Advertising
Advertising

34 Signs That You’re Having A Quarter-Life Crisis

34 Signs That You’re Having A Quarter-Life Crisis

Both my parents had mid-life crises. I witnessed them first-hand because they were just a few years ago while I was in college. They both handled them differently. My dad decided that he wanted to be “young and virile,” so he joined a gym, ate lots of salads, and I think he even had a fling or two.

My mom decided that her life had become meaningless. Her job was not fulfilling, she had an empty nest, and she wanted to “find” herself again. So she went back to school and became a paralegal.

They have made it through their crises and are now settled into comfortable lives, enjoying their post-children years. I, however, am not so settled. All of a sudden, I have hit a crisis – a quarter-life crisis that I didn’t see coming and that I didn’t even know existed on this life journey.

If you are 20-something and experiencing these symptoms, you share my crisis.

1. You’re Turning at Least 25 This Year

Somehow, it’s a horrible milestone — it’s at least halfway to 30, and we know how bad 30 looks. Tiny fine lines will appear. Our parents will be asking when we are going to settle down, get married, and buy a house. Yikes!

2. You’re Wrestling With the Meaning of Adulthood

Is 25 an adult, really? Can you still have just some of the immaturity of 20? Maybe call up your college buddies, take a road trip, and get some crazy tattoos in a sleazy Mexican parlor? Then you start to worry about adult things like safety and infections and you realize that your youth has departed.

3. You’re Fudging on Your Age

You tell that cute college guy or gal you meet in a bar that you are only 22. I mean really, what’s 3 years or so? You can tell yourself that you really “feel” 22, and that age is just an attitude anyway. Nice try.

4. You’re Not Relating to Your Favorite Songs Anymore

Song lyrics are speaking to you. “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” comes to mind. Except that you were singing that in college, not now. Now the lyrics need to be “I’m a woman, but can I still act like a girl?”

Advertising

5. Your Mirror is Rebelling When You Drink

A night of drinking means a full day of bad hair, dark circles, and an avoidance of all spicy smells. Fond memories of all-night binges are just those – fond memories.

6. You’re Seeing an Early Sun on Saturday Morning

You are suddenly getting up early on Saturday morning to clean, do laundry, and run important errands. These things have suddenly up-ticked on your priority list, along with daily planners and appointment reminders.

7. Your Mind Allows the Dreaded “M” Word to Creep In

Getting into a relationship comes with new fears. Will the other person begin to think long-term? Is this one it? To even hold a thought of marriage is something that proves you are now an adult.

8. You’re Skipping the Frozen Food Aisles

You find yourself shopping around the outer edges of the grocery store where all the fresh foods are housed, because health is becoming more important. And you are actually using pots and pans and a stove.

9. You’re Beginning to Think and Sound Like Your Parents

You are the one watching teenage antics and commenting on how immature they are or becoming annoyed with a child having a temper tantrum in a store aisle. God, you are beginning to sound like your parents.

10. You’re Beginning to Worry About What the Neighbors Think

You decide to clean up the yard even though you are only renting, and you actually go buy some plants and put them in the ground. What’s more, you become a responsible pet owner and actually take those little baggies with you when you go for a walk.

11. You’re Beginning to Use Adult Language And Standards

You’ve raised your standards about who you hang with and begin to look for networking opportunities – wow, even the word “networking” is scary.

12. You’re Beginning to Let Comfort Trump Style

You find yourself looking at more sensible shoes at the store, especially for work – how did this happen? And you watch younger kids just romping around in those 6-inch, pointy-toed things without even a worry about falling or getting a bunion.

Advertising

13. You’re Beginning to See New Meaning in Dr. Seuss

You are beginning to see deeper meaning in those Dr. Seuss books that you occasionally read to your nieces and nephews, and somehow the fun of them is all gone.

14. Your Purchases are Beginning to Change

You forego buying new clothes because you have to get a new vacuum cleaner. And you buy an iron.

15. You’re Dreading Some of Those Family Holidays

You go to the huge family holiday meal and all of the older relatives are asking when you are going to settle down. In between descriptions of her paralegal courses, your mother makes hints about how she wants to be a grandmother. You suddenly don’t feel well and leave early. Home alone with the TV is better than this.

16. You’re Losing Your Spontaneity

You are seriously ready to turn down a long overseas jaunt to see the world in order to keep your career on track. Wouldn’t even have been a contest 4 years ago.

17. You’re Developing an Appreciation for Your Parents

You actually start to feel some guilt about how you treated your parents as a teenager. Now that’s a maturity level that has really crept up. These thoughts usually come up when you are cleaning up after your roommate who can’t seem to wash a dish or put a new toilet paper roll on.

18. You’re No Longer Allowed to be Helpless

You realize that you’ll never be able to fake being helpless again, unless it is asking your mother for a recipe or how to get a stain out of the rug.

19. You’re on Your Own with the IRS

You are doing your own taxes like a real grownup, and it’s not nice. And you actually read those instructions that come with the tax forms.

20. You’re Worrying More About Those Incisors

You are no longer avoiding the dentist but are making regular appointments for cleanings and checkups.

Advertising

21. You’re Making Decisions Like Adults Do

You actually think about the pros and cons of something before doing it. And you are making decisions that would make your parents happy. Where did all of that wild abandon go?

22. You’re Worried When You are Overdrawn

You realize that you should have paid far more attention to that personal finance course you had. And you understand that budgets are really not for “wimps.”

23. You’re Actually Checking Your Credit Card Balance

You are no longer making those impulse buys that rack up your credit card debt. Wow, this would never have happened 4 years ago!

24. You’re Losing the Old Gang

Friends are starting to move away – close friends, good friends. And you are not prepared to really deal with that.

25. You’re Taking Work Seriously

You begin to think of your job as a career and start looking at the long-term future. And you are putting money into a 401K. Secretly, you are longing for days gone by when you had those part-time jobs that you could just quit because there were always other ones you could find.

26. You’re Resenting the Freedom Others Have

You look at friends who are traveling all the time and don’t feel happy for them anymore, as you sit at your desk waiting for that two-week annual vacation.

27. You’re Becoming the Boring One

You are asking your roommates to keep it down after 10 p.m. because you have an early meeting in the morning. And before you go to bed, you actually watch the news and weather reports.

28. You’re Thrilled to Get “Carded”

You are no longer “carded” at bars and liquor stores, and you are scrutinizing your face in mirrors, trying to figure out how you look over 21 now. You are absolutely thrilled on the rare occasion when it happens.

Advertising

29. You’re Avoiding Birthday Celebrations

You want quiet birthdays now. In fact, you have even deleted your birthday from your Facebook timeline so friends’ well wishes won’t remind you.

30. You’re Succumbing to “Witching Hours”

You go out with friends on a weeknight and find yourself continually checking your watch so it doesn’t get too late. “When did this start to be a problem?” you ask yourself. That’s a bit depressing, isn’t it?

31. You’re Trying to Figure out Popular Texting Acronyms

You are unsure about the meanings of words and those little abbreviations that keep popping up in texts from people just a few years younger than you. And you’re talking about work stuff while they are talking about the latest concert or road trip.

32. You’re Trying to Recapture Your Youth and it’s not Pretty

You are feeling old and so you go on a rampage of one-night stands and other wild things you did in college. And then you realize you have to break things off with several of those “stands” who got a little too clingy. It’s less easy than it used to be. And you are starting to think that taking your clothes off isn’t nearly as fun as it used to be.

33. You’re Finally Hit With the “How Time Flies” Truth

You begin to talk about the fun times when you were in college, and then you realize that those times were a good 5 years ago. And this is further driven home by receiving alumni mailings with requests for donations from your college.

34. You’re Looking at a Scary Email

The worst thing of all? You get that 10-year high school reunion notification in your email. “How did this happen?” And you begin to research the prices of Botox and liposuction, hoping you can save enough for them before that reunion date.

If you are experiencing even half of these situations, you too are facing that quarter-life crisis. Maybe there needs to be a club or organization of sorts – you know, like an AARP for us 20-somethings in crisis. I, for one, could use a little help with this whole adjusting-to-real-adulthood thing.

More by this author

7 Simple Ways To Be Famous In One Year 7 Simple Tricks To Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Life 20 Things Only Parents Of Children With Dyslexia Would Understand 22 Creative Ways to Make Money (Simple and Effective) 9 Simple Tips to Make Your WordPress Blog Faster

Trending in Communication

1 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 2 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them) 3 How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide) 4 The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You 5 The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

Advertising

It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

Advertising

Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

Advertising

1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

Advertising

6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Read Next