The seemingly harmless, small bad habits you shouldn’t underestimate
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but no one is exempt from harboring a toxic habit or two. Whether we chalk it up to a life lesson learned or tie it to some rite of passage, what matters is we learn to part ways with tendencies that chip away at us and our relationships.
Everyone’s heard of detox diets being good for the body, well what about a detox of the mind? We invest in physical wellness all the time and vow to whip ourselves into shape. It’s the stuff we don’t see that we tend to overlook. As intangible traits, they’re easy to overlook; they’re even easier to write off as a bad day or a one-of.
This is where mindfulness and meditation come together. Consider it an attitude purge, too, if you will.
#1: Always wanting to prove that you are right.
There’s getting something right and then there’s wanting to prove that you are right. The latter, unfortunately, is not a concern about getting the facts; it’s about feeding the ego. It’s easy, too, for Mr. or Ms. Right-All- The-Time to be misconstrued as Mr. or Ms. My-Way- Is-Best- Your-Way- Is-Useless…and no one likes being around someone who cannot think of anyone else other than themselves.
Hey. It’s okay to yield. It’s good for you.
#2: Shaming strangers on the internet or in real life.
Just because something you see online or in real life isn’t aligned with your beliefs, habits, lifestyle, traditions, aesthetic or personal journey doesn’t give you the right to sound off about it. Your unfortunate lack of empathy isn’t a badge to wear proudly on your chest; it’s actually a true shame. And it’s really best to hold back on providing opinions that nobody asked for.
#3: Calling people out.
Ah, call-out culture. It’s a double-edged sword.
Calling out someone in order to address an incident is one way to let others know where you stand. In some instances, it can lead to a meaningful dialogue, a jumping-off point that paves the way for opportunity, for raising awareness, for giving neglected voices time to speak up. On the other hand, as good as calling someone out is for shedding light on an issue, it’s bad for those on both sides. So, who gains the most out of someone being called out? It’s the audience watching, the spectators ready with their popcorn as shit is about to go down.
If it isn’t your story to tell, don’t tell it. Plain and simple.
Surely your friendships have a lot more depth and a lot more going for them than juicy gossip. As something that usually starts out as a by-the- way or form of amusement, it’s one toxic habit that eventually backfires.
if you tell me someone else’s business. i could never tell you mine. that would be foolish.
— AMERICA’S PROBLEM (@FUCCl) November 27, 2017
#5: Holding grudges.
It’s understandable to think you’re playing it smart when you keep those who wronged you at arm’s length. However, hanging on to resentment from whatever it was you went through is a different story. You can’t actually protect yourself from future hurt by using painful or hateful memories from your past as your first line of defense. Swear not to forget, fine, but forgive…and do it for yourself.
#6: Blaming external factors for your circumstances.
So much for empowerment, right? You are not something the world merely acts upon. Life shouldn’t just happen to you. Have a little faith in your unique set of wonderful capabilities and start by cutting out “blame”, “victim” and anything synonymous to the two from your lingo.
#7: Showing up late to your commitments.
This one may seem harmless (ma-traffic naman talga kasi sa EDSA), but it sends the message that you don’t value the time of others. To affect an entire team’s work schedule because you failed to plan your day is inconsiderate. That’s one easy one to be branded as unprofessional, too. Be it social commitments, projects with clients or planned recreational activities, show the parties involved the respect they deserve by showing up on time and prepared for whatever it is you have lined up.
Because there’s a difference between offloading to feel better and offloading excessively. The latter doesn’t accomplish anything, but causes you to circle down the drain of negativity…while dragging down everyone else around you. Reactive people whine; proactive people find solutions…often quietly.
#9: Drinking to escape your problems.
Looking to evade real-world problems by acquiring a potential drinking problem? (You like digging yourself a hole?)
The occasional celebratory drink is fine, but to attempt to drink away problems is only asking for more problems: the morning-after hangover, the empty wallet from you pissing your money away and—would you look at that!—those real-world problems are still right there waiting for the adult in you to step it up and just deal.
If you find that you’re guilty of any of these, know that the acknowledgement is a start. Here’s to a lighter, brighter and wiser 2018 (without any of these toxic habits to set us back).
Art Alexandra Lara