Sunday, March 14, 2010

What is Adulthood? - A Good (Mature) Man or Woman

Through the years man argue that they cannot find a good person to call a friend or have a relationship with often stating their are none out there. I would contend that part of the problem resides in the people looking - despite what they may claim they are not seeking good people - rather bad or unreliable people they want to change into good people and/or they are so used to deal with fools that they have no idea how to relate to or interact with someone who is not. This to me is further complicated in some cases by the fact that some have been done so wrong when they meet good people they sabotage the relationship (friendship or otherwise) because they believe they are not good enough or worthy and are walking around with inferiority complexes they try to mask as a result they seek out people who will abuse them in order to validate their opinions of themselves.

Food for thought: if a person is seeking and finds a "bad boy/girl" who is disrespectful, unpredictable and unreliable then how are they equipped to deal with, relate to understand, relate to or partner with a "good man (boy)/woman (girl)"? Are they seeking a partner relationships or a parent/child relationship? Are they seeking out mature people or immature people?

Source: What is Adulthood? 20 Defining Characteristics of a True Adult

How can one classify a true adult? Many people directly attribute age to adulthood. The problem with this methodology becomes evident when you discuss the topic with various people of different cultural backgrounds. If you ask each of them what age they believe constitutes the point at which a person progresses from childhood into adulthood, their answers will always be different. Why? Because every one of the answers are based on subjective opinion. Adulthood is not based age; it’s based strictly on emotional maturity.

So what constitutes emotional maturity, and thus adulthood? Here are 20 defining characteristics of a true adult:

  1. Realizing that maturity is an ongoing process, not a state, and continuously striving for self improvement.
  2. Able to manage personal jealousy and feelings of envy.
  3. Has the ability to listen to and evaluate the viewpoints of others.
  4. Maintains patience and flexibility on a daily basis.
  5. Accepts the fact that you can’t always win, and learns from mistakes instead of whining about the outcome.
  6. Does not overanalyze negative points, but instead looks for the positive points in the subject being analyzed.
  7. Is able to differentiate between rational decision making and emotional impulse.
  8. Understands that no skill or talent can overshadow the act of preparation.
  9. Capable of managing temper and anger.
  10. Keeps other people’s feeling in mind and limits selfishness.
  11. Being able to distinguish between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
  12. Shows confidence without being overly arrogant.
  13. Handles pressure with self composure.
  14. Takes ownership and responsibility of personal actions.
  15. Manages personal fears.
  16. Able to see the various shades of grey between the extremes of black and white in every situation.
  17. Accepts negative feedback as a tool for self improvement.
  18. Aware of personal insecurities and self-esteem.
  19. Able to separate true love from transitory infatuation.
  20. Understanding that open communication is the key to progression.

Above all, true adults do what they have to do when it is required of them, and they do what they want when they can. They are able to distinguish between the two and manage their time and efforts accordingly.

Source: 7 Steps to Emotional Maturity

1. Eliminate Magical Thinking

Magical thinking is believing that something will happen without any real effort on your part.

This is normal thinking in children, but self defeating in adults.

People often can get stuck in magical thinking if a significant event happened to reinforce it in childhood.

For a dramatic but not uncommon example, consider the child who's parent has a heart attack. If that child had been angry with the parent that day and though angry thoughts about them, they would probably magically think that they themselves had caused the heart attack.

That child as an adult may find it extremely difficult to confront others, especially others who are perceived as frail.

2. Learn to Tolerate Your Anxiety

Suppressing your anxiety causes it to continue - "what you resist, persists".

Then you start fearing the anxiety, a state referred to as anticipatory anxiety.

It's sort of like working out with weights - when it is heavy and your arm gets tired, youíre natural impulse is to put down the weight, but you know to strengthen your muscles, you continue.

Its the same with anxiety. Your tendency is to avoid it and seek immediate relief.

But to become stronger emotionally, take the time to look at your anxiety, learn about it, and work with it.

3. Learn to Recognize and Appropriately Express Your Anger

People who do not express their anger are usually afraid of what will happen if they do. They have distorted fantasies - fearing the floodgates and being out of control.

They may have lacked family role models of appropriate anger expression.
Discharging of anger by screaming or hitting pillows used to be recommended, even by therapists.

But now most professionals believe this just keeps the nervous system on alert and does nothing to address a constructive plan of action.

Instead, learn to put your anger into words.

If you're unsure how to do this, consider an assertiveness training course.

It will teach you the difference between passive, assertive, and aggressive expression of anger.

4. Learn to Cope With Pain and Hurt

Pain and hurt are natural consequences of life because of the simple fact that life involves change and loss.

To never feel hurt is to be deadened.

Our emotions are vulnerable but they are not fine china - overprotecting yourself leaves you vulnerable because you fail to develop strength and resiliency.

Moderate exposure to pain and loss is often what creates opportunities for developing coping skills.

Are you someone who thinks of themselves as a victim whenever you experience pain or loss?

If so, what are you getting from this stance?

5. Facing Your Guilty Feelings

We all make mistakes and we all behave selfishly and meanly at times.

Some guilt is based on reality and facing it helps us become better people.

Rationalizing away this guilt is harmful, and leads you to make the same mistakes again.

Take responsibility for mistakes, verbally express your regrets and take action to make amends.

6. Learn to Live With Your Failures

You can't avoid doing wrong, because perfection does not exist in humans!

But forgiving yourself does not have to be limited to mental attitude.

Action is what helps us live with our failures.

Be of service to others, and have a positive attitude.

Being useful to others and being part of the solution to problems around us is extremely therapeutic.

7. Put Your Feelings in Perspective

Strive to see that life is gray, not black and white.

Tolerate ambiguity.

Avoid words like never and always.

Realize that the world is a vast place that we can never completely understand and certainly never "master", whatever that means.

Feelings are messy, mistakes are made, relationships are complex, and life is ever-changing.

Any one feeling or event is but a piece of the big picture.

And there's surely nothing you will ever experience and no pain you will ever feel, that has not been felt and survived by others.

If you doubt this, take a look around you and reach out.

Source: Emotional Maturity & Emotional Intelligence

Youth fades - Immaturity Lingers

Are you entangled in difficult relationships or painful emotions? Do you suffer from old trauma? Do you suffer from your parents' drama, your partner's demands, your boss's moods? Soulwork Systemic Solutions can help you untangle your life ... and you can help other people reclaim their freedom.

Are you mature?

Your emotional intelligence, together with your intellectual intelligence and relationship intelligence, comprise essential parts of your life. You can use them to assess your emotional maturity and show where you can improve.

Your every relationship is a hologram of your life. You cannot hide your self-awareness, your maturity, your self-control, your commitment and your integrity. In every relationship you will show how well you can listen, communicate, initiate change, follow through and deal with problems.

Your relationships reflect your maturity

Every relationship is a hologram of your life. In every relationship, even the most trivial, you express important aspects of yourself. In relationship decisions you express your communication skills, your commitment and your integrity. You cannot not express your emotional intelligence.

Your maturity predicts your ability to manage and monitor your emotions, to assess the emotional state of others and to influence their opinions and behavior. Your emotional intelligence and emotional maturity seem to be most profoundly influenced by your relationship history and your trauma history.

What are Emotions?

Many psychological definitions of emotions are devoid of the humanity of people who experience emotions. Many definitions are simply lists of abstractions.


An emotion is a patterned bodily reaction of either protection, destruction, reproduction, deprivation, incorporation, rejection, exploration or orientation, or some combination of these, which is brought about by a stimulus. (Feelings and Emotions 1970)

Other definitions focus on the experience of being human.


Emotions are sensory experiences that communicate across human systems. They can be distorted or dissociated according to values and beliefs. They provide motivation and inspiration to retreat ... or to excel (Soulwork Coach Manual)

Are you Emotionally Mature?

If you avoid your emotions, you may become dissociated - robot-like. If you feel but avoid expressing your emotions, you may falsify your relationships, undermine your health and delay your personal development. Immaturity is associated with child abuse and emotional incest.

Estimate your emotional intelligence:

  1. Do you cope with unexpected change?
  2. Do you listen to other people's ideas?
  3. Do you recognize your feelings as they occur?
  4. Do you express your feelings appropriately?
  5. Do you control strong emotions and impulses?
  6. Do you take responsibility for your actions and behavior?
  7. Do you act intelligently and mature under stress?

Any "No" indicates part of your life where you may be emotionally immature, although most people will answer "No" to question 7. If the stress is high enough to cause you to age-regress (anything from a spider to the loss of a partner), most people will feel and act childishly for a time, before restoring balance and sobriety. During this time, immature behavior is likely.

You may respond to some stress from your early childhood, and act out your trauma. Soulwork coaching and training helps people handle emotional chaos as human adults.

Emotional Maturity & Relationships

Your emotional maturity will be immediately apparent in your relationships. Do you:

  • communicate appropriately? (for the relationship type)
  • clarify mistakes and wrong assumptions?
  • provide balance or justice when things go wrong?
  • build and maintain friendships?
  • teamwork toward shared goals?
  • share responsibility for children and projects?
  • participate in your community?
  • inspire and lead?

If not, the unique Soulwork programs can help you.

Youth Fades ... Immaturity Lingers

Children, young teenagers and some adults may need protection from immature behavior and impulsive decisions. Soulwork offers systemic coaching to people who:

1. Egocentric
You are self-centered and selfish. You have little regard for others and you are preoccupied with your ideas, feelings and symptoms. You deeply believe that you are somehow
special. You demand constant attention, respect and sympathy.

2. Uncontrolled Emotions
You express yourself in temper tantrums, prolonged pouts and rapidly changing moods. You get frustrated easily, and you over-react to perceived criticism.

3. Gratification
You want it all now. Your behavior may be superficial, thoughtless and impulsive. Your loyalty lasts only as long as a relationship seems useful. You have chaotic finances.

4. Dependent
You are indecisive, easily influenced and you avoid responsibility for your actions. You stay in unpleasant relationships to avoid change.

If you want to change these behaviors, Soulwork systemic coaching can help you.

Emotional Control & Expression

What do you do after you feel provoked to express your emotions? How old do you act when you feel strong anger, sadness or fear? How far do you age-regress? Do you:

  • Express your emotions without conscious control (like a young child)?
  • Suppress your emotionally driven behavior (like a pre-teen)?
  • Repress or dissociate your emotional experience (like a teenager)?
  • Accept, acknowledge and express your emotions (like a mature adult)?

Your emotional age may change dramatically when you feel emotional. If you, for example, find yourself behaving like an 8-year old child when you are angry, Soulwork coaching can help you resolve it.

Left unresolved, the consequences of emotional expression, suppression or dissociation may be disease. Typical consequences include high blood pressure, colitis, ulcers and chronic fatigue.

Maturity & Trust

Rapport is often used to describe compliance, in which an abuser tries to influence your decisions, with sales pitches, confusing rhetoric or hypnotic language, often "for your own good".

[ Abusive Relationships . Provocative Coaching . More on Maturity ]

People may wonder if they can trust you with sensitive personal information. They may have trusted others and been betrayed or abused. Trust helps people get on with their lives, and is essential for innovation and creativity. Trust can take years to build, and seconds to destroy. The consequences of abused trust can hurt an organization, family or friendship. Trust needs accountability.

Trustworthiness is an essential part of emotional maturity. If people do not trust you, you may have to justify every detail of every decision. And - not everybody is as mature as you. Be cautious about who you trust with important information.

Maturity & Leadership

Leadership is more than a desire to delegate tasks. If your confidence provides orientation for unconfident followers, and if your decisions are beneficial, you will be respected. Soulwork coaching can help you accomplish family, team or organizational goals. Soulwork can help you:

  1. maintain a clear vision that encourages people to align with you
  2. create an environment where people want to be responsible
  3. clearly describe what is necessary for quality performance
  4. transfer responsibility to the people who do the work
  5. develop individual capability and competence
  6. set an example and challenge people to continually learn

Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning

Ultimately, man should not ask for the meaning of his life, but recognize that it is he who is asked. Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.

Source: 7 Characteristics of Good Relationships

By Donald Latumahina (follow me on Twitter) , August 25, 2008

Do you want to avoid breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend? Here is a popular guide used by thousands of people.

Relationships are essential if you want to live your life to the fullest. In fact, relationships should be your top priority. That’s why we all need to learn how to build good relationships. Good relationships not only help us meet our needs but also make our life more fulfilling.

One way to build good relationships is by learning their characteristics. By understanding their characteristics, we will be better equipped to build good relationships in our lives.

Here I use the term “relationships” in its broad meaning. Why? Because the principles of good relationships are universal. They apply not only to romantic relationships, but also to friendship and business relationships.

If you look at the points below, you will see an underlying characteristic of good relationships. Good relationships involve “both sides”. While one side can take initiative, it still requires the other side to make the relationship a good one. Only by working together can a relationship reach its full potential.

Without further ado, here are seven characteristics of good relationships:

1. Both sides see the relationship as an opportunity to give

One of the basic relationship problems is selfishness. How does selfishness occur? In my opinion, selfishness occurs when someone focuses more on getting rather than giving. The more someone focuses on getting, the more selfish he or she becomes. That’s why the willingness to give is essential for good relationships. Both parties should see the relationship as an opportunity to give. This is the foundation upon which the other points below are built.

2. Both sides are willing to change

Nobody is perfect but everyone can grow. In a good relationship, both sides are willing to change. They realize that they are not perfect and there is still a lot of room for improvement. Instead of blaming their partner when something goes wrong, they look inside to see if there is something they can change. When both sides have this attitude, the relationship grows stronger and stronger.

3. Both sides are willing to admit mistakes

In a good relationship, both parties aren’t afraid to admit mistakes. Instead of being defensive, they openly admit the mistakes they make. They can then work together to correct the mistakes. This, of course, is not easy to do. It takes a humble heart to admit mistakes.

4. Both sides are willing to listen first

In a good relationship, both sides are good listeners. They are willing to understand their partner’s position first before trying to get understood. Doing this is much easier when both sides see the relationship as an opportunity to give (characteristic #1).

5. Both sides support each other

Not only are both sides willing to listen, but also they give what their partner needs. The law of reciprocity states that when we do good to others they will also do good to us. We reap what we sow. By supporting each other, both sides in the relationship get what they need.

6. Both sides are open to each other

Misunderstanding is one of the basic relationship problems. That’s why it’s essential that both sides are open to each other. When they have something they don’t like about their partner, they should communicate it rather than just keeping it in their heart. Of course, they should do so in a respectful way so as not to offend their partner. Part four of How to Win Friends and Influence People (which Ireview last week) gives us tips on how to do that.

7. Both sides have integrity

In a good relationship, both parties act in line with what they think and say. They keep their promises. This is important because they can then trust each other. This trust makes the relationship strong.


Relationships that have these characteristics will grow stronger over time. The relationships will be rewarding not just for the people involved, but also for the people around them. Why? Because by working together they can produce more value than they can ever do by themselves. People around them will get the benefit of this increased value.

Now that we’ve seen some characteristics of good relationships, what should we do? How can we build good relationships? The answer iswe should start with ourselves. It’s difficult to change someone else, but we can always change ourselves. Start applying the characteristics above in your life. If you do that, people who relate with you will notice and eventually do the same to you.

Looking at the above points, here are what you should do:

  1. See the relationship as an opportunity to give
  2. Be willing to change
  3. Be willing to admit your mistakes
  4. Listen first
  5. Support your partner
  6. Be open to your partner
  7. Have integrity

If you do them, you will be a good relationship builder.

This article is part of August 2008 theme: Relationship

  • Here is the $1M question - how does all of this apply to business?

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites