“If you describe someone as superficial, you disapproved of them because they do not think deeply, and have little understanding of anything serious or important.” ~ Collins Dictionary
What does a superficial person look like?
It’s rather funny that nearly every definition of superficial or can be applied to a person. Let’s look at the definitions of superficial from Dictionary.com (emphases are from the dictionary):
- “being at, on, or near the surface: a superficial wound.”
This definition may be describing a wound, but superficial people are all about surface impressions.
- “of or relating to the surface: superficial measurement.”
When “sizing up” a superficial person, you won’t see much depth.
- “external or outward: a superficial resemblance.”
Many-a superstitious person are infatuated with their outward appearance.
- “concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious: a superficial observer.”
See the pattern yet?
- “shallow; not profound or thorough: a superficial writer.”
- “apparent rather than real.”
In summary, superficial people focus outward; lack emotional and intellectual depth, and are perceptually shallow.
Does this sound like a person you want to hang out with?
(P.S., We could’ve also included “displaying a lack of thoroughness or care,” “only outwardly apparent rather than genuine or actual,” “of little substance or significance,” and “lacking originality.”)
What a superficial person isn’t: reliable, empathetic, altruistic, deep.
In short, these aren’t the folks you want to call at 2 in the morning when there’s an emergency. Should you ever need to do so, here’s what you can expect to discover.
Here are some traits that a superficial person might possess:
1. No “inner compass.”
You know how most decent people remain grounded in certain beliefs and principles? How these tenets set a foundation for their life choices?
Yeah, these people don’t have that.
No belief or opinion can’t be altered or rendered mute. While this may sound harsh, superficial people are not grounded in anything.
Why? Because that would require a depth of thought – a shakeup of one’s attitudes and behaviors. Shallow individuals can’t be bothered with that.
2. An overemphasis on physical attraction.
There’s nothing wrong with admiring someone’s physical allure. There is something wrong with placing physical attraction as the top criteria.
Superficial people actually pride themselves on hanging out and hooking up only with individuals who meet their physical “standards.”
3. Zero self-awareness.
Unless it has to do with their appearance, these folks lack the ability for introspection or self-observation entirely. They’re either unwilling or unable to examine feelings, thoughts, and behaviors with any attention.
The only time these people will alter their behavior is if someone of “high status” admonishes them in some way. And any change won’t last long.
4. Overly materialistic.
The word materialistic, which assuredly applies to the superficial, is defined by the Oxford English Dictionaries as:
“Excessively concerned with physical comforts or the acquisition of wealth and material possessions, rather than with spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.”
Speaking of which…
5. A striking absence of intelligence
We’re not talking about I.Q. scores (though one could make an argument here). No, we’re referring to self-intelligence; more specifically, a basic understanding of things like the social contract, manners, grace, gratitude, and others.
Exhibit ‘A’: Kim Kardashian.
6. Overly judgmental
We’ve all held ignorant beliefs about a person or group of people at one time or another. The difference between rational, non-judgmental people and the superficial is that the former doesn’t habitually judge others.
Superficial people are unabashedly judgmental. They will form negative opinions about someone without any evidence.
7. Living to gossip
A conversation with someone superficially-inclined will probably involve a fair amount of gossip and empty talk. Combine their insatiable need to spout gossip with a stunning lack of self-awareness, and you’ve got a one-sided conversation from hell.
Our advice? Say nothing and walk away.
8.Relishing the center of attention
Ever notice how some celebrities make it a point of acting asinine when the spotlight is redirected? That’s because they’re borderline narcissistic about being the center of attention.
The same goes for our superficial friends. They’re seemingly unable to grasp the difference between good and bad attention. As such, they’ll overreact, spread rumors, or something else. Whatever it takes to get people talking about them again.
9. Social media’ing everyone to death
“Oh, look, a status update…and there’s another.”
“An album full of selfies?”
“Huh, photoshopped sushi…”
Okay, you get the idea. Do yourself a favor and don’t ‘friend’ someone who’s about as deep as a puddle.
10. An extreme sense of entitlement
Healthy, responsible adults have all discovered a fundamental truth about life: the world gives us nothing. Either we work for something or go without, period.
Superficial people possess a sense of entitlement that nearly dwarfs their ego (no small task.) They “deserve” nice clothes, the best house, a new car, and the best-looking partner, just for being them.