10 Signs You're Dealing With An Everyday Sadist

This is worse than someone just being occasionally mean.

mean man galina malyugina/ Shutterstock

We have all met one person who seemed to have a habit of waking up in the morning, drinking their coffee, and brainstorming how to hurt other people.

Though they don’t necessarily do so via physical means, these kinds of people will dig at your self-esteem, mess up your work, or otherwise just inconvenience you in one way or another. They like to see you squirm, and they live for it.

Everyday sadists, as psychologists call them, are people who just really love to hurt others for one reason or another.


And, thankfully, they’re easily spotted and at least somewhat avoidable in many situations. 

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Here are 10 signs you're dealing with an everyday sadist:

1. They make mean, casual jokes at someone else’s expense

Sadists love to dish out dirt and dig at people, even if those people are nice to them. They do this because they know those “jokes” undermine peoples’ confidence and because they love to see others suffer.


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2. They tend to stir up drama just so that others will gang up on an innocent person

This is one of the easiest ways everyday sadists tear others down. They love seeing others get hurt and they love seeing others cry. If they can manipulate others to hurt the target for them, all the better. This is why many sadists are into mud-slinging and gossip-mongering.

3. They’re rude to people that they manage

This is actually a reason why people are told to avoid guys who are rude to servers. They could actually be casual sadists.

4. You get the feeling that they like seeing you suffer and hurting you

From personal experience, I can tell you that those feelings are almost always spot-on. They may say, “I’m not trying to hurt you,” or “I’m just saying my opinion,” but make no mistake about it: they are out for blood.


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5. Trying to get them to empathize with you is a lost cause

No matter how much you argue, plead, and try to convince the sadist, they aren’t going to empathize with you. This is because they like seeing you hurt. Nothing is going to change that because that’s just who they are.

6. They humiliate others in person

These are folks who get off on seeing others suffer. As a result, they will put you in the spotlight, shame you, and embarrass you for fun.

7. They have no issue using violence, intimidation, or extreme cruelty in any relationship, for any reason

Normal people will hesitate to use violence or cruelty because they know it’s not a nice thing to do. Sadists don’t care. They will use it to get what they want, to exert control, or because they think it’s funny. For many sadists, dominance is the name of the game.


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8. They're controlling the people they have close relationships with

For sadists, control is part of the high they get from being cruel to others. This is why they will often tell their spouses they’re not allowed to go outside without them, or why they may issue ultimatums on best friends over meeting new people.

9. They’re online trolls

Studies have shown that this is the most common indicator that someone will be sadistic with those they meet in person, as well. After all, the entire reason why people troll online is to hurt people for fun. Who’s to say they won’t do the same to “loved ones”?


10. People avoid them, bend over to them, and warn you about them

If someone warns you and tells you that a person is bad news, you may want to listen to them. This is especially true if you notice that people say they are cruel human beings. Though you may want to consider giving them the benefit of the doubt, keeping your guard up is the best course of action. 

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, New Theory Magazine, and others.