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Thread: Reasons for Bad Habits?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Reasons for Bad Habits?

    Piggybacking on the tobacco thread, I have thought much about my previous smoking habit and my current chewing habit. I equated chewing to stress relief in the office, but I also look at both my smoking and chewing as a tool to quell boredom.

    During my last couples years which have presonally been dominated by a profound inner session of self-discovery, I found that many of my habits have been rooted in boredom.

    I chew my finger nails too. I have since I was 5. It is hard not to, as I realize that when I bite my nails, I don't even realize I am doing it anymore. However, there have been times in my recent past when I subconsciouly did NOT chew my nails. The first was in the wake of my best friend's suicide in 2007, the second, was when I took my current job, a job in which my planning role vastly expanded in a smaller office.

    Snacking also plays a role. I harken back to my youth when I would tell my mother I was hungry, only to hear You're just bored as a reply. However, I have a mighty big sweet tooth and as I try to stay away from sugary treats, I realize that this habit may be attributed to my grandmother. Grandma lived 2 miles north of me growing up and offered a more of a traditional motherly role than my own mother. I was often with Grandma growing up which of course led to my eating whatever candy I wanted. As I explore my own relationship with my mother, past and current, I realize that my eating candy now may be a way to seek the comfort that being with my grandmother offered.

    Who knows.

    So what about you? What is the reason you do what you do?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    I don't have a 'Reforming' SO (other thread).
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I will wait for someone more blunt and NWS to answer the reason why Zman is so, well, uh, oral, in his habits!


  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    There is always some sort of payoff for every behavior. When it comes to bad habits this payoff is usually the immediate gratification of some need: the sensation of having a full tummy from a snack, the relaxation/release of endorphins that comes with kicking back in a lawn chair ciggie in hand, putting other people down feeding one's ego, etc.

    Gratification of needs in and of itself is not a bad thing, but can potentially become a bad thing when these behaviors take no account of any resulting future negative consequences.

    So to answer the question, I usually engage in bad habits because the behaviors satisfy an immediate short-term need.

  5. #5
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I think most of my habitual traits have grown from peers or family. I mentioned in the other thread that I enjoy sunflower seeds. It is somewhat gross, but I figure it is better than anything else.

    I also clean my ears like no one's business. Earwax is my bane. Maybe I am OCD as I floss twice a day as well... I would imagine there are lots more my wife would tell you...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  6. #6
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    zman, boredom was also what kept me smoking for so many years. I never stop thinking, I am literally never on "idle". My spouse teases me constantly for this.

    For me, smoking was something "to do" when what I was doing was mind numbing (school projects, reports I had to write at work, whatever it was). I noticed that I rarely smoked at home, it was typically only during the day when I was out making a living or whatever. It makes sense that I would have started as a teenager. Teenagers are habitually bored with life. We have so many aspirations, expectations of life, dreams, that innocent and dreamy save-the-world mentality, and we spend a huge bit of our times as teenagers waiting around to be grown up enough for the world to take us seriously. Smoking was a temporary cure for boredom and a way to resist the institution, stick it to the man, etc.

    Of course, as the addiction sets in, smoking becomes necessary more often then just when you feel bored, but still, boredom is a major trigger for feeling the need to smoke for me. I fight it daily by bringing books, articles, and other things in for me to occupy my mind during those times, or by spending more time on Cyburbia lol.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I bite my nails too and don't buy into the professional opinions that is is "stress relief". I do it when I'm watching TV, when I'm driving, when I'm reading a book, etc.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I drink too much. But after much soul searching I believe the reason for that habit is basically just because i really enjoy drinking
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  9. #9
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I drink too much. But after much soul searching I believe the reason for that habit is basically just because i really enjoy drinking
    Were we separated at birth?
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  10. #10
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I think we need to define a bad habit here, folks, given the drinking thing - if it isn't hurting anyone else, or impinging on their rights and freedoms, then is it a bad habit - if it feels good, well, uh, wait, where am I going with this?...

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