Warning signs someone has bad intentions

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Kevin Mangelschots

There are people out there who are looking to hurt other people. Sometimes physically, other times mentally. But what we can all agree on is that both ways can be absolutely devastating.

However, we know that the intentions we attribute to other people influences how we see their actions. This tendency can cause us to make false judgments and desperately cling to them.

More often than not, there are warning signs someone has bad intentions. That’s why we need to learn the clues of a toxic person in order to protect ourselves.

What are the warning signs someone has bad intentions?

Image of a black warning sign with the word “warning” written in black on a yellow background.

The first step to protect yourself from people with bad intentions is recognizing the multiple warning signs that malevolent individuals display. The following list can teach you how to know if someone has bad purposes:

  1. Taking pleasure in other people’s misery

    Those who take pleasure in other people’s misfortune are not good individuals.

    It might be a possible sign of a sadistic personality trait. Not to mention that it’s also very low class to cheer and be happy if other people get hurt, even if you happen to dislike them.

    Even if you hate someone, actively wishing for people to get hurt is not appropriate. Because why would you put time and energy in someone you don’t like? That’s counterintuitive. Wishing the worst to someone shows you’re still invested and that you still care. The only thing you’re showing with hating someone is that you’re preventing yourself from moving on, it literally does nothing positive for your own life.

    In this specific case, it’s better to take the high road and let people live their own lives while minding your own business, even when you greatly loathe the person.

  2. They don’t have many friends or none at all

     

    Image of multiple pawns standing together with one pawn standing separated alone.

    People who don’t have many friends is typically a sign that something is up, that something is wrong that we perhaps might not have noticed yet.

    But human individuals are frequently picky about whom they choose to be around, especially in their precious free time. That’s why those with no or few friends can be a sign that they have bad intentions or are unpleasant to be around.

    Of course, that’s not to say that someone who has few friends is automatically someone who’s not fun to be around or someone with bad intentions. It might simply be that they just moved to a new place, that they are introverted, or perhaps they are even a bit shy. We should not automatically think the worst. But, we should be prepared for it.

    If you do happen to meet people with bad intentions traits, then stay away from toxic people.

  3. You feel something is off

    One of the giveaway signs someone is not a nice person is when you get weird vibes from someone. People have a hidden intuition for telling when something or someone is off.

    We frequently can’t quite put a finger on what’s off about something, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Of course, we might come to the conclusion over time that we’ve been wrong about someone, that’s certainly possible since it’s only human to make mistakes.

    But you will find that your intuition is correct more often than not.

    That’s why you should always consult your intuition. Don’t just dismiss it as unimportant or inaccurate, as your unconsciousness might have noticed something that your consciousness has missed.

  4. They are awful to animals and pets

    Image of multiple pets sitting next to each other with a pink background.

    People who are mean, or intentionally hurt animals, are bad people. That’s a dead giveaway. Because animals are often innocent, harmless, and very appreciative of human attention and interaction.

    People who take advantage of animals’ inability to defend themselves are horrible human beings. They might end up being psychopaths who lack any sort of conscience and empathy.

    If you see someone mistreating animals, then make sure to avoid that person and to report the incident to the animal protection. Such individuals can’t be allowed to go through with their disgusting behavior unpunished.

  5. They denigrate your fears and doubts

    Part of being human means having your personal fears and doubts. No matter how physically or mentally though you are, all of us has their insecurities.

    Someone who belittles your fears is either lying, because everyone, no matter how tough you are, experiences fear from time to time, or because they are too dumb and thus possess not an ounce of introspective ability. Or, perhaps that person has no fears because they’ve got a mental disorder such as psychopathy and lack empathy and a conscience in general.

  6. They use humor as an excuse to insult you

     

    Image of a cat with a smile and teeth painted on a piece of paper in front of the cat's face.

    People who use humor to insult you might be a sign of trying to mask their hidden attempts to belittle or hurt you while having the excuse of “just joking.” This can mean that they know very well that what they’re doing is wrong, and are consequently searching for an excuse if they get caught and called out on their behavior.

    Of course, you should make sure that the person in question isn’t just playfully teasing you without bad intentions. Because teasing could actually be a way of showing affection to someone.

  7. They are lying all the time

    Those who lie all the time are quite obviously not trustworthy. Because if you have nothing to hide, then why would you lie or even consider lying?

    Of course, sometimes it is almost necessary to tell a white lie to prevent conflict and to remain in good standing with others, as few people can handle the honest, unsalted truth.

    But, the main difference between a straight-up lie and a white lie is the intention. Someone who lies all the time does so in order for their own personal advantage or because they’ve got something to hide. People telling the occasional white lie do so in order to prevent hurting others’ feelings. Which is a big difference, even though on the surface both seem like ordinary liars.

    Image of the word “warning!” written in white on a red plate.

  8. They make racist and sexist comments

    People who are racist and sexist are bigoted and show how distasteful they are by making rude comments.

    People who hate other people just because they have a different skin color, or are rude to the other sex because they deem themselves to be above them, are people to avoid since they are not pleasant to be around. Never mind the fact that we are all humans who are deserving of love and respect.

    It’s very possible that they are suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. In which case, you shouldn’t let them drag themselves down along with you.

  9. They manipulate other people

    Individuals who are manipulative do so for their own advantage. For their own personal gain. Because why would you bother manipulating other people to do your bidding if there’s nothing in it for you?

    An example of manipulating you can be through the employment of gaslighting behavior, which can make people doubt their own sanity.

    There are those who are constantly looking to twist you into places that benefits them. Even though they might make it seem like it’s in your own best interest, and they might possess a superficial charm, it’s best to stay clear of them because they’re looking to misuse you.

  10. They don’t have feelings of guilt and remorse

     

    Picture of a man looking menacing in front of him with a laptop beside him.

    There’s a name for people who don’t feel guilt and lack any sense or remorse, and that’s psychopathy.

    That’s not to say that every psychopath is out there to actively hurt you. As a matter of fact, you’ve probably met multiple of them without ever noticing. But, if people lack any remorse or guilt for doing something terrible, then consider staying far away from that person, because you could be next.

    Because without the guilt that comes with our conscience and empathy, why would we even stop trying to get what we want even if it hurts other people?

  11. They lack empathy

    Empathy is a basic human emotion, except for those with mental health disorders.

    Now, a few things need to be said. It is normal that some people are more empathetic than others, as people are different and have their own unique personalities.

    But beware of those who lack any form of empathy, as you never know what they might do to you and others because their brain does not induce the necessary amount of inhibition. And inhibition is an important function of our brain that regulates our behavior in a sense.

    And while our brain normally stimulates our behavior, perhaps its even more critical function is inhibiting our emotions and certain behavior in order to make us act in the world appropriately and to protect ourselves and others.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What are bad intentions

Bad intentions can be described as doing harmful things to other individuals on purpose.

Examples of ill purposes can vary greatly, since these wrongdoings can be physical, but also emotional/psychological.

Synonyms for people with bad intentions

A person with bad intentions has multiple synonyms, such as:

  • Malicious
  • Malevolent
  • Evil
  • Nefarious
  • Ill willed

While the wording is different, the meaning is by and large the same. This means that those word will often be used interchangeably.

Final note

Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

There are a lot of possible warning signs someone has bad intentions. But it is up to us to look for these signs and to stay away from toxic people. Understanding when someone has bad intentions is a great start, and is a requirement in order to protect yourself from such folks.

Sometimes, signs of a toxic person can be hard to notice because they can be superb at hiding them. But, with practice and the necessary amount of accompanied failure, most of us can get better at noticing the dead giveaway signs.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of good people out there as well! Not everyone is out there actively searching to hurt other people.

At times, removing people from your life is your only choice and the only way to stay away from toxic people.

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