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Old 10-09-2010, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,772,495 times
Reputation: 3251

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I have this problem. I'm a 24-year-old man who looks like a teenager. People always think I'm in high school, I've been asked "what high school do you attend?" and "what grade are you in?" and "are you a student?" more times thatn I can count. Upon meeting me, people assume I'm really young until I set them straight or drop subtle hints (talking about my job or college degree). I've had kids assume I was their age until I set them straight. Although some of you will probably think this is a good problem to have, it isn't. It's hard to be taken seriously as an adult while looking like a kid.

Anything I can do to look older? I've tried growing a beard, and it only grows in patches, so it makes me look even younger.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Here&There
2,209 posts, read 3,680,649 times
Reputation: 2423
Smoking cigarettes will add years.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:33 AM
 
8,415 posts, read 35,881,024 times
Reputation: 6295
Do you dress/have a hair cut like a high schooler? I get this q when I am in basic hair/makeup, jeans & t-shirts all the time. At least when I don't dress like that now I get asked what college I go to. But its taken 10 years. Maybe you just need to mature up your wardrobe. Its much healthier than smoking.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,432 posts, read 3,573,736 times
Reputation: 2186
Start smoking, wear socks with sandals, pull your pants on up to your chest. Just kidding.

Last edited by KylieEve; 10-10-2010 at 11:03 AM.. Reason: .
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:48 PM
 
85 posts, read 85,394 times
Reputation: 117
I used to hate this "problem" when I was 17 and people thought I was 12. But now, nearing 30, I'm finding it's a great problem to have!

However, looking like a teenager can be an issue in a professional setting. I first of all try to wear conservative suits, sophisticated jackets, etc. with good handbags and the like when I am meeting important people (in the office, we're ultra-casual, so it doesn't matter). I also wear glasses at work because they add a perception of maturity. Dying my hair a darker color helped a bit. A good haircut helps, regardless of gender.

Also, pay attention to your voice and choice of words. Nothing makes you seem younger than talking quickly, mumbling, sounding un-confident, or speaking in a high, rushed, bubbly voice - that applies whether you're male or female. I had a wonderful co-worker who was also a professional speaker and he taught us the importance of vocal presentation and confidence. Use your first and last name when introducing yourself, and mention your title in a professional setting if it's appropriate to do so. A firm handshake and a confident presentation of your business card also goes a long way.

I have a male co-worker who, like you, looks very young. He could pass for a high school senior easily. However, he always dresses nicely when he's out of the office, he speaks confidently and with poise, he wears glasses, and he has a neat, mature haircut. People definitely take him seriously.

That's all the advice I have...but it should get you started!
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,568 posts, read 37,074,889 times
Reputation: 13217
I had this problem when I was younger. Heck - well into my 30's even! There isn't much you can do about other people, but you can work on yourself. Make sure you aren't dressing like a teenager - but don't go overboard either - you don't want to look frumpy. Pay attention to your voice, diction, speech. Never use "like" or a lot of "uh"s or "um"s. Don't call people "dude". You probably already know all of this. When people treat you like a child, be the bigger person and don't dignify their treatment with a response - unless you have a really good comeback that won't make you sink to their level. Head up, good posture, walk with confidence. This is their problem. Don't make it yours.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:05 PM
 
Location: CA
3,469 posts, read 7,268,760 times
Reputation: 4795
How do you dress? People have already given suggestions, but why don't you tell us your current style of grooming?

I agree about the speech/demeanor aspect also. People tend to think I am 5-7 years younger than I am, but they quickly change the way they deal with me by picking up on how I carry & express myself. Then they ask my age, because they cannot figure out if I am just precocious or older than I look. Appearing confident signals maturity to people also. I struggle with this one, but when I do it, then there is often less assumption on their part that I am a teenager.

Keep dropping the hints also. Saying things like, "When I graduated college X years ago..." clues people in to the fact that you're no longer a teenager.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 18,069,825 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post
I have this problem. I'm a 24-year-old man who looks like a teenager. People always think I'm in high school, I've been asked "what high school do you attend?" and "what grade are you in?" and "are you a student?" more times thatn I can count. Upon meeting me, people assume I'm really young until I set them straight or drop subtle hints (talking about my job or college degree). I've had kids assume I was their age until I set them straight. Although some of you will probably think this is a good problem to have, it isn't. It's hard to be taken seriously as an adult while looking like a kid.

Anything I can do to look older? I've tried growing a beard, and it only grows in patches, so it makes me look even younger.
What's a matter with you mate! LOTS of people would give anything to look younger so don't rush it since you'll be "older" soon enough !!

If you'd like to look more mature , which is what I think you really mean, then don't dress ,or act, like a kid at anytime so people will start to believe you're not a kid anymore.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:22 PM
 
7,508 posts, read 3,803,591 times
Reputation: 3909
I have the same problem as well. I'm 21 and people think I'm a kid. I went to California last winter break and my friend's friends think that I'm 18, their age. Mrs. Burberry said it quite well. Clothes, haircut, and choice of words makes a difference.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:32 PM
 
22,770 posts, read 26,786,103 times
Reputation: 14581
go lift weights. teenagers are often gangly.
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