If someone constantly makes you feel small, they probably have these 8 personality traits

Navigating relationships can be tricky, especially when you’re dealing with someone who always seems to belittle you. If you’re constantly feeling small around someone, they might have certain personality traits that are causing this dynamic.

I’ve run into these types of individuals more times than I’d like to admit and can tell you that it’s not about you, it’s about them.

In this article, we’ll dive into the personality traits these people often possess. Stay tuned to learn how to spot them and how to protect your self-esteem in the process.

Remember, you deserve to feel valued and respected in all your relationships.

1) They tend to be overly critical

Navigating relationships can be tough, especially when you find yourself on the receiving end of constant criticism.

Often, people who make you feel small are overly critical in nature. They critique every little thing you do, and nothing ever seems good enough for them. It’s like walking on eggshells around them, always afraid you’re going to do something wrong.

Believe me, I’ve been there. I’ve dealt with people who are never satisfied, no matter how hard I tried to please them.

This constant criticism isn’t a reflection of your worth, but rather their own insecurities and issues. Remember, nobody has the right to make you feel inferior without your consent.

Next time you’re faced with such a person, take a deep breath and remember that their criticism says more about them than it does about you. This understanding can help you maintain your self-esteem and not let their harsh words affect you as much.

2) They possess an inflated sense of self-importance

Ever been around someone who thinks the world revolves around them? They’re always the star of the show and your role seems to be that of an adoring audience. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

I’ve encountered my fair share of these characters too. People who constantly need to assert their superiority and make you feel small in the process.

This inflated sense of self-importance is often a hallmark of narcissistic personalities. They believe they’re special, deserving of exceptional treatment, and expect others to uphold this image.

But you’re not a supporting character in anyone’s story. As Eleanor Roosevelt once wisely said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

You’re not small, they’re just trying to make themselves appear bigger. Keep your head high and your self-esteem intact.

3) They constantly belittle your achievements

You know that feeling when you’re excited to share a success, only to have someone dismiss it or one-up you with their own accomplishments? It’s a blow to the gut.

I’ve been there too, my dear readers. Having your victories downplayed can sting, especially when it’s by someone you care about.

These individuals have a knack for making your achievements seem insignificant. They might say something like “Oh, that’s nice but…” and proceed to overshadow your news with their own triumphs.

This behavior is often rooted in their insecurities. They feel threatened by your success and try to diminish it in order to maintain their self-perceived superiority.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I explore how to navigate and manage relationships with such individuals.

Remember, your achievements are valid and worthy of celebration, no matter how big or small. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel otherwise. 

4) They are often charming and charismatic

Now, this might seem counterintuitive. How can someone who is charismatic and charming make you feel small, you ask?

Well, believe me when I say, it’s a confusing reality many of us have faced. I too have been swept off my feet by individuals who, despite their outward charm, had an uncanny ability to make me feel insignificant.

These are the people who draw you in with their engaging personality, only to use it as a tool to belittle you. They appear friendly and attractive on the surface, yet their underlying intent is often to maintain a sense of superiority.

Their charm serves as a smokescreen, masking their true intentions and making it difficult for you to pinpoint why you’re feeling small around them.

It’s crucial to remember that charm isn’t necessarily synonymous with kindness or empathy. 

5) They have a need for constant control

Control can be a tricky thing in relationships. A healthy balance is crucial, but when someone always insists on having the upper hand, it can make you feel quite small.

I remember being in a relationship where I felt like I was constantly being micromanaged. Every decision, no matter how small, had to go through them. It felt suffocating and my self-esteem took a hit.

People who have a compulsive need for control often do so out of fear and insecurity. By controlling you and your actions, they feel more secure about their position in the relationship.

It’s essential to establish healthy boundaries in any relationship. You are an equal partner and have every right to make your own decisions. 

6) They resort to emotional manipulation

This one’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s crucial to address. Some people use emotional manipulation as a tool to maintain their dominance, making you feel small in the process.

I’ve experienced this firsthand, and it was painful. They’d guilt trip me, twist my words, or play the victim to get their way. I’d often end up feeling like the bad guy, even when I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.

Emotional manipulation is damaging and has no place in a healthy relationship. It leaves you second-guessing your feelings and actions, causing you to shrink within yourself.

Please know that it’s okay to call out such behavior and protect your emotional space. You deserve respect and understanding, not manipulation. 

7) They constantly compare you to others

Nothing quite chips away at your self-esteem like being constantly compared to others. It’s a situation I’m no stranger to, and I can tell you, it’s a tough one to navigate.

These individuals have a habit of setting up comparisons where you always seem to fall short. “Why can’t you be more like…” is a phrase you hear all too often. It’s as if they’re saying that you, as you are, aren’t good enough.

But let me remind you of a powerful quote from Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

No one should make you feel like you have to be someone else to be valued. You are unique, and that’s your strength. So next time someone compares you, remember Oscar Wilde’s wise words and embrace the wonderful individual that you are.

8) They rarely show empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. When you’re dealing with someone who constantly makes you feel small, you’ll often notice a lack of empathy in their behavior.

It’s a harsh reality I’ve learned over the years – some people just don’t have the capacity to truly empathize with others. They’re so wrapped up in their own world that they fail to see or appreciate your feelings.

When your emotions are dismissed or belittled, it can leave you feeling small and insignificant. It’s as if your feelings don’t matter, and that can be deeply hurtful.

But your emotions are valid and deserve to be acknowledged and respected. Be honest with yourself about the people in your life who lack empathy. It’s not a reflection of your worth but a glaring deficiency in theirs.

Wrapping up

Navigating relationships with people who consistently make you feel small can be a challenging journey. But remember, it’s more a reflection of their personality traits and issues than it is about your worth.

I’ve been there, and I can tell you that understanding these traits can help you maintain your self-esteem and set healthy boundaries.

For more insights and guidance on handling such relationships, do check out my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship. It provides practical steps to break free from harmful attachments and cultivate healthier relationships.

Always remember, you are worthy of respect and kindness. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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