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Personality Traits of a Cancerian

By: Libby Pelham BA - Updated: 1 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
Cancer Cancerians Sensitive Shell Crab

The fourth sign of the zodiac is Cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd) and it is represented by the crab. Appropriately enough, Cancerians can seem easygoing, sympathetic, and patient one minute, then cranky and irritable the next. Because of this ability to make a sudden change, Cancer is the least predictable of all signs.

They are ruled by the moon and have water as their element, so their mood swings can be compared to the turbulence of the shifting tides. If they feel they need to, they will retreat to their own emotional shell to keep others out. However, Cancerians can be very sympathetic to others and readily show their affection. Cancerians are also very emotional and sensitive, which may be why they are so empathetic towards others.

Cancerians need a lot of attention due to their unpredictable character, but if you give them the support they need, they will offer you their undying loyalty and love (see our article Cancer in Love in this section). Once you have won their trust, nothing anyone else can say will sway them against you.


Just like a crab, Cancerians are often known for sidestepping. They rarely take the direct approach to what they want, but eventually they get what they are after. Cancerians are better judged by what they do and not what they say. When asked to help, their first response might be no, but in the end, they always come through. They can often be hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. The hard shell they show to the world is only there to protect themselves from being hurt.

Cancer is also the sign of home and family life. They seek out relationships and are happiest when with those they love because it gives them a sense of security.


Cancerians are very intuitive, almost to the point of being psychic. They are able to spot even the smallest change in another's behaviour, so it is hard to deceive them. They are very insightful and most have a good memory. The combination of these two skills plus their excellent observation skills makes them very aware of the ulterior motives of others.


Cancerians are often seen as moody, cranky, and unpredictable. Because of their sensitivity, they can be seen as over-emotional and touchy, almost to the point of being clingy. They tend to be possessive of those they have allowed in their world. Cancerians can shut people out if they feel uncomfortable and "going into their shell" is seen as being introverted.

Parts of the Body Ruled by Cancer

The breasts and stomach - because they love to overeat, Cancerians may have to fight the battle of the bulge their entire lives. They are also prone to digestion problems that may be caused by stress or tension.

Famous Cancerians

Actors/ Entertainers

  • Sylvester Stone
  • Bill Cosby
  • Harrison Ford
  • Milton Berle
  • Tom Cruise
  • Robin Williams
  • Tom Hanks
  • Pamela Anderson

Musicians/ Singers

  • Ringo Starr
  • Courtney Love
  • Huey Lewis
  • Deborah Harry (Blondie)
  • Carlos Santana

Artists/ Writers

  • Rembrandt
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • George Orwell

Politicians/ Leaders

  • Henry VIII
  • Nelson Mandela
  • George W. Bush
  • Prince William
  • Princess Diana
  • John Quincy Adams
  • Gerald Ford
  • Calvin Coolidge

Cancerians may seem hard on the outside, but do not take that to heart. Once you get to know them, they can be very loving and insightful of your feelings. They love to be with family and their families love them despite their turbulent mood changes.

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[Add a Comment]
Being...a cancerian is so hard....we are always the peace lover...so guys i am a singer.....and about my feeling..as a cancer it's really hard to live life....with so much of hurdles...i face the hurdles but...these comes day after day....being a typicall cancerian is really so hard...always we are diffrent from everyone...but we can't show them how much our abilties....are....it's really hard....to work harder and harder... But guys...from my side....never give up..........life is so long...so in this...long..life...fill every sec with just happiness.......that's our best...cure...and our special ability of being diffrent to everyone
Himanshu - 1-Feb-18 @ 9:38 PM
Hey lovely Cancerians, I'm a first decan Cancer born June 28th. I realize with these comments I've read that we are so hard on our selves. I find myself sometimes making small complaints or being hard on myself because I always want to be the best version of myself. It's okay to want to evolve but first We have to fully accept things that we can not change and LOVE ourselves completely regardless of the current circumstances. Our pasts have shaped and molded us into survivors and stregnthened us. Everything we are going through is for a reason and always remember bad times don't last long. Maybe we shouldn't perceive things that happen to us as good or bad and just live. Live our lives in a way where we just enjoy the Present and be grateful. There is always someone worse off than you. You will get that Job. You are Beauty. You are Truth. And You are Love.Let's Love and appreciate ourselves we are all perfect in God's eyes and God will never give you anything you cant handle. Just speak to God more and listen to him and he will respond within you or show you a sign. Go within
Daia - 4-Dec-17 @ 5:32 AM
I was born July 6, and I have been through lots of struggles . But proud to say I am a survivor. Yes I'm too sensitive that I can sense others even without speaking. And that's the reason why no one would want to be around me for long. Guess people don't like someone who knows what they're really feeling and thinking. Honestly, I feel safer on my own than being with others. I love partying but once or twice a month only . My husband loves my food. And I'm really sensitive to dirt that's why I keep everything perfectly clean every single day. I have a beautiful son and husband. We are having a very wonderful life(he is a virgo). And what can I say. Those bad years from long time ago are left to be just memories now. And I know we cancerians are tough. Survivor. Listen to your instinct but left that feeling of insecurities behind. They're not real. We are perfect in our own way. I also don't love instability but I am adaptable and flexible. I know all of us are.
Ms. WAC - 19-Nov-17 @ 12:45 AM
My life is very out of balance and I have a high irritability for not feeling secure or in a job that I would like to be in the rest of my life. Ohhh ? what is that, what is something you would like to do? Oh well, that changes every month or every 6 months maybe a teacher, plumber, criminal attorney, painter, electrician, on an electric company, Trampoline Park company, oh my hell it is so stressful. All of my stress comes from this indecisiveness as well. I wish I could just wake up and be in a job that I can excel and be a part of the best job in the world. I don't even know what direction to go in. I already wasted 3 years in criminal justice with nothing to show for it because guess what oh yeah I changed my dang mind. If I could afford school maybe I would be a teacher If I could but can't afford school. I have tons of love built up inside for all those amazing children. So I could go on forever I just hate that I have to live unsettled because I don't know what to do and I change interests so dang much.
Poot - 1-Nov-17 @ 1:25 PM
I'm not in the exact situation as you but very similar. So I say "Where I am at in life is exactly where I need to be." For what ever reason that might be either to help others or to help myself...an opportunity to live life or an opportunity to take a break from it. I have learned that troubles or suffering in my life come from wanting what I don't have or having what I don't want. So I revert back to simplicity and at best I try to stay on the side of gratitude, being grateful for what I do have and grateful for what I don't have. Then I welcome patience because it may be along stay....life is balance....with out sadness how would you ever know what it is to be happy. Life is telling you something...Arthur Mendelson said " if you focus on the problem you'll never see the solution....never focus on the problem". I hope this has helped you because I too need to hear these things.... BP Jul-18-75
Blaise - 23-Sep-17 @ 11:42 PM
Hi, I am unemployed and this have has me stress out.i got hired on 9/18/17 for a security job but the company don't have work for me.i am in need for a income . It been since June that I have been unemployed what is wrong.i feel my luck is runningout but I do haveFaith in God and I have been praying for my luck to come and I be happy again.i don't to ask my children for anything and they don't ask me if I am alright and do I need anything. Could you lift my sprintup with some good advise . thank you a soul that needs cheering up.
Dimples - 19-Sep-17 @ 9:05 PM
I'm a cancer BD July 8 and we are the same I could relate to everything you guys are saying
June - 20-Aug-17 @ 2:49 PM
This is me but I also have traits of a Gemini and that make me half Crazy! Lol
Livi - 15-Aug-17 @ 2:54 AM
Yes that's exactly it, but have you noticed there are definite similarities between people with "water signs"?
SeaCreature - 7-Aug-17 @ 10:20 AM
Umm... some of it is not true and some of it is true??
ORION - 6-Aug-17 @ 7:47 AM
All the sentence about are truth I always be beiive in my self no matter what and I always get my goal
Ayoleew - 23-Jul-17 @ 5:38 PM
So true I'm so sensitive in the inside but in the outside people think I'm confident and strong some times i am and I always hide my feelings idk why I just don't want people to know what i go through cause it's horrible drama everyday but I can handle it cause I believe in myself
Sadoon - 16-Jul-17 @ 2:03 PM
Yeah this is me to the T and sadly forgiving but NEVER forgetting once bitten 3 times shy
Zudeck - 22-Jun-17 @ 7:23 PM
I'm a female about to turn 30 in less than a month,on July 8. As im getting older andmore intetested in astrology im often amazed at how accurate my personality traits are described when reading about cancerian. I love to help others and in the past have not felt satisfied when I am in seclusion and afraid to have social contact and get taken advantage of. I feel best about myself when I am making a difference in spreading positive energy and affection even in the smallest way, like giving a stranger a compliment. I haven't dated for most of my 20s after a serious of heart crushing relationship I "retreated into my shell" to keep from getting hurt again. Recently I met a man who is an Aquarius and I'm beginning to fall in love. I have never felt the need to stay at arms length away from him to keep from getting hurt its quite the opposite i want to let him in and be with him, the only thing that worried me is his sign and that as a cancer I will be to clingy and need more affection and attention than an Aquarius can give. Any advice as to follow my head or my heart would be greatly appreciated. Being ruled by my emotions and having my grandmother pass away only a few days ago im afraid to push him away by needing to much. Is that my answer though? if im afraid to open up 100% then does that mean he isnt the right man?? He is very intelligent and a Dr which is very attractive to me in reguards that her wants to help others as much as I do. I think he is willing to pot in the same amount of commitment into this relationship as i would. I guess my main question is, can a cancer be loved enough by an Aquarius??
Brit - 16-Jun-17 @ 10:36 PM
All of this is true I am a Cancer and I can't deny any of this. Not one sentence.
Jp - 1-Jun-17 @ 7:03 AM
This is pretty dead on! But I think the Mayan zodiac fits me a little better!
Ella - 24-Apr-17 @ 1:05 AM
i am a cancerain woman.what is said above is somewhat right but i am not foody.
bhagi - 19-Apr-17 @ 2:49 PM
This is soo true.I have readed lots of horoscopes and this one is really on point.
tay tay - 12-Apr-17 @ 8:29 PM
Am cancerian. And i mostly agree with everything writen there. We are sensitive, even seen as clincy and nt mentioning most loving. nd unpredictable
thapz - 8-Apr-17 @ 2:01 PM
Everything is so true about us CANCERS that I sometimes hate that I'm one... I LOVE TOO HARD
Queengodly - 18-Mar-17 @ 2:11 PM
I am a cancer and every article I read hits me dead on. It's crazy how everything fits me so perfect. I have even moved 1200 miles to be near the ocean and I haven't been more at peace within my self.
Jennak - 17-Mar-17 @ 2:03 PM
I'm cancerian and all of this true becoz I' m such type of person??
naabi - 14-Mar-17 @ 1:17 AM
Cancers are moody, but they are the most loving people I have ever met. Secretive yes but very sensual.
tmiday30 - 12-Mar-17 @ 4:31 PM
i think i am not under cancer sign but i feel like i had the traits of cancer.
J - 10-Mar-17 @ 10:56 PM
Yes, this is true I'm a cancer women.l do have mood swings, run into my shell, and get clingy, for the most part.However, i do have a big (heart??) and hate to be played.When I'm into you i go all out my loyalty is 100 percent .Also my temper is bad nothing to be played with so watch out now!!!!!
Nika - 26-Feb-17 @ 11:07 AM
I'm a true cancer and love it.Loyal, intuitive, suppotive and will be with you forever but once you cross me, that's it I will retreat and probably never speak to you again in life.
Lou - 19-Feb-17 @ 6:58 PM
This is totally me ! I'm a cancer and I'm proud of it
Lenci - 16-Feb-17 @ 2:49 PM
Most of the statements are true except that cancerians are clingy
Meenu - 7-Feb-17 @ 4:14 PM
This is my man exactly. Split personalities. Mood is severe. Incredibly insecure. Extremely manipulative. I love this man, but when he shuts down. Our relationship suffers tremendously. I love him but i can not deal with his hurtful cheating lying indecisive ways. Can not make up with mind to save his life. Help me...
Derrick's Beauty - 5-Feb-17 @ 12:16 AM
Am a cancer guy and in love with a gemini and hell know every time she cheat i figure her out now our relationship is going over the edge and am afraid to let goone i dont even know how we fall in love but for me to go and find a new lover is like i dont stand a chance am so confuse can some one help me
Alex - 29-Jan-17 @ 10:12 PM
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