People who have poor self-awareness often display these 12 behaviors (without realizing it)

Self-awareness, simply put, is knowing who we are and how we’re seen by others.

And people who have poor self-awareness are, well…not so good at it.

Some of them are so out of touch that they usually do or say things that can make you go “WTF? Are they for real?!”

Want to know if someone you know has poor self-awareness?

Check out if they display these behaviors.

1) They think everyone loves them 

People who have poor self-awareness—especially if they also have narcissistic tendencies— often find it difficult to accurately interpret the actions of others.

They assume everyone ADORES them!

When you get friendly with them, they assume you’re flirting. 

Even if you just said “nice work”, they hear “you’re a genius! I wish I could be more like you!”

And even if others obviously hate them, they suspect it’s just because deep down, they actually love them.

*Cringe*

2) They react poorly to feedback

They get surprised when people point out their flaws because they’re blind to them.

If you’re lucky, the best you’d get is genuine confusion in their eyes. If you’re not, prepare for a vehement refusal to admit their mistake!

“Am I really like that? NoOoOOo…that’s not true!”

“Oh yeah? You think my work needs improvement? I think you’re  just jealous because you haven’t won an award since 1996!”

And this is unfortunate.

Because they rarely accept feedback, they tend to stagnate and repeat the same mistakes wherever they go.

3) They take all the credit 

Let’s say they made a film. And yes, although they’re the director, they collaborated with 30+ people to get the job done.

But when they get praised for it, guess what? 

They forget about all the help they got and just take all the credit!

“Thank you”, they’d say. “It wasn’t easy, but I did it anyway. I realize that I just have to believe in myself.”

Believe me— it’s not because they’re selfish or scheming or hungry for fame. 

It’s because they genuinely think they’re so great that they can pull anything off without the help of others. 

They’re so delusional that they’re convinced they did 95% of the work and others just did 5%…which is of course, so not true!!!

4) They put all the blame on others

Ah yes. They take all the credit. 

But the moment they get negative feedback? They point fingers!

People who have poor self-awareness are often blind to their flaws.

So when the same director reads a critique on how the cinematography sucks, they’d of course blame the cinematographer.

But they won’t think for a second that they actually played a huge part of it, too.

signs youre unhappy in life but wont admit it according to psychology People who have poor self-awareness often display these 12 behaviors (without realizing it)

5) They poorly estimate what they’re capable of

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: 

A co-worker enthusiastically claimed they can get things done in one day. One day passes, and nothing!

But they still claim they can pull it off by day two. Again, nothing.

Ultimately, it took them ten whole days to get things done—an estimate that everyone but they themselves already knew.

People who are self-aware won’t even dare commit to finishing anything in three days when they’re aware it usually takes them ten days to finish.

This is the reason why people who have poor self-awareness usually lack integrity

The sad thing is that they’re not trying to deceive people, they just have poor self-awareness!

6) They can’t tell when people are just flattering them

They have a poor bullshit meter.

You can easily make them blush by saying random praises because well, they really don’t know when you’re just bullshitting them!

A person who’s self-aware can tell flattery very easily because they’re very aware of their traits—the good and the bad and the ugly.

If they know that they’re bad at writing—and it’s not just because they’re insecure but that they have proof of it— and someone says “WOW! You write like Zadie Smith”, they know they’re either being sarcastic or just exaggerating.

They might even start to get suspicious that they’re just saying those things to manipulate them!

But when you say the same thing to someone who has poor self-awareness, they’d buy it in a heartbeat.

Yep, people who have poor self-awareness are often gullible.

7) They can’t read a room

They can’t read body language well and sometimes, they’re just too self-absorbed to even care.

So they’ll be overly cheerful even if others are quiet and glum.

They’ll go on and on talking about random things even if no one is actually paying attention.

They won’t go “Uh-oh, they don’t seem interested. Maybe they don’t want to hear me talking about these things right now.”

They’d just keep yapping.

Well, of course. If they can’t read themselves well, how can we expect them to read others well?

8) They’re annoying on social media

They’re the ones who post 20 times a day without even pausing to think “Am I being annoying?”

They’re also the ones who brag or share passive-aggressive posts without even thinking “Wait, isn’t this too much?”

They just keep sharing stuff thinking that others actually like them even if their posts have zero likes.

9) They think everyone else is a problem

They’d vent every day about “annoying” people.

It doesn’t matter who it is, they all seem to be incompetent at best, malicious at worst.

Something doesn’t add up—because it’s never the whole story with them, just the story where they’re the long-suffering protagonist.

What makes this dangerous is when they grow ruthless. They’d justify it with the idea that since everyone else is ruthless, they might as well “protect” themselves.

10) They can’t laugh at themselves

People who lack emotional intelligence People who have poor self-awareness often display these 12 behaviors (without realizing it)

Interestingly, being self-aware makes one less insecure. Why?

Because while you’re aware that you have flaws, you’re also very aware you have strengths! And this makes it easier for you to laugh at yourself. 

Those who have poor self-awareness, on the other hand, find their weaknesses a touchy subject. They don’t want to think or talk about them as much as possible.

You won’t hear them say “Gosh, I’m so stupid. HAHA.” or “Ugh. Why am I so forgetful?!”, because saying those things would actually hurt them.

11) They don’t know what makes them happy

Hobbies come and go on a daily basis.

And when it comes to finding a significant other, they settle for anyone even if they’re not madly in love with them.  Or they hop from one partner to another.

Why? Because they don’t know what they want!

They might even be so unaware of what makes them happy that they just wander through life, aimless and miserable, chasing the next high that they can find.

Here’s the thing: If someone doesn’t know who they are, then happiness and contentment are always out of reach.

12) They like to show off

Most of us are aware that, if we’re to be really honest, we’re just mediocre.

We may be good at something, sure. But we know that other people are far better at it than us.

Those who lack self-awareness, because they have delusions of grandeur, find it hard to accurately assess their skills and talents.

They don’t go “Oh gee. I’m good, but definitely not yet a pro. I need more practice.”

Instead, they say “Wow. I’m really, really good that I can be compared to Picasso!”

Why some people lack self-awareness?

Do any of these seem familiar to anyone you know, or even yourself? 

Don’t worry, you’re hardly alone there—only 10%–15% of people are truly self-aware.

Far more people believe they are, but more likely than not they have made one of these mistakes, preventing them from achieving full self-awareness:

  • They’re a bit delusional
  • They have self-esteem issues
  • They let their emotions and biases dominate their decisions
  • They don’t seek or listen to trustworthy feedback
  • They don’t take time to get to know who they really are
  • They ask the wrong questions when self-reflecting
  • They have narcissistic personality traits

It may seem obvious to be aware of reality. But our own brains tend to deceive ourselves for the sake of an existing, consistent narrative.

Last words

Self-awareness is accepting both your own reality and others’ perceived reality when it comes to you.

Accepting these potentially conflicting realities is difficult—even downright ugly— but it must be done if true change is to be made.

It’s well worth it!

A self-aware person can laugh off mistakes, can find and correct them easily, and is satisfied with themselves no matter where they are in life.

So, if you think that you need to be more self-aware, go ahead! Learn more about your true self. What you find might even surprise you.

And if you know someone who has poor self-awareness, we just have to be more patient with them. They’re not awful people. In fact, many of them are the nicest and sweetest people you’ll ever meet.

One day, they’ll become more aware of who they really are and be more accepting of their flaws.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

0:00
0:00