Are you 18 and older, but feel like a child? Do you have a hard time acting like an adult towards others, even though legally you are one? Being an adult can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you aren’t sure what being an adult is all about. Making adjustments to your lifestyle and your general attitude towards others can bring you one step closer to acting like an adult.
Part 1 of 2:Adjusting Your Lifestyle
1. Dress like an adult
Dress like an adult. Act the part by investing in clothing that makes you feel like a grown-up. Trade in your band shirts for collared button-downs, go for a nice blazer instead of a denim jacket and invest in a nice pair of shoes.
Go shopping with an adult and ask for their opinion on your selections. Look for clothing that is high quality and well made. Fast fashion or trendy styles may look good at the moment, but it’s a smarter move to invest in pieces that will last you longer than a few weeks.
Put some effort into your appearance by doing your hair, making sure your clothes are clean, and putting cologne or perfume on.
2. Keep your living area clean and tidy
Keep your living area clean and tidy. Messy living spaces can make you feel like you are living in a college dorm room, or a kid’s room. Clean up the sink full of dirty dishes or the piles of laundry lying around your room or apartment. Reduce clutter by re-organizing your space to be more functional. Focus on presenting a clean, organized living space.
Look at How to Organize Your Bedroom and How to Deep Clean a House for tips and tricks for keeping your space clean.
3. Find a mentor
Find a mentor. A mentor is someone who gives help and advice to a less experienced person. A good mentor will help you build your self-confidence and self-worth. They will teach you new skills or help you improve the skills you already have, and act as a role model or someone you can look up to.
Reach out to your guidance counselor at school, or to your community leaders. You can also look for a mentor in a family member or a close family friend.
Look at programs like the Boys and Girls Club, which connects young people to role models and mentors in their community.
4. Learn a new skill
Learn a new skill. This could be cooking, driving, or even crocheting. Focus on building your self-confidence by learning more about a skill or activity that interests you.
Obtaining your driver’s license is a big step to becoming more responsible and independent. You no longer have to depend on someone else, such as your parents, to drive you around or adhere to someone else’s schedule when you need to get to a date or an important meeting.
Even if you decide not to get a car, having your license means you always have the option of renting a car for a trip or driving someone else’s car as their designated driver after a night out.
Getting better at cooking is a great way to gain more independence and become more confident as a person.
Start small and tackle small dishes like a sandwich for lunch or stir fry for dinner. Look online at simple recipes that take under 30 minutes to prepare. Offer to cook for your parents one night, or for a friend to show off your new skills. The more you practice cooking, the more confident you will become in the kitchen.
5. Take control of your finances
Take control of your finances. This is a big one, but most adults have their finances under control and in order.
Set up a meeting with a financial advisor to discuss smart ways to invest your money. Create a budget, broken down by month. Focus on putting as much money as possible into your savings account. This money could go to other very adult things like a car, a home, or a big trip.
Avoid splurging on clothing or other unnecessary items. This will show the adults in your life that you are serious about being responsible for how and when you spend your money.
Taking control of your finances will also benefit you as a person and give you more self-confidence in the company of other adults.
Part 2 of 2:Adjusting Your Attitude and Demeanor
1. Use your manners
Use your manners. Say please and thank you, say excuse me in a crowded room and bless you when someone sneezes. Send thank you cards, call your mother back and chew with your mouth shut. Displaying good manners shows respect towards others, which will then make others respect you as an adult.
2. Take responsibility for your actions
Take responsibility for your actions. If you get into an argument with someone, take responsibility for your part in the confrontation and apologize to that person. If you accidentally ding your parents’ car on a night out, take responsibility for that action and tell them what happened. Owning up to your mistakes is a big part of being an adult, even if it means facing the consequences.
3. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback, as long as it is constructive
Don’t be afraid of negative feedback, as long as it is constructive. A big part of being an adult is being willing to work on improving yourself, every day. Feedback from a teacher, a manager, or a peer can help you develop into a better adult, as long as it is constructive and not hurtful or insulting. Many adults face criticism in their work and at home. Handling the criticism with grace and openness shows you are a mature, confident person.
If you do receive negative feedback, focus on how you can improve your work based on that feedback. Don’t overanalyze the negative comments or whine about the negative outcome. Instead, look at how you can use the feedback in a positive way to get better at your job or at your studies.
4. Be confident, but not arrogant
Be confident, but not arrogant. Approach situations with confidence and purpose, especially if it has to do with your schooling or your job. But avoid acting stuck up or arrogant towards others. This will only alienate you from other people and lead to confrontation.
Being confident, rather than arrogant, will also allow you to consider other peoples’ points of view and show that you can act as a good leader and role model for others.