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15 Signs You Have Become More Mature Though You Don’t Even Know It

15 Signs You Have Become More Mature Though You Don’t Even Know It

I’ve always resisted growing up. When I was younger I used to think that, with enough effort, you could preserve the mindset of a child; alas, this isn’t true. I mean, this is a common occurrence among young people—not wanting to grow up—but growing up is a natural thing and believe it or not, it is a good thing. The thing with growing up is that it really creeps up on you, and it happens without you even realizing. It has a lot to do with your ability to introspect and learn from experience, but the result of the process is not always obvious and straightforward.

The thing is, most people in their 20s and 30s don’t really get how far they have grown and how grown up they actually are. Let us open your eyes and show you how far you have actually gotten. The signs are subtle, but they are most definitely there.

1. You take time more seriously.

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    One of the clearest signs that you’re maturing is that you realize that how you manage time is one of the more important aspects of your life. Immature people don’t really think about time, and tend to waste quite a lot of it. They also tend to disregard other people’s time quite often and don’t realize why people get mad when they complain about their tardiness.

    2. You confront responsibilities head on.

    If you no longer have those moments where you keep procrastinating, all the while feeling guilty that you are not paying attention to all those responsibilities waiting for you, then congratulations, you are growing up. A mature person knows that he/she will feel much better if they handle the work first and then relax with a clear conscience.

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    3. You plan things out.

    Impulsivity and spontaneity are things reserved for younger people. I’m not saying that mature people can’t show these qualities, but they don’t usually make life moves based purely on a gut instinct. Making big decisions like that can cause serious trouble for you if they go wrong and the less planning there is in your decision-making process, the more likely something is to go sour. For example a mature person is aware of the potential threats when moving, while an immature one takes the whole thing lightly. Carelessness is something you need to resort to in specific situations, not all the time. This is why a mature person will always have at least a broad plan that includes the goals they wish to reach. It is the only way you progress.

    4. You think about your health more often.

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      Most people will think that this is just because as your body gets older, you automatically start paying more attention to health, but actually there are people out there that are quite old and still disregard their health. This has nothing to do with age; it has more to do with the realization that you are not invincible and that regular check-ups help you remain in good physical as well as mental health. This includes checking your home for health hazards which might not be outwardly apparent, like testing for potential mold that can cause respiratory problems, checking your installations for fire hazards and so on. There are quite a few threats that can skulk around the house without you being aware of them.

      5. You feel uncomfortable doing nothing.

      Wasting time used to be my specialty. Back in the day, I could waste an entire day doing absolutely nothing and even make the day seem short in all that nothingness. These days, things are quite a bit different. I tend to strive to fill every minute of my day with things that I consider either useful or enjoyable—in some cases, even both. Sitting around twiddling my thumbs really annoys me and makes me feel useless. Getting there is a process, but if you notice a slight annoyance when you spend an entire day doing nothing even though you have no obligations, then you are on the right way to maturity.

      6. You have less patience for parties and going out.

      Ah, yes, weekends come and go and you haven’t hit the club for months and you’re not even sorry. It used to be that you really felt bad by missing a chance to go paint the town red during the weekend with you friends, but these days, you are not really impressed by what this kind of lifestyle has to offer. You’d much rather enjoy a quiet evening with a nice dinner and a book or a movie before bed. Even when you decide to go out, the hangover that you get tomorrow really proves that it was not quite worth it. Furthermore, you lost an entire day recovering, which is a pretty steep price for one night of debauchery.

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      7. Your circle of friends is a bit smaller.

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        All relationships require energy and a part of growing up is realizing which relationships in your life truly hold great value and which ones do not require you to invest too much into them. Mature people know to show respect to the people in their life that truly matter and don’t waste too much time on causal relationships.

        8. You rely on yourself more.

        Whether it is parents, friends or a romantic partner, immature people always have a go-to person when they get “in trouble.” If you find that you are solving all your problems by yourself and taking responsibility for your own shortcomings, then you can most definitely call yourself a mature person.

        9. You cherish sleep.

        Having an active day on half batteries is quite stressful. Lack of sleep causes sloppiness due to lack of concentration and irritability, and it is terrible for the immune system. With maturity comes the realization that you have your limits and need a good night’s sleep in order to perform at you maximum in everything that you do. Still, it takes some time to find the best routine for yourself and if you have problems adjusting, you might want to research this subject a bit. It sometimes has nothing to do with maturity but with the way you get organized, but sometimes even some tech assistance isn’t too bad.

        10. You focus on self-improvement.

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          It has nothing to do with ambition but with the effort of making your own life better. The more things you know and can do, the better person you become and the easier your life gets. You enjoy progressing and opening up new opportunities and situations for yourself. Experience is key and boredom is the enemy, and a mature person realizes that the more you work on your skillset, the more options you have!

          11. You respect people who make an effort.

          Immature people tend to consider responsible and diligent individuals uptight or overly serious. As you mature, you begin to realize how much passion and energy this kind of devotion actually requires. Furthermore, you want to hear about everyone’s experiences in order to improve yourself. There are tons of things you can learn by simply being patient and listening.

          12. You respect yourself more.

          Mature people have a more stable personality which isn’t rattled by other people’s opinions. If the time when other people’s approval or disapproval could impact your opinion on your decisions is behind you, then you have grown quite a bit.

          13. You have learned to focus more easily.

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            There is a subtle difference between being a day dreamer and letting your mind wander from your tasks. The former is a part of a creative process while the latter is more of an escape from your obligations. If you tend to zone out when bored by your work or other obligations, then you still have some way to go until you reach maturity. If you have managed to find that “On switch” in your mind that let’s you focus instantly, then don’t worry: you are already there.

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            14. You respect your work time.

            Being lazy during the work hours does nothing for you except that it allows work to leak through into your leisure time. This is quite frustrating since you are constantly under the impression that you need to sit down to take care of your work and you can’t ever really relax. Maturity is knowing that you need to keep work and leisure time separate.

            15. You allow yourself to have fun guilt-free.

            Finally, the thing that you realize as a mature person is that the best kind of fun comes out of those times when you are really free to enjoy yourself. No nagging voice inside your head is telling you that you shouldn’t be doing something. You are free to relax and enjoy your free time and let yourself go.

            Maturity is having control over yourself and your life, taking action and being respectful to others no matter your difference of opinion, religion and other things that seem to outwardly divide people. It has nothing to do with age; it has to do with the mindset of a person and his/her desire to grow and become the best version of him/herself. It is a thing a lot of people don’t achieve their entire lives and is something you need to work on actively.

            Reaching maturity is not a moment, it is more of a process and it takes time to get there, but the benefits are pretty good. Don’t overdo it though!

            Featured photo credit: meditation by Elissa Eikelboom via Flickr via flickr.com

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            Aleksandar Ilic

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            Last Updated on January 15, 2019

            What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

            What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

            When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

            Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

            It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

            While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

            Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

            What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

            How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

            It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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            People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

            “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

            In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

            Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

            As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

            When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

            It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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            What are Interpersonal Skills?

            Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

            In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

            From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

            For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

            Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

            How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

            There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

            There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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            Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

            I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

            Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

            “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

            Don’t overlook introspection.

            While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

            Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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            When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

            Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

            “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

            The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

            The Bottom Line

            You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

            Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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