Getting older does not mean you are maturing. Some 101-year-olds still can't accept constructive criticism. So how do you tell that you're becoming wiser, more disciplined, and hitting the other maturity milestones?
Look out for these 12 signs that you're becoming the grown up you always hoped to become (or dreaded becoming, depending on your perspective).
1. Sleeping Well
Going to bed on time is the surest test of discipline. Furthermore, going to bed on time indicates that you prioritize your long-term health, professional and personal priorities, and general well-being. That's mature.
2. Accepting Other People's Ideas
Mature individuals accept that their knowledge base and the solutions that arise from it are not always superior. Many great ideas occupy the universe, and you hold but a fraction of them in your mind.
3. Cleaning Your Room
A cluttered home is a cluttered mind. That bowl of three-day-old spaghetti in the sink, in other words, is a blatant sign that you don't have it together quite yet.
4. Reacting Logically, Not Emotionally
Acknowledging that emotions are wholly separate from logic, and taking a step back to think before reacting to any given stimuli, is a surefire sign of maturation. Emotional responses are child's play, whether rage, overexcitement, or otherwise.
5. Separating Haters From Helpers
It's not mature to write off all criticism as “hate.” That's a cop-out for bad behavior. However, being able to separate constructive criticism from negativity for negativity's sake is a sign of maturity. Tune out the hate, embrace the helpful critiques, and continue on the road to your fully matured form.
6. Respecting Those With Nothing To Offer You
Respecting your boss is selfish. You need that job. Respecting the delivery driver, busboy, or homeless person who has seemingly nothing to offer you and no recourse if you were to give them a hard time? That's selfless, and it's a sign of maturity.
7. Asking Others About Themselves
One parent notes that hearing their teenager ask, “How was your day?” for the first time was like being toppled by a feather stroke. Asking others about their day, emotional state, or life is a sign that you're growing as a person.
8. Putting What You Need Over What You Want
You need to pay off that debt. Or do you want that expensive handbag or a new PlayStation? Lord, grant me the maturity to know the difference.
9. Understanding That Everything Isn't About You
Your superior isn't taking four hours to respond to an email because they're mad at you. They're dealing with a professional or personal crisis and will respond as quickly as possible.
Realizing that events unfold outside the scope of your little world comes with maturation—or in some cases, never at all.
10. Tipping Well
A mature person realizes they're going to blow the extra five bucks one way or another, so it's better to build up credit in the karma bank and tip the waiter the extra Lincoln.
11. Taking a Couple of Saturday Nights off a Month
Whether the rest comes in the name of your physical health, bank account, family cohesion, or other motivation, taking a couple of Saturday nights off a month can be the mature decision. You don't have to hit the bar, restaurant, or club every weekend. Weekly partying is a young (and immature) person's game.
12. Spending Less Time on Social Media
And yet, you're sitting there reading the very last line of this article. We thank you.