When you want to describe someone’s personality using personality adjectives, it might be useful to expand your description by using some language that describes their behavior. It might happen to you to use this language either in your personal life or at work. So, in this article, we are going to learn some useful expressions and idioms about behavior.
In general people’s behavior could be categorized into some brackets as presented below:
Let’s learn about the idioms to talk about behavior (the mentioned types of behavior) in this lesson:
Idioms about aggressive behavior
Aggressive behavior is any behavior or act aimed at harming a person or animal or damaging physical property.
To have it in for someone (Of idioms for bad behavior):
Meaning: To be determined to harm or criticize someone.
Example: My teacher had it in for me because I played a joke on him in class.
To get on someone’s nerve:
Meaning: To annoy someone a lot.
Example: We really got on each other’s nerves when we were living together.
To give someone a dirty look:
Meaning: This idiom is also a negative idiom used to describe a person that means to look at someone in a disapproving way.
Example: After the project’s failure, my boss gave me a dirty look.
To be cross/furious with sb (Of idioms to talk about behavior):
Meaning: To become so angry at someone.
Example: I am crossed with Jack because he constantly lies to me.
To be seething with anger(Of idioms to describe behavior):
Meaning: Extremely angry but unable or unwilling to express it clearly.
Example: Sometimes I am seething with anger when I am alone with my little brother at home but I do not express my anger.
To make somebody’s blood boil (Of idioms for bad behavior):
Meaning: To make someone extremely angry.
Example: Some of the students in the class usually make the teacher’s blood boil.
First scene (idioms about behavior)
Let’s use aggressive behavior collocations in a conversation:
A: How is your relationship with your manager?
B: Actually awful! You know after the failure of the last project he has always had it in for me!
A: NOOO!! Why? Such events are quite natural!
B: I know. But he has been giving me a dirty look since then. He seems to be cross with me.
A: was it all your fault?
B: no! It was a team work. To be honest some of my colleagues also getting on my nerves because they do not do their duties very well. They make my blood boil.
A: Oh! No! you might probably be seething with anger when you’re at work.
B: Yes! I should leave this company!
Idioms about considerate behavior
To be there for sb (Of idioms to talk about behavior):
Meaning: Be available and supportive if sb wants to talk to you or needs your help
Example: Don’t worry. Our father will be there for us whenever we want.
To have sb’s (best) interest at heart:
Meaning: To care about sb and want to improve their situation
Example: My mum has the family’s best interest at heart.
To hold sth together (Of idioms about behavior):
Meaning: To keep a group of people, a marriage, etc united in difficult circumstances.
Example: My father does his best to hold the family together even in harsh situations.
A shoulder to cry on:
Meaning: A person who makes you calm when you’re upset
Example: As much as I remember my mother has always had a shoulder to cry on for me
Give/lend sb a helping hand:
Meaning: To help sb
Example: Sorry Jack! I have a lot on my plate this week. Would you please give me a helping hand?
Second scene (Idioms to talk about behavior)
Let’s put considerate behavior collocations into practice:
A: How is your relationship with your new girlfriend?
B: Wonderful! After just a few months she has my best interest at heart. She has always been a shoulder to cry on! I couldn’t be more satisfied!
B: Yes! She is a very caring person to her family and friends as well. She tries her best to hold her group of friends together and is there for them whenever they want!
A: You are so lucky, dude!
B: Absolutely I am! Last week I had to finish a very complicated project. She gave me a helping hand throughout the week. To be honest I haven’t seen such a fantastic person in my life.
A: Doesn’t she have a friend like her!!!??
Idioms about selfish behavior
Selfish refers to a characteristic or behavior focused primarily on one’s own interests and needs, often at the expense of others.
To have things your own way:
Meaning: Get or do what you want, even if other people want sth different.
Example: My sister always wants to have her own way when we go out with the family.
To put your foot down (Of idioms about behavior):
Meaning: To use your power to stop sb from doing sth.
Example: I should put my foot down with my sister because she is so selfish and just thinks about herself.
To take it for granted:
Meaning: To expect sth to happen because it usually does.
Example: The idea that parents should support children under 18 is taken for granted.
To push sb around (Of idioms to describe behavior):
Meaning: To treat sb unfairly by blaming them
Example: My older sister used to push me around because I was small.
To stick up for sb/yourself:
Meaning: To defend or support sb/yourself
Example: My father always sticks up for us even if we did sth wrong.
Not lift a finger:
Meaning: Do nothing to help sb
Example: I had a lot on my plate last week. However, you didn’t lift a finger to do sth for me.
Idioms about deceptive behavior
To take someone for a ride:
Meaning: To deceive or cheat someone
Example: I think he has taken us for a ride. We have worked a lot and paid nothing.
Swindle sb out of sth (Of idioms about behavior):
Meaning: To cheat or trick someone in order to get money from them
Example: The shop assistant has swindled customers out of $15 million.
To see through sb’s lies/promises:
Meaning: To realize that someone is trying to deceive you
Example: Jack was trying to trick me into doing that illegal action. However, I could see through his lies and promises and didn’t accept them.
Third scene (idioms about behavior)
It’s time to use collocations related to deceptive and selfish behavior in practice:
A: You know I am fed up with Jack’s behavior! He has always had things your own way! He is so selfish!
B: Yes! I can also see through his lies! He doesn’t lift a finger when we are in dire need, and he has been trying to swindle me out of 200 dollars.
A: Really?!! I think we should put our foot down with him. All we do for him is taken for granted.
B: What is quite surprising is that her girlfriend always sticks up for him!
A: No way! He always pushes her around and takes her for a ride in his project! She must be an idiot!
In this article, you learned about the most common idioms about behavior in English. It is important to know English idioms and expressions to expand our vocabulary in order to communicate with native speakers effectively. Our general English course is a comprehensive online program that includes the most important and common idioms, expressions, and phrases in English. By taking this course, you will be able to speak more fluently and take your English to the next level. So, take our general course and level up your English!