1. Drawing boundaries without guilt
You finally are starting to say “no” to what you don’t want to do—which shows true growth. Like when you say “no” to that happy hour after work, or that late-night party, or even that friendship that drains your cup instead of filling it. You’re now at the point in your life when you realize that there are so many hours in the day and you’re going to fill the time outside of actual obligations (like your job) with people and things that make life sweeter, not sour. You’re comfortable with saying “no”—not to be mean, but to be the best person you can be for your family, friends, and coworkers.
2. Comment resisting
Resisting the urge to comment on someone’s social media post with words of hate shows an incredible amount of growth. You don’t have to respond to that high school classmate’s ridiculous, misguided Facebook post. You haven’t spoken to them in 10 years, and you didn’t even LIKE them in high school—why spend the energy on a rational conversation via a comment thread? It’s just silly.
3. Becoming a silent (or not so silent) cheerleader
Cheering on friends and loved ones and even strangers when they get what they want is a sign of maturity. Are you the person who now encourages people up whenever you get the chance? Do you celebrate the accomplishments of others without missing a beat? Do you delight in seeing the ones you love succeed, regardless of what happens to be going on in your personal life? The world needs more people like you.
4. You ignore Instagram ads
It’s easy to think that a perfect sweater or shoe or household item or vacation at a particular hotel will make your life better. There’s a reason why there’s an entire industry of influencers. But you now know that something you can order to your doorstep will not feed your spirit, and purchasing things you don’t need is terrible for your bank account. And so, you unsubscribe and unfollow accordingly and decide what you want to buy because you want it, not because you’re trying to step inside someone else’s shoes and emulate their life.
5. Being the first one to say “I’m sorry”
Apologizing isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s not a character flaw, either. When you hurt the ones you love, you should apologize. When you’re mean to the people you care about, you should apologize. Even if that wasn’t your intention—the ones you care about are hurting, and it’s because you lashed out. So, be the grownup and say, “I’m sorry.”
6. You realize tough conversations are part of life
There comes a time when you will realize that not everyone gets along 24/7, and sometimes a difficult conversation is needed. But those challenging moments aren’t always the end of something, but rather a beginning of something better, something rooted in honesty and vulnerability and truth.
7. You stop apologizing for taking up space
You were once someone who apologized to everything and everyone. You apologized when someone was beeping at you at an intersection. You apologized to the stranger who bumped into you at the grocery store. You apologized for telling others what you needed when they asked. Apologies are like second nature to you—and now, you are no longer letting “I’m sorry” slip through your lips as easily as air. Now, when you apologize, it’s for a reason.