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What People Should Stop Doing When They Turn 30

What People Should Stop Doing When They Turn 30

When I was just about to turn 30, I had a few choices to make. I could have gone on teaching and eating out every night in Naples. But my career was knocking at the door and I started to get serious about it. I decided to start studying for a new qualification and then taking two years out to do a Masters’ degree. I missed all the fun times and the seductive Neapolitan lifestyle. But these were short lived regrets as I saw my career advance.

Nothing is written in stone about what you should stop doing once you turn 30. But it is usually around then that life, relationships and career start muscling their way into your life.

You also have the added complication of whether to start a family and what sort of relationship could help you fulfil that ambition. Does parenting really appeal to you?

Here are 15 things people should stop doing now to make their future more secure and tranquil.

1. Stop spending money extravagantly

You have to start thinking about a pension which you might need just 30 years from now. If you are lucky, you can get good financial advice about pension funds or figure it out yourself by investing wisely. This will give you financial security to help you buy property later on.

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2. Stop dithering about job or career moves

The best thing to do is to start getting rid of mismatches and gaps in your resume. Stress the fact that your best talents and skills set can be leveraged to fit the demands of a new job or career. In this way, you are displaying how proactive you can be.

3. Stop using social media so much

Time to get real and start making some valuable connections out there. That means using social media less and less. It also means that you should be aiming to network outside your organization. If you are an introvert, this may be a bit daunting.

Susan Cain in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking has some good advice. There is no need to take the standard extrovert as the norm. You should be trying to make more meaningful and deeper contacts so it really is worthwhile getting to know people at more than a superficial level.

4. Stop posting silly things on Facebook

Yes, employers do check your social media profiles so if you are really serious about a career, delete all those photos of you having a great time. Post some really professional stuff such as you networking at a conference.

5. Stop thinking about your past failures

Maybe a relationship went all wrong or you did not get the dream job you wanted. Most psychologists agree that too much ruminating and blaming yourself for past errors can have lasting negative effects. If these regrets are keeping you from getting on with life and planning your future, then it really is time to stop.

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6. Stop texting while driving

Not that all the people who do this are under 30! I daydream about fixing an anti-phone device in each car. Problem solved and people start driving responsibly. But if you cannot control a texting addiction at this age, then it is time to think about this.

7. Stop sleeping in at weekends

Maybe you think that you can recover your lost sleep at the weekend. You need to, because of all that hard work and late night partying during the week. Scientists have shown that this recovery sleep is not going to fix all the problems and the long term effects are unknown. Much better to start getting more regular sleep. That will leave you much more time to do something fun and productive at the weekend.

8. Stop having hangovers

What a waste of time! You feel lousy for days afterwards and you cannot even get going on work, leisure and all the other things that make life worthwhile. If you cannot get out of that social whirl, you can easily prevent and cure a hangover. How? Just by drinking plenty of water, before, during and afterwards. Water will keep you from getting dehydrated. This is the main cause of a hangover.

9. Stop having toxic friendships

Time to have a good clear out of people who are simply poisoning you with their toxicity. Maybe you have been too lazy to do that up to now. But if a friend is always criticizing you, taking advantage of your kindness, or just not being reliable, then you have to cut them off.

Remember that real friendships are like gold. They have to be long-lasting and keep their value. If they do not, then it is time to move on.

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10.  Stop making excuses about your workouts

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

These excuses about skipping your gym class or workout are now getting a bit thin as you turn 30. Time to concentrate on getting results, enjoying yourself and measuring your progress. The excuses will soon start to fade away as you get more motivated.

11. Stop eating fast food

I had to start to learn to cook as I was getting embarrassed about all the dinner invitations I was receiving. I never bothered in my twenties and I was just plain lazy. The number of pizzas I ate must be a record. Once I started to learn how to cook, my life, health, and social standing all changed dramatically. Yes, I had to study and try things out. Living in Italy was an enormous advantage but also an enormous challenge. Italians know a lot about good food!

12. Stop closing your mind to certain beliefs and ideas

 “Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out”. – Carl Sagan

Learning about new ideas and exploring the world are great ways of challenging the preconceptions we sometimes latch on to in our twenties. The best way of doing this is to travel and have a great time. Try out new things and judge them as objectively as you can.

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13. Stop driving recklessly

Last weekend, a 22 year old Italian driver lost control of his car at a roundabout. The car ploughed into a group of guys who were having a drink at a nearby bar. Four of them were killed, including the driver’s own brother!

It is never too early to start driving responsibly and making sure that you are not over the alcohol limit.

14. Stop playing Wii and video games all the time

These games are great to help you pass the time when you have to wait for public transport. But if this is your favourite pastime at home where you become a games slave, then there must be something wrong.

15. Stop adding new tattoos

You might well be embarrassed when you have to hide certain tattoos at your workplace when the company culture is pretty strict about these things. Nothing wrong in having a few inked spots but when you have to explain new ones after 30, this may make you feel uncomfortable.

Let us know what things you stopped doing when you turned 30. What were the benefits or drawbacks?

Featured photo credit: Texting while driving/Intel Free Press via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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