9 Signs Of Ungrateful People (+ How To Deal With Them)

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We all have moments of ungratefulness. It’s just human nature.

We can get so caught up in our own bubbles and concerned with our own problems that we forget to think about and appreciate the things that our fellow human beings do for us and the sacrifices they make for us on a daily basis.

I’m sure, if you think back over the last week, you’ll be able to come up with at least a handful of occasions on which you were at least a little ungrateful.

And if you can’t, then you’re either just a lovely person, or you’re lying to yourself.

But, just because you have your moments of ungratefulness, that doesn’t mean you’re an ungrateful person.

Although we all slip up, most of us don’t go through life exclusively expecting others to do things for us, never acknowledging or thanking them for it.

And we are aware of just how lucky we are in so many ways, even if we don’t always express it.

On the other hand, there are people out there who are generally ungrateful most of the time.

All different kinds of things can cause ungratefulness. It might be their upbringing or things that have happened to them in the past.

But, some people just have personality types that mean they’re more likely to expect more from others and from the world.

These people can’t understand why they should have to be thankful for the good things that come their way, or for the things that other people do for them.

It can be difficult to establish whether someone’s just having a bad time of it temporarily, or if they’re genuinely ungrateful.

It can also be incredibly frustrating to be around someone like that, and tough to figure out how to deal with them.

Keep reading for a basic guide to identifying and handling any ungrateful people in your life so that you can minimize their negative impact on you, and on the others around them.

9 Signs Of An Ungrateful Person

1. They’re never satisfied.

No matter how well things seem to be going for them, and how many goals they meet, targets they achieve, or things they get their hands on, they’re never happy.

There’s always something else they’re chasing, something else that’s not right, and another reason why their life is not good enough.

Whilst having goals is normally a positive thing, they don’t know how to take a minute to be happy and thankful for everything they have achieved.

Instead, they are forever setting their sights on something else.

2. They are filled with envy.

They look at the good things that others achieve or have and they wish that for themselves. But it goes beyond looking up to someone for inspiration.

They compare their life unfavorably to others and this envy consumes them so that they cannot be happy with what they have.

3. They’re bitter.

It doesn’t take much for them to get angry. They might be resentful about something that happened in their past, or get upset about whatever’s happening in the here and now.

4. They have a major sense of entitlement.

Ungrateful people have often suffered in the past, but that trauma can create an idea in them that they’re entitled to an awful lot from the world, and from others.

5. They’re always asking for help from others.

Most of us tend to struggle to ask other people for help. We don’t want to put people out.

But, ungrateful people, or people who aren’t thankful, will happily ask you to help them.

There’s always something they desperately need your help with. They seem to feel that they’ve earned your help, so don’t have to thank you for it.

They might have done one nice thing for you once, and expect ten in return.

6. If you can’t help them, they won’t let you forget it.

And if you genuinely can’t give them the help they’ve asked for, you won’t be allowed to forget about it in a hurry, whatever your reason.

7. They don’t genuinely care about others.

Consistent ungratefulness is often linked to selfishness. The world revolves around them, and they think it’s only natural that others should do things for them.

So, they don’t tend to empathize with other people’s suffering or needs. It’s simply not their problem.

8. They don’t have time for you unless they need something from you.

It’s only when they need something from you that they pop up. They won’t suggest meeting up just to catch up, and they won’t text just to see how you are. They take you for granted.

9. They play the victim.

They’re not just pretending to be the victim. In their mind, they really do consider themselves to be worse off than anyone else.

If you ever complain about something, they’ll be able to offer up several examples of when they’ve had it worse. And, if you try to offer sympathy or advice, they won’t take it.

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How To Deal With An Ungrateful Person

An ungrateful person can be a very negative influence in your life.

Ungratefulness is not a positive trait, and if you’re obliged to spend large amounts of time with someone who’s not grateful for the things they have and what others do for them, then it may well start to rub off on you, or, just really get on your nerves.

We can come up against ungrateful people in all areas of our lives, both professional and personal, but, in this article, we’re going to focus on the personal.

Read on for some advice about how to handle ungrateful friends or family members.

1. Put your cards on the table.

It’s not going to be an easy conversation, but you need to let your friend or family member know exactly how their behavior makes you feel.

Chances are, they haven’t realized that they’ve been making you feel underappreciated.

If you care about this person, it’s always best to start off assuming that’s the case, and that they’re not doing it deliberately or knowingly.

Wait for a good moment to ask them to sit down for an honest conversation. Firmly but calmly tell them how you feel, with specific examples of things you think they take for granted or don’t appreciate you for.

Try to frame it as expressing your feelings, rather than accusing them of things, as accusations are likely to provoke a negative response.

Give them a chance to apologize, but make sure you’re prepared for them not to do so.

2. See things through their eyes.

In these situations, it’s important to be aware of how they might interpret your behavior, and if anything you’ve done might have been interpreted as ungrateful or demanding.

Even if you’re convinced that you’re right, do your best to consider their point of view.

Take into account anything that your friend or family member might be experiencing that’s causing the behavior.

Consider whether it’s just something temporary, whilst they’re struggling with tough emotions or a tricky situation, and they need you to stick by their side whilst they work through it….

…or if this is just the way they are.

3. Decide where the line is.

You need to get clear with yourself and the person you care about as to what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t.

And what you will and won’t do for them.

Once you’ve drawn a line in the sand, stick to it. It’ll probably be tough, and they’ll definitely try to push the boundaries to begin with, until it becomes clear to them that you’re not going to budge.

4. Take a step back.

If there’s someone in your life who’s consistently ungrateful or demanding toward you, and you’ve tried discussing it with them and establishing boundaries, then it might be time to reconsider the role you play in each other’s lives.

You have the right to decide the part that they will play in your life, or if you want them to play any part at all.

For example, you could decide that you’ll no longer spend any one-on-one time with them, or you might choose to no longer put any effort into maintaining the relationship.

It’s never easy to handle an ungrateful person, but if they’re taking a negative toll on your life, you owe it to yourself to take steps to prevent that from happening any longer.

Be honest with yourself and be honest with them, your life will be far better for it.

About The Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.