Your Self-Esteem and Dealing With Mean People

February 5, 2014 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

When thinking about your self-esteem and mean people, you likely have someone in mind right now, someone who makes you cringe or cry. Mean, frustrating, aggressive, manipulative, or downright rude, no matter how you say it, these negative people make you feel bad about yourself. The way you feel matters, especially when it comes to how you feel about yourself after interacting with these mean people.

Mean People Can Hurt Your Self-Esteem

Mean people hurt your self-esteem. Learn to stop attracting mean people into your life and how to deal with mean, aggressive, manipulative people already there.Your self-esteem and confidence are almost always challenged when you are around this kind of negative energy. The worst part is, how it feels at the end of the day or when you "replay" the interaction in your brain. Through assertiveness and awareness, you can start to recognize when teasing becomes toxic and your friend acts more like a frenemy. The first step is to become aware of the way these people affect you.

When "Just Kidding" Isn't Funny

When someone says something mean and it touches you to the core, the words, "just kidding", doesn't make it a funny joke. In fact, it's hurtful. In this self-esteem video, I discuss how to spot mean people and how to deal with them.

Mean People - Who, What, Why?

When it comes to engaging with mean people, here's what you need to be aware of.

which people do I notice are mean with me or that I find difficult to get along with?

What: are certain behaviors or tendencies triggering for me? What gets under my skin about this person?

Why: what makes me feel drawn to them, or how come I continue to be around them? Is it due to a situation I can't avoid (such as family, group of friends, school or work)? Is it because I feel guilty or afraid? Start to think about how mean people manage to stay present in your life.

The next self-esteem video will be on how to assert yourself when dealing with difficult, mean, or manipulative people in your life.

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2014, February 5). Your Self-Esteem and Dealing With Mean People, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 27 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Mona Shryne
August, 1 2016 at 3:46 pm

Hi... My Father recently passed and now I am left with taking care of my Mother. I am living in her home. She is very moody and have to walk on eggshells around her constantly. She is on narcotics as well. My Mother is very mean each and every day. I do not know when or if she is going to burst some very hurtful accusations and comments to me. How do you get along with this scenario? Thank you for your time and help!

April, 6 2014 at 3:42 pm

How do we handle a mean person if this is a psychopathic mother (I recently recognized she is such), who knows how to hide her evil doing, has hurt me since I was born, but made me believe it's "tough love" and I've given my love to her, unconditionally (she is same to others). she acts as to helps out, but does the opposite of support and protect, takes advantage in a vial way, using charm and power-play, doesn't stop her cold, heartless ways for any reason, unless someone is worse than her or she has some interests. I'm manipulated in a position of a hostage, gaslighted and blackmailed, because of family home and investments' issues and I felt responsibility to family and her health problems. It's like a game of playing clever to her. Now, I fear for my sanity and life and I feel she will have a secret party in her mind when I die. I lost my self-esteem, way back.

Kevin Smith
February, 11 2014 at 10:45 pm

I been there before, 8yrs and I was just let people treat me wrong and took whatever. Depress all the time and I said I gonna be happy. Stop feeling sorry for myself. I got myself out and back loving me. I came across this program and it help me and now I'm selling it. It's was a great buy and now I'm trying to help people to improve there lives. My website covers just about anything with everyday life. Changing lives for the better.

Just Smile and Be Happy
February, 9 2014 at 12:28 pm

Dealing with mean people can be an excellent opportunity to work on your automatic thinking patterns that undermine your low self-esteem.
The more difficult the situation -the more there is to learn.
Looking forward to readin more of your good advice! Thanks!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 23 2014 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for the kind note! I love looking (or attempted to) situations with a positive perspective- each situation is an opportunity.

Gary Ledbetter
February, 8 2014 at 8:37 am

Sometimes it's hard to tell if somebody is intentionally mean-minded or just blind to how other people feel. I find mind game players are the meanest. They seem to get a lift from bothering people and seeing how they will react.

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