10 signs someone probably isn’t a good person, according to psychologists

We all meet a variety of individuals in our lives, from the incredibly kind to the downright unpleasant. But distinguishing between the two isn’t always straightforward.

Psychologists have identified certain traits or signs that may suggest someone isn’t exactly a good person. And knowing these signs can save you a lot of heartache and confusion.

In this article, we’ll explore 10 signs someone probably isn’t a good person, as suggested by psychologists.

Just remember, this isn’t about judging others instantly but rather understanding behaviors better.

Let’s delve into these signs and learn how to spot a not-so-good individual in your circle.

1) They lack empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and perspective. It’s a crucial trait for good humans and unfortunately, its absence can be a key sign that someone might not be a good person.

People who lack empathy often fail to see the impact of their actions on others. They struggle to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and can end up hurting others without feeling any remorse.

The famous psychologist Carl Rogers once said, “Empathy involves being sensitive, moment by moment, to the changing felt meanings which flow in this other person, to the fear or rage or tenderness or confusion or whatever, that he or she is experiencing. It means temporarily living in their life, moving about in it delicately without making judgments.”

This suggests the importance of empathy in human relationships and its role in defining an individual’s goodness.

If you come across someone who consistently struggles to show empathy, it may be a red flag about their character. However, don’t rush to judgments, as each person has their own emotional journey.

2) They’re constantly lying

Alright, let’s talk about honesty now. We all tell white lies once in a while, but there’s a difference between that and constant dishonesty.

I remember a friend I once had who always seemed to have a knack for twisting the truth. Whether it was about the reason they missed an appointment or their opinion about something, it was hard to trust their words. Over time, it became clear that their relationship with honesty was flawed, and it inevitably affected our friendship.

This constant dishonesty is another sign that someone might not be a good person, as pointed out by psychologists.

Sigmund Freud once said, “He who has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.”

This suggests that even when people lie, their actions often betray the truth.

If you encounter someone who lies habitually, consider it a warning sign. But be careful not to jump to conclusions too quickly. Everyone has their own struggles and reasons for their actions.

3) They never accept responsibility

Ever met someone who never admits they’re wrong? It’s like walking on eggshells around them, always careful not to bruise their ego.

I’ve come across such individuals in my life. No matter what happens, they always have someone or something else to blame. It’s never their fault. They seem to live in a bubble where they can do no wrong, and it’s honestly exhausting.

This refusal to accept responsibility is a tell-tale sign that someone might not be a good person.

As psychologist Carl Jung once said, “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”

This implies that acknowledging our flaws and mistakes is the first step towards personal growth.

Anyone who constantly shirks responsibility and plays the blame game may not be the best person to have in your life. But, as always, exercise patience and understanding before forming any conclusions.

4) They are excessively controlling

Ever been around someone who insists on having everything their way? It feels like you’re constantly under their thumb, doesn’t it?

I once worked with a colleague who was just like this. Every project, every decision, had to go their way. It felt stifling, like there was no room for anyone else’s opinions or ideas.

Psychologists point out that excessive control is a sign someone may not be a good person. It’s about power for them, not about cooperation or mutual respect.

The renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow, highlighted this when he said, “The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important.”

This suggests that happiness and fulfillment come from freedom and autonomy, not control and domination.

If you find yourself dealing with an excessively controlling person, be cautious. But remember, it’s essential to approach the situation with understanding and empathy.

5) They’re always the victim

It might sound counterintuitive, but playing the perpetual victim can actually be a sign that someone isn’t a good person.

We all encounter hardships and difficulties in life. But have you noticed how some people always portray themselves as the victims, no matter what? It’s as if they’re trapped in a never-ending drama where they’re always the innocent party.

Famed psychologist, Dr. Albert Ellis once said, “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

Consistently playing the victim can be a manipulative tactic to gain sympathy and evade personal responsibility. It’s essential to empathize with those who are genuinely struggling, but remember to stay vigilant for those who use victimhood as a constant shield.

6) They’re overly critical

Criticism can be constructive, but when it’s constant and harsh, it can be a sign that someone may not be a good person.

We all know someone who never misses an opportunity to point out others’ flaws or mistakes. They seem to have a critical remark for every situation, every person. This constant negativity can be exhausting and damaging.

As renowned psychologist, Dr. Abraham Maslow once stated, “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.”

This implies that criticism should lead to growth, not create a sense of insecurity or inferiority.

If you’re dealing with someone who is perpetually critical, it might be a sign that they’re not the best person to keep close. But remember, everyone has their own struggles, and it’s crucial to approach such situations with understanding.

7) They lack generosity

Generosity isn’t just about sharing materialistic things. It’s about being kind, understanding, and giving of your time and efforts.

I’ve known people who are always the first to take but the last to give. Their lack of generosity wasn’t just about money or things, but also in terms of compassion, understanding, and support.

According to psychologists, a lack of generosity can be a sign that someone isn’t a good person. As the famous psychologist Erich Fromm said, “Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.”

If you come across someone who consistently displays a lack of generosity in various aspects of life, it might be a sign to reconsider their place in your life. Remember, understanding and patience should always be at the forefront when dealing with such situations.

8) They’re constantly envious

Envy is a human emotion we all experience occasionally. But when it becomes a constant trait, it can be toxic and damaging.

I’ve come across individuals who are always comparing their lives with others, constantly envious of what others have. This constant envy clouds their happiness and distorts their perspective on life.

Sigmund Freud once said, “Envy is the most stupid of vices, for there is no single advantage to be gained from it.” This suggests that constant envy doesn’t add any value to one’s life; instead, it breeds negativity.

If you notice someone who’s perpetually envious, it might be a sign they’re not a good person.

However, always approach such situations with empathy and understanding.

9) They’re overly charming

Charm can be deceiving. It might seem counterintuitive, but psychologists often warn about those who are excessively charming.

We’ve all met someone who’s incredibly charismatic and charming, almost too much so. They know exactly what to say and when to say it. But beneath this charm, they might be hiding their true intentions.

Psychologist Robert D. Hare said, “Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life.”

This is not to say that every charming person is a psychopath, but excessive charm can sometimes be a mask for more sinister intentions.

If someone’s charm feels too calculated or excessive, it might be a sign to look deeper. As always, it’s important to approach such situations with care and understanding.

10) They’re manipulative

Manipulation is often subtle and can be hard to spot, especially when the manipulator is someone you trust or care about.

I’ve encountered individuals who seem to have a knack for manipulation. They know exactly which buttons to push, how to twist words and emotions to suit their needs. It’s not a pleasant experience.

According to psychologists, manipulation is a significant sign that someone isn’t a good person.

If you notice manipulative tendencies in someone, it might be a sign they’re not the best person to have in your life. But remember, always approach these situations with empathy and understanding.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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