We don’t think there’s anything you should outgrow if it makes you happy—if you like Rollerblading to Wilson Phillips as a woman in your 30s, for example, get it, girl. That said, there are some insidious habits—which are likely making you miserable—you should absolutely leave behind in your 20s. Here, eight joy busters to ditch ASAP.
8 Behaviors You Should Have Outgrown By Your 30s
Take a long, hard look at all the photos taken of you in your 20s. We bet your initial reaction to at least a few of them is: "I remember hating that photo, but I don't know why—I look so cute and young!" In 10 years, you'll feel that way about the ones you're taking today, so why not just skip the self-loathing and love them right out of the gate?
As Amy Schumer pointed out so brilliantly, women are the worst at accepting praise. While compliments may be awkward to receive, by your 30s it's time to decide you've earned them and respond in a manner simply involving the words "thank you."
If you talked to anyone else the way you talk to yourself, you'd be shunned from society. Practice self-speak that sounds more like something you'd say to a friend, likely more forgiving, more encouraging and, above all, more loving. Leave the mean-girl monologues in your 20s, with bad boyfriends and student-loan debt. (Kidding! You'll have that student-loan debt forever.)
As Mark Twain once said, "Comparison is the death of joy." It's for this reason one of our editors quit social media and was happier thereafter, but you don't have to drop off the grid to stop sabotaging your own happiness. Every time you find yourself thinking about your shortcomings compared with what you see those around you accomplishing, owning or experiencing, take a moment to refocus on yourself and the goals dictated by your own heart. Trust us, this is a guaranteed trick for maintaining your sanity, as the only thing you have control over in life is yourself. If you can look at your own progress and compare it with where you once were (instead of where someone else is), you'll be able to set realistic goals and celebrate small victories rather than constantly depreciating your own status.
Life is short, and as you enter your 30s, it suddenly seems a lot shorter. This means you need to prioritize your time differently, and the best way to do this is to say no when you mean no. If you don't want to go to your friend's child's second-birthday party, don't. If you don't want to go out tonight but you promised someone you would, apologize and ready your Netflix. We're not saying you should be an anti-social flake, but we are saying you're a grown woman who doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to do.
You should absolutely KonMari your friendships once you hit your 30s. No one is going to bring you joy 24/7, but there is absolutely no reason to continue spending your time with someone who consistently crushes your soul. Remember, friendships are a choice.
Or whatever gender the object of your affection happens to be. Your love interest du jour is not busy with work, he's not waiting to text you back because you waited to text him back and he's not "maybe taking it slow because he likes you too much and it scares him." He or she's just (all together now...) not that into you. By now you know the truth, and you don't have time to waste chasing someone who isn't also chasing you. Instead, delete his or her number, pour yourself a mimosa and get ready to blade it out to the gentle reassurance of Wilson Phillips that things will, in fact, go your way if you hold on for one more day.
Guess what you'll learn the older and older you get—there is no magical time at which everything falls into place and you're finally happy. On the contrary, life gets more complicated and chaotic as you get older, and most of its twist and turns are unexpected and out of your control. For this reason, you will save yourself a lot of unnecessary angst by centering yourself in the present moment, where everything just is. Otherwise, you'll stress over milestones missed, failures perceived and loves lost to a degree as-of-yet not experienced as you enter your 30s.