If a man wants to become a better person as he gets older, say goodbye to these 6 behaviors

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If a man wants to become a better person as he gets older, say goodbye to these 6 behaviors

Are you at a point in your life where you’re willing to try to become a better person? If so, kudos to you. The first step to making any positive change is to decide that you’re going to do it. 

The thing is: it’s easy to say that you want to become a better person, but it’s a whole other thing to actually do it, right? Where do you even start? 

It’s no secret that boys and young men can be incredibly immature. One study even suggests that men don’t reach maturity until age 43, whereas women hit that milestone at 32.

As men mature, they grow up a little and say goodbye to certain old, immature behaviors that make them better people. If you’re curious about what those habits are, keep reading. 

I’ve been taking note of the guys in my life for a while now and I notice an interesting trend, they all become better versions of themselves when they let go of these 6 specific behaviors. 

How many of these behaviors are you willing to say goodbye to, in your pursuit to be a better person? 

Let’s dive in.  

1) Being judgmental of others

Are you the kind of guy who decides how to treat people based on your initial judgment of them? 

You think overweight people are lazy, shy people lack confidence and people who don’t have a college degree aren’t as smart as you. These are all typical judgments that you might have about others. But they’re based on stereotypes and not truth.

The problem is: judging others is human nature. You can’t stop simply stop it. “It is impossible to meet someone and make zero internal judgments about them” confirms Marwa Azab Ph.D., professor of psychology and human development at California State University, Long Beach.

Although you can’t help yourself but to make judgments, you can question those judgments and force yourself to consider how much truth there is to them. You can choose not to act on them or share them with others. 

Part of growing up and becoming a better person is realizing that shallow and harsh judgments serve no purpose. Everyone is doing their best and there’s no place for hurtful assumptions. It’s time to say goodbye to being so judgmental of others

2) Making excuses and dodging accountability

This one is pretty simple and self-explanatory but it’s too important not to mention. If you want to be a better man, drop all the excuses. 

Stop making excuses for bad behavior and foolish life choices, stop making excuses for why you aren’t where you want to be in life. And stop making excuses for not taking action towards your goals and dreams. It’s time to hold yourself accountable and take some responsibility for your life

When it comes to taking responsibility, Gary Vaynerchuk, American entrepreneur, and best-selling author has a pretty simple yet extreme view. He says that “Everything you are unhappy about is your fault”. He believes taking accountability for your life, is a game-changer.

As the son of immigrant parents, he built the family wine business from the ground up and then started his own communications company worth almost $300 million. He credits much of his success to holding himself accountable for everything that happens in his life. 

If you want to be a better person, quit making excuses and start taking some accountability, right now.  

3) Holding grudges

Are you still holding onto grudges you had with guys back in high school? Isn’t it about time you let all that go? 

Think about it: what are you achieving by harboring resentment about something that happened in the past? The answer is absolutely nothing. The only person you’re hurting is yourself. 

As noted by psychotherapist Sean Grover L.C.S.W, “Grudges have the power to damage and even destroy relationships. But they are likely to do more harm to the bearer of resentments.”

And it’s not just that: holding a grudge is also very bad for your health and well-being. Studies have shown that the stress caused by grudges and resentments can lead to physical and mental health issues such as heart problems, anxiety, and depression. 

One of the key things you’ve got to do as you aim to improve yourself is embrace forgiveness and say goodbye to any lingering resentment you might have.

4) Toxic masculinity 

If you still buy into ideas like “boys will be boys” or “Men don’t cry” this next one is for you. 

It’s time to say goodbye to toxic masculinity. Not only because it’ll make you a better man but also because it’ll make the world a better place. Change is already happening but we need more. 

Instead of bottling everything up, let your guy friends know that it’s okay to talk about how they’re feeling with you. And expect better from them. Stop accepting ‘lockroom chat’ as a reason to be misogynistic and disrespectful to women and girls. 

My friend Jim has been on this journey of saying goodbye to toxic masculinity recently. He’s always been a self-proclaimed ‘lad’s lad’ and would do anything for a laugh. But when his daughter arrived two years ago, he really wanted to actively join in on the positive changes.

At first, he didn’t think he was doing anything bad. But by focusing on it, he realized that his small actions were actually part of the problem. It was a real eye-opener, and now he’s all in on making things better. 

If you want to become a better person, like Jim, maybe it’s time you let go of old habits too.

5) Avoiding difficult conversations

Is there anything worse than hearing or reading these words in a text “We need to talk.”? It’s like you just know instantly that this is going to be a difficult conversation that you just don’t want to deal with. 

It doesn’t matter if your partner is breaking up with you, your parents have found out something bad about you or your boss at work wants to tell you off for something, you’re just not interested in having that conversation because it’s going to be uncomfortable for sure. 

Sound familiar? You’re not alone in this. 

According to a 2017 workplace study, 70% of employees are avoiding difficult conversations with 53% admitting they handle tough situations by ignoring them. If this is the strategy for tough chats at work, chances are many of these people take a similar approach in their private lives.  

Here’s the kicker: difficult conversations are a part of life and learning to handle them is an essential part of growing up. You might get away with dodging unwanted chats for a while but as you get older you’ve got to say goodbye to avoiding awkward and tough conversations. 

Learning how to handle difficult conversations will make you a better colleague, friend, son, and romantic partner. Instead of dodging them, it’s time to start embracing tricky discussions. 

6) Resisting change

Change is scary, right? But it’s also inevitable. 

We’ve got no choice but to get on board or get left behind. And if you want to become a better person then you’ve got to accept it and stop resisting change. 

That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. There are lots of reasons people resist change including:

  • Fear of losing control
  • Too much uncertainty
  • Concerns about competence

I felt all of these things when I decided to quit my job and move to another country when I was 25. I was terrified of the unknown and worried I wouldn’t be able to make a life for myself without the support of friends and family. 

But guess what? I did it all. And it made me a better person. That experience taught me that you can fear change and still embrace it. And that’s what life is all about. 

The only way you can become your authentic self is to let go of your fears and embrace change. It’s time to let go of that resistance and dive head-first into whatever opportunities come your way. 

The bottom line

If you’re keen to become a better person as you get older, you’ve got to start saying goodbye to the behaviors we’ve talked about today. 

It doesn’t happen overnight but if you commit to the process and continuously put in the work, before long, you’ll be looking at a new and improved man in the mirror. 

Which behavior are you kicking to the curb first? 

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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