Unstable. Unpredictable. Hot-headed.
These are just some of the words that are often used to describe an impulsive person.
Don’t get me wrong: We all engage in impulsive behavior from time to time, and it may come with benefits.
A little spontaneity can be exciting. It can feel good to make quick choices and take life as it comes, especially when everything turns out better than expected.
On the downside, being too impulsive can get in the way of — and even sabotage — how you relate with other people.
In this article, we’ll talk about the most common social mistakes that impulsive people make.
Find out if you are prone to making these errors and what you can do to bring impulsivity under control.
1) They may overreact to situations
Most impulsive people have frequent emotional outbursts.
They have trouble controlling their emotions, which often leads to crying, yelling, and other reactions that aren’t proportionate to the situation.
Do you know someone who gets easily triggered? You know, the type of person who lashes out in anger during arguments and creates unnecessary drama?
Impulsive people may not always know how to stop themselves from doing things when they’re emotional. Sometimes, it even leads to anger management problems.
The anger may become too intense that they fail to think about the other person’s feelings.
2) They fail to follow through on commitments
It’s common for impulsive people to make promises they don’t keep.
Whether it’s changing or canceling plans at the last minute, frolicking from one task to the next, or even jumping from one job to the other, one thing is clear: impulsive people tend to be inconsistent.
Sure, there are times when the unexpected happens and they just can’t do what they said they would do.
But if a person is often caught over-promising or fails to fulfill responsibilities, it can have serious consequences.
People may consider that impulsive person as flaky, undependable, and someone they can’t trust.
3) They may unintentionally offend or confuse people
Have you ever had moments where you said things you wish you hadn’t? This happens way too many times to impulsive people.
They may say something inappropriate, insensitive, offensive, and hurtful because they don’t realize the tone or context in which they are speaking.
Over time, this leads to misunderstandings, conflicts, and tensions that could have otherwise been avoided.
And it can get worse: This behavior may leave people feeling lonely and suffering from shame and low self-esteem.
4) They find it hard to actively listen
What can be more annoying than having a conversation with someone who seems too distracted — who makes you feel that they don’t care about what you’re saying?
The thing is, impulsive people have thoughts that race from one thing to the next. They find it hard to give their full, undivided attention to the person they’re talking with.
You may find them checking their phone or abruptly changing the topic whenever you’re trying to get your point across.
They may not even remember a thing you said because they weren’t listening in the first place.
5) They dominate conversations
Simply put, impulsive people tend to talk too much and talk too loudly. This means they may….
- Consistently turn the conversation toward themselves, which makes the conversation seem like a monologue
- Shout or laugh inappropriately during conversations
- Interrupt a lot and jump into the conversation while the other person is speaking
A conversation with an impulsive person may often be one-sided, draining, and frustrating because it feels like you’re not acknowledged or heard.
6) They tend to overshare
Have you experienced meeting someone for the first time and a few seconds after the conversation starts, that person is already revealing some of the most intimate details of his or her life?
Impulsive people are often unaware that they’re oversharing. They just can’t seem to stop themselves from revealing too much information.
Sometimes, they know that they’re oversharing but they don’t see it as problematic.
This behavior may also be connected to a lack of personal boundaries.
7) They do whatever they want regardless of the consequences
It can be very difficult to trust someone who acts on their impulses without considering how their actions might affect them and the people around them.
Whether it’s a shopping spree, quitting out of the blue, or doing something reckless, impulsive people may only focus on the immediate gratification of doing something.
For example, they may buy a new car or a new property without even thinking if it’s a wise financial investment.
They end up making decisions and actions that they regret because these ultimately led to debt and damaged relationships.
8) They struggle to take responsibility for their actions
Many of us have played the blame game at one point or another. Impulsive people, however, take this game to an extreme level because they fail to realize that what they did was wrong.
And once they start to play this toxic game, it’s hard for them to stop.
When something bad happens, they fail to see their “fault” in it. They respond defensively by pointing fingers at others, which is another way of saying “The problem isn’t me, it’s you.”
9) They find it difficult to deal with criticism
Impulsive people often take criticism personally. Of course, critical comments can be very hard to digest.
But for impulsive people, receiving criticisms — constructive or not — can become an intense, emotional experience.
They tend to feel very overwhelmed and react with sudden and surprising outbursts of crying, anger, yelling, and other aggressive behaviors.
10) They ignore social clues
This goes back to our earlier point about how impulsive people may lack a sense of social boundaries.
They have trouble making genuine connections because they can’t seem to read social clues — from laughing nervously to crossing arms, giving funny looks, and all other subtle signs that they’re making people uncomfortable.
It seems that they may be oblivious to the reactions of people around them.
Dealing with inconsistency and a lack of predictability in actions and emotions is no easy feat.
But there are ways for impulsive people to keep their urges in check and improve their relationships. They may try to …..
- Look for patterns and identify triggers. This means understanding the causes or reasons why people are tempted to act impulsively so they can prevent them the next time around.
- Pause before doing anything. Any time they realize that they’re starting to get emotional and feel the urge to act or react quickly, they may make a mental note to stop and think. Take a step back to consider how their decisions and actions may affect other people.
- Ask for feedback. Asking for help from family, friends, and people they can trust can help impulsive people gain a fresh perspective and shed light on the consequences of their behavior.
- Seek professional help. Professional therapy may help impulsive people navigate their concerns and manage their impulsive behavior so that it doesn’t destroy relationships.
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