Growing up is kind of weird, right? On the one hand, it's a somewhat passive process that you hardly even notice is happening. On the other hand, it's an active process that's uncomfortable, melancholic, and euphoric all at once. When you're a kid, you spend time wishing you'd just grow up already, but, once you start to feel like you've finally have, it doesn't always live up to the hype. Plus there's something about being an adult that always also kind of makes you feel like you aren't one yet. Luckily, there are some weird, subtle signs you're now a grown-ass woman. Bravo!
Before you become a capable, confident, take charge woman you are now, life tends to look a lot different. Oftentimes, you're far more dependent on other people in your life, sometimes way more than you wished you were. The first time I felt like I was a grown-up was, of course, before I really was. When I went away to college, I felt like "wow, yes, this was it, now, now I'm an adult." These days, high-tailing it into my late 20s, I'm less sure that there's even a final finish-line when you're an adult, but I've realized that there are some subtle signs along the way that you're on your way, if you only know where to look for them.
1. You Acknowledge Your Biases
According to a piece psychotherapist Megan Bruneau wrote for Mind Body Green, noticing and acknowledging your own biases is a sign a maturity. It's impossible for anyone to be truly unbiased because every experience you've had up to this point has affected your outlook on the world. Rather than pretending that you don't have internal biases, you acknowledge them and work to address any resulting discrimination or misplaced stereotyping.
2. You Ask For Advice
At some point, you probably thought you knew everything and quicly realized you didn't. In a guest post for Psychology Today, Tim Elmore, the founder and president of Growing Leaders, wrote that mature adults know that they shuld ask for advice when they need it. It's perfectly OK to be unsure sometimes, that's why you have so many people in your life who can give you sage and thoughtful advice. You can't always do it all alone.
3. You Take Responsibility
In a guest post for HuffPost, author Donna Labermeier wrote that taking responsibility for your own life, your own happiness, your mistakes, your own health, and your own future is a sure-fire sign that you've matured. Although owning your life can sometimes be difficult or even downright overwhelming, it's just what adults know they have to do.
4. You're Genuinely Happy For Others
Your best friend gets a great new job, your brother buys a house, your cousin announces she's pregnant, all of these things can lead to a mix of emotions, but mature, adult, grown-ass women are genuinely happy and supportive of those in their lives who are doing well, according to Labermeier. No sour grapes here.
5. You Meet Your Commitments
Sometimes adults have to do things they don't really want to do, whether it's because they just have to be done or because they committed to doing them. According to Elmore, upholding long-term commitments is a sign of maturity. Grown-ass women do what they say they're going to.
6. You Go To Bed At A Decent Hour
Rest is important for so many things and when you're younger you often don't fully understand that. As you get older, however, you recognize the importance of taking care of yourself, which includes being compassionate, taking time for yourself, eating well, hitting the gym from time to time, and yes, getting a good night's sleep.
7. You Ask For Practical Gifts
There's nothing that quite makes you feel like a grown-ass woman like asking for something as mundane as appliances, home furnishings, or other practical gifts for special occasions. So you need a new three hole punch, you don't need to get it for your birthday.
8. You Stand Up For Yourself
According to Bolde, grown-ass women stand up themselves (and those around them too.) You don't let people walk all over you just because they're more confident or somehow intimidating.
9. You're Grateful
Gratitude is, in many cases, acquired. In a post on his personal blog, psychologist Dr. Gerald Stein wrote that recognizing and appreciating all the good in your life is a sign of maturity. Additionally, expressing gratitude can, sometimes, be difficult, but doing so is mature, important, and appreciated.
10. You Don't Understand The Latest Teen Reference
You don't truly feel like you're getting "old" until the teens in your life say something that you don't understand at all. Searching baffling teen references on the internet becomes a necessity and you finally understand what your parents were talking about when they told you one day you wouldn't get it either.
11. You Think For Yourself
According to the aforementioned piece from Bolde, thinking for yourself and forming your own opinions, rather than simply regurgitating back what your parents, partner, friends, or someone else believes is definitely a sign that you're a grown-ass woman. You're smart and thoughtful, you don't need anyone else to tell you how to think or what to believe.
12. You Comparison Shop
A million internet tabs all open to the same product so that you can compare prices and make sure you're getting the best deal is definitely something you do as an adult and not as a teen. Responsible? Absolutely.
13. You Know When To Compromise — And When Not To
Sometimes, compromise is essential, but other times you really should stand your ground. Grown-ass women know when to fight for what they believe in, when to concede, and when to meet in the middle.