How to be older than your age

Beauty Store, Skin Care, Accessories, Makeup | BeauCrest

How to be older than your age

The aging process is one thing every one of us experiences. W e grow older every day.

And as we grow older, every part of our body gets affected, including our skin. So, aging signs start to appear all over our skin and we begin to look older.

This process is very normal. However, it becomes very abnormal when you begin to look older than your age. For example, you are in your mid-20s and you already look like you are in your ’30s…that’s a big problem.

Most times, premature aging is a result of what we expose our skin to and how we take care of it.

So, if you feel that you are not looking as young as you should, then grab a chair. Let’s go on this ride together. We will be exploring the different things that make you look older than your age.

Without wasting time, let’s get started.

Drinking alcohol regularly

It feels nice to hang out with friends and gulp down a few bottles of beer or take a few glasses of wine at home, every day, after work. What is not nice is the effect alcohol has on not just your skin, but your whole body.

Have you noticed that no one ever looks good the morning after a night of fun and alcohol? E get why

Alcohol drastically reduces the level of antioxidants in your skin. Antioxidants help to combat aging by fighting off free radicals. When your antioxidant levels are low, free radicals damage your skin cells with ease and your skin becomes prone to inflammation.

It is okay if you take alcohol once in a while. Just makes sure it does not become a regular thing. And, if you must take alcohol, do not drink excessively.

2. Not exercising

I have heard some women say that with all the running around they do every day, they do not need to exercise.

See ehn , that does not serve as an alternative for exercise; that’s just stress.

Exercising has to be intentional. It also does not leave you stressed out when you are done. So, exercise daily. Thirty minutes of daily exercise is enough.

Exercise helps to boost blood circulation to your skin. This keeps your skin looking healthy and young. Also, it increases your muscle tone, which in turn helps to prevent sagging skin.

So, ensure that not a day goes by without you exercising.

3. Stress

Stress can make you look older than your age.

Has someone ever asked you “Are you okay? You look pale”, and then you say “I am just tired. I had a stressful day”, and the person replies with “Yea, it is written all over your face. Just go and sleep”

I think this conversation explains it all.

Now imagine you constantly stress yourself for months… just imagine how your skin would look like. Not so nice. Right?

Both physical and emotional stress is bad for your skin and can make you age quickly. So, avoid being stressed out as much as you can.

Make sure you relax at the end of your day. Watch a movie, take a soak in the bathtub, read a book, listen to music, sleep – just do whatever calms and relaxes you.

4. Smoking

It is common knowledge that smoking affects the lungs, but do you know that it makes your skin age very quickly?

Smoking causes pigmentation, wrinkles, eye bags, dark under-eye circles, and even sagging skin.

Tobacco in cigarettes contains chemicals that damage collagen and elastin in your skin. It reduces blood circulation, and this decreases the supply of nutrients and oxygen to your skin.

The end result is skin diseases like skin cancer. You also get skin that looks as old as your parents’.

If you do not want to look older than your age, stop smoking!

5. Exposing your skin to sunlight

Exposing your skin to the ultraviolet rays from the sun is one of the easiest and fastest ways for your skin to age prematurely.

The UV rays from the sun are very damaging. They stimulate the formation of free radicals, which damage your skin cells and also, collagen and elastin in your skin.

This, in turn, causes aging signs like spots, wrinkles, lines, etc. to appear on your skin even when you are young. It can even lead to skin cancer.

So, treat the sun like it is your worst enemy. If you must go out, you must not just wear protective clothing like hats and caps, your clothes must cover your body fully. Do not forget your sunshades and umbrella.

Also, stay away from the sun between the hours of 12 pm and 4 pm. The sun is at its hottest during that period.

More importantly, get yourself a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. If you can do all these, you will notice changes in your skin in no time.

6. Not following your skincare routine

I cannot emphasize this enough.

There is always a clear and distinct difference between the skin that is taken care of daily and the skin that isn’t.

The reason your skin is looking older is because you do not take care of it as you should.

A morning skincare routine ensures that your skin stays protected from damage during the day. And at night, your skincare routine helps to repair whatever damage has happened to your skin during the day.

This way, your skin stays fortified all day long. So, tell me again, why don’t you have a skincare routine yet?

To learn all about skincare routine, how it helps your skin and what you should do, please click on this article – 7 Things to Include in Your Skincare Regimen

7. Not eating fruits and vegetables

If you want your skin to look healthy and young, then eat fruits and vegetables.

Stop by that fruit seller by the road and buy some oranges, watermelons, apples, coconuts, etc.

Fruits contain several nutrients that keep your skin cells very healthy. Fruits provide you with vitamins and antioxidants which can help to maintain your skin’s elasticity, prevent the breakdown of collagen, and reduce hyperpigmentation and skin inflammation. All these help your skin to look younger.

Vegetables do the same.

Endeavor to eat a balanced meal with lots of fruits and vegetables. You need vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, sweet potatoes, etc.

You really can turn things around and begin to look younger than your age, instead of older.

Stop all the bad habits I have mentioned above and make the necessary lifestyle changes. In no time, you will begin to notice changes on your skin.

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will answer as soon as I can.

How to be older than your age

As of now, your dating life may not have expanded much beyond your year in college, peers at work, or the parameters you’ve set for yourself on Tinder. But if you’re unhappy with your current dating pool, or feel stuck or misunderstood, it could be a sign you’re meant to be with someone older. Going up a few (or many) years on the dating scene will not only expand your options, but it might even introduce you to someone who feels like a better fit.

Keep in mind, though, that age isn’t everything. “What you need to do is to ask yourself what it is that you want out of a relationship and let that be your guide,” psychologist and radio host Dr. Joshua Klapow tells Bustle. “There are many older men and women who are chronologically older and yet do not have the social, emotional, intellectual, or intimate maturity you are looking for. So signs that you need ‘maturity’ or ‘experience’ are probably a better way to figure out if you need someone different.”

If you feel disappointed by everyone’s antics online, or struggle to find common ground with younger coworkers, maturity may be just what you need. So allow yourself that wiggle room and expand your search to include people you might have deemed too “old” in the past. They’ll likely bring to the table all sorts of wonderful qualities, and be quite the refreshing change to what you’re used to. Read on for some signs this is exactly what you need to do.

1. You’re Tired Of Drama

While dating someone older won’t guarantee a lack of drama — since that’s up for grabs at any age — it may increase your chances of finding a partner who can handle their emotions. “Older [partners] are typically past the point of game-playing because they’ve hopefully already been in a serious relationship and have learned how to be vulnerable,” says author and life coach Kali Rogers. And that can be quite refreshing.

2. You’re Attracted To People Who Have A Past

Dating an older person often means being with someone who’s already been married or had kids. So if that doesn’t bother you — or it seems like a positive thing — it may make for the perfect partnership. Rogers warns situations like these can erupt in jealousy, though, so make sure you’re cool with exes and whatnot before jumping in.

3. You’ve Always Been An Old Soul

If you scroll through Tinder and feel like everyone seems so much younger than you, it may be the perfect time to increase your dating age range to include someone who’s a bit more established in life. “If you aren’t quite fitting in with your peers because of a difference in interests, you are probably meant to date someone from a different generation,” Rogers says.

4. You’re Had Quite A Few Life Experiences

If your life experience has caused you to grow up fast, then you might feel more comfortable with someone’s who has been there, too. “For example someone who has been on their own earlier than usual,” says relationship expert Dr. Venessa Marie Perry. “The woman that leaves home early, whether by choice or circumstance, is going to be more mature and seek out a older partner.”

5. You’ve Always Had A Crush On Older People

If you’ve always had a crush on your boss, or the parent (instead of the hot son or daughter) on your favorite TV show, counselor David Bennett tells me you might really enjoy being with someone older. You’re likely attracted to their maturity and wisdom. So why not give it a go?

6. You’d Like A Partner Who Has “Been There”

There’s something very attractive about a person who’s experienced life’s ups and downs, since it often means they’re full of good stories and sage advice. As Klapow says, “You want someone who has experienced multiple life transitions. [Someone who has] gone through tough times and figured out how to come out OK on the other side.”

7. You Connect With Older People

Take a look at your friend group, as well as who you get along with best at work. “You tend to connect with people who are older than you on a daily basis,” Klapow says. If your social circles are made up of people who are older than you, then you’d likely do well with an older partner.

8. You Feel Frustrated By Your Peers

Again, it may be worth going up a few years in the ol’ dating bracket if you’re consistently frustrated by the people in your dating pool. “You have a hard time relating to . people in your age range,” Klapow says. “You have different goals, desires, dreams, and fears.” And different hobbies and interests.

9. You Aren’t Afraid Of A “Real” Relationship

If you’ve only been with people who want surface relationships, then I know you’d appreciate being with someone who can handle something real. “You are ready to look at the good and the bad of a relationship,” Klapow says. “You want to explore the emotional nooks and crannies of your relationship with a person who is comfortable and willing to go there.”

10. You Feel Stuck

If you constantly look for someone between the ages of 22 and 26, then you’re really limiting yourself in terms of dating opportunities. Don’t be afraid to expand that age range up a few years, especially if you feel stuck. As Klapow tells me, this may be the perfect remedy if you feel tired of your age group, or stuck, plateaued, or bored.

11. You Want More

Hey, if you’re curious, go ahead and date someone older. If you feel stuck, do the same. If you want to expand your horizons, do so. Age is just a number, and it shouldn’t hold you back when it comes to who you do or do not date.

So get out there and see how it feels to be with someone older. It doesn’t matter if they’re three years older, ten, or more — they still could be your perfect match.

How to be older than your age

  • Share
  • Pin it
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

The current culture is obsessed with how to look younger. There are anti-wrinkle cream commercials by the dozen, there are thousands of plastic surgeons who specialize in making people look younger, and of course the air-brushed celebrities only add to the obsession with looking younger. “They” say that there is no anti-wrinkle cream out there that actually works. Plastic surgery can go horribly wrong and is also very expensive. Celebrity photos are not real. We all know this, yet our culture is still obsessed with how to look younger. So, is there anything a normal person can do to make themselves appear as less than their age? The answer is yes, but you may have to go about it much differently than you think.

Here are 8 scientifically-proven ways to look younger than your actual age:

1. Age Gracefully

How to be older than your age

There’s nothing worse than the sight of someone who is desperately trying to keep looking like a teenager while everyone else can tell their real age. If you are trying to look younger, sometimes the secret is to look your age! Dressing like a teenager and wearing a ton of makeup can actually make you look older than you are. (We’ve all seen these people!) Accept who you are, age and all. Age gracefully, love yourself, and you will look younger without even trying. A study conducted in the USA confirms that people who have a positive outlook on aging live longer and look younger than people who do not age so gracefully.

2. Add Some Spice to Your Diet

How to be older than your age

Appearing younger doesn’t just have to do with appearance. Keeping your brain alert and young is also important. Researchers from Singapore discovered that people who eat curry often have better cognitive function than those who don’t. Your brain’s cognitive functioning ability is an important aspect of looking younger. You want to keep your mind sharp as well as your face and body to truly appear younger.

3. Accept Life for What it Is

How to be older than your age

Harvard University researchers have discovered that developing a thick skin towards the curve balls that life throws at you can help you to appear younger than your age. If you are not easily fazed by your circumstances, you will do well in the battle against wrinkles. To achieve this you must remember that your circumstances do not define who you are. Nothing can change who you are. Circumstances always change; nothing lasts forever. So, don’t sweat the small stuff, or even the big stuff.

4. Sing!

How to be older than your age

Your voice may not sound like an angel’s, but the effects of singing as discovered by US researchers, are too good to keep your mouth shut. They are not sure why singing keeps you younger, but whether it’s breathing better or simply the social togetherness of joining a choir, looking younger is a great side effect! Do a quick search online and find a choir in your area to join.

5. Spend Quality Time With Your Dog

How to be older than your age

Dogs give unconditional love and it is extremely hard to not love them back. The act of spending time with an animal who adores you and wants to have fun with you improves your emotional outlook on life. Research also shows that the simple act of walking your dog will boost your fitness level, increase social activity, and give your sense of well-being a boost. All of these factors play a part in making you look younger.

6. Wondering How to Look Younger? Sleep!

How to be older than your age

If you want to look younger, don’t buy into the idea that you can “sleep when you’re dead.” Sleep is so important to your body and brain functions, and sleep experts have discovered that you don’t need less sleep as you age. Apparently, you will always need as much sleep as you can get, especially if you want to look younger! Try to always get 8 hours as often as you can.

7. Get Religion

How to be older than your age

Multiple studies prove that the act of praying, going to church, and having faith can add a few years to your life. This is because things like bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness cannot be present in your heart alongside faith. Holding onto unforgiveness can even cause illness, and the people who are able to forgive appear to live longer, fuller lives. Faith brings a release of stress and worry which is good for your body and make you look younger than you are.

8. Google Can Help You Appear Younger

How to be older than your age

Researchers proved that surfing the internet regularly helps the brain to stay sharp in language, memory, and reading; all of which are important to appearing younger. So instead of “wasting time” on the internet, you can think of it as your long-term goal for anti-aging. Surf the net to your heart’s content! Just make sure you are still getting enough sleep.

Enter your birthday below and click the calculate button to see how old you would be on other planets and worlds. Don’t forget to use the full four-digit year – e.g. 1982 – for the calculator to work properly.

Why is your age different on other planets/worlds?

As you can see from the very different numbers in the boxes above, your age changes (sometimes quite a lot) depending on the planet. So how do we define one day and one year on a planet?

Earth, and all other planets, are constantly in motion. There are many different types of motion that are happening all at the same time. For determining a day on a planet and a year on a planet, there are two main types of motion.

Axis rotation to determine the length of a day

The first type of movement is the axial, or axis, rotation. This is the spinning movement of the actual planet and is similar to a spinning top.

The length of time it takes a planet to complete one full rotation on it’s axis is what we would measure as being one day.

On Earth, it takes slightly less than 24 hours to rotate on its axis and this is one day. We round it up to a full 24 hours. And that can be broken down into 24 hours of 60 minutes in length which can also be divided into 60 seconds in every minute.

The axis rotation speed across the planets varies and this is why the ages in the boxes above are different. The speed at which a planet rotates on its axis is determined by a number of complex factors, including how fast the original matter was “spinning” when the planets were formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Jupiter, for example, has a the fastest rotation speed of all the planets and takes just 9.92496 Earth hours to complete a full rotation on its axis. By comparison, Venus takes 243.018 days to complete one rotation.

Orbit or revolution around the Sun to determine the length of one year

The second movement is the revolution of the planet as it moves around the Sun. This is often referred to as the planet’s orbit or orbit path. On Earth, you probably know that one year takes 365.26 Earth days. This is how long it takes for the Earth to revolve once around the Sun.

Pluto, the dwarf planet, has a very large orbit path and it takes almost 248 years to complete one full revolution around the Sun. This is why your age in the Pluto box above is so young.

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and so has a smaller orbit path – it takes just 88 Earth days for the planet to orbit once around the Sun.

How to be older than your age

Like many other Millennials hoping to break into the national security world, I hightailed it to Washington, DC the minute I had my master’s diploma in hand. Once there, I networked myself into a frenzy as I searched for a job that would satisfy my intellectual hunger.

A few weeks later, a defense contractor hired me to run the operations for a training program at the Pentagon. I was responsible for preparing high-ranking Department of Defense officials for a seamless deployment to Afghanistan, where they would then serve as advisors to the Afghan government. I sat at the forefront of the U.S. and NATO’s foreign policy efforts in Central Asia, and I was ready for the challenge. In fact, everything I had accomplished in my life up to that point was preparation for this exact opportunity. I was ready.

I was also 23 years old.

My excitement carried me through my first few hours on the job. I was exceedingly polite, cheerful, and helpful toward the much older team I was sent in to manage. My job was progressing wonderfully until one official, at least 30 years my senior, interrupted me mid-sentence and asked with frank incredulity, “How old are you?”

Although I expected to hear that question at some point, it nevertheless stopped me dead in my tracks. I didn’t anticipate how much it would hurt, or how personally I would take it.

Over the next few weeks, the age references kept coming. I heard everything from “You look like my granddaughter” to “Are you even old enough to remember 9/11?” and “I’ve run out of peanut butter—could you run and get some more?”

No respect, and I couldn’t exactly fake wrinkles.

It was disheartening to see that my age was undermining my reputation and identity in the workplace, but I was determined not to let it dictate my performance. Throughout this journey of managing a group of people who were considerably older than I was, I discovered some valuable insights.

1. Be an Effective Communicator

Being a great communicator means knowing when to listen and when to share. In the early conversations I had with my team members, my mind would speed ahead to the points I felt I needed to make to reiterate that I was capable. After a while, I realized that everyone on all sides felt their ideas and opinions were being dismissed. It took a conscious effort to quiet the voice in my head that wanted to prove itself, but doing so was worth the effort because it enabled me to really hear what they were saying and to process it. If your colleagues feel valued, respected, and heard, they’ll notice your maturity, not your age.

2. Value Your Staff

Older doesn’t always mean wiser, but what it does usually mean is more experienced. A great manager knows how to leverage his or her team’s strengths, and that’s why it’s critical that you take the time to get to know your staff as individuals. Identify their unique talents and strengths, and look for ways to incorporate their opinions and honor their gifts. You will shine brighter as a leader when each individual member of your team is given the encouragement and tools to shine themselves.

3. Focus on Results, not the Process

Each person has a different set of needs that must be met in order to thrive. It’s more important than ever that you pay attention to the needs of your staff and avoid judging them. I once had an employee who required loud music in order to concentrate. I couldn’t understand such a process, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt—he got my large office so that he could work in loud solitude, and I moved into a smaller space with other members of my team. In the end, his work was stellar, so why not?

Surrender your ego, and put the team’s ability to succeed first.

4. Be Prepared to Answer the Age Question

The good news is that it’s illegal for someone to ask your age in the workplace. The bad news is that people ask it anyway. With that in mind, give some serious consideration to how you want to answer the inevitable question so you don’t get caught off guard. If your team sees you looking like a deer in headlights, you’ll solidify their suspicion that you just can’t handle the big job that awaits you.

If you don’t want to disclose your age but also don’t want to be unpleasant about it, just smile and playfully say something like “old enough to do the job.” If you are comfortable with sharing, go ahead! However you choose to handle it, be prepared for the question, answer it with confidence, and move on. The point is to avoid letting it become a subject for continued speculation. In order to do this, have an authentic response that’s well thought out before the age question presents itself so that you’re in a better position to control the conversation.

5. Become a Source of Stillness

Studies show that being stressed in the workplace leads to concentration problems, disorganization, and even anger. All too often, the mood in the office is dictated by the manager’s temperament. A friend of mine once had a young manager who was extremely capable, but she was easily overwhelmed and would often allow her frustration to spill over onto the rest of the team. While there are managers of all ages who share this trait, her youth and inexperience bore the brunt of the blame, and her staff started looking for de facto leadership elsewhere in the company.

Bottom line? If you are chaotic and unsure of yourself, your staff will pick up on it. If you can be a source of stillness, calm, and reason for your team, your age won’t matter.

6. Seek Respect, Not Approval

Machiavelli said he would rather be feared than loved. While I believe there was some wisdom in The Prince, I don’t advocate instilling fear in your employees. However, I believe there is a significant difference between respect and love, and when it comes to employees’ treatment of the boss, a healthy amount of the former is always best.

Getting that respect from them depends on you. Leave your social self—the one who seeks approval and needs to be liked—at home. The office is not the time or place for you to find your new best friend or workout partner.

For example, if an employee arrives 10 minutes late to a meeting, apologizing profusely, and you simply say, “no problem,” the other employees will notice. These shifts are often imperceptible in the moment, but over time, seeking the approval or acceptance of your staff gives the impression that you are a pushover, or worse, that you are scared of offending them. If you are driven by the need to be liked, your employees will inevitably start to wonder who is actually in charge.

Finally, remember that you may be young, but if you are in a leadership position, it is likely because you have devoted your life thus far to refining your special gift. There is an anecdote about a lady who saw Picasso briefly doodling on a napkin in a restaurant: She asked to buy it from him, and he said, “sure, that will be $100,000.” She was aghast at the price tag, and commented that it had only taken him five minutes to create the drawing. Picasso responded, “No, it took me my whole life.”

Never allow others’ perceptions of age dilute the value of the life-long hours you have devoted to your gift, your skill, and your leadership.

How to be older than your age

One of the most telling litmus tests of entrepreneurship is how you lead (and do business with) people older than you.

According to U.S. Labor Force statistics, more than one in three American workers today are millennials (ages 18 to 34 in 2015). This 53.5 million-strong workforce has recently surpassed both gen X-ers (ages 35 to 50 in 2015) and baby boomers (ages 51 to 70 in 2015) as the majority.

Despite the shift, gen X-ers and baby boomers still comprise more than 100 million people in the workforce. These folks are in their peak earning years and have significant networks, meaning a hefty amount of your income or investment capital will come from this group.

So what’s a younger entrepreneur to do? The easy thing would be to pull rank, lead from your title and throw your weight around. The wiser thing to do is learn to endear yourself to them. Here are three ways to do exactly that:

1. Empathize with each age group.

When I was in my 20s, an older, wiser business leader taught me this framework. Though admittedly generic, it characterizes each age group by a simple question they ask of themselves:

  • 20s: “What am I supposed to do with my life?”
  • 30s: “How am I going to get this all done?”
  • 40s: “Why are some of my peers doing better than me?”
  • 50s: “How much longer can I keep doing the things that define me?”
  • 60s: “Does anyone know who I used to be?”
  • 70s: “Does anyone remember who I am?”

Do your best not to make people in their 40s feel like they’re behind the times with insensitive remarks such as, “Wow! You use Instagram?” If you have quality team members in their 50s, consider how lessening their responsibilities — even in their best interest — might be perceived as an attack on their identity or capability.

Put yourself in others’ shoes with this simple list of questions. Authority is automatic, but respect isn’t. You need both to do business effectively.

2. Resist intimidation.

Your leadership will most certainly be challenged by older people, both inside and outside your business.

In my early 30s, I took over a key department in marketing and recruiting for an older organization. I was now leading people in their 50s and 60s. From the outset, one person made it clear he had seen “my kind” before, and that he’d be there long after I was gone. The position I held was a revolving door, so the intimidation game was on.

In one meeting, this guy blatantly walked out in the middle of a talk I was doing — for the whole group to see. In another instance, he simply started playing a guitar tutorial video on his phone during a meeting.

I addressed his patterns of behavior, rather than just a one-time event. After one more instance, I had to let him go. To my surprise, I earned the respect of my team members (many of whom were longtime friends of his) for dealing with this person patiently while also standing my ground.

Tough conversations are part of business. Don’t be intimidated.

(For a great read on dealing with intimidation, check out Oren Klaff’s excellent title, Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal.)

3. Limit tension by listening.

When people complain, they really want to know they’ve been heard. You’ll be amazed at how much tension can be diffused simply by listening.

The foremost complaint I’ve heard from the employees of organizations I work with is “no one listens to us.” Oddly enough, it’s also the foremost complaint I hear from the executives of those very same organizations — about their own employees!

If you’re met with backlash from older team members or partners, assure them they’ve been heard and invite them to be part of the solution. Ask them to help your company “turn the corner.” Tell them, “We need your maturity and experience to transform our culture for the better. You have tremendous value.”

Most people will rally to a cause when you can clearly articulate the big picture and how they fit into the plan, even if they don’t wholeheartedly agree with the methods.

A younger entrepreneur that exhibits empathy, maturity and effective communication skills is a rarity. If you follow these steps, people of all age groups and will respect and rally around you, regardless of how old (or young) you are.

By marrying a woman 15 years younger, preindustrial Sami men maximized their surviving offspring

  • By David Biello on December 5, 2007

How to be older than your age

“data-newsletterpromo_article-image=”https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/CF54EB21-65FD-4978-9EEF80245C772996_source.jpg”data-newsletterpromo_article-button-text=”Sign Up”data-newsletterpromo_article-button-link=”https://www.scientificamerican.com/page/newsletter-sign-up/?origincode=2018_sciam_ArticlePromo_NewsletterSignUp”name=”articleBody” itemprop=”articleBody”>

Men marry younger women and women prefer to marry older men, in general. But is it culture, genetics or the environment that drives such a choice—and is there an optimal age difference? New research shows that, at least for the Sami people of preindustrial Finland, men should marry a woman almost 15 years their junior to maximize their chances of having the most offspring that survive.

“We studied how parental age difference at marriage affected [families’] reproductive success among Sami people who married only once in their lifetime[s],” says ecologist Samuli Helle of the University of Turku in Finland. “We found that marrying women 14.6 years younger maximized men’s lifetime reproductive success—in other words, the number of offspring surviving to age 18.”

The researchers did this by examining church records of 700 marriages from the Utsjoki, Inari and Enontekiö populations from the 17th through 19th centuries (in order to eliminate the effects of modern medicine on child survival).

Yet, only 10 percent of these marriages were between men and women with that optimal age difference. The span ranged from men marrying women as much as 20 years older to women marrying men as much as 25 years older; the average age difference between husband and wife was three years. Marriage customs or the availability of reindeer to support a new family (the Sami people are reindeer herders) might be the reason that more Sami marriages did not display the optimum age difference, Helle says.

Ultimately, it is the age at which the woman begins bearing children that is the biggest factor in survival, the paper in Biology Letters suggests: Younger women, in general, bear more healthy children. Marrying an older woman or much older man proved the most detrimental to reproductive success.

Other research in modern day Sweden has shown that the ideal reproductive match is for a man to marry a woman six years his junior. But the cultural constraints on marriage may have changed. “Wealth was the most important factor in a [Sami] marriage,” Helle notes. “Love played almost no role in it.”

How to be older than your age

Like many other Millennials hoping to break into the national security world, I hightailed it to Washington, DC the minute I had my master’s diploma in hand. Once there, I networked myself into a frenzy as I searched for a job that would satisfy my intellectual hunger.

A few weeks later, a defense contractor hired me to run the operations for a training program at the Pentagon. I was responsible for preparing high-ranking Department of Defense officials for a seamless deployment to Afghanistan, where they would then serve as advisors to the Afghan government. I sat at the forefront of the U.S. and NATO’s foreign policy efforts in Central Asia, and I was ready for the challenge. In fact, everything I had accomplished in my life up to that point was preparation for this exact opportunity. I was ready.

I was also 23 years old.

My excitement carried me through my first few hours on the job. I was exceedingly polite, cheerful, and helpful toward the much older team I was sent in to manage. My job was progressing wonderfully until one official, at least 30 years my senior, interrupted me mid-sentence and asked with frank incredulity, “How old are you?”

Although I expected to hear that question at some point, it nevertheless stopped me dead in my tracks. I didn’t anticipate how much it would hurt, or how personally I would take it.

Over the next few weeks, the age references kept coming. I heard everything from “You look like my granddaughter” to “Are you even old enough to remember 9/11?” and “I’ve run out of peanut butter—could you run and get some more?”

No respect, and I couldn’t exactly fake wrinkles.

It was disheartening to see that my age was undermining my reputation and identity in the workplace, but I was determined not to let it dictate my performance. Throughout this journey of managing a group of people who were considerably older than I was, I discovered some valuable insights.

1. Be an Effective Communicator

Being a great communicator means knowing when to listen and when to share. In the early conversations I had with my team members, my mind would speed ahead to the points I felt I needed to make to reiterate that I was capable. After a while, I realized that everyone on all sides felt their ideas and opinions were being dismissed. It took a conscious effort to quiet the voice in my head that wanted to prove itself, but doing so was worth the effort because it enabled me to really hear what they were saying and to process it. If your colleagues feel valued, respected, and heard, they’ll notice your maturity, not your age.

2. Value Your Staff

Older doesn’t always mean wiser, but what it does usually mean is more experienced. A great manager knows how to leverage his or her team’s strengths, and that’s why it’s critical that you take the time to get to know your staff as individuals. Identify their unique talents and strengths, and look for ways to incorporate their opinions and honor their gifts. You will shine brighter as a leader when each individual member of your team is given the encouragement and tools to shine themselves.

3. Focus on Results, not the Process

Each person has a different set of needs that must be met in order to thrive. It’s more important than ever that you pay attention to the needs of your staff and avoid judging them. I once had an employee who required loud music in order to concentrate. I couldn’t understand such a process, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt—he got my large office so that he could work in loud solitude, and I moved into a smaller space with other members of my team. In the end, his work was stellar, so why not?

Surrender your ego, and put the team’s ability to succeed first.

4. Be Prepared to Answer the Age Question

The good news is that it’s illegal for someone to ask your age in the workplace. The bad news is that people ask it anyway. With that in mind, give some serious consideration to how you want to answer the inevitable question so you don’t get caught off guard. If your team sees you looking like a deer in headlights, you’ll solidify their suspicion that you just can’t handle the big job that awaits you.

If you don’t want to disclose your age but also don’t want to be unpleasant about it, just smile and playfully say something like “old enough to do the job.” If you are comfortable with sharing, go ahead! However you choose to handle it, be prepared for the question, answer it with confidence, and move on. The point is to avoid letting it become a subject for continued speculation. In order to do this, have an authentic response that’s well thought out before the age question presents itself so that you’re in a better position to control the conversation.

5. Become a Source of Stillness

Studies show that being stressed in the workplace leads to concentration problems, disorganization, and even anger. All too often, the mood in the office is dictated by the manager’s temperament. A friend of mine once had a young manager who was extremely capable, but she was easily overwhelmed and would often allow her frustration to spill over onto the rest of the team. While there are managers of all ages who share this trait, her youth and inexperience bore the brunt of the blame, and her staff started looking for de facto leadership elsewhere in the company.

Bottom line? If you are chaotic and unsure of yourself, your staff will pick up on it. If you can be a source of stillness, calm, and reason for your team, your age won’t matter.

6. Seek Respect, Not Approval

Machiavelli said he would rather be feared than loved. While I believe there was some wisdom in The Prince, I don’t advocate instilling fear in your employees. However, I believe there is a significant difference between respect and love, and when it comes to employees’ treatment of the boss, a healthy amount of the former is always best.

Getting that respect from them depends on you. Leave your social self—the one who seeks approval and needs to be liked—at home. The office is not the time or place for you to find your new best friend or workout partner.

For example, if an employee arrives 10 minutes late to a meeting, apologizing profusely, and you simply say, “no problem,” the other employees will notice. These shifts are often imperceptible in the moment, but over time, seeking the approval or acceptance of your staff gives the impression that you are a pushover, or worse, that you are scared of offending them. If you are driven by the need to be liked, your employees will inevitably start to wonder who is actually in charge.

Finally, remember that you may be young, but if you are in a leadership position, it is likely because you have devoted your life thus far to refining your special gift. There is an anecdote about a lady who saw Picasso briefly doodling on a napkin in a restaurant: She asked to buy it from him, and he said, “sure, that will be $100,000.” She was aghast at the price tag, and commented that it had only taken him five minutes to create the drawing. Picasso responded, “No, it took me my whole life.”

Never allow others’ perceptions of age dilute the value of the life-long hours you have devoted to your gift, your skill, and your leadership.