None of us are perfect. We all fall short of our ideals from time to time.
But there’s a difference between a flawed person trying their best and someone downright evil.
It’s a sad fact that there are some people in the world who just want the worst for everyone around them. These people will stop at nothing to harm you and anyone else they can.
Sometimes, this is a result of past trauma in their own lives. Sometimes, it is the result of a personality disorder.
But whatever the cause, these are people you need to learn to avoid.
Unfortunately, many people are good at hiding their true nature.
But if you know what you’re looking for, there are warning signs that you’re dealing with someone who has your worst interests at heart. Here are some things to look out for.
1) They are controlling
This is a personality trait that is straight out of the evil person playbook.
Whether it’s a narcissist, a sadist, or a psychopath, an evil person always seeks to control everyone around them.
You see, evil people cannot be trusted. And that means they can’t trust anybody else. In their twisted hearts, everybody else is as evil as they are. Therefore, their attempts to control everything around them is a form of self-defense.
That doesn’t make it okay.
Controlling behavior can manifest in many ways. Watch out for:
- Controlling finances
- Emotional blackmail
- Insisting on deciding everything themselves
- Telling you who you can and can’t spend time with
- Telling you what to wear
- Physical abuse
The behaviors may vary, but the intent is always the same. The evil person wants to control every aspect of their life. And to them, you are just a thing to be used for their own ends.
2) They lie
We all tell little white lies from time to time. That’s not what I’m talking about here.
Instead, I’m talking about habitual and even pathological lying. Evil people use lies as a tool of manipulation to get people to do what they want.
As psychologist Christian L Hart points out, pathological liars lie for material gain. But they also lie for attention.
To satisfy their need for the attention of others, they will make up stories that never happened or paint themselves as a victim to win sympathy.
People with what is known as the Dark Triad of personality traits are more at ease lying than other people because they don’t feel bad about lying, even when they get caught.
All that practice can make them very accomplished liars, so be careful when dealing with people you know often lie.
3) They take pleasure in the misfortune of others
As famous psychologist Carl Jung pointed out, we all have what he termed the Shadow.
It’s the part of us that contains our most objectionable traits, the ones we do everything in our power to hide from other people and even ourselves.
What makes a person evil isn’t having evil tendencies. It’s acting on them.
We’ve all felt tempted from time to time to take pleasure in other people’s misfortune and failure. Especially when it’s someone we don’t like.
However, evil people take this much further.
They don’t want anyone to succeed or be happy. And so, they feel joy when they see others suffer.
And it may not even be their enemies. It could be close friends and family members.
The danger is that the evil person takes so much pleasure in other people’s misfortune that they will actively try to bring it about. Sometimes, evil people hurt others just for the sick enjoyment they get from suffering.
4) They show no remorse
Like I said earlier, none of us are perfect. And psychologically healthy people feel bad when they do something wrong.
Evil people don’t.
According to therapist Margalis Fjelstad, this is a common trait of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Evil people may be literally incapable of feeling remorse for any of their actions. In their minds, everything they do is justified. That makes it extremely unlikely that their behavior will ever change.
5) They never take responsibility
Part of the reason evil people never feel remorse is because they never take responsibility for their actions.
Psychologically stable people know that ultimately, we are all responsible for the things we do in life. But evil people don’t see it that way.
Any mistake they may have made or any time they fail to achieve something they want is always somebody else’s fault.
When called out on their evil ways, these people will often try to come up with some justification of why they behaved the way they did to make it not their fault.
6) They never apologize
Think about it: why would you apologize if you didn’t do anything wrong?
That’s how it works in the mind of an evil person. Because they don’t accept that they’ve done anything wrong, they will never apologize for any of their actions.
If you know someone who refuses to take responsibility and apologize when they have wronged you, they may be merely emotionally immature. Or they may be downright evil.
7) They are cruel
Cruelty can take many different forms. But at its root, it comes down to once again taking pleasure in the suffering of others.
Evil people feel their own internal turmoil lessen when they make others suffer. This can make them astonishingly cruel.
Maybe they belittle those who are supposed to be their friends. Maybe they emotionally manipulate their family. Maybe they abuse their children.
It’s a well-known fact that most serial killers start off by being cruel to animals before they move on to humans. Whatever form it takes, cruelty is a major warning sign that you’re dealing with a bad person.
8) They are manipulative
In the mind of an evil person, they are the only thing that matters. They don’t think of other people as being fully human in the way that they are, and so they have no qualms about using and manipulating people for whatever they want.
Evil people may manipulate others for money, career advancement, sex, emotional validation, or other reasons. But no matter why they do it, the result is the same.
Evil people treat other people as things to be used for their own purposes.
That’s why these people are best avoided.
9) They create drama
Those with dark personalities know that chaos is their best friend. The more unsure and insecure the people around them feel, the easier it is to control and manipulate them.
That’s one reason why evil people seem to create drama wherever they go.
Another reason is just for the fun of it. Like I said above, evil people love to see others suffer. If that means breaking up friendships and relationships and causing animosity between people, that’s exactly what they’ll do.
10) They have multiple lives
By now, you’ve probably noticed that dishonesty is a clear sign of a person with bad intentions.
And some people take this to extremes. Often, manipulative people have multiple lives. They will present one personality to one group of people, and another, completely different one to another.
But the truly evil take it to another level.
Sometimes, they will even live entirely separate lives, having secret families and relationships.
Again, it comes back to the fact that evil people see others as things for them to use, not as people with important emotions of their own. This lack of empathy is at the root of many evil behaviors.
11) They ignore boundaries
When dealing with a person with bad intentions, often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from them.
However, that can be tough, especially since evil people completely ignore boundaries.
You may tell your parent you don’t want them coming around your house unannounced. You may tell your partner you don’t want them spending all their time on their own interests without you.
The evil person will not take these boundaries seriously. They think they can always get around you, and that your opinions are of no importance compared to what they want to do.
If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, it’s a clear sign they are probably a bad person. And it may be an indication that they are actually evil.
Avoiding evil people
Fortunately, truly evil people are rare. Although there are plenty of bad personality types in the world, true evil is something most of us don’t often encounter.
On the other hand, evildoers are very good at hiding their true nature. They are quite capable of seeming kind and pleasant when you first meet them so that they can set their traps and try to manipulate you to do what they want.
Keep an eye out for the signs of an evil person. And if you meet one, stay far away from these dark personalities.