How To Grow Up. While growing up we all have a chronological age. That age doesn’t necessarily include having emotional maturity. As a Marriage Counselor, I work with individuals whose chronological age doesn’t necessarily indicate their ability to act like a grown up. Just because you are chronologically 42 years old doesn’t mean you can’t act like a 6 year old having a tantrum when things don’t go your way. “Acting Out” behavior is a psychological term where emotions are expressed inappropriately through a loss of self control.
“Grow up!” Is what people in relationships sometimes say to each other when one is displaying acting out behavior. Or maybe you’ve even said it about yourself in times of frustration. Depending on how you were raised is dependent upon how you mange your emotions. In our relationships we can easily become unravelled by either feeling like we are losing ourselves or feel discourage about unsuccessful effort to make things right for others. It’s in our relationships that we can experience the best and worst in ourselves. Relationships help us increase self-awareness and growing maturity, which often times isn’t comfortable.
Emotional maturity consist of:
- Concentrating on what you are doing and not what others are doing. The more we focus on what’s wrong with others, the less aware we are of what others have to deal with in relating to us.
- Growing oneself, rather than promoting self. The process of growing ourselves, our task of seeking to understand how we may be contributing to our own dissatisfaction in our interactions, is all about personal responsibility in our relationships and not about self-promotion.
- Learning about what you are doing to contribute to or limit yourself in all your relationships. This awareness allows for the development of insight about where you take responsibility for positive and negative situations.
- Understanding the developmental stages everyone goes through in life. The process of differentiation of self, which is the ability to think as an individual while staying meaningfully connected to others, is the basis of maturity.
Characteristics of a mature person include:
- Ability to keep emotions in line with their values.
- Having good boundaries and ability to set limits.
- Stay on task even when experiencing discomfort.
- Improves themselves without blaming others.
- Stays in contact with those who are upset with them.
- Don’t expect to be rescued by others.
- Refrains from taking over for others (overfunctioning)
- Resist the force to fit in with the group even when it contradicts their values.
- Managing their emotions appropriately rather than acting them out.
Relational maturity includes:
- Keeping feelings from becoming exaggerated.
- Being able to show empathy and validate perspectives.
- Working on being more principled by not blaming others.
- Becoming more comfortable relating to people who have different perspectives.
- Being responsible for oneself without interfering in other’s responsibilities. (Boundaries)
- Being able to hold conviction with their values despite push back.
- Being able to see past oneself to the bigger picture of reactions and counter-reactions.
With that said, being grown up in relationships is to be able to calmly listen to others but not be swayed by relationship triggers in coming to a personal opinion. People in relationships have their own perspective and a mature person shows respect to that perspective by showing empathy and validating it.
For more information on becoming a more mature person call me at (858) 735-1139.