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16 Questions Every 20-Something Should Ask Themselves From Time To Time

16 Questions Every 20-Something Should Ask Themselves From Time To Time

As a 20-something you are faced with many challenges and struggles. Whether those challenges are focusing on your career path, your relationships, your body image, or even your life’s purpose; no one can give you the answers to the questions you should be asking yourself. Asking yourself questions when faced with life’s complications can inspire you to re-think, re-analyze and re-configure the way you have been living life.

1. Am I Living Up To My Full Potential?

As a 20-something it’s easy to reach certain milestones in life, and slowly begin to plateau. The personal growth incurred by challenging your capabilities, can help you reach the best version of yourself that you have ever experienced.

2. Do I Compare Myself To Others Too Often?

It’s easy to get caught up in what your peers are accomplishing while living in their twenties. Comparing yourself to someone that isn’t you, may only bring discouragement. You may feel as if you are falling behind, when in fact you are the leader of your own life journey.

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3. Do I Live In The Present?

As a 20-something you begin to explore who you really are. In order to define your present, you need to keep the past behind you and the future in the horizon. Try living in the moments before they pass. Your past is the foundation to the present, and the present will shape the future.

4. What Are My Life Goals?

Building life goals strengthens the purpose to life. While living in the present is essential to happiness, having a bucket list can give you something to look forward. Achieving goals does not happen over night, so taking small steps that can be applied to your everyday life, can help build towards your future accomplishments.

5. What Triggers My Stress?

It’s important to understand your stress triggers, so you can recognize them when they are present in your life. Once you can recognize your triggers, managing how you react to stress becomes a lot easier, and you can deal with stress on a mature and manageable level.

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6. Do I Recognize My Weaknesses?

It can be easy at times to point out the faults and weakness of others, but have you ever analyzed your own weaknesses? Recognizing your weaknesses may open many doors for self-improvement and personal growth.

7. Do I Recognize My Growth Throughout The Years?

Life sure feels like a scramble as a 20-something, but stopping to absorb all of the incredible things that you have accomplished so far can really encourage and motivate you to aim higher with everything else that you do.

8. Do My Friends Reflect Who I Really Am?

As a 20-something you might hang on to friends from high school, from college, from university, from past work facilities, and so on. Not to say you should say good-bye to all past friendships and only focus on the new, but you should make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people who also reflect who you are and who you want to be.

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9. Do I Make My Decisions Based On The Needs Of Others?

Whether it’s the need for acceptance or recognition, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what others want from you, for you. Making decisions based on the needs of others is a short-term fix to keep the people around you content so you can bypass endless questions. However, it’s you who ultimately has to live with your decisions.

10. Am I Spending Money On The Wrong Things?

Saving money can feel impossible once all monthly living expenses are covered. Making a practical budget and breaking down what you actually need and use can really help you see what you have been disposing your money on. Try looking at your wants verses your needs. You may want 2GB of data for your fancy new smart phone, but why not cut the cost of your data plan if you’re actually only using 500MB each month? Do this practice for your cable bill, your grocery list, or even your personal products.

11. Am I Ready To Begin Investing In My Future?

Knowing the lifestyle you want to live can determine how you should invest in your future. A part of investing in your future is deciding a career path. The rest of it is buying property and planning for retirement, which in your twenties may seem obscure.

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12. Do I Feel Like An Equal Contributor In My Workplace?

As a 20-something it’s easy to get looked at as the “rookie” in any job position. If you are putting in hard, honest work ethic and not receiving credit for the work you are doing, it can feel daunting. If you find yourself in a workplace where you are not seen as an equal maybe it’s time to find your voice and speak up.

13. What Do I Need From A Romantic Relationship?

You might have experienced a romantic relationship at some point during your twenties, and it may not have worked out, that’s okay. With each relationship had, you are constantly learning about yourself, as well as others, and what you need out of a life partner. Try taking all of your past relationships and picking out the qualities that you appreciated most, and all of the qualities that held no room for compromise. This will show you the characteristics that are most attractive and important to you.

14. Am I Too Dependent On My Parents?

Sometimes being a 20-something is doing things on your own without parental guidance. As a child, parents were usually there to help you as best as they could in all aspects. As an adult, your parents may be there to mentally support you, but they are no longer held responsible to pay your bills, drive you around, or book your appointments.

15. Do I Love Myself?

Self-love can be hard to wrap your head around when you’re a 20-something, but when you find it, you have a whole new appreciation for yourself. Self-love is about being understanding towards your own needs, as well as having the courage to stand up for yourself even when you’re standing alone. Self-love is knowing how to forgive yourself, and having the ability to live life worry-free from the thoughts others may have of you.

16. Am I Happy?

A question that trumps all; knowing your weaknesses, knowing your strengths, and ultimately understanding yourself as best as possible, will help you find your happiness.

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Last Updated on July 15, 2020

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

“Entitlement is an expression of conditional love. Nobody is ever entitled to your love. You always have a right to protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by removing yourself from toxic people and circumstances.” -Dr. Janice Anderson & Kiersten Anderson

It’s not always obvious if you have someone toxic in your life. A toxic relationship is one that is harmful to you. A toxic person can create distress to the degree you feel inadequate and isolated. So, what makes a toxic person?

A toxic person has toxic behavior, meaning it’s not that the whole person is toxic[1]. It’s what they do that counts. Most toxic people run from accountability and misrepresent reality to you. They misrepresent your worth and your ability to heal from them can be stifled the longer you keep them in your life. You have a role to play with it as well; if your values are dismissed by them and you don’t act on it, you have allowed room for toxicity to grow.

When you are in a toxic relationship, you feel less than. You feel as though you are not worth anyone’s time or effort. You feel unheard, and sometimes you feel unsafe. You don’t feel good about yourself in a toxic relationship, whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member.

You may stay in a toxic relationship for a number of reasons. You may believe yourself to be a burden, have a lack of boundaries, resist change, fear conflict, try to be a people pleaser, find yourself codependent, or are partially stuck in a pattern or unhealthy cycle of abuse.

Letting go of toxic people may not be easy. In order to do so, you have to know why or how they are toxic to you and read between the lines that they do not have your best interests in mind.

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Letting go of toxic people is hard because you are good and want to see the good in others. You think their apologies are authentic. You have trouble believing they are being dishonest. You don’t spend time healing from it. You get pulled back into the pain because you don’t want it to end. However, if you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t right.

You should walk away from a toxic person because you need to preserve your peace. You need to feel like yourself again. And you need better support.

Letting go of toxic people can involve four major steps.

1. Recognize the Red Flags

Red flags are signs a person is being toxic. It’s when someone shows characteristics that you should feel caution about. It’s when you feel any level of dissatisfaction and distrust. Trust your gut. When you recognize red flags, you can evaluate whether a person is trying to manipulate you or not. This gives you some level of control over what you allow in your life. The earlier you detect these behaviors, the better off you will be.

Red flags can include:

  • They always put themselves first.
  • They point out imperfections and sabotage your self-esteem.
  • You may feel drained or used when you’re around them.
  • What you give isn’t reciprocated. They don’t return the goodness you provide as a friend.
  • They ignore your boundaries and get angry when you tell them “no.”
  • You catch them in half truths or outright lies when you confront them about anything.
  • You are the villain; they are the victim.
  • Second chances always lead to repeated patterns of behavior.
  • They may engage in abuse.

2. Set Boundaries

There are emotional boundaries that one can set, but there are also physical ones[2]. You can leave any time. Setting boundaries is also an important part of self-care.

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You shouldn’t walk on eggshells. Tell them how you feel. Are they respecting you, fulfilling your needs, and listening to you? If not, it’s time to set up a healthy emotional distance and start letting go of toxic people around you.

There are levels to this. You have your inner circle, which could include family, and then you have acquaintances and strangers. If a toxic person is in your inner circle, it’s time to pull back and put up some boundaries for them to follow. If they can’t hear you out, you can cut off the connection completely.

You can give second chances, but you have to be careful. If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it again. If there’s any chance for the relationship, they have to know not to cross certain lines.

3. Invest in Yourself

You deserve to know you are worthwhile. Try to remember that things will get better and that anything is possible. How do you do so? Invest in yourself.

This means self care, goal setting, surrounding yourself with positive support, and feeling a sense of peace. Your greatest ambition should be to love yourself. Without self-love, letting go of toxic people will be difficult.

Every relationship is a risk, but if you know yourself and what you will allow, toxic people will have less of a hold over you. If you are a giver or people pleaser, you are most at risk to being in a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t be punished for caring, but sometimes trust needs to be earned. If you have self-love, you are treating yourself the best way possible. You know that others need to meet your standards; otherwise, they don’t get to be a part of your life.

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It’s possible that you can love yourself and still not see the signs. It can be difficult for some to be aware that toxic people exist. However,, if you know how much you mean to others in your life and what you are worth, you will be less likely to take on a relationship that is harmful to you or repeat negative patterns. Self-love is how we get out of toxic relationships, but it’s also how they never begin.

4. Know When Forgiveness Is Possible

There are times a person will prove their worth to you. They may make a mistake that makes them seem like a horrible person. They may forget to be good to you because of their own issues. They may just have no example of what a healthy relationship looks like. They may have an inflated ego that really comes from insecurity. The list goes on.

If they apologize, that’s a start. Look at their actions. Are they changing for the better because they really want to change or just seeming to in order to manipulate you? A person may control others with their image or perceived personality, but if you see through them, you may be able to discern the degree to which they are willing to be there for you.

If they start to do the right thing, you may begin to trust them again. Don’t start forgiving them until time has passed and you are sure there is growth, even if they show vulnerability or remorse. You can give a second chance if they truly have an awakening. Otherwise, it’s best to get out. Don’t let them walk all over you; let them walk out the door.

If you do give a second change and they still refuse to change, you have every right to remove them and continue the process of letting go of toxic people. The moment you even want to leave may also be a good time to get out. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to care for them.

Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger[3]. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You have to go back to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone. You don’t have to let them back in. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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Remember, forgiveness is ultimately for you, not them. You don’t need that person in your life in order to forgive them, and if you give them a second chance, proceed with caution.

Final Thoughts

Recognize the red flags, set boundaries, invest in yourself, and know when forgiveness is possible. This is how you cope with a toxic person impacting your life. You have power in the direction of your life and the people who accompany you as you move forward. Use it.

If a person is worthwhile, they will prove themselves through their actions, not their words. If they cross certain lines that really harm you, you owe them nothing. You have every right to feel what you feel and to be upset. Honor your feelings and communicate them because it’ll only continue to keep happening if you don’t.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to put a stop to it. It’s time to take control. It’s time to live for yourself, not for what others say about you. It’s time to set your standards higher than they’ve ever been before. And most of all, it’s time to let go.

Resource reminder: A physically abusive relationship is ALWAYS toxic. There are resources for you. Always speak up.

If you are in such a cycle or domestic violence or abuse reach out for help. For example, there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) which can be reached at 1−800−799−7233. There are other ways to get help if you simply ask for it. 

More Tips on Letting Go of Toxic People

Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

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