4 Easy Steps to Deal With Ungrateful People

Jordan Brown

The word "gratitude" is basically a buzzword at this point.

Want to feel better?

You just need to be grateful.

Want to love your life again and ALSO be a millionaire?

Just list out all the things you're grateful for.

It's easy to think that being grateful is just a trend whose time in the limelight is finally fading away.

But not so fast.

People who are ungrateful have a significant, deleterious impact on others.

So it's important to know how to spot them.

Beyond that, you need to know how to deal with ungrateful people so that you can be happy in your life, and you're going to learn that today.

Am I Ungrateful? (Understanding Ungrateful People)

There's a running joke of the dark-humor variety that once you spend any time in the mental health world, you start to see yourself in every diagnosis you learn about.

I'm not sleeping.

Oh no, I have bipolar...

Borderline personality disorder?

That sounds like me!

This is because symptoms overlap.

And because we are all humans, after all.

We are more alike than we are different.

The same goes for ingratitude.

So, if you're wondering if you're an ungrateful person, you have probably have been at some point.

But what does it actually mean to be ungrateful?

Let's break it down.

An ungrateful person:

  • Lacks a basic appreciation for life
  • Is not happy about what they receive
  • Believes nothing is ever good enough
  • Thinks the world works to serve them
  • Views the world from a place of lack and scarcity

A lack of gratitude might seem harmless at first.

Until you spend any amount of time around ungrateful people.

Then you realize it's like being trapped in a broken elevator with your least favorite relative.

Their behavior becomes really toxic, really fast.

But all this doesn't mean that you have to become ungrateful by osmosis.

You can gild yourself against the negative impact of ingratitude while also keeping an open heart.

Here's how.

How to Deal With an Ungrateful Person

1. Know how to spot ungrateful behavior

Before you can do anything, you have to identify what's going on. Review the bulleted list I mentioned above.

Do you see any of those things going on? Have any of those behaviors repeated themselves?

One behavior is not a cause for concern, but once people start to show you their patterns, it's time to believe them.

Pay attention not to what people say, but to what they do.

It's the repeated actions that tell you something about a person's character.

2. Assess your own life and what you want out of it

A crucial aspect of living a good life is knowing what you want from it.

And knowing the people you want to spend your time with.

What are the qualities you look for in others?

What are the qualities you yourself try to embody?

Be ruthless about what you want from your life.

If you don't know what you want, you're surely bound to find it.

It's like Alice in Wonderland and her fateful conversation with the Cheshire Cat.

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?


The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.


Alice: I don't much care where.


The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.


Alice: So long as I get somewhere.


The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

3. If you spot the pattern, it's time to protect yourself

OK, you've decided you're dealing with an ungrateful person. Great.

Now, what do you do next?

No situation is good or bad from the start. It's your response to it that determines everything.

Still, tolerating ingratitude can be a handful of handfuls.

This is where you need to decide how much you're willing to tolerate.

Is the behavior mildly irritating?

Or is it downright maddening?

Only you can determine this.

If you're trying to be a grateful person, a person who appreciates their life, you're likely not going to get very far if you hang out with ungrateful people.

So, you have a decision to make.

What will you do?

4. Once you make a decision, reinforce it with your lifestyle

I've worked in a variety of jobs, and one kind of person I don't like working with is the person who says, "Oh this is just the way it is. You'll get used to it. You need to stop trying to change things."

At the same time, this kind of person complains about everything, from the amount of work they have to the color of the pens they use on the job.

I work for myself now as an entrepreneur, so I guess I've made my lifestyle decision, but when I was working in various nonprofits and healthcare facilities, I decided to steel myself against the rampant ingratitude I experienced.

I firmly responded to these people, saying things like, "Sorry, no. I won't be that way."

If the comments didn't stop, I simply spent my time around other people.

I chose my words and my actions very carefully.

Because the smell of ingratitude reeks.

I've been through some bad stuff in my life, from heart surgery to major depression, and I was not about to stop to the level of small minds.

I chose a different path, and so can you.

Will You Be Ungrateful? Or Will You Choose Gratitude?

Look, I'm not a perfect person.

I wasn't born with a grateful heart.

I've had to work at it.

But it's been worth the work.

Gratitude is a muscle.

The more you work it, the stronger it gets.

And they say it's impossible to experience negative emotions when you're being grateful.

I've found this to be true.

The root of ungratefulness resides in saying "no" to your life when you could be spending your time saying "yes."

Yes to the good things and the bad things.

Yes to the kind of people you want to be around.

And yes to improving your mindset and lifestyle day by day.

Ungrateful people see the world and think, "Well, that's not good enough. I'm unhappy."

But grateful people see the world and think, "This will do. I'll start here."