15 Pieces Of Tough Love Every Early 20-Something Needs To Hear Right Now

Vince Perraud

1. You do not know everything. It’s easy after things like your 21st birthday, college, your first job, or any of those milestones to feel like you’ve got this whole “adult” thing in the bag. That you’ve got things figured out and you can completely predict how things are supposed to go. But you are going to fall on your ass and make so many mistakes. If there’s ever a year where you don’t look back and think, “Wow I’ve changed so much,” you are being too still and stagnant and doing yourself a disservice.

2. You’re going to hurt people along the way. You are not perfect, you are not a saint, and you are never completely blameless. You’re going to hurt people. You’re going to be the reason why someone feels broken. And that’s something you’re going to have to figure out how to deal with both with yourself, and with the person who you hurt.

3. And some of those people who’ve hurt you? They’re not actually the villain. Even when you’re reeling and pointing the finger feels just so…right. Sometimes when you’re hurt it’s not actually anyone’s fault. It’s simply a reaction. And blaming people for your reaction while human, isn’t very mature.

4. If something seems like it might’ve been your fault, it probably was. Deep down when we’re in the wrong, we always have a hunch. When we’re the person who’s made a mistake, even if it’s in the back of your mind, that awareness is there. And it’s something you need to acknowledge, reflect on, and figure out how to either make it right or learn from said mistake so it doesn’t happen again.

5. Another person doesn’t have to be the love of your life. You’ve probably been basically brainwashed to believe in soulmates, happily ever afters, and the belief that the thing that “completes” you is another person. But that doesn’t have to be the case. The love of your life might be a career or a hobby or something else entirely. Stop believing that it has to be a relationship, because it doesn’t.

6. Burning bridges will not actually light your way But it will give you a reputation. And only people like Taylor Swift will realistically profit off of behavior like that.

7. Constantly complaining about people who are over you is kind of a bad look. It means you hold onto things that aren’t there. That you refuse to move on. That “acceptance” isn’t a word you’ve implemented into your life. And it means you’re more interested in replaying the past than you are in moving forward.

8. Everyone talks about everyone, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just because someone’s talked about you when you weren’t there doesn’t mean that there’s any animosity to it. You’ve gossiped, they’ve gossiped, it doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world.

9. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is absolutely nothing at all. You might have practiced a Shone Rhimes-worthy speech in the shower that you’re just aching to say to someone. It feels like lecturing them or delivering a killer one-liner will lift that weight that’s on your shoulders. I get it. But sometimes there’s more power in saying nothing. Because even if it’s not true, it gives the impression that you have nothing to say. And that can send more of a message than a big speech ever will.

10. Not everyone is going to like you and you need to get over it. Sometimes there’s a reason, sometimes there isn’t. There are over 7 billion people on the planet so some of them aren’t going to like what you’re all about. You need to get over that and not pay attention to people who don’t want to give theirs to you.

11. Nobody wants to listen to someone who is insisting on yelling at them. It can be absolutely infuriating when you’re in the middle of a discussion with someone and they feel like a brick wall. It can be so enraging when someone is wrong and you know they are wrong and they only person who doesn’t realize how wrong they are is the person who is wrong. But even when they’re completely off, even when you know you’re right, yelling or screaming (or giving them that impression from your tone) at someone will almost never get them to listen to you. Listening comes from patience, and giving it will help you to get the reaction you actually want.

12. No one “owes” you anything, including their time. Yes, it’s going to be jarring when you realize that they’re not going to give you time or attention. But you aren’t entitled to it as frustrating as that is to understand. You don’t deserve anything from anyone.

13. If you’re lying about your habits, they’re probably bad ones. If you find yourself playing things off or trying to minimize your own behavior to people, it’s probably a sign that you’re not exactly proud of that behavior. If you can’t fully own what you do, maybe you need to take a look inwardly and figure out why you’re so embarrassed of yourself.

14. Things end. Everything has an ending. You just have to figure out how to deal with them and be okay.

15. In order to really “be okay” you have to want to be. If you are circling around wondering why your life is in shambles or things always seem like they’re falling apart, it’s probably because you’re not actually putting forth the effort to really, truly put yourself and the pieces of your life together. If you’re not actively trying to make things (and yourself) better, you’re probably never going to be. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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