I am trying to find a word someone who ridicules someone else's feelings. When I say generally anything, they'll say something completely unnecessary (and usually hurtful). Most of the time, I am not even talking to them; they just jump into the conversation for no apparent nor helpful reason.

For example, if I say that I have my shoulder hurts, and they will scoff, thinking I am being fake and/or trying to get attention (which I never do; that's weird). There are also general instances where I will say that I don't like a certain food, and they will scoff and say that I always try to find something to complain about.

I also would like the verb form of what they are doing. For example: "This person _____(s) my feelings." I'm not sure if the word "belittle" is the right verb, but I hope you understand what I mean.

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    Is the behaviour such that it might be described as boorish? Of, relating to, or characteristic of a boor or peasant; esp. rude, coarse; lacking in culture or refinement; ill-mannered, loutish. (OED)
    – WS2
    Oct 1, 2021 at 7:19
  • Is this bullying behaviour always towards the same person or is it to anyone and everyone?
    – Dan
    May 24, 2023 at 19:16

5 Answers 5


I would call them a poisoner, and an emotional bully.

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    Agreed! But if I were to put this in a formal report, I don't think using "prisoner" or "emotional bully" would be, well, formal. Any suggestions are welcome. =)
    – user386357
    Jul 7, 2020 at 3:35

I would say this person derides you.


1 : to laugh at or insult (contemptuously got derided by a carnival clown)

2 : to subject to usually bitter or contemptuous ridicule or criticism (politicians deriding their opponents)

: to express a lack of respect or approval of (were derided as the weaker sex)

Their behavior could be described as derisive or cantankerous:


Bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative.

This person could be described as a curmudgeon


1 : a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man

Crusty: 2 : giving an effect of surly incivility in address or disposition


"This person hurts|dismisses|disparages|discounts| my feelings."


I'm not sure that naming the behavior is a good idea. Describing the behavior is factual; it's not a matter of opinion (or libel).

From https://www.pirozinnalaw.com/blog/2018/09/phrase-letters-of-complaint-about-workplace-bullying-carefully/

Here’s the most critical thing that you need to understand about workplace bullying: There is no law against it if it’s just general bad behavior. You are only legally protected from bullying as long as you are being targeted due to your race, religion, age, disability, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. Those are the categories that are legally protected from intimidation and harassment.

What does that mean in practice? When you file a complaint, you want to make certain that you pinpoint exactly how the harassment you’re experiencing is related to one or more of those categories. That way, you cannot legally be retaliated against for reporting the bullying.

Keep in mind, bullies are pretty much the same wherever you find them: they generally try to target people who are different in some way. The odds are high that you are being targeted due to some difference that falls into one or more of those protected categories. You simply have to make certain that you take pains to point that out in your complaint.


This person is uncivil and hurts my feelings. We are studying civility at work. Usually, civility and politeness go hand in hand, but sometimes civility is a superset of politeness.

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