Undesirable Behaviors: What Are They And How To Cope With Them?

Have you ever felt frustrated by the behavior of certain individuals? From talking back to authority figures to vandalizing property, undesirable behaviors have many faces.

However, in today’s world, these acts are becoming more and more commonplace. So understanding why these behaviors occur and how to prevent them is an important step towards making our societies safer and healthier places to live.

In this article, we will examine the causes and risks associated with undesirable behavior while looking at proposed solutions that can help tackle this issue. By exploring possible courses of action and increasing awareness of the dangers posed by undesirable behavior, we can ensure that people are better equipped to make informed decisions when faced with difficult choices.

What are Desirable and Undesirable Behaviors?

Desirable behaviors are those which demonstrate positive character traits, respect for other people, and self-control. Examples of desirable behavior include being polite, following rules, and showing compassion towards others.

Undesirable behaviors are the opposite; they often show a lack of respect or concern for others or disregard for rules or laws. They can also be destructive behaviors that are dangerous to oneself, other people, or property. Examples of undesirable behavior include violence, theft, and substance abuse.

It is important to recognize the difference between desirable and undesirable behaviors in order to shape our lives into something positive and productive.

Desirable behaviors can help us develop meaningful relationships with others, remain safe from harm, and build a successful life. By understanding the consequences of our actions, we can strive to make choices that lead to desirable behaviors and avoid undesirable ones.

6 Causes of Undesirable Behaviors

Undesirable behaviors can be caused by a variety of factors, from environmental influences to underlying mental health issues. It is important to understand the reasons behind these behaviors in order to create effective solutions that target the root cause rather than just the symptom.

Here are six common causes of undesirable behaviors:

  1. Lack of knowledge or understanding: People may not know the difference between desirable and undesirable behavior, leading to inappropriate choices.
  2. Family Influence: Our families are often our first teachers and we learn from them both directly (through modeling) and indirectly (by watching others). If a family does not have clear rules and expectations, children may not have a good sense of what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior.
  3. Peer Pressure: It can be especially difficult for young people to resist negative peer pressure, and this can lead to the adoption of undesirable behaviors.
  4. Poor Social Skills: If someone does not have the skills needed to interact comfortably with others, they may resort to undesirable behaviors in order to cope with social situations.
  5. Mental Health Issues: Mental health problems can lead to impulsive, aggressive, or even self-destructive behaviors that are not socially acceptable.
  6. Substance Abuse: The use of drugs and alcohol can impair judgment and cause people to act in a way that is not socially acceptable. Additionally, substance abuse can lead to a cycle of self-destructive behaviors that can be difficult to break.

These are just some of the causes of undesirable behavior, but it is important to note that with proper guidance and support, these behaviors can often be changed or prevented.

Understanding the underlying cause of someone’s undesirable behaviors can help identify the best way to address it. With patience and dedication, anyone can make positive changes in their life.

An Aggressive Scary Face Painted With Blood

5 Undesirable Behaviors Examples

Undesirable behaviors are those that go against social norms and can be detrimental to oneself or others. Examples of undesirable behavior range from lying and cheating to violent outbursts and abusive language. Here are five common examples of undesirable behaviors:

1. Bullying

Bullying is an undesirable behavior that involves the misuse of power or strength to intimidate, dominate, or control another person. This type of behavior often consists of threats, verbal and physical abuse, name-calling, exclusion from groups, and other similar activities.

These behaviors can have a lasting effect on the mental health and well-being of those affected by them, such as leading to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts.

2. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is an undesirable behavior that involves using drugs or alcohol in ways that are destructive or harmful to the user. These behaviors can include binge drinking or taking illicit drugs.

Substance abuse usually leads to serious physical and emotional health problems. These include addiction, liver damage from alcohol use, risk of overdose from drug use, relationship issues due to altered behavior patterns caused by substance use, financial difficulties due to excessive spending on substances, and legal trouble due to drug possession charges.

3. Harassment

Harassment is an undesirable behavior in which a person or group uses words or actions intended to cause distress or harm another person. This type of behavior can be verbal (e.g., teasing or threatening) or nonverbal (e.g., spreading rumors).

It can also occur online (cyberbullying) through emails, text messages, and social media posts. Harassment has been shown to have negative psychological effects on the victim including fearfulness and depression.

4. Intimidation

Intimidation is an undesirable behavior that involves using fear tactics in order to make someone do something they don’t want to do. This could include threats of violence coupled with aggressive body language such as clenching fists or glaring at someone in a menacing way in order to get them into submission.

Intimidation can lead to feelings of helplessness and powerlessness within its victims as well as disrupt their regular activities such as work performance if it occurs in a workplace setting.

5. Manipulation

Manipulation is an undesirable behavior designed to manipulate another person’s emotions for one’s own benefit. It is applied without considering the consequences for the other person involved.

It usually entails making false promises with no intention of delivering on them; using guilt trips; playing mind games; gaslighting; lying; withholding information; and controlling people’s decisions by persuading them rather than allowing them to make their own decisions freely.

9 Undesirable Behaviors in Psychology

Psychology has identified a variety of undesirable behaviors that can have negative impacts on mental and physical health. These behaviors range from mild to extreme and can be displayed in various types of relationships. Here are some examples of undesirable behaviors as defined by psychology:

1. Impulsivity

Impulsivity is an undesirable behavior characterized by acting without thinking. This can include making decisions without considering their consequences, speaking without considering the effects of one’s words, or taking risks that could have disastrous results. Impulsive behaviors can lead to issues in relationships and a lack of success in school or work.

2. Recurring Negative Thoughts

People can sometimes have recurring negative thoughts that can create a spiral of negative thinking, leading to undesirable behaviors. This could include constantly ruminating on past mistakes or worrying excessively about future events. These thoughts can lead to feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt, as well as anxiety and depression.

3.  Self-Harm

Self-harm is an undesirable behavior in which a person engages in behaviors that are intended to harm themselves, either physically or psychologically. This could include cutting, burning, or hitting oneself; hair pulling; and overdosing on drugs or alcohol.

It can also include binge eating as a form of self-punishment. Self-harm is often a coping mechanism for difficult emotions, and can lead to serious health problems such as depression, suicide attempts, and addiction.

4. Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

People can also use unhealthy coping mechanisms as a way to deal with difficult emotions or situations. For example, people might turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with stress; engage in reckless behavior such as driving too fast; overeating or restricting their eating; gamble excessively; or shop compulsively.

5.  Aggression

Aggression is an undesirable behavior in which a person uses physical and/or verbal force in order to harm another person, either physically or psychologically. This could include slapping, punching, kicking, pushing, name-calling and threatening.

Aggression can lead to long-term emotional and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also a major factor in domestic violence.

6.  Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is an undesirable behavior in which a person avoids social interactions with others, either due to fear of rejection or because of feelings of low self-worth. This could lead to a lack of meaningful relationships, isolation, and depression. It can also lead to people avoiding school or work due to the fear of interacting with others.

7.  Addictive Behaviors

Addictive behaviors are characterized by an inability to control impulses that lead to substance abuse or other compulsive activities such as gambling, sex, or shopping. Addiction can lead to serious physical and psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and even death. Treatment is often necessary in order to break the cycle of addiction.

8.  Obsessive Behaviors

Obsessive behaviors are characterized by thoughts or actions that a person feels unable to control. This could include rituals such as constantly checking the locks on a door or hoarding items.

Obsessive behaviors can lead to anxiety, depression, and even psychosis if left unaddressed. Treatment is often necessary in order to reduce obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

9.  Deception

Finally, deception is an undesirable behavior characterized by lying; withholding information, or manipulating others for personal gain. This could include telling lies to get out of trouble or making false promises in order to get ahead.

Deception can lead to a lack of trust from other people, as well as feelings of guilt and shame. It can also have serious legal consequences if it is used to commit a crime.

An Impulsive Unthinking Man - Undesirable Behaviors

5 Undesirable Behaviors in the Classroom

Unwanted behaviors in the classroom can have a profound effect on students’ learning, academic performance, and overall well-being. Here are some common undesirable behaviors in the classroom:

1. Bullying

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior where one student targets another in order to cause physical or psychological harm. This could include verbal harassment, physical violence, cyberbullying, and exclusion from social activities. It can lead to emotional distress and even depression if it isn’t addressed.

2.  Disruptive Behavior

Disruptive behavior is when a student acts in an inappropriate manner that interrupts the learning environment. This could include talking out of turn, disrupting class discussions, and speaking disrespectfully to teachers or peers. These behaviors can lead to disciplinary action if they are not addressed.

3. Cheating

Cheating is when a student uses dishonest methods in order to gain an advantage over other students. This could include plagiarism, sharing answers on tests, or using unauthorized materials. Cheating can lead to poor academic performance, as well as feelings of guilt and shame.

4. Unpreparedness

Unpreparedness is when a student shows up to class without having completed the required work or without the necessary materials. This can lead to lower grades and difficulty keeping up with the course material. It can also interfere with other students’ learning experiences if they are constantly having to wait for someone who is unprepared.

5. Lying

Finally, lying is when a student actively tries to deceive teachers or peers by providing false information. This could include making up stories in order to get out of trouble or lying about personal experiences. Lying can lead to feelings of guilt and mistrust from other students, as well as disciplinary action by the school.

5 Undesirable Behaviors in the Workplace

Unwanted behaviors in the workplace can be detrimental to productivity, morale, and overall success. Unhealthy behavior patterns can range from unprofessionalism and absenteeism to theft or violence. Here are some common undesirable behaviors in the workplace:

1. Aggression

Aggression is a form of behavior characterized by hostile, intimidating, or destructive actions. This could include verbal abuse, physical violence, and sabotage of another worker’s efforts. It can lead to an unhealthy work environment and even legal action if it isn’t addressed.

2. Discriminatory Behavior

Discriminatory behavior is when an employee unfairly discriminates against another employee or group of employees based on their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. This can lead to conflict in the workplace and create a hostile environment for those who are targeted.

3. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This could include making suggestive comments, unwanted physical contact or making unwelcome demands for sexual favors.

It can lead to feelings of humiliation and distress for those who are harassed and legal action from the employer if it isn’t addressed.

4. Unprofessionalism

Unprofessionalism is when an employee acts in inappropriate ways that are not in line with the standards of the organization. This could include arriving late to work, failing to meet deadlines, or engaging in gossip. These behaviors can lead to decreased productivity and feelings of distrust from other employees.

5. Dishonesty

Dishonesty is when an employee uses deception to get ahead or gain an advantage over their peers. This could include lying on resumes, stealing from the company, or forging signatures in order to get their way. Dishonesty can lead to disciplinary action and even termination if it isn’t addressed.

7 Undesirable Behaviors That Are Reinforced

It is important to recognize that some undesirable behaviors are reinforced and even encouraged in our society. This can cause people to behave in ways that are harmful or disrespectful to themselves or those around them. Here are some examples of behaviors that are reinforced in society:

1. Bullying

Bullying is when a person or group of people intimidate, tease, or hurt another person intentionally. This could include physical violence, verbal taunting, and online harassment.

It can lead to feelings of fear, humiliation, and anxiety, as well as increased risk for depression and suicide if it isn’t addressed. Unfortunately, bullying can be reinforced when other students or adults don’t intervene.

2. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is when a person uses drugs or alcohol to cope with stress, feelings of depression, or other issues in their life. This could include smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs like marijuana and cocaine. Unfortunately, substance use can be reinforced when peers or adults don’t step in to provide support or help.

3. Cheating

Cheating is when a person uses deceptive means to gain an advantage over others. This could include copying someone else’s work, taking credit for another person’s accomplishments, and sabotaging the efforts of other students. Cheating can be reinforced when it is accepted as a means of gaining an advantage, or when peers and adults don’t intervene to stop the behavior.

4. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is when a person feels pressured by their peers to do something they are uncomfortable with. This could include drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or engaging in risky behaviors. Unfortunately, peer pressure can be reinforced when other students don’t step in to support the person who is being pressured.

5. Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive behavior is when a person uses physical or verbal force to intimidate or harm others. This could include pushing, shoving, threatening, and name-calling. It can lead to feelings of fear and anxiety, as well as an increased risk of violence if it isn’t addressed. Unfortunately, aggressive behavior can be reinforced when other students or adults don’t intervene.

6. Unhealthy Relationships

Unhealthy relationships are when someone is in a relationship in which they feel unsafe, mistreated, or manipulated. This could include controlling behaviors, physical abuse, and emotional manipulation.

These types of relationships can lead to feelings of fear and anxiety, as well as an increased risk for depression if it isn’t addressed. Unfortunately, unhealthy relationships can be reinforced when peers don’t step in to provide support or help the person being mistreated.

7. Discrimination

Discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. This could include exclusion from activities, verbal abuse, and unequal treatment.

It can lead to feelings of alienation, anger, and anxiety if it isn’t addressed. Unfortunately, discrimination can be reinforced when peers or adults don’t intervene.

It is important to be aware of these types of undesirable behaviors that can be reinforced in a workplace setting and to recognize when they occur. By intervening and addressing these issues early on, employers can create a safe and productive work environment for all employees.

Two Hands Passing Over Cheating Paper

 List of 50 Undesirable Behaviors In the Workplace

The workplace is a complex environment where a variety of undesirable behaviors can manifest and be reinforced.  Here is a list of 50 different types of undesirable behaviors that employers should watch out for in order to create an environment of respect and productivity. 

  1. Discrimination
  2. Bullying
  3. Harassment
  4. Aggressive behavior
  5. Abusive language
  6. Unprofessional conduct
  7. Gossiping
  8. Bribery and corruption
  9. Cheating
  10. Theft and fraud
  11. Unethical practices
  12. Insubordination
  13. Unsafe workplace practices
  14. Misrepresentation
  15. Substance abuse
  16. Sleeping on the job
  17. Abusive or intimidating behavior
  18. Sabotage of work product
  19. Failure to follow safety procedures
  20. Inappropriate dress
  21. Inappropriate physical contact
  22. Unauthorized use of employer property
  23. Time theft
  24. Refusal to participate in team activities
  25. Disrespectful conduct towards colleagues and supervisors
  26. Failure to follow company policies and procedures
  27. Falsifying records or documents
  28. Gambling or betting at the workplace
  29. Unauthorized access to confidential information
  30. Disclosing confidential information of the company
  31. Posting offensive remarks on social media
  32. Spreading rumors and malicious gossip
  33. Accepting bribes or gifts
  34. Making false accusations
  35. Excessive absenteeism
  36. Falsifying qualifications or experience
  37. Stealing clients or customers from the company
  38. Not fulfilling job duties and responsibilities
  39. Unprofessional e-mails or communication with clients
  40. Abusing work resources for personal gain
  41. Undermining colleagues or supervisors
  42. Performing work outside the scope of employment
  43. Making decisions on behalf of the company without authorization
  44. Misleading statements about the company or its products/services
  45. Refusal to follow instructions from supervisors
  46. Neglecting job duties and responsibilities
  47. Posting offensive material
  48. Making false promises to colleagues or customers
  49. Misuse of company funds
  50. Engaging in activities that harm the reputation of the company.

6 Ways How To Deal With Undesirable Behavior with Positive Reinforcement

Unwanted behaviors can often be difficult for teachers to manage. With so many students in one room, it can be difficult to know how and when to intervene effectively. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that can help shape student behavior in the classroom.

It encourages desired behaviors by providing rewards and praise that are meaningful to individual students. Here are six ways to use positive reinforcement to effectively manage undesirable behavior in the classroom.

1. Establish Clear Expectations and Boundaries

Before taking any measures to deal with undesirable behaviors, it is important to ensure that there are clear expectations and boundaries set for the student. This can include understanding the expectations for the classroom, learning about codes of behavior, and providing a safe environment.

2. Model Desired Behaviors

Positive role modeling plays an important role in helping students learn appropriate behavior. Teachers should demonstrate desirable behaviors through their own interactions with students and other adults in the classroom. This helps create a positive environment that encourages positive reinforcement among peers.

3. Provide Consistent Feedback

It is important to provide consistent feedback on student behavior, both positive and negative. This includes reinforcing desired behaviors through verbal praise or tangible rewards such as stickers or tokens.

It is also important to provide specific feedback when addressing undesired behavior so that students can understand the consequences of their actions and modify their behavior accordingly.

4. Encourage Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is an important tool for helping students become aware of their own behavior and its effects on others. By providing opportunities for students to reflect on their actions and consider how they could have acted differently, teachers can help them recognize alternative behaviors as well as the potential consequences of bad choices.

5. Redirect Misbehavior

Instead of punishing students for misbehavior, it is important to redirect them toward more appropriate activities or tasks. Giving a student a task or activity that interests them may help redirect excess energy away from disruptive behavior in the classroom.

6. Create a System of Incentives

Incentives are effective tools for encouraging positive behaviors among students while discouraging negative ones at the same time. Incentive systems can range from verbal praise or tangible rewards like stickers or points that can be redeemed for privileges such as extra recess time or special treats like snack time with classmates after completing assignments on time.


Unwanted behavior can have long-term consequences for both individuals and society as a whole. It can damage relationships, lead to criminal activity, and reduce productivity.

Fortunately, by understanding the causes of undesirable behaviors such as stress, peer pressure, lack of self-esteem, and environmental factors like poverty, we can work to prevent them in different ways.

We need to bolster our communities with better resources, support those suffering from mental illness professionally and compassionately, and foster open communication between generations and peers – ultimately doing all that we can to create an environment where everyone feels safe and secure enough to make better decisions for themselves.


Sabiha Dulay (September 15, 2020). Undesired behaviors of secondary school teachers and their effects on students. https://www.ilkogretim-online.org/fulltext/218-1596697197.pdf

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