Some people take their obsessions so far that it impacts their daily lives and the lives of those around them.
It’s OK to enjoy stuff or feel a certain way about things, but when we obsess about them to the point where it negatively impacts society, it’s a problem.
While scrolling through my favorite Reddit community, R/askreddit, I came across a question asking users to share their opinions on the most unhealthy obsessions they see in the people around them.
Here are some of the top responses.
Some folks really get obsessed with the things they hate. Their entire personalities revolve around their hatred, whether it be other people, sports teams, or something they just don’t like.
“Some people are more defined by what they hate than what they love, and I sincerely believe that wears on anyone after a while,” said one user.
Another added, “I’ve noticed a lot of subs on Reddit are just outrage farms. People may not realize it, but they’re specifically going there to read/find stuff that’ll make them angry.”
It’s true. Righteous indignation is appealing, and rage bait sells. We need to stop taking the bait.
What’s with people’s obsession with being first? Whether it’s first to the stoplight, to the gas pump, or to get into that checkout line, people’s “me first” attitude is grinding.
“People with the ” I need to be first, I’m in a rush because my life is more important” while driving bugs me so much, particularly when you end up pulling back up with them because they hit the same red light or stop sign, etc. you do,” said one user. They explained the behavior doesn’t help them get places faster but makes driving far more dangerous.
Others disagreed, saying they don’t need to be first, but they get annoyed when others take forever to complete simple tasks and see waiting on them as a waste of precious free time.
“Even if I’m not in a hurry, I hate having to wait on other people who take three times longer to do the same thing as I wanted to do,” admitted another user.
24 Hour News
Though most Redditors agreed it’s good to be informed about what’s happening in the world, they pointed out that obsessing over the 24-hour news cycle wasn’t the way to do it.
“It’s good to stay involved and informed,” said one user, but added, “if people would just turn off the news (including Reddit), I feel like 90% of our culture war would disappear overnight, and we could focus on the real issues.”
Others agreed, saying our “news” is just opinion wrapped in tidbits of truth.
“Let’s be real, most modern “news” gives an ounce of data/facts to every pound of opinion. Far too many people watching that stuff don’t want to come to their own conclusions about what happened. They want a headline and to then be told how they should feel about it,” stated one user.
Aging is part of life, but too many of us fear it and become obsessed with looking young.
“People are obsessed with youth, and some people will do anything to maintain its appearance,” shared one Redditor.
Another said, “The ironic part is that a lot of the things people do to make themselves look younger and better just makes them look worse.”
Our obsession with youth ends up hurting us. Instead, we should embrace aging and all the freedom that comes with it.
Read Next: 10 Things We Let Go of as We Age
Social Media Image
One Redditor earned gold with their comment about social media. People have an unhealthy “Obsession with their social media image,” they responded.
“Social media image is pretty much the modern reputation. I know too many people that practically set up a fantasy on their social media showing how amazing their life is, but if you run into them irl, they are incredibly miserable,” added another.
Social media isn’t real life, but too many pretend it is. We obsess over other people’s posts, forgetting that it’s just a highlight real at best and fantasy at worst, and become depressed over our own mediocre lives.
Ditching social media can work wonders for improving your mental health and overall contentment.
Celebrities in the US are the new royalty, and people get obsessed. A glance at the lifestyle section of major news sites will show a constant barrage of Kim, Kate, and Megan. The reason this junk is constantly published is that people eat it up.
Some people turn their love of celebrity’s lives into an unhealthy obsession.
“This is a big one I’ve seen. I have a colleague who, whenever we travel for work, will fill their free time looking for places celebrities live and walking around them,” shared one user.
Another added, “I like celebrities, but the power they hold on normal people is just too darn high. I do not need to know what they do on a day-to-day basis, nor do I need to try to aspire to be just like them.”
America’s obsession with work and productivity isn’t healthy. Our toxic work culture values time spent laboring above all else, and many bought into the idea hook, line, and sinker.
Reddit users pointed out that it’s unhealthy to obsess over work this way.
“Almost everyone in my office grabs their lunch and eats at their desk while working. Like you literally get hour and a half breaks if you want; what are you doing?” asked one user.
Others mentioned the weird battle for who works longer hours/worse schedules and gets less sleep, like the person who works more is better in some way.
Another user summed it up well, stating, “We are so far beyond the productivity of generations past, but instead of appreciating it, we continue to sacrifice more and more of our time and well-being at the altar of eternal growth.”
Read Next: Stop Celebrating Toxic Hustle Culture
Being in a Relationship
People must understand that being alone is far superior to being in an unhealthy relationship. But some folks obsess over getting into a partnership at any cost.
“Settling for less just because you think you can’t be alone is not healthy,” stated one Redditor, earning gold for the remark.
One user enthusiastically agreed. “I’ve been single for years now, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the happiest I’ve been in my entire life. I wish I could go back and tell younger me that she didn’t have to spend so much time and energy on people who would never treat her the way she deserved.”
Society tries to sell us that being in a relationship is the key to a happy, successful life. But all too often, the idea of a relationship is better than the reality, and we stay in unhealthy or toxic relationships because we fear being single.
We don’t need a relationship to be happy, and it’s better to be single than to be with the wrong person.
People can’t seem to put their phones down. While taking a nice stroll through the park in the car, in the checkout line, we all seem to be buried in our phones, missing the world around us.
“It’s one thing to keep yourself busy, it’s another to never let yourself be bored. Being bored is important sometimes, it makes you think/helps clear your head. Phones make it ridiculously easy to never let yourself get bored, to the point where it ain’t healthy,” shared one user.
“I believe this contributed to the demise of my marriage,” added another. “He could not put the phone down for anything. I would beg for one dinner out together without it, and he absolutely could not do it.”
Some folks can’t admit that they were wrong or made a mistake. Their unhealthy obsession with being right at all costs hurts not only themselves but their loved ones and society as a whole.
“One of my best friends growing up was this way. They beat your will to argue down with their hardheadedness, and when you stop arguing, they take it like they “won” the argument,” said one user.
“It’s like no one wants their feelings hurt by excepting they are wrong. There are very, very few people who can admit they are wrong, and I am glad I learnt how to do it. Dropping any form of ego is the first step. It is infuriating at times,” added another.
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Stop Obsessing to Live a Healthy Life
It’s okay to enjoy things like celebrities and social media, and it’s okay to have strong opinions. However, it can get unhealthy when anything starts to border on obsession.
Instead, find balance. Put your phone down for a minute and savor the moment, even if it’s slightly boring. Turn off the news and engage with your local community instead. Drop your ego and learn something.
Life is full of bounties, and if you get too obsessed with unhealthy, unimportant things, you might miss some of the fantastic opportunities it offers.
This post was inspired by an AskReddit thread asking users to share unhealthy obsessions some folks take too seriously.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.