Learning how to be mature is something we all face at some point in our life. It is not as easy or fun as the carefree days of youth, but it has its own reward.
“Adulting” is hard. With bills to pay, a college loan to worry about, and relationship troubles that seems to be pulling at the seams of one’s sanity, how you wish you can revert back to the Hakuna Matata days of your youth. Alas, you’re faced with learning how to be mature instead.
Adult life is indeed challenging. And whether you like it or not, it is inevitable. Sooner or later you’ll find yourself adjusting your lifestyle to accommodate these responsibilities. And in order to survive the physical, emotional, and mental toll of living as an adult, you must learn to be mature.
How to be mature: 12 pieces of advice to transform your life
Being mature gives you more perspective in dealing with any challenges you may encounter. It is an important life skill cultivated by both your experiences and mistakes. If you still linger in the tail end of youthful immaturity, try to learn maturity early with these tips.
#1 Listen to advice. You are not as knowledgeable about life as you might think. This is not asking you to follow all advice but to listen to advice. Sure, not all the advice that people give you may work on your problem. But it gives you the idea on how they managed to deal with their own problems in their own way.
Advice, especially coming from people older than you, is tried and tested by their experience. However, it is important to note that when it comes to decision-making, you have the final call. Use the advice given to you to visualize scenarios and from there, work your way to a decision you are comfortable with. [Read: How to succeed in life – All you ever need to know]
#2 Continue to expand your knowledge and skills. When it comes to knowing how to be mature, you need to remember that learning does not end at school. There are a lot of ideas and pursuits that you discover once you get out in the real world. Learning every bit of information and skill that comes your way no matter how superficial gives you an edge in dealing with future challenges you’ll encounter. So don’t shut yourself off from new information and life skills. [Read: How to overcome the things that keep you stuck]
#3 Learn how to compromise. Learning how to compromise is the true mark of maturity. To compromise is to recognize that you won’t be able to move forward if you don’t make small personal sacrifices. It recognizes the importance of the common good over personal bias or pride. You find that learning compromise is particularly useful when dealing with interpersonal problems and decision making.
#4 Learn how to apologize. It won’t hurt to apologize for a mistake. And most people fail to recognize the power of the gesture. People are often called immature because they don’t want to admit a mistake due to their misplaced sense of pride.
Just imagine if all people were like this, then society degenerates into chaos, and humanity would have achieved nothing. What these people don’t know is that there’s nothing degrading about apologizing. In fact, admitting to one’s mistake is an admirable trait and is a mark of someone with a superior character compared to others. [Read: 15 guidelines you need to follow if you want to forgive and forget]
#5 Take responsibility for your mistakes. If you made a mistake, apologize for it, and come up with a solution in order to correct that mistake. Taking responsibility teaches you a great deal on how to recover from failures and in the process, one learns from the mistake instead of getting discouraged by it. Also, taking responsibility signals you consider the people around you, particularly those directly affected by your mistake. [Read: 7 reasons why empathy is important in a relationship]
#6 Plan for the future and don’t settle for short-term gratification. It is easy to fall for the YOLO bandwagon nowadays, but it’s still wiser to prepare for the future rather than only thinking about what would be fun on this day and the next. After all, you never know when the hard times will strike, so it’s better to have a safety net prepared for it when it comes.
Planning for the future isn’t just being financially secure with savings in investments, but doing activities that help you accomplish goals rather than doing stuff that’s fun drains your finances. [Read: 12 life questions to help you visualise your future]
#7 Be open-minded. Being open-minded means suspending pre-existing biases before judging it to be good or bad. It also entails knowing the right information and the supporting facts about something before making an impression. Being stuck with preconceived notions and biases hinders progress and causes interpersonal conflict in the future.
#8 Don’t engage in gossip but engage in a mature intellectual discourse. Gossip is unproductive and distasteful to say the least. You get nothing from it and you hurt people by it. Mature people talk about ideas instead of people. With a proper intellectual discourse, you learn something useful compared to inane gossip. [Read: The 7 big clues to identify an emotionally immature person]
#9 Know that you will not be able to please all the people around you and you don’t have to. Nobody is perfect and nobody owes anyone to change just to be well-liked by the people around them. If a person who hates you for who you are, keep in mind that there are more people willing to accept you for who you are. Don’t live your life according someone’s expectations. [Read: 13 clues to know if someone has emotional maturity]
#10 Get something done and see it to the end. If you want to know how to be mature, start by sticking to commitments you make. If you said that you will do the laundry today, then make sure you do it. If your long term goal won’t get accomplished in a single day, align all your activities and energy towards the pursuit of your goal. Seeing things to the end teaches a person to be creative in achieving their goals. Of course, it also makes you feel good to have an item ticked from your “to do” list even if it’s something superficial.
#11 Learn from your mistakes. It sounds cliché, but learning from your mistakes allows you to deal with future mistakes easily. Don’t allow mistakes to let you down, but instead learn to turn something negative into a positive learning experience. We screw up many times over the course of our lives. The person who deals with it easier, and possibly prevents doing the same mistake, is the one who learned from it. [Read: 5 life altering lessons you can learn from regrets]
#12 You can’t always get what you want. We are often disappointed if we fail to get something we desired for so long. If we let that disappointment linger, it turns into bitterness and resentment. Consequently, bitterness and resentment make us do stupid things like hate and blame people giving us a negative outlook of the world.
There are two ways to deal with this: if it’s not for you, then let it go and focus on other things. However, if you want it so badly, try again and persevere until you get it. But the main lesson that maturity requires is that people should learn when to stop and let go.
People get older at the same rate but not all develop maturity at the same time. Being a true adult is not defined by age but with maturity. Understanding how to be mature is that needed trait to make “adulting” easier.
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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...