Whether you’re astrology-obsessed or a total unbeliever, you probably know that there are certain not-so-great traits associated with each zodiac signs. Zodiac sign stereotypes are probably the most pervasive way the signs are talked about, but often, they couldn’t be farther than the truth.
Astrology can be a lot more complicated than it seems. But when the narrative around it is formed by Tweets and memes, sometimes the real lessons from the stars can become a little bit of a gray area. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding humor from the zodiac, alongside guidance, you are likely to find some misconstructions of other signs if you aren’t listening to astrologers themselves.
All signs have both positive and negative traits. One birth month isn’t going to be completely flawed, and one is not going to be perfect. And you definitely should not write someone off entirely based on their sign.
Some of these clichés are rooted in truth, others seem to have come from out of nowhere. But wherever the ideas come from, learning the reality behind it can help you gain a new relationship with the zodiac, whether you think you need one or not.
Here is a cliché about your zodiac sign that isn’t actually true, according to an astrologists.
1 – Aries (March 21 – April 19): Aries Lack Impulse Control
Aries are fiery. But that doesn’t mean that they are dangerously temperamental, or lack impulse control.
“Aries are the initiators of the zodiac, much like being the first born, they often have a hot blooded reaction — however, that happens after the ram examines all the facts of the matter,” astrologist Lisa Stardust tells Bustle. “They are actually very methodical in their reactions to others.” So don’t assume that an Aries can’t be a good partner or friend because of what you hear about their sign; they actually can handle themselves quite well.
2 – Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Tauruses Are Lazy
Taurus, symbolized by the bull, often gets a bit of a name for being lazy. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Tauruses are the hard workers of the zodiac,” Stardust says. “They are the builders and constantly working hard toward achieving the things they want … Relaxing comes second, after their long and hard days have ended.” So if you notice a Taurus looking particularly chill, chances are they’re just taking a break.
3 – Gemini (May 21 – June 20): Geminis Are Unreliable And Two-Faced
Because Geminis are symbolized by the twins, they can often be misconstrued as being two-faced (read, backstabbing), and unreliable. Stardust thinks that’s an unfair portrayal.
“As the most partnership oriented sign of the zodiac, because they are the twins, Gemini’s tend to try to appease others — to a fault —which gives off the appearance of them being two-faced, when in reality, they are trying to create harmony amongst others,” Stardust says. Plus, since they’re ruled by Mercury, they’re the zodiac sign best at responding on time to calls, texts, and emails. So let the Geminis be, for a change.
4 – Cancer (June 21 – July 22): Cancers Are Cry-Babies
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with crying, Cancers are in much better control of their emotions than stereotypes might have you think.
“Ruled by the Moon, Cancers are the most emotionally changeable sign of the zodiac (because the Moon changes sign every two and a half days),” Stardust says. “However, they have a tough and resilient shell that they wear which protects their emotions, making it hard to upset them.” This crab-like quality of emotional armor keeps their emotions from getting the better of them.
5 – Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22): Leos Are Drama Queens/Kings
While not completely out-of-left-field, this cliché about Leos is still an exaggeration. “We have all heard the rumor that Leos are over-the-top dramatic,” Stardust says. “However, they are just too proud which sometimes can be confused with dramatics, as they assert their power ferociously.” Next time a Leo shows their strong feelings around you, remember that it might be more about how they feel than their need for flair.
6 – Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22): Virgos Are Control Freaks
Virgos like things a certain way. But that absolutely does not mean that they can’t compromise. “Ruled by winged messenger Mercury, Virgos just like order and concise communications, as they are the analytical part of Mercury,” Stardust says. “They observe others, while deciphering facts from fictitious tales, letting others know their honest opinions.” Don’t automatically assume you can’t hang out with a Virgo, or suggest a brunch place to them, without getting shot down. They’ll be honest, but they’re open to suggestions.
7 – Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22): Libras Are Indecisive (And Players)
Just because Libras are trying to balance their internal scale does not mean that they’re constantly unsatisfied. “While it’s is hard to keep the scales balanced at times, Libras do find balance in weighing each side of a situation and coming to a decision through analyzing both sides,” Stardust says. “Like all air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), Libras love freedom … however, they are loyal in relationships.” So although they may be flirty and always on-the-move, they’ll come back home to the one they love.
8 – Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21): Scorpios Are Obsessive
Scorpios may be symbolized by the poisonous scorpion, but that doesn’t mean they’re toxic, obsessive, or bad to have around. “Scorpios look at things through both sides, using their judgement, based on facts, to decipher right from wrong,” Stardust says. “It may take them a hot minute to make up their minds, only because they want to use their claws to assess and know the complete truth.” Once they know what they want, they’ll go get it.
9 – Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21): Sagittarius Are Mean
Once again, the zodiac does not include a month of bad people. So, while Sagittarius tends to be honest, avoid assuming that they’re mean and sarcastic. “The archer does use its bow and arrow when provoked, however, they use their verbally blunt and fast words to show their honest nature, [and] they do not intend to hurt others with words,” Stardust says.
10 – Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19): Capricorns Are Emotionally Cold
No matter what the memes say, this little fish-goat hybrid is not a cold, emotionless workaholic. “The sea-goat is both sensitive and fun-loving — as it can harness its way through emotional waters, as well as run wild on earth,” Stardust says. “Capricorns are sweet, loving, and nurturing to all. Yes, they work hard, but it’s because they are very smart and great at using their knowledge and determination to complete any task at hand swiftly.” If you know a Capricorn who’s overly focused and not responding to you that well in the office, maybe they just have a stressful job. They deserve a break because really, they’re a very kind sign.
11 – Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18): Aquariuses Are Wacky
While they do love a little adventure, Aquariuses aren’t totally “out there.” “All air signs love freedom; however, Aquariuses tend to get the rep for being the ‘free love sign’ when in reality they love structure — they just think artistically outside the box and are one with the current trends,” Stardust says. So don’t distrust your Aquarius friend just yet, they might know the fun new happy hour spot before you, and be a really great person to go check it out with.
12 – Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20): Pisces Are Flaky
Pisces are not all unreliable or unobtainable. They might think differently than you, but they aren’t deserving of this stereotype. “The fish live underwater and see the material world differently than most, due to their creative minds,” Stardust says. “While they often swim away from others and live in their own underwater world, they are loyal and don’t mean to offend others — they just live in their own bubble.” So forgive a Pisces if they’re a bit out of touch, and try reaching out to them first.
Most of these clichés are negative, and anyone can display these qualities if they’re having a bad day. But to write off entire zodiac signs because of these stereotypes is unfair. Instead, it’s important to uncover what the stereotype actually means about the sign. This little exercise can lead you to a greater understanding of the ways others behave, and even how they see the world.