It’s good to have emotions, but sometimes you can feel too much. A water sign who is ruled by the moon, Cancer is, by far, the most emotional of all the zodiac signs. They have an inborn inability to turn off their feelings. Life with them can be a roller-coaster ride veering between very high highs and extremely low lows. If you’re looking for a sign that is logical, stoical, calm, and clear-headed, you won’t wind find it in Cancer.
I’ve already covered “The 10 Best Things About Cancers.” As with many other signs, it’s when their positive traits go astray and get exaggerated that they become negative traits. For example, being too considerate can make you unassertive. Being too nice to others can leave you too exhausted to take care of yourself. If you’re too loyal to an ingrate, you may wind up feeling betrayed.
Here are the 10 worst traits of Cancer. These traits are not absolute, and they vary in degree from one Cancer to another, but this is generally a good summary of how they roll when ruled by the dark side of the moon.
“Crabby” is just another way of saying “moody,” but since we’re talking about a zodiac sign symbolized by a crustacean, it just fits better. Don’t let Cancer’s hard-shell exterior fool you for a minute. They feel things more intensely than every other sign does combined, and then some. They are overwhelmed with emotions to the point where at any given moment, their internal world resembles a weather map of a tropical storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico. Their emotional pendulum swings back and forth as if propelled by hurricane-force winds. They can experience all four seasons in a single afternoon. Sometimes they run hot, sometimes cold, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy. Pack a raincoat when dealing with them.
Again, this is their hypersensitivity in overdrive. They are ruled by others’ opinions of them, so when you say something even mildly critical in jest, they may feel as if you’ve stabbed them with a kitchen knife directly in their heart. This is why, even if you think that their former hairdo looked better, the colors in the clothes they’re wearing today clash just a little, or the interior design of their living space needs a bit of sprucing up, you need to tiptoe over eggshells and express your misgivings in the kindest and most diplomatic way possible so they don’t feel as if they’re being attacked.
It’s possible to be too nice to others, and Cancer is a living example of this. They are so focused on pleasing others that they risk selling themselves short. They may naively expect everyone to be as loving and giving and selfless as they are, and they repeatedly wind up being surprised that this is not the case. They take care of others’ problems but let their own problems fester. When good things happen to them, they find it hard to shake the feeling that they don’t deserve it. They suffer from low self-esteem, so when they criticize themselves to others, it’s not some backhanded way of fishing for compliments—they actually believe the negative things they say about themselves.
Because they are often too good to people who don’t really deserve it, Cancers wind up being mistreated by sociopaths and abusers and people who mistake kindness for weakness. It sometimes escapes them that the reason others may mistreat or undervalue them is because others can sense their lack of self-worth. It becomes a vicious cycle, because their depressiveness and simmering sense of victimhood leads others to continue devaluing them. Combine that with a tendency to feel things more deeply than anyone else, and it makes it hard for Cancers to recover from slights both real and imagined.
They cling to negative experiences and tend to forget the good things. They also suffer from an inability to forgive themselves for mistakes they’ve made and random acts of awkwardness they’ve committed. It can wind up being a downward inner spiral of overanalyzing situations and reading way too much into completely innocent gestures: “Did you see the way they looked at me when they told me to have a nice day? Why did they tell me to have a nice day, anyway? Could they tell I’m not having a nice day? Did they even mean it when they told me to have a nice day, or was that their sarcastic way of telling me that they hope I have a rotten day?”
Cancer’s positive traits such as being nurturing, loyal, affectionate, and considerate can combine with already mentioned negative traits such as touchiness and unassertiveness to give them the sense that things never go their way, life is brutally unfair to them, their generosity is more likely to be exploited than rewarded, and that this is simply the way the world works and will always work. Sadly for them, this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people expect things to go wrong and have a lot of emotional investment in the idea that the odds are stacked against them, they can often unconsciously guide events so that they paradoxically are never disappointed when they always wind up disappointed.
Holding on to negative experiences can become toxic. More than perhaps any other sign, Cancers have trouble coming to terms with the fact that many of the negative things that happen to them are a result of their kind and giving nature. It’s hard for them to accept that not everyone is as good as they are. So they bask and stew and wallow and marinate in resentment. They are wound collectors who hold onto lifelong grudges and tend to never forgive anyone who’s wronged them. But in the end, they wind up only harming themselves. They would be wise to internalize Nelson Mandela’s observation that “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping that it will kill your enemies.”
Despite being such naturally generous caregivers, Cancers often feel ashamed of needing help from others. So when things go wrong, or especially when they need help but are too afraid to ask for it, they will bottle up their feelings and retreat into their shells. When you ask them what’s wrong because something is obviously VERY wrong, they are the type most likely to say, “Nothing’s wrong. Nope. Everything’s fine. Nothing’s wrong at all. Actually, now that you ask, I feel GREAT. What would ever give you the silly idea that something’s wrong? Wrong? No. Not me. But if something’s wrong and you need help, please don’t hesitate to ask me.”
Although Cancers are highly trustworthy, the longer they live, the more they begin to realize that many others are sneaky, dishonest, manipulative, double-crossing, two-timing liars. Since trust (even more than attraction) is the foundation of good relationships, this is why Cancers often wind up having trouble finding—but especially keeping—stable, long-lasting partners. So if you find yourself falling in love with a Cancer, be forewarned that you will have to earn their trust, and it may take some time. But be also very, very careful never to lie to them or cheat on them, because they will probably never forgive you. As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “’I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
People who are shallow and don’t feel things very intensely find it easy to shrug off being disrespected, insulted, or cheated. But Cancer—especially when they realize they’ve been way too nice to someone who didn’t deserve it—may go on a systematic vengeance-wreaking mission to repair their wounded pride. Their “justice” may take twisted and obsessive forms. They may not get violent or break the law, but they will be hell-bent in causing you some of the pain they feel you inflicted on them with no good reason. Their claws will come out, and they will find a way to hurt you. This is why you should beware the Wrath of the Crab.