Being competent is defined as: “having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully.” The key word here is “successfully”. Just because you are of a certain age and have certain responsibilities doesn’t mean that you are a competent adult. There is a vast difference in doing something and doing it well, being an adult is no exception. Some of us are better at this “adulting” thing than others. To determine if you’re a competent adult, just ask yourself the following questions:
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Can you Accept Criticism?
The ability to accept criticism in life is essential to being a competent adult. We all know someone who, when corrected, get defensive and takes any kind of feedback as a personal attack. No one is perfect, not even you. Being objective about your own faults not only makes you a stronger person in the end, it makes you better at whatever it is that you are doing.
Can you Negotiate?
Negotiation is all about compromise. Whether you are buying a car or choosing where to go for lunch, negotiating with other people is a part of our everyday lives. The key is not to give up too much while getting back what it is you want.
Read: 8 Things that People with High Emotional Intelligence Simply Don’t Do
Can you Handle it Yourself?
If a button pops off of your shirt, is it ruined or can you fix it? If you get a flat tire can you change it or are you stuck? Having the ability to take care of little things in life like sewing and car maintenance is a huge sign of being competent as an adult. I’m not saying you need to be a seamstress or an ASE certified master mechanic, but having the ability to handle whatever gets thrown your way turns potential disasters into minor setbacks.
Can you Apologize?
The key to apologizing, that most people forget about, is admitting that you are wrong. Too often people apologize for an action without really addressing the behavior that made the apology necessary. It’s like when people say “I am sorry you feel that way,” almost as if your reaction to their actions is your fault. The reality of the situation is that we should say “I am sorry that I made you feel that way.”
Can you Make and Maintain a Budget?
Money is often people’s determining factor for success, but it isn’t how much money you have – it is how you use it. Blowing an entire paycheck on a new purse or gadget and then struggling the rest of the month to pay your bills isn’t very competent. Budgeting, and more importantly: sticking to that budget, is essential.
Are You Compassionate?
Compassion is almost becoming a lost art form these days. Just because people are more aware of what is going on around them, doesn’t mean that they are doing anything to change them. Compassion comes from a place of selflessness. It is having the ability to put your needs aside to take care of the needs of another human being.
Read: Worry and anxiety linked to high IQ?
Can You Ask for Help?
We all come to a point in our lives when we need a little help. The key here is not only when you ask for help but how. Demanding that someone needs to help you defeats the purpose. Also, you have to be aware of what you are asking help for. Not everything in life is a crisis, there are something that you just have to take care of for yourself. There is a balance that exists in asking for help, and it is one that is a definite sign of being a competent adult.
Can You Cook?
This one may seem kind of silly, but it’s a true sign of competency as an adult. Cooking for yourself isn’t just as simple as preparing food. It’s about buying the right ingredients, saving money as opposed to eating at restaurants, and if you do it right – being healthier. Having the ability to cook creates a self-sufficiency that all competent adults require.
Can You Speak to People?
I cannot tell you how many times in my personal and professional life a conversation has been had about EFFECTIVE communication. Effective communication has nothing to do with a word count. Listen more, speak less. It really is that simple. A conversation has multiple sides, so be aware what others are saying to make what you say in response as effective as it can be.
Can You Say No?
This is one that I personally am bad at. Having the ability to turn down that trip to the bar on a Tuesday night or having the ability to walk down the candy aisle at the store without the temptation of a chocolate-induced coma can be easier said than done. In life, the defining factor of success isn’t always the things we say “yes” to, it is the things we decline.
Read: The 4 Stages of Life According to Carl Jung
Can You Manage Your Time?
Again, this is one that I personally struggle with. There are only so many hours in a day, so using them efficiently is the difference between success and failure. Just because you are busy, don’t mean you are accomplishing anything. I’ve gotten better by using technology to better manage my times and tasks, and it is something I recommend you look into if you struggle with time management like I did.