How to Be a Bad Person
You are a good person not because you think so, but because you act so.
Our obligation to mankind, or rather to each other, is to be good people.
“What is your vocation? To be a good person.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11.5
Being a bad person is so much a matter of choices one makes, either by default; when you continuously indulge in vulgar actions, or by accident; when you make errors of judgement.
When most people are asked whether they’re good people, they answer in the affirmative. But it’s not our thoughts or intentions that determine the answer, it’s our actions.
These are telltale signs that you’re a bad person:
Do you ever notice when someone is telling you something and they begin, “To be honest with you…”? Does this indicate that this person is always otherwise dishonest? If honesty was their ‘default’ means of communication they wouldn’t have to announce it first.
When your life is a web of lies, and you have to first summon immense strength to tell the truth, you’re a bad person. Sounds judgmental, right?
Are there necessary lies? Maybe. If say your 5-year-old son asked you the typical question, “where do babies come from?” would it be reasonable to tell them the absolute truth or not? Does this mean there exists circumstances where it is a good thing to be dishonest? Maybe.
In my opinion, lying and being dishonest are cousins, but the latter is more acceptable than the former. As much as possible, one must be thoroughly honest to themselves, but in dealing with others, one ought to, first of all, understand that their only responsibility is to do good. If in one case dishonesty is what will result into the greater good, even after considering second-order thinking, then it might be the wiser thing to do.
If at crossroads, it is important to ask yourself questions such as this; do I have to lie, does a life depend on it, will it do harm of good, is it worth it?
Be consumed with the love for power
Most people enter into positions of leadership with the desire to effect positive change. They have a vision of transforming the current situation into something better. This transformation may be in terms of a consumer product, a political cause, or anything. Some people, and these are rare, will serve their purpose and move on, but others, even though someone with a better vision, or ability comes along, will still want to hold onto the power.
This is because power is addictive. Power affords the holder certain privileges that they might not want to let go of. With time, the good intention and plans one had also become corrupted. The wielder of power is now serving themselves rather than the cause or the people of whom they’re in charge.
If this incessant desire is not curbed, the consequences of the bad erase all the good that was done and at the end things are worse than they were at the beginning.
Always put yourself first
A most effective way to be a bad person is to put everything and every person at your disposal, serving your own needs and goals and never minding about others. Be self-serving, and selfish.
This trait manifests itself through other vices like greed, lust, pride, covetousness, among others.
In some cases, however, putting yourself first is a good thing especially where it includes not worrying about other people’s opinions, especially if they’re people whose opinions you don’t respect.
But always putting yourself first, and neglecting the wellbeing of other people, especially your spouse, children, family and friends is zero-sum and makes you a terrible person.
“It’s in keeping with nature to show our friends affection and to celebrate their advancement, as if it were our very own. For if we don’t do this, virtue, which is strengthened only by exercising our perceptions, will no longer endure in us.” — Seneca, Moral Letters, 109.15
Don’t take blame for anything
A self-aware individual will know to take overall responsibility for everything good or bad that happens in their life, even though they are not directly responsible.
A good leader will take overall blame for their subordinate’s mistake, as well as share credit for their subordinate’s triumph. In your life you’re the leader and everyone else is your subordinate. But if you don’t take responsibility for your life, and are always blaming others for the things that have gone wrong, then you’re a bad person.
Bad as you are, you’re yet to learn that all positive change begins with self-reflection, and by first acknowledging things as they are in your life (being accountable and accepting responsibility for your life).
Treat others like trash
While walking in the street, notice an innocent kid and randomly slap them in the face! Sounds bad, doesn’t it? how about you spit in your fiancés’ cup of coffee in the morning while they’re looking? Or while your boss is giving you your weekly targets on a Monday morning, just abruptly shout a curt “fuck you!” This, of course, will most likely get you fired, unless the boss is your son-in-law. Still, you’ll effectively come off as an arsehole.
In a nut shell, just disrespect people, and treat them like trash. Doesn’t matter who it is, and you’re a bad person. But do this only to people under you, or some rugged guy will punch you in the nose for refusing to apologize after stepping on his shoe.
Insist that you know best and that everything should be done your way
Assume that you know the answer to everything, even the problems you have but have failed to solve yet. It’s not even your fault that you have these problems to begin with. Don’t allow anyone to give you any advice, why should they? You didn’t ask for their help, besides, you know better.
When your team is required to do anything, insist that your way is better. The other members’ opinions don’t mean shit! You don’t even need to work with these dimwits, and yet somehow you found yourself working with them, so they have to follow your lead. If not, you can always do without them, if not unfairly get them to do all the work while you secretly devise ways to take all the credit.
Encourage the bad and evil whenever you encounter it
If you hear a bunch of thieves breaking into your neighbour’s house, act like it’s none of your business. In fact, if by bad luck your neighbour is beaten unconscious by the thieves, don’t bother calling for help.
You have always hated his guts, from the time he told you to stop heaping your trash onto his. You don’t care that his young daughter will have no care taker during the time that he will be hospitalized. Why should you care? You’re a bad person.
But then you remember that now you’ll have to dispose of your own trash, and now you hate those wretched thieves. If only they could arrest them, those wretched pricks!
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke
Seek out people only when it’s convenient for you
Some say it’s a good thing to be self-reliant. But we are social beings and our well-being thrives through our relationships with other people. Whether we need their help or not, the primary need is to have friends to rely on emotionally, intellectually, and in many other helpful ways. That means that you can pick up the phone and call your friends just to check on them, for its own sake.
There is obviously a problem with the sort of relationship where one person is always reaching out and the other is not, when they’re well able to. That sort of relationship is the one that eventually doesn’t work.
Be on alert if your need to seek the help or company of other people only comes when you have a problem, and never in your happy moments. It may be a sign that you’ve social cognizance problems, or that you’re just a bad person.
If you notice these traits in your behaviour, or rather, if people notice them (for it might be hard to notice them yourself), chances are high that you’re a bad person, even evil, depending on the magnitude of your actions.
Now that you recognize that your behaviour is a serious problem (even a sickness), you had better find a remedy.
Most people have not realized that such behaviour has devastating consequences until they have lost valuable relationships, jobs, or been entirely banished from society (as was the case a few centuries ago).
In the current world, how we relate with people, has a subtle effect on well-being, and even our overall success as human beings. The world needs less bad people.
If you’re a bad person, here’s a song to make you feel bad😉;