There are lots of lists out there about clothes women should stop wearing after a certain age or activities that most of us begin to shy away from as we get older (cough*anything after 10pm*cough). But most of these lists either seem super judgy, or made with the assumption that everyone is the same. Listen, if you’re an older woman who enjoys wearing bodycon dresses, I’m not here to tell you you shouldn’t, even if I personally think it’s not the most flattering choice. You do you. Same goes for people in their 30s-50s who enjoy staying at parties until 3 a.m. Most of us can’t relate to that sort of energy, but feel free to enjoy yourself.
I wanted to create a similar list, but one with some challenges for us grownups that will make the world a better place.
13 THINGS TO STOP DOING ONCE YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH TO RENT A CAR (that’s age 25, by the way)
1. Talking through a 3rd party
Remember how in 7th grade, a girl would send her friend to interrupt someone talking to her boyfriend, like a wingwoman? Yeah, by adulthood, we shouldn’t be doing that anymore. If you feel the need to confront a situation, do it yourself in a mature, kind manner. Don’t send a friend to do your dirty work, don’t do the whole “Tell Jane that I won’t talk to her until she apologizes,” and basically, just stop depending on anyone else to communicate on your behalf (unless it’s your lawyer). We’re all adults. Let’s be confident, strong, rational, and comfortable with handling our own situations.
2. Not knowing what you’re going to order by the time you’re at the front of the line
If you’ve been playing on your phone the whole time you’re standing in line at Chipotle, then spend 5 minutes deciding on black or pinto beans once it’s your turn, I will assume you’re a thoughtless 19-year-old who hasn’t yet learned how to adult. Don’t waste my time, people. Us grownups have things to do and places to be.
Tina Fey gifs, all day e’ry day.
3. Trying to get free drinks
At some point, you have to stop trying to get guys to buy your drinks, and just get your own. I hope by the age of 25, you have a job and enough independence to purchase a $7 vodka soda. No need to waste 20 minutes of your time flirting with some dude you have no plans on ever speaking to again.
4. Using texting as your primary form of communication
I’ve written about this before, but this is one of those things that deserves regular reminders. Pick up the phone and put it to your ear. Call your parents. Call your boyfriend. If you’re upset with someone, don’t have a long discussion about the problem via text. That’s a recipe for disaster. Actually talking to the person will save you a world of hurt. It’s not that scary, I promise.
5. Deflecting compliments
More on this HERE, but this is the gist: Say thank you. That’s all you have to do! The more you deflect, the more you seem insecure or even fake. The grace to accept a compliment is a skill we should all have by our mid-twenties, both on a personal confidence level, and on a social aptitude level.
6. Asking your parents for money
Extenuating circumstances happen, of course, so if it’s an emergency, I get it. But for basic needs, asking anyone else for money– especially your parents– has got to stop. Get a job. Save. Say no to dinner. Don’t buy the pretty dress. Find a way to take care of yourself. Take some responsibility for your life and have some self-respect.
You should reach an age where you’re old enough to realize that airing your dirty laundry just isn’t cute. I totally, completely, 100% understand the urge to use Facebook as an outlet for venting. I’ve wanted to do it on many, many occasions. Sometimes, we just need to get our anger or hurt or whatever out into the universe, and then we feel better. This is why we have telephones and friends. Call them.
8. Falling into peer pressure
There comes a point where you should be very comfortable with two things: 1) Yourself, 2) The word “no.” If someone ever asks or tells you to do something that goes against the person you are, or simply isn’t something you feel like doing, just say “no.” Want to do a shot? Come on, don’t be lame! “No, I’m good.” Want to go to dinner? You have to splurge once in a while! “No, I’ll be happier sticking to my budget.” I make no qualms about not being willing to watch scary movies, smoke, or go sky diving. I know myself, and am happy to say “no” in order to uphold my morals, ethics, and general health. I wrote an article about the importance of saying yes a few months ago, but that’s where discernment comes in.
Come on, ladies and gents, we all know that tanning is bad for you. Plus, it looks worse and worse as you get older, creating wrinkles and bringing out blemishes. I’ve always been a huge fan of spray tans, so this is yet another plug for that practice. If you want a little color, just find a custom airbrush studio, which is organic, healthy, and less harsh-looking when done correctly. If you happen to live in Virginia Beach, I highly recommend Melinda at Sun Buni Brown.
10. Holding grudges
Once you’ve had a few years of experience in the real world, you’ll hopefully realize that we’ve all behaved in ways we’re not proud of in our pasts. Just like you cringe at things you did in high school and college, give other people the benefit of the doubt, as well. Besides, forgiveness feels really good and makes you a much more pleasant person to be around.
11. Forming opinions about people you’ve never met
I don’t care who it is– your boyfriend’s ex, Gwen Stefani, or the girl you see in Starbucks each morning. Judging someone based on second hand stories, their appearance, or simply because you feel threatened by them is completely juvenile. Even if they’ve done something that you blatantly don’t agree with, like the fact that Gwen Stefani seems to have cheated with Blake Shelton while he was still married, you probably don’t know the whole story.
Besides, good people do bad things all the time. Unless you’ve had the opportunity to know them personally, or at the very least have hard evidence straight from their mouths (like a blog or interview, or any form of publicly owning up to/openly displaying certain behaviors that are hurtful, catty, rude, etc.), take a step back before making assumptions, listening to stories, or projecting your own insecurities onto them.
12. Being loud for attention
You know those high school girls who laugh really loud so that people look, or the young guys who whoop and holler for no apparent reason? They think people are looking because they’re pretty or funny, but as adults, we know we’re looking because they’re annoying the heck out of us. So don’t be annoying.
13. Taking everything personally
This one is probably the toughest inner battles, but even when it’s tough, the hope is that with experience, you’ll come to realize that the majority of time, you have nothing to do with anything. If you don’t get the promotion, aren’t invited somewhere, or feel ignored…odds are, it has nothing to do with you. Even when someone lashes out directly, you’re probably just the brunt of a much bigger issue going on in their life. Deep breath, and be grateful for the fact that you’re not the center of the universe. It’s much, much better not to be, don’t you think?!
And with that, happy adulting!