12 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back

by Liberty Stembridge, Lifestyle Columnist

Published in Lifestyle and Health on 13th August, 2019

Judging Others

The classic toxic habit that we all do. If you find yourself subtle judging others all the time, consciously or unconsciously, don't worry - we all do it, and it's pretty normal. However, that doesn't mean it's healthy, and it's possible to stop.

When we judge others, it's usually because we're also judging ourselves, and this creates a toxic internal environment. Try to become more mindful of when you are judging others, and counteract your judgemental thoughts with ones of compassion.

judging others

Giving Unsolicited Advice

If you've ever been talking to a friend and been bursting at the seams to tell them what to do, you know what I'm talking about. Sometimes friends want your advice, and in which case you should give it if you have any.

More often than not however, your friends will want to vent, and giving unsolicited advice can actually do more harm than good.


I know I for one, am a fiendish gossiper, but it's not a good habit to have. Gossiping spreads rumours, mistrust and ends up making you look like a nasty person.

No one likes to have their dirty laundry aired without permission, so if a friend trusts you enough to divulge personal information about their life, don't spread it around.

Living In A Messy Environment

A cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind and an unproductive day. We often underestimate just how much our environment can affect our mental states and ability to work.

clean environment

Living in a messy environment will only encourage unproductivity, laziness and stagnation - so start putting the effort in to clean up that mess once in a while.

Excluding Others

Feeling excluded is one of the worst feelings ever, and excluding others is and equally toxic and nasty thing to do. As social animals, we humans can have a nasty tendency to isolate others in favour of keeping our own social groups intact.

This only blocks us from meeting new people and having fun however. Even if you're not particularly sure about a person, opening yourself up to the idea of making friends, or at least being friendly acquaintances with them is always a good idea.

Talking About Yourself Non-Stop

It's not always a bad thing to talk about yourself, however, when done in excess, it will only end up pushing your friends away and preventing you from making new ones. Sure you may have an interesting story to tell or a funny anecdote, but likely so do others.

Try to practice taking the focus off of yourself in social situations, and put your energy into finding out more about others. Your time will come, and you're much more likely to make friends this way.

Never Apologising

We all mess up, every single one of us. Making mistakes is just a part of life, but the most important part of making those mistakes is to learn from them and apologise when we've hurt others.


Being unable to apologise will slowly degrade your relationships and build resentment. So eat some humble pie, and learn how to apologise properly.


It's not hard to imagine how lying and manipulating others could damage your life, and relationships with others.

Frequent lying is often a sign of underlying insecurity and a need for validation, which is something you can deal with until you become comfortable enough in yourself that there is no longer any need to lie.


Gaslighting refers to the practice of purposefully trying to seed doubt in another person's mind, in order to get them to question their own version of events, and is a common type of manipulation.

Unfortunately, due to lack of education, many people are gaslighting those around them without even realising it, and this can seriously damage your relationships with others. Working on open communication rather than manipulation can put an end to this toxic behaviour and improve all of your relationships.

Shying Away From Helping Friends Through Tough Times

Are you a "fair weather friend" without even realising it? If you shy away from helping your friends through tough times, then you might just be.

help friends

Watching a friend or loved one go through bad experiences or deal with mental health issues can be draining and tough, but that doesn't mean we should avoid it at all costs.

Sticking by your friends through thick and thin will only strengthen your relationships, so that when the good times do come rolling back around, you're only better off for it. Plus, you always know that when you hit hard times, your friends are there to support you too.


Complaining is a common bad habit, and secretly, we all love to indulge in it every once in a while. However, complaining is fundamentally a toxic habit, because it shifts your focus towards the negative.

Constantly talking about what's wrong in your life is not only depressing for you, but tiring for everyone else.

It doesn't improve your life, or anyone else's, so try to keep it to a minimum. Instead, try to practice habits such as keeping a grateful list, talking about the positive things that happened in your day.

Having Unclear Boundaries

Boundaries are key to maintaining healthy relationships and self-respect. You can and should be setting boundaries with everybody in your life, be it your partner, your parents, your friends, coworkers or kids.

Having boundaries doesn't mean that you have a set of hard and fast rules that you always live by, but rather that you respect and value your own opinion and experiences. Knowing what you like and dislike, and how you want to be treated by others will help you to create and enforce healthy boundaries.

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