As we get older, seeming mature becomes more and more important to us. There comes a point when we no longer want to be viewed as little kids – we want people to know we’re capable, responsible, and, like, totally ~grown-up.~ Unfortunately, acting mature can be really, really hard… and so that leads us to pretend to be an adult. The act of faking it can often include us doing embarrassing things just to seem more mature, things we often don’t even realize are embarrassing until we look back on it years later and cringe. In the moment, we think we look collected and put-together, but… well, we don’t. Awkward.
It’s fine: growing up isn’t easy at all! It can be fun from time to time, but actually going through it can be mortifying. Sometimes it seems like the less you want people to see you as a kid, the more they see you as one. And I know that’s frustrating, but you don’t want to do the below things to try to prove them wrong. There are other ways to look mature (like, uh, actually acting mature) that won’t leave you full of regret later in life. Here are 16 embarrassing things we all do to seem more adult. If you’re faking it in these ways, maybe consider dialing it back a few notches?
1) Using words you don’t know the meanings to.
I used the word “cunnilingus” incorrectly – in front of my mother. So yeah, most of you have smartphones. Look it up before you say it. Throwing big words around when you clearly don’t understand them is not… great. (For the record, fellatio : blowjobs :: cunnilingus : eating someone out).
2) Pretending you’re disinterested in something you really like.
Ew, who likes pop music? Not you. At all. You’re so mature now. You listen to 90’s alt rock for no reason. This isn’t just embarrassing, it’s also silly. Liking something “young” doesn’t mean you’re immature!
3) Saying that you’re more sexually experienced than you really are.
You will get caught. Either by a friend or a potential partner… you will get caught in a compromising situation. It’s not worth lying. Just own up to your relative experience as your personal truth and assume that the right people aren’t going to judge you for it. If they judge you, they’re shit people.
4) Claiming to see movies that you really haven’t.
I don’t know why certain movies are linked to maturity, but they are. You didn’t see Pulp Fiction and that’s fine. Don’t fake it to fit in. You’ll look really silly when someone asks you to elaborate and you can’t.
5) Pretending to be into music that you’re really not.
The kind of music you listen to somehow indicates how cool you are. Your cool points aren’t worth throwing Beyonce under the bus or suffering through a whole Spotify playlist of stuff you’re not crazy about. In fact, true mature people don’t care about what kind of music you like or don’t like.
6) Wearing clothes you don’t really like.
Because form fitting and revealing is more mature? It might be more sexual, but if it doesn’t fit you or make you feel confident or empowered, it negates the whole purpose of wearing that outfit. Dress sexy if you want, when it’s appropriate, but if you’re not feeling what you’re wearing, everyone’s going to know. Stick with what you like above all else when it comes to your personal style.
7) Going out of your way to seek out attention.
Being confident is a sign of maturity, for sure. Being egregiously loud about how confident and spectacular you feel on the daily and making sure people know all about isn’t exactly a real sign of maturity.
8) Blowing people off because you’re “so busy.”
Girl, really? If you’re “so busy” you need better time management skills, which, weirdly enough is a sign of maturity. It’s the exact kind of fake-adult thing to say to make yourself seem more interesting, but it’s annoying when you blow people off all the time, regardless of the excuse.
9) Being late on purpose.
WTF is fashionably late? Just say that you don’t want to be the first person at a party. Wherever you decide to show up late to, it’s because you have a fulfilling, busy life, and this is just one of the *many* things you have to do that day. You think about other things, you know. Um. How about you just show up on time?
10) Making a big deal out of nothing.
Because your problems are REAL PROBLEMS and you have REAL FEELINGS that deserve ALL OF THE ATTENTION.
11) Acting like you’re better than other people through gossip.
I’m not talking about regular gossip. I’m talking about the kind of gossip that goes something like this: “I can’t believe she did that. She’s so immature and that just proves it. I would never do something like that. I would..” Gossip in and of itself makes you look immature, so you’re better off avoiding it if you want to look like the more grown up person.
12) Pretending that you’re tight with a teacher.
They’re your teachers, for starters. In college it’s cool to be closer with your professors, but saying that your science teacher will let you slide on a test because you’re “cool like that” is a full on lie.
13) Dating only older guys because you’re so over high school guys.
Important lesson: older does not equal more mature. There are tons of older dudes who are immature and stupid. Saying, “I don’t date high school boys” might sound cool to some, but actually mature people are just going to roll their eyes at you.
14) Drinking coffee even though you hate it.
That was my gateway into coffee. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be yours, too.
15) Smoking cigarettes.
This isn’t even embarrassing, it’s just stupid. I don’t know if you know this yet, but smoking can give you cancer. Not in the same way that dairy *might* give you a belly ache if you eat too much, I’m pretty sure that they found a direct link from smoking cigarettes and having full blown cancer. A lot my friends picked up smoking as a teen in order to seem more mature, but let me tell you, seeing a teen smoke doesn’t make you look mature, it just looks creepy af.
16) Talking about how much you aren’t like other girls.
Saying things like, “I don’t have girl friends because I hate drama” or “I’m not like other girls” is so lame. It just shows that you’re pitting yourself against females, which is anti-feminist and kind of sexist and really uncool. It doesn’t make you look grown up.
Which of these embarrassing things have you done? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments.
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.