10 red flags you’re becoming an unkind person

We all aim to be good people, but that doesn’t mean we can’t slip into negative, unkind behaviors. 

Sometimes our situations, mental and physical health, and even the people around us can hugely impact how we treat others.

If you’ve been feeling like your patience is limited or you struggle to empathize with people, this is the article for you. It won’t be an easy read, but I will be sharing tips on how to turn things around!

Here are 10 red flags you’re becoming an unkind person:

1) You’re quick to judge

One of the first red flags to look out for if you’re worried you’re becoming an unkind person is how judgemental you are.

Look, we all judge to some degree, it’s natural. But if you find yourself quick to jump to conclusions about people without knowing the full story?

It’s not a good sign!

Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt – regardless of what they look like or their social standing. When we judge too quickly, we take away the opportunity to get to know people for who they really are!

2) You constantly criticize others 

If you’re quick to judge, there’s a good chance you’ve also started criticizing people more than necessary. 

Whether it’s nitpicking at little flaws or outright calling people out on personality traits you dislike, this isn’t just a sign you’re becoming an unkind person, you’re also likely to be annoying those around you!

Here’s the thing – there’s a fine line between constructive feedback and criticism. 

Taking a moment to think before sharing your opinion could save your relationships and get you back on a kinder path in your interactions with others!

3) Your patience levels are running low 

Do you find yourself exasperated with people?

Are you easily annoyed by friends/family/colleagues?

If so, it could signify that you’re running out of patience. This could be due to burnout, stress, or other things going on in your life.

But regardless of why you feel this way, it’s also a sign of becoming an unkind person – when you don’t give people time and patience, you can come across as rude or uninterested. 

This feeling of impatience may contribute to the next red flag:

4) Empathy for other people’s situations doesn’t come easily

Empathy is when we put ourselves in the shoes of someone else to better understand their situation…so if you’ve found yourself feeling detached or indifferent to the suffering of others, it’s another red flag to keep an eye on!

When you lack empathy…

  • You’ll struggle to form deep relationships with others 
  • You can come across as cold or uncaring
  • People may think you’re self-centered 

But I get it, you’re probably not doing this intentionally. No one sets out to be unkind just for the fun of it. 

It sounds like there’s more going on under the surface of your life, and it would be wise to dig deep and figure it out – then you’ll find it easier to empathize with others and start being a kinder person!

5) Different ideas make you uncomfortable 

Another red flag you’re becoming an unkind person is if you avoid new ideas and opinions. 

Perhaps you feel uncertain or fearful when faced with ideas that push you out of your comfort zone…

Whilst this is normal to some degree if it stops you from getting along with other people, it’s becoming an issue.

This mindset could end up isolating you from people, especially if you’re closed off from hearing their opinions or considering their ideas. 

That’s why it’s essential that you always challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone whenever you can. Not only will it make you come across as a kinder, accepting person, but you’ll discover new things you never even knew you liked! 

6) You get angry easily

There’s getting angry for a valid reason, and then there’s overreacting to situations that are uncalled for.

If you fall into the latter, it’s another red flag you’re becoming an unkind person. 

Let me give you an example:

You’re usually a fair person, but recently you find yourself lashing out more than usual…Someone accidentally bumps into you and rather than brush it off, you feel your pressure levels rising and bubbling over.

Or, when someone cuts you off in traffic, rather than silently swearing at them in your head like most people, you find yourself irrationally beeping and sticking up a few unfavorable fingers. 

These are signs that perhaps you’re struggling with something in your life – it’s causing you to lose your cool quickly. 

In times of intense stress, people react in all sorts of ways they never would have before.

So, before you write yourself off as an angry, unkind person, remember that it could very well be your environment/lifestyle that’s causing you to be this way!

7) You take pleasure in other people’s misfortune  

Next up on our red flags that you’re becoming an unkind person – you find other people’s hardships amusing or pleasing

This might be a hard pill to swallow…you might have fallen into this habit without realizing it, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s cruel.

Not only does it relate back to not having empathy, but it indicates that perhaps you’re unhappy in your own life. This could lead to you feeling good when you see others unhappy.

And if you do find yourself feeling this way, it’s likely you can also relate to the next point:

8) Gossiping about other people feels enjoyable 

Do you find yourself engaging in gossip and enjoying it?

Does talking about others give you a sense of satisfaction or control?

The truth is, most of us are prone to light gossiping – we are curious creatures by nature and we enjoy hearing the scoop on others!

But everything has limits.

There’s a difference between sharing the events of the wild Christmas work party the next day, and going out of your way to insult/shame/reveal secrets about people.

If you find you’re crossing that line, not only does it signify unkindness, but it also doesn’t reassure people that you’re trustworthy!

9) You’ve started blaming others for your problems 

When life gets tough, we’ve got two options:

Take accountability, pull up our sleeves, and work through the sh*t.


Blame others, avoid taking responsibility, and become bitter and angry. 

If you find yourself in the second category, it’s another red flag you’re becoming an unkind person – rather than holding your hands up and owning your mistakes, you find it easier to point the finger at others.

This is a vicious cycle that won’t get better unless you start reflecting on your life and have honest conversations with yourself

After all, blaming other people won’t improve your life. If you don’t take things into your own hands, it’s a downward spiral into becoming an unkind and unhappy person!

10) You’re not open to receiving feedback or criticism 

Finally, if you react defensively whenever hearing criticism or negative feedback (or any feedback for that matter), I’m afraid to say it’s another red flag to look out for!

In fact, you can test yourself on this point right now – how have you reacted to the points above?

Did you brush them off? Did you tell yourself that you have valid reasons for being impatient, unempathetic, or angry? 

If so, that’s pretty telling evidence and a surefire sign that you need to take a step back and figure out where all this defensiveness and frustration is coming from!

When we get defensive and unwilling to hear feedback, it shows a lack of self-awareness. And this lack of awareness can then show up in our actions, often in the form of being unkind. 

There we have it, 10 red flags you’re becoming an unkind person. If you fit the bill don’t worry, we’re not done yet.

I know this article probably hasn’t been the easiest to read, but I want to finish on a positive note:

How to be a kinder person 

Before you completely write yourself off as an unkind person, I’d like to remind you that we all go through periods of hardship and it’s very likely that you are too.

Especially if you never considered yourself an unkind person before!

So, how can you turn things around? Try a few of the tips below:

  • Examine your lifestyle – are you tired? Stressed? Depressed and anxious? There’s a good chance that your lifestyle or circumstances are causing your unkind behavior. Get to the root of the issue and start changing your life around, step by step.
  • Take time out for yourself – a bit of self-care and love can do wonders. When you treat yourself with kindness, you’re likely to treat other people kindly too.
  • Practice gratitude – even if life feels tough, there’s always something to be thankful for. Practicing gratitude daily could help you shift from a negative mindset to a more positive one. 
  • Treat people how you’d like to be treated – if you keep this in mind, it’ll remind you to give people your time and patience, and also to be a bit more empathetic!

The truth is, it’s never too late to change how you treat other people. 

The most important thing is that you’ve recognized you’re becoming a bit unkind, and now it’s up to you to actively work on yourself so you become a person you’re proud of

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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