The 15 Most Self-Sabotaging Things People Do In Their 20s

1. Keep themselves on pause– sustain the belief that their 20s are a period of development making way for something more significant. Because our 20s are characterized as time for self-discovery, something many people like to avoid, they’re often regarded as times of temporary instability when really, that idea is just another way to avoid having to accept reality in the here and now.

2. Stay safely inside a lie rather than be vulnerable but honest and authentic.

3. Deny themselves relationships because they deem something more important than love or stay in relationships that are futile, knowingly temporary or that they settled for.

4. Deny themselves the help they need because they fear therapy has a stigma or they’re hard-headed enough to think that they can work everything out on their own or continually adhere to whatever hardened beliefs they have while becoming strikingly aware that there is something silently puppeteering them through their everyday life, something that they are petrified to be honest with themselves about.

5. Adhere to any conventional beliefs, lifestyles or mindsets just because they are afraid of backlash from people who disagree.

6. Insult other people not because they actually dislike them but because something about them has threatened or sullied the sweet narrative they have sustained in order to convince themselves that they are worthy and validated people.

7. Maintain a two dimensional understanding of anything, but worse than that, enforce those ideas upon people and decidedly classify them as inferior and subpar if they don’t subscribe to those ideas of which they really just designed to make themselves fit within their mind’s new, personalized confines of “worthy and acceptable.”

8. Believe that they are trapped by circumstance. There is always a way. It’s not always clear and it’s usually not easy, but it’s always there. It just depends how much you are willing to sacrifice for it.

9. Fear the unknown more than they embrace the possibilities within it.

10. Keep friendships and plans that they want to get out of more than not.

11. Decide to get in an argument with someone, typically revolving around religion or politics, when they know that no agreement will be had, no resolution decided upon and no mutuality to be common ground. Arguments that turn into two strong willed people trying to strong arm the other into understanding them as though it’s their vocation to do so.

12. Believe that because someone doesn’t show love the way that they do, that it simply isn’t there.

13. Assume that they will ever truly know and understand someone’s motives or intentions completely. People are layers and layers within those layers of layers. Even when it seems clear why someone is or isn’t doing something, or is or isn’t a certain way, you will never know with complete understanding and certainty, and believing you will only leads to a very naive and one dimensional view of someone. If you ask me, it takes the magic out of what makes people so interesting. You just never know what’s at the next level of them.

14. Believe that apologizing and admitting they are wrong is weakness when in reality, it’s a sign of objectivity, maturity and caring enough about someone or something that they are able to put their ego aside: a feat that is nearly impossible for most.

15. Remain bitter about those who have hurt them in the past. In retrospect, we’ll often find that those people are catalysts of our becoming, a phrase I use often because I believe in it very much. There’s an uncanny way that coincidence seems to string together a serendipitous path for our lives when we look at the things that we’ve had to put behind us. Often roadblocks are direction signs, but we just can’t see that at the time. TC Mark

image – Luis Hernandez

Brianna Wiest

My new book on self-sabotage is out now.

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