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Home Friendship & Issues How to stop a friend from putting you down
Written by: Raymond Fohjem

How to stop a friend from putting you down

How to stop a friend from putting you down

You have a friend who can be funny and fun to be with sometimes, but in front of others, puts you down or uses you as the butt of jokes or pranks.
How do you handle this unusual relationship?
Is there any chance you can change things?
This sort of behavior by a friend putting you down is usually about control or insecurity.

Both are really the same thing - people who treat others in this disrespectful way often feel insecure and try to make themselves feel better by making other people look worse. This often leads to them attempting to control others, too, as a way of keeping someone around to use in this way.

Don't allow yourself to become a victim - and by the same token, understand that this person may need to be reminded often for a while in order to break the pattern.

How to stop a friend from putting you down

Ask why she/he used you as a punch line for all of the jokes she/he told, or why she/he felt she/he had to talk about you that way. Giving your friend a chance to reflect on what she/he did might help him or her avoid that behavior in the future.

When you have some privacy, talk to your friend. Let him or her know that your feelings were hurt by the things she/he said, and although you allowed it to continue, even after you mentioned it the last time you were together, you will not be so indulgent next time.

If there's no way, make yourself heard

Some people just won't get a clue, even if you hand it to them. Maybe your friend just won't control herself. Notice: won't. Because the truth is, she could if she wanted to. If your friend privately promises to cut it out, but then does it again. and again...and again, you have a deeper problem.

Remember that it's okay to care about her as much as she cares about you. If she doesn't care that she is hurting your feelings, then you should not care that she will be embarrassed when you stand up and say, "Hey. I asked you to stop using me for a punching bag. I talked to you last time, and then we talked privately, and you said you understood. Now I'm telling you: I'm not going to put up with it any more. Stop it."

If she's upset by it, too bad. You need to show enough strength and backbone to protect yourself - don't insult her, or join in with name-calling or being a jerk - just stand up, state the problem, say what you expect from here on out, and then hope that all the rest of the people there are decent enough to back you up.

Most people are uncomfortable when one person is picking on someone else. If you point out very vocally that you are tired of being picked on this way, most people will side with you.

End the friendship if they were born to put you down

If this person will not respect you, no matter how hard you try or how many chances you have approach him or her, it's time to accept the fact that this person is not a true friends. Chances are if you have a breakup talk, this person will simply roll his or her eyes and call you names.

Don't bother, just be less and less available to go out and have fun with them. Let it drift until you've drifted apart and call yourself fortunate to have a new opportunity to make friends of better caliber. Remember that a true friend would never put you down.

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