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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

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          Amber Pariona

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

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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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