bad. It’s not easy, especially when the people putting you down is your own family. Sometimes we do not say anything because we try to avoid hurting their feelings and it’s much easier taking their abuse than to disturbe the peace. Most of the time we are stronger emotionally than they are and we can take more. Either way, it’s not right. This is our lives, we should live a good quality. Some people have to be taught. Sometimes I have complete control; other times I turn into a mad Russell Crowe. The point is, my feelings come out and they don’t eat me up. I get an apology and it makes me feel good.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story Veri. You’re right. Often we just take put-downs because we don’t want to upset anyone or rock the boat. But the consequences of that decision can be huge.

      As Dr Phil says, you teach people how to treat you.

  • First of all, I would like to say that I had a wonderful childhood growing up, would not trade it for anything. I was marred to a man for 32 years until I found out he was seeing 5 women and had 4 cell plans. I was hurt, and I was angry, mostly mad at myself for not seeing what was going on around me. Did it leave me bitter, not really. I decided to file for divorce, which he did not want, I could not live that kind of life anymore. And he proven to me that he did not respect me by what he has done, he was selfish in his own needs, he would never change. After the divorce, I found someone special, loving, caring and treated me like gold, it was hard to accept all the attention, but I opened my arms to embrace this attention. I also treated him loving and made him feel that he was special. But after 2 years, he changed, not sure what happened, he became somewhat distant, he started to saying he needed to prove himself to others, and make a better life for us. Now we are over here in the Oil Boom in North Dakota, living in a 5th wheel RV, I have no problem with it, but he hates it. I made it a cute little home, we have everything we need. But he feels that he should move us out of here and find a “real” home for us, so I can have everything I want. I tell him I have everything I want right here and I am happy. I even went back to College and received my Associates Degree and made Honor Roll, once I graduated, things started to change. I have been told that I have no common sense, I do not think properly, I accuse him of things which I have no idea what this is about, he says he worries about leaving me alone when he travels because he feels I cannot take care of myself ( I’m 54 years old), he tells me constantly that I bring my past into our relationship, the past are my children. He started mentioning that I should lose a few pounds and maybe do something about my little wrinkles around my eyes, and I should dress better. He use to tell me I was beautiful, but I haven’t heard that in a while. He tell me constantly how I need to better myself so others will take me seriously and respect me. That way I do not come across as a idiot. Now mind you, I have been told by many that I am the most outgoing, upbeat, positive person they have ever met, ha ha I never thought of myself as this. And the fact my boyfriend has gained a lot of weight (80 lbs) and he wants me to lose weight. If I suggest ideas he tells me the are stupid, Even cooking, I do it all wrong, fold his socks the wrong way! And everything I cook gives him gas and causes him to retain fluid. He was promoted in his job and that is all he talks about, how great he is at it, I try to talk to him and he does not even hear me. His work phone goes off 24/7 with emails from work, drivers, supervisors, we can not even have 20 minutes of peace, he tells me this is important and has to answer them, It is all about work. One thing that strikes me odd, is when he is traveling, he calls me while he is driving he does not talk much, just about what he needs to do for work that day, who he needs to talk to, who calls him or emails him. Drives me nuts. I sit here and wonder what I am doing here, if I am not a important part of his life anymore. One problem, I have no car and stuck here with no family. So I try to make the best of it, not let it get me down, or dwell on it, I just try to make life the best I can.

    • Thanks for stopping by Shawn. I don’t know you guys, and only know what you’ve told me here, but it sounds like your boyfriend is hurting.

      Men are strange creatures. We want to provide for the people we love, and we have all kinds of expectations around duty, roles and providing. So when plans go awry or we can’t provide in the way we hoped, it makes us doubt ourselves. It makes us wonder if we’re good enough.

      So it could be that he’s hurting, and that’s leaking out as anger and put-downs directed at you.

      You have the right to let him know that you expect to be treated with love and respect, but you also have the opportunity to let him know that you love him, are there to support him and how much you want to carve out a future together.

      So, with all that said, what would be a little experiment you could run to see what happens?

  • My dad always puts me down in front of others about how fat I am. Yes I am overweight and I do believe that I should do something, but I do procrastinate myself out of stopping eating, but I do exercise for 45 minutes every day. I can’t stand dealing with him calling me fat and overweight at home, comparing me to his diabetic friends and whenever he says he cares for me, all I feel is weight. He even makes up random lies to make me feel even worse. Sometimes, it makes me feel terrible that my own father doesn’t love me that much anymore because I’m an “embarressment” and “shame” to our family because of my stomach and when my friends or cousins lose the slightest weight, they’ll compare me to them and say how much of a better child they are and why they got stuck with me. Is it my stomach that I have to deal with or is it my father?

    • You value isn’t dependent on what the weigh scales say Arian.

      Don’t lose weight to please your father or anyone else. You’re already worthy of his love and respect, and don’t need to prove yourself to be worthy.

      What’s a choice you can make that serves you well Arian?

  • My fiance and i have been together for 6 years. Ive always known he had a temper (weve lived together for 5 years). Its usually about the computer not working or his xbox, stuff like that. It has been increasingly been towards me… mayne once every few months. Today he woke up and saw that the puppy had peed on the kitchen floor. Then he swears anf yells and makes it a point to say,” nobodys been watching him”. When in fact i had just finished the dishes and was unpacking boxes from our move to the new house. Immediately i was angry at how he thinks that and i think, it seems ad though he thinks i do nothing all day long…even aftrr working ten hoirs and cleaning. Thrn he cools down but never apologiEs. It makes me feel like im not good enough. I know his parents divorced when he was in middle sxhool because of his mom cheating and acting like the victim. Somehow i think thid is relaed possibly? I i know i need to say something but hes good at shutting down if i have an issue with him. Do you know if thos is a major problem or am i just overreacting?
    Im so emotional and lost and confused on how to feel.

    • I think it’s pretty common for men (and perhaps everyone) to hide pain behind anger, and to shut down rather than own up to pain.

      Remember, it’s not your job to fix him, just as it’s not your job to please him. You can love him and support him and let him know you’re there. But you also deserve to be treated with respect, and you have the right to let him know that they way he behaves towards you is sometimes unacceptable. Talk to him about the kind of future you want to move into. How amazing your future is together.

      But please always remember that you don’t have to earn his love.

  • My father treated me very badly since from childhood…even he is the only person who destroy my life completely and insulted me among family members and told that i destroy him.Actually with in six years he loose lots of money (very huge amount i can’t share…).and blame me .I don’t know what should i will do?wherever i say anything he start abusing me,i’m very depressed , even i hang myself.Approx six times he comprised with me that he won’t do this again but after some days again
    he started .As he is father so i’ able to do anything seriously.please guide me…

  • My mother has always been much less afectionate than most an mor obsessed with cleaning than most too. She’s always making comments to put us all down. As a mother myself I’m horified an due to financial isues my husband, kids an I hav to stay at my parents house an so it seems I hav to take it bcos I can’t get out, I’m not clean enough, I don’t do enuf, its my prob to keep da house clean like a museam. She does ths to my brothers as we’ll an gets pretty demeaning. I’m so tired of it all, its makin me bitter an ruining my relationship wit my kids bcos I just can’t take much anymore they all walk all ova me an I’m powerless to do anything at all.

    • Blue, what if you weren’t powerless after all?

      What if you had a power way down deep? A power that’s been there, just waiting for you to remember it. What if you could trust yourself to make a great decision? What if you didn’t have to prove anything to your mother, because you were already worthy of love?

      How would that feel?

  • A woman at work in a more Senior position than me & 17 years older just loves finding & pointing out things I do wrong. Even as far as I’ve put a piece of post on her desk that isn’t mine. We all make mistakes but there is a way of telling people without making them feel like a complete idiot. Sometimes she is so nice, friendly, chatty funny etc but she changes like the wind. I never retaliate which may be the problem. I just sit there & take it. I just say oh sorry or say ok. If I was spoken to this way in a non work situation I would defend myself but at work I just can’t do it. She snaps at me for what I do wrong. I write lots of things down but still make mistakes. I double check my work but some things still get missed. Sometimes I’m scared to ask for help if she’s in a mood which results in me making a mistake which then results in a put down. Vicious circle. I haven’t told anyone as I feel too embarrassed. I like the work so I don’t really want to leave.

    • Thanks for letting me know a little of what’s happening Louise.

      You say that if this was happening in a non-work situation that you’d defend yourself. What do you think is stopping you from standing up for yourself at work?

      What would be a way you could let her know that you expect a different kind of behaviour, without it being a big drama or confrontation?

  • Hi all, while some commented it is good to see we are not alone, it is actually disturbing to see how many of us suffer from put me downs – just think about lava effect on our children.

    Well, I am 33y old, married for 13 years already, and have three wonderful children. My husband is so demanding in our relationship, and constantly puts me down. I am no good wife, no good lover, no good housekeeper, maybe just a good mother but even that partially because i make so many things wrong (I don’t teach our kids how to cleanup after themselves, let them play everywhere and with everything, etc). Many times I told him how i feel when he talks to me that way, but no improvement. I told him the libraries are full of speeches like that and instructions, but please welcome and take a load of me and do it better if you already know how and especially since I am doing it so bad. The answer is no, of course, he says he is trying to teach me a lesson, and every time I don’t do good enough he will help even less around the house. In a mean time I have started our family business, we invested a lot in, and signed our home as a collateral, and I have no income of my own. The business is going good, but it doesn’t bring in steady income yet. How do I move on? or how do I the get the hell out if he says our home is only his because it is on his name (he threatens me that way, and is accusing me I buried him alive because he had to sign on collateral papers (oh and by the way he says that if it wasn’t for him i would never have my business because his signature made it come real), he is receiving his monthly check in good amount (enough to support all five of us, and the small mortgage, and the car payment etc). Between all the put-downs his argument is that he has and brings in enough money for himself, I am the one who depends on him. And the sad part is that that is true. So what do i do? How do I get out of this mess? I get so depressed at times that I cant even focus on my business, but he always says he hurts more, and that his feelings matter and words don’t. he also has this gift of turning every fight around his way. And he never says i am sorry.
    Last night we had a scene where I couldn’t take it anymore, I was picking up legos from the floor with my children and he kept on saying things to me and I just threw a handful of legos in his face and said “stop insulting me already I am good person!” Today, all day long, i cant focus on anything, all I want to do is cry. he keeps threatening me with divorce (I am his second marriage, and he didn’t put much effort in his first either, especially with his kids who don’t even talk with him today). What do I do?? he has a big pride and even bigger ego, I think I am almost sure I no longer love him
    he is suspicious about everything, but calling me suspicious

    • I so appreciate the honesty of your story, mother of three. You clearly love your children and want to bring them up in a home that allows them to flourish, but it’s clear that right now that isn’t possible.

      If you’ve spoken rationally about what you expect and the kind of home you want your children to grow up in, and he refuses to listen let alone behave differently, then perhaps there are some difficult choices ahead.

      But think about it. What if this continued for another year? Another 2 years? Another 5 years? What would be the impact on you?

  • The last point-Get the hell out is very important. If you have tried everything and the person or people keep belittling you in various ways, then you don’t need them, and they have no business expecting anything from you. I say it like this because I went to a friend’s church that I later joined. After a while the people in the congregation and the Youth Group were acting so smug and jerky about almost anything. If I had my own view on something, they were always putting me down, or they would gossip about me because someone leaked out information. What is kind of ironic is that it was a church and I had not one drop of support from anyone, including my friend. I was not able to say anything to them without getting an argument and conspiracies thrown against me. So, I had no choice but to leave that church and never look back. As for my friend, we are still kind of friends, but she rarely calls or gives me any thought unless I call her first or something prompted her. As far as the other points go, they hold truth, but it is not worth staying with someone if he doesn’t change his attitude towards you. Sometimes getting the hell out can be a wake up to the abuser if he realizes that a material vice is missing. Take church, for example, if you stop going to that church, they won’t be seeing any more of your money. Bringing up that point, it is a real shame that money and materialism are the main things that drive people to change, not because it is the right thing to do.

    • I think you’re right Ellen, and thanks so much for sharing your story.

      I hope things have improved for you and that you’ve found a group who respect you for who you are.

  • I have a 24 year old daughter and a 39 year old daughtet who constantly tells me what a rotten job I did as a mother and that they and their siblings should of been taken away from me. I was married 21 years to an abusive alcoholic who was in and out of jail. He was murdered in front of me and my children when my youngest daughter was 8 years old. I had always worked to support my family sometimes 2 and 3 jobs. I always let my children know how much I loved them and my husband never abused my children only me. After he died a few years later I went kind of crazy and got involved with drugs. My counselor say it could be because I threw myself into taking care of my family and never allowed myself to grieve. While still maintaining a job a everything my children needed. I also cleaned up and decided that wasn’t a life for me or my kids. I was never forgiven for this. I was also blamed for the abuse I endured. Wow. My husband has been dead 16 years and I have been clean 8. I did drugs for 5 years. Nothing I do makes a difference in my daughter’s eyes. I have 2 girls and a boy. My daughter’s are the only ones who cannot let go. I don’t know who is worse the youngest or the oldest. My son and youngest daughter were the ones with me to witness their dads murder. The man was caught and he died in prison. I know we are all damaged. I’m in counseling
    I cannot get my daughter or son to go. But I can’t take my daughter’s verbal abuse anymore either. It breaks my heart. They both have children and I love my grandchildren so much. But their mouths…..and they have both gotten physical with me recently. I won’t go near them now. I miss my grandchildren so much.

    • Oh my Donna. What can I say?

      Thank you for your honesty and for sharing just a little of your story, and I can only begin to imagine the pain you’ve all gone through.

      Please remember that you’re not responsible for what happened to your husband, or for how your son and daughters deal with it. You can only continue to love them, and make the best choices you can for yourself. Continue to seek support as it’s important not to do this alone, and don’t push away the pain you’ve experienced.

      I truly, truly wish good things for you.

  • OMG,I am reading your statement and I got the chills.Are you sure we dont have the same husband or maybe they are brothers,(LOL) the exact same thing is going on with me.My husband is an alcoholic and did not work for 2 yrs.He got a good job and I have always worked well about 2 yrs ago I stopped working so much.You know I want to spend my time with my kids (Ihave always worked and never got to enjoy them) but now (for the past 2 yrs) Im not good enough ,Now that he makes more money than me. I get insulted everyday, He says-I need to thank him for providing for me and the kids ,that I should be grateful, no one would want me and if he left I would starve without him, all this bunch of crap comes out of his mouth especially when he is drunk ,I come across as the independant tough woman when he is in front of me because I dont want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he got to me …….but in reality he has crushed my soul. What kills me is that when he didnt have a job I stepped up took care of the house and put him through trucking school . I though that when you had a partner you are there through thick and hurts me to know that I dont have the same support I have givin to him and continue to give him……I felt so alone and now i know Im not.

    • You have a good heart Jessica, and you clearly want to create a healthy environment for your family.

      I love that you feel as though you’re not alone, and you’re not. This happens to all kinds of people from all walks of life, with the only common thread being how hurtful and damaging it is, plus the fact that it’s unacceptable.

      What’s that heart of yours telling you about what you should do?

  • As I see it this is the whole problem with humans. We are not supporting complimenting respecting being objective caring being responsible for our own actions. I am seeing this behavior more and more. What does this say about what is happening to us? Lack of respect leads to all the hate and violence we are seeing. This is the problem…… Very sad indeed.

    • It is sad. But there’s also love and respect and grace out there, right?

      If you choose to recognise just the worst of us, that’s all you’ll see. Choose to marvel at the good we do, and we’re mighty indeed.

  • I’m in a bad marriage right now and don’t know how to get out. My husband of 9 years puts me Down everyday. We have a 4 year old son, and I’m staying just for him. He’s autistic and needs his father… I get verbally abused every single day. I am scared to leave, not for my life scared, but scared to be alone. Can anyone give me advice, please!??

    • we are in the same situation…..everything I do for my husband is incorrect….Its gottin to the point that Im always on edge when he is around. I havent left yet but I am definitly considering this option.Its been 9yrs and Ive stayed, at first I didnt realize it {see i come from an abusive family) he was verbally abusive until about 2 yrs ago that its been a constant everyday thing…one thing for sure is the reason I want to leave is our chldren I dont want them to grow up thinking this is okay…we have to break the cycle…we both do…and I know its easier said than done. good luck

      • Andrea, Jessica, I genuinely feel for you. It must feel really lonely and upsetting.

        But while it’s easier said than done, you have to start to change things. For the sake of your children and for your own sake.

        What you’re putting up with is NOT okay. It never was. It never will be. The more you tolerate it, the more you take on that narrative and the more damage it does.

        So, if you were to start to make different choices, choices that might take you someplace where you’re not afraid and feel like you hope you could feel, what would be a great place to start?

  • I am a 33 year old with two children. I have been with my partner for 6 years. He is an alcoholic and relapses every couple months. For years now I have not only dealt with his addiction but also his belittling. For 5 out of the 6 years he has been unemployed and now that he is employed making a substantial amount of money, he rants and raves about it; he mentions that he pays the bills and this is his house, he makes comments to my children about their father stating that they need to ask him for things and makes fun of him, my partner himself still does not take care of his own children financially and he still has the nerve to say something. I feel like I’ve lost my confidence and ability to succeed on my own. What made me come to this website was to look for relief from being constantly put-down and look for support. Thank you for the reassurance in the message. Hopefully I can put my foot forward and state my feelings without worrying about the consequences… which would be another pout-down.

    • I want that for you too Julie, and I dearly hope things improve.

      I think it’s right and appropriate that you try to get your husband to help himself with his alcoholism, but you’re not responsible for that and you can’t force him to acknowledge where he is and the problems he’s ignoring.

      So your choice is really about how you move forwards in a way that honours who you are and recognises that you deserve love and respect. What do you think?

  • My husband shouts at me in front of people and never takes blame for anything, i have reached a point where i just accept everything to be my fault but am getting frustrated now

    • Sorry to hear that M.

      Do you see what you said there? You said that “I accept everything to be my fault”, and then you say, “getting frustrated now”. Cause and effect M.

      Everything is not your fault. You are not to blame. You don’t need to prove yourself.

      You can either keep absorbing the toxic put downs your husband is firing at you, or you make a choice to respect the fact that you’re already whole, already capable and already worthy of love.

  • Ever since i got a job 4months ago. i have received critism from my colleagues some are whispered into each other ears and others say whateva aloud. what hurts me is some people use my personal identity to bring me down. i understand that its normal for people to talk about you but its much hurtful when you realise that those people keep talking negative things about you. i have heard a lot of people talk about me saying negative critics and one time i cried about it. then i notice a guy who tends to be in the same goup as the people who usually attack me coming to greet me via handshake,. for those past months he didint and the suddenly he starting cuming to work to give me a handshake. he came twice and that second time he gave me a handshake, we had to knock off at work and as i was standing out with two girls as he came outside and stood nearby with another employee he critised me calling me a lesbian. i left the workplace feeling sad and as i was going home i started sobbing as it was a painful experience. The next day he came into the office and decide to greet me for the 3rd time in 4 months and i didnt accept her handshake. i told he that i cant keep greeting him as i notice he is pretending, was i wrong to have done these? after i rejected his handshake he told his bullying gang and they said that as long as im still working here they will attack me and il keep crying. now everybody at work sees me as a loser. lord please help me, i know that as humans we talk and critise and if u are a victim you have to accept and move on because you can never change people’s perceptions of how the perceive you. can you please advise me

    • That’s a toxic workplace, if ever there was one. If there’s an HR department, go make a formal complaint. This cannot be tolerated in a modern place of work.

      If things don’t change, you owe it to yourself to get out of there and find a workplace who respect you and acknowledge your strengths.

  • I recently got married. Two months ago, actually. Now that we’re living together, he’s constantly putting me down in front of our friends. I’ll be cooking dinner, and he’ll say, “she’s bad at cleaning up after herself.” He’s constantly making me feel bad about myself, guilty, that I’m not “sexy enough,” or that I don’t try hard enough. We’ve been married two months, and I’m the only one to cook, do the laundry, run errands, etc. I have a full time job. I’m trying my hardest, and I still feel like I’m not good enough for him. Our sex life is almost non existent because he won’t have sex with me unless I initiate. It’s like he doesn’t want me at all.

    • That sucks Liz.

      You realize you’re not powerless here, right?

      So, if you were to start having the kind of relationship with your husband that you’d both love, what would be a good way to start? What would be a way of letting him know what you want for you both?

  • I’m 18 years old and I recently graduated from college. I have been unemployed for some months and I have been trying to get a job. Recently, I notice that I have been the punching bag for peoples anger. I’m so friendly, I avoid hurting peoples feelings, but people don’t seem to do that to me.

    I didn’t have the best child hood, but it was okay. Didn’t have a dad till the age of 5 but he passed away this year February of skin cancer. I have always had insecurities, from when I can remember. A lot of them came from school friends and family.

    I have a younger brother who is treated really different to me, she spoils him and she knows that. It makes me kind of jealous of how much she encourages him and compliments him. Its sad, because he’s 5. Sometimes I get frustrated at him just because my mother favourite-tises him. I just remember me not being treated like that. Its like He’s treated as an equal adult and I’m the child.

    My mother is the cause of my insecurities (I hate to say this) but she’d put me down saying ‘Im stupid”I’m selfish’ I’m a bitch’, when she’s angry. I’d always end up crying or ignoring her. It was worse when my dad was diagnosed with cancer and he got really ill.

    Now I’m unemployed she’ll make snide remarks to people saying “she’s living under my house doing nothing” “she does nothing but lazy around in the house”. Which is so not true, I clean the house, I wash up, I cook dinner and if I’m lucky I’d get to do some video editing.

    Just recently we had a visit form one of our family members and we were all talking over dinner and she mumbles to me ” you say some stupid things” I replied I don’t but she was so persistent that I do. Its very upsetting to have a mother who picks and chooses to put you down or not.

    She’s moans to me about her mother putting her down, but why does she do it to me ? Like If I had a dime for how many times she’s said I am unintelligent i’d be rich. I hate feeling like I’m walking on egg shells,I hate feeling uncomfortable in my own home. Im constantly on edge.

    I use to be so confident, but now when it comes to new people i’m frightened about what they say about me. A lot of people will say talk to her about it, but she not the kind of person to listen and take it on, unless she realises it herself.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story Emily, and you sound like a wonderful, caring soul to me.

      It’s hard when you’re dependent on family. You can’t simply up and move.

      So instead, how can you start to let your mother know that you’re an adult now, and that you want to be in loving, supportive household where everyone can feel at peace. Let her know that you’re just getting started, that you’ll do your darndest to find work, and let her know how much you appreciate what she’s done for you.

      And perhaps most importantly, please remember who you are ten thousand feet down inside. You’re beautiful. You’re smart. You’re loving. You have so much to give.

  • i have a mom who doesnt mind calling me out even when she knows im diagnosed with depression. my 2 brothers, one the oldest never was there in my whole life and was out most of the time and in the end he get married to a girl in 2014 the year where i actually found out about this stranger. my older brother and i dont talk much at all he is very strange and crazy person. whenever i needed just minor help when i was a little kid he was go nuts and starts to yell even as he grew up he would punch walls over who eat his piece of chickhen. in the end, he still acts like this in a way and so i dont ask him for help at all and for his fiance, i still am surprised shes ok that the fact he is like that and that she thinks its ok to marry someone and not meet that someones family before getting to that level. then there my psychotic 2nd older brother, this guy was literally born angry, i remember when i was little he would beat me and make fun of me for no reason and when my dad gave him his first Playstation 1 console game it was the end of my realationship with him. this guy loved playing games so much that if someone in the house was borthering him while hes playing hell start to yell and if i interupt him he would make fun of me in a way that would literally make me feel like shit. and lastly my mom, this women i dont know if i still would consider her a mom, but she doesnt care how bad our family life is turning out and just blames it on her own kids. everytime im near her she would always say how other people are better than me and keeps going on about how bad am i. i thought it would be better if i tell her how i feel about this family life and its behavior, but even after i told her she still doesnt care. my plan was to get out of this life by getting and job and saving up money to live somewhere away from them and start a new and healty life but job are so hard to find in where i live. i dont know what to do at this point beside talking to god. i feel like im screwed at this point.

    • You’re in a tough spot, for sure. I get that it feels like you’re screwed and out of options, but there’s always a way.

      The solution might not be right around the corner, but it starts with you. It starts with you making decisions based on the fact that you deserve better. That you have all kinds of strengths and talents you can put to great use. That you’re worthy of love. That you have love to give. That you can nourish your head, heart and body because you deserve a rich, nourished life.

      Start with small decisions, baby steps.

      Let me know how I can help.

  • I wanted to say that I have been put down,thousands of times thru my life. Don’t know why People do that ? Is it to look better? Laugh when they put others down? I really don’t know why. Yes, I have put people down in the past. Then I stop and say” I didn’t like that, why should I be doing it” Then I woke up the next day and STOPPED. For Me, I feel so much better that I dont put others down anymore. People just needs to stop putting each other down. It starts with you. You control wants comes out of your mouth..

    • BOOM! Thanks so much for this Marcus.

      It’s funny that sometimes we’re quick to judge others for what they say, but not so much ourselves.

      Time for a little consideration, respect and encouragement all round.

  • I can not say anything without my family jumping down my throat. They tell me I am always negative and they are positive. I just need to grow up and deal with it, and they criticize every decision I make, and tell me all the time well I would not like it. It crazy I am a military spouse we have been gone from our hometown for 11 yrs and every time we go to my family’s house they all sit around and tell me I am the problem.

    • Family’s are tough Chrissy. I feel for you.

      I hope you recognise that you deserve better, and that out there somewhere is a richer, more colourful experience of life.

      Then it comes down to making decisions that reflect that. You can let them know how drained and hurt you are by what’s happened, and ask them to treat you differently. You can introduce things that nourish your head, heart and body, because it’s those things that give you energy and make you feel alive.

      Will you let me know how it goes?

  • I’m constantly belittled by my dad… because I’m a girl. I’m never asked how work is going or advice on computers, finances, things I excel in. It’s my brother that gets asked those things because he is a guy and must know more about those things. If I ever inject my knowledge, it’s brushed away quickly because a woman couldn’t have anything of significance to contribute. If I am asked to do anything by my mom, my dad is there to criticize my attempts. I’m more accomplished than either him or my brother because I became obsessed with proving myself. Now, I find myself over critical towards my husband and child. Maybe it is time to end this toxic relationship.

    • Perhaps it is Holly.

      Don’t let that relationship color your experience or drive you to prove yourself.

      What if you had nothing to prove? What if you were already plenty good enough? What if you were already in the perfect place, with abundant talent and grace to make your next choice?

      Look for how you can feel free and how you can honour what’s at your core, free from judgement.

  • The essay doesn’t work in dealing with a boss or a parent. Few people can easily leave a job, (The next job may have a worse situation), and children can’t walk out on abusive parents. I’d like to see better examples for those situations

    • I can’t give specific advice like that I’m afraid. The article is more of a starting point, a call to action, a recognition that people deserve better and that they can start to change things through making choices that serve them well.

      There are always ways through situations like these, some more complex or challenging than others, sure. That’s why a core of confidence and self-trust is so important.

  • I am 32 years old and I didnt know adult s would bully me. I thought those days were over but, it’s not. I have a so called friend for almost 3 years but puts me down along with her girlfriend. They are always making fun of me all day everyday and in front of people as well ,the worst part is that the other people join in. They called me bitch,slow, stupid,midget, wack,cornball, idot, I am no good, I have no luck With men ,crazy the list goes on and on. So when I do defend my self they go even harder so I never win. But then they cook for me and always wants to hang out with me, I don’t understand, why make fun of me and then do so called nice things? I am tired and yes I’ve told them but they said I am too sensitive and I can’t take a joke. Last week they told me just get used to it because they will always make fun of me. I told them I don’t like it because I was bullied when I was a kid so the words makes me feel worthless. I cried many times about this and pray to god so they cab leave me alone. My heart tells me to leave. P.s they don’t make fun of their other friends just me . I feel like they have no respect for me. I would like to know why would someone make fun of me but then invite me to their house , make plans etc. I am hurting inside because I want to give it a chance but they won’t stop.

    • So sorry to hear about your situation Ely. Really.

      First of all, you don’t need to keep on hurting. You deserve a better experience, and “friends” who treat you this way and don’t listen might not be the kinds of friends you need.

      By all means try to change your relationship with them. Tell them that it’s unacceptable and that you expect more from them. Be clear, and stay strong. If they continue, and this is perhaps the hardest part of all, then you need to start making connections elsewhere and start leaving these people behind you.

      You don’t deserve this kind of treatment, and there are friends out there you haven’t met yet who are willing to support you and encourage, just as you are.

      • Update****

        I took charge and cut off all the toxic negative people from my life and my life has changed for the better. I feel so much happier and less stressed, its been the best thing I ever done. They didn’t even care when I told them “we cant be friends anymore ” but it was worth it.
        I am so happy , I am more positive and sleep so much better . In fact , I don’t even miss them! lol Life has changed for me 360 since April.


  • yes i get put down by my boyfriend every time i try to tell him of sometjing i dont like about him he will get angry and then start putting me down every time i try to talk to him about something he lied about he statts getting mad instead of me being mad about the situation he is the one angry at me and putting me down

    • So what’s the reason you try to tell him something you don’t like about him? It’s likely he’s just striking out as a defence mechanism.

      Perhaps there’s a kinder way for you to ask him to do something differently, rather than it being perceived as an attack?

  • Theres this girl at my school. And most people from my school are southern and friendly. But shes from a known to be horrible people city.she is HORRIBLE. Everytime i try to talk to my friends she says “shut up bitch” “you stupid as hell” etc. it really hurts. She says shes from the ghetto, and uses slang that is so mean.she always acts like she own my school and me because shes black. And im not being racist.I didnt even know what a thot was until she called me one. What do i do?

    • You forget about her. You leave her behind as you do what matters to you.

      There are people like her out there, and they act the way they do because they hate something in their lives and take that out on other people.

      But you don’t need to take it or put up with it. Just remember that what she says is actually about her own life, and has nothing to do with you.

  • I have a boyfriend that always puts me down, makes me like crap all the time. He accuses me of the worse things like talking to his own brothers. We have a 6 month old why would i ever do something like that. Im so tired of it. Im not respected at all. Im just a person who takes care of his daughter.

    • So there’s a choice you have to make Elizabeth.

      What kind of home do you want to raise your daughter in?

      You need to set out some expectations around the kind of home you want to build and the behaviour you expect. You can explain that you’re hurt by what he says and that you want to move forwards without that. You deserve better.

  • I have a small story to tell. Today my sister insulted me by taking a video of mine and calling me a wild beast and a an angel turned into a monster. I told my mom and she did nothing but tell my sister in her normal tone to stop. I have been bawling my eyes, i have eaten nothing and the only consolation i get from my mother is “eat your food.” I have crying for hours and no one has come even once to say “I’m her” or “i know your sis was wrong” hell no one has even come to wipe my tears. They are doing their own things and i’m left here to think i have no one. Also my mother thinks that me crying means i’m younger than a three year old, just because i’m older and my sister is younger, i shouldn’t cry. Help? anybody?

    • Hi Nisha
      Im not sure how old you are but this would be my advice:
      It is so hard when people hurt us and then offer no apology or remorse. Even worse they say nothing about the wrong they did and leave us alone to fester in frustration. I get this a lot with a certain person in my life. It is crazy making. But they are the problem, not you. Dont let them turn this onto you. No blame on you, right:)
      Anyway, it sounds like there are some aggressive people in your family. If I were you, I would find a way to stop needing their warmth bec it sounds like you wont be getting any warmth from them. It appears they control you and your emotions by violating your boundaries and withholding needed affection from you. I would suggest get tough (sounds unkind I know but this is my experience with unapologetic insulting people) with these people, dont let them see you cry, eat your meals – you need the energy and go get your stuff back. Then watch something on TV to distract you or play a sport. Dont let her bully you. She will only do it more. Make a stand now or it will likely get worse. If you mother doesnt step in (her parenting flaw I think) then you need to step in. Dont let your sister walk all over you. And dont let her call you names. Tell her to stop behaving like a toddler and give your ruddy stuff back. Take the stuff by force if you must. But stop this abusive treatment and nip it in the bud quick. Imagine you all are a pack of wolves. Your sister is the bully/ bossy one who wants to be on top. Dont let her. Put her in her place (do it decisively but without outright rage and violence) and hopefully she’ll think twice before crossing your boundaries again. One more thing, I used to cry a lot – theres nothing morally wrong with it, but I will tell you this : it is not a very useful thing, it doesnt work on these types of people (people who dont give a damn about other people dont actually care) and it causes you a helluva lot of stress. I know you need to let your emotions out so if necessary cry in privacy if you have to, but dont show your weakness! They will exploit it and use it in arguments against you. Sort these nasties out (you dont need to use a lot of words to do it – taking your stuff back by force and not showing your weakness will suffice – you dont have to rise/react to any of their comments – just walk away, maybe adding they should behave their age;) and focus on something you enjoy. Good luck, hope this helps:)

    • Hey Nisha. Sounds like it’s time to stand up and let your sister know that you expect better from her, and that you won’t tolerate her bullying behaviour.

      You don’t have to get into a fight, just calmly and sincerely explain that you were hurt when she did what she did, that you’re stronger than she knows and that you want to get on with her.

      I hope things improve for you.

  • Understanding a put down is actually a way of understanding the human psyche. Think of it from the perspective of road rage, there can be any numerous reasons the driver is pissed. Ticking them off won’t exactly fix the problem just get you into a fight. Sometimes we also don’t naturally want to admit it but the reason people put us down is that either they think highly of us and do it as a means to teach us a lesson, or they are just despicable rotten oranges withering on the inside and simply jealous with their big bodies, deep chatter boxes, that they fail so easily at life compared to you. Its human nature to be a stubborn mule.

    • Ha, thanks for the comment! You’re right, that a put-down is given because of where the person who gives is at, not the receiver.

      It’s always about them. Never the person on the receiving end.

  • My whole life I have been put down. Growing up with an alcoholic father, who always told me I was worthless and I would never amount to anything. Met someone at age 16 and moved out because I wanted out of that home. In my marraige, now he became verbally abusive. He accused me of everything under the sun. Told me no one ever wanted me. I never took pride in nothing because I was always told I was nothing. I believed it. I work 2 jobs and try to stay busy. After a divorce and my kids grown, now I try to spend time MY time. I enjoy going to the Casino (not spending alot of money), but its MY time. Now my mom calls me worthless and thinking I am out picking up dirty old men. Thing is, I never did any of that. Again, my whole life I was told I am worthless and everyone always pointed the bad stuff I did. I am 48 and today I realized that I dont think I am that bad. I dont buy new clothes because I dont look good anyway. I dont buy new furniture or have a nice home because I was always told I didnt deserve anything nice. My mom has helped me out financially alot which I always paid her back. She knows what I do every minute. I thought I was finally getting myself better, but when I came back from going out (always by myself), dont have alot of friends, I was out alittle late. The next morning she calls me and screams at me, “what are you out picking up old dirty truck drivers late at night”. I was at the Casino and time passed by quickly. Guess everyone is right. I am not worth nothing and that is the only thing everyone always points out to me…I dont go out drinking, dont do drugs and held a job for years. No matter what I always do, its never good enough. I believe it now but I dont understand what I ever did wrong.

    • These people are emotional vampires. Dont believe a word they say because it is all lies! They hate you (their fault and problem, not yours) but that doesnt mean they are right! Would you believe your enemy? Your enemy wants to destroy you! Your enemy will lie to you and do anything to beat you down! Know this! Yes, your mother can be your enemy! I know!
      You can buy clothes for yourself and feel good in them and thats all that matters. You sound like a hard worker and a loyal person – that sounds like a good person to me. You should draw the line with your mother very quickly, that she is only allowed to say nice things to you or she isnt allowed to say anything. Get a telephone that recognises her number and dont answer it. You are allowed to be happy and feel lucky in life – that is your right – dont let anyone steal it from you. Dont let any negative people rent space in your head – raise the rent and kick them out! Cut all these horrible yucky people out of your life like so many rotten apples, its the only way you will ever gain peace. And never ever feel guilty!:) Then enjoy your casino and make friends with only positive people who lift you up. You DO deserve it. These peoples opinions are not valid – any opinion that hurts you is not valid! You are only 48! You still have half a life time to enjoy the sweetness life has to offer. Youve done your sentence with these people, get out before you are 85. Good luck.

    • Hey Tammy, that sounds horrible.

      Kate has some solid thoughts, but I disagree with the point about them “hating you”. They don’t. They’re actually more likely to be hating something in their own lives and using you as target practice for their pain and anger.

      But you deserve better than that. You have a good heart and you’ve kept yourself together all these years.

      So now, what if it was YOUR TIME? What if now was the point where you take a new direction and start putting things into your life that truly nourish you?

      How would that be?

  • U guys arnt useless one so ever no matter no matter the way u look at it. Your family is just rude & mean towards u & disrespectful becuzz they don’t seem 2 really understand your or what u r going though I know … its hard. But if u ever need a friend then ill be yours 2 always talk 2 when needed.

  • Bullyied, name called, & abused is just not right & this is 4 the onces all out there that have been bullyied themselves & dont’t have any friends iI could be friends with them becuzz they really need friends 2 advice & sum love sum R.E.S.P.E.C.T. they r really actually probably really cool sweet nice people that r friendly & shy. U never know intill u really get 2 tt them hang-out with them get 2 know them. Don’t ever judge.

  • Toni I am sooooo srrry I have been callied names like that 2 with bullyies & its quite hurtful. Your better than them & the people that call u knows they r just really calling themselves that becuzz really in actualy real life they r jelouse.

  • I know going 2 a counsling 2 tt abt my passed issures & it helps alot I have anxietly, very paranoid, scary, afraid. Making new friends I would mostly love 2 make friends with people that r my age & that r still struggling with bullying, laughed at, name calling I just don’t let it get 2 me anymore as much I just ignore the mean rude jelouse people I do take 4 meds though 2 calm me down so I dont have 2 think as much of what I have gone though.

    • Hey Karley.

      That’s great to hear that you’re seeking help. As for making friends with people who might have their own struggles, look around for local support groups or online groups / blogs / communities that you might be able to make connections within.

      I think it’s wonderful that you’re looking to make these connections, and I honestly wish you all the very best.

  • I had the same problem with me abt my grndma. She would call me just horriable names & raise her voice, yell, & scream towards me I am 18yrs. Old know & ps she is very hard on me & is very contolling over me I am 18 & I am an adult know I am a very start responsiable girl. For: nobodytotalkto. I have had a pretty hard damn life myself I have been bullyied every single day till know for 7yrs. My mom use 2 spank me with a belt when I was a youngie & my little sisters they where 3 & 4 back then. If theres any 1 2 tt or any advice or need a friend than I would love 2 be your friend.

    • So sorry Karley.

      Is there someone you can speak with locally about this? A mentor, a counsellor or a dear friend. So important that you seek support. Promise me?

  • I have just set up a business which after a lot of soul searching took a lot of guts to do. I am very much a people person and my husband is the exact opposite. I have had lots of verbal encouragement from those around me who all think what I am doing is a great idea. However it really hurts when rather than support me my husband thinks its ok to belittle my ability and then remark that he knows far more about the subject than I do. Today I am really nervous as I am show casing at a big event and I said this to my husband but rather than say “hey you will be great” he said “well make sure you don’t bluff your way through it”. I feel real shit at the moment 🙁

    • The crazy thing is, that it’s often the people closest to us who don’t want us to grow or change.

      It’s fear. Fear of change, fear that they’ll get left behind or fear that they’re the ones who aren’t good enough.

      Don’t let that stop you. You have to make choices based on what matters to you, and sometimes that means forging ahead and letting those around know what you expect. That isn’t to say that it has to be confrontational, simply that you can reassure them, let them know what kind of relationship you’d love this to be, and how much you want them with you along the way.

    • My advice…dont discuss your fears with your husband because you now know what youll get. Just go and be a success and if he keeps up this attitude , begin to draw some boundaries and make firm demands they be respected. And if he wont respect those boundaries then you have great cause to consider if you want to spend the rest of your life with this man.

  • I have being emotional and verbal abuse from childhood to now my adult. As a child I was put in special Ed my brothers use to make funny of me call me special ed you are in special ed you are crazy. As a child I through they have a right to make funny of me. Then I start thinking maybe I am special ed I know I was not as smart as my brothers. My mother would tell me you ain’t smart like your brother you are just pretty you need to get marry because you need someone to take care of you. As adult it is still going on I am a diabetic now. When I get sick I tell them they say its not all problem its yours they have always been unsupported of me.I am happy to say i was the only child to graduated with a highschool diploma and now I am working on my BS degree I am in my second year. I from special education to college. And I have my Diabetes in control with no meds. I know my family want change on how they treat me. Its time for me to let them go and be free.

  • I’m so tired of my daughter’s mother family insulting me and putting my down I’m basically their insult toy or their door mat but if I say anything I’m the evil person any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi muddroller22
      Of course they are going to say you are the evil person, they dont want you to resist because then they would have to find someone else to bully! People like this are selfish and ignorant (and maybe evil too). They need a sudden shock from someone who wont tolerate their crap. You can be that person who gives them that shock:)

      You need to stand up to every single one of their nasty comments so that they realise you are not a doormat and demand respect. Do it in a mature way, call them out on it, demand why they say these things. Insist on an explanation, wear them down. (I would rehearse what you would say to be honest, rehearsal gives confidence and clarity and will get the job done more efficiently with less stress for you). I dont know your family, but I think this advice is universal. If you let a bully keep on bullying he will keep on bullying. You have to bloody his nose to make him stop. I suggest you bloody it with intelligent words and facts:) Good luck. Dont be a door mat anymore. You deserve better.

    • Please consider Kate’s comment, she’s onto something.

      You DO deserve better, and I truly hope things improve. but it starts with a choice that only you can make.

  • My partner puts me down and says i can’t take a joke… I fell in love with him after 14 years single so know myself and my own highs and lows.. But over time, his remarks have worn me down 🙁 I feel black in my mind and a no one, I use to be positive and outgoing and figh with all my might to keep this part of me alive… I have asked him so many times to stop, but he takes no notice. Now he’s gone to work in South Africa for 6 weeks and needs my support out there but I have nothing left.. The stupid put downs/jones have eroded our friendship and intimacy and I feel ‘we’ are dead… It breaks my heart for him not to Be in my life, but I have to save myself.. Otherwise I will become a permemant no one not just the weekly down I feel.. I hope my experience helps someone, and I wish myself strength to get out of this with dignity and safely because he gets so angry and abuaive when I say I can’t do us

    • As hard as it is Jaqui, I think you’re right. It might be a heartbreaking decision, but you do have to put yourself first when they alternative is so damaging.

      I hope you can find both strength and peace. Let me know how I can help.

  • Wow…I feel less alone now. I guess a lot of people experience this type of thing. I feel weird cause for me; I have been on both sides of the coin, confident and broken down. When I was a kid everyone said I was thick-headed because I had all these goals in life and actually believed I could achieve them. I think it irritated them. They just didn’t get why I thought I could do so much, so they made sure I stopped believing it. I won’t go into a whole long tangent about everything that went on but my childhood, was like a big fat nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. The point being is regardless of everything they said and did I fought hard not to let it get me down. Some important things to know is that I do not do drugs of any kind, nor do I drink alcohol. I was so goal-oriented that I refused to bring myself down to my family quality of life…I wanted to go to university ( I had some specific schools in mind, a bit much for being a poor kid…but I had decided after watching many people graduate rom community colleges and get jobs at McDonald’s afterwards. That I was going to make connections and get a good education I needed to go to a real school). Well, I went with money I had saved from working a lot and planned to cover the other half of school by working through college. But about mid-way through I had to give up…I just couldn’t make the tuition. I looked and looked for work but couldn’t get a job…not even through student services. And Fafsa didn’t hardly cover it nor did the loan I took out. In light of being soon-to-be homeless, I quit school at the offer of a full time job at a bagel shop (They gave me the job because I had full availability.) Now to say the least I was feeling pretty down about spending my whole live’s savings yet still having to quit school..I was an A and B student, btw. Not messing around. My lovely family took this opportunity to make sure it hurt. “We knew you couldn’t do it”, “Why do you have to be so stupid?””You’re just crazy! Nuts!” They weren’t saying this in funny joking you shouldn’t let it get to you ways. …it was as though the were elated by it. I was no better than them and they loved it! This is small in comparison to some of the things I have heard, the highlights; being that, “I should kill myself…”and being told that I was nothing but a nuisance and my mother wished I was never born.” Every person in my immediate family has at one point or another told me that I should just go die. In almost those exact words. It’s a long story..the point being at some point I really began to believe, “Wow… I must just be this blithering idiot, that runs after dreams too big and can’t achieve anything. I am no good.” At which point I lost myself…I lost who I was. I tried killing myself. Failed. Damn, I’m not even good at that. I wandered lost for a few years supporting myself from job to job. I isolated myself and my soul became dull, I no longer feel that burning desire for life. So I decided to live life by pleasing others…if that was the only thing I had left to give, then I could give that. I started doing only the things everyone else thinks I should do. I tried to kill myself again. This time I almost succeeded. I was hospitalized for it. But even the psychologist at the mental institute decided I was actually not mental, he deduced that it was PTSD. That I had developed from incidents as a kid and my current situation ( I was admitted and then, sent home in under 24 hrs). Two years ago, I met my current fiance…I love him a lot. I do everything I can for him. I work at a preschool now (as a sub). It’s enough to get by each month but just barely. I’m looking for a second job currently. Yet my fiance is starting to act like my family does. It’s like nothing I do is right…and the more he yells at me and tells me how stupid I am and how I should be doing better in life and how my job isn’t a “real” job. The more I withdraw into myself. He’s even gone as far as to all me completely dysfunctional. For little things like forgetting to grab my keys, when I’m sick and stuffed up with mucous. Or…ok well I am a little bit of a klutz, but he makes it a point to tell me I’m a huge idiot for it and then says he should find someone else. Since I’m just no good. It doesn’t help that he has girls at work that hit on him and he comes home and tells me about it! And then tells me how nice and pretty, they are! He says he’s with me because I’m one of the nicest people he’s ever met, but that may not be enough! It’s hard to believe this is the man that; two years ago got down on his knees and begged me to go out with him. I just feel scared. I’ve been out of my house since I was 17, because I couldn’t stand to live with my family! I feel…I might be marrying into a family just like it now, only drug-less but mean. I want to escape…but I’ve also made him my life-line. I have no friends anymore…I moved away and never bothered to make new ones (scared I think)..I just work or do chores at home. I don’t hardly talk to my family, and now the guy who was once my best friend is starting to morph into an enemy in my eyes. I’m worn out. Am I really that useless of a person? I feel like I try but never get there. To that safe place, I always wanted to find. I feel that way with him a lot. But then he starts to put-me-down and I want to leave. It’s began to become more frequent. I want to make this work. I just don’t know how. I keep saying once I find another job and make more money then he’ll think better of me. The thing is he’s angry cause I haven’t saved any money (I cover all my own expenses, though! Rent, power, food, etc. Anything I need, I pay for. Save for carpooling to work sometimes, when I can’t use the bus; since my car broke down.) I just don’t have spare money to give right now. I have bills to pay. I don’t know…maybe I am useless…gaa…

    • Thanks for sharing your story. So hard.

      Please realise that you deserve better than the way you’re being treated. You deserve better than the story you’re telling yourself.

      You have a good heart and you go out of your way to take care of things as best you can. But sometimes, that’s not enough, right?

      Stop pleasing everyone else but you. Now’s the perfect time to put yourself first, and that starts with a decision that you really can have an experience that’s so much richer. Start small. Do something to treat yourself, or do something that nourishes your head, heart or body. Take amazing care of yourself because you deserve it, not because you feel like you “ought”.

      It takes time to change things, and sometimes it takes real, hard, stomach-churning courage. But I know you can do it. You can.

      Let me know how I can help.

    • You really have nothing to criticize about your life, but your fiance is finding ways to insult you and put you down. You’ve always done your best and tried to believe in yourself. Why quit now and let those discouraging people and their put downs win? Start thinking positive thoughts about how you can support yourself, you are a hard worker, you are a nice, good person, you do deserve respect and a good relationship. Do some social things and start expanding your life without this guy. Break free from the crappy thinking of those around you. If you want to return to college, save again for awhile and get that degree and a job you find more satisfying. Or if you are not interested in that and enjoy subbing, keep doing that. People have all kinds of jobs and we should never feel ashamed of an honest day’s work no matter what kind of work it is. We are all contributing to society’s welfare and good, so don’t let immature, selfish people diminish you anymore! So you have ANY nice extended family, ike a grandparent or cousin or aunt? Perhaps you can feed that relationship more as well. I personally would drop this guy like a hot rock. You deserve to be kind to yourself, your own best friend first. Once you start feeling good about that for awhile, then I’d look for a romantic relationship. You’ve been alone before, you can do it again for awhile. Be brave, and do it for yourself.

  • My boyfriend put me down a lot,not only just me he brings my daughter into it making me to be the fault that she has dyslexia etc am 14wks ppregnancy today and I feeltrapped I know if I escape the now it will be easier but when little bab comes along it will be harder as I’m the one how will have to start from nothing! he’s never been violent it’s the emotional bring down he has over me!

    • So sorry to hear that Nik.

      I honestly hope things have improved for you now, and that you’re raising your child in an environment of support, encouragement and love.

  • My aunt puts me down and say things I don’t like. I’m 51 year old. She is 87. My mom’s sister. Sometimes I can’t say things to her, because she is Touchiness. I try to show rescept. Sometimes I answer her. Mom passed away 8 months ago. She did the same things to her, but mom didn’t say anything to her. Mom just did what she did.
    She stil does it to me though. They live in US. I live in Turkey. They are visiting summer time and ruining my summer times. They will be leaving in couple weeks. Thank GOD.

  • my husband puts me down, he has a temper and if I ever critize him for something like put your garbage away he gets reallly upset, tells me i’m the house wife and says he pays the bills so he doesn’t have to lift a finger at home. I stay at home with our 15 month old. He reminds me that I don’t work and I suck at being a house wife, that our place is always messy. I try to explain to him we are 3 people at home 24 hours a day its hard to keep a kitchen and family room cleaned when its used constantly, But your laundry is done every weekend, the bathroom and floors are cleaned every week. So the pots and pans pile up, I don’t see why i should be critisized for that. he tells me i sit on my ass all day for a year doing nothing. makes fun of me cause I watch young and the restlesss. Yet i’m taking care of my child every minute of every day. he tells me i’m miserable all the time. that he’s normal and i’m insane. we have these horrible fights infront of our child. I walk away and he follows me telling me eveything i did wrong, everything i said wrong, how horrible of a person i am. The last couple episodes have been in public places like costco and an amusement park. calls me F***en b***h, C**t, stupid. mocks me, critizises how i clean the house. Says I push his buttons and make him mad. Yet he has total freedom to gamble on sporting events and I have to walk on egg shells in case he loses a bet. So then i play victem begging him to stop yelling and swearing and throwing thing infront of our son, and not to treat me like that. I tell him he’s right and i’m sorry i upset him. (all in the hopes he will just stop). in my mind i think how much I hate him and i wish i can make him suffer. I use to tell him this but it makes the fight last longer and i know i can never win cause i have more selfcontrol then him. and i don’t want this for my son, so I don’t engage i just check out and sit there staring at nothing or i’m crying, while he’s just going on and on telling me everything thats wrong with me. so to speed things along i just tell him he’s right until he calms down, then once calm i explain how hurt i was at what he said and how bad his behavour was infront of our son and he says sorry and expects me to just get over it cause he apologized. but i never get over it. hate and anger grow inside me and i feel sad and drained all day everyday until next month when we repeat the process again.

    • Laura, your husband clearly has an anger problem, self-esteem problems and possibly a gambling problem too. You owe it to yourself and your son to get away if you’ve honestly tried everything else.

    • Your little guy is learning to be abusive. I’d get out of there for your own sake and his. Your husband is totally manipulating, controlling, brow beating, and abusing you. There is not real respect, authenticity, desire for your greater good, etc. He’s probably just repeating the crap he grew up with, like a parrot. Unless he starts working his butt off to reform via therapy, prayer, changed habits NOW, I’d get out and go FAR away… Give yourself and your son a chance to find true love, respect, and a real life. If your husband threatens your life, leave anyway, as safely as possible.

    • Laura,
      Your story made me cry because it sounds a lot like mine. The only difference is thst my husband passed away a year ago from a stroke. I had put up with a lot from him over the years of our marriage, the put downs, the insults, telling me how bad of a wife and mother I was. He was very controlling and became very verbally abusive. He didn’t want me to have communication with the world. I couldn’t get on line, I couldn’t have a cell phone. It was just terrible. He even got to a point where he (and it hurts for me to say this) but he tried to kill me while I was in bed. I immediately sought help through a therapist. I didn’t call the authorities. I spoke to his physician and they told me that if he was to try this again, that I should get out. You know, maybe it was his sicknesses getting to him but that doesn’t explain all the years prior for his treatment toward me. Sadly though, he suffered a stroke and he did not survive it. I had tried leaving him before but he made me feel guilty about leaving. Now I’m living my life without the stresses of those put downs but sometimes certain people in the work place can be belittling. I think I just tend to be too kind and I take the abuse. I just can’t find it in my heart to be mean to others. Why are people so cruel in this world? Laura, please be strong! Seek help from a therapist if you need to. You are not alone. Thank you for allowing me to vent.

  • i am 40 and i have learned to deal with people putting me down most of my life . i choose to ignore them now and this seems to work pretty well on them . however there is still one person in my life no matter what i do that person still has some kind of power over me. no matter what i try to say… no matter how i try to reason with this person. shouting don;t work… being nice don’t work. ignoring don’t work. and worst thing is this person gets great pleasure out of this. a complete narcissist..
    Ireland system is always made so otehrs can get put down if you try something different. i notice in other countries being different is ok. if you step out of the realm of school, marriage, sports … (job , house and car stuff .. you get hated by people and if you are creative in thsi country you are not liked) especially by those who close to you.
    i am very happy in my choices… made some bad ones too but arent they mine to make only…

    • Hey Kevin, you’re right. It’s often when you step outside of what someone expects that they try to keep you down, small or in line with what they want you to be.

      But your choices are yours to make, and as long as you make ones that are in line with what matters most to you, you’re doing just fine.

      The hard part is that sometimes that means you outgrow a situation or a relationship, but that’s simply part of this crazy, weird and wonderful thing called life.

  • Over the course of knowing my cousin for many many years, I recently found out the real truth about how she felt about me. I’ve been staying with her for about 10 months now and this past weekend she said just about everything she felt about me. One of the most painful things anyone has ever said to me. She even lied about things my now ex boyfriend had said. She said if I didn’t get any help then I wouldn’t succeed in life. I mean I get it she’s older she knows more, but not to be exact. I mean just because you’re older doesn’t mean you know more, just means you’ve been wrong longer. She began to compare herself with me, while putting me down. She also got to speak to the whole world about what had happen while I just spoke with one reasonable person. mad it helped a lot. I do plan to move out next month. I’m only 23 years young, trying to find myself and the pursuit of happiness. Wish me luck.

    • Good luck Yvonne!

      But I don’t think you need luck.

      That journey, that exploration, that pursuit that you mention – I think it’s totally wonderful that you’re willing to step into that wide eyes wide. I admire anyone who can do that, and I truly hope that you’ve been able to move beyond that experience with your cousin.

  • Thanks so much for this article. I really needed it this morning. Ever since I was young I have wanted to become a physician and I am now in college soon to be applying to medical school. I did very well in school except for 2 semesters from a family issue, although, I take full responsibility for my mistake. I have another cousin who is also going to apply to medical school but his family is always bragging about his awesome grades and his parents always try to talk me out of it by often saying ” Do you have a plan B”, “What about pharmacy?” I have been respectful to them with my response and always told myself that it didn’t matter what they say but sometimes I start to make what they say my reality and I am having trouble letting go of thoughts. I am really tired of feeling not good enough. I am going to the gym and trying to cheer myself up but it usually lasts for only an hour or two. Any thoughts on how long it can take for me t to believe in myself again?

    • I think it’s wonderful that you’re pursuing your childhood dream, in spite of some of the judgements around you.

      Lena, rather than asking how long it can take for you to believe in yourself again, what if the question was: If I believed in myself right now, what choice would I make?

    • And now Tamara?

      I hope things have improved and that you see how you’re already plenty good enough.

  • Hi, I’m 17 years old. My stepdad has being doing this thing for months where he sees me and he fake screams as if he’s seen a monster. He does this because he’s “joking” about me being ugly but I really don’t see the point in it anymore because all I ever do when he does that is say “shut up” or “go away” because it makes me so angry and self-conscious. It’s not funny and I don’t see why he thinks it’s funny. I know I need to tell him to stop doing it but I don’t know what to say exactly because I don’t want to be too serious but i don’t want to be too lenient either and i don’t want to seem pathetic either. Could you please help me out with what to say? Thank you

    • Take the pressure off yourself Conor, this doesn’t need to be a big dramatic moment. All you have to say is that you feel kind of uncomfortable when he fake screams like that, is it okay if we didn’t do that anymore? And I suspect that your stepdad is simply trying to bond with you and is using “humour” as a way of doing that, no matter how ill-advised it might seem. His intentions are good, even if his methods aren’t working for you. Oh, and you’re not ugly.

  • My old man is always putting me down. He says I’m retarded, stupid, ugly, repulsive, fat, lier, a cheat. Tells me how much of a whore I am. I don’t sleep with anyone. I can not have any female friends. He flirtation with them. Also flirtation with my sister. And always watching porn. Or talkin about sleeping with my sister, or female friends. It has made me feel like I can not have any friends or anything. He makes sure he spends my money on what he wants. And he don’t even work. I have been abuse every way possible growing up. Also in my adult life. I do love him but I’m scared. What to do

    • Get out. Work, save, use some of the money for counseling (therapy) so you can heal and get your head straight and see things from a healthier perspective. He has totally messed up your life. Visit a church and talk to a pastor (you don’t have to be a member), trust cautiously. You don’t deserve to be abused and need to step off that crazy train.

  • I had problems recently not so much with people giving me cr*p to my face,but in a sneaky way. I have worked hard to accomplish certain feats and they are extremely jealous. I also get problems with trash talking if guys fancy me and I don’t fancy them back. My mother has always been a thorn in my side just for the reason that she can be, belittling my accomplishments yet fawning all over my cousin who is 100s of 1000s in debt (???). She has not worked for 50 years and even though my dad and she are separated he still supports her even though she has never had any sort of goal – she belittles him too and takes no interest in either of us, only contacting either of us not for the pleasure of it, but only when she needs something. I have had to address all this since about the beginning of this year, also the issue of people thinking they can get services, etc. out of me for nothing (ie no monetary remuneration). Boundary creation is essential and nowadays I only really tell one person (my dad) what I am doing and even him I don’t tell everything and he is cool with that.
    What you gotta remember is that very few people have a healthy sense of self confidence and it is all very dog eat dog out there at the mo, more than ever it seems. These people feel they have to put others down because they couldn’t get off their own lazy a$$e$ and do the work themselves. Fact.
    The term “narcissistic” is often misapplied, but, as has been stated so many times elsewhere, healthy narcissism is connected with a sense of self-worth, setting boundaries and screening people who just want to do you down. Destructive narcissism is the people who want to do you down for no logical reason. I.e. with some mothers one may have committed no crime other than being born, even if they supposedly “wanted” you in the first place. My mother and I are both just waiting for each other to die I think. She hates me because I won’t put up with her bullcr*p and I hate her back. Or with guys, if they want to get together with you (even though you have absolutely zero attraction towards them and are in no way obligated to go out with them) and their chat up line is “what is your living situation/ do you want to get a flat?” (which means that they are not interested in you, they are only interested in the flat), you really have to listen carefully to find out what their motivations are. To be honest I’m fed up with all this investment in “friendship” right now as it doesn’t bring anything, and am only really concerned with making money and the service I can offer – keeping things cheerful and businesslike is the way to go. I think that’s a better direction for my empathic skills.

    • Thanks for the comment Darla, and I really feel for you. There’s real pain here, and I can see how that’s leaking out and coloring your experience.

      That really, really sucks.

      But what if there was a way forwards that honored what’s most important to you? A way that meant that you didn’t have to play any roles or compartmentalize your life? A way that allowed you to accept, integrate and make choices that matter?

      What might that look like?

  • I am constantly being put down by my boyfriend of 13 years, he won’t marry me as he has been married before and when I approach the subject he just says go and find someone else. We had a baby 8 years ago and I had complications and an caesarian so I have have a podgy tum and bits, I am trying to diet and all I get is I want you back the way you were before which is not going to happen because of the caesarian. He told me last night that I am putting on weight when in fact I am losing it and he alluded to the fact that he does not fancy me in bed no more but never quite said it, but he has done in the past. He does not another child even though I might, we are not allowed any more pets, it seems that he is the boss, when he is not. He is always putting me down in front of my family and his family and thinks nothing of it when I tell him to stop. The worst thing now is my 8 year old girl is copying him in the way he speaks to me and basically I am sick of it!!!!!!!

    • J’annine, I feel your pain. My partner of 11 years is constantly putting me down too. I have gone up a dress size in the last year and he is always telling me I’m fat, I’m porky etc. even though I’m only a size 12. He is about 20 stone so has nothing to shout about. He also has a temper, complains all the time about something and it is making me very unhappy. I have tried telling him to stop, but he doesn’t listen and just laughs and says he’s only joking.
      I am at the point now of leaving him, I just don’t know which way to turn as we have a joint mortgage and he has already said he will not move out when we’ve had an argument. I have lost a lot of friends too because of his behaviour.

      • Can u live with ur parents or a friend for awhile? Work to get yourself removed from the mortgage. Site mental health reasons or whatever you need to do. Run!

      • I think you should leave this fat creep. He wont change his attitude towards you like he is unlikely to change his diet. Good luck. Size 12? That is quite small. He is an idiot. I am a size 14-16 I think and quite skinny with low body fat. I am slowly beginning to see that it is very true that you cant change other people. You can only either change yourself or how you react to other people. And if those people see how you react and decide to change – great – if they dont decide to change then thats your cue to leave basically. So unless you want to do what he asks of you I suggest you get out while you still can (honestly some people lose so much of themselves in relationships like this they become like the proverbial bird in the cage with the wide open door and the bird wont leave because its been caged for so long.)

      • J’annine, Sammy – JAM and Kate have some solid insights here.

        A healthy relationship is not one where one partner bolsters his or her ego through belittling the other. You deserve way better than this.

        I get that there are practical difficulties in getting out, separating or moving on, but ask yourself this: what’s the impact of you staying in the same situation for another 5 years? It may be unpleasant, it may be emotional and it might be the toughest thing you’ve ever done, but you owe it to yourself to give yourself every chance at a wonderful life.

        Let me know how I can help.

  • I’m so fed up of people putting me down and insulting me! It hurts because these people are not strangers but your own family members and friends. I’m still trying to figure out why m I always da target!!! I don’t know how to respond to them when they make fun of me. So I have decided to cut off from such people. If they can’t respect me for what I m then they don’t deserve to be a part of my life. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do but atleast I won’t b hurt and feel like a door mat!

    • Good for you! Some people don’t know how to accept others that might be different than they are and put them down, make fun of them, etc. I hate that!!! Not everyone is meant to live the same exact way, on the same path, etc. People need to give each other some space and learn to accept and love. Best wishes!

    • Good for you Kesha! Sounds like a great choice, and I hope things have continued to improve for you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • My step dad is constantly yelling at me telling me I’m ungrateful and I need to start doing more things for myself. It got so bad I just left the house for the rest of the night. My mom always no matter what takes his side and I’m sick of it. It’s not fair.
    You see, my mother was recently diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Its bad. She’s always in her room and barely goes anywhere anymore. Everyones having a tough time dealing with it but he chooses to take it out on me all the dang time. I’m sick of it. I do everything around the house. I do my own laundry. Put the dishes away. Clean everywhere. How am I ungrateful? Just because I don’t say thank you because you’re a dick? like wtf.

    what do i do?

    • Stand guard to what you accept into your mind. You know what is good and true in your heart. Hold onto this. Your step father is a bully and he is abusive. You mother can’t or won’t stand up for you. You stand up for yourself by being clear about your own goodness. Don’t get caught up in the yelling and blaming as you won’t be heard. Don’t accept inwardly anything other than your own standard of goodness. Your in a very difficult and painful situation. Know that we are all equal to the situations we find ourselves in. Ask for help. Angels are with you. xx

    • You do what’s best for you and your mother. You stay true to what you know to be true about yourself, ten thousand feet down inside. You don’t let what he says creep into your beliefs about yourself.

      You’re way better than that. You’re vast. You’re graceful.

      And you don’t have to do it alone.

  • “Sticks and stones…” the fact of the matter is that words are powerful and can hurt when used against us. I had siblings who all along suspected that there were certain attributes I was blessed with which they lacked. They became obsessed with putting me down and destroying my self image. Having been raised to believe family is first, this went a long way to destroying my life. It is all forgotten water under the bridge now, but for having not taken the “Get the Hell Out” approach early on in adulthood, and by thinking I could get them to change their behavior, I ended up squandering what should have been the best years of my life on this impossible pursuit. Every dark cloud does have its silver lining; every undeserved curse is in fact a blessing. My experience gave me a great deal of empathy towards the feelings of others.
    There seems to be this emotional economy out there wherein people begin to believe that if I compliment someone else, somehow that is a net debit upon my own finite, inherent goodness. This perception is precisely what fuels this culture of put-downs; conversely, if I put someone else down, that must build my own inherent goodness. Nothing could be further from the truth; “Those who exalt themselves shall be humbled, and those who humble themselves shall be exalted.”
    Rather than ask them to stop, it may be best to first get out of the relationship, if at all possible. That will give the perpetrator the signal that something is amiss. If they value the relationship, you will have their ear once they attempt to reconcile.
    Nobody is that unique. Don’t do as I did and try to become a fixer. You cannot control the behavior of others anyway.

    • Very eloquent Jay. Love your line about the emotional economy. A symptom of the limited idea of ourselves as opposed to the unlimited.
      Your strategy is clear that something is amiss and it’s not YOU. I like it very much.

  • Hi everyone. I’m taken aback by the comments and stories here. It’s clear that this is something a lot of people have to deal with, and it’s pretty damn clear how horrible it is to be in it.

    I think you all probably know that I can’t wave a wand and fix things for you. It’s a case of taking baby steps to remind you of who you are and what truly matters to you. The things out there in people and the world that move you, drive you and make you care. Those are the things no amount of put-down behaviour can take away, and those things can give you a sense of self.

    Truth is, the situation you’re in needs you to take action, as I suggest in the article. If things keep on going as they are then nothing changes, right?

    So, what do you think you need to do, way down deep?

  • How do I gain the confidance to tell him to stop? He tells me Im a bad mother, that my words dont mean anything because they are usually wrong. This is all in front of my daughter. Im a spineles, crybaby that cant stand up for her self. Why?

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Your story tore at my heart. I imagine you need some verbal responses to help in your situation: So here goes! Tell him you are entitled to your opinion and since opinions are neither right nor wrong, what he is saying is in matter of fact WRONG. (memorise this so you dont muck it up when you tell him this fact:))Tell him his opinion is not compatible with your opinion about yourself (your opinion is that you are a good person and your opinion ALWAYS matters and is valid) and because his opinion of you is not compatible , you dont want to hear anymore of it. Tell him to leave you alone – dont answer any more questions, accusations, threats just keep telling him to leave you alone – even if you must tell him 10 times. Most people will give up if they are getting nowhere by this time. Dont ever again let him sucker a response out of you when he is being nasty and abusive. Starve him of comment. Tell him you have better things to do then go back to your ‘leave me alone ‘ phrase. Stay calm, dont get angry, be a computer. Bore him into inactivity. Be the most boring ‘victim’ for him. A starving man looks for food elsewhere. In his case he is looking for a victim – be the most hopeless victim you can be! Bore him to tears! 🙂 He is feeding on dramatic responses from you, so dont give him any!
      Then, later on please demand this man treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve – this is non-negotiable. If he tries to run rings around you in this discussion and/or if you get any excuses or further abuse, walk away from him for good – leave him. Find a new life. Your daughter needs to grow up respecting and trusting and loving her mother, and it would be very difficult for her to be able to do that with that idiot who claims to be your partner/husband telling you both these abusive lies.
      Good luck, I hope you win your freedom and dreams.

    • I totally agree with Kate.

      For the health of you and your daughter, you need to move towards an experience that’s healthier and allows you both to flourish.

      It’s perhaps the toughest thing you’ll ever do. Telling him. Being firm. Getting out if that’s what it takes. But you really do deserve the good things in life and can start making choices that lead you towards that.

  • I’m always constantly getting put down by my “best friends” for not having a job. Every time I say something on how it’s annoying they say I take their “jokes” to seriously. I love these people but I’m starting to realize that I don’t need these type of people if they’re constantly gonna put me down and not respect me. Idk what to do. Shall I stick around and see what happens or just call it quits with them.

    • If these friends aren’t willing to give you support during a hard time, then they’re not great friends, right?

      You have the right to be treated with respect and to surround yourself by people who lift you and encourage you rather than tear you down.

      Go find those people.

  • I have had this since I was born, seriously you could write a book on it! Parents that would tell me to stop crying, grow up, stop being so sensitive, stop being a drama queen, yeah you are ugly when I was little, to don’t be so negative, don’t be so angry etc now I am older! A sister that taunted me for years, and even now in my late thirties relishes in telling me about how I was such a pain when I was little, crying loads, holding my breath to get attention, take everything too seriously and can’t take a joke. Even my aunts and uncles relish in telling me about how I was such a pain when I was little, always crying etc. None of which I remember, I remember a happy little girl, that even though she felt lonely, she liked to be cheeky and have a laugh. Yes I cried and held my breath but I have no recollection of how much.
    I got bullied at school, have been bullied many times over the years by work colleagues, bosses, so called friends etc.
    Everyone just thinks I am angry, cold and negative now – very rarely cry at anything, go figure. That, I guess, is the defence mechanism I have put up to cope with things.
    Up until recently I was able to be in control of not letting them get me down, by being angry or whatever people tell me I am. That is getting harder, sometimes I just wish I could be on my own without anyone to point out all my endless faults.

    • I have a sister similar to that. Boy doe is she ever and always ready to insult, put down, etc. I finally let her go a few years ago. Great peace! Learned how to become my own best friend. I often remember how I felt and who I was when I was 6, 8, and 10. I liked myself then, before she got to me too much on the inside. I often go there to that place on the inside, and connect that time with a thread to who I am now, to help build continuity before so much of who I was was interrupted. Not sure if I am describing it well enough to make sense here, but I like to go to that very authentic sense of self from earlier years, and help that part of me grow more now, untouched by her abuse. You were once a sensitive, interesting, interested person. You can find and grow those lovely parts of yourself. You’ve just had heaps and huge doses of discouragement. Little by little you can grow new branches and extend the good parts of yourself. Throw their discouragement away. I like to put a face on them now, when I view my sister and sometimes my harsh and negative dad. I picture them in front of a fun house mirror, distorted and messed up. They tried to make me see myself the way they do, rather than my true self. I step over and see myself in a true mirror, not the way they see me. I also like to put humor on it, and see them with their own mud on their faces, when their negative voices creep into my head. Shame on them!

      • Thanks so much for this JAM. I love how you describe going back to that “place on the inside”. To me, that’s where natural confidence lives – the place where you feel like you and can trust yourself.

        B – what does that place look like for you?

  • I used to suffer from what is known as social anxiety which for a very long time made me scared to look at people and scared to go out of my house. I would always feel like I was being watched. The worst of all it affected my eyes to point that my eyes turned into an hour glass so the world through my eyes became very gigantic and a very scary place- everything little thing stood out in my eyes people faces, roads, cars. Tremendous fear fell on me. Over the years I had to practise to walk by myself, look at people ( which has improved a lot but still very hard at times), eat in public, and walk in a straight line, and many more. Due to improvement, I tried to find ways to look at people and relax. There were moments I was proud of myself and other moments I had unintentionally offended someone. This ended up getting worse especially as my eye site got worse.

    People can be cruel. Last year was one of the worse years of my life in terms of having certain people talk about me as I walk pass them, give me very mean looks, call me names eg. bitch, fake, don’t like her, can’t stand her. Bear in mind, I had also been going through a lot of other things aswell. I nearly had a break down because my mind was spinning and I started to experience paranoia. Every time I would get up I just get put down again. Its because of God that I am still alive or have not ended up in hospital. We are all different, we all have different life experiences, we all don’t know what each individual is going through unless they told us.

    I am going back to university this year and I am trying to be positive and find ways in coping socially, mentally, and physically, and with those certain people if I see them. I pray that I will finish with a first.
    ” We should not judge a book by its cover”

    • Good for you and all your progress. People can’t see the journey you’ve made. It’s amazing! Keep encouraging yourself and throw other people’s junk in the trash can of life. God bless!!

    • Totally agree with JAM. Your strength, intention and grace are fantastic, and it’s those things that will keep you intact.

      “Keep encouraging yourself and throw other peoples’ junk in the trash” – BOOM!

  • Okay, so my boyfriend and I have been together for four years. When I met him, I was going through alot of emotional changes from my previous relationship. I will admit, I was weak and self esteem became a distant memory. My boyfriend began pursuing me and he seemed perfect. He always tried to lift me up when I was down. Soon, he went through some financial struggles and wanted to leave, unbeknownst to him, I received a huge settlement from a previous accident that was to remain untouched till after college. My love for him caused me to go into the trust fund and I began to help him. I offered btw, but neways every since then the verbal abuse never stopped. He always say that I’m boring, and I don’t inspire him. He blames me for smoking cigarettes and makes me feel like I’m not good enough. He always brings up breaking up when I feel happy or confident and tells me that it doesn’t matter that I helped him financially. I’ve never put him down or been mean to him EVERRR!!! I cook scratch meals and share my deepest secrets. He continues to put me down, everytime he asks me to improve something about myself, it still isn’t good enough. When we’re around his female friends, depending on his mood, he makes me feel like a stranger. The worst part about this is that every other week, he’s the best boyfriend ever and I keep falling in love with him and then BOOM! Out of nowhere, he turns into a asshole. He tells me I can’t hold an intelligent conversation amongst other hurtful things btw I’m graduating thins year from an accredited university in Pre vet science and going to grad school for neuroscience in the fall. Im not the smartes person on earth but when he belittles me I’m so confused. He’s a college drop out and I tell him how intelligent he is everyday smh what should I do?

    • Wildflower…. I’ve been there where you are with my own family. I have a bachelors degree, I’m educated my friends are amazing people. Thank God I have those friends and they stuck with me through those undeserving times. I’ve been ridiculed, insulted, ripped off and had my self esteem destroyed, ahhh but there were times they were nice to me…. WHY? When they needed something. Sound familiar Wildflower? I broke away and disconnected myself. Its been the best thing I’ve ever done. Wildflower you are dealing with a sociopath, you sound like a smart girl and you know that a sociopath is someone that understands the rules of society and they enforce them with aggression upon others. The catch is, they don’t think those rules apply to themselves. Even when I was introduced to their friends or people they knew, I could see an opinion of me was already formed. You know it because you feel it and that vibe exists. Those members of my family are Hypocrites and Janus-faced people and like me you need to get away from it. WILDFLOWER!!! You don’t deserve to be treated like garbage and only useful when he wants something. Leave this guy immediately and stop being a sucker. You won’t fix him and when you are gone he will find someone else to prey upon and he may try to come back to you. Its nothing to do with you. When I got out, the fog and cloudiness disappeared and I started to see things for what they truly were. I have grown to love myself and feel more powerful than I have ever before. The fact is we all believe we can achieve greatness, the fear of those types around you is that they don’t wish for you to achieve greatness and love yourself. They take a lot of pleasure in watching you suffer and add to it.

      • I understand your situation 100% Titan and Wildflower. My brother’s girlfriend is a sociopath and has destroyed my family and relationship with my brother. My family has never been great because of the years of alcohol and drug abuse but they are good people that have made bad choices. It is hard for me, the only one that seems to even try, besides my father. I hope one day we can be normal but since my brother had a baby with her she uses him against us to get what she wants. She would constantly put me down and try to get make me feel left out so she could be the one, or whatever she thinks. My parents and I all see through her but all feel powerless and my brother I feel is just as nuts as her, so I am through with them. They only called when they needed something and now that I am not talking to them , they play games with my mom and I all the time. I ignore it now because I just learned not to care, if someone really cares they would not want to hurt you and make you feel less then. If they do….time to get gone. Inspiring word for you titan, I could not have said it better myself.

    • I have suffered with a situation for nearly thirty years. For a long time I kept the blinders on. I let everything slide. We are married and have two kids together. I have done what I can to keep the peace for my kids. Just tonight another put down, a way of control. There is a general contempt daily, pervasive. I get blindsided often. I try to shake it off and move on. He is going to a counselor and we have called him out on it. It made it worse, but I am trying to find the courage to continue to address it when it comes up. I wish I could just get out. I am very tired and I have little love left. I’m tired of living under the microscope. I’m tired of the constant criticism or questioning how I am doing things. I’m tired of making dinners that are picked apart and unappreciated. I am tired of being directed and micro managed. I’m tired of the comments on how to lose weight. I’m tired of being told that the housework or yard work isn’t good enough. I’m tired of being told what I should enjoy. I’m tired of losing friends because of husbands behavior. I’m lucky that I believe in God. Without God I would have already blown my brains out. Without God I would have lost all hope at a better life. He (God) is the source of all my strength to carry this burden. It is only through Him that I have courage to try to stop the insanity. Thanks for letting me vent. I am sad that so many people are in such miserable situations. I will keep praying that we are all delivered from these evils and this bondage.

      • I am in a similar situation. I feel so alone and just pretty much like I am losing my mind. Ive been with a guy, who I have known my whole life. He is or I thought was a great guy. I was so happy when we got together felt like everything would be perfect. We split up for about 3 months now we have been back together for 5. He has not worked since day 1. If he does work its cash jobs and I should not take everything from him he has nothing. I am a single mom and have an $11 an hour job. Lets see on my birthday this year he didn’t even wish me a happy birthday. I didn’t deserve it he said because an ex boyfriend text-ed me about paying him back money I had borrowed from him in the past. He is mean to me everyday. Things will be good for a day then back to the mind games one day he loves me like tonight then I am ugly disgusting nobody would want me all I care about is money. Sorry if I am going off in all directions but I am seriously to my breaking point. I work full time and am also going back to school for nursing. Me and my son had a great relationship now I feel like this guy is turning him away from me. He calls me a whore piece of shit ugly almost daily. I tell him to get oout he says tomorrow and never leaves. Why would I even want someone like this in my life? I still feel like we are really good together and could have a good life if he would work and help me out. We both have addictions as well that Im sure do not help. I am willing to work on my stuff he says all he needs is a job I need to change just about everything. can someone please give me some kind of advice I barley can sleep anymore and I feel like all I do is cry and I am diminishing to feeling like nothing. I feel like my head is so fucked up I know this is not right and he should appreciate and respect me for supporting him when I barely can support myself and son. Yet he gets worse everyday saying I throw shit in his face. He also tells me I have a shitty job and hes worked much harder in his life than i ever will. Tonight again he doesn’t love me and again I have to go to work where I can barely function because I don’t know what to think. why would I even want him?

        • You can change your situation. When I was in a similar relationship I finally decided that I did not need another ” child ” to take care of. I realized that I was responsible for my life and providing the best I could for my daughter.
          It helps if you have a support group like Alanon or a church. The reality is hard to grasp due to the influence of your mates behavior of isolating and abusive perspective he is projecting on to you and your son in order in order to get his needs met. It is hard to look at things objectively to create a positive future for you and your child. You are not responsible for another adult no matter what he says.
          The main fact is you are doing all the right stuff and he is attempting to control you. He has no power over you. People like him will only get worse over time. Take back your power and learn to detatch from this insanity. You are not crazy like he is attempting to make you believe.
          It is hard because you may love him. However you need to love yourself and your son more. What I had to do was to have no contact and be very clear that I would involve the authorities if necessary. No calls no talks no dates. I focused on myself and my child. I started to do the positive things I was doing before this person was in my life. I saw my girlfriends, went on outings with my child, got my hair and nails done, started doing crafts or hobbies I used to enjoy plus started reading positive books & listening to my music. I made myself to start writing in my journal everyday making sure it was kept private. I would go to the library with my daughter to this often and she would enjoy the kids area.
          One day at a time you can do it too. Just put your blinder on like your life depends on it…because it does. We are here for you. Feel free to email me anytime. I believe in you.

      • Wow…this is almost a mirror image of what i am going through….no one in our family will seek counciling, it has affected the kids. Everytime I want to discuss anything, my husband walks away and refuses to listen. We have a graduation coming up and not looking forward to it, as I know he will humiliate me to make him feel big. he is going away to work for 3 months and we arrive home at midnight the day before he flies, and he wants me to do his laundry at midnight, I refuse and he gives it out, I’m not his maid, and never shall be. He wont do anything for anyone like doing our laundry when we return, just his, its all take and no give.

      • R, M, Ali. You deserve better.

        You do. Honestly. You might not believe it, or you might not know what that even looks like, but I guarantee that you can have a different experience, a better experience. One that makes you feel alive and whole rather than small and crushed.

        Please make a choice that serves you well, and let me know how I can help.

      • I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. Having kids makes it so much harder to leave. I feel trapped, too. My wife doesn’t ever take responsibility for how she tress me.

        • I have had this most of my a child put down by mum, then married a man who made me give up my singing career. Since my divorce have met the same type of man who puts me down and all I do is try to please. These people don’t think they are wrong as maybe they had a parent who was abusive, but it doesn’t mean we should be the victim!! Thomo521…

      • R,

        Thirty years?! I’ve only gone through this for two years and I’ve felt as thigh he’ll never let up and I feel completely lost and alone. I commend you for being such a strong individual and I pray God continues to give you how, strength and the love for her spouse to keep holding on.

        I’m confident with myself, I stand up for myself, and I know my true value yet I’m in love with a man, an alcoholic man, that shows me no consideration or respect; However, like you, I made a commitment and I intend to stay true to that commitment.

        Without going into deep detail I just ask that you in return you say a prayer for my husband, our children and extended family. That God will give me strength and confidence to overcome my husband’s insults and He gives me the words and wisdom of using those words to promote change in my husband. For him to be the husband, father, son, friend and all around person God created him to be.

        God’s not failed me yet and He never will!

        I love all you beautiful, kind-hearted people who love the unlovable everyday and sacrifice your happiness in your search to help another by loving them in their most difficult moments. !

      • Omg, so similar. Been 25 years for me and like you I am tired. Tired of being told what I think or how I feel and being called a liar when I tell him that’s not what I’m thinking or feeling. Tired of the put downs, nasty name calling, anger and holes in the walls. Tired of feeling confused, and like I’m stuck with no help. I have lived with him in his mom’s house for 23 years and been a stay at home mom to our 4 kids. There is no where for me to go now.

        I’m tired and have no idea what else to do. I want to take responsibility for my actions as well but that is never enough. I want to fix this, I want calm, but it continues to eat at me. Each little dig tears at me even when I try to be strong and take it. I’m stretched thin and ready to break. I don’t know how to change myself to help the situation get better. I’m lost in vortex of confusion.

        I wish the best to you and your family. I find it heartbreaking yet wonderful that you are still thinking of others who are in similar situations. You are inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

    • My boyfriend and I are to gether two years, out of the two years we never have one night that we slept together, he is a single dad and he keep making excuses, I don’t know where he live, he never invite me neither let me meet his kids, they don’t know he is in a relationship, the only time he can call me it’s when he is in the car, or at work if he is home he cannot, we fight alote because of the situation, some time we do not speak with each other for a month, it frustrate me alote, I feel I am not good enough for him he ignore me alote, my self esteem is way down, the past week I just get a wake up call and decide to love me first now its going days I haven’t spoken to him I changed alote about myself I stop watching my phone to see if he is going to message me, I don’t check to see if he is on line, I start going to the gym, to take my mind of things I read alote, expecially on how to change my ways and how to start loving me, do you think I am in the right track?

  • I have lived with a toxic relationship with my mom, basically for a long time. No matter what I do or say/ she dishes it out, & in complete denial of her own shortcomings (also ignorant to the fact of why she does it) she is set. Currently she has been displaced from her home and has been with me the last 5 days. I actually feel emotionally and physically sick as of today. It feels Horrible; as I can not tolerate the behaviors. she is 85 and I am her only child. I feel cursed and blocked in a corner. yuck. help me please

    • So sorry to hear that Denise. Sometimes the love in a family gets smothered with whatever pain the individuals have experienced, and how that pain leaks out.

      Please always remember that you’re your own person, capable of wonderful things, and that your mothers narrative doesn’t define who you are.

  • Since childhood I’ve been put down many a times by my family specially by my parents which in turn made me a vulnerable person hanging with wrong people. Because of them I started hating myself and further getting abused outside with not many friends. They’re still the same but I chose to take charge of my life and ignore them for my better life. I’m more confident and stable today…..

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Sonia. It proves that things can change, and that it starts with a simple choice about what kind of experience you want.

    • The same thing has been happening with me my parents always put me down saying things like I’ll always fail and say that I can only blame myself .makes me feel very depressed and when I ask for support they won’t give it to me .

      • And support they do give to me they threaten to take away and then my mum apologise for making me cry and my dad has always called me names like I’m a puss y . And he beat me up when I was a kid(14yo)punched me up . and has never apologised for it must think he’s tough for beating up a kid . He’s the pussy (name calling) I believe not me…

        • My father never really helped me out financially would help another young man similar to me in a father son kind of way but when it comes to me I get treated like his dog. And I’m never good enough.

          • I’m a poor man . But the put downs from my parents are what have hurt me the most .

  • I have had siblings put me down and accuse me of things I never did,only to discover they were spending my inheritance, which is really my children,s to help with college.. Actually they have made me feel guilty sinceI was a child because I was more in favor than them . They tried to turn it all around in late adulthood but did not realize I knew about all their business dealings and where the money came from. They were in shock and tried to deny it all. Now we are not on very good terms due to the lies. I will probably end up with nothing but at least I know I have nothing to feel guilty about and never have had a reason to. I have nothing to hide and never have. This has been repeated in my work with jealousy

    • I have also gone through something similar. My half sisters who I never thought of of half. I loved them but when my dad died they all turned on me saying mean cruel things . Example Im after our moms money also saying very very Hurtful things. My life has been a nightmare for 2 and a half years . These are people who I had thought loved me.

    • What often hurts the most is that this kind of behaviour comes from those who we hoped would show us love.

      That love is there, but so is judgement, criticism, blame or a million other less admirable qualities.

      Just realise that their choices are theirs to make, and will be based on whatever narrative they choose to believe.

  • my best friend who i also work with keeps putting me down. I can do no right. I know i’m useless but hearing it from my best friend reallllly hurts. I’m thinking of leaving work because of it. I don’t know if our friendship can survive. It breaks my heart but she is killing any little bit of confidence i have. Help. What do i do?

    • She is not your best friend, she is a condemning bully. Be your own best friend, learn to love yourself more. Distance yourself from the abuse. Strike up some new friendships. Spend more time with extended family that is positive and kind. Take long walks, get yourself some flowers, read, do fun things, watch funny shows and laugh. Get away from your friend’s crap, you don’t deserve it.

    • Your friend sounds like a possible psychopath to me and you sound like the wounded prey that the heartless cat is taunting and batting around till it makes you a meal. I have a friend who sometimes jokingly takes verbal jabs at me but she is receptive to me telling her I’m offended and genuinely apologizes for the put down. If she wasn’t as open to my opinion I would never speak to her again. Does your friend mean it? Have you told her to stop? You may be pleasantly surprised at her reaction. Don’t cower. In my experience that only reinforces your susceptibility of attracting someone else just like her in your life, continuing the cycle of predator/prey. Running is not always the best method. Learn from it. It will build character. In my experience showing total indifference toward her can also help. If that is not your style then confront the b*%&# directly and respectfully tell her it’s not cool, leaving the situation as a last resort.

    • Friends don’t do that to friends Rick. At least, friends would be willing to hear a friend out and change their behaviour if they learned that what they’re doing is hurtful.

      One BIG thing I want to pick up on is when you casually slipped in “I know I’m useless”. Rick, you are NOT useless. You have abundant capability and an untapped future. You have the ability to contribute, to add value and to create a life that makes you smile from the inside out.

      Start with valuing yourself.

  • I have a boyfriend of two years but he puts me down verbally, he blunts my self confidence. I don’t know if he does so because he is annoyed or he is being manipulative. Most times he gets angry at me and distances himself even when I am unaware I offended him.what do I do

    • ask yourself if this is what you want for the rest of your life – someone who pulls you down instead of holds you up. someone unable to resolve conflict via communication. if not, cut your losses and get out.

    • What Aloka said!

      Imagine this keeping on going, and the impact that would have. No fun at all right? So, do something different.

  • I had a boyfriend that constantly puts me down. He perceives every man I speak with as a potential threat. What’s worse, he has consistently told me these men are a problem because I don’t know how to behave with them! He has called me terrible names in the process. I am a social person, but I am well aware of my boundaries. I am not irresponsible or awkward in social situations. I am quite popular among my friends. Yet he constantly puts me down saying my behaviour is not correct. I fail to understand how anyone can be so judgmental!

    • You don’t have to understand. You just need to make a choice about what you deserve

      I’d suggest that you don’t deserve to be treated like this, but it’s really about what you’re willing to do to change things.

  • I can relate to those who have a consistent string of put downs flung at them… I seemed to pick those who would put me down quite frequently… In particular are family, supposed friends, and more recently, work colleagues… I find for me, the put downs come from older women; oh and people that are supposed to be father figures (my father and stepfather) to give a bit of background info, I have a disability, part of which makes me look a lot younger than I am, so not only was I hearing the usual “You’re not ready for… (insert situation here)” or “no, don’t do that, you’ll bugger it up” “you can’t do that, just let someone else do it” “there was also the indirect put-downs, the put-downs you hear that are masked so as not to sound like put-downs, usually spoken with a sickly sweet tone of voice, questioning my level of qualification (even though I brought with me an extensive skillset plus pieces of paper) – Now I’ve found a partner, and his family do nothing but put each other down – and now I’m on the scene, here it comes again. Well I can say that my best move was to get the hell out! Of all of it! I have a small but healthy circle of friends and colleagues now, and I am happier with where I am. Apologies for the long comment.

  • I’ve got a family member who has dished out loads of passive-aggressive put-downs to me for years and years, and continues to do so with increasing frequency as the years go by. She’s completely self-un-aware and I rather fear she may remain that way (thinks none of this tension between us is her fault, etc.) She’s figured out a crafty way to make me feel guilty (or try to) about not wanting to be around her (she’s my sister), by using her kids as chess pieces (i.e. I’m the “bad aunt” for not having a closer relationship with my niece and nephews). Even in this complicated scenario (and really, loads of them are complicated, not just mine I realize), at one point does one still decide just to “get the hell out”? It feels like it’s getting to that point.

    • How are things now CV?

      You’re right on the money when you say “completely self un-aware” – often the people who dish this out don’t know the full impact of what they’re doing, let alone why. I hope things have improved for you.

  • I remember the days when I was putdown and bullied in grade school. After a while I found my out: leave the situation and let them know it is not how you shall be treated.

    Do something great with your life. People who put you down really are deflecting attention away frm themselves because they envy you.

    • Going through some hard times and came across this. The last sentence is the best. I want to believe this, but what do you do when it is your own mother who does this to you? I do think she has envy for me. I should be flattered, but she should be happy for me, not bring me down because she is jealous of what I have.

      • I just found this site looking for some information about being belittle. I completely understand how you feel only my issue is with my father. He doesn’t belittle me when we are the only ones in the room he does it when there is a group of people in the room. I am almost 60 yrs old and have taken his crap for many years and I’m not going to tolerate it anymore. Guess it’s time to let him know this before I get physically sick over it. Good Luck to you, I hope things are working in your favor.

      • i agree hard times can be pretty hard but thats when u should try to make them NOT hard Þ:D.
        Glad to help, hangf in there !!

      • Hey I’m a little late posting so not sure you will get this message. I had the same problems with my mother. I suffered a neglectful childhood, but I didn’t realize then that things were going to get even worse as I got older. The emotional abuse she inflicted as I turned into a woman and her constant put downs almost drove me to suicide. She also did what she could to turn siblings against each other so nobody had any support. There is no loyalty at all in my family or bonds or trust, the family is completely broken, I’m the biggest target because I’ve worked hard to improve my life and have in some respects succeeded. I spent the best part of my life trying to understand and please her, but then at 35 I realized I would never get her approval because she didn’t want me to have anything and viewed me as a threat not a daughter. My mother recently died and despite what she put me through it upset me deeply, I guess I always hoped we’d fix it. Anyway I came across some information recently and I truly think my mother was a narcissist. It’s really helped me understand why she was like she was and has also taken some of the burden of the abuse away. I’m still rebuilding myself, I don’t think I’ll ever be whole as such but what I can say is from the moment I walked away my life started to get better. Unfortunately I am now a complete people pleaser and constantly find myself attracting people who are just like her, but I’m working on this and growing braver every day when dealing with these types. These days I nip it in the bud and walk away before they get a grip, although I do find some more persistent. 🙂
        I hope this gives you some strength, and maybe you could also have a look at personality disorders as a starting point, it may turn out that this is not the case but it’s worth a try. I think when it comes to your mother there is a need to understand why, I mean mothers are loving and caring aren’t they? :/ God bless and remember none of this is your fault, as the above post points out, give the abuser the responsibility or blame x

      • You call your mom with a 5 minute timer on. You ask how she is and say you are doing well. Then at 5 minutes you tell her….
        I forgot there’s something on the stove
        There’s someone at the door, etc.
        Tell her it was so nice talking with her and hang up. Once a month call

    • Thanks so much for this Davis. I think you’re onto something. It’s how you choose to respond to the situation you’re in that counts, and maybe choosing to respond with the best of you is the way to go.

      • It was not the way I responded that fueled my abuser. My ex I guess thought if he kept telling me I was garbage that I would not think to move on. My response was to work harder to be perfect. Still not good enough. I finally realized after 30 years of marriage that I would never be good enough but that had nothing to do with me. The more successful I became, the worse the negative comments were. So my response was to finally leave but I gave so much of my life to this liar and fool.

    • I’ve found one of the best ways, especially if they’re a violent bully / friend / parent, is to be kind and cheery no matter what these people do. One example, one of many in High School, would be when I was pinned against a wall by the school bully (who came from a family of criminals and hard drug users) and I was punched in the stomach, in the face and my head smacked against the brick wall in full view of over 100 other students. He then proceeded to attempt to pillage my pockets for money or anything he could sell off, each time he went for a pocket I simply put my hand in that pocket. He started becoming enraged, all the while I just smiled and asked him if he “Needed help with something” all in friendly tones, blood running down my face. Even though I wasn’t considered ‘popular’, I was also nice to all the other students and when they saw what he was doing to me, one girl ran and grabbed a teacher and a quarter of the students ripped the guy off me and restrained him on the ground. When the teacher came, he was expelled and the other people that would bully me did not want to come near me because they now knew that intimidation and fear tactics had no effect. It is unbelievably scary at the start to stand up for yourself, but you do not always have to stand up with violence. People will always verbally abuse others as their first line of attack, but don’t allow them to get to you, just smile and wave because nothing will make them question their actions more than you doing the opposite of the reaction they expect and crave. Most of these people are simply projecting their own issues / anger / sadness and pain onto you, and showing that you have none, even if you do, is showing strength of character and mind which is one of the best defenses anyone can have against negativity.

      • Just smile and wave. Hmmm. Easy to say, usually easy enough to do. In reality, that’s if other things are normal in the abnormal family of origin– if the smiler target is physically healthy, if another “manager ” hasn’t married in, if siblings and others have not yet changed love into despise (in the name of “honoring” and protecting another sibling) and if ONE is empathic enough to feel for the target, to LOOK into allegations instead of jumping in.
        You’d think to “let it go and smile” would work. Sometimes, shrugging off continually gives license to keep it up. The tragedy comes when it did work but doesn’t, when love was but isn’t. Too little too late: A well-loved 90 year old father (who himself even joined the crowd) realizes ” OMG. This is BIG.. so big…and now there are so many. What a legacy to leave.” Now that lies were believed and most precious of relationships have gone, it’s a real effort to smile and hope they’ll catch on.

  • My life story would be a book series.
    There are a couple people in my life take great pride in belittling me daily & my fear is that I won’t overcome this and it is starting to affect the way I react to others. I’m turning into them and I never want to treat others the way I have been treated my whole life!
    Nothing like hearing “Your opinion isn’t worth the price of a small cup of coffee”, or “You have more excuses than Carter has liver pills”, “You can’t do that because you aren’t good enough”, “I don’t want to hear your thoughts because they are always stupid”, “You can’t do it”… Those are just a tiny fraction of the things I hear daily. I want out, I know what I can do, I just need the confidence and people who do believe in me to stand behind me and help me.

    • The danger is that if you hear this kind of talk enough, it triggers the same thinking in you. We all have those thoughts in our heads that “we’re not good enough” or “don’t deserve” good things, and with those thoughts in play we can either seek comfort by closing down or attacking.

      Don’t wait until you “feel ready” Melissa. Stepping out of your comfort zone IS confidence and it WILL feel uncomfortable. But. If it matters, you gotta give it shot.

      We’re right here.

      • I know I walked and talked negativity for most of my life. Not anymore! I am learning to leave my comfort zone and accept all things positive. I have read “The Secret” and I am learning to live it! Positive attracts positive. Attitude of Gratitude. Thankful for everything. Good things will be mine because I AM worth it.

    • well, i have this bff, who its my second bff, not my first one, but i still love and care for her, anyways i feel like im always being put down, coz she is really pretty and smart, so here is the deal, she is always saying that im not smart enough, that im not pretty enough, that im not skinny enough, that im not talented enough, she thinks that she is better in everything she does, i constantly feel bad around her, even though she puts me down a lot, she always says never mind, lets move on, and blah blah, but then there are other ppl putting me down too, im starting to believe the lies myself, many friends i have, say im skinny, gorgerous, and that they wish that they were as smart as me, but i just dont believe it anymore, i just cry every single night before i go to bed, i cant stand the ppl around me, i wish i didnt exist, i wish i would not be here typing this, i think i would be better off dead, im just so tired of all this drama, and i just want to know, is my friend, really…my best friend? i dont know what to do anymore, somebody plz help me, plz 🙁

      • To Emily,
        Never put yourself down & the so called friend isnt much of a friend,what i would do if i was you tell her how happy you are with yourself no matter what that you like your weight height & life & your happy with your education you have had & feel good about your life.i had a friend who always put me down always got the guys i fancied,in the end i would arrnge for another friend to be were we were going as too so called meet up accidentally as she used to leave me on my own in a club and be kissing guys,when i had another friend by me she was so jealous didnt like i was more popular & enjoying myself not waiting round for her & getting up dancing having a laugh,in the end she stopped going out with me as she didnt like that i was sittting aline in the corner anymore.i had lots of pout downs of family members so its knocked my confidence so much but i told myself one day she was the jealous one in the end she fed of my insecurities as it fed her big fat ego but thats why she stopped being a friend as it wasnt working for her anymore,so smile away and dont let them affect you,life is good without these people,lots of good people in this world emily

      • Emily, I hope you are feeling better. and still hanging in there. I just read your post. you are not the sum of ppl’s opinions of you. putdowns are a reflection of the ppl saying them. look on the critics with pity. if they loved themselves they would be loving. you can’t give what u don’t have. your life is worth living. find ppl who bring u joy to share ur life. God loves you!

      • No, she is not your best friend or a good friend. She is obviously jealous of you,and everybody knows that jealousy is a sign of insecurity, and jealousy is the highest form of flattery, so say, thank you and take a bow.She’s trying to make herself look better by putting you down. If she had any confidence, brains and class, she would’nt be putting her friend down. She is insecure about her own self, and what she sees in you is a reflection of that.You are beautiful and smart. Don’t forget that, EVER! Don’t let her or (anybody else for that fact,) bring you to the point of not wanting to exist anymore. Don’t let her weaken you. People only hate what they can’t be or have. Get rid of her! Never put up with this behavior from anyone. Walk with your head held high. And please, don’t let anyone think their better than you,because their not. Hugs and kisses to you. Nae (:

      • ur not alone i got a lot of friends and the hole school hates me and call me a b*tch for standing up for a friend and its pretty bad that my own six year old sister calls me a b*tch to and none knows what that feels like but me and none knows how i feel i put a fake smil on my face and move on i know that i walk in a school full of haters, but ur friend sounds like one of the haters at my school

      • I had the exact same problem Emily ! In India the beauty standards are such that “fair” is beautiful and I had this bff who was fair and I was dusky. That was the only thing she could be proud about because she was neither smart nor intelligent but just attractive and a lot of people would hang around her like bees around honey and she was very rude and shrewd and mean but I always ignored her Flaws because I loved her and cared for her nevertheless but she kept putting me down and she used to play weird power and brain games with me which started bugging me after a point.she had those hidden grudges and envy against me I just didn’t know of …so one day something happened … And that was my opportunity to get rid of her. Yes! I was so scared and I knew I was going to regret this and that could make me so lonely and hurt because I truly loved her as my bff but I had to stand for myself… So I broke up on text ..did not even meet her ..she tried ..she said ” let’s move on etc etc” but there was this strong feeling in me that if I don’t do this now I’m gonna get trapped all over again I did what I had to… It was over… Yes I regret that I lost her …but I was happy to take a strong decision to help myself because if u won’t help yourself, who will ?

    • YOU are amazing individual and my heart hurt to read your comment because I’m hoping and prayin you have found your way OUT! You must know that you’re so much better than what ever put downs you have heard! It is NOT a problem with yourself. It’s a problem with them!

    • Don’t believe what those people say, they tend to love to control others.
      I mean, my father loves to put-down others. So, I can understand how it feels to have someone constantly making you feel like their above you.
      But it goes:
      Miserable people love to have company. They see other people who have their life together, so they do their best to drag them down.

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