8 signs that someone is not a good person, according to psychology

We often find ourselves questioning people’s actions – are they genuinely good or just pretending to be?

Psychology helps us decipher this puzzle. It provides us with tools to recognize certain behaviors and patterns that indicate whether someone is not as good as they may seem.

In this article, we’ll dive into eight tell-tale signs that, according to psychology, suggest someone may not be the best person around. These insights can help you navigate relationships more wisely. So, let’s dive in without further ado.

1) Frequent lying

We’ve all told a white lie now and then. But when lying becomes a regular habit, it’s a red flag according to psychology.

Frequent liars often do so for their own gain – to manipulate situations or people in their favor. It might be to hide something they’ve done wrong, to make themselves look better, or even just to create drama.

Psychologists often see chronic lying as a sign of deeper personality issues, which can include narcissism and sociopathy. It’s an attempt to control others and their perception of reality.

So, if you notice someone in your life seems to be lying more often than not, you might be dealing with someone who isn’t as good-hearted as they might want you to believe. Just remember, it’s not about catching a person in one single lie but recognizing a consistent pattern of dishonesty.

2) Lack of empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It’s the foundation of kindness and compassion. But some people seem to lack this crucial trait.

Let me share a personal experience. I had a friend who would always talk about her problems, her successes, or her life. But when it came to listening to others, she would quickly lose interest or change the topic back to herself. It felt as if she couldn’t sympathize with anyone else’s experiences or emotions.

Psychologists often see this lack of empathy as a warning sign. It indicates that a person may be more concerned with their own feelings and experiences, which can lead to selfishness and a disregard for others’ well-being.

So, if you notice someone in your life seems uninterested or dismissive when it comes to your feelings, it could be a sign they’re not as good-hearted as they appear.

3) Consistent negativity

Now, we all have our less-than-sunny days. But if someone is perpetually negative, it might be more than just a bad mood.

Psychology suggests that individuals who constantly dwell on the negatives, or who are always critical of others, can often be emotionally draining. Their negativity can bring down the mood of those around them and create a toxic environment.

Interestingly, a study from the University of Notre Dame found that individuals who often use negative language tend to have more health problems than those who maintain a positive outlook.

So, if you find someone always bringing the rain to your parade, it could be a sign they’re not the best person to surround yourself with.

4) They always play the victim

Everyone encounters hardship and adversity in life, it’s a part of being human. However, some people seem to constantly portray themselves as the victim, no matter the situation.

According to psychology, individuals who habitually play the victim do so to manipulate others and evade responsibility. By presenting themselves as a victim, they manage to divert attention away from their actions and behaviors.

This perpetual victimhood can be emotionally draining for those around them, as it often involves guilt-tripping and blaming others for their misfortunes.

If someone in your life always seems to be the victim and never accepts responsibility for their actions, it might be a sign that they’re not as good-hearted as they make themselves out to be.

5) Unreliable and untrustworthy

Trust is a cornerstone of any healthy relationship, whether it’s friendship, family, or romance. When someone consistently fails to keep their promises or commitments, it’s deeply hurtful and sends a clear message – they can’t be relied upon.

Psychology tells us that individuals who are habitually unreliable may lack respect for others’ time and feelings. They might be more focused on their own needs and wants, showing a disregard for the impact of their actions on others.

The pain of being let down over and over again can be deep. It’s not just about missed appointments or broken promises, it’s about feeling valued and respected.

So if you find someone in your life makes promises they don’t keep and commitments they don’t honor, it might be a sign that they’re not the best person to count on.

6) They are overly critical

Criticism can be constructive, helping us grow and improve. But when it is constant and harsh, it can be damaging. I remember a time when a colleague would critique every little thing I did. It wasn’t helpful feedback but rather nitpicking that affected my self-esteem.

Psychology suggests that people who are overly critical may do so to feel better about themselves or exert control over others. This incessant criticism can lead to a toxic environment, where people are afraid to make mistakes or express themselves freely.

If you notice someone in your life always pointing out flaws and rarely offering praise or encouragement, it could be a sign they’re not as good-hearted as they might seem.

7) They hold grudges

We all get hurt and upset at times, but holding onto grudges is a whole different ballgame.

Psychologists suggest that individuals who hold onto grudges and resentment may struggle with forgiveness and letting go. This can often lead to a cycle of negativity and bitterness, affecting not just their own emotional wellbeing but also the dynamics of their relationships.

Moreover, the act of holding a grudge puts the focus on past wrongs rather than moving forward. It can hinder the growth of relationships and foster a negative and hostile environment.

So, if you find someone in your life seems incapable of forgiving or forgetting past wrongs, it could be an indication they’re not as good-hearted as they appear.

8) They lack remorse

One of the most significant signs that someone might not be a good person is a lack of remorse for their actions.

Psychology suggests that those who don’t feel or express genuine remorse after hurting others may lack empathy and moral compass. This inability to acknowledge their wrongdoings, apologize sincerely, or make amends can cause considerable harm to others around them.

If you notice someone in your life rarely shows genuine remorse when they’ve done something wrong, it could be a clear sign they’re not as good-hearted as they might seem.

Final thoughts: It’s about patterns, not isolated incidents

It’s crucial to understand that human behavior is complex and multifaceted. A single action or instance doesn’t necessarily define someone as ‘not a good person.’

However, consistent patterns of behavior are telling. If someone consistently exhibits signs like lack of empathy, constant negativity, or habitual lying, it might be an indication of deeper character flaws.

Renowned psychologist Carl Rogers once said, “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” This suggests that even if someone exhibits these behaviors, they aren’t necessarily stuck in their ways.

We all have the capacity for change and growth. But for that to happen, recognition of these behaviors is the first step. So as you reflect on this information, remember – it’s not about judging others. It’s about understanding them better and making informed decisions about the people we choose to surround ourselves with.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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