There are many activities we engage in that we believe are fun, but that secretly hurt us. We continue to do them over and over again and never realize the damage we are doing to ourselves. Are you feeling like you are being held back from what you want out of life? Do you have goals that seem difficult to reach? It may be that you’ve been putting obstacles in front of yourself.

Here are 5 ways you hurt yourself while thinking you are having fun:

1. Talking Bad About People, Gossiping or Spreading Rumors

We sit around talking about other people with our friends, family and co-workers. We laugh, joke, and focus on the worst things we can find about someone. Whether on the phone, in the chat rooms on in person, some of us live to talk about others to get the laugh.

Here’s the rub. What do you think others are doing when you aren’t there? By becoming a person that is known for gossiping, spreading rumors and talking bad about others, you also make yourself a target for the same treatment. The things you say don’t remain a secret. Others will find out what you said. People can also sense when you have said negative things about them. It might be time to put this one away with the other toys from our childhood.

2. Drinking to Excess

When many people think about going out to have a good time, alcohol has to be involved. We think that the more we drink, the more fun we are going to have. When we are falling over drunk, we believe that we had fun and make plans to do it again very soon.

Here’s the rub. There is nothing fun about hangovers, liver damage, or the words we can’t take back once we sober up. Is a night of drinking worth the entire next day of dehydration, headache and physiological imbalance? Does shortening your life by 10 – 20 years or more sound glamorous? Is the loss of good friends or the loss of faith by our loved ones worth the risk?

If you are going to drink, then do so in moderation. Anytime you have the intent of getting drunk, you are inviting trouble into your life. Being responsible can not only protect you from harm, but also protect yourself from causing harm to others.

3. Picking Arguments

On television, we often like to watch dramas or reality TV to see the arguments and fights that brew. The he said she said, the passionate blow up, and the name calling rants make us laugh and watch with amazement. We like our drama.

Here’s the rub. We also sometimes bring the fantasy land of TV into our own lives. We’ll pick an argument just to create some drama. We’ll say something we shouldn’t have said just so we can have a reason to be overly romantic as a way of making up. We’ll do vengeful and spiteful things, because that is our new reality after thousands of hours of television telling us what’s normal. All of this drama and misbehavior can push our loved ones away from us. In their attempts to not set us off, things become less loving, less personal, and less passionate.

Rather than escalating drama, work towards de-escalating it. You don’t need a reason to go over the top to show your love. Also, just because someone gets angry with you doesn’t mean that they are passionate. Intensity of emotion doesn’t directly equate to love.

4. Sarcasm

When someone says something and you respond with sarcasm, you can seem witty and comical. The ability to respond sarcastically to a serious statement has grown in popularity, and for some has become an art form. From television and movies to living rooms and boardrooms, sarcasm is taking over as the chief way to get easy laughs.

Here’s the rub. The more you use sarcasm, the more people get offended, feel disrespected or want to avoid you completely. Your short-term laugh creates long-term problems for relationships. Business associates slowly lose respect for your knowledge when sarcasm is overused. Sarcasm can lead to arguments, damaged reputation, and isolation. Rather than using sarcasm, find ways to keep things light and fun while also keeping respect in tact. You can be witty by becoming a good problem solver, or so knowledgeable in a subject area you are passionate about that you can be considered an expert. Sarcasm is not a sound strategy for longevity in anything.

5. Carrying Guilt

Carrying guilt has become almost cult-like in size of membership and in how it is used to manipulate others. As children, we are often told that we should be ashamed of ourselves for something we did or said. As adults, we rely on that sense of remorse to get people to do what we want or to stop them from doing something we don’t want them to do. We also make ourselves dwell in guilt as a means of stopping ourselves from reliving a bad experience from our past. We pretend that guilt is our friend, so we keep it around.

Here’s the rub. Guilt produces nothing positive. Every time we give in to someone else’s guilt laden request, we teach them how to get what they want from us. Whenever we use guilt as a means of not repeating a past mistake, we relive it internally anyway. Instead, replace those guilty feelings and images of what you don’t want with thoughts of what you do want. Learn the lessons from the past experiences, and you will not have to repeat them again. Focus on the life you want, rather than focusing on the life you don’t want. As a rule of thumb, if someone asks you to do something and lays down the guilt trip, say no until the request is genuine. That’s one way of teaching others how to come to you with respect.

Author's Bio: 

James LeGrand is the Author of "Evolve!", an best seller in Religion and Spirituality. He is also the publisher of, a free weekly newsletter that presents solutions to life’s issues through the lens of self-help, wisdom, philosophy and spirituality. In addition, James LeGrand is a Life Strategist, an Expert Author with &, a former Radio Personality, a Fortune 500 Vice President, and a Sifu in Shaolin Kungfu, which has been known for centuries as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment.