Oblivious. Thick. Tone deaf. Insensitive.
There are countless words to describe a person who is unaware of how their actions impact others.
I think we all know someone like this. They might be a decent person deep down but somehow tend to rub people the wrong way.
In fairness to them, sometimes we don’t always realize the gravity of our actions.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our habits that it takes an objective party to set us straight.
Change is always within reach if you want it.
Let’s dive in!
1) They constantly cancel plans
Canceling last minute–a phenomenon also known as ‘flaking.’ There are fewer more efficient ways to alienate a friend than this one.
Sure, you can get away with it once or twice, provided you have a valid excuse.
But when it becomes a habit, people catch on, and for the most part, they won’t put up with it.
I don’t blame them.
Cancelling at the last minute indicates a blatant lack of consideration for the other person or people involved.
It indicates selfishness–that you don’t genuinely value that person.
If you have to cancel, never wait until the last minute.
I’ve done this in the past. I’ve been too lazy, distracted, or even too hungover to follow through on plans, and I’ve lost friends in the process.
Rekindling those relationships is never an easy feat.
Remember, you get what you give.
2) They frequently interrupt conversations
It’s basic etiquette: you don’t interrupt people while they’re speaking.
Have you watched the news lately?
All these talking heads debating geo-political issues, constantly interrupting one another like children. It’s stressful.
I have to actively avoid the news because I feel my anxiety levels rise whenever I tune in.
So if cable news can be that level of triggering, what more real life?
If you want to come across as classy, gracious, and elegant, let the other person speak before chiming in.
Anything less is frankly pretty rude.
When interacting with others, try not to simply wait for your turn to speak, listen actively, and reply accordingly.
Constant interruptions will lead to feelings of frustration, annoyance, and insignificance for the other person involved.
3) They don’t acknowledge messages or calls
We live in a fully digital world.
Yes, you may be able to dismiss missing a call or overlooking a message as trivial or “no big deal.”
I know so many people who claim to be so “busy” that they will almost never return messages or calls.
Overlooking a text here and there is okay, but when this becomes a pattern, it will invariably turn people off.
Ignoring communication, whether intentional or not, will make people feel ignored and unimportant, which can ultimately affect their perception of you.
Put it this way, if you suddenly get a text from your crush or from your boss at a new job, would you ignore it or conveniently “forget to respond”?
I’m guessing you probably wouldn’t because the latter figures are important to you.
You should afford friends and family with the same courtesy.
Nobody is saying you have to reply within seconds, but touching base every now and then, or simply responding, will make the people in your life feel appreciated.
4) They’re always late
My ultimate pet peeve is when people are habitually late.
We’re all late every once in a while; this is just the nature of life.
Chronic tardiness, however, is problematic.
You can have all the excuses in the world, but when it comes down to it, if you’re regularly late this indicates self-centeredness and a lack of consideration and respect for others.
It means you lack the sensitivity and manners to consider unforeseen circumstances and are willing to risk the other person’s time, comfort, and convenience in the process.
I know people who are perpetually a minimum of thirty minutes to an hour late for gatherings.
I tend to distance myself from these types.
Your time is not inherently more valuable than anyone else’s, but by being late, this is the message you’re communicating.
5) They over-sharing personal problems
Our friends or family should be able to lean on us during times of crisis.
But at the same time, they should be restrained to avoid overburdening us with their problems, particularly when there’s minimal reciprocal support.
This is self-absorption in a nutshell.
If you have someone in your life like this, then you’re essentially just a glorified, unpaid therapist.
We should behave more tactfully, and not emotionally drain the people around us.
I know folks who are in a constant state of crisis.
They’re pretty much oblivious to the happenings of the rest of the world.
They’re too busy ruminating and using others as emotional punching bags to air out their endless “problems.”
Unless you’re paying the other person, they shouldn’t be subjected to your never-ending drama–it’s stressful, it’s draining, and it’s a turnoff.
Don’t overstay your welcome.
6) They make jokes at the expense of others
Generally speaking, as humans, we tend to want to be around people who uplift and inspire us.
So if you’re constantly poking fun, sarcastically teasing, or making distasteful jokes about others, this is bound to disenchant some people.
When the quips become frequent enough, people will begin to find your presence tiring, your energy too bleak and pessimistic to be around for lengthy periods–and they may even end up avoiding you.
We all love a laugh, but when it consistently comes at the expense of undeserving targets, expect your interactions to suffer.
7) They don’t often express gratitude or acknowledgment
I was waiting for my luggage at the airport the other day when I noticed the woman beside me struggling to lift her bags off the conveyor belt.
So naturally, I stepped in and grabbed her two gigantic Samsonite suitcases, placing them as gently as I could on her trolley.
Rather than thanking me for the act of courtesy, she just looked at me blankly and walked away, baggage in tow.
It may sound like a minor infraction, and maybe it was, but the lack of gratitude and acknowledgment boggled me.
If someone did the same to me, I’d be extremely grateful and let them know.
The latter is just common decency.
If people have done you a favor in the past and you’ve neglected to recognize those efforts, trust me, they’ll remember–in certain cases, they’ll even permanently blacklist you as rude.
Moral of the story? A simple, yet meaningful ‘thank you’ can definitely go a long way.
Nobody’s perfect. If you’ve been guilty of the above behaviors, don’t overthink it. You’re human.
Like anything in life, what matters at the end of the day is how you respond.
If you show a willingness to change and adapt knowing what you do now, then that speaks to the quality of your character.
Once you make the shift, you can fully expect your relationships to thrive and for more doors in life to open.
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