How Ungratefulness Can Hurt Your Career

5 Signs a Lack of Thankfulness Communicates to Others

It’s a common occurrence. You have worked with someone or for someone who simply did not appreciate you or your work. It was demotivating. You felt used.

And because of this person, you may have chosen to search for work elsewhere.

When kids are young, we try to engrain in them the need to say “please” and “thank you.” Why? Because it shows respect for the person to whom they are asking or from whom they are receiving. But as we get older, we sometimes lay aside this elementary piece of human interaction. And when we do this, we hurt ourselves.

Ungratefulness can harden the heart and lead to broken relationships. On a more practical level, it also can injure your career advancement opportunities. It is difficult to hide and communicates something about you to others. Here are five signs ungratefulness can communicate:

1. Ungratefulness is a sign of entitlement mentality

If those who feel entitled to nothing become grateful for everything, then the opposite must be true. Those who feel entitled to everything become grateful for nothing. Often, the one who feels deserving will be passed over for the one humbled by the opportunity.

Those who feel entitled to everything become grateful for nothing.

2. Ungratefulness is a sign of self-absorption

A lack of thankfulness demonstrates an inward focus. They are too consumed with their wants, needs, and success to concern themselves with the wants, needs, and success of anyone else. They work to the benefit of themselves and not others. And there are very leadership roles where this inward focus is seen as a positive.

3. Ungratefulness is a sign of a poor team player

Because they are self-absorbed, ungrateful men and women tend not to work well with others. It quickly becomes obvious to other team members that they are about themselves. Having one of these individuals on a team can quickly deteriorate camaraderie and construct silos.

4. Ungratefulness is a sign of arrogance

Thankfulness demonstrates vulnerability. It communicates need and reliance on others. Those who are ungrateful communicate the opposite. They convey that they do not need anyone else, that they are somehow above need.

5. Ungratefulness is a sign of a people-user

Those who are ungrateful tend to look at others as a means to an end, an end where they alone are the beneficiaries. The people with whom they interact get used, and they know it. Because of this, an ungrateful person in a leadership role will always struggle to build a team. No one wants to feel used. And no one wants to place someone in a leadership role that cannot build a team.

Ungratefulness is injurious to everyone. It hurts those who have to interact with the ungrateful, and it hurts the ungrateful. It plants a seed of bitterness that can stunt spiritual and personal growth. And for those who desire career advancement, do not overlook the importance of thankfulness or the damaging effects of ungratefulness. Both thankfulness and ungratefulness will communicate something about you to others.

What about you? What ways do you show gratefulness at work? Place your answer in the comment section below.

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