Have you noticed that your partner often criticizes you for something? Probably they say: “Well, lunch is not tasty. You can do it better.” or “Your job is easy, nothing special.”
If you have been in situations when your partner thinks they are better than you, it’s time to think about why and what you can do about it.
You’ll notice that your partner thinks they are better than you by criticizing, belittling, or ignoring you. So, it’s crucial to understand that this isn’t healthy behavior in a relationship. In that case, you can take action to solve the problem. Talk to your partner about it, set clear boundaries, and learn to respect yourself.
Keep reading to find out:
- How to recognize when your partner thinks he is better than you?
- What are the possible reasons for such beliefs?
- And finally, what exactly can you do in such a situation?
How to Recognize When Your Partner Thinks They Are Better Than You?
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the red flags in a relationship. That happens because of emotions, distorted expectations, and beliefs we have.
However, if you are here, you must have noticed a change in your partner’s behavior lately.
Let’s take a look.
A partner who thinks he is better than you will often belittle your decisions, interests, and emotions. It looks like the partner dismisses or makes fun of your accomplishments or interests, and compares them unfavorably to their own.
These are the most common signs that indicate your partner thinks they are better than you:
- They constantly criticize you.
For example, they may point out your mistakes and flaws or nitpick your behavior.
- They ignore or dismiss your feelings.
How? They may often say: “You’re always whining.” or “You’re exaggerating. You know very well what I meant.“
- They often compare you to their own.
You’ll recognize this sign if you hear these words from your partner: “I would never do that.” or “Why don’t you look up to me? I’m never wrong about that, and you always are.”
- They make you feel so small.
You may feel disrespected, inferior, or belittled by your partner. You’ll recognize it if you feel insecure, embarrassed, or uncomfortable – as if you are constantly doing something bad or as if you are not good enough.
- They make decisions without you.
It’s okay to make certain decisions independently. But, if your partner makes all shared decisions without you, this is a red flag in the relationship. They believe they know what you need and that your opinion is not so important.
- Accuses you of everything.
You may hear these words from your partner: “It’s your fault for what happened to us.” Such sentences addressed to you usually emphasize that your partner is accusing you of something. If you have noticed that this happens often, it is a sign that you have a problem that needs to be worked on.
- They act superior toward you.
That means your partner probably has an attitude that suggests they believe they are better than you. People think this way because they may earn more, have a higher education, or believe it simply because of another reason.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s crucial to understand and address the issue with your partner.
However, to adequately recognize the problem and successfully solve it without unconstructive behavior, it’s vital to understand what is behind such behavior.
Possible Reasons for Your Partner’s Beliefs
To know what to do when your partner thinks they are better than you, you need to understand what is behind such a belief.
Partner’s feelings can stem from many causes like differences in personality, values, or beliefs.
One of the main reasons for this may be the partner’s personality. You may have different traits from your partner since they are more confident and extroverted. This difference can lead to one partner always feeling superior to the other.
The second reason is the difference in beliefs and values. Your partner’s values are education, work, and money, while yours are freedom, rest, and art. Different life values can also lead to one partner believing their values are more important than yours.
Another reason lies in the insecurity partner may feel, which they try to compensate for in this way.
And finally, you may be in a relationship with a person with a narcissistic personality. Narcissistic people consider themselves better, more important, and superior than other people. Such people often manipulate their partner in relationships, making the other person always feel less valuable.
Regardless of the reason for your partner’s behavior, it’s not about a healthy attitude in your relationship.
That is why it’s essential to recognize the roots of the problem and work together on a solution.
8 Tips What Can You Do When Your Partner Thinks They Are Better Than You?
Now you have recognized the signs and tried to understand the cause of such behavior – it’s time to solve the problem with your partner.
1. Communicate Openly With Your Partner
It’s crucial to communicate to your partner on time about what you noticed.
The first step is to address the problem through open communication by telling your partner what you think and feel. They may not be aware of their behavior and how it hurts you.
Finally, remember to communicate your needs in your relationship.
The more you delay the conversation, there is chance that you will:
- start to believe that your partner is always better than you and lose self-confidence,
- feeling angry with your partner,
- accumulate many problems that you will have to solve at once later.
That is why it’s advisable to talk openly with your partner about the problem as soon as you notice it. Just find a way to openly communicate with your partner.
That way, you increase the chance of actually solving the problem and continuing to strengthen your relationship.
2. Learn to Listen to Each Other Actively
Another vital step is to learn how to listen to each other. Active listening means listening and trying to understand what your partner is saying.
This way, you increase the chance of getting valuable information that will help you solve the problem.
The 5 tips for actively listening to your partner:
- Maintain eye contact.
- Don’t do anything else while talking, but focus on your partner.
- Avoid yawning and rolling your eyes.
- Try not to think about what you are going to say but about what your partner is saying right now.
- Let them know you are interested in what they have to say.
3. Validate Each Other’s Feelings
This step is not possible without the participation of both. But, because you cannot control how your partner will behave, start with yourself.
Try to accept his feelings. However, explain your feelings and needs and seek understanding and acceptance from his side.
Validation of feelings will reduce tension and increase the chance for further discussion of the problem.
However, try to don’t take responsibility for your partner’s emotions. Everyone is responsible for their own emotions and behavior.
4. Avoid Blaming
Although you may feel uncomfortable thinking your partner believes they are better than you, blaming them will not help.
When you enter the conversation with sentences like: “You always do that …” or “It’s your fault that I feel …“, there is a high chance that you will end the conversation without solving the problem.
So, try to focus on what you feel and want. Clearly and unequivocally express your view of the problem, feelings, and desire to change behavior.
In addition, use “I-sentences” as an example: “When you degrade my work, I feel bad. I wish you would pay attention to what you are saying.” or “I feel less valuable when you compare me to yourself or others. I would appreciate it if you would stop doing that. That behavior makes me feel small.“
But, don’t forget to do this:
5. Focus On Your Strengths
Remind yourself of all your strengths and good qualities that you have and that you brought into that relationship. That will help you feel more confident and become aware of your powers.
That will help you reduce the impact of your partner’s behavior on you.
If you can’t find any of your strengths talk to close friends or family. It can be someone who has known you for a long time and with whom you feel safe.
You can also seek the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist and work on raising awareness of your powers and abilities.
6. Seek Outside Help
This help can be valuable for both. You can go to therapy or counseling as a couple and work on your relationship.
The therapy can provide guidance and support in improving your connection.
7. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Make sure to prioritize your well-being and do things that make you fulfilled. That will also help you feel more confident and aware of yourself.
However, self-care does not only mean keeping a diary of your strengths, etc. Taking care of yourself means taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and build a life worth living. That means recognizing when it’s worth working on the relationship and when it’s better to end it.
8. Think About Breaking up a Toxic Relationship
In the end, if you have done your best to solve the problem, but the results are mislaid – you have no choice but to find another way out.
The decision to end a toxic relationship is not an easy one. However, remember that you don’t have to go through this alone.
In the end, most importantly…
It’s essential to know that feeling less valued in a relationship is a big red flag. True, some partners change after marriage or a long relationship.
If there is room to improve that relationship – that’s great. It’s certainly worth the effort.
But, if the relationship doesn’t improve after the effort you make, it may be time to make a different decision. Keep that in mind.