If you want to be more appreciated as you grow older, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors

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Growing older isn’t just about adding candles to your birthday cake. It’s also about how you evolve as a person, how you interact with others, and how those interactions make you feel appreciated or not.

As we age, we often cling to certain behaviors that may have served us in the past, but may no longer be beneficial – or even destructive – in our later years.

Now, you have the chance to reflect and identify any of these behaviors that you can cut out. Here’s a list of 9 behaviors that can get in the way of you feeling more appreciated.

1) Stop playing the victim

As we age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of playing the victim. This behavior can stem from a variety of factors – past experiences, feelings of inadequacy, or even just a bad day.

But here’s the catch: people don’t appreciate those who constantly see themselves as victims. It’s exhausting, and it creates a negative atmosphere that can push others away.

Getting older comes with its share of challenges, no doubt. But remember – everyone has their own battles. Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, try to shift your perspective to what’s going right.

This doesn’t mean you have to suppress your feelings or adopt an unrealistically positive attitude. It simply means acknowledging your issues without letting them define you.

This shift in attitude not only boosts your self-esteem but also makes you more approachable and appreciated by others.

So next time you find yourself slipping into the victim role, take a pause. Reflect on your situation and remind yourself that you are more than your problems. This small step can bring about a big change in how you’re perceived and appreciated by others as you age.

2) Letting go of the need to always be right

This is a tough one. I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of this behavior myself. There was a time in my life when I believed that being right was paramount, and it was more important than keeping harmony in my relationships.

It took a simple dinner conversation with my closest friends to realize the cost of this behavior. We were debating something trivial – I can’t even remember what it was now – but I remember how determined I was to prove my point. The conversation escalated, voices were raised, and by the end of the night, the atmosphere was tense.

That’s when it hit me – was it really worth it? Was being ‘right’ worth creating a rift in these cherished bonds? The answer was a resounding no.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that insisting on being right all the time can make you come across as argumentative and difficult. It’s not about compromising your beliefs or values, but about learning to communicate them in a way that invites dialogue rather than discord.

People appreciate open-mindedness and humility. They respect those who can accept when they’re wrong and who value relationships over winning arguments. This behavior fosters mutual respect and appreciation – something we all yearn for as we grow older.

If you find yourself in a heated debate, take a moment to ask yourself: Is being right worth the potential fallout? You might just find that sometimes, it’s okay to agree to disagree.

3) Dismissing others’ opinions and ideas

In the era of social media and instant communication, everyone has a platform to express their thoughts and ideas. However, having access to so many perspectives can sometimes make us adopt a dismissive attitude.

If you find yourself shutting down people’s opinions without giving them due consideration, it might be time to reassess this behavior.

Interestingly, a study published in the European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology found that open-minded individuals who are willing to engage with diverse viewpoints are more likely to be creative problem solvers. That’s an attribute greatly admired and appreciated in any age group.

Recognizing and respecting others’ ideas doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say. It’s about appreciating the diversity of thought and using it to broaden your perspective.

This approach not only enriches your personal growth but also makes you a more appreciative and respected individual as you grow older. So when someone shares an opinion or idea that’s different from yours, instead of dismissing it outright, let it sit in your mind and consider their perspective. You might be surprised at what you learn.

4) Being overly critical

Being critical can sometimes be a good thing. It can help us improve, grow, and avoid making the same mistakes. However, when criticism becomes a constant behavior, it can lead to negativity and create a barrier in our relationships.

People tend to appreciate those who can offer constructive feedback rather than simply pointing out flaws. And this applies not just to others but to ourselves as well. Constant self-criticism can lead to  stress and depression.

As we grow older, it’s important to foster an attitude of understanding and empathy, both towards ourselves and others. Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to find the positives. Offering praise where it’s due can go a long way in improving relationships and making us feel more appreciated.

Remember, it’s not about ignoring the shortcomings but addressing them in a positive and supportive way. After all, everyone is a work in progress and deserves patience and understanding.

5) Hanging onto grudges

Holding onto past resentments can feel like carrying a heavy weight on your shoulders. It’s exhausting, and it can prevent you from moving forward and enjoying the present. More importantly, it can impact how others perceive and appreciate you.

It took me a long time to realize this, but letting go of grudges doesn’t mean you’re excusing the wrongdoings or forgetting about them. It’s about freeing yourself from the burden of resentment and embracing the peace that comes with forgiveness.

Releasing grudges allows you to focus on positive interactions and experiences. It fosters a sense of understanding and compassion, qualities that are highly appreciated as we age.

So, if you’re holding onto a grudge, consider this: Is it worth the energy? Does it serve you in any way? If not, it might be time to let go. You don’t have to do it for the person who wronged you, but for your own peace of mind and well-being.

6) Neglecting self-care

Self-care is not just about spa days and indulgent treats. It’s about taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It’s about prioritizing your needs and ensuring that you’re in the best possible shape to take on life’s challenges.

As we grow older, it’s easy to get caught up in our responsibilities and forget to take the time to care for ourselves. But here’s the heartfelt truth: you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, stress, and a whole host of health problems. It can also affect how we interact with others. When we’re not at our best, it can be hard to be patient, understanding, or kind – qualities that are highly appreciated in any age group.

The solution is simple: make self-care a priority. It doesn’t have to be grand gestures. It could be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to meditate, going for a walk in nature, or even just enjoying a good book.

When you take care of yourself, you’re not only setting a positive example for others but also creating a more balanced and appreciative environment for everyone around you.

7) Avoiding difficult conversations

Difficult conversations are a part of life. They can be uncomfortable and emotionally challenging, but they’re often necessary for growth and understanding.

I remember a time when I had a misunderstanding with a very close friend. I could have easily brushed it under the rug to avoid conflict, but deep down, I knew it would only lead to resentment. So, I gathered my courage and initiated the conversation.

It was difficult, yes, but it also led to a deeper understanding between us. We were able to clear up the misunderstanding and strengthen our friendship in the process.

As we grow older, it’s crucial to face difficult conversations head-on instead of avoiding them. Whether it’s addressing a problem, expressing how you feel, or standing up for what you believe in – these conversations can lead to positive changes and deepen your relationships.

People appreciate honesty and transparency. They value those who can express their thoughts and feelings openly, even when it’s uncomfortable. So don’t shy away from difficult conversations – they might just lead to the most meaningful connections in your life.

8) Fearing change

Change is a constant part of life. It can be scary and unsettling, but it also brings growth and new opportunities. As we age, it’s easy to become set in our ways and resist change. But this resistance can hold us back and prevent us from experiencing new things.

When we embrace change, we open ourselves up to new possibilities. We learn, grow, and adapt. We become more resilient and flexible. And these are qualities that people admire and appreciate.

It’s not about blindly accepting every change that comes your way. It’s about understanding that change is inevitable and learning to navigate it with grace and positivity.

Next time you’re faced with a significant change? Instead of resisting it, try to see it as an opportunity for growth. You never know what exciting new experiences might be waiting for you on the other side.

9) Forgetting to be grateful

Gratitude is a powerful practice. It shifts our focus from what’s missing in our lives to the abundance that’s already present. It allows us to appreciate the simple joys, the everyday blessings, and the people who make our lives richer.

As we grow older, cultivating a habit of gratitude can significantly enhance our relationships and overall well-being. When we express our appreciation for others, it not only uplifts their spirits but also deepens our connections with them.

But gratitude doesn’t stop at expressing thanks to others. It’s also about acknowledging and appreciating ourselves – our achievements, our growth, and even our struggles.

So, make it a habit to count your blessings, both big and small. Let gratitude fill your heart and guide your interactions. It’s one of the most powerful ways to feel more appreciated and connected as you age.

Final thought: It’s about growth

The journey towards becoming more appreciated as you grow older isn’t just about letting go of certain behaviors. It’s a journey of self-awareness, personal growth, and developing a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

As Carl Jung, a renowned Swiss psychologist, once said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” This quote beautifully encapsulates the essence of this journey. It’s not about striving for an ideal image of perfection but acknowledging our flaws, understanding them, and working towards positive change.

Each behavior we’ve discussed holds a mirror to aspects of ourselves that we may often overlook. By acknowledging these, we empower ourselves to foster healthier habits and relationships.

As we grow older, the focus isn’t just on being appreciated by others but also appreciating ourselves for who we are – with our strengths, weaknesses, triumphs, and failings. It’s about appreciating the journey we’ve embarked upon and the person we’re becoming.

As you move forward, remember this: growth is a continuous process. It requires patience, resilience, and a generous dose of self-love. And as you evolve, so will your interactions with those around you – fostering an environment of mutual respect and appreciation.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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