Trust is a vital component of every relationship. The ability to trust another person affects your form of communication, the way you feel about them, and how open you are to share important things with them. It even affects the amount of time and effort you’re willing to invest in the relationship.
Unfortunately, not everyone is trustworthy. Some people are just plain bad news, and if you don’t want to get hurt, you need to be able to spot them before it’s too late. And while some signs are more obvious, like cheating or breaking promises; others aren’t always so straightforward.
Whether you’re looking at strangers, colleagues, friends, or potential romantic partners, here are a few things that can indicate they may not be worthy of your trust.
1. They Are Excessively Charming
If someone seems perfect or like they’re too good to be true, there’s a good chance they’re not being authentic. And that’s because charm is a tool that manipulators like to use to get what they want from people. And sometimes, it can be hard to tell whether a person is genuine or just wants to use you for their own gain.
When somebody’s trying too hard to get your attention and make a good impression on you, it’s likely that they are trying to hide something or appear more likable than they actually are. So if you’re getting vibes of insincerity from them, it’s best to go with your gut and keep them at arm’s length.
2. They Are the Victim or The Hero in Every Story
If someone’s always the victim or hero of their own stories, they’re likely playing a role that doesn’t match who they truly are. These people either try to make you feel sorry for them, or they try to make themselves look good. They tend to be deceitful and have an inflated sense of self-importance.
When a person consistently places themselves in a positive light and everyone else in a negative light, they are usually trying to convince themselves that they’re right. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a victim or hero in some situations. It’s just that if you find yourself in conversations where someone’s always one of those things, it should raise a red flag.
3. They’re Quick to Judge but Slow to Praise
Obviously, we all judge people to some extent. It’s human nature to seek out patterns in things and then categorize them. However, those who are quick to judge and slow to praise, tend to have a negative outlook on life in general and often see others as competition.
They’re not very empathetic or compassionate, which means that they’re not going to be great listeners or good at understanding other people’s perspectives. This mindset can be toxic in any relationship because it makes it difficult for the person to accept your successes and failures as part of a shared experience. They always look for your faults, rather than seeing what you’ve done well.
4. They Exaggerate and Tell Half-Truths
You know how it goes. You’re in a conversation, and the other person says something that makes you go, “Wait, what?” You can’t quite figure out whether it’s something they’ve said or done that doesn’t add up, or if there’s something about their tone of voice that seems off.
When this happens, it’s usually because the person is telling half-truths and likely exaggerating. Half-truths are statements that are technically true, but important details are left out. Exaggeration is similar. It includes true elements, but they’re blown way out of proportion. Some people are just plain out there in their lies, while others are more subtle with their dishonesty. Either way, if you start to notice something off about their stories or behavior, it’s time to start questioning what they’re saying and doing.
5. They Pass Off Insults as Jokes
There’s a difference between a joke and an insult. If someone is insulting you, they’re not joking with you; they’re being mean. This is usually a sign that they don’t respect you, or your feelings, or that they think they are superior to you. A little sarcasm is one thing, but if you’re regularly being insulted and it’s not even acknowledged as an insult, that’s a bad sign.
If someone is making fun of you, even jokingly, they probably don’t have your best interest at heart. They’re just trying to make themselves feel better by bringing you down. Ask yourself if this person is intentionally making you feel bad or trying to get a rise out of you. If so, it may be best to cut them loose. It sounds like they’re not worth the effort anyway.
6. They Can’t Accept That Others Have Opinions
If you find yourself in a situation where a person tries to prove that their opinion is the only one that matters, or they tell you what to think, it’s a huge red flag. There’s nothing wrong with having strong opinions. But you should feel comfortable sharing your own thoughts and ideas without worrying about being judged or criticized for them.
If someone consistently undermines you or shuts you down, they probably shouldn’t be trusted. People like this think that their opinions are facts and they dismiss everything else. They’re usually devious and controlling – and want everyone to agree with them and think like them.
7. They Disregard Your Boundaries
Trust is built on respect and understanding. So if someone doesn’t respect your boundaries and wants to push past them, it’s not a good sign of things to come. You are the only person who should be able to set the limits of what you feel comfortable with regarding your personal space, property, and relationships with others.
If someone pushes you to do things you’re not comfortable with or makes you feel bad about saying NO, it means they don’t care about you as much, and that’s not a healthy situation for anyone involved.
8. They Make Excuses for Their Behavior
Trustworthy people acknowledge their flaws and shortcomings and take responsibility for them. They also take criticism without getting defensive or angry. If someone always makes excuses for why they act a certain way or they deflect blame onto others, it’s because they’re unable to identify any fault in their own behavior. A person like this only looks out for themselves and isn’t all too concerned about your thoughts and feelings.
9. They Never Have Anything Good to Say About Others
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they talk about other people. And while there are many bad apples out there, when someone ONLY sees the worst in others, that’s a bad sign. After all, if they NEVER have anything good to say about other people, they’re probably not very likable themselves. So don’t trust a person who constantly badmouths others. You can be sure they’re not saying anything nice about you, either.
10. They Have a Way of Making You Feel Like You Owe Them
This extremely manipulative tactic can make it seem like the other person is doing something nice for you when they’re just trying to get something out of you. It can be hard to spot this behavior at first because people who do it are often very good at making their motives seem pure.
They come across as selfless and caring when really they’re just trying to get what they want from the situation. People who tend to make others feel indebted to them are those who like to control every situation. They want to know they have the upper hand and don’t care about your feelings or wishes. They want to feel like they’re in charge.
11. They’re Overly Protective of Their Privacy or Their Past
There are many reasons people are protective of their privacy or their past. For example, someone may be in the process of a significant life transition and doesn’t want to tell people about it just yet. Or, maybe they’ve been through some really tough stuff and don’t want to relive it. Also, there are certain things that are better kept private.
However, if a person is very guarded about what they reveal about themselves, there’s probably an issue you should be cautious of. I mean, if they’re unwilling to SHARE anything about themselves, how can you trust them?
12. Their Social Circle Changes Quite a Lot
It’s normal to have some friends come and go throughout life, but if someone has a new best friend every month, it could be a sign that they’re not as trustworthy as you might think. They’re certainly not very loyal or reliable. And, they might be prone to drama.
If a person’s constantly shifting their circle of friends, it may be because they’re unable to commit to any of them, and that means they probably can’t commit to you, either. It’s important to be able to trust people, but it’s also important not to trust blindly. In the end, YOU have to be the judge of someone’s character, and these signs should definitely raise concern and cause you to question their motives and intentions.
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