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Your boyfriend just called and he’s livid. “Where are you? I’ve been waiting for 45 minutes!” Oops, late again. Or your best friend refers to you as mouthus interruptus because she can’t finish a sentence during conversations. Whether checking your cell phone every two minutes or racking up tons of fees with kamikaze credit-card spending, crappy habits can wreak havoc on your life and the lives of others. But there is hope.
“Behaviors are often unconscious ways to avoid feeling painful feelings,” says NYC-based clinical social-worker Barbara Kass. “So, most frequently, helping people learn [by experience] that their feelings won't kill them, while maladaptive behaviors can have pretty negative consequences, is what's needed.” In other words, take a hard look at yourself in the mirror sans fear. It’s the first step in breaking these all-too-common bad habits.
Illustrated by Gabriela Alford