12 Signs of a Shallow Person in Your Friend and Family Circle

It seems that today’s society favors shallow people. It’s not a coincidence that mind-numbing music, dumb celebrities, and stupid reality TV shows are in trend.

After all, it’s easier to fool people who perceive life superficially and don’t think for themselves.

But how to recognize a shallow person in your circle? There are some distinct traits and behaviors that are common in such individuals. But before we list them, let’s point out what it means to be shallow.

What Is a Shallow Person? The Definition

The word ‘shallow’ describes someone who has superficial interests and values and is incapable of in-depth thinking. Typically, it’s a person driven by selfish impulses and trivial needs.

The very word ‘shallow’ means lacking substance. So, this is what perfectly describes people who have this trait. In a sense, they are empty inside.

They are mainly concerned about projecting a nice-looking façade and making a good impression on others. They care less about the things that truly matter, such as living a life of purpose and being a decent human being.

12 Signs That You Are Dealing with a Shallow Person

1. They are narrow-minded and incapable of critical thinking

First of all, they have a superficial perception of life, information, and other people. Shallow people tend to take things at face value – they are uninterested in getting to the truth and delving into the core reasons for happenings.

They don’t think in-depth and don’t assess information from different angles. Critical thinking requires effort and open-mindedness – something that these people don’t have.

A shallow person doesn’t bother themselves with too much analysis. Be it their personal life, political events, or work matters, they don’t devote time to thinking it over and figuring out their unique point of view.

Shallow individuals don’t ask themselves if what they hear is true. They take in any information without processing it. That’s why they go with the crowd as it’s easier than thinking for themselves.

2. They are petty-minded

Shallow people rarely care about anything that goes beyond their personal concerns and day-to-day happenings. They don’t pose the big questions of life and are not concerned about global issues.

They just can’t see the big picture – all they ever think about is their little world of superficial interests and daily problems.

They can also be petty in conflict situations and impose their selfish needs on others. For example, your shallow sister won’t care to consider your difficult financial situation and will hold grudges because you refused to lend her money.

3. They have superficial interests and meaningless pastimes

signs of a shallow person

Being a shallow and petty-minded person also means having a preference for meaningless pastimes.

Such individuals choose to spend their free time with activities that don’t require much thinking, creativity, or effort. They find joy in things such as watching reality TV shows and gossiping on the phone.

You can clearly see it if you have a conversation with a shallow person. They will talk about the most trivial things from day-to-day happenings at work to the latest celebrity gossip.

They will avoid deep topics because they don’t really ever think about such matters, so they have nothing to add to the conversation. The only thing they can do is repeat someone else’s ideas.

4. They are judgmental

The superficiality of thinking is a key trait of a shallow person. For this reason, they will easily jump to conclusions, without considering all the aspects of a situation. They don’t try to understand other people’s motives or relate to their experiences.

Because of this trait, shallow individuals can be judgmental. While we all judge one another to some extent, someone with a shallow personality will do it based on the criteria that lie on the surface.

For example, they may reject a person because the job they do is not prestigious enough or ridicule someone for their looks.

A shallow individual’s thinking is deeply biased and this will also show in their perception of other people.

5. They do their best to seem – not be – nice to others

A telling sign of a shallow person is that they are more concerned about the impression they make on others than being a decent human being.

They put effort into seeming nice to others but not being so. They may smile at the people they secretly hate and pretend that they agree with someone just because they need a favor from them.

Since shallow individuals give a great importance to superficial things, they tend to be skillful at having polite conversations, making a good impression, and showing nicer than they really are.

6. They are selfish

patronizing attitude selfish behavior

Selfishness is among the basic traits of a shallow person. The level of their perception is too superficial, which makes them unable to consider other people’s needs and feelings. They will care only about their own comfort and well-being.

Shallow people’s behavior will also reveal the signs of egocentrism. They may be petty and make a big deal out of the most trivial things, such as what car seat to take during a road trip. They will insist on making things their way.

A shallow individual may sometimes act childish when they don’t get what they want. It can be pretty difficult to deal with them in conflict situations.

7. They follow trends

Someone with a shallow personality will keep up with trends. Even if they don’t go after the majority, they will follow specific ideologies and lifestyles just because they are on hype.

For example, they may go vegan just because it’s trendy, not because they truly believe that it’s the right choice. They may also use it to show off and feel superior to others.

Even if a shallow person goes against the widely accepted preferences, beliefs, or lifestyles, in reality, they still follow the crowd. Oftentimes, they just want to label themselves as daring rebels who are so far ahead of others.

In the end, it’s all superficial and fake and it doesn’t reflect their true beliefs.

8. They have materialistic values

Being shallow means going after materialistic values and money-oriented goals. Such people give a great importance to financial prosperity. They also care a lot about projecting an image of a perfect life full of luxury and abundance.

If a person is shallow, they may use their credit card to buy high brand clothes and the latest tech gadgets. They desperately need to show off and are less concerned about living beyond their means.

This focus on materialistic values inevitably affects all the areas of their lives. For example, they may pick friends based on their social status to make sure they have useful connections.

A shallow woman may marry a man from a wealthy family and not love him at all. A shallow man may work at a job he hates and with the people he dislikes because it brings him a good income.

the power of misfits

They both ignore the fact that they are deeply unhappy, but happiness is not their main priority in life – money comes first.

9. They care a lot about the physical appearance and superficial qualities

shallow person physical appearance

It makes sense that shallow people don’t care about the substance – all they are concerned about is the disguise.

That’s why they give much importance to the physical appearance – both their own and that of other people. For example, they may judge others based on their looks only.

In general, shallow people care the most about the qualities that lie on the surface. It may be someone’s social status, material wealth, and good manners.

For this reason, they also make sure they project their best and most attractive possible selves onto others. Their social media will be full of photoshopped selfies and photos from chic cafes and restaurants.

10. They love gossip

A deep person is uninterested in discussing others. Gossiping is a hobby of shallow people that aims to create an illusion of an interesting life.

In reality, they just distract themselves from the emptiness inside. That’s why they love drama and snooping into other people’s personal lives.

Gossiping may also make shallow people feel better about themselves by belittling others and going on about the details of their lives.

If a shallow friend asks you a personal question, be sure that they are just looking for food for gossip. They are not really interested to know how you are doing.

11. They fight for the spotlight

As we said above, people with shallow personalities are driven by selfish impulses. That’s why they love being in the spotlight. It feeds their illusion of self-importance. So, their behavior will often aim to get everyone’s attention.

For example, they may show signs of conversational narcissism when they interrupt other people and talk about themselves all the time.

Or they may boast a lot and exaggerate their achievements. They may even adopt some eccentric behaviors with the only purpose of having everyone’s attention.

12. Their relationships and social connections lack substance

one-sided friendships conversations

A shallow person doesn’t care about building genuine connections with others. All they want is to have friends and romantic experiences because this is what everyone else does.

That’s why a superficial individual chooses to surround themselves with convenient people. It doesn’t matter whether these people are the right company for them. They pick friends and partners based on superficial qualities such as financial well-being.

Sometimes their relationships and friendships are totally built on lies. But shallow people are perfectly fine with living a lie – they care more about taking advantage of those around them and fulfilling their own selfish desires through others.

To sum up, someone who is shallow won’t bring quality to your social circle. You can’t have deep conversations and share your personal experiences with them.

They don’t really care about others and are only concerned about their selfish needs, so think twice before letting such individuals into your life.


the power of misfits

Did you find this post useful? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new fascinating guides & articles!