Do you feel good about your relationship, or do you find yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior more times than you’d like to admit?
Do you gush to your friends about how well your spouse treats you or get advice from them about why he treats you so poorly? Do you feel like you’re dating a mean person?
Every couple has disagreements or may say something hurtful every once in a while, but this should not be the baseline of your relationship. Your spouse should make you feel good about yourself. They should support and respect you.
You should have fun together. In fact, you should feel on top of the world when you’re with them.
If you’re thinking your relationship couldn’t sound farther from the above paragraph, then you may be dating a mean person.
Every couple has the occasional fight or goes through bouts where they’re not getting along great. This is normal. There are even times when healthy couples break each other’s trust and have to work on building their relationship back up.
But these should be rare occasions, not everyday events.
Do you feel more like you’re on a terrifying roller coaster than in a partnership with your best friend? Do you feel trapped in a relationship that’s full of constant arguing, or does your spouse freeze you out more than you’d like to admit?
It’s normal to gossip with your partner every once in a while, but if you find your spouse is constantly trash-talking their closest friends and family members, take this as a giant red flag.
How often does your spouse spread harmful gossip? Do they seem to relish the downfalls or misfortunes of their friends? Do they put a lot of stake in appearance or go out of their way to badmouth somebody?
Talking badly about someone else is often a sign of personal insecurities. Even so, putting down other people is a definite sign that you’re dating a jerk.
If you feel hollow and empty when you are around your spouse, take it as a sign that you aren’t getting what you need out of your relationship. In fact, you probably get the exact opposite of what you need.
6. You have a gut feeling
Always, always, always trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you that something in your relationship isn’t right, then it probably isn’t.
When you are dating a mean person, it can often leave you feeling unhinged or unstable in your life.
You will feel bipolar, with your emotions going from high highs to low depressions in the flip of a switch.
If you’re constantly questioning your relationship, wondering if you should stay, or have a stinking suspicion that your relationship wasn’t meant to be – follow your nose.
7. They have a bad attitude
Communication is the key to lasting, happy relationships. It’s how couple’s problem solve problems, get to know one another on a deeper level and develop a romantic friendship.
One sign that you are dating a mean person is if your partner refuses to communicate with you.
They will probably be obstinate or outright hostile if you try to talk to them about something they did that hurt or bothered you.
A mean person will not apologize, has no interest in understanding your perspective, and is more likely to use an argument as an excuse to belittle you rather than solve the issue at hand.
Do you find yourself uttering such phrases as “He didn’t mean that. He’s just not feeling very well tonight” or “She’s having a hard time with her family, she didn’t mean to take it out on me” when talking about your spouse?
If you find yourself constantly making excuses for their bad behavior, it might be time to admit that you’re not dating a good person.
9. They lie a lot
You know what is a mean person? It’s someone full of lies. In fact, most of them are also fake, and these are signs of a mean person.
Of course, most of us have told lies before, and afterwards, we feel terrible. When you are dating a mean person, chances are you’ve noticed this behavior.
They lie almost daily and even try to fake everything. You even notice this person lies to other people and convince them of their stories.
Mean people, those who don’t care about others, lie and fake things about them to get attention and get what they want. They don’t feel guilty afterwards.
Sometimes, lying may be a symptom of an underlying psychological problem, but for others, they are just so mean that they use lies to manipulate.
Have you ever heard of the term Schadenfreude? This term means experiencing pleasure from another person’s misfortune.
No one would feel this emotion not unless you’re a mean person, right? Sadly, this is one characteristic of a mean person.
Witnessing your partner laugh when a ‘friend’ experiences misfortune is heartbreaking.
Seeing this person smile when you fail at something only proves one thing, he loves seeing everyone around him fail and be miserable.
At first, dating a mean person is tricky since they would lie about their personality, but afterwards, you see how mean they are, and their true colors show up.
How to deal with mean people in a relationship: 5 ways
No one wants to be in a relationship with mean people. It’s a total turnoff and would even make anyone fall out of love.
However, before giving up, it’s best to learn how to deal with mean people and give them a chance to change, but this would be tricky.
A mean person wouldn’t just show you they can change and would even resist the chance to do so. So, what’s next? Do you just give up and let go of dating a mean person?
Maybe try these five ways first.
1. Regain control
Dating a mean person can sometimes make you feel you’re losing control over yourself as well. It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you lose yourself while dating a mean person, your partner may show more aggressive behavior to take control of the relationship.
Don’t allow your partner to trigger you to respond negatively. If you do, then you’ll just end up fighting, and you will realize you are being influenced by this negative behavior as well.
We don’t want this happening because you might end up being a mean person as well.
Take control of yourself and how you react to triggers.
You need to know that you’re in control of yourself and your emotions. Learn that you may not control how your partner behaves, but you can control how you react.
2. Show compassion
Being mean to someone is never okay. In fact, it would make anyone angry to see someone showing mean behavior toward other people.
So, it’s understandable to get irritated if you’re dating a mean person?
Actually, if you discover that you’re in love with a mean person, instead of parting ways or getting angry at them, it’s best to respond with compassion.
Most of the time, people with mean behaviors usually suffer from a traumatic past or a deeper issue. Of course, this doesn’t give anyone an excuse to act mean.
Exhibiting mean behavior can sometimes be an act to protect oneself from being hurt or rejected. If you know your partner’s past, maybe you can get an idea of where all these mean acts are coming from.
Instead of saying, “Stop! You’re such a bully, and I hate it!” you can say, “I know this might have been a lot for you. Why don’t you take a break, and then we can talk.”
A compassionate approach may help with a mean person’s behavior, while aggression could make it worse.
What are the roots of empathy and compassion? How are these necessary to us?
Dr. Paul Ekman, a well-known American psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of California, explains these two important factors.
3. Learn to be assertive
When a mean person tries to be mean to you, learn to be assertive. Assertiveness is being able to stand up for yourself, but at the same time, still respect the people around you.
This means you can express your emotions, but you still have respect, and you are still considering your partner’s emotions. This can even influence your partner to be like you.
Make sure to speak assertively while maintaining respect, compassion, confidence, and openness. It also shows that you won’t allow your partner to be mean to you.
4. Communicate at the right time
We all know how communication can help solve problems, right? When you are dating a mean person,communicationcan be tricky.
Even in couples therapy, one will learn to set the right timing when communicating with your partner. Make sure you open the subject up when your partner is calm.
This way, you can address issues, give comments constructively, listen, and even validate.
This goes both ways since the mean person could finally feel secure to open up and show their vulnerability. In your end, you can start understanding where this mean behavior comes from.
A mean person is not a lost cost. There have been many cases where a person who’s mean to everyone has changed for the better.
If you love this person and you know how to communicate with each other, then give a little more time and patience.
Aside from communication, influence this person to go on couples therapy and even be a good example of how to handle triggers.
Remember not to pressure or push someone to change abruptly because this rarely works. Be a good influence, from your point of view, how to remain calm, how to approach negative situations, and so much more.
Together, grow and change. Even the meanest person, if given time, good influence, and compassion, can change for the better.
Relationships are supposed to be fun. They should build you up, not tear you down. If you are dating a mean person, it’s time to take a stand for yourself.
Be assertive but also observant. If you think your partner is going through something and you can help, do so.
Break the barrier and help your partner. Show this person compassion and good influence, and maybe you can also go to a couple’s therapy.
However, if you see more than just mean behaviors, maybe it’s time to know the red flags.
If your relationship has turned toxic and you’re not sure how to get out of it, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or text them at 1−800−787−3224.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.