If you’re an adult in your late 20’s or beyond, I think there are a few things you should understand by now. We’ll start with the easy ones:
There are few times when it’s appropriate to yell indoors. Barring an emergency situation like a fire, I think we can all agree that we shouldn’t be able to hear your voice from across the restaurant.
Speaking Over Others
We all do it now and again, but generally it’s nice to let people finish their sentences before chiming in.
Reading the Room
Not all topics of conversation are appropriate for all situations. For example, making sex jokes beyond a group of close friends is a stupid move.
Cleaning Up After Yourself
Perhaps it’s because I come from the world of coworking, but this one gets under my skin. If you’re sharing a space, picking up after yourself should be a no-brainer.
Okay, now it gets tougher:
“Proficient in Microsoft Office” is Not Good Enough
In general, if you’re applying for a gig where you’re tempted to write the phrase, “Proficient in [insert basic skill here],” you’re well on your way to mediocrity. Who isn’t proficient in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint (or their alternatives) at this point? By now, you should be way beyond basic skillsets. But if you’re not, sign up for a site like Lynda.com right now and get some real skills.
The World Owes You Nothing
Because my generation, as well as those after us, are considered the most entitled generations in history, this bit of advice is paramount. The world owes you nothing. If anything, by being so incredibly lucky to be alive, you owe the world a debt. A debt you can only pay off with generosity, patience, and hard work. Anything less is selfish.
Give Without Expectations
Giving with the expectation to receive something in return is not generosity. By definition, a gift is free of all liability. If you offer somebody something, without explicitly asking for something in return, expect nothing back, other than the good feelings you get from gifting, of course. This extends to expecting potential favors in return, any influence over another person’s behavior, as well as any points added to your reputation score. Which means, if you’re giving in order to look good, you’re doing it wrong.
Sadly, 90% of young adults struggle with more than one of these, if not most of them. But if you’re here reading this, I’m betting it’s because you want to fix things like this. I’m betting it’s because you want to be a better human.
This list is a solid start.