Everyone has a fair share of bad habits. Often they are minor ones, like biting nails or keeping socks on for more than a week. But sometimes they are problematic, like smoking, drinking, or shoplifting. And then there are those unfortunate souls, usually writers, who have horrendous bad habits, like throwing first drafts to the trash immediately after writing them, or procrastinating while writing their novel.
The environment and the company one is in certainly encourages bad habits. A lousy job, rowdy friends, preposterous relatives, grief, can all foster bad habits.
I have some bad habits myself. I wash my hands a dozen times a day; I spend an hour at a time in front of the mirror trying a hat and looking at it from all angles and perspectives and thinking whether I am handsome enough for the inky-haired woman, and normally reaching an unfavourable conclusion; I procrastinate all the time, and although I write all day, I sometimes go to bed angry with myself because I feel I did not write enough.
I also have some life-threatening habits, mind you, like not going out in the sunlight, or having a low opinion of my exterior and thus finding all self-development useless and not to be encouraged, which I suppose is why I am a highschool dropout aspiring writer.
Sometimes I also do the same thing over and over, expecting different results, a habit which Einstein called insanity. An unfortunate bundle of atoms I am, I know.
What I have observed is that most people are not aware of their own bad habits, until someone else points them out to them. Mother seems to think that smoking is okay until I tell her that if she keeps smoking a pack a day I estimate that I will become an orphan in less than five years. (My father died when I was eleven, from a bad habit: drinking.) Upon hearing my observation, mother becomes enraged, and then smokes two or three cigars less for a day or two, which doesn’t do her much good, but proves my point.
Living with someone, as in being married, is good for getting rid of most bad habits, I think. That other person can easily spot your bad habits, and you can spot hers (or his), and you can then talk about them together in the morning while having tea and biscuits, without making it sound like criticism, you being lovers and all that. And if arguments do arise, they will probably be resolved in bed.
Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
Now there’s a question I want to ask you:
Which is the worst habit of yours that you can share with us without blushing?
49 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Bad Habits. Mine, But Also Yours.”
I don’t know about living with someone as being a good way to get rid of a bad habit. So many marriages end in divorce… One thing they say is to never criticize. You’d better be a really smooth talker if you expect criticisms to go off smoothly… That being said, I see your point. I have been single for much of my life. When you are single, you can do whatever the hell you want because it doesn’t affect anyone else. When you suddenly start to date someone, though, things change. Your bad habits *do* start to affect someone. And so you try harder to change your bad habits.
I procrastinate, too. Like you, I frequently tear myself down. I know someone very close to me who is an alcoholic. Alcoholism is really bad news… I understand melancholy and the ability to spend hours—days—alone without need for companionship. What I can’t understand how you never go out in sunlight. That would *really* leave me down.
I am exceedingly shy and I don’t like people to look at me.
I am celibate, so I would not know anything about marriage and such things. But I often like to write about things I know nothing about because it makes me feel somewhat wise, and that compensates for my natural frailty and peculiarity of manners.
So your posts about love? You made all that up? It’s funny how we can be shy in real life but able express ourselves freely through words. What has made you so shy? Or, I’m sorry, I dig too deep.
The posts about love are true. Every post on this blog is true.
I relate very much to you. 🙂
You know, that was presumptuous. Forgive me. What I should have said was,”I thought so.” All the best writing comes from the heart.
Bad habits, bad habits… I think that a habit that could loose me on day is going out without anything, that is: ID, phone, money, keys or anything else…
How about you lose your wallet on a shadowy street, and the wind blows it to another shadowy street on which I happen to pass, and I pick it up and marvel much, and then make a long journey to return the wallet, but without the photo, which I keep because I find it fancy.
Haha, that would be a wonderful adventure (once I see you with my wallet, before that it would be tones of stress & work..)! However the chances of you finding any photo of me in my wallet is equal zero.
Was I the first to comment? Cause that would be a first!
Not so! A girl Jessica who once fell from great heights was the first.
An angel? Ah… No luck on my side then…:( Perhaps next time…
I’ve been procrastinating all my life. Tough bad habit. As far as your self image, well? The photo up there tells me you have lovely features. Handsome face indeed, so not worry too much on that account.
But I am short and frail! I cannot do a single push-up.
You wouldn’t marry such a fellow, would you?
If you had 40+ years I don’t see why not! I don’t like tall men… or not too tall anyway. Not fond of big muscles either. I know you don’t like to go out, but you could workout at home by watching exercising videos. If your fragility bothers you, then you might want to do something about it.
I have started doing push-ups, with tragic consequences.
Now I limit myself to crunches.
But why push-ups? You begin doing light weights (for example) for the arms and legs and increase the weight gradually. In your case (as in mine) it’s not about repetition, but weight. Thus, you start by doing … let’s say biceps and triceps!
You can buy a pair of 3-pound-weights, look for a video in youtube, learn the right movements and start repetitions… then, you increase the weight.
Formula: the more weight you lift the less repetitions you do. That will make your muscles grow.
Example: Person over-weight: goal is to reduce fat. Thus, has to start by doing tons of repetitions. While this person does 3 repetitions of 15 movements YOU (that have the opposite problem) may start by doing 2 repetitions of 8 movements, get it?
Once, arms start to feel comfortable and do not hurt as much, it’s time to increase the weight. Then, you use 6 pound weights and so forth and so on… You may want to help your body by drinking protein shakes.
I cannot do crunches properly because my lungs won’t let me. I can’t breathe!
This is me “Procrastinating while writing my novel.”
Ohh boy I need to keep that going or else it will never be read by anyone.:)
You will certainly never finish your novel so long as you waste time commenting on my posts!
I know how you feel: I’m very shy and spend an awful lot of time indoors! I also procrastinate a lot… maybe we were twins in another life!! 🙂 My worst habit would probably be my diet; I eat a lot of toast and drink at least six cups of tea every day! 🙂
Tea is good!
Yes, I also think we are much alike.
what about the bad habits that come when you start living with someone? (ps. I don’t dare to share my bad habits with the world, sorry:)
They must be nasty. 🙂
My worst habits are envy, sugar, self-doubt and procrastination..Loved this post.. So very well written 🙂
Of all your bad habits, I would say that sugar is the worst. It mars the tooth!
Sugar, smoking and perhaps being too assertive..but that is a personality trait more so than a bad habit. Get out in the sun hatted boy then you may very well meet the inky-haired woman. You don’t need be angry with yourself for not writing – what you write is quality not quantity.
I am thinking about buying a dog, to give me the opportunity to go out every other day to walk him.
A dog would be good – if there is a park nearby – the inky-haired woman may also be walking…and you get out into the sunshine and see the world?
Procrastination is a big one. As in my reading of this post 😦 But one annoying silly habit I have is checking my pockets for my keys. As in, obsessively. It make me look like a mad woman…
One night I searched all the alleys of a park for my ‘misplaced’ keys, without any success. I walked back home weeping, and by chance I thrust my hand in the back pocket of my pants and found the keys!
Poor boy. You must be an absentminded writer? 😉
Bad habits – I have heaps of them. I chew my cuticles incessantly, so my fingers are usually bleeding. The habit I’m working hard to break these days is that of checking my email. I find that I cannot endure the sight of the little red number on my smartphone popping up, so I’m liable to stop whatever I’m doing at any moment to open my email app and clear that confounded number off my screen.
I advise you to get rid of that smartphone of yours!
We share a ridiculous amount of bad habits lol “An unfortunate bundle of atoms I am” I love that quote!
I read the comments and your responses to them & I feel the same way I felt when I first found your blog. You say you’re a serious man, but you do make me smile often! Now I get what my invisible gift is…
Sleep well, my Friend!;)
I hope you don’t mind that I linked to your site. You’ll see.
Dearest Boy With The Hat,
I do not know you, but it made my heart hurt when you wrote that you are an “unfortunate bundle of atoms.” I know that is not true, because you write beautiful things. I think you should think of yourself as rather fortunate for having a head filled with interesting thoughts and insights. Some peoples’ heads are full of cotton and fluff and are of no consequence (aesthetic or otherwise) what-so-ever. If I were a girl with a hat on my head (as I sometimes am), I would tip my hat at you, as you pass by, walking your dog.
P.S. I do not share my bad habits with people I do not know. But I look forward to receiving an invisible gift for leaving this comment.
What a delicate comment!
I like it much.
Thank you Rachael. 🙂
I know the feeling. I drink, smoke occasionally, procrastinate homework, so self-conscious that I assume anyone remotely attractive doesn’t even like me as more than a friend, & I love to eat more than usual.
I’ve a journal full of bad habits, such as :a lack of modesty (not in a promiscuous way, but in an overly assertive way), not giving others a chance ,especially if they willingly vanish into the wallpaper (super-domination), boasting poetically but only after learning an individual’s most sensitive insecurities, apologizing to inanimate objects, pouring too much soap in the laundry, caring so much that I doom myself, thinking with my brain and hardly ever with my heart_unless there is a guarantee that I WILL BE APPLAUDED. Also, a willingness to speak about myself, and describe my personality, eg, this comment.
you are a blessed writer… Keep it up
Bad habits. Now that I think of it, mine is quite a long list! I chew my nails until the tips of my fingers start hurting, I am extremely lazy, so lazy that sometimes I don’t bother to eat even when I’m hungry because I don’t like the prospect of cooking, I don’t go out often and don’t take care of myself. When I’m not under one of my laziness spells, I’m being a workaholic, working in the labs, late into the night……… And spending long hours on the internet. 🙂
My bad habit is, I don’t trust enough. Its something that bothers me, I feel at times so negative…. Maybe it’s my past experience taking its toll.