When people bully and mistreat us, we might begin to blame ourselves.
This is especially true if the ones who do so are people we love and trust. When we hear someone we hold dear tell us that we are not good enough, we often unfortunately believe them. The reason for this is quite simple: it is human nature to always believe the negative (rather than the positive) things people say about us. If you are the child, sibling, partner, or friend of someone who is constantly judging and criticizing you, you are not alone.
Understand that the things they say have nothing to do with you.
It is difficult — and sometimes even impossible — to understand that the hurtful things people say or do are not actually about you. If someone in your life makes you feel like you need to change, you do not. The things they label as problems within you are most likely problems within them. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Similarly, writer Marian Keyes claimed that “The things we dislike most in others are the characteristics we like least in ourselves.”
Try to see things from their perspective.
For example, when someone belittles or dismisses your accomplishments, it may feel like they are purposely trying to bring you down. If they are always trying to one-up you by stealing the spotlight to talk about their own success, it may not be about you at all. While this behavior can undoubtedly lower your self-esteem and make you feel like you are not good enough, it is not about you! When someone belittles your successes and brags about their own, they are begging for validation and attention. Often, the people who do this have not received enough support from their caregivers. Once you understand this, you will see that their actions have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
Understand that the way someone treats you reveals more about them than it does about you.