Putting Down Others To Feel Better(The psychology behind it)


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Page last updated: 31/08/2022

Putting Down Others To Feel Better(The psychology behind it)

This article will look at why someone feels better by putting others down and hence explain the psychology behind it. Furthermore, the article will also shed light on what psychology is and what it means to put someone down and how they do so. The article will develop an in-depth understanding of the above topic for the audience.

What Is The Psychology Behind Putting Down Others To Feel Better?

When someone puts you down there is often a motive or reason behind it or an aim that the person wants to achieve that will ultimately make them feel better. They will resort to demeaning comments, ignoring the other person or their efforts or passing rude and passive aggressive comments. Hence they make the other person feel less important, put down or upset and this gives them happiness or joy.

Why does someone put the other person down to feel better? Here are some reasons:

  • Low Self Esteem
  • Feel Threatened
  • An Objective
  • Want Others To Like Them
  • Desire To Feel Superior

Before we look at these reasons above which will explain why someone would feel better after putting down someone, we will look at what psychology is and how it explains such behaviour!

Psychology – The Mind, Body & Soul

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behavior especially with regards to areas such as development, social, cognitive and emotional processes. It also studies the aforementioned with regards to sports, education and clinical applications.

What psychology aims to do is to first describe human behavior based on methods such as observation. It also wants to explain human behavior keeping in mind internal and external factors that could play a big role in determining a behavioral outcome. However, the main focus is on predicting and controlling human behavior hence the first two aims support the last two we just mentioned.

This discipline also examines our conscious and unconscious mind. The conscious mind includes all that we are aware of whereas our unconscious mind holds our inner and unknown or unrealized motivations, desires and feelings and thoughts.

It is necessary to mention that a lot of focus is given to the area of not only behavior but also thoughts and emotions. The branches of psychology attempt to explain what emotions are using different theories nonetheless describing emotions as a series of physiological events which occur in a certain context. Many treatments such as cognitive therapy are based on understanding and molding one’s thoughts. When behaviour is introduced into the picture for further improvement, this type of treatment comes under cognitive behavioral therapy.

The main aim of psychology is to understand and explain human behavior so that we can predict and control it for the greater good. Psychology is that branch of science that allows us to understand why someone would belittle others. It will highlight what motivates their behavior and affects their thoughts and feelings that eventually leads them to resort to such degrading or passive aggressive thoughts.

A Person 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 person 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 Do People Feel Better After Putting Others Down – 5 Reasons Why

In this section of the article we will look at why someone feels better when they put the other person down.

Low Self Esteem

One of the reasons why someone would put somebody down is because of the low self esteem they have. They are unable to improve their own self esteem by making an effort or working hard mentally and physically to feel better about themselves hence they resort to an easier method. This method involves pulling the other person’s leg or dragging them down with them. They will try to make others feel miserable or like failures in life – just how they feel themselves. This will boost their own self esteem! Why? Not only have those around them started doubting others but the quality of their life or work has decreased. 

Hence the person – the one who puts down others – feels as if they are at a better level in life. This is not because of their own efforts but because they have made others come down one step!

This is one reason why people belittle others to feel good. They want to overcome their low self esteem and the method they resort to is that of making others feel miserable.

Feel Threatened

It is possible that the person who belittles you actually perceives you as a threat that they want to diminish or eradicate! They may consider you a threat due to a number of reasons such as your skills, educational qualification, interpersonal skills, physique or looks or even your experience in your career life. Nonetheless, they will try their best to make you feel inferior so that you no longer possess the potential to ‘harm’ them in any way.

It is not that they do not like you but they are fearful that you may take away opportunities from their hands. For example, a fellow coworker may be afraid that their boss offers you the promotion that they have been working for so hard. Hence, to push you off track and possibly hamper your efforts and affect your work, they will start belittling you. Their aim is to make you doubt yourself and underperform. It is possible they want you gone entirely from the scene!

A fellow coworker may hence be out to get you because they think you might perform better than they do and get the credit. So before that happens they will try and make you feel bad about yourself by passing belittling remarks – they can’t do much but talk down to you.

An Objective

Most of the time someone belittles others is to achieve an objective and hence feel good! This objective can be of different types. They may want to make the other person feel bad and leave the area or work they are currently in; this could possibly make it easy for the one who is putting down others to exert their influence and win over those he is trying to impress. It is also possible the person may want to make the person feel miserable because they don’t like them.

The objectives one wants to achieve by belittling others could be many! Regardless of that, they feel better because they have achieved their objective!

Want Others To Like Them

One of the old tactics indeed! People often resort to wreckless or mean behaviour to impress others or make them like them. Here is a similar case where your coworkers or boss may try to put someone down in order to show others who is the decision making authority!

This is a behavior that is intended to make one feel good about their own selves rather than to actually put the other person down. Instead of making a real effort so that people actually like you, the individual belittles those around him or her to show others that they know how work is done and people listen to them.

Desire To Feel Superior

The best way most people know how to feel better is by putting others down. This happens in so many spheres of life. You might feel less attractive compared to someone else hence you make them feel less attractive by pointing out mistakes in them or telling them that pulling off such a look is not a big deal! You might be concerned how hard someone is working for a certain test so you tell them you knew a person who passed the exam without studying.

It is like you project your fears and insecurities on other people. 


This article looked at the psychology behind why people feel better after they put down others and provided multiple reasons for this phenomena. Furthermore, the article also looked at what psychology is and what does it mean for a person to belittle others.