7 subtle behaviors that signal you’re dealing with a highly untrustworthy person

Are you dealing with a person who, for some reason, gives you a weird feeling?

It could be because you’re overlooking some subtle behaviors that are telling you loud and clear, “This person is not to be trusted.”

So, if you’ve been asking yourself, “How can I spot an untrustworthy person?” then stay tuned. I’ve got seven subtle behaviors for you to look out for that could be waving a giant red flag in your face.

1) They’re masters of inconsistency

Ever noticed a pattern of inconsistency in someone’s behavior?

One day they’re as sweet as pie, the next they’re colder than ice.

Or perhaps their stories just don’t line up. They say they were at a work meeting, but a little bird told you they were seen at the cinema.

This is a classic sign.

Inconsistency in behavior or story-telling can be a significant indicator that you’re dealing with an untrustworthy person.

Because ultimately, honesty breeds consistency. If someone has nothing to hide, their actions and stories will align.

So keep your eyes peeled for inconsistency. It might just save you a world of hurt down the line.

2) They avoid eye contact

I’ll never forget my old college roommate, Tommy.

The guy was a hoot and we got along well, that is until I caught him avoiding my gaze when I questioned him about my missing sandwich.

You see, eye contact is a powerful thing.

Most of us instinctively look people in the eye when we’re being honest, it’s a natural part of human interaction.

But when Tommy couldn’t meet my gaze, I knew something was up. And sure enough, I later found the wrapper of my sandwich in his trash bin.

I know it wasn’t a huge deal – I didn’t have a Ross from Friends moment over a missing sandwich – but if he could lie over something as small as that, what about the big stuff?

That’s when I learned that avoiding eye contact can be a subtle sign that someone is not being truthful with you.

If you notice this behavior, don’t ignore it. It might just be the indication you need that something is off.

3) Their default setting is blame

There was a guy in my high school, let’s call him Steve.

Now, Steve was the kind of person who could mess up a one-car parade, but you’d never hear him admit it.

It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it Steve?

If a person is constantly shifting blame onto others and never taking responsibility for their actions, it’s a pretty clear sign that they are not to be trusted.

True, we all make mistakes and it’s uncomfortable to accept responsibility sometimes.

But a trustworthy person owns up to their missteps rather than trying to pin them on someone else.

4) They’re stingy with the truth

Ever dealt with someone who’s a bit of a miser when it comes to the truth?

I mean, they’re not outright lying, but they’re definitely not telling you the whole story either.

It’s like getting a sandwich with nothing but bread.

This kind of half-truth or selective honesty is another subtle sign of an untrustworthy person.

A trustworthy individual values honesty and won’t shy away from telling the whole truth, even if it’s uncomfortable.

So if you find yourself dealing with a person who’s always serving up those bread-only sandwiches, it might be time to question their trustworthiness.

5) They’re always the victim

Did you know that swans only have one partner for their entire life? If one swan dies, its partner may remain single for several years, or even for the rest of its life.

Not quite the same story with a certain friend I once had.

Every time a relationship ended, she was always the victim. It was never her fault – according to her, she was just a swan losing its partner over and over again.

Now don’t get me wrong, breakups are tough and they’re rarely one-sided. But if you’re dealing with someone who’s perpetually the victim in their stories, it might be a sign they’re not showing you the full picture.

In the end, we all realized that not only was she dishonest with us, she was also being dishonest with herself. 

6) They lack empathy

Some people seem to have a hard time putting themselves in other people’s shoes.

They’re quick to judge, slow to understand, and often dismissive of other people’s feelings or situations.

But here’s the thing:

Empathy is a cornerstone of trustworthiness.

It’s what allows us to connect with others on a deeper level and show them that we genuinely care.

So, if someone lacks empathy, it could be a sign that they’re not as trustworthy as they appear.

7) They break promises

And finally, your word is your bond.

It’s as simple as that.

When someone consistently fails to keep their promises, it erodes trust like a river carving a canyon.

It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant the promise may seem; breaking it sends a clear signal: “You can’t rely on me.”

A trustworthy person understands the value of their word and does everything they can to keep it. If you’re dealing with someone who treats promises like they’re optional, it might be time to reconsider your trust in them.

Remember, actions speak louder than words, and broken promises scream the loudest.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been nodding along to these signs, it’s possible you’ve been dealing with an untrustworthy person.

But here’s the silver lining – recognition is the first step towards resolution.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process.

Start by acknowledging these subtle behaviors when they crop up.

Pay attention to the inconsistencies, the lack of empathy, the broken promises. Once you spot these traits, you can arm yourself with awareness and navigate your relationships with more wisdom.

Remember, trust is a two-way street. It’s about mutual respect and understanding. Don’t let these signs discourage you from trusting people altogether. Instead, use them as a tool to cultivate healthier, more authentic relationships.

As Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to set boundaries with those who show you they can’t be trusted.

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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