If you want to be a better human, stop doing these 12 things

It’s a hard truth, but sometimes the habits we’re most used to are not really good for us.

They might feel comfortable, normal, even easy… but the moment they stop serving us, their true colors show.

That’s why it’s important to scrutinize our behaviors closely. And where better place to start than with yourself?

If you’re doing these 12 things, they’re likely not serving your best interests.

1. Always being negative

Isn’t it draining to be around people who are always negative? Well, guess what? It’s just as exhausting when you’re the one always caught in a rain cloud.

Negativity can feel like a safe place, especially when things go wrong. It’s easy to blame, complain, and sulk… but does it help? No, it doesn’t.

Negativity doesn’t push you forward or help you grow. Instead, it keeps you stuck in the same place, making you feel worse.

So, the next time you find yourself sliding into that negative zone, stop and take a breath. Try to find a silver lining or a lesson in the situation.

Remember, it’s not about being unrealistically positive; it’s about not letting negativity rule your life.

2. Not listening

We’ve all been guilty of this one. When someone’s talking to us, instead of truly listening, we’re often waiting for our turn to speak, or worse, completely zoning out.

Listening might seem like a small thing, but it’s a big deal. It’s how we connect with people, understand their perspectives and show them that they matter to us.

If you find yourself always waiting for your turn to speak, or thinking about something else while someone is talking to you, then it’s time to work on your listening skills.

Truly hearing what people have to say can help you understand them better, improve your relationships and make you a better person overall.

Show them that you’re interested in their words and that they’re important to you. It’s a small change that can make a big difference.

3. Not apologizing when you’re wrong

I used to think that apologizing was a sign of weakness. I thought if I admitted I was wrong, people would see me as less capable or dependable. “I’m never wrong,” used to be my motto.

But then, I messed up, big time. A miscommunication at work led to a major problem with a project. Instead of owning up to my mistake, I tried to cover it up. But you know what? It only made things worse.

When the truth finally came out, not only did the project suffer, but so did my relationships with my colleagues.

It was a hard lesson to learn, but it taught me the importance of admitting when I’m wrong and saying sorry.

Apologizing doesn’t make you weak; it shows that you’re mature enough to take responsibility for your actions and that you value your relationships more than your ego.

So, if you’ve made a mistake, don’t brush it under the rug. Admit it, apologize, and do better next time.

4. Not taking care of your health

We often take our health for granted until it’s too late. We eat junk food, skip workouts, and burn the midnight oil, thinking our bodies can handle it.

But here’s an interesting fact: according to the World Health Organization, 80% of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes could be prevented if we made better lifestyle choices.

That’s right – taking care of your health is not just about looking good or fitting into your old jeans. It’s about giving your body the respect it deserves.

After all, your body is the vehicle that carries you through life. If you don’t maintain it well, it won’t perform at its best.

So, make a commitment to look after your health. Eat nutritious food, get regular exercise, and ensure you’re getting enough sleep.

These small changes can greatly improve your overall wellbeing and make you a better person.

5. Taking things for granted

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to take things for granted – the roof over our heads, the food on our tables, the people who love and support us.

We often forget how fortunate we are to have these things that many people don’t.

Expressing gratitude isn’t just a polite gesture or a social norm, it’s a powerful tool that can transform your life.

It brings joy and fulfillment, strengthens relationships, and even improves physical health.

Think about it. When you express gratitude, you’re acknowledging the goodness in your life.

You’re recognizing that the source of this goodness is often outside yourself, which can help you connect to something larger – whether it’s other people, nature, or a higher power.

So, take a moment each day to express gratitude. Write down what you are thankful for or simply say it out loud. It doesn’t have to be something big; even the smallest things count.

6. Being a people pleaser 

This is something I struggled with for a long time. I was the eternal people-pleaser, always saying “yes” even when I wanted to say “no”.

I thought that by doing everything for everyone, I was being a good person.

But over time, I realized that by not setting boundaries, I was letting people take advantage of me.

I was so busy meeting everyone else’s needs that I neglected my own, and it started to take a toll on my wellbeing.

Setting boundaries is not about being selfish; it’s about self-respect. It’s about knowing your worth and understanding that it’s okay to prioritize your own needs.

So don’t be afraid to say “no” when you need to. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. It’s not just okay, it’s necessary.

7. Judging others 

Let’s be brutally honest here: we all judge others. It’s a nasty habit that’s hard to break. But it’s also one of the most destructive things we can do, not just to others, but to ourselves.

When you judge others, you’re not seeing them for who they are. You’re seeing a distorted version based on your own prejudices and insecurities.

You’re putting them in a box, and in the process, you’re limiting your own understanding and empathy.

And here’s the bitter truth – when you judge others, it says more about you than it does about them.

Instead of focusing on their flaws, try to see their strengths. Instead of comparing them to your standards, try to understand their perspective.

8. Not improving yourself

Many of us get so caught up in our daily routine that we forget to invest time in ourselves. We get stuck in a rut, doing the same things day in and day out, and we forget to grow.

Self-improvement isn’t about being dissatisfied with who you are; it’s about acknowledging that you can always improve.

Whether it’s learning a new skill, reading a book, or practicing mindfulness, investing time in yourself can boost your confidence, increase your knowledge, and make you a better person.

So, make it a point to set aside some time each day for self-improvement. Trust me, future you will thank you for it.

9. Holding grudges 

I used to hold onto grudges like they were precious gems, thinking that if I let go, it meant the other person won. I held onto anger and resentment, and all it did was eat me up inside.

Over time, I realized that forgiveness isn’t about the other person; it’s about you. It’s about freeing yourself from the burden of anger and resentment. It’s about giving yourself permission to move on.

Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; letting go does. Forgiveness allows you to focus on the present and the future instead of being stuck in the past.

So, if there’s someone you need to forgive, do it. Not for them, but for you.

10. Not following through on your commitments

This is a hard one to swallow, but necessary.

We’ve all been there – promising to do something and then not doing it.

Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution, a workout plan, or a project at work, we’ve all made commitments that we haven’t kept.

But here’s the raw truth: when you don’t follow through on your commitments, you’re not just letting others down, you’re also letting yourself down.

You’re sending yourself the message that your words don’t matter and that you can’t be trusted.

If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If it turns out to be more than you can handle, be honest about it.

It’s better to admit that you can’t do something than to make a promise and break it.

11. Not respecting other people’s time

This one stings a little. We all know how frustrating it is to be kept waiting by someone who’s always late.

But have you ever thought about how it feels for the other person?

When you don’t respect other people’s time, you’re telling them that your time is more valuable than theirs. And that’s not fair or true.

So next time you have an appointment or meeting, make sure to be on time. If you’re running late, let the other person know as soon as possible.

It’s a simple act of respect that shows you value their time as much as your own.

12. Not taking responsibility for your actions

This one’s tough but true: when we mess up, our first instinct is often to blame someone or something else.

But the reality is, we’re all responsible for our actions.

When you don’t accept responsibility for your mistakes, you’re avoiding the opportunity to learn and grow from them.

You’re choosing to remain stagnant instead of moving forward.

So, own up to your mistakes. Learn from them. Use them as stepping stones to become a better person.

Remember: to become a better person, accept responsibility for your actions.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.