How To Immediately Know If You're In A Relationship With A Bully

If you are, you have to stand up for yourself now.

Woman setting boundary with demanding man while she takes a call Dean Drobot | Canva

You're dating a great person. They can be sweet, fun, generous, and have a great sense of humor. There's just one little problem: sometimes They act like a bully. Knowing the signs of bullying allows you to understand how to deal with this issue.

Bullying behavior might include a raised voice, belittling your choices, refusing a simple request, not being able to let go of an argument, name-calling, and never apologizing for their behavior.


When the person you are dating acts like a bully, it can be very intimidating. Dating a bully can chip away at your self-esteem and confidence, which is never good for you or the relationship. 

Dating a bully comes with its own set of problems. You may freeze up or suppress your needs and give in, doing things their way to keep the peace. This is a natural reaction but can allow resentment to build. You might also feel apprehensive as you want to brace yourself for the next bullying episode.

What can you do to handle the situation and retain your self-esteem? Here's how to deal with bullies, especially when you're in a relationship with one. These will help you navigate the emotional waters and potentially turn things around.


RELATED: 6 Warning Signs Your Husband Or Wife Is A Bully

Here's how to know if you're in a relationship with a bully —​ and 6 ways to deal with it.

1. Decide you will not be bullied

Making the decision not to be a victim is very empowering. From here, you can start to take steps to address the bullying behavior or focus on self-preservation.

2. Let them know you will only talk to them when they are respectful.

Bringing up their lack of respect during an argument won't work. Say something when things are calm again. Tell them they must speak in a regular tone and volume, avoid name-calling, and listen to and consider what you have to say. They can't fight with you if you don't play their game.


RELATED: 15 Signs You're Stuck In A Soul-Sucking, Toxic Relationship, According To Experts

3. Set boundaries and limits for behavior that feels intimidating or aggressive.

This is so important for your self-esteem. Practice sticking to these limits by saying no, disagreeing with them, or simply walking away until they cool off. Please do not expect instant change. This method takes time to shift a person's behavior, so be patient. Watch for signs they are making an effort.

In truth, this may not work, but you'll have to see how they respond. A consistent response to bullying is the best way to create a shift in the interactions.

4. Let them know the consequences of their bullying behavior.

Explain in a non-threatening way what happens when they bully you. Tell them you might plan to retreat until they are calmer and can speak to you with respect. You can also describe how their bullying negatively affects your feelings for them.


RELATED: 6 Ways Normal Relationship Fights Turn Into Verbal Abuse

5. Express your expectations for mutual respect and support.

Explain how they need to be aware of your feelings and point of view on situations. You can also point out how you feel more inclined to do nice things for them when they think about both of you and not just themselves.

6. Recognize that self-preservation is your top priority.

If you try these steps and your partner doesn't make an effort to adapt, you may need to leave the relationship. Bullying can turn into more aggressive behavior with time.

If you don't see their willingness to change and their behavior is damaging your self-esteem or becomes more threatening, promise yourself you will leave. There are better people out there who would be thrilled to be in a relationship with a wonderful woman like you.


Above all else, take care of number one — that means you!

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, you’re not alone.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that approximately 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S. More than 12 million women and men over the course of the year suffer from instances of domestic violence and abuse.


There are ways to go about asking for help as safely as possible. For more information, resources, legal advice, and relevant links visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline. For anyone struggling with domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

RELATED: 5 Signs You're Being Verbally Abused — And Don't Even Realize It

Ronnie Ann Ryan is an Intuitive Coach, Past Life Reader, and author of six books. She’s the creator of the free audio course How to Ask the Universe for a Sign and Get an Answer Within 24 Hours. She's been published on ABC, BBC, and NPR.