Wise and experienced men are made, not born.
Here’s how you can know where you stand on being wise and experienced and what to do to improve.
Without further ado, here are the top twelve personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man.
1) You think before you act
The first of the personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man is thinking before you act.
You know when to take action and go for it, but you don’t do that based on impulse or temporary emotions.
Making decisions can be very difficult, and it’s easy to do things which end up backfiring.
But you do your best to make sound decisions.
You understand that you can’t control the future, but you do your best to align your decisions with your purpose in life and your core values.
2) You keep expectations modest
Next up is that you keep your expectations modest.
You do your best to make decisions that are in line with who you are and what you want to achieve, but you also accept that life is very unpredictable.
The best laid plans often go awry, and as a wise and experienced guy you have made peace with that.
Your focus is on becoming the best you can be and putting your full effort into things you care about.
You’re willing and able to accept that the outcome of any decision or endeavor isn’t always in your hands.
3) You admit mistakes
Next up in the personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man is that you admit your mistakes.
Even when you could hide mistakes, you prefer to be open about it.
You also practice self-accountability and try your best to hold yourself accountable for commitments you make.
When you fall short of what you planned or committed to, you admit that and own up to it.
You also do your best to make up for mistakes you’ve made and wrongs you’ve done, inasmuch as that’s within your power.
4) You rarely judge others
The next of the big signs here is that you’re not big on judging others.
You may have a friend who uses drugs or drives recklessly and you may disagree with it.
But while you may disagree with her behavior, you don’t judge her personally.
You’ve seen too much of life to rush to snap judgments on people.
You know that we all do things we’re later ashamed of.
While you might offer some advice or even tell your friend she needs to stop, you don’t think she’s a “bad” person for her behavior.
5) You appreciate tact
The next of the personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man is that you appreciate tact.
You also demonstrate tact in the way you interact with others and approach situations in life.
An example of tact would be saving an embarrassing piece of news for a friend for a time when the two of you are together one-on-one instead of together with other friends who might be within earshot.
Another example would be your girlfriend raising her frustrations with you in private instead of sharing them with her friends and humiliating you.
Tact is mainly a matter of not speaking every time you have the inclination or think of something to say.
Sometimes it really is better to hold back and find the right time to bring up certain subjects.
6) You are empathetic
The next of the personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man is that you are empathetic.
This means that you try your best to stand in somebody else’s shoes before jumping to conclusions.
You may not have been through the same thing as the person sitting across from you, but you do your best to demonstrate empathy because you understand life all has us down on the mat from time to time.
For example, in a previous job at a newspaper I interviewed a burn victim who’d had an accident as a teen after trying to put a trail of gas from a fire to where he was standing and then light it with a match.
The air exploded around him when he lit the match and he suffered severe burns over most of his body.
As a younger teen I’d played with gas at Halloween in an attempt to dip toothpicks in gas and use them as pumpkin teeth. It didn’t go well and I ended up lighting my mom’s front steps on fire.
I had no idea what it would be like to go from a happy teen to a guy who was mostly burned, but I could empathize by thinking back to times when I’d felt pain and different or ugly and only imagine what it would be like for someone to feel like that all the time.
My past idiocy in lighting the steps on fire also helped me empathize with how easy it is to make silly mistakes that end up having a huge cost.
7) You are humble
The next of the personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man is that you’re humble.
You stand up for yourself and have confidence, but you don’t have a big ego.
Getting the spotlight and recognition isn’t your top priority.
You’re more about getting things done and being effective and responsible in your life than in cheap thrills or stroking your ego.
The same goes for your relationships and interactions with people:
You don’t try to brag or puff yourself up.
You’re cool just being you.
8) You don’t dwell on the past
The next of the signs that you’re a guy who knows what’s what is that you don’t dwell on the past.
We all have some pain from the past, and we’re all going to feel sad or strongly affected at some point.
We may even feel very happy thinking about the past and get really pumped up thinking about it sometimes.
But you don’t get lost in daydreams about what’s already past, nor do you get lost in bitterness and regrets about time gone by.
You appreciate the past, but you don’t live there.
“You live without anger or bitterness over yesterday’s sorrows and tribulations.”
9) You believe in love, but you don’t depend on it
The next of the big signs you’re a mature guy who knows how life works is that you never depend on love.
You believe in it and the beauty of love, but you never depend on a partner to make you happy or stay with you.
You know that externalizing your wellbeing is not true love but is just a form of dangerous codependency.
True love is voluntary, strong and free, rather than compelled and codependent.
True love is interdependent rather than codependent, and you live by these words.
10) You forgive those close to you for missteps
The next of the personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man is that you forgive people close to you when they do something wrong.
You don’t hold grudges, in other words.
Even if somebody hurt you quite badly, you are ready and willing to move on if they promise not to do it again.
You know that life can’t be an example of perfect justice and having people treat you fairly.
You just ask that they try to do better next time, and you move on.
You also block out those who keep taking advantage of your forgiveness and making the same mistake, since it’s up to them to solve their issues, not up to you to grant them unlimited chances.
11) You don’t take failure personality
The next of the big signs here is that failure isn’t something you take personally.
Failure hurts and frustrates you.
But you use it to power your next move and to channel into something productive.
You never doubt your own worth or think that you’re a failure because you’ve experienced failure.
Failure is an occurrence, an event: it’s not you.
No matter how many times you fail you understand that it’s all training for eventual success and, in fact, you often learn more from failure than from success.
“You understand that failure is a result of trying something that didn’t work out as you planned, not a description of you as a person,” Gaskill writes.
12) You find happiness within
The last of the personality traits that show you’re a wise and experienced man is that you find happiness within.
You care about your life and scoring wins in life.
You care about your romantic relationships, friendships and career.
But you don’t depend on anything outside yourself to make you happy.
You generate power and happiness from yourself with your own actions.
And you understand that deeper fulfillment and being truly happy is not the same as always feeling bubbly or pleasant.
There will always be some very down days along life’s highway.
The key is to have a driving mission and a maturity that keeps you going through the ups and downs.
Wisdom doesn’t happen by accident.
It can be taught by heartache and disappointment, and all too often it also just comes with age.
It doesn’t come easy, and often we become wise and experienced not by choice, but by necessity.
Being a wise and experienced man is always worth the pain, however, and there are often many others you can help along the way with the wisdom and experience you’ve accumulated.