14 Signs He’s Trying To Destroy Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem takes a long time to build and a toxic relationship can destroy it all without you even realizing it. If any of these 14 signs sound familiar, you’re with a guy who can ruin you (and quickly).

  1. He puts you down. He says things like “you’re too sensitive” or “you worry too much.” These phrases might not seem outright rude, but he’s subtly putting you down—especially if he’s using these phrases to undermine your intelligence and feelings. Remember, a guy doesn’t have to call you a bitch to be treating you like crap—putting an emphasis on your “flaws” is more than enough of a put-down.
  2. He loves drama and tries to stir it up regularly. He complains when you’re a minute late to dinner and he throws a fit when you can’t agree to a movie. He doesn’t even care about those things! What he cares about is stirring the pot so he can play the victim. That’s his favorite role.
  3. He laughs at your feelings. He doesn’t just walk away from a fight, he laughs while he walks away. He wants you to know your emotions are silly, so he shows it with his expressions. He laughs, smiles, and even rolls his eyes, which makes you feel like a complete idiot for even expressing your thoughts.
  4. He insists on maintaining much of his life without you in it. You two are in a relationship, but it doesn’t 100% feel like that. He spends a lot of time without you. He’ll go to his parents’ place for dinner without extending an invitation and he’ll even attend his friend’s birthday party without you. It’s like he doesn’t want to be with you at all.
  5. He compares you to other women. He says things like, “My ex was so into her looks. I love that you’re not like that.” Like, damn! He’s pretending to give you a compliment, knowing full well that statement is going to hurt your self-esteem.
  6. He makes you feel scared. Being brave isn’t easy, but that’s something significant others help with. Instead, he helps you live in your fears. He takes the reasons you’re afraid of certain things and builds on them so that you’re more scared than you were and less likely to take a risk on your dreams.
  7. He always leaves you guessing. One of the best ways to destroy your self-esteem is to pretend like you know what people are thinking. That only leads to overthinking and constant stressing. Unfortunately, this guy is never straight up with you. He uses short responses and arbitrary answers to drive you nuts.
  8. He doesn’t do anything special for you. He’s never once gone out of his way to make you feel special. Please know that he’s doing that on purpose. It’s not because he’s shy or unromantic—he’s trying to destroy your self-esteem so you never feel like you’re enough for him.
  9. He purposely makes you jealous. He flirts in front of your face and he can’t go five minutes without talking about his physical attributions. Sure, he’s conceded, but he’s also intentionally messing with your mind. He puts himself on a pedestal so you feel lucky to be with him. That makes you less likely to ever leave him.
  10. He notices you but never compliments you. Did you get a new haircut? He’ll mention it but he won’t say whether he likes it. Instead, he’ll say nothing and make you feel insecure as hell. Trust me, that’s on purpose. Even if he liked your hair, he wouldn’t say anything. He enjoys ruining your self-esteem too much!
  11. He complains about the things he has that you don’t. He complains about money even though he makes more money than you. He complains about where he went to college even though you went somewhere with a lower rank. He does this to bother you and make you feel like the lesser person.
  12. He forces you to be perfect. He never compliments you, which means you’re always searching for his approval. You try to be the perfect girlfriend. You wear clothes he likes and you go places he enjoys. You work hard to be his idea of the best. Sooner than later, that’ll cause you to lose yourself and forget what you enjoy.
  13. He ignores you. You don’t like his jokes about your job? He’s going to keep saying them anyway. Sounds like he’s someone who likes to hurt others for his sick entertainment. He doesn’t have enough respect to change his rude behavior? That’s a clear sign he’s trying to destroy your self-esteem.
  14. He makes you feel nuts. He rarely shows you any real emotion. Which is why you’re always trying to prove his feelings for you. The problem is, the more you want to feel his love, the more you unravel. Stalking him on social media to see who he’s talking to you and begging him to say he loves you isn’t a good look.
Jordan White is a writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona with more than 8 years of experience. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Rhetoric and Creative Writing in 2015 and while there, she wrote for The Daily Wildcat. She has since written for sites including FanBread, and, of course, Bolde. You can find about more her on Facebook. She has a passion for giving her audience something to laugh about and despises the heat more than anything.