10 signs you’re dealing with someone who lacks class and sophistication

First impressions count. We can tell a lot about people from how they carry themselves and treat others.

From that very first conversation, we can decipher if someone oozes elegance or ego.

So, if you want to learn how to tell someone’s level of sophistication from the get-go, read on.

From excessive cursing to a love for filler words, here are 10 signs that someone is not so classy.

1) They talk loudly

If you walk into a busy restaurant or public space, it’s easy to spot the people who lack class, as they will be the only voices you hear.

People who lack class are loud – all the time.

You’ll know this very well if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have “chavvy” neighbors.

People who lack class don’t speak; they shout. 


Well, one reason is that they lack self-awareness. Another is down to their pure disrespect for others.

Sophisticated people are very aware of the people around them, and out of respect, they speak quietly to not disturb them.

On the other hand, unclassy people act like they are the only people in the room. 

They don’t care if their presence is disturbing to others because, in their heads, the universe revolves around them only.

And what makes their loud conversations even worse is this…

2) They swear frequently

When I think about the least sophisticated people I know, I estimate at least 20% of their speech is swear words.

While classy people curse ​​discreetly and choose their swear words wisely, people who lack class will throw a swear word into every sentence. 

The most commonly used swear word among unclassy people is undoubtedly “f*ck*ng.”

Unsophisticated people use this word to express a wide range of emotions, such as:

  • Annoyance
  • Frustration
  • Surprise
  • Enthusiasm

But this is not just my opinion. Research supports it, too.

A 2009 British study explored the link between swearing and social class. 

The researchers found that unemployed people and those of the lowest grade occupations used 5000 swear words per million words of speech.

This is a significant increase from those in higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, and professional occupations who used just over 1000 swear words.

Interestingly, they also found a steady increase in curse word frequency from AB (the highest social grade) to DE (the lowest social grade)

3) They use lots of filler words when speaking

Sophisticated people speak articulately. They think about what to say before opening their mouth, and they choose their words carefully.

Unclassy people, on the other hand, have a constant case of verbal diarrhea. They also typically have a much smaller vocabulary than sophisticated people

This is why you will notice people who lack class use A LOT of filler words.

One of the most common among young “Chavvy” British people is this one…


Other common filler words you’ll notice are:

  • Just
  • Literally
  • Basically
  • Erm
  • At the end of the day
  • Seriously

The occasional use of filler words in conversations can serve a beneficial purpose – letting the listener know you have more to say.

However, many unsophisticated people develop habits of using the same few filler words, which can make their statements sound unclear and noncredible. 

4) They interrupt you all the time

People who lack class also lack listening skills

They constantly interrupt others, ignore what others say, and want to dominate the conversation.

This is down to their self-centeredness, lack of awareness, and lack of respect for others. 

Sometimes, they might abruptly interject to share their thoughts or experiences.

Other times, they might devalue or counter-argue what you are saying.

Often, people who lack class want to dominate the conversation. So, if they feel like you’re talking too much, they will keep interrupting you.

5) They lack basic manners

Many of the behaviors mentioned in this list stem from this one thing – a lack of manners.

It’s more than just poor table manners that unclassy people lack. They are entirely unaware of general etiquette.

So you will see unsophisticated people doing things like:

  • Pushing in front of people in queues
  • Putting their feet on chairs
  • Talking loudly on the phone in a library
  • Talking with their mouth full
  • Not covering their mouth when coughing
  • Not holding the door open for the person behind them

According to international etiquette coach Heidi Dulebohn, understanding basic etiquette is vital to success in life. 

She explains that you must understand social codes to determine how to act appropriately in different situations and environments. 

A lack of manners can negatively affect your communication and professional relationships with others, leading to missed opportunities.

6) They invade your personal space

not an authentic person 10 signs you're dealing with someone who lacks class and sophistication

One social code that unsophisticated people seem unaware of the need for personal space.

They might invade your personal space by:

  • Standing too close
  • Hugging or touching you when it’s not appropriate
  • Sitting down and starting a conversation with you in public without asking

They might also disrespect your emotional boundaries by:

  • Asking personal questions
  • Telling others your secrets or private information
  • Showing up at your house unannounced 

7) They are rude to service staff

There is a common misconception that it’s the wealthy and powerful who are disrespectful to those below them.

However, from observing people all over the world, I’ve found the opposite to be true.

People who lack class and sophistication are often very insecure

Because they are unconfident with their current life situation (career, finances, etc), they mistreat others to make themselves feel better.

Of course, people like service staff are the easiest targets.

Even if they work a similar job and are of the same class as the server, at that moment, they are the paying customer, so they see themselves as higher than them.

Classy and wealthy people don’t disrespectfully treat people below them purely because they are secure in themselves. Therefore, they do not seek ways to boost their ego.

Here’s something else unsophisticated people do due to their insecurity…

8) They show off

Along with getting one up on others, unsophisticated people try to look and feel more successful than they are by boasting.

They will splash their entire month’s wages on a designer bag or expensive watch purely to show it off to their friends and acquaintances. 

Aside from their physical possessions, unclassy people feel the need to announce all their achievements to the world.  

So, they will show off on social media and make a point of telling everyone they see about their latest win as an attempt to elevate their social status.

However, a study in Psychological Science found that boasting is more likely to worsen others’ view of you rather than improve it. 

What’s more, classy people are very private regarding their achievements. They prefer to celebrate their wins with their families in the privacy of their homes rather than plaster it on Facebook.

9) They complain about EVERYTHING

Positive and negative thinking tendencies are not exclusively linked to social class. Even so, people who lack sophistication have a habit of constantly complaining.

This is because they prefer to blame others for their hardships rather than take responsibility for their life.

So, you might notice an unclassy person sharing all the details of their problems, seeking attention, and dominating the conversation.

You’ll know that this is attention-seeking behavior, as they do not seek a solution to their problems. 

In fact, if you try to offer them advice, they will reject it, coming up with some reason why it won’t work. 

10) They are culturally insensitive 

Unclassy people also come across as disrespectful to other cultures (and sometimes racist) due to their lack of awareness and narrow-mindedness. 

For example, they are unaware of what words and phrases are socially seen as racist and unacceptable. 

As a result, they make insensitive comments and do not consider the feelings of others.

This insensitivity is apparent when unsophisticated people travel and experience different cultures, traditions, or beliefs. 

Here’s an example based on a personal observation…

It is a well-known tradition in Thailand to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home, as well as many shops and restaurants.

If a local wants foreigners to respect this tradition, they display signs on the door. 

However, people who lack class cannot (and don’t want to) understand the importance of this tradition to the Thai people. So they purposely ignore the sign and walk in with their shoes on.

Final thoughts

I know just how frustrating it can be to deal with someone who is completely lacking sophistication. But remember, classy behavior is something that anyone can learn. 

That’s right – elegance is not reserved for the rich and powerful. 

Sophistication comes down to self-awareness. So, if someone displays these signs, they are not necessarily stupid. They’re just not as far in their personal development journey as you!

Gemma Clarke

Gemma Clarke

I am a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and an experienced content writer in the spirituality and personal growth space. I’m passionate about sharing my expertise through the power of words to inspire and guide others along the path of personal and spiritual development.

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