10 signs that you’re actually a very difficult person, according to psychology

It’s not always easy to look in the mirror, especially when it comes to our character flaws. We often see ourselves as the heroes of our own stories, while dismissing the idea that we might be the difficult ones.

According to psychology, there are certain signs that suggest you might be a tough person to deal with. And guess what? It’s not always about dramatic outbursts or constant negativity.

Here are ten subtle signs that you’re actually a difficult person. Get ready for some honest self-reflection.

1) You’re rarely wrong

Being human means making mistakes. And yet, how often do you find yourself admitting that you’re wrong?

According to psychology, a primary trait of difficult people is their inability to accept their mistakes.

They’re often the ones always in the right, constantly justifying their actions and rarely acknowledging their errors.

If you find yourself constantly judging others and never admitting your own shortcomings, you might be a difficult person to deal with.

Don’t forget, it’s completely fine to be wrong sometimes – it makes us human!

2) My way or the highway

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you insist on your way, regardless of what others suggest?

I recall a time when I was planning a road trip with friends. I was so fixated on my preferred route that I dismissed all other suggestions, leading to unnecessary tension in the group.

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

Being stubborn and insisting on your own way is stepping back into safety, but it can make you difficult to be around.

If you often find yourself disregarding the ideas and suggestions of others in favor of your own, it may be time for some self-reflection.

3) Empathy isn’t your strong suit

Let’s get real here. How often do you truly put yourself in someone else’s shoes?

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, isn’t everyone’s strong point.

But if you find yourself consistently lacking empathy, you might be more difficult than you think.

Empathy is an understanding of the subjective experience of another. If this is an aspect that you struggle with, it can make interactions challenging for those around you.

It’s not about always agreeing with others, but understanding their feelings and perspectives can go a long way in fostering better relationships.

4) The blame game is your forte

Ever noticed how some people are always playing the victim, constantly blaming others for their own mistakes and failures?

I used to have a coworker who would never take responsibility for any project mishaps, always pointing fingers at others.

This is a classic sign of a difficult person.

Psychologist 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.”

If you’re often blaming others instead of owning up to your mistakes, it’s time to reassess and work on taking responsibility.

5) You’re excessively polite

Surprising, isn’t it? But being excessively polite can actually be a sign of difficult behavior. Politeness to the point of inauthenticity can be a mask for passive-aggressiveness or an inability to engage in genuine communication.

Famous psychologist Rollo May once said, “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”

If your excessive politeness is hindering real communication, it might be making you a difficult person to deal with.

It’s important to be polite, but not at the expense of authenticity and genuine connection.

6) You’re a control freak

Having a desire for control isn’t inherently bad. It becomes problematic when you try to control every situation, every person, and every outcome.

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, once said, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”

If you’re always seeking control, you might be avoiding the freedom and responsibility that comes with allowing others to make their own choices.

Being a control freak can make you a challenging person to be around, as it stifles the independence and contributions of others.

7) You’re a conversation hoarder

Remember that one time at a dinner party, when you couldn’t stop talking about your latest vacation, barely letting others chip into the conversation?

Being a conversation hoarder – always talking about yourself, and showing little interest in what others have to say – is a major sign of being a difficult person.

As William James aptly put it, “Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” If you’re constantly dominating conversations, you’re not allowing for this multifaceted interaction to take place.

So next time, try to listen more and talk less. It’s amazing what you can learn when you let others have their say.

8) You often feel misunderstood

This one might sting a bit, but here it goes: if you constantly feel misunderstood or that people “just don’t get you,” you might be the difficult one.

Albert Bandura, a renowned psychologist, said, “People with high assurance in their capabilities approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided.”

If you’re frequently feeling misunderstood, it might be because you’re avoiding the challenge of communicating clearly and effectively.

It’s important to remember that understanding is a two-way street. It’s as much about expressing yourself clearly as it is about opening up to understand others.

9) You’re always the peacemaker

Sounds contradictory, right? But always playing the peacemaker can actually make you a difficult person.

If you’re constantly smoothing things over and avoiding conflict at all costs, it can lead to unaddressed issues and resentment.

Famous psychologist Carl Jung once said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

By avoiding conflict, you’re not only irritating others by dismissing their feelings, but you’re also missing out on opportunities for self-understanding and growth.

Conflict isn’t always negative. Handled correctly, it can lead to deeper understanding and stronger relationships.

10) You’re overly critical

I once had a friend who never missed a chance to point out my flaws, under the guise of ‘constructive criticism’.

Over time, it became clear that their constant criticism was less about helping me improve and more about their own need to feel superior.

Being overly critical is a common trait among difficult people.

As psychologist Abraham Maslow stated, “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”

Constant criticism doesn’t facilitate positive change; it often leads to resentment and self-doubt.

Constructive feedback is beneficial, but when it turns into constant criticism, it may be a sign that you’re the difficult one.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

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.

If a woman uses these 8 phrases in a conversation, she lacks wisdom and maturity

Men who are truly happy in their retirement usually adopt these 8 daily habits