2. “Jokes” at Your Expense

If your partner makes hurtful or belittling comments about you, but claim they were “just joking,” that’s a red flag. If you attempt to defend yourself, they might tell you to lighten up or accuse you of overreacting. How can you tell the difference between a good-natured jab and emotional bullying? A good joke makes you feel like you’re included. A toxic joke will make you feel powerless, small, and upset. Emotional bullying has absolutely no place in healthy relationships.

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