Being Chronically Late Could Be What Kills You. Here’s How

Is your personal slogan: “Always late but worth the wait”? You probably already know your chronic lateness can stress you out and mess with your productivity. But believe it or not, it can actually be damaging to your health.

It may sound like a stretch to claim that chronic lateness can kill you, but this bad habit can have deadly consequences if you’re not careful. Here’s why you should consider correcting your behavior.

The psychology behind lateness

businessman looking at his watch

Are you always running late? | iStock.com/minnebaevpro

Before you can correct the problem, you must address your reasons for being late. Of course, poor time management is a top contender. But the fact is, some people are late because they fear being early. After all, being early requires sitting around with nothing to do, and you might feel awkward or uncomfortable waiting somewhere alone. Have you been subconsciously sabotaging your punctuality because you don’t want to be early?

Next: Lateness and speeding

Lateness and reckless driving go hand in hand

Heavy traffic clogs the 101 Freeway

When you’re in a rush, you’re more likely to make mistakes. | Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

We’re much more likely to speed when we’re running late, and speeding is one of the top causes of auto accidents. Even if you’re not driving too fast, you could get stuck in traffic, and your road rage could flare up. We tend not to make the best driving decisions when we’re stressed about getting somewhere on time.

Next: Lateness is a top cause of stress.

The stress is hazardous to your health

Worried face expression. Human emotion

When you’re running late, you’re probably also stressed. | SIphotography/iStock/Getty Images

We all know stress can do terrible things to your body — and being perpetually late is a top cause of stress. If you’re constantly feeling frazzled, you’re not in a state of mind to be productive, which can lead to missing deadlines. And that causes more stress. It’s a vicious cycle.

Next: If you feel like your lateness is driving you crazy, you might be right.

Scientists claim lateness is a sign of insanity

Young attractive stressed woman lying down on a pile of clothes

You might have other issues contributing to your lateness. | NinaMalyna/iStock/Getty Images

People who are constantly tardy may have a “bizarre compulsion to defeat themselves,” some scientists claim. Those unable to be punctual display similar patterns in behavior, including anxiety issues and trouble with self-control. This can carry over into other areas of your life and damage your health in many ways.

Next: Your lateness might leave you lonely.

Your mate sees your lateness as a turnoff

Group of intercultural friends having Thanksgiving dinner

No one wants to wait around on someone. | Shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re constantly late for dates or rescheduling with your mate, you could end up alone. Women list unreliability as a top turnoff, and no one enjoys waiting around for their dates to show up. And considering loneliness can be as deadly as smoking, scaring your potential soulmate away because you can’t be on time isn’t a good idea.

Next: You might be running late because you’re sleep-deprived. 

Night owls tend to be chronically late

Woman yawning while is working on the phone at breakfast in a restaurant

Staying up late may impact your entire day. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Studies have shown that night owls are more likely to be perpetually late to work and events. And because the modern world doesn’t cater to night people, you could be skimping on necessary sleep to try to reach places on time, which can be deadly.

Next: This may not lead to your death, but it isn’t desirable, either.

You’re probably perceived as selfish and rude

Man with gloves using cellphone outdoors

Always texting to tell someone you’re running 15 minutes behind? | KristinaJovanovic/iStock/Getty Images

Lateness is not a habit easily forgiven in our society. The majority of Americans think chronic lateness is selfish and rude. Eventually, you’ll be perceived as unreliable, and people will stop inviting you places. Not only will that lead to the aforementioned loneliness, but it can also stress you out knowing people think less of you for your bad habits.

Thus, taking control of your time management and learning to be on time is a great thing you can do for your health.

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