We’ve all met someone who seems completely unaware of how their actions affect others. It’s easy to label them as inconsiderate and move on.
But here’s the thing: sometimes they’re not even aware of what they’re doing. Heck, we might even be that inconsiderate person without even knowing it!
So, why should you care? Because being aware of how our actions impact others is crucial for building better relationships and creating a positive environment.
In this article, we’re going to go through 8 common behaviors that many people often don’t realize are inconsiderate.
Whether you’re here to better understand others or to take a good look at yourself, this list is a straightforward guide to becoming more considerate.
Let’s dive in!
1) Interrupting others
Let’s begin with the first big offender: butting in while someone else’s speaking.
I’ve been on both ends of this, and neither is particularly fun. One moment you’re sharing something you’re passionate about, and the next, someone else has commandeered the conversation.
On the other hand, I’ve also been guilty of hijacking a conversation myself, particularly on topics I’m deeply interested in.
Now, just because it’s common and we’ve all likely done it at one point or another doesn’t make it any less inconsiderate.
When you interrupt someone, you’re essentially saying that what you have to say is more important than what they’re already saying.
And let’s be honest, that’s not the kind of message we want to send if we’re trying to build meaningful connections with people.
So the next time you feel that urge to jump in, maybe take a mental step back and give the other person the stage. Trust me, your relationships will thank you for it.
2) Not respecting personal space
Just like interrupting is a form of overstepping, so is not respecting someone’s personal space.
Imagine this: You’re at a social event, enjoying your time, and suddenly someone stands just a little too close to you. It’s uncomfortable, right?
Or maybe you’re that person who doesn’t realize they’re making others squirm.
Here are some common ways this happens:
Standing too close in line or in a crowd
Leaning in during a conversation when it’s not necessary
Touching people without asking, even if it’s just a pat on the back
I’ve been guilty of this myself, especially in busy social settings where I’m trying to make a connection. It took a friend kindly pointing it out for me to realize how my eagerness might come off as invasive to others.
Not respecting personal space can make people around you feel uncomfortable or even trapped. And nobody wants that.
The key here is to be aware and make adjustments based on cues from others. If someone takes a step back, don’t step forward to close the gap.
If someone angles their body away from you, it might be a sign you’re a little too close for comfort. It’s all about picking up on those non-verbal signals and acting accordingly.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. And everyone around you will breathe a little easier—literally!
3) Being consistently late
Punctuality—or the lack thereof—can say a lot about how we respect other people’s time.
I’ve had friends who would arrive late so often that I started bringing a book to read while waiting.
But then, there were times when I was the one racing the clock, sending that apologetic “running 5 minutes late” text.
Here’s the deal: Being late occasionally happens to everyone; life’s unpredictable.
But when it becomes a habit, it sends the message that your time is more valuable than the person who’s waiting for you.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Plan better, set reminders, do whatever you need to do to be punctual.
It’s a simple change that can make a world of difference in how others perceive you—and how you perceive yourself.
4) Not listening
How about this: You ask someone how their day was, and as they’re telling you, your eyes drift to your phone or something else catches your attention. We’ve all been guilty of this, myself included.
Sometimes it’s unintentional; our minds just wander. But the impact is the same: it shows a lack of regard for other people’s thoughts and feelings.
Being a good listener is an essential part of being considerate. When you don’t listen, you’re essentially dismissing the other person.
Once again, the solution is straightforward: put away distractions and give your full attention to the person speaking. A simple but powerful way to show that you care and respect them.
5) Making plans and then flaking out
There’s a Reddit thread that talks about just how annoying and disrespectful being flaked out on is.
Judging from the comments, people find it absolutely inconsiderate. And I can’t blame them. I know how annoying it is indeed.
You make plans to hang out with a friend or attend an event, and then when the day comes, they cancel at the last minute.
Now, I get very little free time, so oftentimes I have to do a lot of rearranging on my calendar to make room for such friend dates.
So, to then find out that all that rearranging and juggling was for nothing? Downright irritating.
Of course, emergencies happen. That, I completely understand. But if there’s a pattern of flakiness, I tend to stop making plans with that person eventually.
It’s not that they’re bad friends, but it does make me feel like they don’t value my time or feelings.
So, if you tend to be that person who often cancels, try to be more thoughtful when making commitments and stick to them.
Your reliability—or lack thereof—speaks volumes, so make it a point to be someone others can count on.
6) Not saying “please” or “thank you”
Really, there are people like this? Yes!
These little phrases may seem trivial, but they carry a lot of weight.
Forgetting to say them could simply be that – a matter of forgetfulness. But it can easily be interpreted as you taking someone’s efforts or kindness for granted.
A simple “please” and “thank you” can do wonders in showing that you respect and appreciate those around you.
It’s such an easy fix that leaves a lasting impression. Make it a habit, and you’ll find that people naturally feel more inclined to go the extra mile for you.
7) Neglecting to clean up after yourself
Ah, this is one I’ve had lots of misfortune dealing with. Whether at home, in the office, or in a public space, I always encounter people who don’t clean up after themselves.
Here’s how this often looks:
Leaving your dishes in the sink for someone else to clean
Not wiping down gym equipment after use
Leaving trash on a table at a fast-food restaurant
Leaving dirty socks on the floor
Stuff like this never fails to get me fuming inside (sometimes also outwards when I can no longer bear it).
And while I understand that sometimes it could be just a matter of upbringing – maybe they weren’t taught to pick up after themselves – it still doesn’t make it any less unpleasant.
Because the bottomline is, not cleaning up after yourself sends the message that you think your time is more valuable than others’.
The good news is that all it takes is a little mindfulness and effort. Take that extra minute to clean up. That way, the people who share your space will feel respected.
8) Talking too loudly on the phone in public spaces
I don’t know about you, but I prefer my commutes to be quiet and pleasant. I mean, it’s hard enough having to share space with tens of people, right?
So, whenever someone ups the difficulty level by talking too loudly on their phones…it really disturbs the peace.
The same goes for other public spaces like cafes, parks, and the like.
Look, no one wants to hear all the details about how your friend Stephanie cheated on her boyfriend or how you holler at your kids for still not finishing their homework.
So be mindful of how you handle phone calls in a public setting. Step away to a more private area for your call or simply lower your voice.
Being considerate is all about the small, everyday actions we take—or don’t take. Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook how these behaviors can impact the people around us, especially when we’re caught up in just getting things done.
The key is awareness and a willingness to make minor adjustments for the sake of coexisting more harmoniously with others.
So let’s strive to be more considerate, not just for the sake of others, but also to be better versions of ourselves.
After all, small changes in behavior can lead to big shifts in how we connect with the world around us.