9 Tips For 20-Somethings To Make Themselves Pleasant To Be Around

  1. Don’t be judgmental. I cannot stress this enough; it is so important to be accepting of what other people think, do, say, feel, etc. You can always learn something from other people; especially ones that are not exactly like you. Nobody in this world thinks EXACTLY like you do, and wasting your time trying to find that is exactly that: a waste of time. Even friends that you have known for a long time might start to find new interests, and supporting them, rather than criticizing, can make all the difference in a functional friendship. People live different lives than you, people like different things than you; just because someone is different does not mean they are inferior.
  2. Step outside your comfort zone. I’m not suggesting moving across the globe, alone, as some desperate attempt to “find yourself”. No, what I mean by this is doing things that you normally wouldn’t do. If a friend invites you to a different part of town than you normally frequent, do yourself a favor and accept their request. Going to different genres of concerts, eating new foods, reading new books, or seeing a movie you thought looked weird could all be fun, simple ways to broaden your spectrum. You might end up really enjoying things that you have never experienced. Life is short, and there’s no reason to stave off harmless opportunities simply because they make you slightly uncomfortable.
  3. Don’t interrupt people while they’re talking. This seems too obvious to be on the list, but there are deplorable amounts of people who simply cannot allow others to finish a sentence. Cutting someone off in the middle of their thought is one of the rudest, most exasperating things you can do during conversation, and it is also a sure-fire way to get yourself un-invited to social gatherings. A conversation should be equal parts listening and speaking.
  4. Talk about things other than yourself. Again, this seems too obvious to be on the list, but I’m sure we’ve all experienced way too many individuals who think they are the most interesting topic of conversation. No, GO AHEAD, I’d love to ignore the earth-shattering event that just occurred, and talk about your day at work, hour by hour. Be open to talking about things besides you, or your family, or your work, or your pets, or your boyfriend. If someone wants to know something about you, they will ask. If the subject you are talking about has nothing to do with you, keep yourself out of it, because frankly, nobody cares.
  5. Be flexible. No, not physically flexible (even though flexibility might help in some of your endeavors), but flexible with planning, events, etc. You don’t always have to choose the location, restaurant, movie or anything, really. This ties in with number two, but mores specifically refers to plans falling through. Some people might not be as prepared or unprepared as you, and having a good attitude about unexpected changes can be an admirable personality trait.
  6. Be able to hang out with just your friends. It’s hard not to get frustrated with friends when you want to just hang out, and all they want to do is search for tonight’s fling at the bar. It’s okay to just have a few drinks and converse with friends without trying to be picked up by a guy, or without trying to big up chicks. It’s a total dick move when you can’t have a relaxed, friend-night-out every once in a while. Do not be the person constantly searching for hot guys or girls while you’re missing quality time with the people who actually care for you. Sure, it’s fun to go out on the prowl, but having nights when you actually have meaningful conversations other than “cute guy at 12 o’clock” are beneficial to any meaningful friendship.
  7. Don’t be a cock block. This is for the nights when you are definitely scoping for hotties. This one shouldn’t need much of an explanation, but for those of you who don’t know how to properly avoid being a cock block, I’ll spell it out. If your friend is talking to a decent member of the opposite sex, and seems to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, and hasn’t stated that you are NOT to let them go home with anyone, LEAVE THEM ALONE. If you are truly worried that your friend doesn’t have the capacity to find his/her way home, then you should immediately re-evaluate that person’s intelligence, and probably your entire friendship, as well. Do not force your friend to come home simply because you do not want to be alone, or because you think “they’ll regret it” because we are all old enough to make those decisions on our own, and the only thing they will regret is being drug away from that dime-piece and forced to go home with you.
  8. Don’t believe things simply because your parents do/did. Research and experience politics, beliefs, and ideas. You might end up having the exact same opinions as your parents, but coming to that decision without having any thought of your own can be dangerous. Whether you or your parents are extremely conservative or liberal, it’s important to know WHY you believe what you believe. It’s nice to be able to give an educated or researched answer when people ask you why you feel the way you do about certain things. If the only answer you have prepared is “because that’s how my parents did things” you look like an idiot.
  9. If you are in a relationship, do not force people to question the state of your alive-ness. We all know people like this; people we used to be totally close to, until they got into a very exclusive relationship, and now are spoken about as if they died. Never, ever become this person. Just because you are in the happiest, most loving relationship of your life does not mean abandoning every aspect of your prior life, and forgetting the people who loved you long before your significant other did. Bonus: if you break up, you will actually have friends to console you. Whereas, if you fall off the face of the earth, it’s really awkward attempting to intertwine yourself back into your friend-group. Planning a friend night, or even co-ed gatherings with your friends and your partner’s friends are really simple and require little to no effort. Going out with your friends in no way means you’re going to cheat, and being able to leave the confines of your lover’s warm embrace really shows the maturity of your relationship. Don’t ditch your friends for someone, and don’t expect your partner to do this either. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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