Most people have already done things that they dorepentance. Nobody is perfect and making mistakes is part of life. Sometimes these regrets can make you wonder if you're a bad person. It can be a distressing thought, but it's not necessarily uncommon. Many people question the things they've done and what those actions say about them.
The good news is that reviewing your actions often means you care about treating other people in a positive way. It also shows that you have the self-reflection, insight and awareness to make a change when you are not happy with who you are or who you were in the past.
Wondering if you're a bad person isn't always a fleeting thought or an existential question; It could be a sign of a mental illness, such asDepression. When this happens, it's important to know the symptoms to look out for so you can seek help.
This article examines what to do when you think, "I'm a bad person." It covers some signs that you might have a problem and what you can do about it.
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This episode is hosted by Editor-in-Chief and Therapist Amy Morin, LCSWPodcast The Verywell Mind, starring bestselling author Daniel Pink, explains how to deal with regret. Click below to listen now.
What does "bad person" mean?
Labeling yourself a "bad person" is usually a judgment that comes from your value system. These values come from the beliefs you have formed through your education and experiences, but they are also heavily influenced by the culture in which you live. Expectations of what it means to be "good" can vary depending on the society and culture you live in.
There is no single, simple definition of what it means to be a "bad person". It's a very subjective judgment and no matter how you define it, there will be people who think differently than you do. It often also depends on factors such as your values, belief systems and religious background.
A person might define a "bad person" as someone who engages in harmful or destructive behavior. Another person might define a bad person as someone who doesn't care about others, no matter what kind of action they take.
The dark factor of personality
According to some researchers, there is a specific pattern of traits that make up what is known as the "dark personality factor" or D-factor. People who exhibit these traits often engage in acts that harm others. Such properties include:
These traits share the connection that everyone is driven to pursue their own interests at the expense of other people's happiness, health, and well-being. People with these traits ignore others and will do anything to satisfy their wants and needs at other people's expense.
Signs that you might have a problem
There are some pointers you might want to consider about how you treat others. Some signs you may need to evaluate your stocks are:
Lack of apologies or regrets.
Every now and then, hurt feelings surface. It's normal to become agitated, act rashly, or say things that hurt others in the heat of the moment. How you respond to these actions can say a lot about who you are as a person.
When you feel remorse for hurting someone and you canapologizeBecause of the pain you caused, it means that you care about the feelings of those around you. It also means that you are willing to reflect on your actions and make amends if necessary.
But if you're unwilling to do these things or have a hard time admitting that you've hurt other people, it could be a sign of a deeper problem.
Behaviors related to yourself
There's nothing wrong with putting your own needs and interests first sometimes. Taking care of yourself is crucial, and neglecting your needs can lead to dissatisfaction and malaise.
However, if you are always thinking of yourself and your own needs and never considering the feelings or well-being of others, then this could indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. It is especially damaging when you neglect the needs of those close to you, such as your spouse, children, other family members, or friends.
Empathyit's an important skill that will help you understand other people and share your pain. A lack of empathy for other people could mean that you need to take steps to change the way you interact with others.
Manipulation, exploitation and dishonesty
Always taking advantage of others or using them for your own gain is a definite sign of a problem. Putting others down and interferingmanipulationit is often a form of manipulation and exploitation.
If you constantly tell lies, no matter how big or small, it could indicate that you need to reconsider your behavior and do something about it. People who engage in exploitative or destructive behavior usually have no problem lying to get what they want. While everyone lies from time to time, if it's chronic, pervasive, and doesn't trigger feelings of remorse or regret, it could indicate a more serious problem.
Certain patterns of behavior can be harmful and destructive. Some of these behaviors include self-centeredness, dishonesty, manipulation, and exploitation.
Causes to consider
The question of why people do bad things has been a subject of study among religious scholars, philosophers, psychologists, and physicians for thousands of years. The answers to the questions are diverse, from biology to parenting and social pressures.
If you sometimes feel like a bad person, it might be helpful to consider some of the factors that might be contributing to those feelings. Some influences might include your personality, upbringing, life experiences and environment.
DefinitelyPersonality traitsit can sometimes affect how you feel about yourself. For example, neuroticism is one of the core dimensions of personality. People with high levels of this trait sometimes tend to feel negative about themselves, others, and the world in general.
People with high D-factor traits, such as self-centeredness,neuroticism, and sadism also tend to have a strong disregard for the welfare of others.
Your education and life experience also play an important role in your perception of your own actions. His early life experiences included observing caregivers and other adults and how his behavior and the value systems he was raised in served as models for how he feels and acts today.
Of course, other experiences and influences also play a role. Peers, social pressures, culture, media influences, and your individual experiences have also shaped your relationships with others in your life.
Negative experiences can contribute to a negative overall outlook on life and ultimately affect the way you interact with others.
Talking to a psychologist can be helpful in unraveling and better understanding some of these influences. Working with a therapist allows you to process your experiences, examine how they are influencing your current behavior, and develop new skills that will help you interact with others in healthier and more meaningful ways.
Some mental illnesses likeantisocial personality disorder,narcissistic personality disorder, oborderline personality disorderit can lead to problems with empathy, relationship, behavior, and self-perception. If you have any of these conditions, a diagnosis is an important first step. Treatments may include medication and therapy to change thinking patterns and social interactions.
However, it's also important to realize that feeling like a bad person could also be an indicator of depression or anxiety.
people who are depressedYou may have symptoms like guilt and low self-esteem. In some cases, people with this condition may feel fundamentally bad or think the world would be better off without them.
It's important to realize that feeling like a bad person can sometimes be a symptom of depression. Sometimes this feeling is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a feeling of discouragement, decreased interest in activities, loss of desire, tiredness,irritability, social withdrawal and lack of motivation. In this case, it is important to get help.
Talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. They can assess your symptoms, make a diagnosis, and recommend treatments that may alleviate your symptoms.
Personality traits and past experiences can play a role in how you feel about yourself and others. In some cases, feeling like a bad person can be a symptom of depression or anxiety.
Steps you can take to feel better
Feeling like a bad person can be distressing. In addition to talking to a mental health professional, there are steps you can take to become and feel better about who you are and how you relate to others.
- Treat others with respect: Work on showing kindness and respect to others.be kindfor people it can be a good starting point. Being kind to others can also lead to more positive social interactions, which can be helpful in forming new social relationships.
- Find ways to help others: Research has found that helping other people generally makes them feel better.You can start doing good deeds in your daily life or volunteer with an organization that interests you.
- practice forgiveness: Being able to forgive isn't always easy, but research shows it can have many mental health benefits. People who can forgive experience more positive emotions, less stress, better relationships with others, and a sense of greater purpose in life.Show compassion by learning howforgive yourself. It can be a positive first step towards improving how you feel about yourself.
- Think positive: take care of amore optimistic mindsetit can help you interact more positively with other people and feel better about yourself. Be aware of the types of negative thoughts that are contributing to your feeling bad, and find ways to replace those thought patterns with more positive ones.
It's also important to remember that labeling yourself and others can have negative consequences. In particular, the belief that such traits are innate and unchangeable can limit your ability and motivation to make positive changes in your life.
Even if you have times when you feel negative about yourself, avoid labeling yourself as a "bad person". Everyone makes mistakes, has bad days, and has things they wish they could change. Show compassion.
Remember that even if you make mistakes, you are not defined by them. There are things you can do to change something and improve the way you feel about yourself or others.
how to get help
If you're struggling with feeling like a bad person, there are steps you can take to get help and make a change in your life. Talk to your doctor or psychologist first. They can assess your symptoms and help determine if there might be an underlying issue, such as B. A personality disorder that contributes to behaviors that make you feel bad about yourself and your interactions with others.
When feeling like a bad person is accompanied by other mental health symptoms related to depression or anxiety, it's important to seek help. A psychiatrist can recommend treatments, such as psychotherapy and medication, that can alleviate and improve your symptoms.self-awareness.
It is not uncommon for people to feel that they are or are badrepentanceyour actions from time to time. The definition of what constitutes a "bad person" is subjective. Certain personality trait patterns, including narcissism, sadism, and self-centeredness, are often associated with disregard for the well-being of others.
Personality and experiences can play a role, but mental illness can also affect the way people think about themselves.
A Word from Verywell
Feeling like a bad person often indicates that you are capable of doing just that.Empathy,self-awarenessand I'm sorry. If you've done things that you regret or that made you feel like a bad person, there are steps you can take to change your behavior, make amends, and improve the way you feel about yourself.
Engaging in behavior that exploits or ignores others is harmful and must be addressed. If you suspect your actions are hurting your relationships, talking to a therapist is a good place to start.
However, if these feelings are accompanied by other symptoms, such as changes in mood, motivation, and energy levels, it's important to talk to your doctor. In such cases, it could be a sign of depression. Depression can make it difficult to live your life to the fullest, but there are effective treatments that can improve your outlook and well-being.
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, contactSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) National Hotline.em1-800-662-4357Information about support and treatment centers in your area.
For more mental health resources, visit ourNational Database of Support Lines.
Some mental health conditions such as antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder can lead to problems with empathy, relationships, behaviors, and self-perceptions. If you have one of these conditions, getting a diagnosis is an important first step.Can someone do bad things and still be a good person? ›
Good people are honest, trustworthy, fair-minded, and empathetic towards others. Good people accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions and strive to improve their behavior throughout their lifetime. Good people sometimes do bad things in the workplace. That does not mean they are bad people.What is it called when someone tries to make you look bad? ›
Gaslighting is one of those terms that seems to be thrown around a lot. Many people mistake gaslighting for other forms of psychological aggression and abuse, such as bullying and exclusion. So what is gaslighting? At its core, gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation.What is it called when you feel bad for a person? ›
Sympathy: “I'm sorry you're in pain.”
Sympathy is the feeling that you care about, are sorry for or have pity for someone's grief, misfortune or loss. Although you express sadness, you distinctly keep your own emotions separate from what the other person is feeling.
OCD centered on a fear of being a bad person can be debilitating, but like any theme of OCD it is highly treatable. By doing exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy with a trained therapist through NOCD, people can find lasting relief from the distress that comes from any theme of OCD.How do you know if you're not a good person? ›
- Think you deserve someone's attention or affection just because you're nice to them.
- You try to convince others why you acted in a way instead of apologizing.
- You are close to someone for the benefit he can provide you.
- You are negative about others' interests because you “think is the best for them.”
There is nothing that says bad things won't happen. There is however, a promise that God will never leave us nor forsake us. That he will be with us, even when bad things are happening.Why do I do things I know are wrong? ›
Our brains are wired to be reward-based and our 'reward' is the feeling of comfort that, in turn, triggers a release of dopamine or the 'feel good' hormone. This causes us to crave more of it and so we associate this good feeling with the bad habit.What is it called when someone makes you feel worthless? ›
Toxic shame is a feeling that you're worthless. It happens when other people treat you poorly and you turn that treatment into a belief about yourself. You're most vulnerable to this type of poor treatment during childhood or as a teen.What is it called when you look at someone like they re crazy? ›
“It's making someone seem or feel unstable, irrational and not credible, making them feel like what they're seeing or experiencing isn't real, that they're making it up, that no one else will believe them.” Gaslighting involves an imbalance of power between the abuser and the person they're gaslighting.
Control freaks tend to have a psychological need to be in charge of things and people - even circumstances that cannot be controlled. The need for control, in extreme cases, stem from deeper psychological issues such as obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders or personality disorders.What is maladaptive guilt? ›
Maladaptive guilt emerges when someone feels guilty for events or behavior outside of their control. A person might feel guilty that they didn't check in on a friend struggling with their mental health. But, if this friend kept insisting everything was fine, this person probably had no way of knowing their real truth.What are the signs of guilt in emotions? ›
- Being sensitive to the effects of every action.
- Overwhelmed by possibly making the “wrong” decision.
- Low self-esteem.
- Putting others before yourself until it's detrimental.
- Avoiding your full range of emotions.
Differentiating between sympathy and empathy
The Oxford English Dictionary defines sympathy as “feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune” and empathy as the “ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”
People often feel guilt and shame, and 'beat themselves up' about what they're thinking – but intrusive thoughts do not make you a bad person, or a criminal. In this way, intrusive thoughts can have a detrimental impact on our mental health.Can OCD make you think you're a bad person? ›
Many people with OCD experience extreme guilt. Certain symptoms can trigger this feeling, such as having sexual or violent thoughts or believing that you are responsible for causing harm to others.Do I have Traumatophobia? ›
When fears and stress trigger from injury situations, you may have traumatophobia. The fears are deep-rooted in worries of another injury. As you suffer from traumatophobia, you may relive your injury as anxiety builds of going through the same pain and trauma.How do I know if I'm a nice person? ›
"These include positive intentions, putting the brakes on anger, restraining addictive impulses, extending compassion and helpfulness to others, grit and determination, lovingness, courage, generosity, patience, and a willingness to see and even name the truth whatever it is," Hanson wrote on Psychology Today in 2013.How do I get back to being a good person? ›
- Think Before You Speak. Words can carry a lot of weight. ...
- Embrace Change. ...
- Be Grateful. ...
- Do the Right Thing. ...
- Use Your Strengths. ...
- Address Your Weaknesses. ...
- Take Care of Yourself. ...
- Be a Hero.
“Goodness is expressed through lovingkindness, generosity of spirit and deed, and the thoughtful consideration of others. It can be as simple as offering to let someone ahead of you in line and as complicated as making yearslong sacrifices of your freedom because someone you love needs your help.
He hurts when we hurt. The psalmist said, “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13-14). The truth that God hurts when we hurt found full expression when it was revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.Is it OK to question God? ›
It's not a sin to question God — search the scriptures if you doubt. I believe God wants us to question His plan and His ways. He settles our doubts by giving us the belief that His ways are not always our ways.Where is God when bad things happen to people? ›
And, it means that God never leaves or looks away, no matter how horrible something may be in our human existence. Where is God when bad things happen? God is right there with us.What is it called when you think everything is wrong? ›
Illness anxiety disorder, sometimes called hypochondriasis or health anxiety, is worrying excessively that you are or may become seriously ill.Is it normal to feel like something is wrong? ›
If you don't have a health condition that causes feelings of anxiety or panic, the sense that something bad is about to happen could be a warning sign. In short, a feeling of impending doom should be taken seriously. You need to see a doctor if: you feel that something bad is happening.Why do I always feel like something is about to go wrong? ›
Anxiety about something bad happening.
It can start as stress. Over time and left unchecked, stress can turn into anxiety or anxiety disorder. Anxiety can also be triggered by trauma. This can be recent, like an accident or shock bereavement.
But otherwise “good” individuals engage in bad behavior as well, often through fairly “normal” psychological processes. This is a conclusion that we're too quick to overlook in daily life, and it's one that's worth bearing in mind even outside the hallowed confines of our nation's capital.Can things be good and bad at the same time? ›
Ambivalent means you have positive and negative feelings about it. Double-edged means has good consequences and bad consequences.Can too much of a good thing become a bad thing? ›
“It's not uncommon for us to think more of a good thing is always better,” says Kelly Nohl, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Henry Ford Health. “But you can get too much of a good thing. Anything that's good for you also has the potential to be harmful.”How do you change from a bad person to a good person? ›
- Compliment Yourself. Every morning before you go on with your daily routine, take a couple of minutes to give yourself a compliment. ...
- Don't Make Excuses. ...
- Let Go of Anger. ...
- Practice Forgiveness. ...
- Be Honest and Direct. ...
- Be Helpful. ...
- Listen to Others. ...
- Act Locally.