If a man displays these 10 subtle behaviors, he’s not an ethical person

There’s a thin line between being misunderstood and being unethical.

The line is drawn by behavior. Unethical behavior is an attempt to gain advantage while disregarding moral principles.

Ethical behavior, however, revolves around honesty, fairness, and integrity. It’s about making the right choices even when no one is watching.

Now, determining if a man is ethical isn’t always easy. Subtle behaviors often give them away. And if you’re smart, you’d keep an eye out for these signs.

So here are 10 subtle behaviors that might suggest a man isn’t quite as ethical as he appears.

1) Shady dealings

Ethics isn’t just about the big decisions. It’s also about the small ones, the everyday choices that shape our lives.

Consider a man who’s always looking to cut corners. He’s the type who’d rather cheat than lose, no matter how insignificant the stakes.

This might not seem like a big deal. But those little acts of dishonesty can add up over time.

This is where the concept of integrity comes in. Integrity is about doing what’s right, even when it’s not easy or convenient. It’s about sticking to your principles, even when no one else is watching.

When a man consistently chooses deceit over honesty, it raises doubts about his ethical character.

2) Lack of empathy

Empathy is a cornerstone of being a decent human being. It’s all about getting where others are coming from and feeling what they feel.

Let me tell you about this guy I once knew who was seriously lacking in empathy. If someone was upset, he’d brush it off, saying they were just too sensitive. If someone was struggling, he’d tell them to toughen up instead of lending a hand.

At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily see his empathy deficit. He could turn on the charm and be the life of the party. But when it came to understanding others’ feelings or points of view, he missed the mark.

His lack of empathy made it tough for him to act ethically. I mean, how can you make the right calls if you don’t consider how your actions affect those around you?

3) Constant blame-shifting

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Ethical behavior involves owning up to those mistakes and learning from them.

But some men have a knack for shifting the blame to others. It’s never their fault, always someone else’s. They are perennially the victim, caught in circumstances beyond their control.

Psychologically, this is known as external locus of control—the belief that one’s life is primarily influenced by external factors rather than one’s own actions. It’s a trait commonly associated with low self-esteem and poor stress management.

When a man consistently shirks responsibility and casts blame elsewhere, it raises questions about his ethical compass. Remember, accountability is a vital part of ethical behavior.

4) Frequent lies

Honesty is the backbone of ethical behavior. We all know it’s wrong to lie, yet some people seem to do it with alarming frequency.

A man who frequently lies can’t be trusted. Whether it’s small, seemingly harmless white lies or larger, more significant deceit, habitual lying is a massive red flag.

It’s important to understand that trust is earned through consistent honesty. If a man continually proves himself untrustworthy through dishonest behavior, his ethical character is undoubtedly in question.

5) Disregard for others’ boundaries

Respecting boundaries is basic decency. It’s all about recognizing and respecting other people’s personal space, emotions, and thoughts.

But it seems some guys just don’t get it. They barge into personal space, brush off feelings, or bulldoze through conversations without a care.

Disregarding boundaries isn’t just rude—it’s downright wrong. It shows a blatant lack of respect for others’ autonomy and dignity.

6) Neglecting promises

Promises are not meant to be taken lightly. They are commitments, expressions of trust that should be honored.

Yet, some men seem to toss promises around carelessly. Today’s solemn vow becomes tomorrow’s forgotten words. This habit of neglecting promises can deeply hurt others who count on them.

When a man fails to keep his word, it’s not just an issue of reliability; it’s a matter of ethics. It’s about the value he places on his relationships and the respect he has for others.

7) Using people

There’s a difference between valuing people for who they are and seeing them as tools to get what you want.

I once had a friend who seemed to only call when he needed something. Whether it was a favor, advice, or just someone to vent to, I was there. But when I needed support, he was nowhere to be found.

This kind of one-sided relationship can be emotionally draining. It’s a subtle form of manipulation that can easily go unnoticed.

When a man only shows interest in people for how they can benefit him, it’s a clear sign of unethical behavior. True ethical conduct means treating everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of what they can do for you.

8) Absence of guilt

Guilt, while uncomfortable, serves a crucial purpose. It’s our internal check and balance, nudging us when we’ve strayed off the ethical path.

But if a man consistently shows no signs of guilt, even after hurting others or making serious mistakes, it’s concerning. This could indicate a lack of remorse or an inability to recognize when he’s done something wrong.

Oddly enough, an absence of guilt could signal an ethical issue. It’s our capacity for guilt that often keeps our moral compass in check.

9) Ignoring consequences

Every action has consequences. It’s a fundamental law of life. Ethical individuals understand this and consider the potential impacts before they act.

However, some men seem oblivious to this fact. They act impulsively, without consideration for how their actions might affect others.

You know what? This reckless disregard for consequences isn’t just irresponsible—it’s unethical. It shows a lack of consideration for others and a failure to take responsibility for one’s actions.

10) Lack of respect

Respect is the cornerstone of any ethical behavior. It’s about acknowledging the worth and dignity of every individual.

When a man fails to show respect, whether it’s through dismissive comments, arrogant behavior, or simply ignoring others, it’s a significant red flag.

Remember, a person who doesn’t value others enough to treat them with basic respect is unlikely to hold himself to high ethical standards. Because at its core, ethical behavior is about recognizing and honoring the intrinsic worth of all people.

Ethics is a choice

The heart of all ethical behavior lies in the choices we make. Every day, we are faced with decisions that test our moral fiber.

Ethics, in essence, reflects our character. It’s not about perfection, but consistency. It’s about choosing to do the right thing, even when it’s inconvenient or challenging.

When you spot a man consistently displaying these subtle unethical behaviors, it might be time to reflect on his character. But remember, change is always possible.

As humans, we have the power to change our behaviors and habits, to strive for ethical excellence in all aspects of life. It’s never too late to choose the path of integrity and respect.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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