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10 Harsh Truths about Being an Adult

10 Harsh Truths about Being an Adult

As you move through the stages of your life, you will invariably learn that things aren’t always as they are cracked up to be. As amazing as life can be, there are also harsh truths that you tend not to acknowledge until they are staring you in the face. Consider yourself warned about these ten facts you will have to deal with as you become a full-fledged adult.

1. You’re not invincible.

You may have great memories of skateboarding and kickboxing from your youth and you might revel in showing off the scars you collected along the way, but the older you get, the less your body will be able to bounce back from the idiotic exuberances of youth. You are going to have to pick your battles. Just because you might be able to jump from the roof of the house to the garage doesn’t mean you should.

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2. Patience is a virtue.

We live in a world that breeds short attention spans and severely limits a person’s ability to be patient, but the more able you are to wait for the good things in life, the better they will be. From money to relationships to career goals, rushing towards the finish line or your next great step is a sure fire way to miss out on a lot of valuable lessons and cheapen the things to accomplish on the way. Slow down.

3. You are responsible for yourself. 

A shocking reality that many people need to face about growing up is that all the little things you took for granted as a kid require an actual effort on your part. When a light bulb burns out, there won’t magically be a new one waiting in a kitchen drawer. You actually have to go out and buy light bulbs. The same applies for food, medicine, and soap.

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4. Your metabolism is slower. 

In addition to not being able to heal itself as readily, your body will become less efficient at turning food into energy and will store more as fat. Just because you got through high school and college living of the McDonald’s value menu doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it forever. Learn to cook some healthy meals. Run regularly. Your body will thank you.

5. You will lose touch with people.

You may have posed with your college roommates in front of someone’s Macbook and put the “BFF” effect on the border, but that doesn’t mean you will actually be friends forever. You will lose touch with at least a few of the people you expected to be around forever. Your real, best friends will stick around but a surprising number of people will fade into the background.

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6. You will work for/with people you hate.

Another great place to apply the whole patience thing we learned about a few points ago is in the workplace. No matter what you do, no matter where you go, people you don’t like will find you. They will have a terrible sense of humor or they will have no sense of humor at all. They will be mean and spiteful and vindictive. Do your best not to let them spoil you on the rest of us.

7. Your interests will change.

You will become a person that the high school version of you would have made fun of mercilessly. It is one of the most subtle and surprising things about growing up, but eventually you will find yourself watching a show about people buying a house and you will be commenting with genuine interest on the material the countertops are made of and the level of curb appeal. It is better to just embrace this. It is more fun than it sounds.

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8. The world won’t slow down for you.

Another harsh truth about the world is that it moves quickly. The march of progress demands that we all pull our weight and if you can’t shake off the bad habits you picked up in school, there will be no one to make sure you keep up with the flow.

9. You will have less free time.

One of the great injustices of the world we live in is that as teenagers we have limitless amounts of time to fill with epic adventures, but no money to fund said adventures, and as adults, we have the money to do what we want but no time with which to do it. Seize the day whenever you can and don’t become a workaholic. Life is about relationships and experiences, though the world will try to make you forget that.

10. Things will get monotonous.

One of the easiest traps to fall into as an adult is routine. Obviously it is important and even enjoyable to know what lies around the next corner, but don’t let your life get too boring. You will have to make a conscious effort to seek out new things and to spice things up. Inertia is a hard thing to overcome, but it is worth it when you do.

Featured photo credit: Images Money via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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