Everyone makes mistakes… is something you’re likely to hear after f*cking up royally. Things are usually okay, although it never really feels like it at the time. And what’s worse? All of us are destined to screw up over and over, sometimes in the same exact way, until the end of our days. To help soothe the inevitable sting of guilt and shame, I’ve identified the most common mistakes every zodiac sign makes to help remind you that you’re in excellent company, even if you never quite break your bad habits.
Aries: Sticking with a bad decision because, hey, at least it’s a decision
You’re action-biased, Aries. Unlike Hamlet, you’re not known for long, contemplative spells and analysis-paralysis when faced with a choice. You like a bad decision way more than you like no decision. But just because it pains you to move backwards doesn’t mean you can’t—or shouldn’t—pivot when it’s clear you’re traveling in the wrong direction. Your astrological telos is to push forward, but that has to be balanced with strategic foresight. Even if “strategic foresight” sounds suspiciously like code for “gumming up the works on your grand plans”…
Taurus: Keeping strangers at arm’s length
Maybe you have enough friends, Taurus. But as the sign most resistant to change, you could probably stand to freshen up your inner circle. Your default response to new people is usually “not interested”—not because most people aren’t that interesting, but because you’re super comfortable with your regular cast and crew. But a recurring guest star will only add to the dynamic, so say yes to matcha lattes with your new work friend who also re-watches episodes of Buffy.
Gemini: Double-booking themselves
Oh Gemini, it’s almost not your fault. When you combine your natural lust for social stimulation with your epic disorganization, you inevitably end up in situations where you have to send texts like, “that was TODAY? SORRY leaving now!” It’s not that you don’t want to keep every plan you make, it’s just so much easier to say yes and then let it fly right out of your head until you’re forced to remember again. Usually by disappointing someone. Luckily, you’re great at being “on your way” while still in pajamas and a face mask.
Cancer: Being crabby about leaving your comfort zone
“Let’s just hang out at my place,” is what you sound like when you’re really enjoying someone’s company. If not, then you probably peaced out without anyone noticing. But either way, for you, all roads lead back to the homestead. You’re forever in pursuit of security, and like the crab who carries their house on their back, you usually have a first-aid kit, gummy vitamins, and tissues on your person. But when you’re out of supplies, or worse, when you’re too far from home for too long, that’s when you get really grumpy and those pincers come out.
Leo: Spending your problems away
Even a Taurus doesn’t love retail therapy as much as you do, because they are slowly investing in quality basics, while you are reinventing your whole damn self, Leo. When it’s go time—meaning you’re in the wake of a fresh heartbreak, moving to a new city, switching careers, or it’s just Wednesday—you’re ready to evolve into the next iteration of yourself. And that iteration needs a whole new wardrobe, because her aesthetic is highly developed, and your process is outside-in. Should you have to spend some money to bring yourself to life, so be it. Leos are all about shedding their skin and finding a new, more expensive self underneath. If you’re not broke by the end of Leo season, you’re not really doing Leo season.
Virgo: Speaking to others in the same tone they use to speak to themselves
Virgos, you’re often too hard on yourselves. No one meets your incredibly high standards (if they could, you’d just raise them higher), and you notice everything that falls short. Your internal monologue can feel like an endless scolding. And because Virgos have incredibly high integrity, you like to treat everyone the same. But rather than turn your acid tongue loose on others, which may rapidly dissolve their self-esteem, try to resolve the inconsistency in favor of being a little nicer to yourself. Your friends will really, really appreciate it.
Libra: Ghosting when it gets too awkward
Libras, I know it’s easier to disappear into a cloud of texting ellipses when things get awkward, but let’s reconsider, shall we? As the natural diplomats and social chairs of the zodiac, your talent is grace, charm and making everything nice. So any disruptions in that carefully cultivated ambiance isn’t merely unpleasant for you—it’s simply not done. But not every confrontation has to escalate into something ugly. The experience of working through a misunderstanding together can yield a more beautiful, complex dynamic built on trust. So let’s please stay friends even after you’ve read this paragraph.
Scorpio: One-upping when threatened
A little one-upping never hurt anyone, right, Scorpio? That depends on how often you lean on that lever. The thing is, a little friendly competition with you rarely stays little or friendly. You’re one of the most powerfully intuitive and sensitive signs in the zodiac, which makes you a fearsome opponent and powerful ally. But even among friends, you can be susceptible to insecurity about your place in the dynamic. Any sense that someone is digging at you will trigger your instincts to passive-aggressively dominate them. Try occasionally letting them “win,” just to see what happens. Does it seem like they are playing the same game you are? Were the digs really digs after all? It’s hard for you to lower the drawbridge and trust in the best intentions of others, but the risk may actually be far higher for assuming the worst.
Sagittarius: Doubling down on being tactless
Everyone puts their foot in their mouth sometimes, Sagittarius, but not everyone defends it to the death like you do. You’re usually ready to take one flippant remark and extrapolate some larger theoretical framework wherein you are totally justified for what you said. Because you’re so intellectual and competitive, your rhetorical dexterity is an effective flex. But before you take up arms, check in with how it might feel to be on the other side. Apologizing might be less fun than winning, but it’s way better than losing a friend and having to ponder why.
Capricorn: Getting off on not having fun
This one is only arguably a problem, Capricorns. You might have the most fun by not having fun, because it allows you to wear the posture of a curmudgeon, which is… pretty fun. Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey, Hugh Laurie in House, every iteration of Mr. Darcy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus in anything. You get the aesthetic. Capricorns tend to be serious and professional, even in relaxed settings, and it’s only natural for you to play up your haughty demeanor—even if it’s not quite as delightful for everyone else. If you let your hair down once in a while, you might actually enjoy hanging out as one of the people. It’ll make you appreciate your perch even more.
Aquarius: Making extreme first impressions on purpose
Aquarians, you waste no time when you meet someone new. No matter how high-stakes the introduction may be (potential in-law, boss, client), you’re looking to figure out whether or not they can handle you. Will they flinch at your off-color joke or chime in? If you make a pointed observation, will they appreciate your boldness or get defensive? Putting aside the legitimacy of your inquiry, and the unseen personal variables at play that may distort the validity of your results, it’s good to keep in mind that people are not science experiments. However innocent, playful, or loving your intentions may be—and they usually are, as the zodiac’s humanitarian—try not to intentionally shock people as soon as you meet them. You can deliver your joke on the second meeting.
Pisces: Never letting go of an ex
It’s romantic to say you’ll never stop loving someone and then actually never stop loving them. But usually after a relationship ends, the healthiest thing is to truly let go. For you Pisces, the struggle is always between quotidien concerns and grand romantic ideals. You have no desire to live in a world without greater meaning, where your lived experience doesn’t connect you to a higher purpose. What the f*ck would be the point of all these feelings, then, right? But sometimes an emotional injury simply needs a bandage and time. Not every promise you’ve ever uttered in an oxytocin haze is sacred. Sometimes the gods don’t want you to suffer. Sometimes all they ask is that you delete their number, put on some sunscreen, and go to lunch with your mom. Like the normal and extraordinary human being you are.
Graphic by Madeline Montoya.