How To Deal With A Friend Who Belittles You(A Complete Guide)

This article will take a look at how to deal with a situation where your friend belittles you. It will address factors that one should take into consideration because the person who is targeting you is not a stranger or bully but your own ‘friend’. Furthermore, the article will focus on what to do when it comes to dealing with a friend who belittles you.

How To Deal With A Friend Who Belittles You

You can do the following if you are dealing with a friend who belittles you:

  • Don’t Let The Words Get To You
  • Find The Root Cause
  • Confront Them 
  • Distance Yourself 

It is important that we analyze each of the following ways to deal with that friend who belittles you from time to time. However, we will first look at how a friend can belittle you and what factors to consider before you actually respond back to them!

A Friend Who Belittles You

The act of belittling is one where the other person makes you, your actions, words, feelings, achievements or thoughts feel insignificant or small. Hence they belittle you and attribute little or no importance to you. This can have a very big impact on one’s self esteem and make them question their own efforts or achievements.

There are a number of ways a friend can belittle you. They could pass comments about your achievements saying it isn’t much of a big deal. They could also attribute the success of a project or assignment done by you to someone else or they could say it was by chance. A great example of how those so-called friends can belittle you is dismiss your feelings. They will do things that hurt you or encourage others to pick on your sensitive spots and say they were just having fun.

Why is this such a sensitive topic? Well because the person belittling you is your very own friend. You have expectations from them and feel that they are the one person you can count on. On top of that, you must have had their back in tough situations where you could have faced a number of issues too just for supporting them. It all falls down when that one person starts saying things that seem to hurt you. You begin to wonder if it’s them or you who is being too sensitive. After all, they are your friend so why would they do something intentionally to hurt you – must have been by accident right?

Why Would Your Friend Belittle You?

There are tons of reasons why your friend could be adopting such a condescending attitude towards you where they make you feel insignificant. At a young age we all are naive and take things as they seem. However, as we grow up, we begin to realize the intentions people have behind their actions – even though it is too late to do anything.

Not everyone you call a friend is actually a friend. They may appear to be one but in reality they are someone who is jealous of you. They could actually be angry at you for something you did to them. Not to mention they might even be trying to get you into trouble so they can have something that they wanted. A common reason why young teeneagers may belittle each other is because of the politics they experience at school. They do not want their friend to become too popular to the extent they are left alone. Maybe they like the girl you date and want to get you out of the picture somehow. There are numerous reasons.

Apart from the younger years, this type of behaviour is also seen when we are much maturer and usually occurs because of jealousy, animosity and possibly fear. Whatever the case is, it is quite hurtful and confusing to the extent that such relations take on a toxic nature.

What To Consider – Before Reacting

It is important that you consider the following before you actually react to your friend’s belittling attitude: 

  • Did You Hurt Them: It is possible your friend is trying to get back at you because of something you said or did that hurt them. Sometimes people behave immaturely and do not confront others on matters that upset them. Rather, they take up childish methods to get their friend’s attention. Hence, before you react a bit too harshly, consider this important factor.
  • Old Friends: You might be surprised but even old friends can take on a negative attitude towards you. However, there could be hints somewhere along those old tracks that make you realize this problem was never fresh. In earlier years of friendship, we may ignore the red flags. Later on, as we grow up and experience more with our close friends, we truly see who matters and who doesn’t.
  • Problems: It is possible your friend is going through problems of their own and they may be upset that you don’t notice. Not that, but they are also insecure that you are progressing in your life while they fall behind in their social circles, education, career or even family life. People do not know how to discuss their problems so sometimes you will have to take the initiative and confront them calmly.

Now that we have developed a deeper understanding of the topic, let us focus on the real issue at hand; how do you deal with a friend who belittles you?

How To Deal With A Friend Who Belittles You

In this section, we will discuss the 5 ways to deal with friends who belittle you.

Don’t Let The Words Get To You

It is important to protect your self esteem and feelings when you face situations where someone – especially your close friend – belittles you. This is the first line of defense that you have because winning over the other person is not going to be so easy and in the process they will try to hurt you with their words.

Hence, one needs to remain mentally and emotionally strong to counter such remarks. They need to remind themselves that whatever the person says is not necessarily a reflection of the recipient but the sender themself. All in all, don’t let the words get you.

Find The Root Cause

One of the things that matters is figuring out why someone is belittling you. It can either help you clear things with your friend or confront them about the entire matter. Furthermore, it can help convince you that you are not the issue but the other person – the person you call your friend – is the problem.

Analyze whatever your friend does or say closely and you will be surprised once you compare it to the facts – there is much discrepancy.

Confront Them

It is very important that you confront your friend about their words and actions once you have fully realized that they are indeed belittling you. What people usually do is that they avoid confronting the other person and lie to themselves repeatedly. Their friends mean so much to them that they are willing to listen to them rather than their own inner voice. 

It is necessary that you take your friendship to the test and question them about what they have been saying to you – explicitly question them. Don’t be afraid because if your friend is true they will put in the effort with you to have that difficult conversation and answer your queries. If not, they will avoid your questions and try and make you doubt yourself even more. If that happens, you should see red flags and understand their true intentions.

Distance Yourself

Relationships like the ones we described above can become quite toxic in nature. Why? The ‘friend’ belittling you will not want to let go of you but at the same time they wont stop their behaviour nor will they fully satisfy your queries. Hence, as a safety precaution, you need to distance yourself from them because they wont stop at pursuing you nor will they stop their belittling remarks. Don’t pick up their calls or meet them if they ask you to. They had their chance to do their explaining!


This article looked at the reasons as to why your friend would belittle you with their actions or words. Furthermore, the article provided examples of how a person may belittle their friends and what should one consider before reacting to them. Lastly, the article focused on how to deal with a friend who belittles you with the end remark that one should distance themselves from such influence.


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