You know that thing you’ve been doing for years and years, but can’t seem to get rid of it? You know the one, the habit that irritates you, makes you feel just weird, bothers your spouse, and embarrasses your kids? That one. There’s a reason these things are so hard to get rid of.
Many of the long standing behaviors we seem to be saddled with are the product of our younger selves trying to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Some form of this behavior helped. And so we end up where we are now. In extreme cases, these can present as addictions, anger, impulsivity, or any number of challenges that we’d really rather do without.
Cold turkey isn’t going to help with these things, either. These behaviors developed because you were trying to take care of yourself. In some cases, as seemingly problematic as the behavior might be objectively, these are the only examples of someone actually experiencing care in any form. It can come to the point where it’s very scary and difficult to shift away from that ‘security blanket’ of behavior, even though we know it doesn’t really work for us.
The only way to grow past a behavior is to understand what they do for you. They all do something important.