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Worst Mistakes People Make In Their 20s That You Can Actually Avoid

Worst Mistakes People Make In Their 20s That You Can Actually Avoid

Going through your 20s can be really difficult – I know, I’ve been there. You’re legally an adult but haven’t quite reached that level emotionally yet. You’re still trying to find your way through the messiness and complications of life and figure out who you really are. Don’t worry, everything you’re feeling is normal.

Through all of the confusion, it can be easy to make some really life-changing mistakes. Don’t let that happen to you. Take a look below at some of the worst mistakes people make in their 20s and find out how to avoid doing the same.

1. Relying On Education Alone

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    We’ve all heard it before: “Get an education and you’ll go far in life.” So, we spend our 20s focused on college credits and getting good grades. If this sounds familiar, you might want to rethink your approach.

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    A formal education can only help you to a certain extent. Believe me, you should be learning so many other important things right now. Travel, learn a new language, volunteer, do an internship. These are all things that will help you in the future and supplement the formal education you are now receiving.

    To figure out just what you would like to do, try reading some self-help books. Here’s a link to get you started:

    2. Hanging On To A Partner Just Because You Want Them To Be Your Last

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      Falling in love is one of the most amazing things we can experience in our lives. But forcing an unhealthy relationship is one of the most harmful.

      During your 20s, while you’re trying to “figure it all out”, you’ll probably be getting out there and meeting new people. Sometimes, you find your significant other in the process. But don’t hang on to a partner just because you want them to be your last.

      I say this, because I’ve been through it. I spent the better part of my 20s holding on to a relationship that wasn’t healthy because I didn’t realize who I was or what I needed in my life. Don’t do the same thing.

      Reevaluate your relationship from time to time to make sure it makes you happy. Stay alert for early warning signs like controlling behavior or violent arguments. Remember, it’s hard to find your soulmate while you’re still trying to figure out what you want out of life.

      3. Neglecting Your Health

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        Don’t neglect your health during your 20s. You’re so busy taking care of work, school, relationships, and socializing that it’s easy to forget to take care of your mental and physical health as well.

        It’s understandable. You’re so busy trying to pack as much into your days as possible, which is exactly what you should be doing. But don’t forget to make some time for your health, too.

        To help point you in the right direction, take a look at some of these articles on healthy living:

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        4. Taking Your Parents for Granted

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          I know it doesn’t seem like a very likely scenario right now, but you will not always have your parents. Imagining life without one or both parents is difficult. Right now, any time you need help or feel stressed out, they are there for you. But, one day they will be gone.

          Of all of the mistakes mentioned, this is the most serious. I lost my mother in my 20s and it was one of those completely unexpected losses. We were talking on the phone after not seeing each other for a few weeks and we decided to do something together the next day. I woke up to a phone call telling me that she had passed away.

          You never get to go back and do it all over. Take advantage of the time you have with them now. Don’t take your parents for granted. In fact, as soon as you finish reading this article, give them a call. Make a coffee date or go catch a movie together. Spend your next vacation together. One day, you’ll look back on that time together and be grateful you had it.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

          More by this author

          Amber Pariona

          EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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          Last Updated on February 11, 2021

          Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

          Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

          How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

          Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

          The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

          Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

          Perceptual Barrier

          The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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          The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

          The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

          Attitudinal Barrier

          Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

          The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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          The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

          Language Barrier

          This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

          The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

          The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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          Emotional Barrier

          Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

          The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

          The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

          Cultural Barrier

          Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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          The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

          The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

          Gender Barrier

          Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

          The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

          The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

          And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

          Reference

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