People who collect paychecks, pay bills, and don’t live on their mama’s couch.
Pretty simple. Yet, somehow, a little short sighted? (We would hope so.)
American culture has defined “being an adult” as the completion of moving from the age of dependence to the thrill of being self-sufficient. Oh, and the cut off date is normally around 22. Yikes. But…that seems to miss the mark a bit. ALL of you know people who check all three of those boxes, yet they still tend to act like giant infants. So, what are the real signs of being an adult? Well, if you align with these 8 items, then you’re a a mega-adult in our book. We don’t care what your paycheck OR your mama says. Here are eight signs you’re an ADULT.
1. Taking Responsibility of Emotions
It’s hard to admit when you’re jealous, angry, or really freaking sad. You feel shame, guilt, or even embarrassment for feelings you can’t really control! Being an adult not only means acknowledging these emotions, but it also means taking responsibility for them.
You have control over the way you feel, even if those feelings are negative. Anger, sadness, and fear are necessary in life. You are allowed to feel less than stellar sometimes. The difference is, these emotions are meant to be temporary. And adults let them be.
Understanding and expressing our emotions in a healthy fashion creates an exit door for any less than desirable situation. Allow your feelings to be claimed for so discussions can proceed and mistakes can be fixed. When everything is out in the open, you’re one step closer to feeling wayyyyy better! Taking responsibility for emotions quickens the process. It is your friend. (Not like this friend, because SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE!)
2. Understanding Consequences
Ok–we’re gonna go all scientific on you: adults have well-developed prefrontal cortexes. Huh? Basically, the prefrontal cortex is our center for decision making, social moderating, consequences, and basically all those other things that make you super smart. Without it, you would be stuck in your awkward preteens. Forever. So, unless you’re weirdly into Peter Pan or braces, you’re going to want to respect your anatomy and take consequences into consideration. Adults TRY to be on time, they don’t drive like maniacs, and they don’t post inappropriate or controversial bogus on social media. They think ahead. Basically, adults use their well-developed pretty lil brain.
3. Respecting Others
You don’t have to like everyone. It’s good to censor out weirdos. However, everyone deserves respect. Sarcasm, condescension, and contempt are NOT acceptable in ANY human interaction. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ex-boyfriend, your step-sister, or your troll of a supervisor. Newp. Adults always watch their tone, words, and decibel when interacting with others, because while not everyone deserves your affection, they do deserve your respect. If Siri can do it, so can you.
Well, Siri’s kind of a pushover. Never mind.
Oh, time management. The bane of American existence. Even though it’s incredibly hard to achieve, adults understand the value of living a balanced life. They don’t always have to be busy. They can enjoy down time without feeling the need to boast about “crazy long hours.” They also know prioritizing is THE answer. Adults choose what is important to them, and they honor it. Planning ahead and organizing time is a necessity to living a productive and fulfilling life! Everyone needs time for family, friendships, work, play, and even leisure time. Which maybe purely consists of TV. Maybe.
5. Taking Initiative
Adults don’t wait for others to do things for them. They execute. Grownups send the emails, make the calls, ask the questions, and figure out things for themselves. When there’s no manual, they Google. When there’s no instructions, they explore. They know the only person capable of getting their goal achieved, is them. And it’s empowering. And mature. And other grownup-like stuff.
6. Trusting Your Judgment
Adults don’t spend hours questioning themselves. They trust their judgment. Even in the nasty uncomfortable sticky world of limbo, they STILL trust those inner pulses of confidence. Of course, adults listen to other adults (who also trust their judgment), but not at the expense of their instincts. Gut feelings can be the most reliable path to success. Adults always make time during the day to hush the noise and listen to themselves…even if they’re not quite sure what’s happening.
7. Being Open-Minded
One of the trademark qualities of being a grownup is possessing the ability to be flexible. Listen to constructive criticism. Make mistakes. Understand life isn’t what you think it’s going to be. Embrace different opinions, strategies, and outcomes. Be ready to grow!
For instance, since adults are confident in their own values and judgments, so they listen to others without flipping da flip out. In life, we must learn to embrace different backgrounds, opinions, and values without taking them as threats! Criticism doesn’t break down our ideas, it just makes them stronger. Setbacks don’t ruin our lives, they define them. Conflicting opinions don’t pitch-fork our values, they just offer another perspective. Adults have the power and the confidence to take in what they need, and leave what they don’t. Plus, being open minded leads to amazing and collaborative ideas. So open up your ears and your mind and quit foolin’ around.
8. Seeking Coaches and Counselors
Last but not least, adults understand that it takes HELP to be an adult. Life coaching and counseling have consistently shown to yield beneficial results in happiness, personal development, and productivity. When life is tough, grownups know they don’t have to be alone! They don’t gab about their problems to everybody at the latest cocktail party (thank goodness) or ream out their office due on any given Monday. They handle their issues the smart way: by seeking help, encouragement, and advice privately. With a coach. Online. Because that’s cool. (Hashtag Join Blush!)