Dr. Purushothaman
January 10, 2014

Bad social habits are not uncommon, and having them doesn't mean you're the worst person in the world. However, it may be a barrier holding you back from making friends. Bad social habits can easily turn people off! It's important to recognize those habits and eliminate them before you're labeled as an inappropriate prick. Below are 8 bad social habits you should definitely break!
Body language is extremely loud. If you have your arms crossed while talking to someone, it's common for that person to feel uncomfortable. Crossing your arms may only seem like a mild offense, but really, it's one of the bad social habits that suggests you're closed off, and ready for the conversation to end any minute now.
It may seem pretty obvious that cutting someone off is rude, but sometimes people forget that, even when the goal is trying to show how interested you are. Even if you're eager to show your enthusiasm, people still get offended when you interrupt. Try nodding and smiling instead.
"Dirty mouth? Clean it up!" I love the Orbit gum commercials! Anyhoo, if every other word you say would be bleeped out on the television, it's time to clean up that language. Believe it or not, there are still some people who aren't comfortable being in the presence of bad language. Be respectful and observant. If you see your communication partner squirm in response to your bad language, try alternative ways to say what you need to say.
When it comes to social interaction, it's imperative that you read body language and keep in mind you and your partner's closeness level. When you first meet people, they don't need to know your medical history, why you're going to break up with your boyfriend, and how much money you currently have in your bank account. That's way too much information! It's a sure way to make your communication partners uncomfortable and likely to avoid you the next time they see you. An effective way to keep from over-sharing is to check yourself throughout the conversation, and if you're talking 95% of the time while the other person only contributes the occasional “Wow. That sucks,” try prompting them to tell you about themselves. That'll keep the conversation balanced and it'll keep you from telling your life story to someone who really doesn't care.
When you're glued to your phone in the middle of a conversation, it doesn't say, I'm an awesome multi-tasker,” it sends the message that whatever’s on your phone is much more important than what the other person is saying. Whether you mean to or not, using your phone while talking to people can make them feel unappreciated and disrespected. If you absolutely must use your phone during a verbal conversation, say, “excuse me, I need to take this,” or something to let them know you're not just blowing them off.
This is one of my bad social habits that needs to go! I know how hard it is to keep those facial expressions under control when there's a really bad stench, when someone says something you don’t think is very intelligent, or when you're bored out of your mind, but it's not good manners to wear those emotions on your face. Think about it this way, if you make a facial expression that you can't explain aloud without sounding like a jerk, you should probably keep that emotion off your face!
If someone has ever said to you, “Stop yelling, I'm right here!” you should probably bring your voice down a few notches. Talking too loudly can be embarrassing and annoying. If you're just a loud person and you can't tell when you're being too loud, use the other people's evil glances and death stares as the cues. Loud talking can ruin someone else's experience at restaurants, movie theaters, public transportation rides, and other public places. You don’t have to whisper, but be courteous and speak at a reasonable level.
Complaining isn't just a bad social habit, it's not good for personal development either. Negativity can have a repellent effect on friends and family, and after a while people will see you as the Debbie Downer. No one wants that person around. Try looking on the bright side of everything, you'll learn to appreciate and love life, while others will love you for it.
Getting rid of bad social habits wont just make others feel more comfortable around you, it'll enhance your character and build you up to be a courteous, kind, and thoughtful individual. What are some other common bad social habits? Do you have any ideas on ways to break those habits? Do tell!

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