Sensitive and empathetic are two of the most used words to describe Cancer traits and for a good reason. No other sign in the zodiac has the ability to feel or express emotions as deeply as Cancer.
No wonder they’re shy and sometimes even anxious.
However, when they’re content and in their element, they are a joy to be around. Their loyalty, warmth, and caring attitude are things everybody appreciates. Like the crab, they’re mostly timid but don’t forget they have claws.
Cancer leads in the realm of emotions, which is often untamed and unexplored or highly risky to explore. That’s why Cancers are pioneers. They’re not afraid to reach for the root of every emotion and make it present and visible.
To better understand this complex and intriguing sign, let’s learn more about Cancer’s unique personality traits.
Cancer season: June 20 to July 20
Element: Water sign
Modality: Cardinal sign
Ruling planet: The Moon
Tarot card: The Chariot
Cancer eminent personalities: Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Meryl Streep, Solange Knowles, Elon Musk, Tom Hanks, Sofía Vergara, Post Malone, Kevin Hart, Chris Pratt
When you come to think about Cancers, the first thing that comes to mind is probably their sensibility. You think of them as people who get emotionally attached quickly and follow their hearts wherever it takes them.
When they love you, they do it all the way. They’re connected to their loved ones to the extreme and get easily offended.
Is all of this just a bunch of stereotypes, or is this what Cancerians are really about?
Cancer in love
You don’t need to have a clue about astrology to know that people belonging to this cardinal water sign are full of love for those closest to them.
They’re tied to their close friends, family members, and everyone else they care about. But how do they act when it comes to romantic love?
1. Taking things to the extreme
The first thing you must keep in mind when analyzing the fourth sign of the zodiac is their emotional depth. When they fall in love, they never do it half-heartedly.
Instead, they’re “all or nothing” kinds of people. Critics will say that this is not a good quality since they tend to take their feelings and relationships to extremes.
What does that mean in practice? Well, when this sign is in a romantic relationship, their SO becomes the center of their world.
Their partner is who gives meaning to their life, and they’re certain that they would be lost without them. Truth be told, the Cancer zodiac sign tends to become a little bit obsessed with the object of their affection.
After some time, their partner becomes the only thing they can think about and the only person who gets their attention. Their mood completely depends on the state of their love life, which is never healthy.
A Cancer is ready to do whatever it takes to make their other half happy and pleased in the relationship. But while doing so, they often manage to chase them away.
They simply start trying too hard, which leaves no room for the other person to feel challenged and intrigued.
Unfortunately, their partners often start taking them for granted, and Cancer ends up appearing pathetic and overly romantic.
2. Devoted, faithful, and committed to the core
One of the notable Cancer personality traits is their devotion. If you’re dealing with someone who belongs to this zodiac sign, you won’t have a hard time figuring out whether they love you or not.
Even though they’re prone to playing some sneaky mind games later on in a relationship, you’ll always know where you stand with them, especially in the beginning. They’re completely unfamiliar with the concept of playing hard to get.
When they love another person, they put all of their effort into that relationship. Making things work with their loved one becomes their primary goal and only obsession.
Actually, this is where we return to the part about their habit of taking things to the extreme. They invest so much of themselves in their romances that they frequently end up losing themselves in the process.
Of course, with their devotion, there always comes loyalty that shouldn’t be questioned when this sign is concerned. They’re one of the most loyal signs of the entire zodiac.
Consequently, they’re also extremely faithful and committed. These people don’t believe in modern concepts like open relationships or casual flings.
They have no problem putting a label on their romance and are always exclusive with their partners. Actually, this is one of their main preconditions to even engage in a relationship.
Remember how I told you that you’ll always know where you stand with a Cancer right from the beginning? Well, this is what I referred to.
Let’s talk a bit about fidelity. Why are they so faithful? Is it due to their honesty? If that’s the case, how is it possible for all of them to be so fair?
Even though these are all Cancer zodiac traits, the truth is that these people have no time or energy left to cheat.
The relationship they’re in at the moment consumes them to the point where it becomes utterly impossible for them to dedicate themselves to anything else.
And let’s not forget that they are unable to do things halfway. Do you get the picture now?
3. Empathic and sensitive
How amazing is that? Well, it depends on the perspective.
You see, their emotional intelligence puts them in the position where they literally feel everything their other half is feeling. They’re so devoted to this relationship that they learn how to read their partner’s mind.
This is great for the other person – there is no doubt about that. It’s awesome to have an SO who can sense each of your emotions without you having to actually tell them anything or explain all of your reactions.
But for Cancers? Not so great. Actually, after a while, it becomes quite overwhelming.
Just imagine being in the position where you feel for two people – that’s exactly what’s going on with these people when they’re in love.
That’s also why everyone thinks of them as too sensitive. Even though Pisces is theoretically more sensitive, Cancer is certainly more emotional.
These people are gentle and get offended easily. But they won’t speak up about whatever is bothering them.
Instead, they’ll probably keep it to themselves, expecting their loved ones to read their mind the same way they do, which is, of course, impossible. This circle of emotions often leaves Cancer feeling unloved and unhappy.
4. Born protectors
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about female or male Cancer traits, they both have one thing in common: they’re born protectors.
When they’re in a relationship, they wrongly assume that the other person’s wellness is solely their responsibility.
It’s impossible to explain to Cancer that everyone is in charge of their own happiness. They take care of their partner and often take over the role of their parent.
Once again, it’s great to have an SO who is so concerned about your well-being and literally takes over all of your problems. On the other hand, with time, this becomes a heavy burden for Cancers.
5. Jealousy equals love
It’s just a part of their personality and something they have a hard time controlling. Maybe this is due to the fragile self-esteem that makes them feel insecure.
Cancer lives in constant fear of being left behind by the person they love. If they love someone, they will be jealous of all the time and energy this person gives to others.
When they care about someone, they become clingy, and they don’t give a damn about whether it bothers the other person or not.
It’s their way of keeping their partner with them, but eventually, they get the complete opposite: their neediness chases their SO away.
Cancer in marriage
Cancer is one of the most family-oriented people out there. Their ultimate goal is to settle down and live happily ever after.
They believe in the institution of marriage, and the mere thought of getting a divorce and not growing old with one person breaks them into pieces.
Actually, Cancer is probably one of the best zodiac signs you could get married to.
They will take care of you and your family, be amazing parents, be 100% devoted to your marriage, and have the least chance of fooling around behind your back.
But they’re not one of those people who get married and have kids because of some imposed societal norm or because that’s just how things should be.
This is what they really want, and they’re ready to do whatever it takes just to have a happy family.
I’m not saying that things will be perfect because there are multiple Cancer bad traits, but if this is the person you tie the know with, be sure that you’ve hit the jackpot.
Cancer in bed
For a Cancer horoscope sign, sex is much more than achieving physical pleasure. They find this intimate act very emotional and see it as a way to bond with someone they consider special.
That’s exactly why they’ll never engage in meaningless affairs or one-night stands. For this astrological sign to sleep with someone, they must have deep feelings for that person.
Some might call this an old-fashioned approach, but it’s simply how they roll. You can’t have a Cancer sun sign’s body without their heart and soul, so when you sleep without them, you get the whole package.
As far as the sex itself is concerned, foreplay is probably their number one priority. People belonging to this star sign are not so much into quickies or adventures.
Instead, both Cancer men and women prefer tender and gentle lovemaking, but of course, they always take into account their partner’s preferences.
Cancer in friendship
Cancer is probably one of the best friends you’ll ever have. Why? Well, have you already forgotten how nurturing and caring they are?
This is someone people can count on (but many, sadly, take advantage of this Cancer personality trait). Need someone to comfort you? Need a loan? Need a piece of advice? This zodiac sign is the person for you.
They’re reliable and loyal, and everyone is dying to be friends with them. The only problem with this friendship is their insecurity.
At first, you’ll probably have to be the one pulling the strings and making the first moves. They won’t call or text you a lot, nor will they initiate any get-togethers unless you do it first.
Sadly, this chases away a lot of people who think that Cancer is not interested in hanging out. This is not the case – they’re just scared of rejection due to their lousy self-esteem.
Cancer at work
People belonging to this sign (including those who have a Cancer Star sign and those with Cancer in Venus) are hard workers. Not only that: they’re also loyal to their employer through thick and thin.
They consider their coworkers to be their extended family and are always ready to put in the extra effort and take one for the team if needed. They’re productive multitaskers, which makes them the best type of worker anyone could wish for.
Let’s not forget that they enjoy talking to others. That’s why the best careers for them are those in teaching, medicine, or childcare.
Cancer Zodiac Traits
Is everything you’ve learned up to now enough to get to the bottom of Cancer’s personality? Most certainly not!
If you want to dig under the layers of their character, you have to be familiar with their good and bad sides. Here are all positive and negative Cancer traits listed out.
Cancer good traits
People belonging to this sign are one of a kind. They have tons of amazing qualities, and here are the most important ones:
Cancer is one of the most intuitive signs of the zodiac, which is common for astrologers to say, whether it’s their sun sign or moon sign.
What makes them intuitive? Since their ruling planet is the moon, the ruler of the subconscious and the mystical, they’re capable of sensing things that are beyond reason.
That combined with the fact they belong to the water element and are a cardinal sign gives them the ability of strong intuition.
Their gut feelings are strong and mostly accurate. The only problem is that they’re sometimes too insecure about themselves and their abilities, so they ignore their own intuition for the sake of something objectively rational.
No matter how shy Cancers are, most people feel very open around them because they are still very receptive and understanding and people can subconsciously pick up on that.
As we already mentioned, Cancer has heightened receptiveness to others’ emotions and that is why it usually makes them empaths or highly sensitive people.
The thing with this trait is that they need to learn to be aware of their feelings but not identify with them because if they don’t, they will soon learn about the ugly sides of being an empath.
Heightened sensibility is often very exhausting and if a person with this sign fails to find ways to recharge themselves, they will experience frequent exhaustion just because of interaction with others.
However, empathy is a beautiful trait to have. Empathy is a reminder that we’re indeed one consciousness expressed through many channels.
We understand each other because there’s something universal that bonds every human. A Cancerian knows that intuitively and that’s why they have a lot of patience and a lot of understanding.
The root of compassion comes from knowing that everything that happens, as well as every living being, has its own purpose, whether we understand it or not.
Understanding something with our mind is different from understanding with our heart, and Cancer knows that better than anyone and this is why compassion is one of the best Cancer traits.
A popular stereotype when it comes to Cancer’s traits is that they’re very attached to family and sometimes their country too. Cancerians have a strong feeling toward home as the place where they come from, not necessarily in a patriotic way.
It partially has to do with the motherly instincts of this sign, which come from the moon as their ruling planet.
They are connected to everything that represents the safety in the sense of a home, a place they can safely reside, a womb, so to speak.
That’s why they are homebodies. They love to spend their time at home and they are not party animals or big adventurers.
Instead, preparing food, serving their loved ones, playing board games, and watching movies under a blanket is more of their ideal free time to them.
Since they have natural respect toward the things and people they consider home or family, they are very loyal too. Cancer can keep secret and will have your back no matter what.
When their loved ones are in need, they ask no questions but go straight for what has to be done in order to provide what’s needed.
Cancer has the energy of that lifelong friend you have nothing in common with but still wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
We all know that imagination has to do with the ability to think beyond what’s expected. Not only that but it’s often connected to the subconscious.
The moon is also a planet of imagination, creativity, creative expression that comes from intuition, and so on. It expresses all the things that the rational sun can’t express.
It represents the mother and our inner child simultaneously. As children, we’re effortlessly creative, we don’t think about the process, we just do it.
Cancer can tap into that kind of energy easier than the other signs. However moody they might be at times, deep down in their hearts, they are children.
Cancer loves dreamy, sort of vague, and hard-to-define things, and that’s reflected in their preferred aesthetic.
Unlike Pisces, who’s also famous for their dreaminess, Cancer’s dreaminess isn’t otherworldly and ethereal but rather mythological and folkish.
Another great thing that comes from their imaginative nature is their adaptability and open-mindedness.
They may not be the most outgoing or adventurous people there is but with their strong imagination and open mind, they can understand so much.
All of these traits can be expressed by Mercury in Cancer or some other planet that has to do with the expression of some kind. Cancer traits like this will be very much present in any kind of work they do.
Cancer is big on caring for others and self-care too. However, they are comfortable only with the people they are very close to. Otherwise, they probably won’t offer their help if it seems inappropriate.
They sometimes become a sort of unofficial nurse to the ones they love when their well-being is in danger.
All water signs have healing and soothing abilities, which is expected since water as an element is very healing to many.
This is no surprise, considering humans are made of up to 60% water, and our whole planet earth is covered with about 70% of water.
That also means that Cancer’s zone of comfort involves water in some way. They like their long bubble baths with scented candles or hitting the beach whenever they can.
They truly feel health benefits from spending time around bodies of water.
Another way they show care is by cooking really good comfort food. In the kitchen, Cancer is just a natural. It’s their safe space.
Along with Taurus, they are the epitome of the saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’, as that’s what they do with their cooking.
Cancer protecting their loved ones, especially their family members, is a scary sight to see. Since they’re mostly shy, not very loud with their opinions, and sometimes hold too much inside, once they’re triggered, all hell breaks loose.
Be sure that they will not back off or let go easily. They will make sure that everybody gets what they deserve.
Remember that crabs have their shell as their armor and their claws as weapons. They may be shy but they are ready for a fight if it comes to it.
Sometimes they can even act too protective, especially as parents, and become overbearing. However, this trait comes from their honest devotion to the ones they love the most.
Cancer bad traits
But don’t be fooled and think that Cancers are angels on earth. Just like any other person in the world, they also have a devilish side. Here is the toxic part of their personality explained.
Everyone likes to tease Cancers for being crybabies. And, well, that’s not always far from the truth. With all their extra sensitivity and receptiveness to people and the things around them, it’s no wonder they have mood swings.
Other than that, they can overthink or take things too personally for no good reason. They simply let their emotions overrule their reason and that’s just not good for anybody, especially them.
But let’s not put all the blame on Cancer. Science says that their mood swings are actually tightly connected to moon phases and tides (let’s not forget that these are Crabs we’re talking about).
As well as often being moody, they’re easily influenced by other people’s feelings, happenings in the world, the weather, and other things.
They’re changeable like the moon that waxes and wanes throughout each month. However, we know that the moon is always whole in reality, it’s just that some parts of it are in the shadows and other parts are basked in light.
It’s the same with Cancer and their awareness. When they’re conscious of their feelings, they emit light and when they let their feelings consume them, they are dark.
If your zodiac sign is Cancer, you have probably struggled with this already. Cancers are often insecure because they are unsure about how much they can rely on their instincts when they are so easily influenced by emotions.
It’s hard for them to see their own talents in a world that pushes a totally different agenda and promotes everything that’s so different from them.
However, they should not forget that this is just another illusion. Everyone’s talents are valuable and we all have our own place in this world or we wouldn’t exist.
One of the negative traits that occur with Cancer is being manipulative. Since they’re not the most outspoken sign but feel things deeply, they can be easily hurt but can’t easily express their feelings, which is why they use manipulative tactics.
They can be passive-aggressive or put the blame and guilt on other people. Making others feel guilty is probably the most toxic trait Cancer has.
They avoid conflict by making themselves a victim and that is probably the most frustrating thing ever, especially for people who are very straightforward and up for resolving conflict directly.
Nevertheless, it’s understandable that this defense mechanism comes from their natural sensitivity and need to protect themselves no matter what.
Another Cancer trait that’s prominent with a sign that has imbalanced emotions is passivity. They rely too much on their comfort zone and that’s what makes them almost immobile.
Comfort zones are fine but there’s no room for progress within them. There’s no progress in fear. Because of their dislike for comfort and their deep inner need to stay safe, they often become paralyzed and very passive.
Once they’re in that loop, it’s hard for them to leave it because doing so requires a lot of mental strength and everything they are not comfortable doing. This is why the sign of Cancer is one of the least favorable signs for planet Mars.
This information isn’t something you’ll find in daily horoscopes but this star sign can be vengeful. It comes from the same place as their passive aggression.
They feel a lot and they care a lot, which means that when you abuse their trust or let them down, they won’t forget. In fact, they will make sure you don’t forget either.
Cancer wants their revenge in one way or another. If they think you’re guilty and deserve it, they will find a way to punish you.
Don’t expect physical violence of any kind, just watch out for your weakness because if you don’t know what they are, they sure do.
They know all your soft spots and vulnerabilities. Their words can do you greater damage than any physical harm.
Cancer traits: Male
A Cancer man is anything but your typical, everyday guy. He is romantic, gentle, and sensitive.
Some might say he is not a real man. Well, they would be wrong. Just because he’s not your typical tough guy doesn’t mean he is any less manly.
Cancer is old-fashioned and romantic. He treats every woman in his surroundings like a true lady.
This guy does everything in his power to please everyone around him. He’ll go out of his way to meet others’ needs, but his readiness to sacrifice doesn’t mean you can fool him whenever and however you want.
Once you break this man’s heart, it’s over. He is in touch with his emotional side, and he is not ready to let someone keep on hurting him.
A woman who dates this guy can consider herself lucky because he really is unique. Most other men would feel that their masculinity is in danger if they acted like him.
But not Cancer. Yes, he has self-confidence problems, but at least he never pretends to be someone he’s not just so others might like him more.
Cancer traits: Female
You know that girl who makes sure everyone in your friend group is sober and home safe? The one who cooks you all chicken soup when you’re hungover, and who worries if some jerk broke your heart?
This girl never judges you even when she disagrees with your choices. Instead, she is compassionate and full of understanding, no matter what happens. Actually, she is one of the most emphatic women of the zodiac.
Yes, she is moody, but that’s due to her sentimental nature.
She follows her intuition even when logic tells her otherwise. And you know what’s best? She is rarely mistaken.
It’s like this woman doesn’t know what it means to be selfish. She invests all of her energy in helping others out without expecting much in return.
Cancer Moon Traits
If Cancer is placed as a moon sign in your birth chart, it has a huge impact on your emotions. It means that you’re sensitive and clingy, similar to those who have Cancer in their Sun sign.
Nevertheless, what differentiates your Cancer moon sign from the Cancer Sun sign is the way you take insults and emotional damage.
Instead of lamenting over your sad state and holding grudges forever (which is something people with a dominant Cancer in their birth chart would probably do), you fight back.
You’re much more fearless, and you’re likely to look the problem in the eyes instead of running away from it.
At the same time, you are highly and always choose your heart over your brain.
Cancer Rising Traits
If you’re a Cancer Ascendant, you’re probably a loner with just a few (if any) close friends. You’re an introvert, and maybe you even suffer from social anxiety.
But it’s not that others cut you off or refuse to spend time with you. You don’t let a lot of people in through your own personal choice.
Why? Because you have deeply rooted trust issues.
You can’t open up to someone you’ve just met because you’re scared they’ll abandon you soon or take advantage of your kindness. Instead, you need time before you get to know them better, and not many have the patience you require.
What about Cancer compatibility with other signs? Who do they get along well with, and who are the horoscope signs they should stay away from?
CANCER AND ARIES – Low/ medium compatibility
CANCER AND TAURUS – High compatibility
CANCER AND GEMINI – Low/medium compatibility
CANCER AND CANCER – High compatibility
CANCER AND LEO – Medium compatibility
CANCER AND VIRGO – High compatibility
CANCER AND LIBRA – Low compatibility
CANCER AND SCORPIO – High compatibility
CANCER AND SAGITTARIUS – Low/medium compatibility
CANCER AND CAPRICORN – Medium/high compatibility
CANCER AND AQUARIUS – Low compatibility
CANCER AND PISCES – High compatibility
What are the bad traits of a Cancer?
The worst traits of a Cancer zodiac sign are their spiteful nature, moody personality, and hyper sensibility, which is a direct consequence of their inability to control their emotions.
Cancerians are considered to be overly possessive and too difficult to love. Sometimes, people feel like they need to walk on eggshells around Cancer to avoid offending them.
Also, these people are champions of resentment. They can hold a grudge for eternity.
Who should a Cancer marry?
Pisces is probably Cancer’s match made in heaven. They’re both led by their emotions and are considered to be overly sensitive by others.
Pisces is also a sign with high emotional intelligence, so they won’t have trouble understanding each other.
A good choice would also be marrying another Cancer or even a Scorpio – both water signs.
What is Cancer’s most toxic trait?
People belonging to this horoscope sign are prone to emotional blackmailing and manipulation. Yes, the truth is that they will do a lot for the people they love.
But a toxic Cancer will keep on bringing up all the favors they did for you. Every time you try to fight them, let alone leave them, all of their sacrifices will come back to the surface.
Before you know it, you feel duty-bound to stick around. And that’s exactly what they want – to trap you with them.
To Wrap Up:
All the Cancer traits we mentioned are not things that are permanent and set in stone. Everyone can change if they want to.
The point of learning astrology is not to confirm what we already know about ourselves but to learn how we can change and progress toward something better.
That’s why astrology is a great tool for understanding the root of our problems and our stubborn traits.
There’s no point in justifying your bad traits because they’re part of your sign. Every so-called negative trait is just an imbalance of a potentially good trait. Instead of crying about your oversensitivity, make it something you’ll be proud of.
Train your intuition and call yourself out when you’re being overly dramatic. Let go of irrational fear and just go with the flow.
As a Cancer, you have a powerful gift that’s not for anyone else. You have that gift because you have enough gentleness and understanding to make the best of it.
You can help people just by listening to them, or even better, just by being around them because of your healing energy.
Whatever you do, just don’t close off and think that there’s no way out. Instead, get out of your shell and show the world how strong a gentle person can be.