Dangerous Habits

When people think of dangerous habits, most think about drugs and alcohol, but not all habits that are dangerous are chemically related. Any habit that endangers your happiness or safety can be considered dangerous. Whether that is lying, cheating, stealing, keeping things to yourself or even not putting your happiness first, anything that threatens your pursuit of happiness is probably a habit you need to break.

Lying

Sometimes we lie unnecessarily. We lie to ourselves because the truth is more painful to comprehend. It may be a temporary fix, but to continually let ourselves and the people around us down by lying can put a strain on yourself and your friendships. While the truth might be a harder pill to swallow, it’s a pill that will help in the long run because in the end, the truth is a better alternative. It hurts more initially, but after that the pain fades away compared to lying which only delays the inevitable and makes you suffer more.

Internalizing

When you keep things inside and choose not to rely on anyone else, you can lead yourself down a destructive path. It doesn’t give you a chance to heal or move on from whatever situation is causing you pain. However, for some people, it is more difficult to rely on someone else for comfort. If that is the case, writing your thoughts in a private journal or even on your computer can be a healthy catharsis. In some way, shape or form, you need an outlet for your emotions.

Toxic Friendships

We all have those few friends we probably shouldn’t hang out with, people who may not bring out the best in us. These people may pressure you to make decisions that are normally out of your comfort zone, but you do because of the social pressures to “fit in.” This may cause an individual to overlook what’s truly important – from academics to your family. Not everyone in your life is in your life help you. You need to have the discipline to know when someone in your life is harming rather than helping you. Your priorities should lie with you and your loved ones first. Will Smith said it best. “Set your life on fire and seek those who fan your flames.”

Gossip

Everyone knows that one person who likes to talk about others in a negative light. They tell you they heard it from someone else who heard it from someone you don’t even know. While it may be amusing temporarily, it serves no purpose other than spreading rumors that don’t help anyone. And if anything, it also reflects badly on you.

Lack of Empathy

Empathy is something that most of us  seem to lack. As people, we naturally find humor in someone else’s downfalls. We do it all the time. We listen to comedians make fun of other people. We watch funny movies where people embarrass themselves. We grew up watching cartoons like Tom and Jerry where Tom continually gets hurt and even almost commited suicide in one episode, but we watch it because it’s amusing to us; however, as we laugh, we often don’t think about how we are making the other person feel. When we tell an offensive joke, we don’t think about who it hurts. Sometimes it is better to stop and consider the fact that not everyone has the same sense of humor. You can lose valuable people and friends this way. So, the next time you laugh at a joke that is made at someone else’s expense, think about how that affects them.

This list goes on because potentially any habit can be harmful, so evaluate yourself. Look around at the things you do. Do you lie? Do you bottle up your feelings? Do you allow yourself to stay in toxic relationships? Do you gossip? Constantly evaluate your friendships and your relationships. Never forget to remove those who hold you back because the only way to truly grow from your past mistakes is to learn from them and keep moving forward.

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