17 Things People Say Bring Out the Worst in People

Human beings are a mixed bag, honestly, and the tough thing is, we all contain the ability to be amazing and awful – sometimes on the same day.

Most of us are a little bit of everything (but nothing too terrible), but there are things that bring out the best – and the worst – in us, despite our best efforts sometimes.

Below are 17 things people think consistently bring out the worst in people, so maybe try to avoid them in the future.

17. What is it about that?

Some good answers here, to which I’ll add: Giving things away for free.

I’ve had the surreal experience of working at a Long Island tennis tournament attended by generally very wealthy people. They arrived in top-end luxury cars or limos, wearing designer clothes, and watches worth more than my car. I was tasked with opening a case of some sort of little branded tchotchke, like cheap pens, keychains, etc. and handing them out to the attendees as they walked the sponsor areas.

People went berserk: shoving each other, lunging across the table (thank cripes there was a table) to grab stuff from my hand, missing key tennis matches to lurk by our tent, awaiting the next crap dispersal, wow. I’ve seen this type of thing happen many other times too, with people going to great lengths just to get some pittance of which they have no need.

16. Just stay home.

Black Friday.

I spent ten years in retail; I absolutely refuse to step out my front door on Black Friday for anything short of a medical emergency.

We have leftovers and running water, so we can survive 24 hours.

15. It’s supposed to be a happy day.


My father is a minister. He says he would rather help with a funeral over a wedding any day.

Weddings leave people with a sense of extreme desperation to achieve perfection.

14. C’est la vie.

Travel. To know what a person is really like go traveling with them.

I lost one of my greatest friends of many years due to my birthday trip to Puerto Rico just the two of us. I don’t know what it was that caused the shift, but I literally didn’t recognize her after the trip. It was awful.

The worst part was I was her maid of honor in her wedding a month or so later. I tried to have a talk with her that maybe I should back out and we had what I thought was a great talk and apology. Found out she was only nice to me after the trip to make sure I didn’t back out, barely acknowledged me day of, she “canceled” my speech and gave it to another bridesmaid, and we never spoke again after the wedding.

Like, why would you want me in your wedding photos for the rest of your life?

13. No one likes to wait.

When you were told to wait 20 minutes and it’s now been 21 minutes and you are still waiting.

12. All in the family.


I’ve seen families absolutely RIPPED apart after someone dies and another family member doesn’t feel they’ve “received their share” or that the will was unfair or that property mysteriously goes missing before the estate is settled.

Awful, awful stuff.

I think the worst is my friend’s dad and his sister haven’t spoken for over 30 years due to a squabble over their mother’s will. THIRTY YEARS. The kicker is that they’re both quite well off on their own – friend’s dad is a very, very successful trial lawyer and friend’s aunt married a successful doctor. This wasn’t money either of them ever actually needed, but they’ve not had a relationship for decades because of it… 🙁

11. This is kind of understandable, though.


Most of us are capable of being decent human beings who make a positive contribution to society. You add stress into the mix and people start to crack.

Financial stress, relationship stress, work stress, it doesn’t matter. When our focus is pulled into simply surviving and staying afloat, our ability to empathize or provide support to others greatly diminishes.

I think this is tied in with the low morale we are all experiencing right now…we’re all unbelievably stressed. I’ve seen some of the nicest people completely snap and act shockingly because they just can’t take the pressure anymore.

10. Take personal stock.

I always liked the HALT rule. If you’re feeling Hungry, Angry, Late or Tired then it’s likely things you say or do will come off worse than you intend.

The L could also be lonely. That works too! Turns out learning acronyms differently brings out the worst in some people too!

9. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

Add lack of sleep and you get a human grenade. You don’t know where or how, but they’re going to go off.

8. The rage is real.


I live on a major 4-lane road going into the city, and the number of times I hear people screaming at each other over the smallest traffic infractions is honestly frightening.

That, and all the car horns, which I jokingly refer to as the “Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s horn section “.

7. Everybody loves free stuff.

The word “free” in a retail or restaurant type of setting. People will trample one another, take ALL of the items so there aren’t any for others, gorge themselves, try to sneak food out with them.

It’s disgusting.

6. The lawyers are making out like bandits.

Divorce proceedings.

Especially with kids involved.

It can turn a couple of average people into monsters.

5. This makes me sad.

Hunger can make people do things they never thought they were capable of doing. It can drive you mind out of control.

This is why the food bank is my favorite charity to give to. I’ve never experienced true food insecurity, but I’ve been moderately hungry from time to time and notice how terrible everything becomes from your mood to the ability to function. How can anyone hope to improve their situation in life with that kind of constant debuff?

4. Everybody’s got a chip.

Thinking they’re being cheated. It almost makes me want to stop doing games in class because if there’s two teams, both teams always complain that the other team has some sort of unfair advantage.

In reality, neither team understands the true length of a minute and thinks they’re being cheated on time

3. Grief is a monster.

When a loved one dies. People get really, really weird in a bad way about money and stuff. I know a bunch of people who had relatives who flat out stole money and valuables after the death of a family member.

It’s crazy. My own family has a permanent rift because when my grandmother died, two of the five siblings cleaned out her accounts.

2. It can fell the greatest of men.


Not just for success.

I’ve seen many relationships crumble because someone was happier than the other.

1. It’s a lot of feelings.

Funerals. All the heightened emotions make people irrational. Any buried family drama comes out at the worst possible time. I’ve been caught in the middle of it before. I didn’t even know the deceased, I was there supporting my friend who had lost her mother.

Someone decided this was the time to air a 20 year old grudge as my friend walked by. My friend was so caught off guard by the accusations she was speechless. I told this crazy lady this wasn’t the time or the place for this conversation so she turned on me.

Next thing I knew some other family member was violently yanking her out of the room! I guess it could have been worse, but why did you have to make a scene at a funeral?

If you want to test someone in the future, now you know how!

What are some other things you think bring out the worst in people? Share them with us in the comments.