People are not born knowing how to act in a considerate manner. However, the good news is that they can be taught to do so. It is the parents' job to make sure their children learn how to treat other people with respect and kindness. Even if this is not taught well during childhood, a person can still learn these skills later in life.
Think of the Other Person's Feelings
Empathy is one of the most productive things people can have in a relationship, suggests psychologist Robert Brooks. Empathy is the ability to see a situation from another person's point of view. When someone is not acting this way, his words and behavior seem selfish -- and selfish behavior is not considerate behavior. Calm your emotions, step back and attempt to see the other person's point of view from a logical, yet compassionate perspective.
Be a Good Listener
Communication researchers Steve Duck and David McMahan stress the importance of good listening in their book, "Communication in Everyday Life." The term "active listening" best describes what a person should be doing. Active listening involves paying attention, remembering information, repeating the other person's words, providing feedback and having positive body language such as leaning forward and giving eye contact. Ignoring another person when she speaks is very inconsiderate. Give a person your full attention and she will feel validated.
Having self-control is considerate behavior, and it is beneficial to a union of any kind. Many people don't monitor themselves. Instead, they speak or act before they think. It is important to think about the consequences of your words and actions. Everything you say and do has the ability to positively or negatively influence others. When you don't control these things, it can insult your partners or friends and damage a relationship.
Do Acts of Kindness
Considerate people do kind things for other people. Kindness is very important to overcoming inconsiderate habits, asserts Patty O’Grady, human development professor at the University of Tampa. For example, a smile, a kind word, a thank you or a hug are all nice gestures. Other ideas include holding open a door for the person behind you or letting another car merge in front of you in traffic. Treat other people the way you would want to be treated. In other words, live by the "Golden Rule."
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- Parenting Press: Looking at Values: Being Considerate
- Robert Brooks Ph.D.: The Importance of Empathy: A Significant Feature of the Mindset of Successful People
- Communication in Everyday Life; Steve Duck and David McMahan
- Association for Psychological Science: Low Self-Control Promotes Selfless Behavior in Close Relationship
- Psychology Today: The Positive Psychology of Kindness
Dr. Carol Morgan holds a PhD in Communication, a Master of Arts in media criticism, and a Bachelor of Science in advertising. Dr. Morgan is a professor at Wright State University and is a regular motivational expert on the TV show, "Living Dayton." She is also the author of the book, "Radical Relationship Resource: A Guide for Repairing, Letting Go, or Moving On," a frequent keynote speaker, and the monthly co-host of "Dick Sutphen’s Metaphysical World" radio show.
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