8 Real Reasons Why People Put You Down & 7 Solid Ways To Cope With Them

By Reniel


Last Updated: October 13, 2021

The world is full of nice, pleasant, and interesting people, but every once in a while you might run into some who seem to constantly try to put you down.

Sometimes it can even be your family members, or close friends, which makes such encounters even worse.

We know life is not always rainbows and butterflies. We will encounter people who try to put us down with derogatory gestures, ironic comments, constant criticism, name-calling, disapproval, and several other microaggressions aimed at belittling, discouraging, and disempowering us.

Sometimes it is subtle, other times it is overt. In both cases it can be frustrating. 

But, as you can guess, getting frustrated and agitated is not the way to deal with these sorts of people. Since these people are derisive or scornful, any unpolished response or reaction would only serve to fuel (or maybe even prove) their mockery, and disrespect...

Don’t give them that chance.

To deal with this type of person, you first need to understand what motivates them. By doing so, you steal back your power from them.


8 Reasons People Put Others Down

The truth is that the act of putting people down may range from conscious attempts to unconscious mistakes...we would explore these reasons starting from the conscious to the unconscious.

1. They Are Jealous

A flower never thinks of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms – Unknown

Jealous people do petty things. They make sly statements in order to make your achievements seem less grand or your happiness less delightful. You can tell they are jealous by the position they take. If they don’t have what you have, yet seem to mock it, it is only a reflection of their jealousy.

2. They Are Narcissistic

Some folks just want all the attention in the room, and in the world at large.

They don’t like feeling insignificant or small. If they can’t succeed in drawing attention to themselves by their actions, they start trying to diminish the attention others are having in order to shine brighter. You can tell they are obsessed with being noticed.

3. Egocentric

These sorts of people can’t stand being under anyone.

They may not be able to always be at the top and keep trying to make it seem as though they are. This is usually a bad experience for anyone within their level. They talk down on you to have a sense of power or control, even if they truly don’t, and may never.

4. They Are Bitter

Some people have a tough life and have grown resentful over the years, just lash out at whoever is unlucky to be around them during their periodic bouts of unwanted behavior. These are the types that may later apologize, but you don’t have to take their negativity. You are not a punching bag.

5. They Are Toxic

After years of practice, it has become second nature to this type. Putting people down is their way of life. These people are past redemption.

6. They Are Narrow Minded

This set of individuals doesn’t like changing their minds.

When an idea, notion, or perception – no matter how wrong, or ill-informed – gets into their brains, it gets stuck. They may even conclude based on gossip and judge you wrongly, and without remorse, or willingness to hear your part of the story.

7. They Lack Communication Skills:

These people simply don't know how to connect with others. Their words come out wrong too often. They may not really mean any harm at all times, but they can hurt you nonetheless.

8. They Were Upset

This can be anyone – it’s just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.                            

Now that you know better, below are some of the ways you can employ to deal with those who would put you down. 

Sound familiar? Read this next! 21 Signs You're Dealing With a Toxic Friend


7 Ways of Dealing With People Who Try to Put You Down

1. Don’t Get Mad

This is probably the worst response. Not just because it can cause the truly unpleasant people to retaliate with more unpleasantries, it can actually hurt those who didn’t intend it that way. Then you unwittingly become the one who puts people down.

Not getting angry is already 50% victory, all that is left is to choose the next course of action.

2. Empathize With Them

Really, if you can properly understand what motivates them, you can see how pathetic the whole drama is. You can even flip the switch by saying kind words to them and winning a friend.

3. Breathe In

If you feel infuriated by the manner and timing of the whole thing, then allow for some more time to pass. Let it all wash away. Take a deep breath, and allow yourself to see the bigger picture and to see that their words have little to do with you. 

4. Acknowledge Their Opinion

If they criticized you or your works harshly, be the bigger person by acknowledging their views.

Were they actually right? Acknowledge it, learn from it, and discard the rudeness. If they were wrong, ignore their attempts to put you down. You can go an extra mile by asking them to explain what they mean by what they said.

This would give you deeper insight (if there was really any), or give you the opportunity to call them out (if there was none). 

5. Laugh At Their Attempt

If you have an expert sense of humor, you can turn the tables by laughing at their attempt to put you down. You just have to be careful not to cross the line and poke the bear, causing more issues.

6. Ignore Them

It is not your responsibility to teach grownups manners. Make peace with that and move on.

7. Politely Disagree

You don't have to get into a big thing about it. If someone says something insulting, you can simply say, "No, I disagree," and change the subject.

You can keep the conversation going if you want, or walk away after. You don't have to be rude about it, but you also don't have to accept or agree with them say negative things to you to keep things nice.

Bonus Way! 

Just be direct and honest. There is absolutely nothing wrong with simply saying, "I don't think that's fair, and it feels like an insult." A lot of people who put others down don't expect to be called out on it. You don't have to be rude. But you are 100% allowed to draw your boundaries and call it as you see it. 

Best case, it could start an open dialogue about why they said what they said and you can find common ground going forward. Worst case, they react poorly and tell you exactly who they are. Either way, you don't have to feel like you should be silent.

Speaking up for yourself is never out of style! 


What Other People Say About You is None of Your Business

In the iconic words of RuPaul...

What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do.

Next time someone tries to put you down, remember that confidence is quiet but insecurity is loud. You should always have it at the back of your mind that what people say, and how they behave is only a reflection of who they are and not who you are.     

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels


11 comments on “8 Real Reasons Why People Put You Down & 7 Solid Ways To Cope With Them”

  1. I have just this one very close person that does this to me on almost a daily basis and for many years. I have learned myself how to not allow her to effect me. First off, I have read a lot of articles from here as well as other websites in order to gain some knowledge and the reasons why people do the crap they do .... this is an ongoing, lifetime, learning class, so to speak...lol..
    It's an awful feeling when you get belittled & criticized. It's heart breaking, emotionally, mentally & physically very painful. But. But I have learned how to deal with this person or people. Never Ever give your power to them. And you give it to them with you continue to engage, conversate and bicker. This only fuels their negative behavior & this continues with draining your power and making you weaker; mentally, emotionally and especially spiritually. To turn it off and to make them run out of that fuel - DISENGAGE. Just a suggestion. Good Luck 😉

    1. Great advice Denise! 'Never give your power to them' is a wonderful way to put it. So happy you have done this work for yourself!

  2. I totally agree. I have spent years allowing these toxic people to ruin my
    life. Now I have smartened up. I don’t care what people think anymore.

  3. I love this article. Every single description there describes my neighbour. She obviously has some issues with me, biggest being that I don’t bow down to her. When I step back and look at her in action, it’s actually quite funny, but sad for her. I try to have some empathy for her, but bullies get no respect from me. I will continue to see, but not react. Best way to deal with a narcissist. Thank you for this article. It really does help in how to deal with this type of person

  4. I love this I have the same problem, I have a female who I’m close to and a male , who often reflect their negative thoughts on me , when they don’t want to hear or see the facts. I have been struggle with this every time . I get angry , and argue back until I realize it’s just instigating them even more . So I love the message I have seen this morning , I will simply now learn to stop giving my power away . Cause everything I have read is spot on and I totally agree .
    Big thank you , much love.

    1. Absolutely! Some people thrive on arguing and getting a reaction out of others. If you remove that reaction, they likely will try to find it elsewhere.

  5. Hi, I really enjoyed reading How to cope with people that you down.. I’m a 70 yr old grandmother of 2 granddaughters & 4 grt grnd daughters. The younger grnd daughter is in her late 20’s..She never calls or texts me, never comes to see me, never calls or sends me Happy Birthday, Mother day, you get the picture..And when we have a family get together, usually at my daughters house, she never speaks to me. But I always make it a point to to speak to her. Her voice is very loud, and she will always reply to me to short snobbish hello, and if try to have a conversation with her, she will roll her eyes back and say something to me put me down, or try to start an argument with me, or say something to hurt my feelings. Sometimes, I will get so upset that I will tell my daughter that I’m going to go home before we even get to eat, and that upsets her…This has been going on for now for so long that I dread to holidays anymore..I don’t want to even be around my own granddaughter..😢

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.