As you get older and head towards your mid-30s, you should make it a priority to learn as much about yourself as possible. Where would you most like to live? What job would be the perfect fit? These things will obviously help steer you in the right direction in terms of cities to live in and careers to pursue. But what you'll really want to figure out is your own personality.
That will be with you wherever you go, so the more you can learn about what makes you tick, the better. "How you interact with yourself and others determines a lot about what happens in your life, including how you're viewed in your career and the salary you're able to command, how [partners] will interact with you, and how easily you can get the things you want out of life," author and life coach Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle.
So, how can you get to know yourself better? "Ask yourself difficult questions about who you are and where you came from," Myra says. "Are your beliefs of your own choosing, or were they taught to you and you just blindly accepted them? Becoming more conscious of what led you to being who you are is a powerful key to knowing yourself, and changing things you'd like to improve." With that in mind, read on for some things everyone should know by 35, so you can start to steer yourself in that direction.
1. Which Situations Stress You Out The Most
The sooner you can figure out what causes you stress, the better. "Knowing what stresses you out and what doesn't, coupled with which environments or situations easily bring out that stressful vibe, is absolutely essential to being successful in relationships and in work," says author and life coach Kali Rogers. And it can save your health, too. "Chronic stress causes health problems galore and it can easily be avoided if you simply get to know yourself better."
2. What Makes You Angry
In the same vein, it's also a good idea to figure out what truly pisses you off — all in the name of handling conflict in a healthier way. "Not knowing your triggers can lead to emotional outbursts, miscommunication, and lots of bickering," Rogers says. "Be sure to get in touch with those as you can avoid messy relationships!"
3. Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type
In terms of your actual personality type, it doesn't get much more spot on than the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. "[It] is not the end-all-be-all for knowing yourself, but it sure is an amazing blueprint for understanding the basics of your personality," Rogers says. "It can help you figure out better career choices, relationship dynamics, family interactions, and why some friendships just seem to gel while others don't."
4. What Makes You Feel Amazing
Knowing what stresses you out and what makes you angry is important, but it's equally valuable to know what makes you feel great, too. As Myra asks, "What makes you happy? What are the key things that ... make you feel like Queen of the world? By becoming aware of your triggers, you can use them to your advantage, and not get blind-sided by the ones that cause adverse reactions in you."
5. How You Like To Be Loved
By the time you're 35, you'll definitely want to be in tune with how you like to give and receive love. "We all relate to love differently and we all desire different things out of a relationship," Myra says. "Once you know what yours are, and can recognize we are all different and need different things, you can work towards building a constructive and harmonious relationship." Either with yourself, or with a partner.
6. Whether You're An Introvert Or An Extrovert
The moment you figure out whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, it's like the world — and how you interact with it — starts to make more sense. As Myra says, "In today's always on-the-go society, it's important to know where you draw your strength from, so you can be more productive, and effective, with everything." Do you need to recharge all by your lonesome? Or do you feel energized when around friends? Knowing can make all the difference.
7. How You Best Handle Conflict
Conflict will come up in life, whether you're at work, with your partner, or with friends and family. So figuring out how to deal with it is a must. "Knowing how you handle conflict can make or break your relationships, career and family relationships," Myra says. "Do you cower away, or do you stand up and fight? Do you defer your thoughts as unimportant, or do you push through and bulldoze everyone else's opinions?" Figuring it out will save you all sorts of problems.
8. All Your Natural Strengths And Weakness
When it comes to figuring out where you belong in the world, it can help to know your strengths and weaknesses. "By the time you are 35 you should have a good ... understanding of what comes easy to you, what is difficult, what are you drawn to, and what you shy away from," says clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow, host of The Web Radio Show. "These and more are your foundation. They dictate what will come easy, what you will have to work hard for, what you will be drawn to, and what you shy away from."
9. Whether Or Not You're A Risk Taker
As Klapow tells me, knowing whether or not your a risk taker can help, too. Do you get in there and get what's yours, or do you tend to shy away? Figuring this out can help explain so much regarding how you interact with the world.
10. The Situations And Places You're Most Drawn To
By age 35, Klapow tells me you should be able to answer questions like "I am drawn to situations and people where there is XYZ" or "I shy away from situations and people that present XYZ." If you don't like stressful situations, for example, then you may want to avoid all those friends you find overly dramatic. Things like that.
11. How You Can Best Take Care Of Yourself
Do you know what makes you feel your best, and what you need to do to recharge? Figuring that out ASAP is so important, because it means dealing with the aforementioned stress and conflict in the healthiest way possible. And, if you know how to say "no" and practice a little self-care, then you can truly consider yourself an adult.
So start working on this now, so you can be well-acquainted with yourself by the time you're 35. And if you already are, remember it's never too late to start.
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