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10 Ways the People Close to You Could Slowly Be Destroying Your Self-Esteem


One small comment and you can shake it off; a series of small comments over time and your self-esteem slowly wears down. Once this happens, you might stop feeling free to be yourself and to express yourself. You could slip into a depression and you might even start to hate yourself. 

These comments could be from the person you go to when you are sad. They could be coming from the person you trust the most. They could be coming from your boyfriend/girlfriend. They could be coming from a parent or a sibling. They could be coming from your friends. The truth is, the person who is hurting you could be the same person you go to when you are hurt. 

1. They say 'You're wearing that?'

Clothes are a great way to express your identity and you should be the one in charge of what you wear, not your partner. If they do make comments about your clothes, it's a really obvious red flag that they don't appreciate you for who are. More importantly, it's a big red flag that shows they are trying to control you. 

2. In fact, they make a lot of little comments that hurt your feelings...

Some comments can be more straightforward like: "Omg, you are so slow," and "You would be pretty if you just tried." Other comments use sarcasm or they insist that they are just 'teasing' you. It's not funny to make jokes about other people being lazy when they are genuinely sick with the common cold ... so don't let them pretend that their 'joke' is funny.

Some more examples of these comments include, but are not limited to: "Wow, you're not good at work," or "I'm just more work-oriented than you."

3. They blame you for their failures, problems, and unhappiness.

This is simply just because they don't want to take the blame themselves ... but putting it on you can cause you to feel toxic to your surroundings. You can't take the blame for everything, especially when there no way it could possible be your fault. 

4.They make small jokes about you with their friends and family ... in front of you

They make jokes at your expense in front of other people. They might even call you names. Sometimes, their friends might even defend you, but it's not impossible that they might even join. At that point, you are completely in the right just to go home. 

5. They have a 'look' or gesture that shows they disapprove.

Not all emotional abuse has to be verbal. They can even make gestures or looks that can show they disapprove or that they think you are somehow unintelligent. This look can be a continuous thing or changes dependent on each situation. Either way, it makes you feel bad.

6. They make you feel guilty for how you feel.

They can use guilt trips or even shaming to get their way. This is manipulative and hard to spot when you are in the relationship. 

One time I cried during a fight with my ex, he immediately turned to 'self-abuse' and started saying horrible things about himself for making me cry. The scary thing is that this worked. I immediately responded for saying it wasn't his fault and tried to comfort him. He wouldn't let me and spent the rest of the night being quiet and borderline mopey. 

7.They make you paranoid that other people are judging you.

I have actually been told by both my sister and an ex-boyfriend that if I go grocery shopping in loose-fitting clothes that people will judge me. 

One day I went grocery shopping in the same clothes anyway after hearing such a comment and, well, maybe it wasn't the best idea. I was constantly paranoid that everyone was judging me. I got so paranoid that I even started giving out dirty looks. (Sorry.)

Now that I have freed myself from this emotional abuse, I can go to the grocery store for that one thing in my pyjamas, no problem. Sure there might be that one person who thinks pyjamas in public is weird, but as long am I'm happy, it doesn't really matter. Plus, sometimes you just need that pancake mix. 

8. They want you to care about their problems...and they never care about yours.

This is quite simply an act of selfishness. I have ADHD and I can still make time to ask my boyfriend how he is doing, so there really aren't that many excuses for forgetting about your family's, partners', or friends' problems too. You can always simply ask how they are doing every now again and listen if they have something to say after that. 

9. They dismiss your achievements.

Not only are they not proud of you for the little the little things, but they don't exactly celebrate with you over the big things either. Every close relationship needs to celebrate together ... over BOTH of their achievements. Big or small, these achievements are milestones in life and should be celebrated with at least a cupcake or a word of acknowlegment. 

If they are really abusive, they will not only ignore you achievments, but they will also regularly point out flaws or short comings. This would destroy anyones self esteem over a long period of time. 

10. They think this abuse is doing you a favour..

If you ever confront them on this behaviour, they not only deny it but insist that they are doing you a favour by helping you better yourself. There is no need to accuse them of lying about this because they probably genuinely believe they are helping you. However, they are not helping you. All they are doing is hurting you. 

Thank you! :)

I hope you enjoyed this 'List of 10.' I have lots of other articles incldufign a growing series of "Lists of 10." If you want to read more work by me, click Here. 

Nancy D
Join The Adventure

In case you are ready to move on :)

The standard way of dating online has a very low success rate ... but a very high 'creepy comment' rate. Thats why I wanted to recommend this facebook group which has tried to invent "Racoon Dating." If you are ready for it, why not give it a try! :)

In case you're stuck in time ...

If you are having trouble making the next steps, that is okay too! You can be single for as long as you want ... and maybe even find yourself in the journey. 

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