Zodiac, Self

6 Zodiac Signs With The Worst Reputations (And Why They Are Misunderstood)

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zodiac signs with a bad reputation

Every zodiac sign has its pros and cons. If you read a lot of astrology articles, though, you’ve probably started to think that some signs have a lot more cons than pros.

When we’re ranking signs from best to worst for any quality you can think of, some of them always seem to wind up at the bottom of the list, and we end up with zodiac signs with a bad reputation who don't deserve it. Even a horoscope can be daunting in this way.

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Why are people always so down on Virgo? Why shouldn’t Scorpio be trusted? The Sun sign is only one component of a full natal chart — it’s not even the most important part when it comes to defining individual personality traits. We shouldn’t paint every member of one sign or another with the same broad brush.

Still, it’s easy to get hung up on the negative aspects of each sign and forget that there’s a very good reason why they have these qualities.

Life isn’t — and shouldn’t be — all about the positive energy. There has to be a balance. Looking more closely at all the fine points and subtleties that describe every zodiac sign, we begin to understand that what seems like a big ball of sour energy are actually vital life skills and useful traits.

It’s all subjective, too. Depending on who’s writing the descriptions, Gemini (for example) can be either an over-talkative schmoozer or a charming, eloquent socialite. Even the daily horoscopes can be interpreted many different ways, so who are we to say that one sign or another is always going to be hurtful, annoying, or disappointing? 

Sure, every Sun sign has some basic qualities that describe the overall personality, but these are very general descriptions. If you really want to know a person, look at their natal chart — or better yet, spend some time talking to them and learn about their real motivations, dreams, and fears.

Here are the zodiac signs with a bad reputation, and why they are misunderstood.

1. ARIES (March 21 - April 19)

Sure, Aries is the hothead, the one who would sooner bash their way through a window if they can’t get the door open on the first try. We hear a lot about Aries’ bad temper, all the fights they start, and their tendency to leap before they look. Aries is a sign of action, and because of that, it’s often assumed that they can’t be bothered to think very hard about anything.

Aries is restless, not stupid. They want to feel like they’re moving forward, even if it means that they have to break things to forge a path. Individualistic and forthright, they make great leaders precisely because they’d rather do something (anything!) about a problem instead of sit around talking it to death.

They don’t argue and fight just to be difficult, either. Aries’ fierce dedication to their ideals makes them passionate and outspoken, and they will never shrink from defending anyone or anything they care about. So they get carried away now and then, but there’s no denying their sincerity.

RELATED: 9 Things That Make Aries Women Completely And Utterly Irresistible

2. GEMINI (May 21 - June 20)

Reading about Gemini’s negative points, we begin to suspect that underneath that vibrant, charismatic exterior, they don’t really have a personality of their own. Gemini is like a social sponge, absorbing any predominant energy and mood they encounter. They’re flaky, and deceptive, and... wait just a darned minute.

Gemini’s whole purpose is to communicate and make connections, whether for themselves or for others. To do this, they have to be adaptable and able to get along with lots of different people. Just because Gemini really understands you when you speak your mind doesn’t mean that they can’t also sympathize with your enemies, and it certainly doesn’t make them a flake or a traitor.

There are many sides to every issue, and no one “right” way to look at it. Gemini shows us how important and productive it is to keep an open mind and be willing to listen instead of just clinging to one perspective.

RELATED: 4 Harsh But True Reasons Why Geminis Get On EVERYONE'S Nerves

3. CANCER (June 21 - July 22)

Cancer is moody. Cancer is passive-aggressive. Cancer is paranoid. It always seems like Cancer is either giving you the silent treatment, or smothering you with desperate affection. Maybe the problem isn’t with Cancer, though. Maybe we need to confront our hidden emotions and deal with our own mommy issues.

Cancer is the “mother” of the Zodiac. Nothing is more important to Cancer than their home and family. (That might not seem very PC, but remember that it’s a metaphor based on ancient traditions — astrology doesn’t assign gender roles.) Cancer is a worry-wort, but that’s because Cancer really does care so deeply about the people they love.

As an emotional Water sign, they communicate through feelings. They may not know how to solve every problem, but when someone they love is hurting, Cancer feels it too. They’ll do anything to make you feel better. If you don’t show Cancer that you appreciate their devotion, they’ll feel like you’re rejecting them entirely, and who could blame them for getting crabby sometimes?

RELATED: 15 Uplifting Quotes That Will Comfort Even The MOODIEST Cancers

4. VIRGO (August 23 - September 22)

Yes, Virgo can be a real buzzkill. They’re always complaining about something, and they’re so obsessed with details that they can never just be spontaneous and have fun. They’d rather organize their book collection than go to a party (or they’ll go to the party, and organize their host’s book collection). Why do we even bother talking to Virgo?

Virgo is a problem-solver. To do that, though, they need to be able to spot the problems, call out those responsible, and show everyone what needs to be done. Virgo’s analytical mind is always in overdrive, picking out every little detail that stands between us and perfection (or at least improvement).

No one likes to be told what they’re doing wrong, but without honest critique, we’re more likely to just keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Virgo grabs us and says, “No. Stop. This is messed up, and it needs fixing, NOW.”

RELATED: The ULTIMATE Guide To The Virgo Zodiac Sign — The Most Down-To-Earth Sign In Astrology

5. SCORPIO (October 23 - November 21)

Scorpio, it’s a good thing you’re so self-contained, because any other sign that gets picked on and gossiped about as much as you do would have fallen apart by now. According to the rumors, you’re a deceitful, manipulative, slutty tyrant. You’re an easy target for the “Worst of...” lists because no one knows who you really are under all those layers.

So who is Scorpio, really? They’re the keepers of the cosmic mysteries. This sign rules the basic life forces: birth, sex, and death. It’s also associated with the concept of law — not just human laws, but the laws that govern existence. As such, Scorpio not only seeks truth, but guards it from corruption. It’s a tricky job that requires a tricky mind.

Face it, Scorpio, you’re intimidating. Unfortunately, a lot of people assume that it must be because you’re evil. Maybe they’re just not ready to understand the universe the way you do. However, the few who can pass Scorpio’s rigorous tests will find a loyal, trustworthy friend for life.

RELATED: Traits Of The Scorpio Zodiac Sign That Make It The Most Intense Sign In Astrology

6. CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19)

Capricorn’s ruling planet is Saturn, which is one of the “malefic” influences. It’s associated with death, work, time, age, responsibility — basically, everything that is just not fun. In any group setting, Capricorn is the designated grown-up who reminds us that we have to work in the morning. So boring.

Know what’s worse than being boring, though? Living your whole life without accomplishing anything worthwhile. Capricorn doesn’t spend so much time working just because they can’t think of anything better to do. They’ve got big ambitions and they intend to make their dreams come true, even if it takes years.

Capricorn will sacrifice fleeting pleasures for lasting success and security. Want to see Capricorn’s fun side? Work with them. When their project succeeds, Capricorn’s grand celebration will put everyone else’s frivolous parties to shame. 

RELATED: 5 Ways To Keep The Capricorn You Love Happy AF — Or Else

Trudi Mentior grew up in Great Falls, Montana, where she spent her formative years wondering just what might be beyond those vast plains, on the other side of those distant mountains. She now lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband, three cats, and a loudmouthed hyacinth macaw (who loves to scare the cats).