First, it may be possible for you to tell a person that they are negative, judgmental, have a problem with "Am I good?", etc. However, it may not go well especially if they are used to engaging in "projective identification"; blaming you for how they feel, even things that they do. Besides, it violates our rule of "giving people a conclusion". This is something that they need to recognize on their own. Doling out blanket statements is generally not helpful.
In line with that, what you can do is make valid complaints. These are actionable items in response to something a person said or did - or didn't say or do. If they are yelling at you or being verbally abusive, you can tell them that you will leave the conversation if they keep raising their voice or that you will not let them talk to you with curse words or use derogation. These are indisputable facts so they can't be argued so to speak. Plus, you are implicitly telling them how to behave. You are saying "hey, if you have a problem with me, tell me specifically what it is so I can stop or start doing it". Even if they are being unfair, this is a way to de-escalate the situation. Their problem is being handled and deflated, although you want to avoid constantly being on the defensive. If someone wants to find fault, they can be persnickety and do so.
What is also key in the above is you remaining calm. Remember that when a person is jacked up, if you respond in kind they can focus on what you did and not that they instigated it. Yes, it can be tough to be saint-like at times like this, but that's what it takes. If you do it enough and get good at it the other person will be left to remember their out of control behavior and you being composed. A firm "look them in the eyes" can also unnerve them.
It is really important in all cases that you refuse to tolerate abuse. You do *not* want to enable them. We all have a right to physical and emotional safety. If they are flooding you - overwhelming you with words and behavior - you can say "stop, I am overwhelmed" or even "I am feeling abused". The aggressive forms of abuse - physical, verbal, and sexual - are usually clear to everybody. However, the passive forms - emotional, economic and mental / psychological - can be harded to pinpoint. When a person withholds things - like money or even the truth - or obstructs you, that is also abuse and should never be tolerated. But again, when this happens to you, focus on what "you" need to solve the problem. Saying something that a person cannot respond to is also abusive.
Ultimately, and this can be a tough point, you must keep open the abilty to walk away. This can be super tough when you are economically dependent upon a person or share a family with them. However, in the former, you need to ask yourself if you wish to be a paid masochist. And, in the latter case, do you want to subject others - children especially - to this behavior or, worse, teach them that it is okay and that they shouldn't stick up for themselves. In the end, that's what this is about. Often, a person with "Do I have value?" issues gets locked in with those with "Am I good?" issues. They value the emotions of someone else above theirs, so they accept it, even when it is clearly wrong.
The sad part is that people like this walk around with open wounds. They can be very tough to deal with. You may want to give them the safe space and nurturing that they didn't get as children, and you should as long as you draw a line as to how they treat you and others. After all, this is how reform works. At the same time, you must not lose yourself in the equation. You matter as well. And if you tolerate someone who is negative - whether they're a spouse or a boss or whoever - you are not only using some cognitive distortion to justify your silence, you are emboldedning their undesirable behavior and enabling them to go after others. Don't. If there is enough push-back by enough people, even the most belligerent of folk will see the light and start to wonder if they can continue to "get away with it". Again, do *not* respond in kind, but absolutely positively do *not* allow someone to treat you without the respect and civility we all deserve.
|Do I have Discretion?|
|Am I Good?|