Teenagers, We Want You To Know That Nobody Has It All Figured Out


Comedian and Podcaster Paul Gilmartin shares 15 tips for teenagers and the adults who love them.


Comedian and Podcaster Paul Gilmartin was asked by someone to give his life tips for teenagers. Paul is not an expert on parenting, but he shares his tips in the 15 points below. He shares what would have helped when he was a teenager.

1.Know that everyone is afraid.

2.Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.

3.99% of the things that seem so important right now won’t matter in the long run.

4.Nobody has it “figured out”

Your emotions won’t kill you but running from them might

5.We never stop learning so don’t beat yourself up for not knowing something.

6.Pain can make us stronger. Surviving the worst times of our lives can be a source of future strength, especially if we open up about it.

7.It’s okay if your sexuality or gender can’t be easily defined. Don’t waste your time trying to please anyone who doesn’t accept it.

8.There are no unhealthy thoughts or feelings, just healthy or unhealthy ways of dealing with them.

9.Almost everybody has sexual fantasies that make them uncomfortable. Don’t shame yourself for them. If you’re not hurting anyone, embrace them. We don’t choose what turns us on. It’s like freckles. They’re just there.

10.There is nothing you have done, said or thought that someone else hasn’t.

Know that everyone is afraid.

11.Your emotions won’t kill you but running from them might.

12.We don’t have to be overtly abused in childhood to be damaged. The absence of a healthy emotional environment can be just as hard on a person as being abused because the message the child receives in both cases is the same, “You don’t matter.

13.When you’re not getting what you want, there’s a good chance it’s the Universe looking out for you in the long run.

14.The things we hate having to go through can often be the very thing that builds our character; a forced gym membership for the soul.

15.Life is a roller coaster. You’re strapped in. You can wish it was over or you can throw your hands in the air and hope you don’t shit your pants.

Bonus content only for my website readers:

16.Don’t worry what people think of you. They’re probably too busy worrying what people think of them, to be thinking whatever it is you’re worried they might think of you. Submitted by Anthony

17.Don’t take yourself or your life so seriously. By being serious you won’t add any time to your life and you will probably increase your misery. Be yourself and try to enjoy yourself and laugh as much as you can. smswaby

18.Most people are not as concerned with judging you as harshly as you’ve been judging yourself. If a person is offering constructive criticism, nothing wrong with that. If not, then they’re simply not worth your time. Submitted by Anthony

19.Your life is valuable. We need you because you have something unique that will make the world a different place. Be yourself and create, sing, play, dance, DJ, rap, write, draw, Graffiti, build and just be weird. We are only sane when we embrace our weird. smswaby

20.It may feel painful today and even tomorrow, but your pain will pass. Ask for help because your life can be better. Your story can change someone else’s life and sharing it will make the world a better place. smswaby

21.Being a teenager is tough work. Ask the adults in your life if they would go back. Nope. You have a tough job. Go easy on yourself, don’t limit your options and try to experience everything you can without hurting yourself. smswaby

22.Just be a badass at being you. No one else can rock being you like you can. smswaby

Take action: Talk about this with the teenagers in your life. Share it with the parents in your life and thank them for the hard work they are doing.

Do you have other tips? See me in the comments and your tips may just make it into the 2.0 version.

Keep it Real

For more on parenting, see The Imperfect Parent’s Guide to ParentingFor an earlier Good Men Project article about Paul and his podcast, read it. You can find more of Paul’s work at his website, Mentalpod.


Points 1-15 courtesy of the Mental Illness Happy Hour, used by permission.

Originally published by smswaby on The Good Men Project

Photo by Rolands Lakis

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