There are several moments in life that can make you realize it's time to truly "adult." Maybe you're handed keys to an apartment, you graduate college, or you're faced with a big life-changing decision. Whatever the case may be, the process of "adulting" happens to all of us eventually.
It can be an intimidating process, entering the big wide world of adulthood. And it definitely comes easier for some than others. Quite a few people put on a pair of slacks (yes, slacks) and waltz off into the world like it's no big deal. Others struggle a bit more and spend years making mistakes and finding their way. (Both paths are perfectly OK, by the way.)
Whether it happens overnight or takes years to cultivate, you'll eventually have an arsenal of grown ass lady skills. And these will be what keep your relationships healthy, your life drama-free, and your goals always in sight.
Talking about what it means to "adult," life coach and author of Conquering Your Quarter Life Crisis Kali Rogers says, " While you may not feel ready to do so ... it is now your job to instill a sense of pride in your life. Otherwise, your self-esteem is going to be compromised. Try your best to assume responsibility for your own happiness, and the rest will fall into place." Read on for some "adulting" skills every grown woman should have.
Conquering Your Quarter Life Crisis, $15, Amazon
1. How To Cut Negative People Out Of Your Life
Throughout life, you'll collect all sorts of interesting people — friends, exes, coworkers, random people from bars. While it can be tempting to hold onto them all, a grown woman knows who isn't worth her time, as well as how to let 'em go. "Learning to have that conversation and identifying the negative influences in your life can be a difficult skill to learn, but one that I truly believe is necessary in growing up," says accredited life coach Michelle Elman, in an email to Bustle.
2. How To Introduce Yourself And Network
If you want to score yourself some great jobs, you're gonna want to know how to network. And that, of course, starts with the ability to say "hi." As personal development expert Jen Oleniczak Brown says, "Every woman should know how to introduce herself and small talk." This'll require building up confidence, having some go-to talking points, and knowing the finer points of the perfect handshake.
3. How To Save Money
Grown ass ladies always have money of their own, as well as a way to save for the future. "Save and invest ... through your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401k account, or with automatic investments from your bank ... into your personal IRA," says Anna colton, a Merrill Edge executive. It may not be as fun as spending it right away, but saving some cash is just about the most "adult" thing you can do.
4. How To Take Care Of Your Skin
A true sign of adulthood? Starting a bonafide skincare regimen. As Rogers tells me, this'll mean washing your face every night (yes, every night) even if it just means wiping away makeup with a disposable cloth. The moment you can remember to do that is the moment you leave your old self behind.
5. How To Take Care Of Your Health
Starting now, make a promise to yourself to maintain your health. "Every woman should know how and when to make dentist and doctor's appointments," Rogers says. Same goes for OBGYN appointments, annual physicals, and therapy sessions (should you need them).
6. How To Properly Express Your Feelings
If something's on your mind, it's important to know how to say it. "This is how intimate relationships begin and this is how we get what we want out of life," Rogers says. "People are not mind readers, and the more we stifle our wants and desires, the more stuck we will feel."
7. How To Keep Your Apartment Clean
Nothing's more "anti-adulting" than a dirty pile of dishes. While it's OK to let your place get messy occasionally, Rogers tells me figuring out a cleaning schedule is a must. Not only will it feel good to come home to a clean house, but it shows you have a certain level of respect for yourself (and your things).
8. How To Quit A Job
If you can't find any redeeming qualities in your current job, then it's perfectly OK to quit. "When women are able to come to this realization it shows maturity and the ability to 'adult' in a way that will bring [them] more happiness in their careers and lives," says career counselor April Klimkiewicz, in an email to Bustle. Line up a new job, confidently inform you boss, and then get the heck out of there.
9. How To Stay True To Yourself
Whether you're on a date or the first day of a new job, you should know how to stay true to yourself. That might mean sharing amazing ideas at work, or being open and honest with a new partner."Being invested in maintaining your own identity in any relationship allows for you to participate at 100 percent rather than as half the relationship," says Randi Leven, of Randi Levin Coaching. So go ahead and bring your whole self to every occasion.
10. How To Keep A Work/Life Balance
A true adult works hard, but also makes time for friends — as well as plenty of downtime. This is what's known as the work/life balance, and it's an incredible achievement to unlock. "To me, 'adulting' is all about taking ownership over our own lives and our own experiences," lifestyle coach Beth Clayton says. In other words, if you need a day off, say so.
11. How To Truly Listen
Letting someone talk is one thing, but truly listening is something else entirely. "Being an adult means paying attention to what’s going on, supporting others, and letting go of the spotlight," life coach Katie Kozlowski tells Bustle. "The more you can hear others, the stronger your 'adulting' will be."
12. How To Say "No"
The ability to say "no" is a near-magical skill that can keep your schedule clear and your life manageable. As licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Helen Odessky tells me, it also helps you set up healthy boundaries. "This includes being firm with your non-negotiables and knowing when to walk away from a bad situation." Easier said than done, of course, but still a skill worth working on.
13. How To Be Alone With Your Thoughts
If spending an evening alone sounds like a nightmare, then it may be time to learn how to spend time by yourself. "Becoming a mature adult means understanding how to be alone with ourselves in a way that [feels] comfortable," says certified life coach Leighann Marquiss. "Learning to lean in when our emotions are amuck can help healing and maturity come much faster. "
As can saving money, learning to say "no," and practicing the art of listening. Master these skills and you'll be well on your way to being a bonafide adult.
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