What To Do When Someone Tries To Make You Look Bad

There are many ways in which people can make you look bad, like by trying to make you seem like you’re not as intelligent as they are or by challenging your decisions. Instead of taking it personally, there are better ways to nip their criticisms and comments in the bud. Here are 15 tips on how to deal when someone tries to bring you down.

1. Try to analyze their behavior.

Instead of immediately assuming that someone doesn’t like you and is being mean to you, consider their perspective. Are they insecure? Could they be jealous of you? Do they have anger issues? This can help you to stop taking their comments and behavior personally.

2. Avoid being too nice to them.

If you’re used to being nice to the person who brings you down and makes you feel bad, that’s just going to make you feel worse! Sure, sometimes you might have to deal with the person, such as if you work with them, but you can be professional without being too nice.

3. Center yourself.

Young sporty woman practicing yoga

Now’s the time to whip out your yoga mat! You don’t have to let the negativity get to you or derail you from your goals. Try to follow daily practices to keep you centered, such as meditation, mindfulness, or journaling.

4. Cut off the person’s attention supply.

Sometimes, people make you look bad to make themselves get attention or feel better about themselves. They definitely want a reaction from you, so don’t give them the satisfaction. Look confident and strong around them so they stop trying to hassle you.

5. Talk to them privately.

If the person’s a repeat offender, you can’t always pretend to be fine. So, reach out and talk to them about their behavior and how it’s affecting you. Be direct and explain how you feel.

6. Don’t let it define you.

No matter what people do to try to make you feel bad about yourself, you shouldn’t let it define you. It’s not about you, it’s about them and their issues. When you’re away from this person, remind yourself about why you’re worthy.

7. Spread positivity to those around you.

You might think the best way to show this person up is to ridicule them in public but don’t stoop to their level! Instead, be the person who spreads cheer to those around you. Lead by example and be remembered for good reasons. This will also challenge what the other person is doing because your actions will speak for themselves.

8. Boost your self-esteem.

You might feel hurt or angry when someone tries to make you look bad, so give your self-esteem a boost. Learn something new, sharpen your skills, or share your talents with the world. This will remind you of your worth.

9. Keep a record of their toxic behavior.

If you’re working with someone who keeps putting you down or making you look bad, keep a record of their toxic behavior. This will help you to deal with it—and you never know when you’ll need to report it to HR. Just saying.

10. Laugh it off.

When someone tries to make you look bad, sometimes the best thing to do is show them how ridiculous they’re being by laughing it off! This also shows other people around you that you’re rising above it.

11. Or, leave the room.

You don’t have to listen to someone who’s trying to mock you or make you feel bad in other ways. If it’s a social gathering, for example, you can politely excuse yourself so you don’t give the person permission to keep batting away at your confidence.

12. Establish boundaries with the person.

If the person’s behavior is disrespectful but you can’t cut them out of your life, such as if they’re your partner’s parent or a cherished friend, set boundaries around the specific behavior. Tell them how their behavior makes you feel and what you won’t tolerate in the future.

13. Consider if they have a grudge against you.

The person might be trying to hurt you because they’re holding some sort of grudge against you. Maybe their hurt is what’s keeping them wounded and they’re lashing out at you. Consider asking them if everything is okay between you, so you can deal with any issues.

14. Ask someone else for advice.

It can help you suss out the situation and person by asking an outsider for their perspective. This could be a friend or therapist, for example. Doing this is important as you’ll gain the benefit of releasing your feelings and getting insight into what’s going on.

15. If all else fails, cut them out.

If you’ve tried to deal with this person and see things from their perspective, but they won’t stop disrespecting you, you have the choice to cut them out of your life for good. Why keep trying to make things better when they just keep destroying your efforts? Your energy is better used elsewhere!

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.