Personal Growth

40 Bad Personality Traits List – Examples of Negative Traits

All our personalities have both positive and negative qualities that make up who we are – there is no such thing as a perfect person. These differences can develop slowly over time, can develop as part of your upbringing, or in some cases even be innate from birth.

Various personality tests can analyze your personality to see which negative traits you may have, but what exactly are negative traits? We’re going to run through some of the most common ones so you can identify them in your family, friends, and maybe even yourself.

What is a Bad Personality Trait?

A bad personality trait, or more commonly referred to as a negative personality trait, is something that’s present in all of us. Generally, most of these characteristics are considered to be something that’s unnacceptable in a social sense – this could be something like dishonesty, which is widely accepted as bad.

Other toxic personality traits are not quite as easy to pin as negative, with many of them being something that all of us exhibit from time to time. For example, ignorance is something that we all have shown at times in our life, and is one of the most common negative traits.

Negative emotions are part and parcel of the human experience. Self criticism is a necessity for human development and ultimately being a better person – let’s look through some of the most common bad personality traits that people show.

Negative Personality Traits List

  1. Arrogance: This trait involves overbearing pride, and a belief in one’s superiority over others. It often results in a lack of empathy and respect for others.
  2. Dishonesty: This involves being untruthful or deceptive. Dishonesty can harm relationships, both personal and professional.
  3. Manipulativeness: This trait is characterized by a strong desire to control or influence others to one’s own advantage, often without regard for their feelings or interests.
  4. Unreliability: This trait shows a lack of dependability or consistency. Unreliable people are often hard to trust or depend on.
  5. Impulsiveness: This involves acting on a whim, without thinking about the consequences. Impulsive people often make poor decisions that can harm themselves or others.
  6. Negativity: This trait involves consistently seeing and focusing on the bad or negative aspects of situations. Negativity can sap energy and happiness from oneself and those around one.
  7. Self-centeredness: This involves prioritizing one’s own needs, desires, or interests above those of others. Self-centered people often have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships.
  8. Laziness: This trait involves a lack of motivation or effort. Lazy individuals may struggle to achieve their goals or fulfill their responsibilities.
  9. Intolerance: This involves a lack of respect or understanding for people who are different from oneself. Intolerance can lead to conflict and division.
  10. Insensitivity: This trait involves a lack of empathy or consideration for others’ feelings. Insensitive people can often be hurtful, even without intending to be.

Being insensitive is one of the worst personality traits, as they don’t understand how their behavior makes others feel.

People that exhibit these negative emotions often don’t know that their behavior negatively affects others around them, and it can be difficult to address the problem.

  1. Envious: This involves feeling discontent or resentful due to someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. Envy can often lead to hostility and conflict.
  2. Stubbornness: This is a refusal to change one’s viewpoint or agree, even in the face of valid evidence. Stubborn individuals can be hard to reason with.
  3. Volatility: This trait involves sudden and rapid changes in mood, which can lead to unpredictable and sometimes explosive behavior.
  4. Narcissism: This is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration. Narcissists can often be dismissive or exploitative of others.
  5. Cynicism: This involves having a distrustful outlook on the world, often assuming the worst about people or situations. Cynics may struggle with trust and forming positive relationships.
  6. Indifference: This involves a lack of interest, concern, or sympathy. Indifferent individuals can seem detached or uncaring, which can make it hard for them to connect with others.
  7. Pessimism: This is a tendency to see the worst in every situation and a belief that the worst will happen. Pessimists often struggle with motivation and happiness.
  8. Deceitfulness: This trait involves lying, cheating, or being generally untrustworthy. Deceitful people often harm others for their own benefit.
  9. Domineering: This involves a desire to control others and dictate how they live their lives. Domineering individuals can be oppressive and overbearing.
  10. Melodramatic: This involves being overly dramatic or exaggerated in behavior or reactions. Melodramatic people may create unnecessary drama or conflict.

As well as being overly dramatic, they may also see themselves as a victim of their own behavior. These are typical toxic traits that can be associated with both melodrama and narcissism.

This kind of person views themselves as the victim of every scenario, and they fail to take responsibility for any of their actions.

  1. Vengefulness: This involves a desire to cause harm or discomfort to others who are perceived to have wronged the individual. Vengeful individuals may hold onto grudges for a long time.
  2. Procrastination: This is a habit of delaying tasks that need to be done. Procrastinators often struggle with stress, low productivity, and missed deadlines.
  3. Overcritical: This trait involves a tendency to harshly criticize others or oneself, often focusing on faults rather than positives. Overcritical individuals can create an unkind or negative environment.
  4. Greediness: This involves an excessive or selfish desire for more than is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food, or other possessions.
  5. Passive-aggressiveness: This involves expressing negative feelings indirectly rather than openly addressing them. Passive-aggressive individuals can be difficult to communicate with and can create a tense atmosphere.
  6. Inflexibility: This involves being unwilling to change or adapt, even when it’s in one’s best interest. Inflexible individuals can struggle with change and may hold back progress.
  7. Disrespectfulness: This trait involves a lack of regard or consideration for others and their rights, feelings, and traditions. Disrespectful people often cause offense and hurt to others.
  8. Impatience: This trait involves an intolerance towards delay, slow pace, or hindrances. Impatient people often rush decisions or tasks and may get frustrated easily.
  9. Insecurity: This involves feelings of self-doubt and a lack of confidence. Insecure individuals may struggle with self-esteem, and their insecurity can negatively affect their relationships and ambitions.
  10. Controlling: This involves the need to have everything under control and to make decisions for others. Controlling people can be domineering and can stifle the autonomy of those around them.

Being aggressive and violent is common for those that have a control issue. Nobody wants to feel unsafe on a regular basis, so it’s important to try and get this person to recognize their behaviors are unacceptable.

They can be lacking empathy for other people’s issues, and worst of all, they may not even be aware of the issue they have.

  1. Unforgiving: This trait involves holding onto grudges and not being able to forgive or forget past wrongs. Unforgiving individuals often carry resentment and negativity.
  2. Hypocrisy: This involves saying one thing and doing another. Hypocritical individuals often lack credibility and trustworthiness.
  3. Spitefulness: This involves acting in ways intended to annoy or harm others, often out of malice or revenge. Spiteful people often harm their own wellbeing in the process.
  4. Superficiality: This involves focusing on the surface or appearance of things rather than their deeper value. Superficial individuals often place too much emphasis on looks, status, or material wealth.
  5. Miserliness: This involves an extreme reluctance to spend money or use resources. Miserly individuals often deprive themselves and others of needed resources out of a fear of running out.
  6. Ingratitude: This involves not acknowledging or appreciating the good things, kindness, or help received. Ingrateful people can come across as unappreciative or disrespectful.
  7. Overbearing: This trait involves being oppressively forward, domineering, or intrusive. Overbearing individuals often make those around them feel overwhelmed or smothered.
  8. Paranoid: This trait involves having an excessive or irrational suspicion about others. Paranoid individuals often struggle with trust and can create a tense environment around them.
  9. Unpredictability: This involves behaving inconsistently and in an unpredictable manner. Unpredictable individuals can create a sense of instability and unease around them.
  10. Pessimism: This is the tendency to focus on the negatives and expect the worst. Pessimistic individuals often struggle with motivation and positivity.

Being pessimistic and always expecting the worst is an unpleasant trait that is common with negative personality types.

Not only is pessimism bad for the person themselves, but it can also cause problems for the people around. In some cases, it can even lead to increased depression and anxiety, affecting their whole well being.

These are most of the traits that we consider to be negative or bad in the modern age. Now, let’s look at how you can deal with these negative personality traits if you or someone in your life has them.

How to Deal with Bad Personality Traits

The good thing is that even if you have some of these negative personality traits, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad person. We all have negative attributes of our character – here’s how you can deal with having bad personality traits.

Remember: someone with toxic traits is not an inherently bad person

Despite having toxic traits that can harm others, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily means that they are a bad person. We all have toxic traits and exhibit negative behavior, though not all of us have the self awareness to acknowledge that we have them.

Many people develop toxic behavior from past experiences, so try not to just other people if you can see they have some negative personality traits.

Negative Character Traits can be positive

People generally consider personality attributes as having positive qualities or negative qualities, but categorization in itself is subjective and dependent on the person. Some character traits go hand in hand – for example, many of us think arrogance can be related to confidence, which it can – so, having some arrogance in your nature isn’t necessarily bad.

Most confident people have some level of attitude that could be perceived by some as bad. In a similar way, being sensitive is seen as a good trait, but being too sensitive is considered a bad personality trait. Balance is key to life, and this is evident in the difference between good and bad personality traits.

Is shyness a negative trait?

Often characterized as negative, being shy is a great example of something that fits easily into both categories. Although it is not always easy to get a shy person to come out of their shell, it’s definitely an endearing characteristic that wouldn’t be considered as part of a toxic personality.

Too much shyness can be detrimental, but that’s usually for the person themselves – not others. Shy people are often introverts that are capable of achieving both long and short term goals alone without help from other people, which could also be considered a good thing.

Be honest about how the toxic trait impacts you

Often, people do not know that their toxic traits are part of their personality. If it’s a relative stranger, you may just want to keep moving and forget about them. However, if it’s someone close to you like a friend or family member, it’s important that you let them know how their behavior is affecting you.

Telling others about their actions can be tough, but as long as you approach things with sensitivity you should be fine. In some cases, honest conversation may be necessary to change the way they’re making you feel in the relationship.