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Habits Die Hard. Bad Habits Die Harder!


How does someone's habit bother you?
What is your concern about a person's habit?
Before discussing about the habits in general and bad habits in particular, I would like to reply these two questions.

We, the humans, are social animals. We live together a life in a society with people around us. Many a times, the dialogue with any individual with bad habits irritates us, disturbs our mood and sometimes makes us angry. Thus the awareness about good manners without bad habits is highly important. You see, habits die hard. But the bad habits die harder!


A habit is a repetitive behavioral action occurring unnoticed (without awareness), unconsciously, automatically, but constantly, uncontrollably and compulsorily. Any habit is considered a bad habit when its character is unacceptable and/or undesirable by others and easily noticed by others with unpleasant response.

Sometimes nervousness caused by anxiety, insecurity, tension or inferiority complex also triggers a bad habit.

We can have a big list of bad habits you face in your day-to-day life. Let me count a few. They are: Nail biting, stammering (debatable!), sniffing, bulimia (rapid and out of control overeating), banging the head, nose-picking, procrastination (delaying any work and avoiding to do any work), thumb sucking, fidgeting (doing small restless movements) and overspending (a present generation habit, often suppressed in the name of ‘retail therapy’). The list can be endless; I would like you to add your observations and experiences. To stimulate your vision, let me add a few more. The nagging, pen-clicking, rotating a pencil in a hand, bathroom singing, smoking, chewing tobacco, spitting here and there, aggressive rash driving, showing a tongue, attention seeking, keep on laughing loudly and what not.

Before we conclude the bad habits story with remedy, let me talk more about "TIC" (a sudden repetitive body movement). Here, the person does eye-blinking, throat clearing, sniffing, toe crunching, head jerking, shoulder shrugging, touching objects or people, pulling clothes, yawning, sneezing and hand clapping. Boredom, fatigue, stress and high energy emotions initiate different such TICs.

Oh, you are still there with me reading this! I am happy. Let me give you some technical words, you would like to know. Echolalia means repeating words spoken by someone. Polilalia means repeating words spoken oneself, Lerilalia means repeating same words after reading them and last. But the most dreadful is, Caprolalia. It means spontaneous repetitive utterance of socially objectionable taboo words or phrases (curses, profanity, swear words).

All said and done, what is the cure? To get rid of bad habits is a must for yourself and the society. The damage a bad habit does in personnel relations is great.

  • Awareness: Early recognition is not easy; some well-wisher must tell the diseased in a gentle and acceptable way about such a habit. Early realization of the trouble is the first step towards the cure.
  • Treat the cause: Second important step is to find out the psychological factor leading to the bad habit and manage that.
  • Determination: Lastly, firm determination to be free from a bad habit can only help getting rid of it.

Yes, every bad habit needs attention and treatment. What’s your bad habit?


Image source: ryanmarciniak.com




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