We all need a bit of tough love.
The lessons our mothers taught us can shape who we become. And whether your relationship with your mother is strained or she’s your closet confidante, you have to learn some things the hard way.
1. Physical independence is not the same as financial independence
So you’re feeling like a freaking god because you’re not living under your parents’ roof anymore? Cool. Except you didn’t save enough before leaving and now you need to hit up your mum for money to cover some of your rent.
How do you find yourself in this predicament? Well, it’s probably because you used to have some kind of disposable income while you were reaping the benefits of living at home (like having a fridge full of food when you needed it, washing powder in the laundry, and name-brand toilet paper you took for granted).
No matter how short the loan, it’s entirely likely that your mum will give you that appraising look or even deny your request in an effort to teach you the art of covering your own bills like a grown-up.
2. Don’t let a boy use you like a bucket
Harsh, Mum. And kind of graphic. But nevertheless, it’s true: your pleasure and emotions matter just as much as someone else’s. If your so-called partner is just using you as a fun night drive-by, they’re probably not the right person for you.
Decide whether you want to have a good relationship or a fling. And in either situation, make sure you’re having as much fun as they are.
3. You have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince or princess
Even the seemingly amazing partners may become mere anecdotes in the future, and eventually you might regret wasting so much time and effort on them.
When you eventually find the person you want to spend your life with (or figure out that you don’t want to stay in a long-term relationship) all of those failures and disappointing ends will have taught you something along the way.
4. Stop paying for them and see if they still want to hang out
Again, harsh. It’s an awkward situation, but we all have that one friend who keeps conveniently forgetting their wallet and expecting someone else to pay. Maybe it’s time to use the lessons our mothers taught us to our own advantage. Everyone can benefit from tough love at some point.
Try “forgetting” your own wallet or only carrying enough to pay for yourself. You’ll find out very quickly whether this person is still your friend or they’re just along for the free ride.
5. Treat your family like you treat your friends
Have you ever realised that you’re not quite as polite to your family as you are to everyone else? And they may do the same to you, because family usually lets a lot of things slide.
But everyone deserves the same amount of respect: learn to treat people properly instead of letting your guard down and being a jerk in the privacy of your own. If nothing else, it’ll teach your family that you’d like to be treated the same way.
6. Nobody owes you anything
It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how great you look, or how nice you are – those things will not automatically guarantee you the grades, jobs or relationships you want or even think you deserve.
Everyone has to have a few bad assignments, crappy relationships, and horrible jobs to know when something fantastic comes along.
Deal with it. Let it inspire you to work harder than you ever thought you would or should, and keep moving on.
7. Not all amazing opportunities will make you happy
“If you think it’ll make you happy, go for it.” Sound familiar? It’s probably because it’s one of the lessons our mothers taught us early on.
But have you noticed something? This piece of advice doesn’t actually include the words, “I think you should take this job/time off/chase this dream.”
Why? Because sometimes blessings are curses in disguise and vice versa. No one can see the future. You have to take a few risks and find out whether they were worth it.
8. Everyone has different life experiences
Don’t look down on someone because they can’t pronounce a word correctly or because they don’t know much about a certain subject. They probably know a lot of things that you don’t in another field.
Take the opportunity to learn something new and different from someone you wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with. Mocking them for not having your education or life knowledge just proves how uneducated you are.
9. Comparison is the thief of joy
You’re not Hercules in the animated movie. You can’t hit eight targets at once, so focus on your own and do your best to hit it dead-centre. People will be taking notice of whether or not you’re achieving your own goals; they don’t care that you’re achieving someone else’s.