65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told

understand when older facts fb

The online thread in question was one from r/AskReddit, the second biggest subreddit on the platform. Reddit user NetworkOver7742 approached the community with the question what is the single most “you’ll understand it when you’re older” thing?. The thread quickly gathered a crowd, netting it 9,000 upvotes and 5,300 comments.

That turning 18 doesn’t make you an adult. Neither does graduating, getting your first place, getting married, or having a baby. It’s kind of a gradual thing, and then one day you’re excited because your favorite variety of potatoes are on sale, and you go “Oh, this is adulthood.”

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So, why is age such a big factor in understanding the world?

Older, The short answer is: more time means more experience, and more experience means more smarts (hopefully).

It goes without saying that kids too can be smart, but the amount of things they have experienced throughout their short lives do not stand against the sheer volume of time grownups have spent living on this planet. 


From Time by Pink Floyd

And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun
But it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way
But you’re older
Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time

I heard this in the 80”s and never thought anything of it. After cancer and a heart attack it hits hard

Treasure the little things. Love where you can

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told

How fast time actually passes.

A year feels like an eternity as a kid. As an adult. i’m pretty sure I just blinked and missed my time since I left university

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told


How dumb you actually are as a teenager and well into your twenties.

We all thought we knew better, didn’t we? Some of us still do, but most of us have matured enough to realize that aside from maybe one or two topics, we know exactly two things: “Jack” and “S**t”, and Jack left town.

But there is more to it than just time.

You see, the brain also needs to develop in order to be able to take in and properly process certain information.

Studies suggest that older adults have larger vocabularies and greater knowledge of the depth of the meaning in these vocabularies than younger adults caused by changes in cognition in the brain.

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told


“Annoying” or “boring” things like listening to older people tell stories or eating dinner with your family become precious memories when they’re gone. When we’re younger we take so many people in our lives for granted. You never know how much time you’re going to get. Be grateful for “boring”.

And it doesn’t stop there as the older you get, the more your brain changes—certain parts of the brain shrink, the neurons in some parts become less effective, blood flow may decrease, and inflammation can become more frequent.

Unfortunately, all of these aren’t all that good of a change, but that doesn’t stop folks from learning new things, nor does it diminish their aptitude for it.

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told


How your body really does decline even if you do everything right (work out, maintain a good weight, good sleep, food, etc).

When you’re young you can’t imagine not having the strength or energy to do anything you want. Then you get much older and your body can just give out on you.

How limited your own perspective is. It’s something you can really only learn with age, no amount of explaining will help a kid understand how biased they are towards their own lived experience.

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told


Another study suggests that kids see words and faces differently from adults. TL;DR: the center of the brain that processes these is in a slightly different place and the different sides of the brain process information at a different pace. Again, another indicator that the brain needs to develop in order to reach a certain milestone of understanding.

You really do stop caring about other people’s opinions. That self doubt you have in your 20’s where you’re always concerned about how you appear to others- it absolutely diminishes or goes away completely in your mid to late 30’s. For most people anyways.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve cared less and less about clothing trends, people pleasing, and sacrificing my own well being for the happiness or pleasure of others. I see TikTok’s from younger generations that talk about how millennials can change their style to look less old or dated. And I just can’t fathom who actually needs that information except younger folks who wanna dogpile on an older generation.

I can say with the utmost confidence, the vast majority of people have so much more to worry and care about than what a 20 year old thinks of the rise on their pants. You realize that the majority of people aren’t actually thinking about you at all, let alone what you’re wearing or how you look.

Sometimes, you don’t get closure, either as the victim of wrongdoing, or what I’m really talking about, as the perpetrator.

Let’s say you did someone badly, and you’ve really, honestly had a change of heart and mind, and you want to make amends.

If they don’t want to hear from you, and don’t want to forgive you, you’re out of luck. I know you want to put it to rest. But you don’t get to force your “sorry” on someone who may still be traumatized by your prior actions. They don’t owe you that opportunity for atonement. And insisting on them forgiving you, or even talking to you, is forcing them to relive the trauma from the first time, and re-traumatizing them.

It doesn’t matter that your intentions are pure. They have a right to be left alone.

If this happens to you, as the perpetrator, the only step left to you is to live with your guilt. How you go about that is up to you, as long as you continue a life of not hurting others. Get comfortable with that guilt, because no one owes you closure.

Yet another study showed that kids have trouble understanding what people say sometimes for a number of reasons. This might be caused by trouble with focus, working memory or processing sounds and words in general.

However, since the brain works on a practice makes perfect basis, working on it might likely help develop the skills needed. Again, it’s all about putting time and effort into it.

I would say that the world is not black and white. What seems to clear and straightforward becomes murkier and harder to cleanly divide as you get older.

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told


It’s not (just) dementia: as you get older, you realize more and more what causes people to act the way they do and the roles of victim and perpetrator become harder to distinguish. The key concept is that victims become perpetrators.

It’s not to say kids don’t understand anything. On the contrary, they excel in other ways. Because kids are extremely curious and their attention is all over the place, they often notice things adults don’t. Even if they are asked to focus on a particular aspect of a picture, they will likely notice changes where they weren’t asked to focus, while adults often fail at that.

How much of a waste of time and mental energy it is to be very concerned with your looks. Especially as a woman. There’s a reason most makeup/fashion etc social media gals are in their 20s … older women have stopped giving a s**t.

Doesn’t mean we’ve given up on our appearance, we’ve just realized we are naturally hot anyway and devoted our attention to other things that enrich our lives.

Pop music, slang, and other teen culture.

Teens always think they invented culture and their opinions are objective truth. Older people see those fads come and go every year and know they are just passing fads.

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told


At that point, their brain is in a different mode—one that allows them to soak in more from their environment with that kind of unfocused focusing. Of course, they do need to learn to focus as it is a skill that will benefit them in later life, but you can see how perspective changes over time.

1. Avril Lavigne was right. It has all been done before. So chill out.
2. This, too, shall pass. No, really.
3. How awesome it is to be a mostly average human being living an average life of whom only mediocrity is expected. For one thing, you’re never alone with whatever it is.
4. If you’re young you take for granted so many things. Your time. Your health. Your natural beauty. The friendships you so easily make.

Only by getting older and seeing those things get jeopardized or taken away, can you learn to understand the power of these things.

The phrase ‘youth is wasted on the young’ I would always get so offended hearing that when I was a child, usually spoken to me after I had done some ridiculous feat that took so much energy to do absolutely nothing at all. I know what they meant now. And I’m only in mid 30s. The adults that would tell me this were 50 and up and looking at me so wistfully. I understand. 

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told 

Ultimately, these changes lead to new and more complex understandings of the world and the things in it. And throw some creativity into the mix—you might end up with more than just an understanding, but actually with a better way of dealing with issues in general.

Wanting something does not mean you deserve it, and deserving something does not mean you’ll get it.

I *hated* hearing “life’s not fair” as a kid, but goddamn it was right.

How little people actually care about you. We spend so many of our teen years worrying so much about what others think when in reality people actually don’t care how much you weigh, what you wear, etc.

Aging. What it’s actually like getting older. Not being a smart a*s here. I thought I understood but I keep being floored by how much not being young anymore can suck. And in ways I never imagined.

My dad was very selective on who he let me hang out with

Now that I’m a father, I totally understand

Pacing yourself and quality rest. I burned myself out so much in my younger years that I’d regularly get sick.

These days, I may be doing less in a day, but I’m enjoying each day more.

“Resting my eyes.” Growing up, my dad would say that, and I was convinced he was just using it as an excuse to take a nap on the couch. Having gotten older and staring at screens all the time, holy moly, does it feel good to just sit or lay on the couch and close your eyes to give them a break.

Relationships with older men when you’re a teenage girl aren’t appropriate. In fact, the guy is a creep/predator. You’ll understand it when you’re older.

How frustrating it is to cook for someone and have them turn their nose up at it or constantly complain.

how valuable your own time is. i remember working OT and not getting paid for it, just in hopes I would get promoted. I didn’t.

I remember missing important school functions because I had to work in hopes that I would get the full $1 raise at my review. I didn’t.

I remember working through my lunch. They didn’t notice or care.

Now, I am careful with my time. It’s worth so much more than you are giving me for it and I absolutely refuse to allow any sort of stress or negativity into my life because the numbers aren’t good. That ain’t my problem. It sounds callous but at the end my kids and my spouse will be there to hold my hand as I cross, not the CEO of the company I am working for, not HR. So, take your lunch. And do not work a split second past the time you are supposed to.

King Triton, Ariel’s dad was right. She was just a child and she was not “in love” with the random prince she saw for all of 30 seconds.

Making random trivial mistakes like buying the wrong kind of item at the grocery store (such as the wrong brand or regular vs low-fat) because you weren’t looking close enough. Used to annoy me so much when my mom did this. Now that I’m over 40, I totally get it. You have so much on your mind at a given time that small details are easier to miss, and our sharpness for these things slowly erodes with age.

65 People Divulge The Most Spot-On ‘You’ll Understand When You’re Older’ Lessons They Were Told

Apathy to the world.

I am 36 years old, I’ve heard the world was going to end at least a dozen times. Y2k, Bush getting elected, 9/11, the Iraq War, Obama getting elected, Net Neutrality, Trump getting elected, The Ukranie war, North Korea a bunch of times.

Despite watching a large portion of the population freak out over and over, life, the world, and the economy, have been mostly unchanged in the last 25 years.

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