4 Things I’ve Learned as I Get Older

We learn a lot as we get older or HOPEFULLY we learn a lot. I’ve discovered four key changes in me as I age and it has really helped me shape a different perspective of the world.

Speak Less

The less you speak, the better. Some people love to hear themselves talk regardless of if they’re right or wrong. I often wonder if people truly listen to themselves when they speak or if they thought of what to say prior. We live in a society where everyone has an opinion. It’s great to have an opinion, but you need to recognize when your opinion isn’t needed. When you speak less, this give you time to absorb what the situation is and the ability to formulate a response that’s warranted in speaking or keeping to yourself.

I was never a big speaker nor was I quiet, but I’ve learned to only offer my opinion when asked or if what I have to say is valuable to the situation. It’s OK to not speak on every issue.

Listen

So many people don’t listen. Someone can tell you their feelings, opinion, experience, and so much more but it gets overwritten by one not stopping to listen. When someone is speaking, your brain is automatically churning for an agreeing or defensive response. Are you listening to simply get offended? If so, that isn’t listening. That’s waiting to get triggered. Is a response needed or is listening simply enough?

Most of the time, listening is the answer. Your friends or family may need to vent frustration, but they don’t request your opinion. An ear is all the need. If you listen to people talk about their frustrations, you’ll hear they’ve already provided a solution to their problem. It’s OK to let people talk. Absorb what they’re saying. You can learn a lot about someone by listening. People tend to reveal more about themselves or a situation if they aren’t interrupted or triggered to change course.

React Less

People are so quick to react, but sometimes regret their reaction almost immediately. Jumping to conclusions and spontaneously reacting can result in additional irritation. Reacting to everything that happens in the world has resulted in several people getting triggered over the most minute thing. Things that shouldn’t take up space in one’s mind is causing an uproar and going viral because people are reacting instead of analyzing whether or not reacting is worth their time.

I don’t react to things as much as I used to. It’s not that I don’t care, I don’t think the things people react to are worth my energy. Why let something petty live rent free in my mind? I also wait for the full story. I used to react based on surface level information, but felt stupid once the facts were discovered. I wonder how many events in society people have reacted to are now frowned upon or causes confusion in retrospect.

Observe

Do you ever observe? Either looking out of your home window or sitting at a restaurant or coffee shop to watch people. Not stalker like, but to absorb the habits of people. Observing people can easily be connected to speaking less and listening. Many people talk, but do they walk the talk? You learn a lot by observing habits as they tend to not lie. We are creatures of habit, so why is this not one of the most important thing to do when getting to know someone?

I watch people more as I’ve gotten older. It’s all about what you do in my presence that will attract me to you as a friend, lover, acquaintance, or general interest. Observation is a quick way of letting me know whether or not a person is worth my energy. In the past, words have excited me, but quickly learned they mean nothing when the person doesn’t physically back that up. I guarantee observing the behaviors of people will delight and tickle you and show you the dark side of humanity.

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