17 Ways To Tell Someone Is Not A Good Person

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By Darryl Henderson

It can be difficult to tell whether someone is a good person or not. Perhaps a new acquaintance has been showing some negative behaviors, and you’re wondering whether they’re simply having a bad time or if they’re just not a good person. Well, here are 17 ways to tell!

Lack of Empathy

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People with a lack of empathy often seem disconnected from the emotions of others. They may show indifference when people are struggling or exhibit callous behavior. Psych Central says that although empathy exists on a spectrum, it can be a sign of a personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder, so watch out!

Negative Attitudes

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Good people tend to exhibit relatively positive attitudes. While they may have bad days, they usually refrain from showing overly negative attitudes and bringing down the mood of those around them. On the other hand, bad people might criticize, complain, and look down on people and situations.

No Accountability

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Someone might not be a good person if they consistently refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes in life, but it’s important to account for your actions. Bad people won’t; instead, they’ll shift blame onto other people to avoid facing the consequences of their actions.

Prejudice or Intolerance

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Discriminatory attitudes and prejudice towards certain individuals or groups show a narrow-minded and immature attitude toward diversity and inclusion. Not only does this negatively impact other people, but according to VerywellMind, these behaviors can even lead to poorer health, fewer opportunities, and segregation for the offender!

Disregard for Boundaries

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If someone you know doesn’t respect boundaries, you may want to rethink your relationship with them. Ignoring personal boundaries or privacy, pushing people into uncomfortable situations, or showing a lack of respect for autonomy and consent is a serious red flag and shouldn’t be tolerated.

Lack of Integrity

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Integrity is a very important personality trait. Breaking promises or commitments, engaging in dishonest or unethical behavior, or prioritizing personal gain over morals are all highly negative behaviors that indicate someone who lacks respect for others. Naturally, this means they’re probably not a good person.

Gaslighting Behaviors 

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Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that can cause the victim to question their perception of reality. People who gaslight others are usually highly manipulative and may frequently lie, invalidate thoughts and feelings, downplay harmful actions, or twist facts and reality to make others doubt themselves. It’s plain nasty.


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Someone who is not a good person will also likely be self-centered, meaning they will put their own needs and desires high above anyone else’s well-being. They might also expect constant attention and display negative personality traits such as arrogance and entitlement. 

Difficulty Maintaining Relationships

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People with a track record of challenging relationships may just not be good people. This is because when multiple relationships have been difficult or have failed – they are often the common denominator due to their toxic behaviors. They might struggle with trust and intimacy and show patterns of manipulation or abuse. 

Inability to Accept Criticism

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If someone can’t accept criticism, they might not be a good person. Acting defensively or lashing out may be a sign that someone believes they are above the person trying to give them constructive advice. They refuse to acknowledge areas for growth and improvement and dismiss others’ perspectives.

Lack of Gratitude 

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Often, someone who is not a very good person might have a hard time showing appreciation. They may not thank other people for their acts of kindness or generosity, take them for granted, regularly use them for favors, or completely fail to recognize their value and contribution.

Gossiping and Spreading Rumors

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If you know someone who has a habit of engaging in malicious gossip or even making up horrible rumors about others, you should probably steer clear. These nasty people thrive on drama and conflict and tend to use gossip as a tool to manipulate social dynamics in their favor. 

Belittling Others

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Making others feel inadequate by undermining their achievements or abilities is a classic sign of a bad person. People who belittle others are typically jealous of their success and want to foster an environment of competition and insecurity rather than one of support and collaboration. Who needs that!?

Inconsistency in Values

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Another way you can tell if someone isn’t a good person is if they state beliefs and principles, and then contradict them with their actions. For example, someone might tell you they hate littering before proceeding to throw their rubbish on the floor. This shows a lack of reliability and authenticity.

Manipulative Behavior

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Forbes defines manipulation as when someone attempts to influence the thoughts, emotions, or behaviors of another to serve their own interests—usually at the expense of their well-being. A manipulator may exhibit behaviors such as lying, minimizing, blaming, guilt-tripping, or victimizing. You won’t be surprised to hear that manipulators are bad people!

Disregard for Rules

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Bad people generally have something in common—they completely disregard rules and laws. They might demonstrate a pattern of breaking societal norms, show little respect for authority, or engage in illegal activities without consideration for consequences or safety. After all, laws and social norms exist for a reason!

Cruel to Animals

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Finally, it should be easy to understand why someone is not a good person if they show any form of cruelty to animals. According to PETA, people who abuse animals rarely stop there; they are also likely to commit violent crimes against humans. That’s just not the kind of person you want to be around.