Have you ever been around when someone is called a hypocrite? What sort of images does that character trait bring to mind? Hypocritical people generally say one thing while doing something opposite.
Hypocritical people exist all over the world. Unfortunately, these people are often unavoidable in our daily lives. Confronting hypocrites requires a significant level of patience. It’s an unfortunate truth that hypocrisy is not uncommon. We encounter these people routinely in our everyday lives. Even sadder, they may be among our friends.
There are times when hypocritical people are unavoidable. We might work with such people or even be related to these people. We need to avoid such people to protect ourselves from any harm. Let’s look at some of the red flags a hypocrite displays that reveal their authentic selves.
Why Is Hypocrisy Such A Toxic Emotion?
Hypocrisy is a very common character flaw that disempowers people.
People generally have this need to see the world as a safe and fair place. It’s a dangerous thought process. If I’m a good person, only good things happen to me. Bad things happen to bad people. Therefore, the hypocrite paints himself (or herself) in a favorable light at all costs.
Hypocritical people make us feel like the social contract of fairness is continually being disrupted. This lack of justice often happens in relationships. When there’s a double standard, your partner can say or do things that you can’t do.
Hypocrisy is an example of injustice. Now, people don’t like to use the term that’s not fair, because it sounds almost childish. But being hypocritical strikes at the root of what it means to live in a decent society.
An Example Of Social Hypocrisy
Social hypocrisy is when we profess a specific value, yet our actions fall short. Let’s take the example of unwanted attention. This attention doesn’t have to be romantic. It could just be considered unwanted attention.
Imagine someone comes home from the bar and says that somebody gave them all this unwanted attention. Most people hearing this will assume that the person was verbally assaulted. But the reality was perhaps simply that some man or woman came up to you and asked you something. Maybe it was to dance, or perhaps they wanted to get a phone number.
Is it now not okay to want to talk to another person? The reason this behavior is hypocritical is that if this man or woman were attractive, then it wouldn’t be unwanted attention. This example, of course, assumes that the person approaching is doing so respectfully. They are not entering too close to your personal space. If they’re not threatening or rude, then whatever happened to “we’ll see if this person is engaging?”
It’s because the person is not up to a person’s standard that they then say it’s unwanted (romantic) attention. Unless they’re going to use that term with every single person they encounter, they’re hypocritical. Because if it’s the right person (who happens to be charismatic or attractive), then being chatty is all of a sudden okay.
Hypocrisy truly is such an ugly trait. People should keep an eye on how they are conducting themselves as it can damage other people. Hypocrisy has a disempowering effect on the person who assumes that they are a victim. They make it sound like it was a horrible monster that approached them.
What Are The Characteristics Of Hypocritical People?
Hypocritical people tell you you’re doing all the wrong things and yet continue to do them themselves. Just because you’re prone to making mistakes doesn’t make you a hypocrite. If you plan on doing something wrong, and you permit yourself to do something unjust, then you are venturing down the path of a hypocritical life.
Contrast this with someone who knows what’s wrong and strives to live a moral life. When you are in the wrong and aim to rectify what you’ve done, you’re not hypocritical. You’re dealing with your actions like an adult who knows what’s wrong and what’s right.
5 Red Flags That Warn You Of A Hypocrite In Your Life
Here are five of the primary red flags that will help you pinpoint the presence of a hypocrite in your presence.
1. Unpredictable Behaviors
Hypocrites are erratic, though that doesn’t mean that all inconsistent people are hypocrites. A hypocrite’s inconsistency can be measured beyond just being unreliable.
We can see it in their actions that don’t synchronize with their words. If they don’t end up getting what they want, they may end up playing the victim.
These types of people will act as if they are the perfect ones who have been wronged. Even though they create a scene through their mistakes, they will condemn others to project it on them.
2. High Level of Superiority
People who act contrary to how they say they behave often discriminate against others. They operate and speak as they want because they think no one is superior to them. People who say one thing and do another often feel that they are above the law.
Hypocritical people will often ignore the prevailing norms of society. They live contrary to their own rules, but others must abide by the standards they profess to practice.
Ironically, this behavior arises from their lack of confidence in themselves. Hypocritical people cover this flaw by tending to act bossy around others.
Continuously talking bad about others or gossiping is a behavior typical of hypocritical people. They are eager to speak critically about other people’s flaws. Hypocrites often gossip to drag other people down. They do this to make them feel superior to others.
As they are unpredictable, they will say things in a certain way but act in another way. They will break promises, especially if we do not meet their desires.
4. Helping When Only It Helps Them
Hypocrites like to help others, but they may only help if they can gain some benefit for themselves. They will not help someone sincerely. They will usually expect ‘rewards’ from their deeds.
A sinister aspect of this phenomenon is when the hypocritical person feels superior to specific groups of people. If a person thinks that they are superior to particular groups, they should be honest enough to admit it. Hypocritical people can often use bigoted and prejudiced language towards others in a hurtful manner.
And if you’re willing to admit what’s going on in front of your eyes, then why would you accept it from that person? If we recognize that this type of mindset is both hypocritical and not healthy, why would we engage in it?
5. Attention Seeker
No one is ever looking for attention more than hypocrites. They hold tight to the principle of egocentrism. They thus believe everyone should be centered upon themselves.
When they achieve something, they will ensure that the entire world must know about it. How annoying it is when we meet such people, right? They are so stubborn that they forget that this world has more than just them in it.
Individuals steeped in hypocrisy hardly ever feel guilty. Whatever they have done, they will never feel remorseful about it. Instead, they will pass on their errors to others. An assistant to a hypocritical person should be prepared to shoulder much of that person’s blame.
How To Cultivate Non-Hypocritical Traits
All this talk of hypocrisy is probably fairly depressing. Let’s look at how we can spin this negative trait upside-down. Namely, how would we cultivate non-hypocrisy in ourselves and encourage it in others?
1. Try to be there for your friends and family.
It’s always great being around someone you can depend on. That would mean being there for others in their time of need, even at inconvenient times. It’s great to have likable people in your social circle who will unconditionally listen to you.
2. Be considerate of others.
One trait of hypocritical folk is that they don’t consider the feelings or perceptions of others. Try instead to cultivate polite behaviors. This will help you win friends by communicating in a respectful and forthright way.
3. Work on being a more attractive person.
Being thought of as an attractive person doesn’t necessarily mean you have all positive character traits. Indeed, you can work on being kind or having a sense of humor. But merely becoming friendlier to others or being around other friends makes you a more attractive person overall.
4. Become a better person every day.
We can chisel away the rougher parts of our personality by working on them every day. You don’t have to be a self-help guru to reap the benefits of self-improvement. Take time to listen to your inner teacher as you make time to learn something new every day.
Final Thoughts: It’s Best To Avoid Hypocritical People
All the positive traits that you can work on can help you in life. If nothing else, it will at least save you from becoming a hypocritical person. People who have hypocritical traits tend to attract an unsavory network of peers.
Try to avoid people who show signs of being hypocritical. They will only be toxic in your life and knock you down to their level. Stay wise, and don’t let yourself be their victim.