How to Trick People into Thinking You're Mature

This is yet another post in the continuing, ongoing, never-ending "Unsolicited Advice" series. This week, I teach you how to trick people into thinking you're mature. 

  1. Keep your mouth shut. This is especially true if you aren't able to lead with either facts, humor, or compassion. If you see a political or religious post you strongly don't agree with online, decide if that's the hill you want to die on. If you overheard people talking about it in a coffee shop, would you butt in? If not, let it go (by the way, this is not my strong
  2. Have an actual budget. By actual budget, I mean have a document or piece of paper with the following bits of information: what you spend money on in a month, how much you'd like to spend, and how much you spent. Simply having a budget has more or less kept me in line, money-wise, and the life-reforms came after I could see what I spent objectively. 
  3. Speak third. You can usually get a decent handle on the mood and opinions in a room if you are the third person to speak, but you don't lose the bonus points of being a leader. Even if you disagree with the other people speaking, waiting until you've heard a couple of opinions will give you a good reading on whether the topic is debatable, emotional, or something you should keep the heck out of (see no. 1). 
  4. Have a working knowledge of grammar. Nothing kills a good point faster than bad presentation. 
  5. Show up and do the thing. It's Friday at 8pm. I'm blogging. I came up with the idea for this post as I logged into the website. College, jobs, friendships, relationships, and literally everything else is easier when you have a reputation for being there and getting your stuff done on time and with a decent attitude. 
  6. Know when to phone-a-friend. Seriously, if you don't know the answer, figure out two or three people who might and start digging. 
  7. Answer requests you can complete later in the positive. There is a world of difference between, "I can't look that up for you now, but I can on my break," and "I'll do that as soon as my break starts." Obviously, don't agree to things you can't do, but knowing when to save your "No" Cards will save you aggravation. 
  8. Jobs that were not listed in Kindergarten exist. You are not destined for a life of unfulfilling work just because you don't want to be a doctor, teacher, firefighter, etc. Chances are, your five-year-old self could not imagine some of the possibilities out there. Chase that dream down.
  9. Stop for gasoline. This is not just metaphorical. I mean it literally: don't run out of gas. Don't be in such a hurry that your car stalls in traffic. Don't let your body/soul/mind run out of gas. My family once had a car that we didn't know the tank capacity for, and it took a few weeks to figure out just how much gas we needed to put in it, and how often. Figure out your personal fuel tank. 
  10. Decide on reasonable treats and treat yourself. For a long time, I got frappechinos after major tests. It worked. 
  11. Don't forget how to be a kid. CS Lewis wrote that the most childish adults are the ones who act grown-up. Watch the clouds. Marvel at butterflies. Cry when Mufasa dies. Live and love and be happy as best you can on this crazy, wild ride. 

What would you add to this list? Leave a comment below.