If You Want To Mature Into A Real Adult, Say Goodbye To These 12 'Childish' Behaviors

These behaviors are halting your progress as a human being.

Last updated on Jul 09, 2024

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When you've reached a certain age, it's safe to say you're an adult. But have you lived like an actual grown-up? Probably not. No one these days does.

There are a few bad habits that may be holding you back from reaching full maturity, but once you stop doing them, you'll find that you're truly mature. You've out-grown them, after all.

Here are 12 childish behaviors to quit if you want to mature into a real adult

1. Being selfish in your friendships

friends fighting Liza Summer / Pexels

If you have a friend who is willing to drop everything and come to you when you need them, be a friend for that person, too. If you don't want that support, ask them to not be that person for you.

Friendships often have a hierarchy where one is the doer and giver, and the other just receives. But if your friendship is all about you, it's not a friendship.

Make an equal effort or don't expect it. If your friend has come to every dinner party you've ever thrown and you've never even seen their home, it's time to realize that you aren't as mature as you may think.

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2. Only carrying around cards instead of cash

immature woman using credit card Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Yes, we live in a world that allows everything to be paid digitally. We can use cards, we can Venmo, and we can use Apple Pay. But an adult shouldn't leave the house without cash — ever.

There are surely plenty of times where you've gone out with friends, only to later find out that the restaurant is cash only. You shouldn't assume that everywhere you go is credit card-friendly, or that the people you're with will carry cash of their own.

Make it a habit to carry around cash, at least a little bit, for those just-in-case moments.


3. Sleeping in

man sleeping in too late Kampus Production / Pexels

When you were in college, before you became a true adult, you likely stayed out all night and then slept in until noon the next day. And while it was fine to not be productive on a weekend, if you're still sleeping in every Saturday or Sunday, it's time for a reality check.

Because if you still have the capacity to sleep the day away, you have too much free time and need to get a hobby or a job. Of course, there's nothing wrong with sleeping late if it's every now and then, but to have a life, you need to live it.


4. Staying out until the early morning hours

immature woman staying out late Khoa Võ / Pexels

Just like sleeping in shows that you're in need of activities to take up time, staying out until the wee hours of the morning is something to stop doing once you reach a certain age.

At this age, your plans shouldn't begin at 11 p.m. and your parties shouldn't start way after primetime television ends. Yes, 22-year-olds can go to work on no sleep, but the rest of us can't... or shouldn't.

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5. Showing up to work tired

woman falling asleep at work Marcus Aurelius / Pexels

If you've been out all night partying or drinking, or perhaps you just haven't gotten enough sleep, don't show up to work. You'll not only perform below average, but it's unprofessional and unacceptable.

You're an adult, and it's time to act like one. Use a sick day if you need to, but don't expect your co-workers or even your boss to give you a pass if you show up unprepared to do your best work.


6. Making excuses for not having the life you want

man thinking about his life on a bridge Mary Taylor / Pexels

Whether it's eating food you know is terrible for you, not working out, or overspending your budget, it's not acceptable. And the fact that you might use all these factors as excuses is further proof that you have a little bit of growing up to do.

We shouldn't have toxic relationships, especially with ourselves. Stop making excuses and start putting yourself out there.

7. Building debt

woman crying over bills Karolina Kaboompics / Pexels

At a certain age, you're hoping to build towards something. Maybe it's buying a home, a car, or starting a family.

Building credit card debt and living beyond your means makes all this further from your reality. And if you're an adult and still having mom and dad help you with your rent or bills, that also means you're living beyond your means.


8. Skipping beauty routines

woman doing her beauty routine Sora Shimazaki / Pexels

Aging is a slow state of decay. You're moving along in that decay and you need to step up your beauty routine. That means using anti-aging treatments, moisturizing, and staying hydrated.

It's important to make this a habit immediately. You'll thank yourself years down the road.

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9. Holding onto petty grudges

immature friends holding grudges Keira Burton / Pexels

Stop stalking your exes on social media, or talking about your exes, or trash-talking former friends. It's really not a good look and shows that you're not as mature as you may have thought.

Life is short. Keep the people in your life close and get rid of anyone that isn't making your world a better place. Don't participate in drama and don't cause drama. Don't live in the past; instead, work to make a better future.


10. Finding your self-worth in other people

friends comforting each other RDNE Stock project / Pexels

When you seek to find self-worth, rather than turning to others to validate you, it's best to turn inward. Once you reach a certain age, gone are the toxic friendships and relationships that take without giving back.

Now is the time to stop saying yes to things because you're afraid of people being angry at you. Do what makes you happy.

11. Only ordering takeout

woman eating takeout food Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels

It's nice to order in every now and then, but it can get expensive really quickly. Plus, takeout isn't always healthy.

It may not seem like a big deal, but quit this childish behavior while you're ahead. Instead, learn a handful of recipes and build on that. It's healthier, more budget-friendly, and will teach you a little something about cooking for yourself.


12. Thinking you have it all figured out

serious woman staring ahead cottonbro studio / Pexels

You don't. Nobody does. And as you get older, you realize just how ridiculous and naïve we all are. And that's more than okay.

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.