History has a long list of infamous villains, but as it turns out some of these bad boys may not have been as evil as they’ve been made out to be.

The saying goes that time heals all wounds, but in the case of some historical figures whom textbooks have labelled as generally bad people time has only inflated just how treacherous they actually were. Take Benedict Arnold, for instance. The man whose family helped found Rhode Island fought long and hard for the Americans leading up to and throughout the Revolutionary War as a leader in the Continental Army. His efforts thwarting the British during the Battle of Lake Champlain were vital to the American side, and he was a key component in the British army’s surrender in the Battle of Saratoga.

Benedict Arnold did have his faults, and those faults, mixed together with what he perceived to be unforgivable slights on the part of the American top brass, led to his jumping into the arms of the British. Arnold might be what some people today call a narcissist – he was impatient, short-tempered, demanding of respect and often took to belittling those who he felt were beneath him. Those traits, despite the many successes he had in the war effort, made him an easy character to dislike. In turn, that may have lead to his being passed over for promotions within the army and not being given the credit he actually deserved.

The lesson here? Don’t be a prick to people. And definitely don’t switch teams unless you want to be branded a ‘Benedict Arnold’.

Story by Jay Moon