I was just thinking about someone I went to school with who had a penchant for putting people down, and I was trying to think of a word that describes this, but couldn’t find it. It would be a synonym of caustic, abrasive, discouraging, and undermining, but these all have slightly different connotations (to wear away”, cause discouragement or to make fall).
I want an adjective that has the connotation of a hammer hitting you on the head. The word does not necessarily need to describe someone who does this on purpose, out of evil intent. Is there such a word?
The word should give you a mental picture of someone barraging you with negative comments, but it not necessarily affecting you. Think of someone who so often has something negative to “contribute” that many can just either ignore it or roll their eyes at it, and that is the extent of its effect. I keep getting the mental picture of the word buffet as in, how waves buffet the shore. A constant hitting, without the hitting necessarily being devastating in its destruction.
Here are some more…
critical: expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments; marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws.
Why Are Some People So Critical? – Harvard Business Review
negative (not encouraging or approving or pleasing) people are often wearisome to be around:
negative people are more likely to focus on and bring up the flaws in situations, or talk about things they dislike. – succeedsocially.com/negative
captious (apt to make trivial criticisms; fault-finding; carping) is a good word, connoting that it doesn’t let up (the root word is the same as for capture). (carping: characterized by or inclined to petty or fussy faultfinding.)
…Shakespeare meant to say that the person [his editor] spoken to was so captious that he would let nothing pass, like a sieve of too close a fabric or texture.
…And to that end we wish’d your lordship here, T’avoid the censures of the carping world. – Shakespeare, King Richard III