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When You Start To Become Mature, These 20 Great Things Happen In Your Life

When You Start To Become Mature, These 20 Great Things Happen In Your Life

Do you remember when you were a kid in your bed at night? Whenever you saw someone older you couldn’t wait until you were older too. You envied college students and their freedom. Even adults looked pretty cool, walking into hi-rise office buildings with their shiny leather briefcases. But the closer you are to becoming a mature grown-up, the more you find yourself avoiding it.

You probably did go to college and are now working on the top floor of a hi-rise building carrying some type of case that holds your two cellphones, and iPad. You look mature but deep inside you still feel a sense of closeness to the little child holding his teddy bear.

You might not feel that it will happen, but one day you will mature. Your “carefree-whatever” lifestyle will transform, and you will become a responsible functioning adult. You can’t avoid it. Personal evolution is continuous. Life changes you, whether you like it or not. Your perspective, relationships, values, and style as they are now will also change. That’s reality.

It doesn’t mean that life will stop throwing mud in your face. It just means that when maturity kicks in, everything becomes less frantic.

Maturing is an on-going process of growth. Your experiences teach you lessons that will make your life easier.

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1. You will pay off your debt.

It will happen. One day you will be caught up with all your bills. You will get tired of carrying that financial burden around and you will  figure out a way to pay off your debt.

2. You will pay your bills on time every month.

Instead of waiting until the last minute of the grace period ending up with a $35 late fee, you will find an app that reminds you when all your bills are due and then you will pay them on time.

3. You will know (and respect) the difference between what you need and what you want.

There are a lot of tantalizing products to buy and they are hard to resist but when you mature you will know when it’s the right time to buy what you want. If you have the extra money go ahead, treat yourself. Just make sure your bills are paid before you buy the next best thing or Google glass.

4. You will take care of your health.

Doctors’ appointments are easy to put off. No one likes to go through the hassle of making an appointment, going to the office, getting blood work, and waiting for follow-up calls. You can procrastinate and say, “Let’s see if this gets worse.” But then you will find yourself of waiting for it to get better until your ailment needs emergency treatment at 3:00 a.m. When you become mature, you will notice something is wrong early on and make that doctor’s appointment right away.

5. You will go to the dentist for regular cleanings.

Not because your Mom told you to (or because the pain from your abscessed tooth forces you to) but because you want to look great and keep your pearly whites to be healthy instead of facing many more hours in a dental chair as he puts in implants.

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6. You will eat foods that make you feel good.

Instead of eating foods that cause you to run to the bathroom, you will make smarter food choices. If gluten messes up your stomach, you won’t eat it. If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll get used to drinking almond milk. Healthy foods feel better than junk food.

7.  You will date people who are potential life partners.

Marriage will be an option, not a disease you’re afraid to catch. You’ll realize that spending every night at the local bar with friends is fine for now, but you will realize that you want a real life partner to share your life with and you won’t be afraid to commit to that.

8. You will be able to admit your weaknesses and know how to strengthen them.

Mature persons know how to improve themselves. If they are always late, they will leave extra time to get ready so they show up on time. If they have a hard time apologizing, they’ll realize that and instead of making excuses, they will admit when they are wrong. That’s a true sign of maturity, most grown-ups have a hard time with this one.

9. You will know when to ask for help.

Every one doesn’t know everything. You can’t excel in every area of life. Asking to be mentored is a strength. All the great successful people have a mentor. Oprah had Maya Angelou and still has Steven Speilberg. Michael Jordan was mentored by Phil Jackson and Bill Gates has Warren Buffet. If they do it, so can you.

10. You will be a better son/daughter, brother/sister, step-brother/step-sister, aunt/uncle.

Family will matter. You will call your parents regularly instead of only calling when you need something. And you will know that you have matured when your phone call starts with “how are you?” instead of asking for what you need.

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11. You will be able to control your impulses.

You will be mature enough to know the consequences of your actions and your words and have the strength to not give in to your every impulse. Every text message doesn’t have to be immediately answered. Mature people can wait.

12. You will be able to express yourself in a calmer, respectful tone of voice.

Your communication skills will improve. You will soon realize you don’t have to verbalize every thought you have. You will speak realistically – no more exaggerations, no more magnifications. You will deal with facts and not fabrications.

13. You will become more flexible.

Nothing is as constant as change. It is the only thing you can be sure of. Nothing ever stays the same (even when you want it to). When you mature you will realize that and learn to accept change. You may have to adjust to make someone else happy or know when it’s time to change jobs but you’ll be able to manage it. A mature person knows that even if the change won’t be easy, they will have the skills to maneuver their way through it.

 14. You will have an easier time making decisions.

You will be able to process the pros and cons of your dilemmas and then you will be able to make that decision. It doesn’t mean every decision will be the correct one, but you will feel confident that you made the best decision at the time.

15. You will take responsibility for your actions.

Instead of blaming everyone else for your unfortunate outcomes, you will have clear vision and see that your choices caused those outcomes. When you mature, it’s time to man-up and own your actions. Emotional maturity makes it easier to say, “I did that. How can I make it better next time?”

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16. You will become less dramatic.

Things will not all feel like catastrophic events to you anymore. Things will be in proper perspective. You’ll be able to see a “big picture” view of what is realistically happening. Your mind will process each situation with clarity based in reality.

17. You will accept and respect other people’s opinions and ideas.

When you mature, your ego is aligned. You will learn that every incident doesn’t revolve around you. You will see that other people matter too and realize that other people’s opinions have value.

18. You will not get your feelings hurt so easily.

Somehow as the years go by, you toughen up. You won’t get your feelings hurt as often and as hard as they do now. Criticism won’t bruise you or force you to end relationships. You will realize that someone’s comments might be worth thinking about.

19. You will make smarter choices. Wisdom comes with age.

As you mature you will see that smart choices are so much more enjoyable than fun choices. Sure, everyone wants to have fun but when you mature you will realize that your “fun” choices are causing too many problems in your life. You’ll be so much happier when you make smart choices. Clarity is your new best friend.

20. You will become a better life manager when you mature.

You will get a grip on how to handle whatever comes your way because you no longer have a backlog of avoided problems stored up. Your vision will be clear and you will know how to navigate through each crisis without having to ask 10 friends what they think.

Maturity is a reality. Welcome it, don’t fear it. You will be so much happier when you do. You may fly higher than you ever dreamed you would. 

Featured photo credit: geetkshizzle via geekshizzle.com

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June Silny

ADHD Coach, Writer, ADDitude Magazine featured contributor

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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