Cruel people are good at fooling those around them until the time is right. They’ll make you think that they are a kind-hearted, good person and then flip on you in an instant. When you’re caught unaware like this, it can be a shock that the person you thought you knew could be so toxic.

Cruelty can come from anyone, including parents, siblings, co-workers, friends, and romantic partners. They’ll likely be skilled at hiding their intentions until they’re ready for you to see their harmful ways. However, even if they try to hide it, there will be signs of who they are.

If you know what to look for, you’ll see subtle signs of their true intentions right from the start. Pay attention to how people make you feel daily, and if there’s any fleeting sense that something is off, don’t ignore it. It’s easy to brush away reg flags in the early stages of knowing someone, but these signs can make a difference.

Fifteen Behaviors a Cruel Person Displays Before Revealing Their Intentions

Learning the behaviors that an evil person displays before revealing their intentions protects you in the long run. It keeps you one step ahead of the cruel person, allowing you to prepare for what they intend. You can escape the toxic situation before the harmful behavior intensifies.


1. Cruel People Don’t Respect Boundaries

It’s a bad sign when people are persistent even after being told no. You might not recognize it as a toxic behavior at first, but not respecting simple boundaries signifies a much deeper issue. As you get closer to the person, they’ll continue ignoring your limitations, and their behavior will become more severe.

Not respecting boundaries is a sign that someone wants to gain power and control over you. They might use guilt or coercion to convince you to meet their needs or desires. It’ll be subtle in the beginning but

2. They Enjoy the Misfortune of Others

An evil person might smile or feel excited when they see other people experience misfortune. Whether they see disaster right in from of them or on the news, they’ll enjoy hearing all about it. It’s natural for people to be curious, but finding joy in misfortune is a toxic trait.

For some reason unknown to the rest of us, these people bask in the bad feelings of others. Even if they experienced a similar unfortunate situation in the past, they seem to forget about it for the time.

Unfortunately, they may eventually take it a step further and start creating bad situations for you and the people around you. They want to enjoy the moments of misfortunate that they brought on. If you can recognize them for who they are early on, you can prevent these malicious attacks from occurring at all.

3. You Receive Warnings from Others

If someone’s friends and family give you warnings about them, it’s a huge red flag. They might not say it directly, but they’ll issue warnings in the form of stories about their lives. If they tell you they went through a hard time but dismissed the issues or make excuses. It’s a warning sign of impending disaster.

Friends and family don’t want to speak ill of the person, but they’ll give you clues. It’s a way of letting you know that something is wrong and you must do something about it. Other times, friends and family will come right out and tell you that the person isn’t healthy.

Either way, don’t ignore the warnings from those closest to the person. However, don’t take a lack of warning from friends and family as a good sign, either. Sometimes the people closest to them will hide things or lie to help them out.

4. Cruel People Don’t Reveal Who They Are

A person with bad intentions won’t reveal their true self, and it’ll leave you feeling confused. One day they’ll portray kindness, love, and a caring heart. The next day they might be harsh, inconsiderate, or distant without reason.

These people will also be who they need to be when they want to get something. Evil people might change who they are, depending on where they are and who they are with. Cruel people switch their behaviors and hide themselves to play games with others. They do it to assert dominance over you and maintain control.

5. They Show Signs of Manipulation

The longer you know someone with bad intentions, the more manipulation you’ll experience from them. It’ll be subtle at first, but their toxic behaviors will gradually worsen. They manipulate the people in their lives to reel them in and get what they want.

Manipulative people are comfortable lying and taking advantage to obtain their desires. They’ll also do kind things for others, but it’ll come with a high price that no one knew about until later.

6. They are Rude and Belittle People

As you get to know the person, they’ll become ruder as they get comfortable. They’ll order people around, say rude things, and display unfriendly behaviors toward others. Even worse, they can’t seem to stop belittling people.

Belittling someone is a form of manipulation, but it’s also rude behavior. They’ll say hurtful things about someone’s body, interests, hopes, goals, hobbies, home, friends, and dreams. As they say these things, they want to change your opinion of yourself and make you question your decisions.

7. They Never Apologize

An evil person doesn’t apologize to others, even when they should. They won’t own up to their mistakes, and they believe it’s not their fault. These people create elaborate lies to avoid admitting guilt for anything they’ve done.

An evil person also cannot show remorse. They aren’t sorry for what they’ve done and how they’ve made you feel. Plus, if you mention that they didn’t apologize, they’ll deflect or try to make you feel like it was your fault.


8. Cruel People Are Controlling

Evil people feel like they must control the people in their lives. They’ll feel uncomfortable and powerless if they can’t manage even one aspect of your life. It’ll seem like they don’t trust you to do anything without them knowing or looking over your shoulder.

The early signs of controlling behavior are hard to see because they often come off as polite and concise. However, they’ll gradually start controlling everything as they get more comfortable.

9. They Don’t Like to Help Others

When people know that they shouldn’t bother asking someone for help, it’s a sign of a cruel person. Even when they can help someone, they won’t do it.

If you see them in public, they won’t hold the door for others or help someone pick up a stack of dropped papers. The usual things that most people do to help others will be far from the toxic person’s mind. However, if they ever decide to help someone, it comes at an intense price.

10. Cruel People Are Habitual Liars

Everyone lies sometimes, but habitual liars can’t seem to stop. They’ll lie about things that don’t matter at all, and they’ll lie about important things. These people lie pathologically, and they often don’t even realize that they do it.

They use lies to make them seem more substantial, brighter, and better than others. Plus, they often lie about their accomplishments and experiences, but they also lie about the people in their lives.

11. They Get Defensive Easily

When someone gets defensive or denies something, it’s their attempt at making the situation false. If someone offers a suggestion or gives constructive criticism, they’ll twist it all around. The person might turn it into a joke, but they also might turn it into an offensive statement that doesn’t make sense.

More subtle signs of defensiveness are when they pout, change the subject, or withdraw. They also sometimes act passive-aggressive when they get defensive.

12. Cruel People Try to Ruin People’s Happiness

When someone shares something exciting or joyful, a cruel person will say something to ruin the moment. They have a way of turning any positive news into negative because they are secretly envious. Evil people don’t want those around them to be happy.

Likewise, if they see people having a good time, they might find a way to ruin it. Whether they join and act inappropriate, or they put an end to the experience altogether, they’ll ruin everyone’s happiness.

13. They Throw Everything Out of Proportion

Toxic people turn everything into a big deal, and everyone will hear about it. They speak in absolutes, frequently using “always” and “never.” Their absolutes are rarely accurate, but they use them to incite an argument or debate.

These people want you to react, so they throw it out of proportion so that you’ll defend yourself or what you said. If you don’t respond, they’ll use it as a way to prove their point.

14. They Don’t Take Responsibility for Their Emotions

Cruel people blame their emotions on everyone around them. They project their feelings onto others because they aren’t strong enough to deal with it alone. Deflecting responsibility for their feelings is a defense mechanism that helps them cope with their problems.

15. Cruel People Are Judgmental

An evil person will exhibit signs of being judgmental early on. They might make offhanded comments about someone’s appearance, and they’ll point out flaws about everyone and everything. Evil people behave like no one is better than them.

Plus, they’ll secretly tell you their judgmental opinion of others that you both know. They try to draw you in and get you to agree with them or give your own negative opinion. Avoid falling into the trap because you don’t know their true intentions.


Final Thoughts on Behaviors a Cruel Person Displays Before Revealing Their Intentions

Knowing these behaviors that a cruel person displays before revealing their intentions can help protect you. Having people with bad choices in your life is a risky situation, and it’s best if you know who they are.

Remember to look for these signs when meeting someone new, whether at work or in your friend group. They can help you spot a cruel person early on, allowing you to stay one step ahead.