We have a well-fabricated idea of what it means to be truly evil, thanks to cinema super villains and literary legends, but what about evil in the real world?
What does it actually look like?
Unlike the bad guys who wear masks in comic books, evil people can be difficult to spot in the real world. And they don’t dwell in lairs; they can be found pretty much anywhere the average person goes.
If evil people can be among us at any time, and any place, how do we know if we’re dealing with one? Maybe someone had a bad day and it is a mood they are going through- or maybe it’s something more.
Your intuition is an amazing tool, so it’s a good idea to use it as often as you can. When you encounter someone who has ill-intentions, you usually know it.
However, just in case you need some clarification, we’ve come up with a list of 8 red flags you are dealing with a truly evil person.
Schadenfreude (pronounced shah-den-froy-duh) is defined as “the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another.” Basically, if someone is happy about another person’s pain, suffering, or struggle, then it’s a safe bet they are an evil individual.
Instead of being happy about your troubles with the aforementioned Schadenfreude, begrudging is when they are envious and annoyed at your success.
As psychologist Steven Berglas says, people look to others for a benchmark by which they can gauge their own success. If you’re going along smoothly and things are looking great for you, but crappy for them, they will immediately feel inadequate. That is when their true colours show.
Whether it be facts or emotions, an evil person will try every manipulative angle they can come up with. They create their own reality, and in their world they are always right, never at fault, and their word is law. If you do them a favour, watch out. It will come back to bite you when they twist the story around.
4. Cruel To Animals
This should be a no-brainer. If someone is mean or abusive to an animal, it is safe to say they have evil tendencies.
Joni E. Johnston wrote on Psychology Today, “since the 1970s, research has consistently reported childhood cruelty to animals as the first warning sign of later delinquency, violence, and criminal behavior.” So it doesn’t matter if it happened a decade ago, or 3 decades ago, it is a bad sign.
5. Your Gut Feeling
Your instincts are there for a reason. If something feels off, it usually is.
David Myers, PhD, a social psychologist at Hope College, explains “the intuitive right brain is almost always ‘reading’ your surroundings, even when your conscious left brain is otherwise engaged. The body can register this information while the conscious mind remains blissfully unaware of what’s going on.’
6. No Remorse
You will never hear an apology from an evil person, and they are incapable of feeling guilt as well. If anything unfortunate happens in your life, whether or not they had a hand in it, they will have an attitude of remorselessness. The most common phrase out of their mouth when this happens is, “they deserved it.”
7. No Sympathy/Empathy
Evil people have no room for anyone else’s feelings in their life, only their own. When it comes down to it, it’s not that they can’t feel, it’s that they don’t want to. They’ve switched that part off, and are very content with how that works for them. It is this lack of basic human emotional understanding that sends out glaring warning signs someone is evil.
8. No True Identity
Who are they? Anyone they want to be. An evil person can change who they appear to be on a whim. And keep in mind, who you see probably isn’t who everyone else sees.
Evil people make it up as they go along; they never learned to love (or even like) themselves, so they create as many fake personas as they need to finally enjoy their own company.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the more prominent signs someone is evil, what can you do?
First of all, if you can go ‘no contact,’ do that. Removing these types of people from your life is the best way to steer clear of them.
If it is someone you have to interact with frequently, then no contact might not be an easy option. For that situation, I would recommend creating solid boundaries and sticking to them. Make sure they know where their space is, and where yours is.