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Are People Born Bad?

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Greetings, first of all please forgive me if my thoughts aren’t being portrayed correctly in my writing. Anyway. My family has had a history of mental illness/disorders, my grandmother suffered from sociopathy and we believe that her mother was schizoid. Recently, I have begun thinking that something is wrong with me, too. I’ve tried to recall moments in my life when I have shown what some people call “concerning” traits/perspectives and there has been a lot. I seem to prey on people who are “helpless,” people who need shoulders to cry on and once I have their trust, I turn on them. I have contemplated suicide, but not because I was depressed but because my life is routine and routine is boring and being bored is probably one of the worst feelings. I have been in trouble quite a lot during primary school and the start of secondary, due to my attitude to the imbeciles in my class- I always say snide things about them and I have found myself trying to provoke a fight, which makes no sense because it is not logical because they are nothing to me and any retort they make to my arguments simply wouldn’t be worth listening to- it would be like listening to a newborn try to come up with a valid argument.

My high school had this trial “therapy group” that began after school hours, the therapy group was only open to those who were “invited” (a.k.a forced to go) and no one else but the people in the group knew about the group — eventually I was kicked out of the group therapy and instead was forced to take one on one sessions due to the “inappropriate,” and “morbid” things I was saying and posting on social media.

Recently, my grandfather was placed in palliative care because his cancer came back or whatever, and I couldn’t care less- it’s weird, because I want to want to care, but I just don’t. Emotions have been almost foreign to me almost my entire life, though a few things can make me feel. Past friends have told me I am manipulative and I feel like I should be worried about them saying that, but I’m not. I feel indifferent because I am acting the same as I have always acted- and no-one is born bad, right?

Please help. I’m not a bad person.

Are People Born Bad?

Answered by on -


Perhaps without realizing it, you are asking an unanswerable question: Are people more influenced by nature (i.e. born bad) than they are by nurture (i.e. turn bad)? Nature refers to genetics and hereditary factors that influence our behavior. Nature refers to our environment, including how we are raised, our relationships, our culture, and how those factors influence our behavior.

No one knows whether people are “born bad” or if it’s their environment that makes them behave a particular way. Many people believe it’s a combination of both nature and nurture.

I can’t provide a diagnosis over the Internet, but the examples you have provided about how you treat and feel about people are concerning. You should never intentionally hurt another person. You should always try to be kind to others. Deliberately hurting people is never okay. It signifies a potential problem in how you interact with people.

Any time you notice a potential problem developing, you should seek help. Therefore, it would be wise to consult a mental health professional for an evaluation. A therapist can evaluate your interactions with others and help you to make corrections to your behavior.

So much of our lives revolve around our interactions with others. You have detected potential problems in your interactions with others. If there is a problem, it should be corrected. Therapy can help. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Are People Born Bad?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Are People Born Bad?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 20 Feb 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.