A lot of the time we can see patronizing behavior in other people’s relationships.
The thing is, sometimes it’s not so easy to spot when we’re the victim of it.
Here are 10 signs of patronizing behavior in your relationship and how you can deal with it.
1) Your partner doesn’t take you seriously
The first sign of patronizing behavior is when your partner doesn’t take you seriously.
This is when your partner starts to behave condescendingly towards you. You see, this is when your partner starts to see you as a lesser person or inferior to them.
When we feel like we’re being patronized by our partners, it can be very hurtful and upsetting for us.
We feel like we are being put down and dismissed by our partners and it can destroy our self-esteem and self-confidence.
Oftentimes, partners don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. This can lead to a lot of tension and conflict in your relationship.
If you’re feeling down about your relationship, it’s important to reach out for help.
A good way to do this is to talk to a trusted friend or family member about what’s going on.
They can help you understand why your partner is acting this way and how you can fix things (or if it’s time to end things).
2) Your partner interrupts you a lot
Another sign of your partner patronizing you is when they interrupt you a lot. This can be very annoying and it’s a sign that your partner doesn’t respect you.
It can also be a sign that your partner is trying to control you.
They may try to control what you say and how you say it by cutting off your responses.
If they do this, they’re looking down on you and they don’t take you seriously as an equal partner.
Your partner needs to learn to respect your opinions and needs.
Think about it: when your partner interrupts you constantly, it leaves you feeling undervalued or unheard.
It’s difficult to feel in your power when your partner is constantly interrupting.
So what can you do to feel like you are more powerful?
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3) Your partner says you ALWAYS or NEVER do something
This is a common problem in relationships, especially when there is patronizing behavior present.
It’s when your partner always exaggerates and says you “always” or “never” do something.
When your partner says you do something “always” or “never”, it’s usually an exaggeration.
It’s a way for them to make themselves feel better about their behaviors and it can be very hurtful and upsetting for you.
They’re trying to make you feel bad about yourself because they’re trying to control you.
If your partner is saying that you do something “always” or “never”, then they put you in a position where it’s hard to find a compromise.
Chances are, they also don’t admit to their own flaws.
4) Your partner often tells you to calm down or “take it easy”
The next sign of patronizing behavior in a relationship is when your partner often tells you to calm down or to “take it easy” when you are having a healthy emotional reaction to a situation.
This is usually a way for your partner to feel superior and in control.
They’re trying to make you feel “weak” or “immature” in order to make you feel like they are the “strong” one.
If they tell you to calm down, it’s a sign that they want you to be quiet or not to express yourself.
It’s a way for them to try and control how you feel, which is not healthy at all.
You see, in a healthy relationship, partners hold space for each other’s emotions.
5) Your partner assumes they know everything
Another sign of patronizing behavior is when your partner always assumes they know everything.
This is a sign of a lack of self-awareness and a lack of respect for you.
They’re not willing to listen to your feelings or opinions about anything, which is not healthy for a relationship.
Think about it:
If your partner always assumes they know everything, then it’s hard for them to learn from their mistakes and it can lead to resentment over time.
They’re also not willing to take responsibility for their actions, which leads to resentment over time.
If your partner assumes they know everything, it’s not likely that they will be open to learning new things.
If you’re the one who’s feeling patronized, it’s important to remember that it’s not about you – it’s about your partner.
You are not doing anything wrong.
It’s important, to be honest, and clear about your feelings and expectations with your partner when you confront them about this.
Oftentimes, they are just jealous and feel like you are more “successful” in life, which threatens them.
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6) Your partner makes decisions without you
One of the most common ways that patronizing behavior can show up in relationships is when one partner makes decisions without consulting the other.
Oftentimes, this happens because one partner feels they’re in a position of superiority or they feel like their decision is the right one.
In many cases, this type of decision-making can lead to tension and conflict.
Think about it:
If one partner makes decisions without consulting the other, it’s not likely that the other partner will be happy about it.
Not that they wouldn’t agree on the decision that has been made, but not even being asked is a sign of disrespect.
7) Your partner gives unsolicited advice
Another sign of patronizing behavior in a relationship is when your partner gives you unsolicited advice.
This is a sign of being condescending and it’s a way for your partner to feel superior.
It’s not healthy for you to be told what to do by someone else, especially your partner.
You are the person in the relationship who can make the best choices for yourself, and you should feel respected when you make those choices.
If your partner tells you how they “would” do something or how you “should” do something without you asking for their opinion, it’s a red flag.
8) Your partner uses belittling nicknames like “Sweetie”
This is a patronizing way of referring to your partner.
It’s a way to belittle your partner and to make them feel submissive.
When your partner uses nicknames like “Sweetie” or puts you down by calling you by pet names, it’s a sign of disrespect.
It’s not because they don’t love you, but because they’re trying to give you the impression that they feel superior to you.
If this is happening in your relationship, it’s important that you speak up and tell them why it makes you uncomfortable.
You see, sometimes they might not even notice that they are doing it, or aren’t trying to be patronizing, so try to communicate with them about it.
9) Your partner regularly puts you down
This is a classic example of patronizing behavior.
Your partner regularly puts you down, withholds support, or disrespects you, and it’s very obvious.
If you’re living with a partner who regularly puts you down, withholds support, and disrespects you, it’s important that you speak up.
You see, if you don’t start expressing your feelings to this person, they might not realize that they’re doing it.
But if your partner is consistently putting you down or disrespecting you, it’s time to stand your ground and tell them that this isn’t okay.
In those situations, considering a breakup might be a good idea.
Think about it: do you really want to be with someone who regularly puts you down?
10) You just have a gut feeling
When you’re in a relationship and you don’t know for sure if your partner is patronizing you, you might start to have a gut feeling of something being wrong.
This can be difficult, especially when you can’t think of any hands-on examples of them patronizing you.
However, listen to your intuition in this situation. Your gut usually knows when something is wrong, and you should trust it.
Sometimes, patronizing behavior can be hard to spot.
If you can’t put your finger on what is making you feel this way, but your partner makes you feel:
- less than them
You should not ignore that!
What should you do next?
Well, the first thing to do is always communicate.
It’s important that you talk to your partner and tell them what you’re feeling and what it is making you feel.
When you try to communicate with someone, they may not be able to understand you or explain their behavior, but at least they’ll know how you feel.
Don’t be afraid of being honest about how you feel.
But when it comes to fixing your relationship, you might be surprised to hear that there’s one very important connection you’ve probably been overlooking:
The relationship you have with yourself.
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