My Boyfriend Makes Me Feel Bad About Myself (Reasons & What to Do)

Do you have a boyfriend who always puts you down? Does he say mean things that make you feel bad about yourself? If so, you are not alone! Lots of girls have boyfriends who like to make them feel bad.

My Boyfriend Makes Me Feel Bad About Myself

But you do not have to accept it. You deserve a boyfriend who treats you with respect. If your boyfriend is always mean, he may not be the right guy for you.

In this article, we will talk about why some boyfriends act hurtful. We will look at signs that your relationship is unhealthy. And discuss what you can do if your boyfriend makes you feel bad and keeps damaging your self-esteem. 

What Does It Mean If My Boyfriend Makes Me Feel Bad About Myself?

He is Insecure

Some boyfriends damage your confidence because, deep down, they are very insecure. They don’t feel good about themselves or lack confidence. They try to tear you down with insults or criticism to make up for these insecurities.

By putting you down, they temporarily feel stronger and more confident. But this false sense of confidence comes at your expense.

True confidence comes from within and does not require hurting people emotionally. If your boyfriend is insecure, he needs to work on himself instead of taking it out on you.

He Wants Control

Other times, a boyfriend may harm your self-confidence because he wants to control you.

By damaging your confidence, he can make you dependent on him. You might start to think you can’t do better or that no one else would want you. This gives him power in the relationship.

But every girl deserves a boyfriend who empowers her, not makes her feel powerless. A good partner uplifts you and builds confidence rather than tearing you down.

He Likes Manipulating You

Some boys also enjoy manipulating their girlfriends emotionally. They have a toxic personality that enjoys seeing you sad or insecure. So they pick at your flaws, put you down, and say hurtful things to get a reaction.

But remember that we all have flaws and insecurities. You deserve a caring partner who loves the real you, not someone who exploits your weaknesses.

He Wants to Change You

Some boyfriends criticize you because they have unrealistic expectations. They are never satisfied and constantly pick at your faults. Their goal is to mold you into their vision of the ideal girlfriend.

But you deserve to be your true self in a relationship. The right partner will not want you to change fundamental parts of yourself. A good boyfriend should allow you to feel comfortable being yourself.

Signs Your Boyfriend is Being Hurtful

He Insults You

One clear sign your boyfriend is being hurtful is if he directly insults you. For instance, he might say mean things about how you look, how smart you are, what you can do, what you like, or who you are. 

Comments like “you’re so stupid” or “you’re getting fat” are his way of damaging your self-worth. This constant criticism is very destructive.

He Yells or Intimidates

Another major red flag is if your boyfriend yells at you or calls you offensive names to get his way. This aggressive behavior creates an environment of fear.

You feel like you’re “walking on eggshells” and afraid to express yourself. You might avoid sharing your feelings to avoid nasty backlash. But you deserve to feel safe and comfortable talking in a relationship.

He Humiliates You Publicly

Pay close attention if your boyfriend humiliates you or puts you down in front of your friends or family. He pretends to make mean jokes, but his real intention is to embarrass and make you feel small in front of others.

Being made fun of in group settings can incredibly damage your self-confidence. 

He Causes You to Doubt Yourself

After seeing him, do you constantly feel unattractive, untalented, unimportant, or inadequate? Do you feel like you can never do anything right?

A caring partner should uplift and reassure you, not convince you that you’re not good enough. If he leaves you feeling worthless, it’s a major red flag.

Effects of Your Boyfriend’s Hurtful Behavior

If you date someone who behaves hurtfully, it can impact your sense of dignity and self-worth. Here are some common effects of a boyfriend’s harmful words and actions:

  • Damaged self-esteem: If someone always puts you down, it hurts your confidence and self-worth. You start to believe the negative things he says about you.
  • Depression and anxiety: Being in a relationship that hurts your self-image often leads to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. You might cry more, lose interest in activities you used to enjoy or feel on edge.
  • Feelings of worthlessness: When your boyfriend insults and bullies you, it can leave you feeling worthless, unimportant, and inadequate. You may feel like you have nothing to offer.
  • Isolation from friends/family: Abusive partners often try to isolate you from close friends and family who could point out the unhealthy behaviors. But their support is essential.
  • Poor performance at work/school: When you are constantly criticized, it affects your confidence to perform well at work, school, hobbies, and other areas of life. You might lack motivation.

What You Should Do If Your Boyfriend Makes You Feel Bad

Recognize You Deserve Better Treatment

First, recognize that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Don’t let anyone convince you that you are not good enough. You are worthy of a partner who cherishes you and uplifts you. Do not tolerate a bully who harms your self-worth.

  • Make a list of your positive qualities to remind yourself of your value.
  • Talk to supportive friends who can build up your confidence.
  • Read books/articles about identifying healthy relationships.

Communicate Your Feelings Clearly

Discuss how your boyfriend’s hurtful words and actions negatively impact you. Use “I” statements to explain your perspective.

  • Give specific examples of behaviors that need to change.
  • Explain how criticizing you deeply damages your self-respect.
  • Ask him to express his concerns in a constructive manner.

Seek Couples Counseling

Consider involving a trained therapist to help you and your boyfriend communicate healthier. Counseling can teach skills like conflict resolution.

  • Look for a counselor experienced in relationship issues.
  • Commit to regular sessions and any homework assigned.
  • Be open-minded about gaining new perspectives.


If your boyfriend often makes you feel bad about yourself through hurtful words and bad behavior, it’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Even if it’s hard, you can stand up for yourself and find someone who cares about you.

Surround yourself with positive people and know you deserve better.  Seek out relationships where you feel respected and valued. You are so worthy of love. 

Related: My Boyfriend is Making Me Fat on Purpose