We have all experienced at one time or another, the careless behaviour and words of the thoughtless person. I have known people who, when they are tired and stressed, will often use words that are hurtful and express body language that is not attractive. In short they are just offensive and unfriendly. I have also met bullies who try to control you by raising their voices and saying offensive things. These people will attempt to put you down and make you feel stupid and insecure. It does not take long before you lose your self-confidence and self-esteem! Are these bullies themselves insecure and therefore feel that unless they behave in a boring, superior manner they will not feel happy? Then there are others who say the first thing that comes to mind when they are asked a question and when they participate in conversations and discussions. Often these statements are filled with bias, prejudice and lack substance.


Thoughtless people make others feel unhappy. They do not offer help or solace when they see that you are going through bad times. They are oblivious to your needs and seem concentrated on their own person. Many people make the excuse that they lead busy, stressful lives and, that as they are rushing from one assignment, chore or task to another, they have no time to be thoughtful.
There are other people who are not able to be thoughtful because they are unable to feel compassion for others. They cannot put themselves in other people’s shoes and empathise with them. They are not willing to change, to discard an attitude that prevents them from being thoughtful to others.


A thoughtful person is one who is solicitous, concerned and is considerate of the feelings or well-being of others. He or she is attentive and careful. Such people will avoid annoying others and making them feel uncomfortable. They are careful not to hurt the feelings of others. The thoughtful person demonstrates that what other people want or need is important.

Thoughtful people display good sense and are full of thought. Their actions and words are characterized by careful thought. They attend to all the details that matter. A good rule to follow is that if you wish to be treated in a certain way, then you should set an example that others may follow. You need to recognize too, that what we give others is what we give to ourselves.


Let us look at how we can be thoughtful. Let’s start with the home. Be thoughtful towards your spouse or partner. There is no need to do something wildly different or novel. Instead undertake small things. Fix a drink for your spouse or partner without him or her asking for one. Then together, do the housework, cook a meal, go shopping for food and look up new recipes in the cookbook.

A friend of mine writes notes saying “I love you” and places them in his wife’s suitcase when she travels on her own. You can write the same message and leave it in your spouse’s wallet or on the bathroom mirror. Write a letter to your spouse or partner expressing your love.

Speak kindly and nicely to each other. Ask each other questions about work, friends and discuss current issues. Listen and respect each other’s views and comments. Praise and compliment each other when you are with other people. Do this when your spouse or partner is around or when he or she is absent. When you do this in his or her absence, you will soon find yourself respecting, liking and loving your spouse or partner even more.


One important consideration is to look after your mental, emotional and physical needs. Avoid feeling too tired and over-stressed. Keep a balance between your work and your life. You will not feel the need to snap at someone and you will feel that you can cope with all challenges. Bring humour into your life.

Keep fit, exercise and eat nutritiously. Take vitamins and supplements.


A key step to being thoughtful is to place importance and value on others. You need to recognize that other people are important, that they have valuable ideas and are interesting people. When we are with other people and when we are engaged in conversations and discussions, we should listen carefully to what other people are saying, think carefully as to how we should respond to what they have said and then speak cautiously.

Cultivate the skill of analysing ideas, suggestions and views. Learn how to process thoughts, synthesize different viewpoints and create a new idea. It will help too, if you review the things that you have said and the effect this may have had on others. This will help you to avoid making the same mistakes and to improve your speaking style.

Add to this the need to be helpful to others, to be sensitive to the people around us. Then when you do so, you will be thoughtful. To do this, we should also take note of our tone of voice, our body language and our eye contact.


Do things for the people you work with and with whom you socialize. Buy someone a drink, fix someone some soup when they are ill and bring a box of cookies or cupcakes for all to share. Compliment your colleague on a new hair-style, a new outfit. In other words, do something that will make someone happy. Again, as with your speaking style, you may wish to review the activities that you have undertaken for others to learn how you can be better in your relationships.


Keep your environment neat, tidy and inviting. This refers to your home and your workplace. Make things around you approachable and welcoming so people will find it easy to reach you.


We all have a responsibility to treat other people well and to live happily with each other. We all have the same rights and we all have compelling needs. We need to be thoughtful in our words and actions towards each other.

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