Being in shallow relationships can be difficult, especially when you seek genuine connections. However, since you’re likely to come across shallow people once in a while, it is crucial to know how to spot them and deal with them.
In this blog post, let us explore some of the most common traits of a shallow person and discuss some tips on how you can deal with them.
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What Does It Mean to Have a Shallow Personality?
Do you feel like your relationship, either with your partner or your friend, lacks a more profound meaning?
It’s like no matter how hard you try to get to know them on a more profound level, every conversation you have just feels shallow or inauthentic. They stay by your side when it’s all fun and games, especially when they have something to benefit from. But the moment you attempt to discuss serious things with them, suddenly they lose interest and bail at the last minute.
The term shallow person is used to refer to someone who lacks significant intellectual depth and emotional depth. When an individual lacks insight and only has a superficial understanding of things, they are considered shallow.
Because of their lack of depth, a shallow person is usually seen as naïve, petty, uncreative. They can be conformists. Many of them are materialistic, too.
In addition, shallow people often embrace conventional beauty standards and stereotyped gender roles. They are also the kind of people who have an aversion to relationships and often have a hard time keeping a deep relationship with another person.
Moreover, they tend to focus only on themselves and physical appearances, having little to no interest in the deeper aspects of a person or a relationship.
What are some of the traits of a shallow person?
Considering the high chances of you meeting a shallow person at least once in your life, it would benefit you to know the telltale signs of a shallow personality. A few of the traits of a shallow person are:
1. They only care about physical appearance.
There’s nothing wrong with caring about one’s appearance but the thing about shallow people is that it’s all they care about. They put such a high value on physical qualities that the more critical aspects of a person, such as generosity, kindness, intellect, and humility, are wholly disregarded.
A shallow person would date anyone who is attractive and surround themselves with attractive people even if they don’t really like these individuals. As long as someone is pretty or hot, shallow people will not think twice about being in that person’s presence whether they have something worthwhile to say or not.
Moreover, a superficial person tends to reinvent themselves from time to time. They change their style, likes, and even their circle of friends to fit whatever is “in vogue” at the moment.
2. They seek validation.
Shallow people are always looking for validation. They go around bragging about their accomplishments and possessions to get praise and admiration from others.
You will also notice that a shallow person gets easily jealous and defensive when you talk about your experiences with other people. They feel the need to prove that they’re better than these people in some way, perhaps through comparing their possessions or achievements.
This trait becomes even more apparent in one of their shallow relationships as they feel the need to boast about being in a relationship with somebody to boost their ego. They’d post their partner’s pictures together online without their permission and constantly post messages about how amazing the other is on social media.
3. They only talk about superficial things.
A shallow person is not interested in deeper topics such as philosophy or meaningful literature that directly impact their everyday routine and experiences.
Shallow people can only talk about superficial topics to avoid making themselves or others uncomfortable. They are afraid that if they start talking about more profound subjects, they will have to reveal who they really are, and that’s a scary and uncomfortable situation for them. So they do their best to avoid awkward situations at all costs.
But the truth is, shallow people tend to be afraid of themselves. They are fearful of exposing their true self, the core of their being. They fear if others know who they are, they would not like them anymore.
Shallow people are like everyone else. It’s highly likely that underneath all their superficiality lies a long history of pain and suffering that makes them emotionally unhealthy and possibly, mentally unstable. So as much as they would like to know themselves, they usually avoid it at any cost.
As a result, it is often difficult and frustrating for deep people to communicate with shallow people. Most shallow people will deny what they genuinely feel deep down inside without hesitation because that’s how unhealthy it is to expose who they are.
4. They are materialistic.
A shallow person often aims to gain and flaunt material assets—a flashy car, branded clothes, and the latest trends. They measure their worth based on these things.
Shallow people think they are better than others when they own more expensive stuff. That’s why they like to chase money, power, or fame, thinking that these would give them happiness even if it is shallow and fleeting.
Shallow individuals also calculate the value of others based on wealth. The wealthier someone is, the more valuable they become.
When speaking to someone, shallow people tend to judge them based on what they have or how much they’ve earned. They can also easily compare their situations to those of others.
When you go out with a shallow person, you can always count on that person gushing about every new item they come across. Above all, their mind has a loose grip, and they are quick to make assumptions and conclusions based on the “price tag” they put on almost everything. Because of this particular trait usually, deep people feel more content than their counterparts.
5. They are poor listeners.
One reason why a shallow person is considered socially undesirable is because of their poor listening skills.
However, not being a great listener must not be confused with a socially anxious person, who often gets lost in their thoughts. You can tell the difference between the two because a shallow person usually doesn’t care about what others have to say. They only have an interest in things that involve them, so who cares about your opinions?
One of the simplest tests to tell if a person is shallow is to see how they respond when you try to tell them something.
Even if they seem to show an interest in what you have to say but then continue talking, that is a clear indication that they are not interested in making a connection with you. If they never seem to finish talking or don’t care about what you have to say, this means that they are just going through the motions and aren’t really listening.
If what you’re saying doesn’t concern or benefit them, they would likely not listen. This characteristic is usually driven by their tendency to chase attention and want the limelight all to themselves. As a result, this makes them poor communicators, preventing them from making deep connections with others.
6. They are hypocrites.
Since superficial people want to be the center of attention, they would say anything to get the attention of anyone even if they don’t necessarily believe in it.
More often than not, they don’t practice what they preach. It is one of the most prominent characteristics commonly associated with them. They are described best as people who stretch the truth to such a degree that it appears absurd.
Such people are frequently dishonest. Because of this, it is difficult to trust them with important matters. Their dishonesty may manifest itself as a need to constantly have the spotlight, exaggerated positive traits about themselves and their achievements, or a lack of empathy. What is the point in trying to connect with them if they’re not going to stick to what they say?
How Do You Deal With a Shallow Person?
Now that you already have an idea of some of the typical traits of a shallow person, it is essential to know how to deal with them. When you meet a shallow person, you might immediately think of them as a bad person.
The first thing you should do is not to criticize them but to accept them as they are. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them. Just stay true to yourself and try to enjoy their company.
When you’re dealing with a superficial person, keep in mind that you have the power to decide how long you will interact with them, or to keep them at a distance if you prefer not to spend time with them.
If interacting with them is totally unavoidable, perhaps they’re a relative or an important colleague, you can try shifting the conversation to a topic that would diffuse their undesirable behavior.
If you’ve already tried bringing up any topic you can think of, but the conversation still ends up revolving around this shallow person, politely excusing yourself as soon as possible is the best course of action. This would prevent offending the person and allow you to find someone with a deeper insight and understanding whom you’ll enjoy talking to.
Is Being Shallow a Bad Thing?
Having the traits of a shallow person is not necessarily a bad thing. Shallow individuals are not malicious or spiteful; as a matter of fact, they are often seen as friendly and very optimistic.
The only concern about being shallow is that their quality of social interactions is deemed socially undesirable. Since shallow individuals tend to focus only on themselves, appearance, and status, most people don’t like to keep them in their circle.
One thing to note is that sometimes, what some perceive as shallow is only something harmlessly superficial that was exaggerated into having a bad rep.
An example of this is caring about your physical appearance. Being conscious of how you look and maintaining your looks is not exactly shallow unless it’s the only thing you care about.
When people are honest and willing to admit that they just aren’t into something, such as a particular type of music or movie(s), there’s nothing wrong with that. It shows that they are not too focused on superficial things and ready to broaden their horizons.
Another example is posting selfies or documenting your life on social media.
Taking and posting selfies can be a way to practice self-love. Moreover, taking pictures of significant moments in your life and sharing them on social media is a great way to keep a record of the awesome things you’ve accomplished.
If the only things you care about are your appearance or how people perceive you online, then it’s just shallow behavior. If you feel like there is no way to be yourself without posting selfies or that you need to be prettier to be liked, then maybe it’s time for you to change your perspective and values.
What is the Opposite of a Shallow Person?
While having characteristics distinct to a shallow person is not exactly wrong, you can benefit significantly from striving to become the opposite of a shallow individual—a deep person.
To be considered deep, you must have a profound understanding and insight. This, however, does not mean that you have to be a philosophical genius that only cares about serious things in life because, after all, where’s the fun in that?
To be a deep person, you can start by practicing these things. Or, if you already happen to be doing these, work on reinforcing them to help you become a better person, friend, and partner. Here are some of the ways you can start the transformation:
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Look Beyond Appearances
A fundamental yet straightforward aspect that distinguishes a shallow person from a deep one is the tendency to focus solely on appearances. To be deep, you have to look beyond the outward characteristics of beautiful people and focus on less tangible qualities such as one’s core values: wisdom, compassion, and empathy.
Don’t Put Value on Gossip
A deep individual does not believe everything they hear, especially if it’s against their values. Instead of being entertained and distracted by gossip and misinformation, you should examine what kind of purpose sharing this information serves.
A notable characteristic of deep people is that they listen more than they speak. When you listen more, you will become aware of different opinions and perspectives, helping you develop a deeper understanding of the subject.
Think About Your Behavior’s Consequences
Unlike most shallow individuals, a deep person thinks about the consequences of their behavior before they act on it. To be deep, you must keep in mind that your words and actions impact others, so you must be careful about what you say or do.
Go Past Your Ego
A shallow person tends to criticize someone to make themselves feel better. On the other hand, someone who is deep struggles against this egoic urge to judge people. To be a deep person, you must overcome your insecurities and treat others with compassion instead of judgment.
Although being a shallow person is not necessarily bad, forging strong and genuine connections with one can be very difficult. If you wish to surround yourself with people who value authentic over shallow relationships, you should look out for shallow people in your life and know how to deal with them.
Ultimately, if you wish to continue making meaningful social interactions, you must strive to become a deep person yourself. Or, if you need further help, you might want to consult with a mental health professional.
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How about you?
Do you know some traits of a shallow person? Is there anything you’d like to share? If so, let’s continue the conversation! Post your comments below!
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