How Name-Calling Can Damage Your Relationship

We’ve all heard that name-calling is never okay. But what happens when it sneaks into our relationships? Name-calling—whether directed at you or your partner—can be a serious issue that can cause lasting damage to your relationship. Let’s look at why this type of communication should be avoided, and how to deal with it if it does happen.

What is Name Calling?

Name calling is exactly what it sounds like—the use of derogatory language or insults to criticize or belittle someone else. It often takes the form of derisive nicknames (“lazybones”, “jerk”, etc.) but can also involve more general put-downs (“stupid”, “idiot”). It’s important to note that name calling isn’t just limited to verbal insults; written insults on emails, texts, social media posts, etc., also count as name calling.

The Effects of Name-Calling on Relationships

Name-calling is a form of verbal abuse, which has been linked to increased anxiety and depression in both the perpetrator and the victim. It can also lead to decreased self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, trust issues, and anger. This type of communication can create an environment of disrespect, causing tension and discord within the relationship. It can open up old wounds and create new ones as well.

How To Handle Name-Calling In Relationships

If you find yourself in a situation where name-calling has become part of your relationship, there are some steps you can take to stop it from happening again.

First and foremost, talk openly about how name-calling makes you feel. Be sure to express how hurtful it is for someone you care about to call you names or speak down to you in any way. Make sure that your partner knows that this behavior is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated in the future.

If possible, come up with strategies together so that if either one of you feels angry or frustrated during an argument, there are other ways to express those feelings without resorting to name calling. Finally, remember that communication is key; work together on repairing any damage done by name calling and use it as an opportunity for growth in your relationship going forward.


Name-calling should never have a place in any healthy relationship; not only does it lead to negative emotions like anger and resentment, but it also creates a culture of disrespect between two people who care about each other deeply.

If name-calling has become part of your dynamic with your partner, know that there are ways out; open dialogue about how these words make you feel will help both of you understand the severity of the issue at hand so that you can move forward together as a stronger couple than ever before.