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10 Common Bad Habits Every Man Should Stop Immediately

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Travis Snyder is a life coach and writer who helps unfulfilled professionals discover meaningful careers. He's the person to connect with when you're ready to find your purpose and make a difference in the world. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2024
5 min read
Bad Habits Every Man Should Stop Guy Addicted to Phone While Girlfriend Upset and Looks Away

Starting my research for this article was easy. 

I just asked my girlfriend, “What 10 things that I do most annoy you or gross you out?” 

She was so passionate about the topic it was difficult getting her to narrow her list to only 10. (Yes, dear, I’ll save the other 300+ items for a complete guidebook on the subject.)

But as any good writer should, I kept going. I scoured the Internet for the best information on the issue.

The resulting list includes 10 habits we men should stop immediately, plus a good habit to replace each bad one.

Good Habits are the Foundation of Happiness and Wellbeing

In the past, anytime I’d experienced a difficult challenge—such as getting laid off from work or ending a relationship—my healthy habits were some of the first casualties to exit my life.

I’d stop showering every day and make less of an effort to keep my apartment clean. My healthy eating efforts and workout routine would slowly disappear. And I’d start dressing sloppily because I felt sloppy.

“I’ll pick up those habits again once I have a new job or I feel better again”, I’d tell myself. 

But that’s not how it works.

When times are tough and your life isn’t going as planned, that’s when you need to lean on your good habits the most.

Keeping up on the little things like taking care of yourself will get you out of a life rut much faster than feeling sorry for yourself and resorting to unhealthy behaviors.

In short, don’t let your mood dictate your habits, let your good habits dictate your mood.

10 Common Bad Habits Every Man Should Cut 

Old Habits vs New Habits

Here are 10 common behaviors we should stop doing and what we should do instead.

One note before we get started: I’ve been guilty of every one of these at various times in my life, and chances are you have too. 

This article isn’t meant to shame, but rather help us develop as men who want to be better today than we were yesterday.

Poor Personal Hygiene

Slacking on your personal hygiene can negatively impact your career, romantic life and your social life.

No one wants to be around someone who looks like he doesn’t respect himself or, worse, smells like he doesn’t (if that’s you, check out our complete guide to fragrance).

Do This Instead: Make a consistent effort to do a full head-to-toe check. Make sure everything is washed, brushed, trimmed, shaved, cleaned, flossed, manscaped, etc. We’ve got a whole section on Grooming & Hair to get you started.

Not Keeping Your Space Clean

Man on Bed with Messy Bedroom

As with your body, keeping your home (and vehicle) clean, will make you feel better and make others who share the space with you feel better too.

If you let trash or grime start to pile up, it won’t take long before it starts to affect your wellbeing.

Do This Instead: Use a checklist to clean your home on a regular basis. Take it from me, it’s much easier to do a little each week rather than wait weeks or months before you tackle it.

Neglecting Your Mental Health

When you neglect your mental health needs, it’s not just you that you’re hurting. You also hurt your loved ones that have to deal with the consequences of you not feeling well.

The stigma over men taking action to improve their mental health is being lifted. If someone judges you for taking care of your mental health, that speaks volumes about him or her—and not in a good way. 

There’s no shame in taking care of your brain the way you would any other part of your body that needs attention.

Do This Instead: If you need to, talk to a mental health professional or a doctor about getting support for anxiety, depression or anything else you struggle with. You’re the only person who can successfully manage your mental health.

Wasting Time on Your Phone

Group of male friends all on their phone while hanging out

We live in a truly incredible world that you miss out on every time you pick up your phone.

While having smart devices on us at all times has made our lives easier in a lot of ways, it’s also resulted in a lot of psychological problems.

Do This Instead: Whenever possible, stay off your phone while you’re out enjoying life—especially when you’re spending quality time with your family and friends. Oh, and watch The Social Dilemma if you haven’t already.

Being Antisocial

As a career coach, the value of having a strong network of colleagues becomes clearer to me every day. But the importance of having a strong social life extends far beyond your career.

Yes, knowing the right person in the right place can help you land your dream job. But engaging with other people benefits you in several other ways too. Though, if you’re feeling down or you’re stuck in your routine with your significant other, it can be easy to close yourself off to others.

Do This Instead: Stay in touch regularly with friends, family and colleagues. And make an effort to grow your network by meeting new and interesting people as often as you can.

Bad Eating Habits

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As much as I love frozen pizza or the ease of cooking a hot dog on my Foreman Grill, I know it’s not in my best interest. I also can’t rely on Taco Bell and Chic-Fil-A to serve my dietary needs.

As we get older, our metabolism slows and we can’t consume the 5,000 calories a day we used to in college without any consequences. The time eventually comes when every man must eat healthier, age-appropriate meals.

Do This Instead: Create space in your calendar for grocery shopping and cooking. Make sure you have all the kitchen supplies you need and find some healthy recipes you enjoy. Your digestive system will thank you later.

No Exercise Routine

The benefits of regular exercise are endless. If you don’t maintain a regular workout routine you may experience a wide variety of side effects: weight gain, health issues, lethargy, depression and much more.

From my experience, the key is finding exercises you actually like doing. Swimming is a favorite of mine that I’ve picked up recently.

Do This Instead: Determine your fitness goals, whether it’s to get ripped, keep your health in check or to stay active. Then, find a routine that you enjoy and stick with it. Check out our Fitness & Health section for actionable advice on leveling up your fitness, health, nutrition and sex life.

Disrespecting Women

Pretty girl putting up her hand in rejection on plain background 1

The days of Mad Men are long gone.

Women deserve our respect in and out of the workplace every day. Being arrogant and treating women like they’re the lesser sex will get you nowhere in today’s society.

Do This Instead: Treat women how they want to be treated. That doesn’t mean you have to stop being masculine or start blurring gender roles. It means listening to women when they share how they want us to act and talk around them.

Lacking Ambition

It’ll be hard for you to be happy with who you are and to command the respect of others if you lack drive and ambition. 

We all have times when we’re feeling lazy. And that’s okay, for a little while. But long-term apathy will only lead to depression and an unfulfilled life.

Do This Instead: Figure out your talents. After that, determine how you want to use those skills as you overcome your lack of ambition and improve society in your own unique way.

Being Financially Irresponsible

Money, or a lack thereof, is one of the biggest stressors for many of us. Being reckless or, at the very least, careless with your finances is a recipe for disaster. Managing your money poorly can cause you a tremendous amount of stress over the course of your life.

Do This Instead: Do a deep dive into your finances. Get clear on how much you bring in and how much goes out in the form of expenses. Make investing for your retirement a priority while still allowing yourself some freedom to enjoy life today.

Let Your Good Habits Guide You

Regardless of where you are in life, you should always avoid these negative habits. Replace each of these actions with its corresponding good action and you’ll be a happier, more confident man.

Know someone who is guilty of some or all of these bad habits? Share this article with him and he just might thank you later for improving his life.

And as always, follow us on YouTube for more inspiration on how to be the best version of you.