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20 Things We Never Thought We’d Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

20 Things We Never Thought We’d Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

A few years ago you were absolutely okay with eating pizza for dinner each night, living in a tiny flat with five buddies and rocking out on the dance floor till dawn. The time flies though, and you steadily head towards your third decade.

Suddenly you find yourself in your late 20s, slightly obsessed with the opposite types of activities and past times.

Here are 20 things I had no idea I would become so excited about a few years ago!

1. Cooking elaborate dishes

You know you are in your late 20s when pasta no longer sounds like a decent dinner option. We now crave to savor exquisite tastes and opt to spend weeks learning to cook something gourmand (and Instagram-worthy) like Coquilles Saint-Jacques and roasted potato salad with candied walnuts as a side dish.

Yes, it takes a hell of a lot of time, practice and a few kilos of wasted food, but we feel extremely proud as we read all the rave comments under the photo!

2. Local organic vegetables

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    You’ve come to love Saturdays even more! You get up early and dash directly to the farmer’s market for fresh veggies and fragrant bundles of salads. You then happily spend the afternoon chopping and packing them into Tupperware to make the taste last longer.

    You always shop seasonal and inspect each item with notorious meticulousness before stacking it into the basket. Some vendors already know you by name and even make small discounts, and there’s a list on your fridge with of all organic shops around your area with notes where you should by what. Also, you have even attempted growing some veggies and herbs at your windowsill to keep basics at stock all the time and save some money from your food check.

    3. Being concerned about your health

    It’s not that you are getting old, but some extra concern about your well-being has become a “thing”. Suddenly, you became aware of all the negative impacts of certain foods, toxic liquids in your household and even harmful bacteria hiding in the hospitals.

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    You schedule regular appointments to your dentists and GP, you even once consulted a nutritionist and then you were over the moon happy when you realized your new insurance covers vision! You now realize the value of working for a company that offers the best health insurance packages.

    4. Professional cleaning services

    The truth is, you’ve never liked cleaning up. Living in a cramped, cluttered cave with wrappers behind the couch was pretty fine in college, yet absolutely unbearable in your late 20s. Now, every other weekend, you crouch and run sprints around the house with a vacuum cleaner. Sometimes you feel like if someone would gift you a year of professional cleaning services, you would immediately marry them!

    5. Massages

    A night on a friend’s couch leaves you with a terrible pain in the neck. So does the office chair, spending too much time driving, a bad mattress and loads of other activities. It seems like we got into our late 20s and all our pains and aches intensified.

    A 60 minute massage session with fragrant oil dripped all over your poor body is no longer a luxury, but an actual necessity!

    6. Having a preference of wine

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      Long gone are the days you could drink anything that had at least a slight grape aftertaste. A typical conversation with your significant other at a wine cellar now looks like:

      “Why are we taking that Alsatian Riesling again? I’m not sure that year 2012 will pair well with the fish.”

      “But, babe, we’ve drank that red dry Bordeaux last weekend and I didn’t like that nutty aftertaste, remember?”

      At the venue, you can spend a good half an hour inspecting the wine menu and shooting questions at the sommelier.

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      7. Going to bed before midnight

      Why should anyone sane stay out till dawn and rave like a madman to get up at 6 am still hangovered and absolutely devastated? All the cool kids like you are going to bed early.

      A “big night out” now is more like – let’s cook something cool, drink a bottle of good wine and go wild by trying out a fancy dessert.

      8. Enjoying music  from back in the 90s

      You still remember lyrics to most ‘N SYNC songs, right? And chances are, no one’s going to make fun of you when you mention that in public. In most cases, you’ll end up doing a karaoke session and going as low as “Hit Me Baby One More Time” while having the time of your lives!

      9. New home appliances

      For a second you may feel a little embarrassed by being so excited with your new super-awesome self-cleaning espresso machine, but it all goes away once you see how anxiously envious your friends become.

      Your wish-list now has quite a lot of incredible items you would die to have, from a baked taco shell toaster to a pro noodle maker to make your own spaghetti from organic ingredients!

      10. Having a seat at the concert

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        No matter how much you love that band, you will not go to their live gig if there’s no sitting places left! Rubbing elbows with fellow fans in front of the stage (and secretly wondering if that guy in front of you will smack your nose or not) doesn’t sound cool anymore.

        Neither does a free ticket for a Katy Perry concert…without sitting.

        11. Quality clothes

        You are no longer friends with Forever 21 and H&M. At some point, you’ve started feeling really awkward when walking in. Besides, you are tired of throwing away another pile of tiny dresses, small t-shirts and shrunken sweaters.

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        In our late 20s, we like to spend more on clothes only if it’s actually worth the price. A pair of rubber designer flip-flops for $20 is a rip-off, but a pair of good suede loafers is a wise investment.

        12. Having “productive” weekends

        There’s no longer an “epic” story to tell on Monday about getting wasted, hitting 10 clubs in a row and waking up in another state. Those days are past and now you love telling stories about how hellishly productive you’ve been during those two so-called rest days.

        You’ve cleaned the entire flat, cooked for a five-person dinner party (with two dish changes!), finished reading the Ernest Hemingway biography, washed the car, cut the lawn and even had time to try a new hairdo!

        13. Dinner parties

        No longer “you bring your food, I give my space to chill” types of parties, but fancy Martha Stewart-inspired feasts with matching napkins, two glasses for water and wine, at least three different types of forks, fresh floral bouquet (that you’ve struggled to make two hours after watching that DIY video), napkin holders and candles.

        You have even thought about ordering calligraphy for name cards, but is seemed like too much, right?

        14. Establishing a sacred morning routine

        Because morning defines your mood for the whole day! You can sacrifice those 15 extra minutes of sleep for a series of yoga exercises and extra five minutes in a warm shower to gather your thoughts.

        You’ve ditched coffee for a glass of hot lemon water, you typically cook salads and smoothies instead of cereals and get your clothes prepared in the evening. All those procedures are sacred and you can not be deprived of any of it!

        15. Documentaries

        Watching soap operas and reality shows? Duh, we are so over it! Instead, we prefer to actually learn something new while interacting with the telly or opt for some beautifully puzzling art-house movie for entertainment.

        16. Brunches

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          Will our generation someday be named as “the brunchers”? It seems like everything we do involves a brunch. What shall we do today? How about having a brunch at that new awesome cafe around the corner? No brunch offers? This place sucks! I will never tag it on Instagram, even though the coffee looks pretty.

          17. Private space

          Sharing is no longer caring when it comes to your “own space”. You are okay to pay that dreadful solo rent price, so that you won’t have to justify an hour in the bathroom, while listening your whining roommate on the other side of the door.

          Or your music choices, or your right not to wear pants around the house. The freedom to do whatever you want in your space is almost overwhelming!

          18. DIY’ing

          In your late 20s, your YouTube subscription is full of DIY channels – from nail art to authentic reed basket weaving. I’m not even mentioning how many pictures you have pinned on your secret DIY Pinterest board.

          During the last year you’ve probably attempted making all kind of stuff, from that shoe holder planter to a wood-burning camp stove.

          19. Treating pets like children

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            Because yes, it is absolutely acceptable to dress up both of your cats in lovely Santa costumes and send that photo as a postcard to all of your friends and family. Also, there’s nothing weird about you seeming to always post pictures with your cat doing cute things or talking for hours about how clever it is and what new tricks it’s learned!

            20. Telling the truth

            We no longer care that much if someone thinks we are “rude” or “unkind” when expressing our opinions and telling people what we really think. We are too tired of pretending to be “okay” when things are bad and can usually just spill everything out to our close friends without being ashamed.

            Also, by our late 20s, we’ve come to realize that we cannot change who we are or change the people around us. But we can always let them go and get rid of any toxic relationships that spoil our lives.

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            Elena Prokopets

            Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on October 22, 2020

            8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

            8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

            How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

            Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

            When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

            Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

            What Makes People Poor Listeners?

            Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

            1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

            Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

            Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

            It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

            2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

            This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

            Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

            3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

            It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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            I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

            If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

            4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

            While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

            To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

            My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

            Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

            Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

            How To Be a Better Listener

            For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

            1. Pay Attention

            A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

            According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

            As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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            I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

            2. Use Positive Body Language

            You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

            A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

            People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

            But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

            According to Alan Gurney,[2]

            “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

            Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

            3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

            I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

            Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

            Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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            Be polite and wait your turn!

            4. Ask Questions

            Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

            5. Just Listen

            This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

            I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

            I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

            6. Remember and Follow Up

            Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

            For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

            According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

            It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

            7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

            If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

            Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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            Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

            Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

            NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

            1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
            2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

            8. Maintain Eye Contact

            When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

            Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

            By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

            Final Thoughts

            Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

            You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

            And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

            More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
            [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
            [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
            [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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