If someone displays these 8 behaviors, they lack thoughtfulness

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You know the type of person who always seems to be ready to help others in any way they can?

They might do little things like hand you a towel when you need to dry your hands or plug in your phone for you when you forgot and the battery is nearly dead.

These are the kind, thoughtful people of legend. They’re the people your mom told you stories about and tried to teach you to be.

But the fact that we have to talk about thoughtful people means, of course, that most people aren’t this way. Some are but just moderately, while many others truly lack thoughtfulness.

They simply don’t consider actions before they take them, and they don’t think a lot about others and their needs.

What are these people like to interact with? I’m sure you already know! But let’s try to nail it down here to build a solid profile of an inconsiderate person.

If someone displays these eight behaviors, they lack thoughtfulness and could do with slowing down and taking the time to think more before they act.

1) They don’t remember special days

I happen to be writing this article on my lovely little niece’s sixth birthday.

As a terribly thoughtless uncle, I missed about three of the past four birthdays, and the first one was a surprise, so that doesn’t count. But this year, I’m on it.

How did I manage to remember?

When I realized I’d forgotten her birthday in the past, I always felt pretty bad, even when she was too young to know or remember. At some point, I realized that this was going to reflect badly on me, and I didn’t want to be thought of as thoughtless.

So I’ve got a big desk calendar, and I’ve written her birthday down along with a bunch of other important family and friend birthdays throughout the year.

Normally, I hardly know what day of the week it is, but now I can look at my calendar and see a big, bright date coming toward me.

Like me, this takes a conscious effort for most people. But it’s the effort that is that thoughtfulness that you want to improve. 

2) They leave messes

Personally, I’m not nearly as thoughtless when it comes to leaving messes as a lot of people I’ve met.

I remember about ten years ago seeing someone drive by me on the street. They rolled their window down and tossed a McDonald’s cup right into the road. They didn’t even make an effort to throw it to the side or anything; just dropped it right in the middle out the driver’s side.

I was shocked.

When I was a kid, people used to litter a lot, but the incident made me realize that this habit has largely been licked. So it really stood out to see someone do this.

Obviously, they didn’t really care much about keeping the city looking nice or what people would think of them. They just had a cup they didn’t want and solved that problem easily.

Did it lack thoughtfulness?

Most certainly, and that’s a hallmark of people who lack thoughtfulness everywhere.

3) They talk without listening

One inconsiderate thing that really stands out about thoughtless people is how happy they are to talk.

But ask them to listen for just a minute or two and it seems like a real strain.

Now, sometimes you really have something important to say, and it’s time for others to be quiet and take it in. But in most situations, when we’re conversing with others, we need to practice a little give and take.

Even if one person leads the conversation, it’s only a conversation if the other person gets to contribute as well. That doesn’t just mean that they get to talk as well. It also means their words are actually listened to, considered, and responded to appropriately.

It’s really thoughtless to just prattle on and on about whatever’s on your mind without considering that the other person also has a lot to say, too.

If this is something you find yourself doing often, you can change. 

When you realize that you’ve been doing all the talking, you can make that kind of statement out loud and use it to redirect things.

“Sorry, I’ve been doing all the talking. I’d love to hear what you think.”

4) They’re not careful in their work

People who lack thoughtfulness don’t care about their work and other important tasks. 

They may rush through important things that they’re doing because they’re not interested, or they feel like they have places to go and people to see.

Or they may not rush but simply put very little into what they’re doing. These are the kind of people who drop what they’re doing as soon as the whistle blows or the clock runs out.

This shows a lack of conscientiousness and value for what they’re doing.

I know that some people hate their jobs, but when AI starts to automate more and more of them in the coming years, only thoughtful people who are conscientious in their work will stay employed.

Employees who put in little to no effort and turn out sloppy work will be the first people to go as the 4th industrial revolution progresses.

5) They’re not considerate of other’s feelings

I’m sorry if I made you worry about your job. I know that it’s not easy to hear that the world is changing rapidly and that so many people will have to retrain and find new employment.

It might help to know that it will happen to most of us, and that could actually mean exciting new opportunities to learn and grow.

I didn’t want to give you the impression that I wasn’t thinking about your feelings like a callous, thoughtless person!

See, people who don’t think at all about how others will feel when they say and do things are, well, thoughtless and generally seen as inconsiderate.

Not only do they not think first about whether what they’re about to say is going to be hurtful or negative, but they also don’t think much about saying and doing things that will make others happy.

They’re not going to be there with surprises or support when you need them. You’ll have to ask first because they’re not going to think of it by themselves.

6) They flake out

People who lack thoughtlessness have this characteristic in common. They’re not reliable.

You make plans with them and they just turn around and change their minds, flake out, cancel – whatever.

I know you know someone just like this and how frustrating they can be.

One friend of mine is a huge flake. Cam’s a really social guy who likes to collect invites and basically says yes to everything.

But when it comes time to choose an activity, he usually has to cancel plans with lots of people all at the same time. And most of the time, he doesn’t even bother to.

Instead of messaging all the people he said yes to, he just goes dark, and they have to interpret his silence as a cancellation. It’s all pretty thoughtless behavior, and it leaves a lot of people feeling frustrated and undervalued.

Me, too!

7) They don’t plan for the future

One thing that conscientious, considerate people think about all the time is the future.

They know that the things they do today can affect their lives and the lives of others tomorrow.

But people who lack thoughtfulness tend to live day by day without putting any serious thought into what the future will bring.

This usually gets them into trouble.

These are the people who don’t bring an umbrella in the morning and then get caught in the rain in the afternoon. They’re the people who overspend and then ask to borrow from you to get them through to the end of the month.

How come you always have enough money and an umbrella people ask to share?

It could be because you’re a thoughtful person who looks to the future and plans accordingly. Or you might be an umbrella magnate.

8) They don’t take personal responsibility

When things go badly, thoughtful people will try to figure out what happened and take responsibility for any of their own failings. 

But people who lack thoughtfulness will be nowhere to be found.

They simply don’t think about how their actions lead to negative outcomes and don’t see any connection between their mistakes and hardship for others.

They may just take the view that shit happens, or worse; they might actively do whatever they can to avoid blame while failing to consider who the blame will fall on instead.

Last words

If someone displays these eight behaviors, they lack thoughtfulness.

But there’s good news – thoughtfulness can be learned, practiced, and improved.

So whether it’s you or someone you know who has room for improvement, making an effort is thoughtful and is a step in the right direction!

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