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10 Reasons It's Good to Be Bad. Guilt-Free Ways to Misbehave

You're probably used to worrying about everyone else's good time. But it's OK to have your own fun—and not necessarily the decorous kind. Behaving badly, at least once in a while, can ease stress, put a smile on your face, and make your heart beat faster. And you don't even have to break a sweat—or the law. "If you constantly deny yourself pleasure, you'll feel resentful, and that can increase your risk of getting sick," says Jane Greer, Ph.D., author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. We've found 10 guilt-free ways to misbehave that will leave you feeling as if you've gotten away with something. So go ahead. Be your bad self.

1. Gossip

Next time an acquaintance does something selfish or even unethical, spill every gnarly detail. Sure, it's polite to keep it to yourself, but a University of California at Berkeley study suggests that this form of gossip is actually a public service. You're giving a warning, which will put people on alert (See? Public service!). But watch out for malicious dirt-slinging. Rumormongering or backstabbing is bad for your karma.

2. Flirt With a Man Who's Not Your Husband

Make eyes at the waiter when your mate's in the loo. Wink at the UPS guy. If you don't turn it on once in a while, you risk switching off permanently. "Flirting with others keeps you plugged into your sexual energy and self-confidence," says Greer. It also sparks libido, which you can take directly to the bedroom—and your husband.

3. Read Erotica

Even if you'd never re-create a scene from a spicy novel, you will get new ideas. And paving fresh avenues of thought is always a good thing, even if they're naughty avenues.

4. Spend the Day in Your PJ's

If the beds don't get made and the dishes don't get washed, the Earth will not crash into the sun. On the other 364 days of the year, including weekends, you're busy, busy, busy. You deserve a whole day of rest.

5. Procrastinate, Then Tell Yourself You're Being Creative

You won't necessarily be lying. Putting something off can ratchet up inspiration, especially if you're the type of person who works well under pressure. It can also give you precious minutes to think before you act. While you're wasting time, be sure to check out plenty of videos of kittens on treadmills and cute puppies in baskets. According to researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan, awww-ing at adorable baby animals will sharpen your focus when you are ready to get down to business.

6. Don't Censor Yourself

Swear when you stub your toe or get a paper cut. Believe it or not, there's some evidence that using colorful language can ease pain and may even help you bond with others. Plus, sometimes you just have to toss an F-bomb! Of course, there's a time and place for everything. So when you do let loose, be aware of little ears first.

7. Eat Two Desserts, or Have a Third Cocktail

Don't bother looking for research about the salubrious effects of excess sugar or vodka. You won't find any. Pigging out and getting tipsy aren't any good for your health. And you might hate yourself in the A.M. But you'll have a wickedly bad, great time indulging.

8. Be Gleefully Grabby

Every once in a while, you should take the last cookie. We tend to suppress that instinct, but a little bit of "me first"-ism can make you giddy. Case in point: In a study at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, participants were divided into three groups. In the first, they were given a $3 bonus and told to keep it; those in the second group were told to donate the bonus to charity; and in the third, they had to choose between keeping it and giving it away. The happiest group? Number one, as in "looking out for…."

9. Be Selfish in Bed

It's OK to phone it in on occasion. By this we mean that if you're tired, you're not a terrible person if you lie there and let your husband do all the work. We bet he'd rather have lazy sex than no sex. And who knows? You might get revved up in spite of yourself.

10. Get Mad and Stay Mad

Instead of adhering to the adage "Forgive and forget," it's sometimes wiser to remember—at least for a while. And especially when it comes to your spouse. A study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, found that when people cut their spouse slack for a screwup, the partner was more apt to repeat the mistake (a.k.a., if you forgive, he'll forget). If they stayed mad, spouses were more likely to correct their bad behavior. Of course, common sense dictates that you shouldn't hold a grudge for too long, or you might drive a wedge between you rather than teach him a lesson about proper phone etiquette when talking to your mother.

Article by: Val Frankel

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