10 Tip-Offs of People to Avoid…

Watch out for these little things that actually aren’t so little

Many of us have embodied behaviors and traits on this list at one time or another. I certainly have. These behaviors and traits do not, in and of themselves, make someone a “bad person.” More, the type we might prefer to avoid, since having a happy or healthy relationship with them will be quite challenging.

Thus, none of this is a judgment but more so, an offering of observations and ideas on keeping a close watch about the type of people with whom we surround ourselves (because this does matter- it influences our mental health and the type of people we become). It also matters in terms of self-reflection and trying to be the best version of ourselves.

Without further ado, here at 10 tip-offs of people it might be better to avoid:

#1- They Exclaim Proudly, “I’m a B*tch,” or “I’m an A**hole.”

Identifying oneself as either of those things, which, in case we forgot, are not good types to be, is a red flag.

Some people might use these proclamations as a way of indicating, “I’m confident. I do and say what I want, and I don’t care what others think,” as if to make clear that this is a great thing. While it’s true, confidence is a healthy, good thing, it’s also true that confidence is not synonymous with “b*tch” or “a**hole.” You can be confident, outspoken, and not one to be taken advantage of, without being either of those things.

Thus, be wary of people who describe themselves this way proudly and loudly. Because, last time I checked, “b*tch” or “a**hole” wasn’t high up on my list of traits and descriptors to look for in the people I want to hang with. How about you?

#2- They Are Poised and Ready to Attack (and They Do So Frequently, Over Inconsequential Things)

You know the people I’m talking about. If you even look at them wrong (this can be someone you know or even a stranger), they snarl, “What?”

They walk around with anger simmering in them, not provoked by anything in particular. It’s just there.

They are perpetually defensive. You walk on eggshells when speaking to and spending time around them. They get offended easily. Everything pisses them off, and without good cause or reason, but petty stuff. They walk around with a chip on their shoulder. The world is out to get them. They are always the victim. Everyone else is a jerk.

Watch out for these types. Spending time in their company will be distressing and miserable.

#3- They Always See the Negative and the Bad

Dinner was good, but the waiter took forever. The book was good, but this one character really annoyed them and was the worst. The movie was decent, but it was too long. The chocolate was tasty but overpriced. The vacation was great fun, except for the two days when it rained.

That article on Medium was decent, but they disagree with this one point the author made, so they didn’t like it much after all. They love that author but one book they wrote sucked, so now they aren’t sure about the writer anymore. Thanksgiving dinner was great, except the turkey was overcooked. The walk with their dog was enjoyable, but it was too hot or cold out.

There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the distressing, disappointing, or frustrating moments of our lives. This is part of being human and part of being a genuine human.

Yet, I’m talking about the people who always have something negative to say about everything. They admit something was good or decent, but this is almost always followed by a negative.

#4- They Aren’t Interested in Others

To some degree, this is a human trait. We are all especially interested in ourselves, our own life experiences, opinions, feelings, thoughts, and needs. Those are inherently interesting to all of us since we are living this experience firsthand.

Yet, people who are not self-centered, and people who will make great friends, and romantic partners, and colleagues, are those who are genuinely interested in other people.

They truly want to know the life experiences, feelings, experiences, and interests of others. They are curious about other people. They view others as people they stand to learn from. They care about the inner workings of their loved ones and are actually interested in this.

A lot of people will feign this kind of interest. It’s obligatory and fleeting. Most of the time, the recipient feels it and knows the interest isn’t really there.

To be a rare gem, though, cultivate a genuine, authentic, real curiosity and interest in getting to know the people around you. Assume you have much to learn, as well as, can just hear a bunch of interesting stories, if you have an interest in the people around you.

#5- They Are Not Kind

And no, “nice” is not the same as kind and kindness. (Because I bet some of you are thinking, “That’s silly. I’d only hang out with nice people anyway!”)

Nice is easy. Anyone can do it. Nice requires little effort. It can be falsely put on.

Most people, aside from the nastiest of the nasty, can act nice in front of others for a couple of hours (even if they aren’t actually nice at all).

Nice is tepid milk, as opposed to kindness, which is a whipped cream topped, vivid, flavorful, showstopper of a frappuccino.

“Nice” is a nothing trait. It’s just a way of acting in the current setting. Anyone can be “nice” around certain others. It doesn’t necessarily speak to their quality of deeper heart.

Kind is something bigger, more significant, deeper, and more real.

Nice is a dime-a-dozen trait. Kindness is far rarer.

Kindness is operating with a generosity of heart. It’s going out of your way for someone when you have zilch to gain. It’s behaving with the thoughts of feelings of others in mind, much of the time. It’s putting in the effort to give someone your attention and focus (a rare behavior nowadays). It’s being open to others.

For more on what is kindness, take a look here: Want to Know If Someone Is Kind? Look for These 7 Signs

#6- They Post on Social Media All the Live Long Day

Hear me out. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it suggests several offputting traits. A high level of self-involvement. A need for attention and validation. A short attention span. Someone who is not as likely to be present with you, and is far more likely to be interrupting everything you say to take a photo of their meal, themselves, you two, the place you’re at, etc, in order to post. Someone who is probably going to be checking their texts and tapping on their phone a lot when in your company. Thus, this is a person with whom it will likely be challenging to have a deep connection.

#7- They Don’t Have Your Back (Or, They Only Do Sometimes)

You make a mistake and they silently let you take the fall. Someone is being mean to you and they stand by quietly, staring at their feet. People speak poorly about you behind your back, they hear it, and they say nothing. You stumble in a moment of need, and they are nowhere to be found, most or all of the time that this happens.

This stuff signals someone you cannot fully trust and who isn’t willing to extend themselves for you.

#8- They Judge People Immediately, and On Hardly Knowing Them

Yes, there are some instances when certain behavior tells us everything we need to know about a person. In these instances, it makes sense to form a judgment. But, many of us tend to do this far too often, and way too quickly.

In America especially, we’ve adapted black and white thinking about a lot of things. Republican or Liberal? Good or Bad (depending on your own affiliation and the one of whom you’re judging). Does someone read books by an author you don’t like? They aren’t someone you’d be friends with then. Your neighbor doesn’t always react the way you want them to, in given situations when you knock on their door or text them? They must be a jerk or a loser. That colleague doesn’t talk much? They must be a snob or a weirdo.

We judge people, much of the time, way too quickly and based on very little information.

People are wildly complex. Most of the time, it takes many hours, and experiencing someone over a lot of different situations, to really get to know them and thus, form a fair, well-based judgment. Great people understand this and tend to tailor their thinking and socializing accordingly.

They make judgments, but usually slowly and over time.

#9- They Never Take Responsibility

For their own life, their behavior, their choices, the situations that arise in their life, etc.

It’s always someone else's fault, or just bad luck (as in, the world is out to get them).

They were late because traffic was bad, not because they waited until the last minute to leave.

That person was being a total jerk to them! (Though conveniently, they forget that they themselves were acting rude, disrespectful, or obnoxious first and that this is likely what prompted the other person to be a jerk first).

They never get a promotion at work because their boss is unfair (not because maybe, they themselves are unpleasant, or not a great working, or something else that has to do with them)

Their neighbor is so dismissive or rude to them for no reason (which, of course, isn’t prompted or influenced by any of their own behavior toward their neighbor first).

They are bitter and angry because their marriage is miserable or because they are lonely and no one likes them (Ok, and why might this be…?)

You see the point. They rarely or never consider their own choices, their own behavior, the ways they act with others, and how all of this might influence and impact their lives, the people around them, etc. It’s always things outside of them. It’s never them personally. They are just the innocent, well-meaning victim! (Here is what many people forget: well-meaning does not exempt you from having done something that was unpalatable or even crappy to others. We can mean well and still do something that pushes others away. A crucial life lesson).

Yes, occasionally it is truly the other person or situation completely. Most of the time, though, something you did, said, or a way of thinking you had, also impacted the situation too.

#10- They Don’t Seek Learning or Wisdom

Most people tend to continue evolving and growing throughout their lives. A small number of people do not. This minority tends to not read much, if at all. They likely have a small social circle, if they have one at all. The people who they spend time with are exactly like themselves. They do the same thing every day, day in and day out, with little variance in routine. They have their opinions and that’s it, they’re sticking to them. They know what they know, and what you know? Fair enough, but still, they cling to their own beliefs, regardless of knowledge or life lessons anyone else might offer them.

This is not a healthy trait. Healthy people, like plants and all animals, are continually growing, evolving, shifting, and changing over the course of their lives. Healthy people will have different interests, beliefs, and opinions a few years from now. Sure, there will be many things that remain constant, but they will also have changed in some ways too (and for the better).

Unhealthy people remain stagnant. They stay exactly the same, gripping tight to their narrow bubble as they know it. They are fearful and self-righteous of anything new and anything that might challenge them. They need to be right. And with this will come a narrow, challenging relationship with that person. One that’s on their terms and with little wiggle room.

In conclusion, we have all embodied one, or even some of these traits at one time or another. I certainly have.

This article is merely meant as an inspiring, thought-provoking guideline, both for the type of people we ourselves might strive to be, as well as, the types of people we choose to spend time around.

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author. www.brookeenglish.com

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