8 signs someone is a low-quality person, according to psychology

We’ve probably all seen the trends online recently, the ones that talk about people being “high-value” and “low-quality”.

It’s a little harsh, granted. But in a day and age where emotional intelligence is valued more than anything, and there’s so much research to promote better awareness of the self, it’s kind of justified!

The older we get, the less acceptable it is to treat people badly.

It’s why so many women are choosing to be single these days over dating someone who brings them down. And why “cancel culture” has become a trend not just in the media, but in our personal lives!

But even with all this new knowledge and maturity floating around, how do you know if you’re really making the right assumptions? How do you know if you’re jumping to conclusions, or if someone is actually a walking red flag?

Let’s find out. According to psychology, when someone is a “low-quality” person, you’ll notice these 8 signs.

1) They manipulate others for personal gain

Good people don’t manipulate others, that’s just a fact. Yes, there’s a fine line between persuasion and manipulation. Which is why and how some people justify their manipulative behavior!

Intent is the distinguishing factor. Like when your friend “persuades” you to lend them money that they have no intention of repaying you, that’s not a good intention.

Or when your boyfriend “persuades” you to stay home rather than see your friends, so they don’t have to spend the night alone, they don’t have good intent, either.

Yet if your boyfriend does this because he knows how sick you are and how much you need a night in, he’s using his persuasion for good!

When someone has bad intentions for making you do something, this isn’t “healthy encouragement”. It’s manipulation. And this just isn’t the behavior of a high-value person!

2) They cause drama when they’re bored

Do you remember those people in high school who would make up a lie about someone else just to spice up their day? The rumors would fly around afterwards and the drama would soon become the most interesting thing happening that week!

Well, the people who used to do this weren’t very kind. The lie was usually mean or embarrassing to the other person. But they still did it for personal gain.

Experts say that people who cause drama for the sake of it often have some deep-rooted insecurity issues. Psychology says their need for chaos and attention stems from being emotionally neglected as a child.

Of course, people with insecurities and unresolved childhood trauma aren’t bad people. But they can do bad things and you can’t make excuses for them forever! Especially when they hurt you with the drama they cause…

3) They only care about themselves

I’m all for self-care and looking after number one. In a world that expects so much from us, I think it’s important to look inward and do things that YOU want.

But there’s a line between self-care and selfishness. Some people haven’t learned to sit on the “good” side of it just yet…

When someone only cares about themselves, they aren’t good people for your life.

They’ll take your money and “forget” to pay you back. They’ll message you when they need help, but ignore your texts when you’re in a rough patch. Everything they do will be about them, first and foremost.

This is a trait of a narcissistic person, but there may be a million other reasons why they act this way – including a lack of confidence in themselves.

Yet the impact of selfish people on your mental health can be dire! Experts say a toxic friendship or relationship can cause chronic stress, guilt, shame, anxiety, and even depression.

So even though they might be going through it, that doesn’t make them good for your life.

4) They only like you for what you give them

I had this friend for over 20 years. We grew up together and I thought we cared for each other. But about a year ago, I realized that our friendship was totally one-sided.

Every message from her was along the lines of, “I have to see you to talk about X, Y, and Z!” and “Life is too much, I need a chat!”. Our meetups revolved around me giving her constant support with what went on in her life.

She claimed to love me, but what she really loved was the confidence I gave her. She loved that I was always there for her. Basically, she loved what I did for her.

She never asked me about my life or checked in about things I was going through. She outright told me she felt jealous of me and struggled to hear about things that were going well!

Experts are clear that true friends don’t just take. They like you for YOU, not just what they get from your friendship. Otherwise, they aren’t good for your life.

5) They get nastily jealous of others

Jealousy is a normal human emotion. Some experts even say that a little bit of jealousy in a romantic relationship is a good thing! It shows you care for each other deeply and can bring you closer.

In your career and daily life, experiencing some jealousy can even be motivating. Like if you’ve ever felt a pang of jealousy over a friend running a marathon or getting a promotion, it can spur you on to achieve those things, too!

But jealousy can be good as well as bad. When it rears its head badly, it’s ugly.

I know friends who’ve had toxic relationships where their boyfriends have turned possessive and controlling because of their jealousy. I’ve had friends (like the one I mentioned above) who’d bring me down when I was in a good mood because of their jealousy!

When jealousy gets ugly, it usually stems from a feeling of insecurity and inferiority. It isn’t fair to say someone insecure is “low value”. But they might not be good for you or your wellbeing…

6) They judge others

Gossip is a poor trait, and so is close-mindedness. People who judge others usually do and have both! Experts say that a judgmental attitude can foster negativity and lead to conflicts in your own life.

If you’ve ever had a friend or partner who used to judge people on everything they did, you’ll probably know what they mean by this.

The constant negativity from them can bring you down and erode your trust in them. It can even harm the empathy you have for others.

It’s safe to say that being around people like this isn’t good for your mental wellbeing.

7) They never say please or thank you

Manners are everything! The more polite you are as a person, saying please and thank you, the more you contribute towards creating a civil, empathetic, and prosperous society, according to experts.

But that doesn’t mean everyone has manners. Some people weren’t raised to be polite or grateful towards others, so they struggle with their manners. Others lack empathy generally, so they simply don’t see the need to respect people.

Either way, people without good manners aren’t going to enhance your life all that much. They’ll probably end up making you feel unappreciated, unwanted, and downright disrespected.

8) They lack care for others

Empathy is human nature, but that doesn’t mean all humans have it.

Some experts believe that empathy is on the decline and that narcissism is on the rise in the world today. 

At the same time, research finds that 20-30% of the population are “highly sensitive people”, which means they have more empathy than most.

People who lack empathy don’t care about others. They care about themselves and don’t care if they hurt you, disrespect you, or even if you’re sad.

How much empathy you have is generally believed to be biologically driven. Some people’s brains are hardwired to feel more empathy than others. But your upbringing and environment play a big part in how much you care for others, too.

The main point is that people without much empathy aren’t good to be around – whether it’s their fault or not. They don’t make good friends or good partners. It’s why some people would say they’re “low value”, even if it isn’t “entirely” their fault.

Final thoughts

We said it earlier and we mean it – calling someone low-value is kind of harsh.

If you go around calling your friends, colleagues, strangers, or partners “low value”, you aren’t being that kind yourself. Which begs the question of how integral (or high value) you are!

But even so, it’s important to recognize the traits in people that can make you feel bad. While there may be a million reasons why they are the way they are, many of which aren’t their fault, that doesn’t mean you have to “put up with” their toxic behavior.

You don’t have to date them or stay friends with them just because you understand where their issues and cruel traits come from.

You can set boundaries and/or cut them out of your life when they don’t make you feel good. That’s the important thing to remember in all of this!

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

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