Impulsive People: Characteristics and How to Treat Them

You may know someone, or it may happen to you, who acts before you think. This can bring a lot of problems, as it can involve saying hurtful things to someone due to the emotion of the moment or even, in some cases, breaking an object and even physically harming a person.

All these examples would fit in people with a high level of impulsivity, in which after the behavior, at a general level, there is regret and thoughts such as: "What have I done?" Arise. Sometimes we all would like to shout or say four things, however, not everyone gets to do it and this is because they have acquired the ability to think about the consequences of their actions before committing them.

Keep reading this article so that you can see the main characteristics of impulsive people , what you could do to control your impulsivity and also so that you can know how to treat impulsive people.

Characteristics of impulsive people

What are impulsive people like?

1. They act before they think

As we said, one of the characteristics of impulsive people is acting without thinking about the consequences. It is common for them to say things without any kind of filter and regret often comes later.

2. They do not tolerate frustration

It is very common for people with high impulsivity to need to obtain the benefits of what they do quickly, so that, if not, they begin to get impatient, to get angry, to want to throw in the towel. The same happens with failures, so a failure for them implies a catastrophe. This little tolerance to expect to obtain the rewards and the results of the effort can be reflected in little capacity to save, problems in social, family and love relationships, at work if they do not get a promotion, etc.

3. Procrastinate

It is quite common for impulsive people to put off for tomorrow what they could do today. This is because, once again, they only think about the moment and what they want to do in that moment. For this reason, tedious tasks end up having to be done at the last minute since at the time they did not know how to think about the consequences of putting it off.

4. They carry out compensatory behaviors

Due to their nervousness and impatience, they have a high degree of anxiety. For this reason, they usually carry out behaviors such as touching their hair, moving their legs, eating ..., to manage and alleviate that anxiety a little. In the most serious cases, they can commit self-injurious acts for this purpose. In addition, the act of eating can end up causing a problem with eating, which can lead to eating disorders (ED) .

5. They have addictions

Together with the previous point, these people can develop some type of addiction or risk behavior. This can be addiction to shopping, gambling, consumption of alcohol and other drugs, addiction to sex or having risky sex, among others. In this article you can see the types of addictions and their consequences .

6. They present irritability

As we have more or less dropped the other points, impulsive people, in general, tend to be angry all the time. It is common that they have bad answers with others, that they get upset for anything - at a colloquial level they would be known as people "with the short fuse" - and they are very negative.

7. They have great discussions

How are impulsive people in love? One of the characteristics of impulsive people is that they are quite jealous, they argue a lot with their partner. In addition, they often commit the impulse to leave their partner in discussions and then repent after a few hours. In the same way, they are very impatient with their partner when it comes to responding to messages or if their partner needs to go at a slower pace in the relationship, impulsive people tend to have a pretty bad time, they even come to consider the relationship in Many occasions.

9. They have a tendency to infidelity

People with impulsivity tend to get carried away more by stimuli and by the situation. Therefore, another of the characteristics of impulsive people in love is that they can become unfaithful.

Recommendations for impulsive people

Is there any therapy for impulsive people? Let's see some tips for impulsive people:

Traffic light technique

Imagine that you are a traffic light:

  • When you are green is when you are calm: that is the moment to act.
  • On the contrary, when you are in orange is when you are starting to get angry: at this moment you have to start doing an activity that distracts you and calms you down and leave the conversation or the activity you are doing for when you are back in green.
  • When you are in red is when you explode. At this time it is more difficult to calm down, but you must act like when you are in orange. The ideal is not to reach this point and stop it before.

Relaxation techniques

Therefore, it is important to learn to relax. Many people like listening to relaxation audios, while others find it helpful to go for a run. Try different activities that help you forget what is making you nervous and get the one that works the most for you. In this article you will find different relaxation techniques.

Setting short-term goals

When you have a long task to do, to avoid that frustration and impatience, divide it up. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 kilos, set a goal every 2 kilos, in this way, it will be more rewarding and you will not throw in the towel prematurely.

Positive vision

To keep track of your progress when you are pursuing a goal or to reduce anxiety and stress levels due to what happens in your day to day, try to think of a positive aspect of each negative moment that happens to you. If, for example, you are in a traffic jam and want to get home now, instead of thinking about it, put on your favorite playlist and enjoy that moment of listening to music without having anything else to do.

How to deal with impulsive people

In case the impulsive person is not you, but someone close to you, you may want to know how to deal with impulsive people. Here are several techniques to help impulsive people:

Using the broken record technique

When a person is continually rushing you to do something because they have too little patience, repeat the same answer over and over again, as if you were a shredded record. This answer should be given calmly and without letting his insistence make you lose concentration. An example is saying "yes, I'm coming", until he calms down.


In the same way as the previous technique, it is used for moments in which that person is exerting excessive pressure on you and unfairly, at other times, they also try to understand them. Asking him what exactly he needs and expressing that you understand that it is something so important and that is why he insists so much can greatly lower his anxiety levels.

Don't get into their game

Avoid taking what they tell you personally. Remember that it is a stress that you have with yourself and that it does not apply to you specifically. Keep your temperance, a low voice volume, calm, in order to unconsciously force him / her to adopt the same tone.

Put limits

That he is an impulsive person does not justify that he has to treat you badly. The moment he is about to overstep a limit, tell him that you won't continue talking until he calms down.

Unburden yourself

Relax by exercising on your own, talking to someone, or reading a book to relieve the accumulated tension.

Avoid the "sorry"

Ignore him in correcting everything he says when he does it in bad ways. Even if you are right, you must understand that if you ask for it that way you will not get anything in return. Pay attention to him once he has calmed down.