You canceled on your buddies again so you can burn the midnight oil and blew your emergency savings account on a down payment for a car you don't need, and now you're wallowing in self-pity because your self destructive behaviors have sabotaged your friendships and your finances. It is time for an intervention, so learn to recognize your self-destructive behaviors before it is too late.
- Driven by Compulsions: Whether you gamble away entire paychecks, rack up credit card debt buying gadgets online or binge on cold pizza in the middle of the night, your compulsive behavior is self-destructive. Do not mistake the compulsions for your problem, though; they are merely symptoms of something far more destructive: the fear of facing your feelings. Stuffing yourself with a tenth slice of pizza may fill you up, but it starves you of real happiness.
- Harming Yourself: If you're sporting long sleeves in the summertime to cover up the cuts on your arm or bruises from your own personal, one-member "Fight Club," this self-destructive behavior has got to stop before you inflict serious injuries or even die. Call a psychiatric professional before you take your compulsions too far.
- Martyrdom: Naval-gazing over your victimhood might satisfy you in the short run, but in the long run, it will drive away friends and colleagues sick of your relentless whining. Even though it stings in the short term, taking responsibility for your own mistakes will pay off with growth in your professional and personal skills.
- Self-Sabotage: Self-destructive behavior wouldn't be destructive without a little, well, destruction. Maybe you kept your mouth shut when a colleague stole your big idea, or maybe you follow the Bush Doctrine when it comes to relationships: breaking up as a pre-emptive strike against getting dumped. The only thing this self-destructive behavior accomplishes is sabotaging your hopes and dreams, so unless you want to live as a martyr forever, let yourself win once in awhile. You might just like it.
- Grade Grubber: Teachers have a pet name for students who whine and cry and beg for higher scores: grade grubbers. Self-destructive people tend to be grade grubbers in the game of life, relentless in their pursuit of praise and approval. If you crave approval and high marks for everything, try to find some perspective. The number of comments you snag on a social media post should not carry the same weight as a performance review. And when you receive constructive criticism, take it as the recognition you crave; after all, nobody spends time giving feedback to losers.
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