Why Does Someone Belittle You? (9 Reasons Why)

This article will look at the various reasons as to why someone would belittle you. It will also explain how you can respond to such individuals in order to prevent such behaviour. The article will also explain by what the word ‘belittle’ means and what forms it can take.

Why Does Someone Belittle You?

There are many reasons why someone would belittle you such as:

  • Perceive You As A Threat
  • Dislike You
  • Don’t Know How To Communicate
  • Want To Feel Superior
  • Insecure
  • Want To Be In Control
  • To Make Others Like Them
  • Negative Outlook In Life
  • Do Not Want To Deal With You

Before we look at each reason in detail, we will look at what belittling basically means or entails!

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 Would Someone Belittle You?

There are tons of reasons why someone 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.

People are not so simple – at least now. 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.

9 Reasons Why Someone Would Belittle You

In this section we will look at 9 reasons why someone would belittle you!

Perceive You As A Threat

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!

Dislike You – A Simple Yet Obvious Reason

Yes this is one of the common reasons why someone would belittle you. They probably are jealous because of something you have that they don’t. Or they could just dislike you as a person; how you talk, walk or conduct yourself may irritate them! Hence, they want to make you feel bad and awful so they resort to passing comments about the poor quality of your work, how ugly you are, your short height and overweight body and not to mention how left behind you are in your career – they will use anything against you!

Don’t Know How To Communicate

It is unfortunate but many people seem to be adopting a belittling attitude not because they are actually engaging in such a behaviour but because they do not know how to communicate properly. If they see something they don’t like they are probably too blunt about it or do not know how to tell you in a sensitive or respectful manner.

Not everyone who appears to talk to you in a condescending manner is actually intending that. Be careful about how you judge people and try to determine what factors make them appear so.

Want 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. 


In relation to the previous point, yes someone may belittle you because not only do they want to feel superior but they are also insecure because of you. They are afraid you are better than them at a certain skill or area in life and hence tell you the opposite of what they fear – to put you down of course!

Want To Be In Control

People belittle you because they want to show that they know better and are in a position to tell people how they should behave or have the authority to point out mistakes. They want to feel above others and do so by putting others down!

To Make Other Like Them

This is strange but some people adopt this condescending attitude to impress others and feel likeable. A more appropriate way to describe this would be to say that these individuals want others to look up to them or admire them because they know better.

Negative Outlook In Life

People belittle you because that is how they see themselves, the world and others. They have a negative outlook in life and hence see others in a bad light. They don’t see the good things and prefer to focus on the negative aspects of life and people. So belittling comes to them naturally!

Do Not Want To Deal With You

A person may be afraid of you! They fear you will catch on to the loopholes in their stories or their work. Hence to put some distance between the both of you they adopt a non-likeable attitude where they constantly belittle you! The purpose of this is to keep you away from them. If you try to get close to them for the sake of asking questions or finding out why something went wrong, they will resort to their typical attitude of belittling you and passing negative remarks to get you off their back!

Be watchful of such people! Not only are they adopting a condescending attitude but they may be hiding something important which you need to expose. They might be meddling with work affairs or taking part in something illegal because of which they do not want you around!


The article provided an in depth analysis on the topic of belittling someone. It referred to questions such as why someone would belittle you and what it means to be belittled. Furthermore, it concentrated on the reasons as to why someone would adopt a negative attitude towards you where they would constantly belittle you or your achievements.



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