We have all had ungrateful people in our lives. Those folks that seem to think we were put on this earth to serve them or fix the messes they get themselves into. They expect people to pick up after them or help them with things but never seem to get to the “thank you very much for your help.” portion of the interaction. They also never seem to be happy or content with the way their life is or the people who are in it.
So how do we avoid becoming the unhappy and ungrateful person we see in some people?
Identify their behaviors and do the opposite.
Here are 6 behaviors of people who aren’t thankful and how to avoid them:
1. People who aren’t thankful are always in need
People who aren’t thankful are always in need of some kind of assistance. Whether it is help with bills, watching the kids or giving them a ride. They always need something from you. They are in a perpetual state of emergency and it is usually one they create themselves either through poor judgment or on purpose in order to create the drama they feed on.
Do you have a recurring emergency in a relationship or with finances? Identify what the issue is and work to change it. Instead of asking for someone to help with a temporary solution work on a permanent one. Instead of asking for help with a bill ask your friends and family to help you find a better job.
The important thing is that when someone does take time to help then tell them “thank you.” People will rescue you from hellish situations and all that is required on your part are two words that won’t cost you a dime.
2. People who aren’t thankful don’t have time for you unless they need something
The thing is that unless they need something from you, then you never hear from them. They only turn to you for friendship when they are in a jam. You will never hear them say “Hey let me take you out to lunch” or “let me help you with that.” If everything is going fine then you don’t exist in their world anymore.
Don’t just call friends or family only when you need something. Reach out to people. Ask them if they need help with anything or just go out and get a coffee with them and talk. Relationships built on mutual assistance are strong and last a lifetime.
3. People who aren’t thankful expect you to help them
They may feel entitled to your help either because you are family or they feel that you owe them something for being their friend. They aren’t grateful because they feel they have earned your help and you are just paying them back. They may have done a single nice thing for you only so that they could hold it over your head for as long as they can and squeeze every last ounce of guilt fueled work they could. Family, rather than friends, usually expect you to help them.
Don’t expect people to save you. You are a strong independent and resilient person who is more than capable of helping themselves get up after a tumble. It is great when people help or come to the rescue and be very thankful when they do because those people are rare indeed, but don’t sit in your tower and expect someone to save you. Save yourself.
4. The world revolves around them and their schedule
Oh and you have to drop everything you are doing right now to come and help them. If it was an unexpected emergency that would be one thing but the ungrateful person’s emergencies are usually do to poor planning, poor time management or irresponsibility on their part. They screwed up (again) and they expect you to come running to save them right this second.
If someone is willing to volunteer their time to help you with something then the least you can do is to work your schedule around theirs if you can or come up with a time when you both are free. Being grateful for their assistance means understanding that their time is just as precious to them as yours is to you.
5. People who aren’t thankful often bite the hand that feeds them
Related article: 6 Behaviors That Create Spoiled People (And How to Avoid Having Them)
Despite all of your help ungrateful people will turn on you. They will talk behind your back. They will say that you never help them. That they do all of the work and you are the ungrateful sponge. Despite all you have done for them they will tell their friends or other family members what a horrible person you are in order to get more sympathy from people who can’t help them.
If someone helps you or does something nice for your with no expectation of recompense then sing their praises whenever you have a chance. Sometimes being recognized is reward enough.
6. People who aren’t thankful will always remember the one time you didn’t help them
Ungrateful people will never let you forget that one time you weren’t able to help them. Whether it was because of time constraints or lack of funds it doesn’t matter. They will hold that guilt over you until the end of time.
If someone can’t help you either because of a lack of resources, knowledge or time then be understanding. Tell them you are thankful that they were willing to help even if they weren’t able.
Everybody needs help now and then and no one should be ashamed to ask for, or receive, help. When you are able to return the favor at a later date then that shows thankfulness. If you have truly special people in your life who give selflessly and ask for no reward then you should let them know how very grateful you are to have them in your life.