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20 Habits You Need To Dump Now To Be A Better Person

20 Habits You Need To Dump Now To Be A Better Person

Most of us only think about becoming better people as we prepare our New Year resolutions. But the transition from being average to excellent can begin at any time of year.

Here are 20 habits you need to dump if you really are going to reach your goal of becoming a better person.

1. Being late

You know that annoying feeling of hanging around waiting for your friend who is running late? That’s exactly the same feeling they have when they’re waiting for you. Being late all the time is not only bad manners, but also completely avoidable.

Try planning your time better so that you have plenty of time to complete your journey and arrive early in future. Your friends, family and employer will be appreciative.

2. Texting during conversations

When you talk to someone, you expect them to have the courtesy to listen. But texting during a conversation is the non-verbal equivalent of saying “I couldn’t give a damn about you”. You appear to value the text conversation more than the person stood right in front of you.

Put your phone in your pocket and leave it there. If there is a genuine emergency, the other person will call repeatedly. Giving your full attention to the conversation will improve your relationship with the speaker, immediately making you a better person.

3. Being self-centered

You know those people who always talk about themselves? How annoying is that? But when every thought, word and action revolves around you, it is completely impossible to be a good person.

Instead you need to focus on the people around you. Listen to what they are saying. Find ways you can help them. Put others first. This will not only make you a better person, but people will actually want to spend time with you too.

4. Lying

The easiest way to kill any relationship is by lying. Even ‘little white lies’ have the potential to destroy trust.

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Make a policy of always telling the truth, no matter how much that may hurt. People will respect and trust you more as a result.

5. Over-sharing

Despite what Facebook would have you believe, there really are things that you don’t have to tell the world. Graphic descriptions of illnesses, a photo of every meal you eat, a quick commentary on your trip to the toilet – no one needs to hear these details of your life.

Limit yourself to sharing just a few details each day, whether in conversation or online, to become a more likeable person.

6. Late night snacking in front of TV

It may seem like a harmless habit, but late night snacks could actually be harming your health. Experts suggest that eating just before you go to bed will upset your body’s natural rhythms, directly affecting sleep patterns. And the less you sleep, the more grumpy you become (as well as risking numerous associated illnesses).

Cut out the late night snacks and you’ll feel better as a result.

7. Binge drinking

A drink or three every now and then is great. But six, seven or eight can spell disaster. You feel sick, you embarrass yourself and your friends have to make sure you get home safely. Not cool.

Drink less to maintain control. Increase self-control to become a better person. Simple.

8. Skipping breakfast

It’s not just something doctors say – eating a good breakfast really does set you up for the rest of the day. Skip breakfast and your day is already off to the wrong start.

Make sure you set aside an extra five or ten minutes each morning to eat breakfast. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also be prepared to face the challenges that day brings.

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9. Paying credit cards late

Bills suck. Unfortunately they are also unavoidable. You must not pay your credit cards late to avoid additional charges and the knock-on effects that late payments have on your credit report.

Paying your bills on time also helps you become a better person by encouraging you to become more disciplined in managing your expenditures and avoiding debt. You’ll also feel lot better without having the worry of  unpaid bills hanging over your head.

10. Busting your budget

Few things suck in life quite so much as running out of money. But owing money to other people is actually worse. You feel trapped and you can’t do anything until that debt is repaid.

Drawing up a budget and sticking to it will give you peace of mind that all of your expenses will be covered and help you avoid debt. You’ll feel a lot better for it in the long run too.

11. Not saving for retirement

Admittedly you are unlikely to feel the effects of this one for years, maybe even decades. But once you finish your career, you need to have a financial cushion that keeps you fed, clothed and homed. If you don’t, you’ll face exactly the same kind of concerns and pressures as you do busting your budget now.

Saving for your retirement now, ensures that you don’t have to worry in the future. And without those pressures, you can still be a better person in the future too.

12. Gossiping

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret,‘ says the Proverb revealing an age old truth. When you talk about people behind their back, not only are you abusing their trust, but you also reveal yourself to be untrustworthy.

Avoid gossip to immediately become a better person. You will also find that your friends trust you a whole lot more when they don’t have to worry about you sharing their secrets.

13. Dwelling on illness

We all get sick from time to time. Some of us are even unfortunate to suffer from long term illnesses. But this does not mean we need to allow our illnesses to become the defining aspect of our lives.

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People respect those who get on with life, and avoid those who only ever talk about how sick they are. Don’t be a loner, practice overcoming your illness and you’ll feel better immediately. And don’t ever overplay your sickness, or you’ll just alienate others.

14. Complaining

Some people are never satisfied – they only ever see what is wrong with their lives. And other people hate talking to these ingrates.

Stop moaning about what is wrong with your life and start counting your blessings. Try thinking about the good things you have and you will find that your outlook on life changes. You’ll also find people are much more willing to talk to you too.

15. Smoking

Smoking is bad for your health and it stinks. Not to mention the fact that it damages the health of everyone around you.

There is no defense for this habit. Give it up and you will immediately be on the road to becoming a better person.

16. Chewing your nails

Often a stress release mechanism, chewing your nails is actually worse for you than you think. Not only does biting your nails down to the quick hurt, it is also the perfect way to introduce infection. Infected fingers are even more uncomfortable and unattractive.

Leaving your fingernails to grow will help improve their appearance, giving you a confidence boost in the process. And if you look and feel better, you’ll perform better too.

17. Relying on the bank of Mom and Dad

You’ve bust your budget and maxed your credit cards. Next stop, the Bank of Mom and Dad. They won’t be able to resist “lending” you a few dollars – they probably won’t even expect to get it back.

But if you want to be a better person, you need to realise that, as an adult, your parents expect you to stand on your own two feet and provide for yourself. Living with in your means is a sign of maturity – proving you’re becoming a better person.

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18. Speaking out of ignorance

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
    with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.”

These days we are expected to hold (and voice) an opinion on everything. Often we speak out of ignorance, giving a respond based on gut-reactions, often totally wrong. Part of becoming a better person is having the strength of character to keep quiet and not giving an opinion on subjects we don’t fully understand.

19. Under-valuing age

We live in a culture that favours youth over experience, often unfairly relegating older people to second-class citizens. But in doing so, we often doom ourselves to repeat the mistakes of our forefathers.

If you are serious about becoming a better person, make time for the older people in your life. They offer a wealth of valuable life experience and often have fascinating stories to tell too.

20. Acting immature

Thinking like a child will make you act like a child. That’s fine when you’re 15, but not so cool when you’re 25.

Taking responsibility for your own actions will help you mature – a key step in becoming a better person.

Featured photo credit: PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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