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If You Feel Lost At 29, Don’t Worry, Read This

If You Feel Lost At 29, Don’t Worry, Read This

The age of 29 is a weird think to think about. It is the penultimate year to yours 20s and one that leaves you in a fit of confusion on how to feel about the next birthday. A weird stigma surrounds the idea of aging in the current culture of America and it baffles me. At 29, people should be excited for 30, they should look back on the previous decade and see a trail of growth and harmony, not stare at the future in fear of what they will appear to others as. For those toeing the line of knowing all too well what it is like to be 29, never fear, just continue reading.

In a conversation I once had with a friend of mine she expressed the idea that she does not enjoy the idea behind the saying of “you look younger than you are.” It sounds wild but look at it this way, where were you ten years ago? I know myself I was more of a wreck than I am now, and that’s slightly terrifying if people can see me and expect me to be at that younger age. Although I have wild and vivid stories from that different past, I think where I am now is a much more sincere and honest lifestyle, and one that has been revealed with wisdom and spiritual power. At 30 I hope to wear myself as an individual that has survived all the questionings of my twenties, not back myself into a corner fearing what I look like and believing in the propaganda that I have to retain that youth.

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At the same time there is a bit of worrying that can still be happening at 29. Relationships may still be coming and going for some people while others are settling into their marriages. It can be an odd dichotomy of worlds to walk through. The entire idea behind life should not be to constantly compete with your friends, however. If you happen to be single (shoutout to all the others out there) do not — I repeat do NOT — rush into things just because your friends have. That can be a bitter way to end a potential beautiful relationship. It’s okay to still be meandering through life in constant wonder of who will scoop you into their arms. While your other friends may have found their love and are having kids, don’t worry, your chance will come. For those in touching relationships with children, you already are finding out so much about yourself through raising your offspring that you should be proud to look at age 30 and the next decade of growth that happens not only for you but your kids as well.

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Age 29 should also be a timeframe where before you enter a new decade, you should evaluate what course of action you have taken. Hopefully, your heart has been followed and you are doing things now that are worth value to you instead of just “getting by” like you used to (hence why that looking youthful idea irks me). If not, people have been known to dive into the friendly “quarter life crisis” and find out a better work situation for themselves. Again, don’t worry if that is happening, it’s better to have a want to better yourself the next ten years after a decade under the influence that was your twenties. I mean, think about it. At some point you turned 21 and might have been surrounded by college friends and the bar scene. It happens to most people. Now, at 29 you have a potential of eight (albeit maybe even 14) years of experience under your belt of partying and you can still have a great time. You just might be in a state where you also want to be having a great time in your work life as well, instead of ambitiously working to skate by with rent or mortgages. Another thing, no one is ever too old to go back to school. Maybe you have found a new happiness for meteorology or journalism or even fashion design. You will find you are even more equipped now after all the experiences life has thrown at you to find a new field to work in.

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At 29, people should have their heads higher than before. At 29, everyone should be happy to have lived their first quarter of their life. At 29, moving on is both pensive and poignant, but it marks a new chapter in life that people should show more excitement for. Instead of worrying about the big three oh, look at it directly and accept how beautiful you and your life are.

Featured photo credit: amjorsfeldt via cdn.morguefile.com

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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