20 Obsessions People Have That Can Ruin Their Life

There is a fine line between hobbies and interests and straight-up obsession. And some obsessions are just plain unhealthy. The Reddit community has some tales of their own to share on this topic.

1. 24-Hour News Cycles

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“It's good to stay involved and informed but man, 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,” one user said.

2. Social Media Image

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“A friend of mine's mother almost spends every waking hour on FB and Instagram. She is constantly updating the world on her life. My friend has had to stop sending her pics of his children because they would immediately end up on her FB. She has fallen for a number of scams – thankly stopped by friend before she lost money.

It seems the only source of validation in her life are the upvotes and likes of friends, relatives and strangers,” one person shared.

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3. Influencer/Celebrity Lives

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“Inclusive of influencers, streamers, and any other random person with a webcam. We get mad at narcissism but go out of our way to throw money at these folks. Not everybody needs to be a brand. The overwhelming majority of us are just plain, ordinary humans – and that’s ok,” one user pointed out.

4. Work

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“Almost everyone in my office grabs there lunch and eats at there desk while working. Like you literally get hour and a half breaks if you want what are you doing lol. I always get on my phone and watch a show or YouTube while eating my lunch for the full time,” one user shared.

Another added, “Where I work, people do this EVERY DAY. I have to get up and leave the office to eat lunch. I either go home, or through a fast food place and grab something. Then I either watch a show at home or in my pickup. I don't understand how or why people eat lunch at their desk every day and work through lunch. The work will still be there after you eat. Take a break.”

5. Pointless Relationships

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One user shared, “I spent most of my life like this, out of one relationship straight into another. It messed up my mind on what a healthy relationship looks like. 9 year's single now and I still don't know.”

6. Cell Phones

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“Their phones. 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,” one user pointed out.

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7. Arguing With People on the Internet

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“Know your limit. There's a subreddit with something about arguing on the internet is like wrestling a brick wall. You're not going to get anywhere. People are set in their ways, they aren't open to good discussion and taking points away. They're right, you're wrong. I love a good discussion where you go back and forth, and acknowledge and appreciate the other person and their good intended arguments. We're not arguing at that point, we're having a good discussion with opposite viewpoints and providing evidence to support our viewpoints,” one user said.

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8. Pro Sports

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“I’m a self proclaimed fair weather fan. I generally don’t watch sports at all, but if any of my State’s local teams start making a good run, I may get engaged and watch some. It blows my mind that people’s days are ruined when their team loses. Or maybe they punch a wall or destroy some other property. Or even worse, get in a physical fight with some other fan from an opposing team. These people need something more meaningful in their lives. They are getting more upset than the actual members of the team. Pathetic,” another user shared.

9. Alcohol

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“This is my pick. Alcohol is so normalized and it's very weird when you stop and think about it. There are definitely people who can enjoy it occasionally and responsibly but at the end of the day it's mostly just poison,” one user said.

Another user shared some data they discovered. “The WHO declared recently that there is no healthy amount of alcohol. That it is best to just not drink any and everyone just shrugs it off. People obsess over what they think is healthy to eat, but won't even consider stopping drinking beer or wine.”

10. Calorie Counting

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One user shared the benefits as well as the drawbacks of calorie counting. “It's not unhealthy at baseline, but calorie counting and obsessive exercise can easily devolve into disordered eating/food obsession and whatever you call a compulsive exercise disorder.

I've seen it happen a few times, where someone starts calorie counting to lose weight, sees the great results they get, and keeps doing it. Then, when they're out at a restaurant or something with friends, gets anxious and panicky when they can't accurately weigh or measure whatever food they're eating, and are thus unable to log it in MFP.

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But, dangers aside, I actually think everybody would benefit from calorie counting. It's amazing how unhealthy the food we eat is, and how quickly you get to 2000kcal in a day.”

11. Being a Victim

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“This. And it's especially prevalent with people whose hands are caught in the proverbial cookie jar or doing things that are genuinely harmful for the community in general. The number of people I've dealt with who complain how their “real friends” let them do whatever they want or they should get away with it because everyone else is doing it or they've always been pushed around and bullied so they should get away with whatever disproportionately bad or retributive action they took is entirely too high,” one user said.

12. Being Right All the Time/Not Being Able To Admit Wrongdoing

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“This goes both ways. Terrible if it takes the form of never admitting wrongness. Not so bad if it takes the form of googling damn near everything (assuming their google-fu is solid) and changing their position if it’s in error,” one person cautioned. Another user shared their own experience with this.

“Being completely honest, your latter point is something I do if for whatever pathetic reason I have to win a debate. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. I think both are as bad as each other unless the person graciously admits being wrong or not knowing everything. I keep reminding myself to hop off the net and stop getting involved but I keep doing it. It passes the time at work, which makes it harder to kick.”

13. Hating Celebrities

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One user expressed how concerning it is that people dedicate time and effort to hating celebrities or other public figures.

“Truly, truly hating celebrities who have zero impact on your life For instance: Meagan Markle cannot pass legislation, she cannot fire you from your job, she has literally no effect on your life whatsoever – and yet there are entire subreddits dedicating to hating her. I can't help but think that's kinda unhealthy.

I can see being negatively obsessed with someone like a politician. A politician actually has some sort of effect on your life. That's why I totally get people who are obsessed with hating Biden or Trump or the CEOs of major corporations or even someone like Elon Musk – these are people whose decisions actually impact your life.

Whereas Alec Baldwin's wife or Meghan Markle are just celebrities whose decisions impact no one else but the immediate circle of people around them. I mean…feel free to hate whoever you want.  But it just seems….weird to me to be THAT obsessed with some celebrity – so obsessed that you spend your days talking about how much you hate hate HATE them.

Wouldn't it be wiser to direct all that hatred and negative energy toward someone who is actually, you know, doing something bad?”

14. Fitness

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One user pointed out how unhealthy the “fit life” lifestyle can become, and how quickly it can turn into an obsession.

“The “fit life” obsession. Lots of people let that consume their personality and lives. All they care about is hitting the gym and dieting. Wanna go out for dinner? Nah can’t fit that into my macros Let’s grab a drink for happy hour. Can’t man, that would eliminate my two hour workout that I just did today. Please be healthy, but also please have fun in life. You only have one.”

15. Virtual Numbers (Likes, Comments, Etc.)

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One user shared their experience with having this problem.

“I'm older, so in my 20s I was on a message board. Got pretty into it and on a trip overseas met a bunch of people from that message board, that aspect was great. But it got to a point where you could upvote comments and see what other members upvoted or downvoted you and sometimes they would leave you messages. I guess like Reddit, but you were more familiar with specific people.

I realized I was often thinking about the updates, worrying about the downvotes and thinking about comments and posts these relative strangers made. It was taking up a lot of brain space and I was allowing myself to get sucked in. So I left. This was the early 2000s and just before social media took off.

I can't deal with social media such as Fb, Instagram, etc because of those early experiences with those message boards. Reddit is big enough to not be as personal for me.”

16. Toxic Positivity

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One user talked about why they believe toxic positivity could be an unhealthy obsession. “Unpopular opinion but… Positivity. I’m talking about toxic positivity that those self help gurus make millions on roping desperate and vulnerable people into their cult-like seminars. Have a problem in your life? Buy my book! Be a better you! It’s not the world that’s the problem it’s your MiNdSeT.

To be clear there are so many great self help books out there but most are total crap and cash grabs promoting more products.”

17. Disney

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One user explained why they believe that unhealthy obsessions with Disney exist. “I am super weirded out by adults who are obsessed with Disney. There’s something strange (and a little creepy) going on there. I haven’t put my finger on it yet.”

Another said, “Enjoying it is one thing, but there's so much more out there in this world. The idea of repeatedly spending thousands of dollars on a theme park just doesn't make sense to me.”

18. Money

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One user explained that while we need money to survive, there is a fine line between survival and greed. “My take on this is the same as the Biblical “love of money”. Yes, you need money to survive. Yes, you should have reserves, and save up money for retirement. This just shows responsibility.

Some, however, are so insatiably greedy (Charles Koch and his cronies, for example), that the idea that there are some people – who have responsibly paid into Social Security their whole lives – and who are now living off Social Security and Medicaid, are unforgivably communistic. Charles Koch and his cronies want this Social Security and Medicaid money for themselves, and will stop at nothing to get it.

This obsession is unhealthy for hundreds of millions of Americans.

19. Conspiracy Theories

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“Conspiracy theories. It's fine to believe a conspiracy or two every now and then but they really shouldn't affect your life and how you choose to live it. They should remain as they are: Theories. Many people treat them as fact and allow that belief to color their better judgement.

I'm fully vaccinated. I wore masks. I stayed home for two years except for grocery runs. I lost family and friends to COVID. …but I do believe the conspiracy theory that COVID was made in a lab and accidentally escaped. That belief does not cloud my judgement or affect how I responded to COVID in any way. The people who ran wild with conspiracy theories and balked public safety guidelines caused a lot of deaths,” one user shared.

20. Collecting

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“Collecting. Lots of collecting these days becomes a strange version of resources hoarding, not enjoyment or preservation. Many collections end up consuming collectors, despite the fact that they don’t offer any real value or happiness,” one user explained.

Another chimed in, “Surprised this isn't higher up. In general the idea that you can buy your way out of despair is unspoken but written into a lot of American culture. In a consumerist society, people are indoctrinated from an early age to have an unhealthy relationship with money and products.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by Max My Money.


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