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How to Be Mature: 25 Ways to Grow Up & Face Life Like an Adult

Learning how to be mature is a necessary fact of life. You don’t have to kiss goodbye to your carefree days, you simply need to implement a few life lessons.

how to be mature

“Adulting” is hard. Bills to pay, a college loan to worry about, and relationship troubles that seem to be pulling at the seams of one’s sanity – the Hakuna Matata days of youth were much easier! 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 how to be mature. [Read: Signs of emotional maturity: 20 traits to look for in someone]

How to be mature: 25 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 doesn’t mean you have to follow all advice but simply listen. Not all the advice that people give you may work on your problems, but it gives you ideas on how to work through the issue in the right 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

Stick to commitments you make. If you said that you will do the laundry today, then make sure you do it. Your long term goal won’t be accomplished in a single day. So, 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.

13. Set goals to keep moving forward

If you avoid setting goals, you’ll end up drifting in life. Learning how to be mature means knowing what you want. That doesn’t mean you have to map your life, but it means you need to have a good idea of what you’re aiming towards. Your goals might change over time and that’s okay. All you need is something to aim towards, to keep you on track. [Read: 18 ways to have high self-esteem and start winning at life]

14. Learn how to control your emotions and avoid outbursts

Emotions are pretty hard to tame. Anger rises up like a raging torrent and it’s hard to keep hold of the reins. However, a sign of maturity is the ability to stop, take a breath, take yourself away from the situation for a minute if necessary, and avoid an outburst that could have drastic consequences.

Learn to be more aware of your emotions and notice when you feel them rising. When you notice this happening, move away from the situation, even if it’s just for five minutes.

15. Avoid getting caught up in unnecessary drama and negativity

There are some people who are all about the drama. It’s exhausting being around them but sometimes you find yourself inadvertently dragged into their messes. Similarly, it’s easy to spend time around people who are constantly negative, because you feel like you have to.

If it doesn’t serve you well, walk away from it. That’s how you learn to be mature. Life is too short for petty drama and negative thoughts. See the bigger picture. [Read: How to resolve conflict: The 15 best ways to cut out the drama]

16. Know that persistence will get you where you want to be

When you’re young, it’s easy to start something, drop it, and then put it down. However, that’s never going to get you where you want to be in life. As you mature, you’ll learn that sometimes you need to try, try, and try again. Don’t allow a small mishap to push you off course, simply look for another way through. Persistence is key!

17. Understand that there is a lesson to be learned in everything

Everything in life comes with a lesson. Sometimes that lesson can be hard to find, but it’s there if you look hard enough. When life hands you lemons, rather than wallowing in self-pity, understand that there is something you can learn. By identifying that lesson and taking it on board, you’ll do better next time and avoid the same pitfall that knocked you off course last time. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons to perfect your life]

18. Learn to listen – REALLY listen

In our youth, we’re so caught up in our own bubble of where we’re going and what we’re doing, that it’s easy to be totally self-absorbed. Sometimes, it’s time to stop and really listen to what people are saying to you, and what they’re not saying.

Learning how to be mature isn’t just about hearing words, it’s about using your empathy to put yourself in the shoes of others. Read their body language, look for verbal and non-verbal cues. This will help you to become a more rounded, caring, and mature person. [Read: 10 ways to be a better listener in your relationship]

19. Know that you don’t have to take everything quite so personally

It’s easy to assume that everything is designed to be a slight on you but the truth is that it’s not all about you! When you’re young, you think that the world revolves around your needs. But as you grow and mature, you begin to realize that not everything has to be quite so serious, or taken quite so personally.

20. Learn to see the bigger picture

Alongside understanding that it’s not all about you, learning how to be mature means seeing the bigger picture in everything you say and do. That might sometimes mean putting aside your own wants and needs for the greater good, or knowing that a person’s actions aren’t directed at you. [Read: How to be positive: stop the downturn and find the silver lining]

21. Give yourself a break occasionally!

We’re so hard on ourselves and when we’re young we’re obsessed with getting everything just right. The pressure to fit in and be approved of is overwhelming. But as you mature, you start to learn that none of that is important. Give yourself a break and be fine with messing up occasionally. You don’t have to be perfect – what is perfect anyway?

22. Understand that good deeds don’t require a “thank you”

Doing good things for other people makes you feel good and it helps them out. It’s easy to want a “thank you” in return but as you grow and mature, you’ll learn that it’s not necessary The way you feel inside is enough. Do more good things for other people and see how it builds your confidence quickly. [Read: Do you understand and embody the 15 good qualities of a person?]

23. Learn that material goods don’t bring happiness

The new iPhone? Sure, it’s cool but is it going to make you happy? Maybe for a few days but then it will become old news. Those new shoes? They look great but after you’ve worn them once or twice, you’ll throw them in the back of your closet and probably never wear them again.

The point is that material items don’t give you lasting happiness, they just make your bank balance look less healthy and give you a small spike in feel good factor. Look for fulfilment in relationships, experiences, lessons, and good deeds.

24. Be brave enough to stand up for the underdog

When you’re young, you do everything you can to avoid standing out for the wrong reasons. That might mean watching someone being treated unfairly but being worried that by interjecting, you’ll be subjected to the same treatment. Learning how to be mature means standing up for other people without worrying about what it’s going to do for your reputation. [Read: How to be fearless: 13 ways to set aside fear and live your life]

25. Knowing that sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself!

I mentioned not taking things personally but you know what? Sometimes you have to just stand there and have a good laugh at yourself. We all make mistakes, we all do stupid things, we all wear outfits we wish we hadn’t. Laugh it out. What’s the point in wallowing over it? a person who can laugh at themselves is a mature person indeed.

[Read: How to find your way back when you feel like you don’t know what to do with your life]

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 by maturity. Understanding how to be mature will certainly make “adulting” easier.

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