9 Reasons Your Girlfriend Is Mean To You And 5 Things You Can Do

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“Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?” you wonder. You can’t quite understand why she is acting so aggressive toward you. Yesterday, you cried when she started shouting at you because she couldn’t hear you on the call. Or she made a little too much fun of you for not knowing what a word meant. Or she just doesn’t reciprocate the affection you seem to be showering her with.

In any case, when you feel like the person you love the most is constantly rude to you and displaying bad behavior, you’re bound to be looking for answers. Thoughts like “I do everything for my girlfriend and get nothing in return” might sit at the back of your mind, causing the resentment to grow with each passing day.

What’s the reason behind the indifference and hostility in your angry girlfriend? Is she being hostile because of her bad mood, or is it just the way she is? How can you get rid of the “my girlfriend is so mean to me all the time” thoughts that never stop eating away at you? Let’s find out.

Why Is Your Girlfriend So Mean To You? 9 Probable Reasons

When she shuts the door of your car a little too hard while getting off, or if she straight up tells you that she’s annoyed at you, you might shrug your shoulders and wonder, “But, what did I even do that she’s acting this way?”

It’s not uncommon to land yourself in that situation where it feels like you’re trapped in a loop of hostility that feeds itself. If you ask your partner why they’re upset, you’re going to be hit back with, “Why do you not know? Do I have to spell everything out for you?” because your girlfriend refuses to explain herself.

If you try to slide this one under the rug and forget about it, be prepared for her to say, “Oh, so this is how you deal with problems? By never bringing them up?” You’re stuck in the middle, and questions like “Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?” keep bothering you. Try not to worry, it’s not a sign that your relationship is over.

Even though these angry emotions festering in your relationship might be taking a toll on you, not all is lost. Don’t let it affect your self-esteem. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons that she gives you the cold shoulder but seems to be her lovely and charming self with everyone else. 

Related Reading: How To Control Anger In A Relationship – 12 Ways To Tame The Temper

1. You did something to upset her

One of the most obvious reasons she’s pretending that you don’t exist while you’re next to her is because you screwed up, somewhere, somehow. You may not be able to understand right away exactly what you did but her best friend definitely knows the intricacies of what went down.

So, if you’re sitting there anxiously asking Google “Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?”, you need to introspect a little on how you’ve been these past few days. Did you tell her you’d do something but never got around to it? Did you forget an important date? Worse yet, did you forget to unload the dishwasher?

2. There’s resentment in the air

“My girlfriend used to be so mean to me at one point, and I could not even trace it back to a particular incident. I had just been walking on eggshells around her for months. I would discuss with my buddies too that ‘my girlfriend is always mad at me for no reason.’ The smallest thing I did ticked her off,” said Micah, about his ex-girlfriend Tessa.

In some situations, it seems like there isn’t one distinguishable moment that led to the hostility you’re experiencing. Then perhaps it’s a case of resentment in the relationship that keeps growing, and not just frequent mood swings that are making her act this way.

Tessa tells us what went wrong in her previous relationship. “As we became more settled in as a couple, it’s as though he completely stopped doing every cute thing he used to do to make me happy. Were those nice gestures just around for the first three months of the relationship, during the honeymoon period?”

She felt that Micah had been taking her for granted, and she had been harboring some anger toward him for quite some time. Her frustration with him revealed itself in her getting mad at the smallest things.

"I do everything for my girlfriend and get nothing in return"
When your girlfriend is always mean to you, it can cause resentment

3. She’s not actually upset, it’s just how she is

“Every time I’m at her place, she stops cuddling and moves away from me. She says it’s because she needs her own space, and I can’t help but feel that she’s being incredibly rude. Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?” A reader wrote to us.

If you’re expecting to be joined at the hip with your partner all the time, it’s understandable if she gets a bit upset and demands her own space. Have you ever considered that this might just be what she’s like as a person, and that she wants more personal space than you do?

So before you go ahead and complain to your friends, “I do everything for my girlfriend and get nothing in return! Why does she hate me so much?”, maybe try to consider how cuddling all the time just isn’t her vibe. It’s not that she gets mad easily, it’s simply that you two are not on the same page. Or the way she talks is just how she talks, and she’s not even trying to be mean.

4. You two aren’t compatible 

According to studies, incompatibility is one of the biggest reasons that people get divorced. It’s understandable that if you two don’t see the world from similar lenses, there are bound to be a few differences, which may appear to be mean behavior. 

  • Different value systems: If you’re a hard-core meat eater and your partner is a serious vegan, it’s clear to see how you might not agree with each other’s values. She might be an amazing woman but as a result of your vastly different worldviews, resentment in your relationship may take hold. And even though you may try to resolve the ideological differences, it is possible that you are unable to internally accept the other person, which can result in hurtful words and arguments
  • Different routines: Maybe she is very particular about how she wants to spend her mornings. She likes to get up immediately, shower, and take breakfast while you on the other hand like to cuddle for a bit, drink some coffee, and then take time to get your day started. What seems like a minor difference can actually affect your entire day if you are not cognizant of each other’s habits
  • Priorities may differ: Perhaps for her, eating healthier is not as important as it is for you. And so it angers her every time you refuse to share a pizza with her. Or maybe she takes spending time with the family on Thanksgiving very seriously, while you would rather just go fishing by yourself

5. You’re in a one-sided dynamic

“She is mean to me but nice to everyone else,” you think to yourself, wondering what might be the reason for your girlfriend’s rude behavior today. Have you ever wondered that perhaps it is not a phase, personal problems like her mental health issues, or an irritable mood? Maybe it is her feeling stuck in this serious relationship.

  • She is not that invested in this relationship: A one-sided relationship doesn’t feature much love, care, or affection. When the partner who’s not as invested gets upset, they’re not going to care too much about what they’re saying and how they’re saying it
  • She is considering a breakup: Your partner doesn’t care for you much, doesn’t want a future with you, and is considering a breakup
  • She makes her feelings clear in public too: When you’re in a one-sided relationship, your partner won’t necessarily respect you in public. They are clearly only hanging around with you for reasons other than love. However, if she yells at you in public, don’t let her disrespect you this way and walk away from the relationship if you have to

Related Reading: How To Emotionally Detach Yourself From Someone – 10 Ways

6. “Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?” Perhaps she’s stressed out

Picture this situation: You’ve just come back from a long day at work where two of your colleagues sent you not-so-nicely worded emails, and you got stuck in what seemed like the world’s longest traffic jam on your way back. Once you’re home, you learn that the report you handed over needs to be rectified, like, ASAP. If in the middle of all that, your partner comes in for a hug and starts bombarding you with kisses, you’re not going to be in the jolliest mood, are you?

Similarly, your girlfriend might just be stressed out about a few things happening in her life too. Instead of asking yourself “Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?”, ask yourself if she’s been particularly stressed recently because of other external factors. In such cases, what she needs is support in the relationship, not an accusation of being mean.

7. You don’t communicate well with each other

If you’re always feeling that “my girlfriend is always mad at me for no reason,” chances are it’s because you haven’t quite understood what she is trying to convey to you. If you have not grasped the situation, it is because of faulty communication patterns between the two of you.

When you’re upset with your partner, do you talk to them about it or do you spread ketchup all over their fries instead of the mustard they wanted, hoping they’ll get the hint? The point is that passive-aggressive behaviors in relationships can often make it seem like you two hate each other.

  • Lack of communication: Such passive hostility arises from a lack of communication, which arises from a fear of confrontation. Big words, but all we’re trying to say is: You don’t know how to talk to each other, and your communication patterns need a check
  • Avoidant behavior: If most of your conversations end in hostility and disagreement, it is possible that you adopt the habit of sweeping things under the rug and simply ignoring the problem completely, leading to further problems

8. She has a hard time controlling her anger

If waking up to an eggless fridge sets her off enough to lash out at you, it’s a clear sign that she’s not the most efficient at keeping her anger in check. Unfortunately, this is just one of her character traits. It could be because she’s immature or because you’ve tolerated her disgruntled behavior in the past. Nonetheless, understanding how to deal with your partner’s anger issues is what you need to do right now.

While some of us come with anger issues because of family problems that we encountered at a young age or past experiences that make us act out in this way, you must still note this as a lack of respect in a relationship. If she always finds faults with you, gets angry at you in front of her friends, or often gives you the silent treatment — Don’t let her get away with it on the account of it just being a personality trait.

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9. She may be on her period or going through PMS or worse, PMDD

Studies suggest that women who are PMSing have higher anger and lower anger control levels. While science backs you up on this one, make sure you don’t respond to her angry/irritable mood with “Oh, are you PMSing?” as that will only worsen your girlfriend’s mood.

“I wouldn’t say she’s always mean to me on her period but my girlfriend starts acting pretty irritable before and during her period. The fact that she’s aware of that is enough for me, and I don’t bring it up,” Alex, a University of Michigan student, told us. While that is one way of dealing with your girlfriend’s behavior, consider helping her calm down instead of leaving her to deal with her own feelings herself.

Tuck her in a blanket, bring her a warm soup, or check in on her for just a few minutes to see if she’s hydrating throughout the day. It may not instantly lift her mood, but when you are taking such good care of her, she will be less inclined to scream at you.

With that being said, let’s look into a few other things that you can do to make your girlfriend feel better. Whether she has bipolar disorder which makes her irritable sometimes or she is angry at you for particular reasons, consider doing the following to help her with what she’s dealing with.

5 Things You Can Do If Your Girlfriend Is Mean To You

If thoughts like “I do everything for my girlfriend and get nothing in return,” plague your mind, ask yourself if you’re actually doing the right things. Are you trying to hug and cuddle away her anger when she just wants some space? Or did you assume she needed space when all she wanted was for you to be physically there for her?

Much of what you can do if your girlfriend is being mean to you revolves around knowing exactly what she wants. If she’s stressed out and needs space in the relationship, space will help (duh!). If there’s resentment, you need to iron out the kinks. If she’s done with your bond, a “we need to talk” conversation must be initiated.

If you’re struggling with “My girlfriend is mean to me all the time, what can I do?”, we’ve got a few ideas to help you get started:

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1. Give her space, or ask for some

Her angry and unwanted behavior might be simply because she wants to be alone, and since you are not giving space to her, she’s taking it herself by being rude or ignoring you. When it seems like every conversation you have with your partner turns into a raging argument, a bit of personal space in a relationship can do wonders for you.

  • Resolve the issue later: Not every issue needs to be resolved immediately, and taking some time off to collect your thoughts means you can come back with lowered voices and a more respectful tone
  • Think straight: If you think you need some space, ask for it and tell your partner why you need it. Then take that time off to cool down and think with a rational mindset
  • Respect her boundary: When you go back to her, if she is still not in the mood to talk or sounds annoyed, then back off for a bit. let her know that you are waiting for her to get back to you so you two can talk more and put the ball in her court

Related Reading: How To Keep Calm When Your Girlfriend Talks To Other Guys

2. Some self-reflection may be in order

Even if you’re convinced you never did anything to anger her, try to approach the question with an objective mind. Perhaps she expected a few things out of you that you failed to deliver or you said something crass that she has hung on to. If you think she’s nice to others but rude to you, think a little harder about what may be going wrong in your relationship.

Keep in mind, the only way you’ll ever get to the bottom of any animosity is through a heaping serving of empathy toward your partner. Once you put yourself in your partner’s shoes, you’ll understand what upsets her and why, instead of simply blaming it on her hormonal fluctuations.

3. Communicate the right way

Sure, the key to a healthy relationship is communication and having an honest conversation. But if you’re shouting at your partner, giving them a piece of your mind for that thing they said, communication isn’t really getting you two anywhere. If you two do not learn how to communicate the right way, you might soon be in a toxic relationship. Which is why, here is what you should do:

  • Use the right words: Instead of accusing your partner of something and using the words “always” or “never,” try to use “I” statements and calmly talk about the problems
  • Show her that you are on the same page: Don’t get defensive, and try to highlight the end goal, which is you two being happy together. For example, you can say, “I feel like you’ve been mean to me these past few days, and I don’t know where it’s coming from. Can we sort this out?” or “I want us to be close to each other, but I feel disrespected”

It’s quite simple really. Instead of asking for relationship advice from single people and exclaiming “Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?”, make sure you talk to your partner about it, and accept responsibility for what is going wrong.

Why is my girlfriend so mean to me?
Fighting with each other isn’t communicating, you’ll need to address the issues amicably

4. Try to cheer her up

In situations where she’s rude to the people around her because she’s been stressed out, perhaps you can come to her aid and cheer up your girlfriend (isn’t that what being in a relationship is all about?). If your girlfriend hates a certain food and is irritated because of it, or is affected by something a coworker said to her on an email — Try to lift her out of this bad mood. Good partners look out for each other in a successful relationship.

However, as we mentioned, it’s pertinent that you figure out exactly what’s going to help her. Instead of assuming that a massage is going to make her feel better, you can always ask your partner what you can do for them. It’d save you the embarrassment when you send the masseuse back home, saying, “But when have I ever asked for a massage?”

5. Have firmer, healthy boundaries when she disrespects you

After a point, you need to draw the line somewhere and take a stand for yourself too. Your life can’t revolve around a man or a woman’s mood and if you’re being disrespected, it’s important to understand that fanning that behavior is only going to set you up for more disappointment in the future. Be sure that you do not have a toxic girlfriend on your hands and that your partner is just expressing a fair amount of anger.

There is a fine line between a girlfriend criticizing you and a partner that constantly puts you down. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, start standing up for yourself and telling her your needs. If she’s acting this way because she’s insecure or stressed out, it does not give her a free pass to constantly berate and belittle you. If she loves you, she will understand where she is wrong.

Key Pointers

  • While your girlfriend may be acting rude with you because she’s angry with you, it could also just be because she wants space from you and is not getting it 
  • It is possible that your girlfriend is acting mean because she is grappling with mental health issues or other external stressors
  • Try to understand what she needs and cheer her up to uplift her mood
  • No matter the reason for your girlfriend to be angry or to lash out at you, do not let her disrespect you. Have firm boundaries around what she can and cannot say to you

Hopefully, we’ve been able to steer you away from the spiral of thoughts like “I do everything for my girlfriend and get nothing in return!” and have encouraged you to try out a few ideas. If things go well, pretty soon, you’ll be back to the days of surprise hugs and lingering cuddles.

This article was updated in August 2023.

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