People With These 10 Personality Traits Have No Idea What Gratitude Means

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With a wealth of research developing around the practice and benefits of gratitude, the importance of being grateful is more important than ever. Unfortunately, we all know people who seem to have no idea whatsoever what gratitude even means.

As defined in the dictionary, gratitude is "a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you." As counter-intuitive as it may sound, the capacity for gratitude originates with the presence of self-love and self-acceptance.

Gratitude allows us to be thankful, show appreciation, and return kindness. When we lack gratitude, however, we aren't allowing ourselves to be open to receiving and giving love.

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What does it mean to have a lack of gratitude?

To have a lack of gratitude simply means you're never truly thankful for anything. You feel like you deserve or are entitled to everything that has happened to you.

This is a sad disposition to have, as gratitude has been linked to happiness. According to positive psychology research, gratitude "helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships."

Some consequences of being ungrateful include developing anger issues or having horrible resentment towards your own life and those around you. People without gratitude are normally selfish, unaccountable, complain a lot, and are self-deprecating.

If you don't love yourself or feel happy in the world around you, you probably won't feel grateful for all that you have. If you don’t feel good enough, you won't be kind to yourself, and may struggle to see kindness in others.

When you don’t love yourself, you perceive yourself as living in a world that doesn't meet your needs because you're constantly looking at what is unsatisfying to you.

When you're hard on yourself, you stop yourself from ever smelling the roses because you're too busy looking at the thorns and the weeds. You cannot be thankful for others if you don't appreciate who you are and everything you have to offer the world.

If you recognize these 10 personality traits in yourself or others, it's a sign you don't know the meaning of gratitude and are completely unappreciative of all that live has given you.

10 Personality Traits Of People Who Lack Gratitude

1. Ungrateful people lack selflessness.

People who don't have gratitude tend to be selfish and, when they are selfless towards others, might feel like their own needs are being pushed to the wayside.

When you don't consider your own needs, you start feeling as though the world is against you. You feel that you don't deserve good things in life, so you don't accept them when others offer.

On the flipside, when you're busy not giving to others and are instead focused on yourself, you miss the little things in life, which deprives you of opportunities to feel thankful for all that you have.

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2. Ungrateful people are self-deprecating.

When you feel that you don't have intrinsic value in and of yourself, you believe that what you have isn't enough to complete you. This leads you to search for external happiness as a way to fill the empty void within.

When you believe you're not enough, you think you need more in order to fill the emptiness, begin looking at what's going wrong, and blame life for not giving you what you believe you're owed.

Nothing you find externally feels satisfying enough to compensate for how unworthy you feel, so you berate yourself and push real connections away.

3. Ungrateful people complain often.

You think there's something wrong with yourself, so you find fault in everything around you. No matter what you get in life, it never feels like it's enough.

You project your feelings onto everything around you. You assume your boyfriend will leave you, you'll never be able to afford the kind of home you want, you'll never get the job of your dreams, and so on.

4. Ungrateful people are self-loathing.

You don't open yourself up to receive love because you feel unworthy of love, so you label yourself as "unlovable."

You sabotage your own happiness by not allowing yourself to receive love when it's offered, which means you never have a chance to give love back. You end up becoming guarded in order to protect yourself from the self-hatred within you.

5. Ungrateful people are needy.

You feel the world owes you for what you’ve missed out on — it's all so unfair — so you feel entitled and begin to expect something for nothing.

You turn to others for support without taking care of yourself, but lack gratitude for the help you receive because you feel life has failed you and any assistance is simply your rightful repayment.

6. Ungrateful people are self-absorbed.

You become self-preoccupied and self-absorbed, ruminating on your problems. You use your misery as a way to seek sympathy, pushing loved ones away by not giving back.

7. Ungrateful people lack accountability.

You want to be rescued from your life, looking for those who can save you rather than taking ownership for yourself. You expect others to take care of you and don't feel thankful for the support you get, so you lack any sense of a reason to be accountable.

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8. Ungrateful people are self-pitying.

You remain stuck in your problems in order to feel gratified by your self-pity. You feel sorry for yourself and won't allow yourself to be happy, pushing away those you love so they won't have the chance to change that gloom.

9. Ungrateful people have a victim mentality.

You give up on yourself and feel resentful and bitter for those you let control you. You give up everything you have, as you aren't grateful for what you do have to begin with.

10. Ungrateful people have a martyr complex.

You put your needs last, as everyone else seems to matter more than you do anyway. You won’t allow yourself to receive good things in life because you don't feel you deserve them.

You strive to please others, hoping they will give you love in return, then feel disappointed and resentful when you put in effort and get nothing back in return.

When you lack self-love, you don't appreciate the person you really are, all that you have to offer, or your achievements. When you can't see the good others see in you, you push love away, unable to feel grateful for something you never give yourself access to.

You're not thankful for all that you have because you don't see all you have to offer, nor do you see true love and kindness when they come your way.

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Nancy Carbone is a relationship therapist and psychodynamic psychotherapist with 18 years of counseling experience. She specializes in the treatment of personality disorders and relational trauma, and is accredited as a mental health social worker.