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10 Reasons Why Growing Up Isn’t As Bad As You Think

10 Reasons Why Growing Up Isn’t As Bad As You Think

For years I thought I was all grown up, I thought I knew it all and that my life was pretty much perfect. I had a great job, lots of money, lots of friends, and I lived the high life in London. I was pretty much at the peak of my career and I thought I was happy.

Looking back on those days, I see my life totally differently. Now I see it as totally and utterly miserable. I wasn’t free. I felt literally chained to my work and my social life, and I mixed with people who didn’t know the real me.

As you grow older and grow up for real, you begin to realize that the carefree lifestyle you think you are living isn’t what life is all about. In some respects it is – keeping that child-like quality to your life is so important – but what is even more worthwhile and totally liberating is growing up and grasping that growing older doesn’t mean something depressing or sad. In fact, it’s the opposite: it’s what life is really about!

Here are a few reasons why I think just that:

1. Your mind grows too, not just your body

It’s true, you’ll get grey hair, wrinkles and maybe put on a bit of extra weight around the waist, but what you’ll gain there is nothing compared to what you will gain within your mind.

When you are young your mind is new, like a blank canvas, but as you grow you get to stretch it and use it in ways you never thought possible. Growing up gives you the chance to expand your thinking, to delve into the weird and the wonderful, and it will encourage you to create your own beliefs, opinions and values.

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2. You start to see people for who they really are

We’ve all got friends, right? Some are the ones you have a laugh with, some are those you have deep conversations with, and the others are just mere acquaintances.

Yet, you’ll know the ones who are immature, the ones who refuse to grow up. They’ll be the ones who still muck about in restaurants, who think it’s funny to make fun of people in public and who still hang out late at night drinking and playing pranks.

It’s OK to have fun, I’m not saying that, but don’t you want to be the person who you were meant to be? By living a purposeful life, doing what you love and being surrounded by people who ‘get’ you?

The choice is yours, just know that you can either stay acting like a 16-year-old or you can enjoy life to its fullest and grow up.

3. You realize that it’s healthy to be on your own

I couldn’t wait until I moved out of my family home; I was 19 and found a room in a shared house. I just couldn’t wait to get out there and fend for myself. The thought was not only thrilling but I knew that it would mean that growing up would be that much quicker.

Yes, I’ll admit it was scary, but you know what? There is nothing better than knowing you can look after yourself and start to ‘bring home the bacon,’ as it were. It’s a great feeling knowing that you will no longer rely on your mother to have dinner ready for you when you get home from work, or that you have make sure you’ve got the rent for next month.

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It might be a struggle at times, but what appears to be a struggle is just a lesson in something, and if you can look at it that way you’ll go a long way towards growing up and loving every minute of it!

4. You don’t care what other people think

This is a big step up towards growing up. Remember at school you’d always want to look cool or hang out with the popular crowd? When you start to grow up, you’ll learn that other people’s opinions of you and what they think don’t really figure in your life anymore.

You’ll be so much happier going your own path in life, and once you start that journey you’ll not want to look back!

There is nothing more liberating than not caring what others think of you, because you’ll focus on your own wants and needs and live to please yourself. Just remember that’s not an excuse to be selfish or conceited – not at all! It’s more the fact that if you are happy within yourself and your own decisions, you’ll be a much nicer person to be around!

5. You’ll become much more open minded

Remember how you’ve always wanted to write a book or travel to some far-flung, mosquito-infested jungle somewhere? As you grow you’ll think of ways of creating those dreams and begin to give yourself permission to just go for it.

What you’ll realize is that the word ‘impossible’ is no longer in your vocabulary. You’ll start to see doors opening where they were once closed, providing you with new and thrilling adventures along the way. Growing older will give you the courage to open your mind much further than before and fill your life with miracles.

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6. You realize change is a good thing

Remember where you were in your life 10 years ago, who you were with, what you were doing and the clothes you wore. Yeah, they are probably pretty embarrassing memories, but what this shows you is that life changes and there’s not much you can do about it.

Now imagine what you will be doing in another 10 years from now, it’s exciting isn’t it? Change is something that should be embraced, not be feared, and it’s a great way to re-invent your life and make it more memorable as you get older. Plus it’s a wonderful way to learn from your mistakes, and improve yourself and your relationships.

7. You finally understand what really makes you happy

With growing up comes a better understanding of yourself and your needs. It’s here, knowing who you really are, that you can find out what truly makes you happy. It’s purely personal and could be anything from painting landscapes, to reading a good, juicy novel, or listening to great music.

It’ll also sort out the unhappy stuff too, which will guide you through the rest of your life so you keep doing stuff that makes you happy instead of unhappy. Making the decisions for your own life is all part of growing up and with this comes a knowing that life is pretty limitless.

8. You become grateful for what you already have

I see kids today always wanting something else, something new to distract themselves with and wanting what the other kids have. They never seem to be happy with what they already have, leaving many parents wringing their hands in frustration and debt!

As you grow up, learning to be grateful for what you already have is a wonderful approach to life. It makes your life so much easier, no longer focusing on what you don’t have and being happy with what you do have. Once you grasp this, which you will do as you grow, you’ll get more stuff to be grateful about!

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9. You realize taking care of your body is important

What you put into your body is important. Having never been a fast food person I personally don’t get the reason why we as a culture love it so much, but I do understand that it’s fast and it fills the hole!

It’s OK for when you are young because your metabolism is that much faster. You’ll probably do more exercise and, let’s face it, taking care of yourself isn’t that high on your agenda. However, as you get older you’ll understand that your body is a finely tuned instrument, working on your behalf to keep you going, to keep you alive and well.

What you put into your body is so important, not only for your own health but also because you’ll want to stick around long enough to have children, to meet your grandchildren or even long enough to outlive your dog! So taking the time out to eat well and exercise regularly seems a fair exchange don’t you think?

10. It’s just going to happen!

No matter how hard you try, how young you think you dress, or what color your dye your hair, you are going to get old and that’s a fact!

Choose today to stop trying to prevent it from happening and just let it be.

Grow up. Let life take you on its glorious ride and learn to love every minute of it. You’ll thank yourself for it in the end trust me!

Featured photo credit: benleto via flickr.com

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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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

Reference

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