10 warning signs someone is an unreliable person (and you can’t trust them)

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There are people who you can count on, and there are those who you simply can’t afford to trust.

That’s why it’s very important to distinguish one from the other.

In this article, I will give you 10 telltale signs that someone is unreliable and that you just can’t trust them.

1) They ignore your boundaries.

A big red flag that says a person cannot be trusted is that they simply aren’t too keen to respect your personal boundaries.

This might seem like it should be obvious and easy to spot. After all, wouldn’t you know right away when someone is ignoring your boundaries?

But most of the time, they do things so subtly you won’t notice them.

Let’s say that you politely decline their invitation to an out-of-town trip. They’d keep pestering you to go, and even go as far as guilt-tripping you.

Or if you say you don’t want to get drunk because you have something important to do the next day. Well of course they’ll bully you into having “one last drink”.

If they aren’t willing to respect your boundaries in something small, how can you rely on them to trust your boundaries in more important matters?

2) They try to shift the blame.

If you’ve been following the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, you know what I’m talking about.

People like this always act like the victim.

Try to call them out on something and they’ll try to find some way to somehow deflect the blame.

Most often, they’ll throw the blame back on you.

Let’s say that you’re upset because someone you trusted said a joke that embarrassed you in public.

You confront them. But instead of listening to you, they instead tell you that you’re overreacting, and that you should calm down because they would never hurt you on purpose.

This makes you doubt yourself and even make you feel like an asshole for calling them out in the first place. After all, what if they’re right?

But that’s the thing. If they truly cared for you, they won’t tell you that you’re overreacting. They would truly listen, empathize, and apologize.

Someone who makes a habit of shifting the blame on others simply isn’t reliable, and isn’t deserving of trust.

3) They act like the world is out to get them.

Another massive red flag is that for one reason or another, they think that everyone is out to get them.

I’m sure you know at least one person who’s like this.

This is the kind of person who would whine about how much they hate people because people are assh*les in general.

This could be a guy whining about how all girls are fake and untrustworthy because his girlfriend cheated on him. Or it could be a girl saying it’s pointless trying to make friends because people turn their back once they got what they wanted out of her.

There’s a saying that goes “if you smell poop everywhere you go, look at your boot.”

Chances are that if someone goes out of their way to say that all people are horrible, then they are probably the problem.

These are usually the people who try to win your trust by gossiping about other people. You can bet they’d do the same thing to you.

4) They want to always look like the good guy.

People who like to always be seen as the “good guy” are often, in fact, the bad guy.

They might try to defend themselves in an argument by saying things like “Hey, I did everything for you and our marriage.”

Even if you both know that they cheated on you and lied to your face. Even if they kept rejecting your suggestion that you go to couple’s therapy.

The sad thing is that they probably don’t even think that they’re lying.

They genuinely believe that they’re the good guy all the time, and that they never did anything wrong.

People who are like this are simply unreliable.

They’re either so dishonest that you should treat everything they say as a lie, or they simply lack self-awareness that they can’t be trusted to have good judgment.

5) They take advantage of your spirituality and morality.

It’s unfortunate, but there’s nothing in this world that’s safe from people trying to take advantage of people who are feeling lost in life.

Some of them might try to bring up your beliefs to guilt you into agreeing with theirs. And they’ve created an empire out of it.

Unfortunately, not all the gurus and experts that preach spirituality do so with our best interests at heart. Many of them are in it just for the money, and are just reposting memes just to get a fatter paycheck.

Some take advantage to twist spirituality into something toxic— poisonous even.

This is something that I learned from Rudá Iandé. He’s a shaman with more than 30 years of experience in the field.

He had seen it all, and had made books that can help you notice the signs that someone’s taking advantage of your spirituality.

But then you might think “why should I trust him? What if he’s also one of those manipulators he warns against?”

The answer is simple:

Instead of teaching you how to be spiritually empowered through him, he teaches you how to seek it yourself and make it start from within.

And that approach by its very nature means that you’re solely responsible for your own spiritual perspectives.

Click here to watch the free video and bust the spiritual myths you’ve bought for the truth.

6) It’s hard for them to say sorry.

“Sorry” is a very simple word.

It’s made up of two syllables that flow easily off the tongue. And yet, for some people, it’s the hardest thing in the world to say.

In fact, you could swear that they’d rather swallow a burning coal than say “sorry.”

They would refuse to acknowledge their part in any issues you bring up to them, and would always have a handy excuse to throw your way.

There are many reasons for this but the most likely one is that they’re tired of feeling like they’re the one to blame. And that’s because they’re probably unreliable.

People who can’t be trusted have done so much trouble that they’ve become defensive about it. In fact, some of them want to become advocates of themselves.

They’d ask themselves, “Why is it my fault?”, and of course, they’ll be able to justify why “they’re only human” and therefore, they won’t admit their mistakes.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is, they always have some sort of excuse on hand to soften the blow.

7) They think in black and white.

If someone thinks in absolutes, then you can be sure they’re not trustworthy or reliable in the least.

I’m talking about the kind of person who thinks either you’re with them or they’re your enemy—that something can only be good, or only be bad without anything in between.

The world is complex. Nothing is ever truly black and white, and pretending that it is creates a lot of problems.

But you might wonder why absolutist thinking is problematic.

Well, the thing is that people who think like this would take your side and form a bond with you so long as you’re on their “side.” But the moment you contradict them or try correcting them, they get mad and all of a sudden they’re treating you like you’re their enemy.

So you have to walk around eggshells with them, trying hard to avoid stepping on their toes and making a lifelong enemy out of them.

And even with all that effort, they can still be perfectly willing to throw out a 10-year-old friendship down the sewer just because you contradicted them once.

8) They keep changing their story.

They were gone all night one week ago, and ever since then, you heard them give at least seven different stories explaining why they were gone.

They might say that it’s because their car broke down in the middle of the road one day, and then tell you it’s because they got lost while driving and had to stay in a hotel overnight.

And each version is fishy.

Inconsistencies like these are a sure sign that they’re unreliable.

Chances are that they’re just making up excuses to avoid taking blame or to hide something they’ve been trying to keep secret.

And of course, unless they’re a trained liar who has completely memorized all the small details in their lies, then these inconsistencies will just keep showing up.

9) They make you feel uneasy.

When in doubt, trust your gut.

The reason for that is that there are things you would remember on a subconscious level, but would have otherwise forgotten or dismissed.

For example, if you’ve been in a relationship with three different cheaters before, then your subconscious will take note of the things those relationships had in common.

So when you see someone showing those same things, then you’ll immediately realize that you’re in danger.

Perhaps it’s something about the way that they talk, or even the way they look at you.

A little introspection can help you identify what’s making you so uneasy. And even if you still don’t have a clear reason why, it’s wise to listen to your gut.

Sometimes you don’t have to see a duck to know it’s really a duck. A quack is all you need to know it’s one.

10) They don’t follow through on the things they say.

They would promise to visit you that day. But then you wait for ages for nothing. They’d later call you to say “Oh sorry, I totally forgot!” or “The traffic was so bad”, or the classic “I was not feeling well.”

It turns out they never meant to visit you anyway. Or they meant to but they changed their mind.

Now, it’s natural for us to make mistakes and be forced to cancel plans at the last minute. So don’t think that simply being flaky once is enough to mark them as unreliable.

But when they’re repeatedly flaky and don’t seem to have the best reasons for it together, then they probably didn’t even think following through on their promises is important at all.

And it’s hard to dispute the fact that people who simply don’t follow through with whatever they say are unreliable.

How to deal with unreliable people

Don’t make plans around them.

This might seem like a “well, duh”, but it needs to be said. There are people who, out of guilt or a sense of duty, continue making plans around friends who never actually respect those plans.

So as a result, they never get anything done.

Bring it up to them.

There’s always the chance that they’re so unreliable specifically because they had never been taught otherwise. So if you feel like you’re up to the task, you can try to bring up the issue of their reliability and trustworthiness with them.

Maybe—just maybe—you can set change in motion. If not, at least you tried.

Forget trying to get even.

The last thing you should be concerned about when talking with someone who’s unreliable and untrustworthy is trying to make things fair and even.

They aren’t going to be interested, and you’ll only end up wasting your time and energy.

Hurting them because they hurt you will only make them hit you harder, for example.

Don’t waste your time.

Be careful about the things you tell them.

It’s best to avoid getting into extended discussions or arguments with untrustworthy and unreliable people. They can easily take your words out of context and use them to make you the bad guy.

And more often than not, they know just how to make you say something that looks “bad” at a glance.

Go ahead and cut them off.

In the end, they might be more trouble than they’re worth.

Chances are that they already are, and that they’re already wreaking havoc to your life in one way or another.

Besides, if there’s no trust in a relationship, what’s the point?

It might seem heartless, but don’t be afraid to cut them off if their presence just isn’t doing you any good.


There are many ways in which someone may be unreliable.

Sometimes it can be harmless but there are those who are not only unreliable, but also untrustworthy.

These are the people who you would want to avoid if you want to have an easy, mentally stable life. Having one of them as a friend or partner will make things hell for you.

Be vigilant and firm with selecting who you interact with. The world is already a scary place. Don’t make it even scarier by being around untrustworthy people.

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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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