Not everyone who says or does something that hurts us is doing it on purpose. However, some people do want to bring us down and they do it intentionally and with malice. Luckily, this is not very common and the majority of people who say things to annoy us or bring us down are often unaware of the effect they are having on us.
We are all different and so not everyone reacts in the same way. Therefore, the same thing said to ten different people can get ten different reactions. Our reactions may vary from slightly amused to the extreme of being mortally wounded. And our reactions also vary depending on what state of mind we are in at any particular time.
So before we go around being mortally wounded by everything that is said to us, we need to try to work out: a) if the other person is intentionally trying to hurt or demean us, as well as, b) if we are possibly a little oversensitive today and reading too much into an otherwise unintentional remark?
So, let’s explore these different scenarios further…….
Why Do People Want To Bring You Down?
There are a variety of reasons why people want to bring us down. The main one is that the perpetrator is emotionally damaged to the degree that they feel inferior to us, and want to tear us down to make them feel better. If we cannot remove them from our lives, the best way to overcome their abuse is for us to become mentally, emotionally, and physically intelligent and well-balanced.
Why are people picking on you? Are they intentionally trying to hurt you?
Often people pick on others to cover up for their own insecurities. So if we are being picked on, it is often because the perpetrator feels that we are in some way better than them. They can be jealous because we have something they want, envious that we can do something that they can’t, or annoyed that we are getting attention when they are not.
Because they are not able to ‘compete’ with us fairly, they resort to devious and malicious tactics. Therefore, picking on us is their way of trying to bring us down below them, just so they can feel better about themselves. They believe that by bringing us down they will in some ways win something over us.
So, what are some of the reasons why people pick on you and try to tear you down:
1) They do it to try to make themselves feel better, but don’t understand that this is only a temporary fix. Their insecurities will normally be deep-seated and require personal growth and self-development to overcome. Temporarily stealing the energy of others is not a lasting solution. It just means that they will need to do the same again and again to try to maintain their ‘better’ feelings.
2) Because they don’t feel good, they may consider that no one else deserves to be feeling good. The people that consider it is ok to bring others down, just because they are not having a happy life, have serious emotional problems. And it is in our best interests to stay far away from them.
3) Some people try to belittle us in front of others to show how much better they are than us. They are hoping to gain respect and friends. However, this will backfire on them as they will only be able to attract friends and people who tolerate them, or who are as equally emotionally and mentally damaged as they are.
4) To gain recognition. They don’t understand that if they were worthy of receiving the attention they desired that they would already have it. The sad thing is that sometimes, like a naughty child, these people are equally happy to receive negative attention, just as much as positive attention!
“The more authentic you are, the less competition you’re going to have.” – Naval Ravikant
5) Often bullies are someone who has no control over other aspects of their lives. They may be bullied by someone in their family and live the majority of their lives feeling powerless. They erroneously think that by bullying someone else when they have an opportunity, they somehow gain some control over their life by feeling powerful.
6) They are emotionally and socially unintelligent and are incapable of dealing with their emotions appropriately. For example, they may have argued with their spouse before coming to work. And if the situation was not resolved, they may still carry that anger with them and let it out inappropriately on us or anyone else that ‘pushes their buttons.’
7) They are unable to communicate well and express their feelings appropriately. Maybe they lack empathy and have no idea that some of the things they say are hurting others. Or maybe they don’t want to express what they really think and feel because it may make them feel vulnerable in front of others.
8) They may be pessimistic and cynical at heart and this will affect every interaction they have. People like this automatically put others down without even realizing what they are doing. It’s just how they are…. They have always been negative and are oblivious to the effects their state of mind has on others.
What should you do when people say and do things to pull you down?
The worst thing we can do is react without thinking. This will put us off balance and possibly give them the exact thing they were hoping for. If we lose our cool we become irrational and prone to make stupid decisions that can have far-reaching implications… especially in the workplace, or within our family environment.
However, this does not mean that we should do nothing. We need to protect ourselves from any and all mental, emotional, and physical abuses as quickly as possible before they escalate into something ongoing. The longer the bullying and abuse persist, the more mental and emotional damage it will inflict upon our psyche and overall well-being.
We have a range of options available to us, and the tactics we choose will depend on the severity of the bullying as well as how we are feeling at the time.
Your options include:
1) Take a couple of deep breaths and just allow the stress to dissolve. Don’t react predictably or habitually. Essentially, if we stop playing the game their way they will lose their power to control our emotions. They want us to feel small, get angry, or lose our self-respect. So when we don’t react, they don’t get the satisfaction of feeling like they have somehow won something over us.
2) Again, take some deep breaths, let it go, and then when you are ready, look them directly in the eye and ask them why would they want to say something that intentionally hurts or demeans you. If it was unintentional, they will apologize, and if it was intentional, you will have called them out for being a nasty person.
3) Another option is to look them in the eye and tell them directly that you are not interested in their comments unless they are constructive and offer solutions. Tell them that their criticism without solutions is pointless, negative, and achieves nothing.
4) Maybe if you suspect they are doing it unintentionally, you could have a private conversation with them later. Let them know how you felt about what they said and watch their reaction. If they are sympathetic, you may have done enough to make them think more about what they will say in the future. If they are not sympathetic, then you are wasting your time talking with them. So if necessary, (like in a working environment,) you could resort to enlisting the help of someone who is in a position to offer further assistance.
“Not everyone will make it to your future. Some people are just passing through to teach you lessons in life.”
5) You could walk away and remind yourself of all your good qualities and all the good things other people admire about you. You need to understand that it’s crazy to allow the opinion of one emotionally damaged person to negatively affect our day. So for every negative interaction you have, you could remember or imagine ten or more positive ones to pick yourself us and remind you how worthy you are.
6) Train yourself to not take things personally. (More about this below.) If someone is yelling at you inappropriately, we need to realize that it is them that has the problem, not us! We actually need to have compassion for them, because they are hurting and lashing out because of their own insecurities and fears. If people are genuinely happy, they don’t go around trying to ruin other people’s days!
7) Ask for support. We are not alone in this world. And it is important for us, as sociable beings to support and nurture each other’s hopes and desires for a great life experience. If someone is bullying us, it’s likely they are also doing it to others. We can get together with them and approach the bully and demand an end to the put-downs.
Or, if at work, we can approach someone in a position that has the power to ensure the situation is changed, like a teacher, parent, supervisor, etc. This also means that we should be there for others when they need our support.
How can you learn to remain calm under pressure and not take things personally?
In point number 6 above, I alluded to the fact that we can take more responsibility for the way we feel about and also react to bullying. The most important aspect of our interactions with others is this:
“The way they behave tells us about them, not us.”
How people choose to behave and the things they say reflect their deep-seated beliefs about themselves, including the problems they are having and insecurities they may be feeling. And since we have not asked them to project their fears and insecurities onto us, we don’t have to accept any of their bullyings, or take it to heart!
We always have the power to choose what we say and how we act…… but only if we are capable of remaining coherent and empowered. If we get swept up in a flurry of habitual emotional responses, we are doomed to allow the situation to continue.
So, I suggest that learning to become emotionally intelligent is our best option, and luckily there are some time-proven ways we can do this. I will just mention a few here very briefly, and you can check out the links to some of my other posts for more detailed information.
1) Meditate: to learn how to calm the mind and stay rational.
2) Mindfulness: to develop a sense of peace and appropriate perspective.
3) Stress management: through breathing techniques, participating in sports (like yoga), immersing yourselves in nature, etc.
4) Get better friends: Hang out with positive people in positive environments to improve your self-esteem and mental health. Because, really, why would you want to hang out with people who are bringing you down??????
5) Learn to laugh more: having fun, and falling in love, are all ways to strengthen our connection to our heart center, which is where our true power lies. And once we are filled with joy, nothing anyone says can bring us down. (This can take effort….. are you willing to spend some time and effort on creating a better life for yourselves?)
Something very important to contemplate, that can change your life is:
Every one of us has an effect on everyone we meet and interact with. We have many opportunities every day to make other people’s lives better or worse through the interactions we have with them.
Are you aware of what effect you have been having on other people? Do you purposefully set out to make people’s lives brighter or worse? Are you selective about whose lives you want to improve and who you don’t really care about?
Because as energetic/vibrational beings, we receive energy matching what we are emitting into our environment (the interactions we are having with others.) The Law of Attraction says that we are receiving the life circumstances we deserve according to the vibratory signals that we are sending out to The Universal Mind.
So, take a moment to contemplate, what is it about your deep-seated unconscious beliefs and self-esteem that are attracting people into your lives who want to bring you down?
This requires that you understand how you feel about yourself as a person and how you feel about your life and what you have so far achieved.
If your negative interactions outnumber the positive ones daily, then it is time to seriously question your beliefs and attitudes. What are you thinking about (emitting a vibration for) that is attracting these negative conditions back into your life?
10 thoughts on “8 Reasons Why People Want To Bring You Down: (And The 7 Best Ways To Deal With Them)”
Hi Andrew, again, a great article!
I know such insecure people, especially my own family, who don’t feel good and try to bring us down. It is best not to react directly because if you are the child, be sure that your parents know the button to push, and you permanently will lose. I have this going on with my mother. My reaction to this behavior is nowadays not to discuss that, which is very difficult for me because I am the person who tries to talk about a conflict. But she doesn’t want to talk about it, because she knows that she is behaving wrong.
It is about power and feeling better, and feeling superior for her. I remind her of her mother-in-law, who was her enemy, and I look very much the same as my grandmother, but I am different in personality. It is incredible how much influence such things have on the behavior and mindset of others.
But anyway, I think many people, especially people we don’t know very well, don’t do anything intentionally. It is their character, their own emotions, and it might come over as an insult.
My experience as a nurse is that actually, all people have some percent of damage, and because of their emotions, and triggers they might react unempathetic in our eyes.
We do the same to others, unconsciously or consciously. No one is free of this behavior!
And it can be that certain people are just not fit with each other. One is a cat, the other a dog. If the dog behaves like a dog, the cat will undoubtedly misunderstand the dog.
It depends on culture, upbringing, values in the families that are always connected to us, even we try to be open and transparent.
I think it is always better to talk about irritations! If the other is not open, then it is better to let them go. Every person is on a different emotional level, and sometimes it does not fit between people. If this were a reason to divorce others, I believe we wouldn’t have any marriages anymore. 🙂
Life is like waves!
It sucks when it is the people that we should be able to trust and rely on the most who are trying to bring us down. I also have family members who try and make sure that others don’t rise above the normal…..
It’s very sad for these people, that they are afraid that they will be left behind or not be able to relate to anyone who has escaped from the box that they consider to be acceptable. At the end of the day, they are the ones who suffer the most because they prevent themselves from moving forward into better lives for themselves and those they are still responsible for.
Yes, I agree, that we are all carrying damage to some extent. By this I mean we are programmed to receive only a small fraction of all the possibilities that life has to offer. And when we interact with others who are programmed differently, there will be some miscommunication and therefore misunderstanding. And this can and often does lead to friction even when it wasn’t intentional. (I like your cat and dog analogy.)
And this is why it is always good to check in with ourselves and ensure we are feeling good, mentally and emotionally, as much as possible before interacting with others. By doing so, we can try and make our energies as ‘clean’ as possible (without any negative programming.) Then we are doing our best to have interactions that are beneficial to everyone involved.
I wish you good luck with your mum and your patients. I know they will never get you down 🙂
This is by a long shot one of the best posts I’ve read on staying as far away from bastards as possible. All the listed points from above are entirely accurate, and it kind of makes me sad, if I’m honest.
Do you know what I say? F**k em’.
Focus on being a better, happier, more fulfilled person, and share your energy unselfishly, and don’t let others draw it from you. Dare to be great and never look back on past mistakes because they were nothing more than mere lessons in life.
Yup, you got it!
If we don’t look after ourselves, no one else is going to do it for us.
It is sad that other people can be so insecure that they want to suck the life out of us to bring us down to below their level.
It’s important to acknowledge that they are the ones with the problem, and also that they are not our problem to fix! You said it: that we should just focus on making our lives the best that we possibly can.
Thanks for your input, mate,
Have a great day.
This is a topic that I think almost everyone at some time or another has had to deal with. People who do these things are not thinking about the pain they cause others. It is the selfish ones, who need instant gratification to feel better about themselves. They get pleasure in seeing someone else suffer, to as you say cover up their own insecurities.
Your advice is spot on. However, I have to admit, it is not easy for me to ignore them. I am getting closer to a calm inner self through daily walks, and yoga. I know deep inside I am the better person, and I will not give people their pleasure. As you say, it is crazy to allow someone who is emotionally damaged to ruin our day!
Thanks for this inspiring article.
Hi Chas. Thanks for your valuable input.
For me, it’s hard to imagine how people get pleasure or gratification from hurting others. I guess I am just not wired that way. But I do understand that there are plenty of ‘nasty’ people out there. There was a time when I took things to heart as well.
It took a big learning curve, which included some ‘not so good’ experiences of people dumping on me for me to understand that the perpetrators of the emotional and mental violence were just displaying their inner pain. Basically, they couldn’t help themselves, and they had no other options than to act out in the only ways they knew how.
So once I realized this, I understood that it wasn’t about me.
They were just playing their game of life according to what they had been taught by those who raised them and had influence over them. This understanding made me soften and give up the need to fight back or prove them wrong. And once I changed the way I behaved towards them, the way they behaved towards me also changed for the better.
You say “I will not give people their pleasure” and I agree with this. However, the way I approach it is different. “There is nothing more important for us than the way we feel” and with this in mind, I will always look for the best ‘feeling’ thoughts I can in all situations. I do this because I value myself, and I realize that life is too short to worry about what other people think of me, and I LIKE FEELING GOOD, AND I AM NOT GOING TO LET ANYONE ELSE (ESPECIALLY SOME DAMAGED PERSON) TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME!
Thanks for sharing mate,
I wish you a happy day every day,
“Not everyone will make it to your future. Some people are just passing through to teach you lessons in life. ”What a statement! It is the key to victory over those who have hurt us, consciously or unconsciously.
Congratulations on another great item with phenomenal psychological solutions!
I love your way of finding solutions to any problem. You do this in a practical and efficient way and yet looking at the other side and its reasons for doing something.
As for me, it took me a long time to learn not to take everything too personally. Hypersensitivity is something I normally struggle with on an everyday basis. I agree with you that it is necessary to become mentally, emotionally, and physically intelligent and well-balanced. Then we will not be hurt by other people’s actions, but we will even feel sorry for them.
Your articles help us to grow inside and become stronger people.
Thank you for that and just keep it up!
Thank you so much, Danijela, I appreciate your comments very much.
I think, for my life, I have pretty much come to the conclusion that there are no problems! By this, I don’t mean that things are always going my way or that I always get what I want, when I want it. But I realize that it is the way I think that determines if something is a problem or not.
If my coffee is delivered cold, so what! I just ask them to heat it up or for a new one…..No problem.
If the bus is running late, so what. I just use the extra time to read more, call a friend, or catch up on the news…..No problem.
If my favorite sports team loses, should I cry or should I just be happy that they were able to play and entertain us anyway? Maybe they will win next time, or not….. no problem!
It is only our thoughts that turn stuff (that is happening every day) into problems or not. And once we realize that this stuff is happening and going to continue to happen (whether or not we get upset about it or not) we can make our lives better and easier by not getting upset over things that we cannot control.
Really, I think this is just a part about the emotional and mental maturity (or intelligence) I was alluding to.
Empathy is also an aspect of emotional maturity that is important to comprehend and implement into our lives. In terms of bullying, if we can understand why someone is lashing out, it helps us in two ways.
1) We realize that we are not the problem… because they are just expressing underlying psychological issues that they have (not our problem unless we choose to take it personally,)
2) And empathy (with clarity) gives up choices on how we react. I always choose to be of service and if I think it’s possible to help them, I will always try and alleviate the tension/stress that they are experiencing.
When we show someone that we are not their ‘enemy’ and are also not willing to accept their un-warranted abuse, we open a space that allows healing to begin…. and what is better than helping a fellow human being who is in need!
Thank you for your continued support, and I wish you well on your journey,
With much respect,
Excellent Andrew, this is certainly needed in the world today. As I am typing this I am listening to the video. I love the list of options available to me and to others. Thank you for sharing this valuable piece of information.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my article, Yvonne.
I wish you a very happy and successful day 🙂