Here’s The Real Reason Why You Start To Hate People More As You Get Older
It seems the older I get, the fewer people I find around me. When I was younger, I was surrounded by people. It didn’t matter how well I knew someone, I still wanted to be invited to their parties or collect acquaintances to boost my social media numbers.
Now, no longer in my twenties, I still enjoy meeting new people, but to be considered a real friend, a person has got to be more than someone I party with or add on Facebook. I have less and less tolerance for bad behavior and therefore it seems my circle of friends has gotten a lot smaller.
I enjoy my own company now, too. Being comfortable being alone is perhaps something that comes with age, but it’s also a learned quality, I think. I know how to appreciate the stillness and quiet, and I don’t always seek others to entertain me.
Although my social circle may be smaller, those who are a part of it are much closer, more reliable, and are a lot more loyal than the gaggle of fair-weather friends I had previously. So why is it that when we age we have less tolerance for immature or irresponsible people?
1. We Have Less Patience For Bad Behavior
As we age, we learn our worth. Gone are the awkward days of not knowing who we are and what we stand for. Our self-esteem is likely to be healthier as we become more self-aware with age, and as a result, we won’t tolerate bad behavior from others.
We all lead busy lives and don’t have the time nor the patience to keep accommodating that friend who always cancels at the last minute or who gossips behind your back or who still insists that buying beer is more important than paying rent.
As we age, we know that we only want friends who boost us up, make us feel good after being with them, and support us on our paths rather than jealously tear us down. We know our worth and we expect to be treated with the same amount of respect that we show others. Everyone else can leave.
2. We Know What We Need In A Freind
When we are younger, it might be fun to have an assortment of friends and acquaintances, even if some of those people aren’t all that nice. We might enjoy socializing with the party girl even though she’ll leave you hanging if a hot boy is around. The guy next door is a bit dull, but you might let him stick around because he’s got a car.
Maybe you even put up with someone who lies to you simply because they let you borrow their clothes, or perhaps you tolerate that person who’s always negative just because it’s better to have more people at the party.
Well, when you get older, chances are you’ve been through some friend break-ups. The lies and gossip and flakiness and irresponsibility aren’t fun. Eventually, everyone’s true colors show and hanging out with toxic people isn’t so great anymore.
You know that you need a reliable shoulder to cry on when life gets tough and someone who’s going to have your back when they promise that they will. Likewise, you know that you’d always be there for them, too. It’s the friends who are like family that are truly worth having around.
3. We Don’t Need To Try Friends Out
As we age, we crystalize who we are. We no longer need to try on different personalities to figure that out. Perhaps we ended up as a hippy or a businessperson or a rocker, but we may not have always had that personality.
It’s not unusual in our teens and early twenties to try out personas and have different groups of friends to go along with them. I used to dress in button-up shirts in high school, then like a flower child in university, and then a bit like a rock chick when I dated a musician after I graduated.
I didn’t yet know who I was and my style changed depending on who I hung out with. But now I don’t need several different groups of friends with different styles and tastes because I’ve found my own. The friends who stuck around had more in common with me than just liking to wear Chuck Taylors.
4. We Might Be A Little Jaded
Life gives everyone a few lemons from time to time and it’s likely that the older we are the more friend break-ups or betrayals we’ve gone through. It can be hard to trust people once we’ve really been burned.
How do we know who to trust? How do we know who truly has our back? It’s easy to start seeing everyone as potential enemies rather than friends after a few bad experiences, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from meeting new people.
Be careful not to isolate yourself. Maybe it might take a little longer to let your guard down or for a potential new acquaintance to be considered a friend, but don’t hate everyone just because your former bestie turned out to be a jerk.
5. Trivialities Don’t Matter
Once upon a time, I cared if people thought I was popular and cool. Now I definitely don’t and I’m a lot happier. I don’t need to have more Facebook friends than my neighbor. I don’t need to be the hottest girl on the block. So when others still do, it can really seem off-putting and immature.
As we age, we realize that life is about making real lasting connections with our family and friends. It’s about good conversation and wonderful memories and enjoying being in others’ company. The small garden party with a dozen best friends becomes way better than that hundred-person drunken bash.
Those people still living for getting drunk and being seen and clubbing every weekend start to become dull. We’ve all been there and done that, and now we want some real meaningful connections. If you’re not up for that then you don’t need to be in my life.
6. We Prioritize What’s Important
With age, qualities like loyalty and respect become more important to us. We know that if we want respect we have to give it, so anyone who isn’t giving it doesn’t get it from us, either. No longer do we invite the racist uncle to dinner just because it’s nice.
That couple who regularly gets too drunk and never brings anything to parties? They’re off the invite list. Or what about that guy who’s always down on his luck but spends his paycheck at the pub and constantly needs rent money? He can look elsewhere for sympathy. You don’t have to be his therapist.
We need to be there for our friends, but as we age, we realize who the people are who would be there for us, too. Users and abusers need not be a part of our lives just because it’s polite.
7. We No Longer Seek Approval
When we’re young, we constantly try to fit in. We need people to tell us that we are doing great, that we are desirable, that we are wanted and worthy. But with age, we already know those things ourselves. We gain confidence in our own abilities and cultivate our own self-worth.
Often, those who can’t do that on their own try to tear down those who are getting ahead on their own merits. We need supportive people and those who will come with us on our journey to be around us. Likewise, we should want to support others on their paths, too.
It’s not about approval, it’s about support. Regardless of what others are doing with their lives, we should all be happy with others’ accomplishments. And if someone doesn’t like what you’re doing, well, then it’s their problem, not yours, and they know where to find the door.