Does your boyfriend keep putting you down jokingly – and is seemingly unaware that it’s hurting your feelings and making you sad?
There is often a thin line between fun, playful teasing, and saying hurtful, insulting comments.
The problem is that a little teasing can be good for a relationship. While putting you down can be devastating for your relationship and your self-esteem.
There are usually reasons why people put other people down, even if they’re not doing it to hurt the other person.
If you can get to the bottom of why your boyfriend puts you down and explain to him how it’s affecting you, you can help him address his issues.
There’s no reason why you can’t get your boyfriend to see how his actions are hurting you and change his ways. It’s just a matter of understanding why he’s doing it and speaking with him.
Here are some of the most common reasons why people put down their partners and what you can do about it:
Your Boyfriend Is Dealing With Depression/Anxiety Issues
Often, when someone is dealing with depression, anxiety, stress, or some other issues that are causing them to feel down, they will lash out and make someone close to them feel down too.
If your boyfriend is in a bad place, he may be putting you down because he can’t bear to see you be happy when he’s feeling so down. Or, it might simply be because it makes him feel better.
Either way, it’s obviously not the right thing to do. He has some work to do on himself to make himself feel better and love himself before he can truly love those around him.
Your Self-Esteem Makes Him Feel Insecure
Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. It’s a beautiful thing to see someone with high self-esteem, I love to see it.
People with high self-esteem value themselves, love themselves and are able to achieve their best because they believe in themselves. All the things we should be able to do.
If your boyfriend has low self-esteem or doesn’t think he is worthy of you, your self-esteem is going to make him feel insecure.
He will have thoughts running through his head that you’re going to leave him. That you’ll find someone better, and so on.
By putting you down he’ll notice it chips away at your self-esteem. This will make him feel more comfortable that you’re not going to leave him. But it’s a toxic behavior that needs to be addressed.
Related – Feel awkward around your partner? Here’s an explination.
He Thinks He’s Funny
Sometimes, and I’ve come across this before, a man just thinks he’s being funny and can’t see how it’s affecting those close to them.
Does your boyfriend also make similar jokes and put down other people around him? Does he like to act the clown and try hard to make people laugh all the time?
If so, it doesn’t make it any more excusable. There may still be some underlying psychological issues causing him to always act the fool, but it’s an important distinction compared to picking on you specifically.
He needs to be put in check and told that it’s not funny and his jokes are crossing the line. Not just with you, but with other people too. It’s going to be a hard pill for him to swallow and will bruise his ego, but it has to be addressed.
It’s a Form of Control for Him
The ugliest word in any relationship is “control”. Control is the root of most relationship problems and in my experience the number one cause for serious relationship issues.
Controlling behavior usually stems from some of the things I’ve covered, such as the person having low self-esteem, traumatic past experiences, and depression/mental illness.
It usually involves deliberate actions to control a partner so the person can feel in control and not anxious about losing them.
If you’re experiencing any other controlling behaviors; such as being told what to do, what to wear, when and where you can go, who you can hang around with etc. You need to do something sooner rather than later.
A controlling person in a relationship is toxic. The problems only usually escalate unless something is done, and it can easily start with some simple joking around.
He Wants Out of the Relationship
Some men, in fact a lot of men don’t have the nerve to admit when they don’t want to be in a relationship and they try to find other ways out.
Making jokes and putting you down is one of the things your boyfriend might do if he’s questioning the relationship.
It’s almost like a way poking you, to see if you’ll react and start a fight. Which he can then escalate and get to a point where he can let his feelings out and tell you how he really feels.
It’s not nice, and obviously it’s not the right way to go about things. But unfortunately that’s just how some people deal with their feelings, they hide behind “jokes”.
How Should You React When Your Boyfriend Insults You?
How you deal with being put down by jokes and other comments has a big impact on whether or not you’re able to change your boyfriend’s behavior.
There are a couple of things that are important, and this applies to any kind of insult:
- The first is to try and stay calm. Don’t get angry or upset, and don’t shout. As I pointed out earlier, he may be trying to antagonize you and get that exact reaction.
- The second thing is to speak to him about it. Nothing is going to improve if you don’t talk to your boyfriend and let him know how you feel.
How it goes from there largely depends on how well he takes feedback, how sensitive he is to your feelings, and what his underlying reason is for making these jokes.
I hope the information in this article has given you enough points to get to the bottom of why he’s doing it. As well as the strength to talk it out with him.
You deserve better. Good luck!
Image credits – Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.