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10 Harsh Truths about Being an Adult

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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.

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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 November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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