What Makes People Inconsiderate and How to Deal With Them

Polite society operates on the assumption that we care, at least a little bit, about the people around us. Whether it’s waving someone ahead in traffic or not interrupting a colleague on a video call, behaviors that show basic kindness smooth the path of everyday living. Yet we frequently encounter people who don’t play by these rules. Inconsiderate behavior is all around us.

It’s frustrating, to say the least, when people put themselves ahead of others. In interactions with strangers, rude behavior can put us in a bad mood or even ruin our day. And among friends or family members, inconsiderate actions can gradually poison relationships.

If you’re currently dealing with an inconsiderate person, it probably won’t be the last time. Here’s why some people don’t seem to care how they affect others — and what you can do to protect yourself around them.

What Is Inconsiderate Behavior?

At its roots, the word “inconsiderate” simply means not considering something. In the context of relationships, this means not considering how our actions impact other people. “Inconsiderate behavior is when people do or say things that lack regard for others’ feelings or wishes or even their rights,” says Natalie Dattilo, PhD, a clinical psychologist and instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. This might look like leaving a messy house for your roommates, having a loud conversation when someone needs quiet, or belittling a friend’s opinions, says Natalie Jambazian, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Sherman Oaks, California.

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