Health & Wellness Articles

8 Bad Habits That Make You Ugly

Behaviors and Mind Sets to Stop Right Now

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With so much focus paid these days on our physical looks, it’s not difficult to overlook actions and mentalities that can put your overall appeal in a tailspin--despite your outward appearance. It’s definitely worth taking a look at some of the ugly things we do and think that are more obvious to others than ourselves. Once you get past the physical in order to begin addressing the following negative behavioral and mental patterns, you can make changes that increase your attractiveness, and lead to more success in all types of relationships.
 
4 Ugly Behaviors to Stop
 
You might find it quite easy to spend more time primping in the bathroom before going out than to make a conscious effort to think about your actions while you’re in public. Here are four bad habits you should break before you turn off the people you’d probably much rather be attracting.
 
  1. Social Smoking
    By now you should know that cigarettes are bad for your health. But even though this is common knowledge, smoking is still a bad behavior some of us need to break. Even if you’re not a two-pack-a-day smoker, there are consequences for the social, just-puff-when-I-drink smoker. Cigarette smokers now make up only about 19 percent of the adult population. And with 81 percent of people not lighting up, you never know when that once-in-awhile cigarette is going to limit your chance for friendship, or even romance. Smoking not only decreases your curb appeal, but also makes you physically less attractive by causing wrinkles and thinning facial skin, as well as yellowing teeth and fingers.
     
  2. Booze Binges
    It seems that alcohol is intertwined with almost all social situations. We use it to relax, celebrate, commiserate and more. Still, no matter how many messages on moderation we hear, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and go overboard. And, it isn’t pretty. Ever. If you’re overly-intoxicated, you could turn off a lot of onlookers. Or, you could even become a target for a not-so-nice person. It’s important to know your limits, stick to them and have good friends on hand who will look out for you.
     
  3. Constant Phone Chatter
    When was the last time you used a payphone? Never? There’s a good reason for that: everybody has a mobile phone! And most of these phones are of the “smart” variety that give us instant access to the web, social networking sites and a myriad of useful, fun apps. With all that information constantly at your fingertips, it can be easy to disconnect from your real- surroundings. This behavior can become a pitfall in social settings--building digital walls that prevent meaningful connections. So, post that picture later! Lingering eye contact across a busy room, real engagement and conversation will always be more appealing to those around you.
     
  4. Persistent Gossiping
    Though gossip can be a bonding tool within a group, it’s important to think carefully before you engage in this bad behavior. Gossip can just as easily divide you from a group of friends or coworkers as it causes people to take sides. In addition, the consequences of gossiping will paint you in a judgemental, unprofessional light. When in doubt, biting your tongue and abiding by the Golden Rule is your best bet!
 
4 Ugly Mind Sets to Break
 
It’s not just how you look or act, but how you think that can really set you apart in the attractiveness department, for better or worse! Thought patterns can be difficult to change, but recognizing these four negative mind sets is a crucial step toward breaking them--and becoming a much happier, more attractive person.
 
  1. Thinking Negatively
    You don’t have to be a yogi, guru or even a hippie in order to feel the energy people exude at work or in a social setting. In fact, most of the time whether someone is in a good or bad mood is apparent before they even open their mouths. What makes negativity even more insidious is that it can be contagious. Neuroscientists have found that our brains can act like muscles, and when exposed to negative people, they can put us in similar mindsets. But, don’t just fake a smile--insincerity can be just as unattractive! What is important, however, is finding the cause of your bad mood and figuring out whether it’s due to something that is either in or out of your control. The trick is to train yourself to let go of the frustrations that you simply can’t change, and, instead, deal with the things that you can. You’ll be astounded by the positive results!
     
  2. An Apathetic Attitude
    It’s difficult to care about somebody who doesn’t care about anything. However, it can still be tough to keep an apathetic mindset from creeping into your life. Whether it’s due to past experiences, social conditioning or the bored people you’re hanging around, being apathetic can quickly tank your attractiveness all while being something that is directly within your control to fix. Just as you can choose to see all the ugliness in the world, you can also choose to look for and focus on the beautiful things around you. Look for your underlying ambitions, interests and desires in order to transform them into new passions that provide a clearer sense of purpose.
     
  3. Incessant Defensiveness
    Though there are times when you must plant your feet and defend yourself, being overly defensive can cause you to miss opportunities and block meaningful exchanges and relationships. If you’re arguing with someone about a topic you just aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on, simply take a deep breath and force yourself to relax before you speak. This way, you’ll build and convey confidence, plus strengthen your stance on the subject at hand. If you’ve been singled out and attacked in the past, letting go of built-up defensiveness can be rather difficult. Still, analyzing the situation for the differences between then and now can help you respond in a calm manner. Remember: not everyone is out to get you! Really.
     
  4. Worrying Way Too Much
    In small doses, worry and anxiety can be helpful in preparing us for stressful events like a blind date, an upcoming exam or a work deadline. If you’re a constant worrier, though, anxiety can serve to compound situations you’re worried about, and they could interfere with relationships, your ability to work and can even lead to other ugly habits like binge eating and alcohol abuse. It’s important to address your anxiety before it goes too far. Consulting your primary care physician, adopting a daily exercise routine, laying off the caffeine, meditating and communicating with close friends and family will help you live a more carefree existence. Plus, everyone around you will feel that good energy and become more relaxed, too!
 
Sources
American Cancer Society, "Guide to Quitting Smoking," www.cancer.org, accessed on May 13, 2013.
 
Barnes, Rebecca. "Beauty Side Effects of Smoking," www.ivillage.co.uk, accessed on May 13, 2013.
 
University of Virginia Health System, "Workplace Gossip," www.healthsystem.virginia.edu, accessed on May 13, 2013.
 
WebMD, "How Worrying Effects the Body," www.webmd.com, accessed on May 13, 2013.
 
Zetlin, Minda. "Listening to Complainers is Bad for Your Brain," Inc. magazine, August 20, 2012. www.inc.com.

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Member Comments

  • I have a very ugly habit of being overly defensive, but only to strangers who are trying to sell me something. If someone approaches me from a mall kiosk or (God forbid) knock on my door trying to sell me something...I seriously can't help myself and get downright mean. I just can't help it. There is nothing more upsetting and rude to me than someone trying to push me into buying something or listening to their sales pitch when I didn't ask for it.

    I know it makes me very ugly to that person, but I also don't always feel bad about it. I know they have a tough job, but if I say "no thank you" nicely and they keep talking...I literally come across as evil. I'm not sure whether or not to work on it because I really feel like my boundaries are crossed, however, most people around me & my friends/family seem to have no problem with people doing that to them. Otherwise, I'm a super nice person though! LOL
  • This is all so true! I am guilty of some of these bad habits, will try to overcome them!
  • HILLSLUG98239
    Weird. My comment below was supposed to be on a different article. So if you read my comment and thought, "Where did she come up with that?", I promise, I'm not completely nuts.
  • I've never smoked, rarely drink alcohol and don't gossip...I do text a lot lol! Have to work on being a little less defensive though!
  • Wow....they nailed me on the 4 Ugly Mind Sets to Break. Seems my mind has battled this "diet" war forever and has crippled me many times. I've printed this article so that I can read it each morning.
  • I'll counter that pessimists are inherently happier people because we're always pleasantly surprised when things go right.

    You know what I find unattractive? People who use "positivity" as an excuse not to face up to unpleasant realities.
  • *Lingering eye contact*? REALLY? As a woman, I. FIND. THAT. CREEPY. PERIOD!!!!!! Thanks, but I think I'll PASS! :( :( :(
  • HILLSLUG98239
    "laying off the caffeine" will somehow lead to a "more carefree existence"? How? I'd sure like to see the science that supports that notion. (Note: the information preceding that statement doesn't say anything about too much caffeine.)

    Ritual can be an important part of our lives. That morning cuppa is as much about ritual as it is caffeine. I know not everyone tolerates caffeine, and too much can be a problem. But quit dissin' on caffeine - especially considering the science that supports it can be beneficial for endurance athletes.

    And sitting at the edge of an alpine lake as the sun turns the ridges pink in the cool of the morning holding a steaming hot cup of coffee in my hands? Magical. It wouldn't be the same with a cup of hot chocolate.
  • In particular, I need to work on Thinking Negatively and Incessant Defensiveness.
  • Wow! What a great article. I definitely need to think about a couple of these

About The Author

Natalie Nichols Natalie Nichols
Natalie lost nearly 30 pounds the SparkPeople way before becoming a health and beauty contributor to the site. A self-proclaimed "girly girl," Natalie couldn't bear to break a sweat when she was younger, but now can't imagine living a life without exercise. In her spare time she practices yoga, enjoys cooking and stays involved in her community. Leading by example, she hopes to inspire others to live healthier and happier lifestyles, too.

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