9 undeniable signs you’re dealing with a low-value person, according to psychology

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I’m not a snob.

I’m not here to tell you that some people are better than others, or that you are better than them.

But there’s no denying that some people contribute more value to the world than others. And it’s their own actions that are to blame.

The truth is, we all have our own part to play in the world we live in. And no matter what our circumstances are, we can all offer something to our fellow human beings.

But low value people don’t.

Whether it’s because they are too scared, because they don’t believe in themselves, or simply because they don’t want to put in the effort, some people inevitably take more than they give from those around them.

That’s a low value person.

And here are some signs that can tell you you’re dealing with one before you get too involved.

1) They lack empathy

To put it simply, empathy is the ability we have to put ourselves in another person’s place and imagine how they feel.

It’s something that comes naturally to most humans. But at the same time, it’s a skill that you can develop with practice.

“When we experience physical pain or emotional distress ourselves, a neural circuit becomes activated (anterior cingulate cortex—or ACC—and insula,” writes cognitive scientist Denise Cummins.

“Research shows this same circuit gets activated when we see others suffer pain or emotional distress. So seeing the suffering of others causes us to suffer as well.”

Empathy allows you to treat other people with respect, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them. It helps you to understand that in different circumstances, you would be a different person, and therefore it makes you more compassionate.

But low value people often refuse to show any empathy for those around them.

That means they are often selfish, putting their own needs first. They may even be incapable of appreciating the viewpoints of other people.

And this is part of what makes them low value, because they don’t see any need to give anything back to others.

2) They are dishonest

Dishonesty is corrosive.

Most of us tell little white lies from time to time, but regular and habitual dishonesty is something completely different.

Some people, writes psychologist Christian L. Hart, “consistently behave selfishly, taking more than they give. Since antisocial selfish behavior is widely repudiated, practitioners tend to conceal it. They lie. They cheat. They steal.”

So lying can be a way for a low value person to hide their negative behavior.

But sometimes, lying is the whole point. Some people lie to manipulate others and control what they think and believe.

That’s a sure sign of a low value person.

3) They are unreliable

There are lots of reasons why a person may be unreliable.

For example, I have a friend who is always late.

She doesn’t mean to be. Every time she makes an appointment, she fully believes she will get there on time.

But she is easily distracted, and often gets bogged down in something else when she’s supposed to be meeting me.

It’s annoying, but it’s not a big deal once you learn to understand why it’s happening.

Low value people, on the other hand, are unreliable because they simply don’t care.

“Whether this is an issue at home or in the workplace, having chronically unreliable people around you can be stressful and detrimental to your own goals,” says health and wellness expert Caleb Backe.

“In some cases, a person’s unreliability may be linked to an underlying emotional issue…In other cases, a person may simply be lazy,” he explains.

When it comes to low value people, it’s usually the latter.

The truth is, they just don’t think you’re important enough to make the effort to be reliable. Whether it’s not showing up when they say they will or not doing things they promised they would do, it’s a sure sign of someone who is contributing very little to the world.

4) They blame others

One of the most infuriating characteristics of a low value person is that they never accept responsibility for their actions.

And that makes it very hard for them to ever change.

“Accountability by definition is a vulnerable process. It means me calling you and saying my feelings were hurt by this, and talking,” says author and researcher Brene Brown.

“People who blame a lot seldom have the tenacity and grit to hold people accountable…. and it’s one of the reasons we miss our opportunity for empathy”.

5) They are hostile

Another sign of a low value person is constant hostility.

These are people who can’t get enough of conflict. Whenever they are challenged, on anything, they will quickly become hostile and even openly aggressive.

“Causes may include and are not limited to pathological anger, hyper-aggression, pathological bullying, narcissistic rage, post-traumatic stress disorder, brain trauma, substance abuse, and life crisis,” writes psychologist Preston Ni.

But whatever the reason, people demonstrate their low value by becoming hostile to others. Being argumentative, overly sensitive to criticism, or too aggressive in trying to force your views on others all show your lack of character.

6) They are constantly negative

Again, there are lots of reasons why some people are more negative than others. Sometimes it’s a consequence of bad life experiences. Sometimes it may point to an underlying psychological condition such as depression.

At the same time, constant negativity can be a sign of a low value person.

“In brief, almost all negativity has its roots in one of three deep-seated fears: the fear of being disrespected by others, the fear of not being loved by others, and the fear that “bad things” are going to happen,” writes professor Raj Raghunathan.

The thing is, we all have different fears and worries in our lives. But when we allow them to take control and turn us into negative people, we are willingly participating in making ourselves low value people.

7) They manipulate others

An even more obvious sign of a person with low value is that they are manipulative.

We all have the ability to influence and manipulate the behavior of those around us, but most of us know better than to do it.

We know it’s wrong to treat other people as objects for us to use.

Low value people either don’t believe this, or don’t care.

To them, other people only exist as something for them to use for their own purposes.

So they will lie. They will exaggerate. They will use emotional blackmail such as guilt trips. They may even gaslight people to make them question their own reality and rely more on the manipulator themselves.

8) They lack ambition

I’m not trying to say that you need to be successful to be a person of high value. Some of the most high-value people I ever met rarely left their hometown, never had a fulfilling career, and had no ambitions beyond being there for their family and friends.

I mean ambition in the broader sense of bettering yourself.

It doesn’t have to mean the corner office or the fancy sports car. You can have the ambition to be a better friend, a better partner, a more caring member of your community.

And over time, these ambitions will give your life direction and help you become a person of higher value.

But low value people aren’t interested in that. As far as they are concerned, there’s no need to ever work on bettering themselves.

In many ways, that’s what makes them low value people in the first place.

9) They refuse to grow

Finally, related to a lack of ambition is a refusal on the part of low value people to grow.

There are lots of reasons for this.

“The principal barriers to living an adult existence are the fears associated with becoming an adult,” writes psychologist Robert W Firestone.

These include:

  • Fear of separation from parents and other important figures;
  • Preference for fantasy over reality as a defense mechanism;
  • The threat of being alone;
  • A fear of adult responsibilities;
  • A fear of mortality.

Low value people let their fears get the best of them and refuse to grow into a more adult mindset.

They also reject opportunities for emotional and psychological growth. Because they don’t practice empathy and don’t take responsibility for their actions, they cut themselves off from some of the major opportunities for personal growth.

In other words, low value people are often frustratingly content to stay being low value. Instead of working on themselves, they will stay exactly what they currently are.

Signs of low value people 

None of us are responsible for the circumstances we are born into. But we are all responsible for how we react to them.

Low value people are those who refuse to grow, refuse to work on themselves, refuse to even acknowledge their flaws and failings.

And often, these are people best avoided.

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