How To Deal With Ungrateful People

Its human nature to sometimes be thankless but there are some people who never notice good deeds. If they do, they are too ignorant to appreciate others. There are three main reasons why ungrateful people behave the way they do. 1) Their upbringing, 2), their personality, and 3) they may be going through a rough patch and nothing impresses them at the moment.

When dealing with ungrateful people, don’t blame yourself for their weakness; it’s not your fault. Find balance by limiting how much you sacrifice for them. Calmly share your frustrations with them in a bid to look for a solution. Finding out why they are ungrateful can help you know how to treat them.

Perhaps you are not sure if the person you are dealing with is ungrateful or you are misjudging. Here are a few traits to help you know for sure.

Traits Of Ungrateful People

1.    They are envious

Ungrateful people continuously admire what others have to a large extent such that they don’t really appreciate what they have.

2.    They are never satisfied

No matter how hard you try, ungrateful people never seem to find it fulfilling. They will demand more even when you have outdone yourself. They are also dissatisfied with their own achievements. They keep seeking more regardless of the level of growth attained.

3.    They are resentful

Ungrateful people hold on to grudges for long and tend to use them as baits to get what they want.

4.    They are mostly selfish

When you need them, they will be unavailable but if they are the ones who need you – which will happen often. Ungrateful people will coerce you to be there for them. If you don’t avail yourself, they will remind you a million times.

5.    They often act like victims

Whenever ungrateful people are in trouble, the whole world knows but when you are in trouble, they are less concerned. If you open up to them about a challenge you are facing, they will overshadow it with challenges in their life and try to demean your problem.

There are many other traits that describe an ungrateful person. Those are just a few. Here are a few steps to take while dealing with these kinds of people.

6 Ways To Deal With Ungrateful People

1.    Understand you are not at fault

Ungratefulness is an attitude. This attitude causes someone to take privileges for granted. The assumption is you did what you did because you either have the resources, or you can afford to. In relationships, for instance, your partner may continue expecting more favors just because you are in a relationship.

2.    Alternate the frequency

Just like children, grownups sometimes get used to consistently being treated a certain way. If for instance you always help take the trash out, your partner may assume that it is your duty to do so. Distracting the pattern and having them perform the task may wake them up to the reality that it isn’t automatic.

As you do this, calmly explain to them what it makes you feel when your efforts are not appreciated.

3.    Decide on your limits

It’s never enough, no matter how much you spend, how long it takes you, or how much effort you put; with an ungrateful person, there is always another gap to fill. This routine can be draining especially if these are people you cannot easily detach from.

You need to learn to deliberately set boundaries on your time, money, emotions, and all other resources. Without limits, ungrateful people will drain everything you have and still ask for more. Before they quench life out of you and throw you off-balance. Decide how far you can go today.

4.    Look for the concealed need

When people are overly ungrateful, it could be that they bear other hidden struggles. If they have low self-esteem, for instance, they may conceal it by demeaning your generosity. They could also be depressed or going through a stressful life situation.

When you understand what triggers someone’s nature of ungratefulness, you will manage the situation better.

5.    Share your frustration without demanding compliance

It’s not fair that you have to sacrifice for someone and eventually suffer their ungratefulness instead of being celebrated. You need to address the issue before your emotions blow up. Find an opportune time to share. A good chance would be at a time you are expected to act. If you fail to buy an expected gift, you will most probably be questioned.

Respond in a calm low tone. You can say, “I wanted to buy you a gift but I remembered every time I buy you a gift, you criticize it and end up not using it.” Discuss the issue at length describing instances when you felt unappreciated.

If the person responds, refrain from talking back at them. This minimizes the chances of getting into an argument. If the discussion gets heated, let the person calm down and revisit it later. Do not ask for compliance; let the person act on their impulse.

6.    Emotionally disconnect from the giving and what it means to you

Often, we give gifts that we have carefully selected and invested heavily in. You have probably done a lot of window shopping and inquiries trying to get the right gift for someone. You finally get the gift and present it expecting that it will spark magic when it is received. Unfortunately, the recipient fails to express the level of excitement we expect. This makes us feel disappointed.

Perhaps the issue here is that we put a lot of ‘heart’ into the gift. When dealing with an ungrateful person, disconnect emotionally from the gift or the recipient so that you don’t become resentful.

Final note

As earlier mentioned, each one of us has been ungrateful at some point. It’s not about what we do at the heat of the moment. It is continuously nurturing that character. In the same way, we can cultivate being grateful; it only takes will power.

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Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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