11 Characteristics of a Superficial or Shallow Person

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Are you concerned that someone you just met, a close friend or perhaps even the partner lying next to you in bed, is a superficial person?

You are not alone in these concerns… and you are not crazy to have them.

There are millions of superficial people wandering around this world of ours. So it is important to provide people with the insight they need to know how to spot these toxic character traits in another human being. 

It will save you from wasting precious time and energy on a relationship that may not be worth it.

You also may be reading this article because you are afraid that you might be the superficial one… from the way you communicate to the body language you give off, you may also possess some of the traits of a superficial person.

It is a good thing, and a testament to your character, that you would pause for moments of introspection in your life to ensure that you don't make the mistake of thinking that everything is just fine… when in reality, it is not. When there are parts of your personality that need to be cleaned up.

As you read along about the ways to identify a superficial person, you might see things that remind you of yourself. That’s ok.

But, if it happens repeatedly, then it may be time to consider if you are a superficial person too.

What Makes A Person Superficial?

When you meet a superficial person for the first time, you likely sense it. A feeling in your soul from the first moment you interact with them.

It is challenging to put into words what it is about them that make them seem so superficial or fake, but you get the sense that they are as soon as they begin to speak.

It is important that you listen to your instincts when attempting to judge if someone is superficial… but you might also want to consider some other factors as well before writing someone off completely.

Also, remember that it is possible that you are a superficial person yourself, and you’re basically projecting your worst flaws onto another. Until you can completely rule this out, you might want to give it some special consideration.

After all, we all should be striving towards improving ourselves

Before you get too far down the path of judging another person for being superficial and not worthy of your time, you must ask yourself how you come off to them.

Before we are to evaluate the heart and personality of another person, we must first look inward and see where we stand.

Taking even a few moments for mindfulness in our day can pay off huge dividends when we start to see how some of the actions and words that we use in our daily life impacts others. If we are not mindful of our own shortcomings, then it is hard to point the finger at others and say that they must be mindful of theirs. 

When evaluating a person, we should always try to remember that there is often more than meets the eye. We only see the parts of themselves that they want to show us, and we are not always privy to parts of their world that they may decide to keep under wraps at the moment.

They may be hiding something because they genuinely want to keep that information from us… or they may simply feel embarrassed or less than pleased about some aspect of their personality.

If that is the case, then we should try to extend them some grace and understanding on this as long as their actions are not directly hurting us at this time. 

That being said, while it is true that you should be cautious about judging another person too harshly… you should also consider the fact that there are people who see you only as someone to take advantage of.

You are definitely wise to let yourself keep your guard up whenever dealing with someone that you aren't quite certain about.

There are many potentially dangerous people out there, and you should give yourself the space to judge each individual based on the way that they present themselves to you and to the world.

And this, my friends, begs the question, “How can you tell if a person is being superficial?” 

Superficial People: 11 Warning Signs of a Superficial Person

1. A Lack of Conviction 

It is simply not possible to have an opinion about every single topic in the world, but it is troubling when someone doesn't seem to have an opinion about literally anything at all happening in the world.

When that is the case, we may begin to wonder if we are dealing with a superficial person. A lack of conviction on virtually any topic means that the individual is simply going with the winds of change as they feel them moving through the air.

They may appear to just be trying to agree with whatever the audience around them wants to hear… but what it can really mean is that they are facing a problem with being a superficial person.

They lack the ability to be decisive on any issue, and they, therefore, have a superficial nature about them. 

2. Their Relationships are Self-Centered

Have you ever been around a person who only seems to care about what they get out of a relationship?

It doesn't have to necessarily be a romantic relationship that we are talking about here (though it can be), but any relationship that seems to have a very self-centered and self-interested party can be the sign of a superficial person. 

Superficial people care only about what they can take away from a relationship. They are not known for wanting to give back, and they tend to make it very clear right from the start that they are not going to contribute more than they absolutely have to in order to maintain the relationship.

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Superficial people care only about what they can take away from a relationship.

They will put in the bare minimum effort to keep the other person from drifting away, but they are constantly going to be taking from the relationship all that they can possibly get.

When this is the case, it often leads to the other party feeling very hurt and unhappy, and it is a good sign that this relationship needs to be terminated. 

3. Backstabbing Comes Natural to Them 

“Greed is good” are the famous words from fictional Wall Street tycoon Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street”. He was the type of character who had no problem at all backstabbing others if it meant that he could climb just a little higher on the wealth ladder.

He was certainly a superficial character, but there are people just like him in real life. They don't mind taking cheap shots at other people if they feel that it will advance their own position in some way.

It is scary to be around people like this for very long because they tend to be so self-consumed and so willing to throw people under the bus that you never know if you might be next on their list. 

4. They are Judgmental By Nature 

Being overly critical of others is a sign that the person you are speaking with may be rather superficial.

While they project flaws on others, they may not be addressing the elephant in the room that is their own flaws. They are gleeful at picking apart other people, but they don't stop to access their own failings.

This means that they are superficial and care only about knocking other people down rather than trying to understand those same people and how they operate.

If they were to stop and think about things like this, perhaps they would be less likely to jump on someone's case for some minor flaw here or there. 

5. Gossip is Second-Nature to Them 

A little light gossip here and there never hurt anyone, but engaging in gossip all the time is a sign of a superficial person.

Why do they spend so much of their time and energy thinking about other people? Why is it so important to them that the world knows all of the dirty laundry of another person?

Could it be that they are afraid of having some of their own dirty laundry aired out to dry for the rest of the world to see?

That is a leading theory that goes a long way to explaining why some people just can't seem to get enough of the gossip train.

They should be focused on other concerns, but they just can't break themselves away from talking about others and how those people are supposed less deserving of the care and attention that they so readily demand. 

6. They Demand the Spotlight 

Human beings want the attention to be focused on themselves at certain points in time no matter what, but it is worrying if you notice that someone you care about demands that they always be the center of attention at all times.

Why is it that they get away with turning that spotlight on themselves all the time, and why must they always be the center of attention? It is likely because they are superficial.

The fact that they insist on people always talking about or thinking about them is something that should be a warning sign to everyone else that they are dealing with someone who is very superficial. 

7. They Frequently Turn Down Invitations 

Some people are naturally home bodies and don't like to get out much at all. It doesn't mean they are superficial.

That said, you should be on the lookout for people who absolutely never want to leave their homes no matter what kind of event they are invited to.

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Superficial persons usually tend to get in your way and try to sabotage your success.

Why would they be so unwilling to ever get out of their bubble and interact with other people?

Those who are very superficial might find it difficult to be around other people because there is a good chance that they might get called out on some of their less than desirable attributes. They want to avoid being around those who are willing to say what other people are thinking. 

8. They Are Into Sabotaging Your Success

There is nothing natural or normal about someone you care about getting in your way and trying to sabotage your success. It is a troubling thing to hear that there are some people who have no problem at all standing in the way of the progress and success of others.

Sadly, we know that this happens, and you might have wondered why this was the case.

It could be that they are trying to tear you down before you can do the same to them. You may not have any desire whatsoever to tear this person down, but they can sometimes get it in their head that you will make an attempt to take a swipe at them.

If they feel threatened like this, you can expect that they might come after you in a way that sabotages your success.

You will want to steer clear of them both because they have seemingly poor character, and also because you don't want to suffer whatever they may throw at you in their attempt to maintain their ego. 

9. They Talk Over You 

It is annoying and frustrating and a sure sign of immaturity. If someone feels what they have to say is so important that they don't mind talking over you to get their point across to others, then what are they saying about the things you care about?

They clearly feel that their words are more important than yours, and that is very hurtful. At a certain point, it is easy to lose compassion for someone who continues to behave so rudely. 

10. They Exclusively Wear Brand Name Clothes

You might not think that what someone wears could say much about their internal personality, but that is not the case.

When people focus exclusively on wearing brand-name clothes, they are saying that they value how they appear to others more than they care about saving money on less expensive options.

Additionally, they are saying that they want people to stand up and take notice of what they are wearing. Basically, they are not okay with people not noticing their latest looks, and that is yet another attempt to bring the spotlight back on them. 

Superficial people often fall victim to Shiny Object Syndrome in their pursuit if attention. Learn more about this topic in the video below and the simple strategies to prevent this mindset.

11. They Talk About Celebrities a Lot 

Everyone has a celebrity or two that they like to follow. However, it can be a red flag for superficial tendencies when a person talks almost exclusively about celebrities.

There is a certain allure that comes with celebrities that some people just can't help but pine for. But today's celebrities are highly superficial people that are marketed to us as the ideal type of person to be.

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It is a sad state of affairs, and it is sad that many people believe that this is how they need to live if they want to be reach and famous.

The average person who spends a lot of time talking about celebrities is someone who wishes they were a celebrity themselves, and that may point to someone who is very superficial in their dealings with others. 

Final Thoughts on Superficial People

There are so many warning signs and red flags that the universe tries to throw our way when alerting us of a person’s potentially toxic personality. We just don’t always choose to see them.

Among the worst type of person is the superficial one… perhaps only second to the abusive personality.

If you fear that someone you are dealing with in your own life may be somewhat or entirely superficial, you should know that you are not mistaken for perhaps thinking so.

Give them some time to explain themselves or for you to get to know them better, but never forget that your gut instinct is something that is often correct as well. 

And if you're looking for more useful articles, check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.

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