Throughout life, there are some people you’ll meet that may seem to be a little bit shallow. Though we all have different definitions of the word shallow, and it can mean drastically different things to different people.
If you try to develop a relationship with a shallow person, you can often end up running into obstacles. More accurately, it’s like having a conversation with a brick wall, as superficial people are usually only interesting in one topic – themselves. Let’s look at all the facets on a shallow person.
What Does It Mean to Have a Shallow Personality?
When someone is referred to as having a “shallow” personality, it generally implies that the person lacks depth, complexity, and originality in their thoughts, emotions, and character. This doesn’t mean that they’re a bad human being, it just means that they don’t have much depth to them when it comes to serious topics.
There are some key characteristics often associated with a shallow personality, such as:
- Superficial Interests: Shallow individuals typically focus on physical appearances and material possessions, as opposed to deeper things like personality,
- Lack of Intellectual Curiosity: Not only are they not interested in deep topics, a shallow person may show little interest in learning new things, or even engaging in thoughtful conversations about real life.
- Limited Empathy: Such individuals often have difficulty understanding and sharing the feelings of others as they don’t have the same level of feeling. They may come across as self-centered because of this.
- Inability to Self-Reflect: People with shallow personalities often lack the ability to self-reflect on their actions, which leads to low self awareness of their actions.
- Value in Social Validation: They may base their self-esteem and happiness on external validation. In the modern age, a good example of this is worrying about many likes they get on their Instagram posts (secretly, they’re seeking approval and validation from their peers).
- Inconsistent or Fleeting Relationships: Shallow individuals might struggle to form deep, lasting relationships. Because of this, their interactions tend to be brief and based on surface-level connections.
These are just some of the typical things that we associate with a shallow personality. But how can you determine whether someone is themselves shallow? Here’s some of the telltale signs that you’re dealing with a shallow person,
They give more value to physical appearances
Online dating is a great example of this, as nowadays we only judge others based on their looks or appearance within a quick swipe. You simply easy to swipe right or left depending on whether the person is our “type”.
But how much can you really tell from a picture? Next to nothing, aside from that you do or don’t find them physically attractive. This is still important, but a shallow person will tend to put too high of an emphasis on physical appearance, and not enough focus on things that truly matter, like personality and emotional depth.
Gossip is Second-Nature to Them
Sometimes it’s nice for people to hear a little gossip, but to be a gossip on a regular basis is an indication of being a superficial person. You likely know the people that I’m talking about – they seem to buzz off of hearing about the downfall of others, and aren’t shy about giving their opinions about someone when they’re not around.
There’s a reason why this is the case – psychologists have suggested that gossiping helps to maintain social order. However, shallow individuals often gossip because they have difficulty talking about deeper subjects, so they’re permanently staying at the surface level and talking about things that generally don’t matter.
They are materialistic
It’s common for individuals to measure their self value by the amount of money that they earn, the size of their house or other material possessions. This is because those lacking depth focus largely on the assets they can acquire as opposed to the experiences they can have, or the deep connections they can make with other people.
Although appreciation of a person’s work and effort they’ve put into their life is important, deep people are more conscious about the inner wealth of others. It’s best to invest your time in people who have a little bit more to them than following whatever materialists currently dictate is in fashion.
They talk more than they listen
It’s great to have long conversations with a deep person as they listen to you as much as they talk. But a self centered person will interrupt people whilst they’re talking. Instead of listening to other perspectives, they prefer to hear the sound of their own voice.
This is especially true for the people with whom they disagree, as they’ll often move onto another topic without response. If you want to avoid looking like a shallow person, make sure you listen to others when they’re talking to you.
They lack deeper emotions
When it comes to psychology, it’s well known that shallow people can find it hard to feel emotion. This is actually not their fault, as it can be linked to much deeper issues like a lack of healthy positive role models, and a feeling of insecurity in their life.
You can not be able to have deep conversations with the shallow people in your life, but that doesn’t mean they’re inherently bad people – they are likely, like all of us, a result of their upbringing and life experiences.
They are more likely to believe everything they see or read
Why do some of us believe everything that we read in the news? This is often because we don’t read more than the headlines that we’re presented with, so we never go any further than skimming through the top level news.
A shallow person has a hard time understanding deeper topics that directly affect them at a higher level, any deeper than their daily routine and experiences. This can include topics like politics, economics and philosophy.
Shallow people are often afraid they’ll be unable to contribute when you discuss topics in a deeper discussion. So, they try and avoid this by ensuring that you always have conversations about the things in life that don’t really matter, as these are the only things they’re capable of discussing.
They are obsessed with being “cool” and “trendy”
Being conformist & materialist comes as second nature to shallow, as they feel that they must constantly follow new trends to be in with the crowd. They always want to appear cool to other people, which can come from a need to be accepted by others around them.
People who have a strong knowledge to rely on will put naturally higher values on having a deep conversation with other people, without having concern for what topics are currently in fashion.
Remember: Look Beyond Appearances
Just because someone loves fashion or seems like they’re a trend-chaser, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a shallow person. Often, beneath the surface even the shallowest of people have some level of depth to them.
They could be hiding it for a variety of different reasons. However, they’re still human beings, and they’re still worth giving energy to as they could be the complete opposite of how they appear. And, if they do turn out to be a shallow person, you can always go on to avoid them in the future.