Are we really adults?

are we really adults

There are often different advices on what we should or should not do as strong and balanced individuals. But what, in my opinion, is not the behavior of adults? What do you think is typical for adulthood? Maybe maturity, wisdom and experience? For me it is mainly the responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones.

The examples which are given below are perfectly acceptable at the time of our adolescence and the search for identity, they belong to the maturation of personality or search for the meaning of life. In adulthood, however, we should avoid certain behavior, because it is especially hurting to ourselves. In my opinion it is:

• Generalize

Some people consider their opinion to be true for the reason that they think that it is. They probably heard this opinion somewhere, maybe took it from their parents, school teachers, friends, maybe from television. Oftentimes, however, this view may not be generally valid. Instead we should be able to think in context, listen to the people around us or try to see things from different perspectives and create our own picture. Instead we generalize, we repeat the opinions of others and condemn. Maybe it’s a vestige of our upbringing, according to me, not very good education system, where thinking independently was not supported. As adults, we should try to look at things from multiple angles and also respect different opinions and experiences of others.

• Act in a passive-aggressive way

Revenge, slander as well as ignorance or spiteful behavior belongs to immature individuals. If we have a tendency to act like that even after reaching adulthood, it means we are jammed in child defiance. As adults, we should have enough perspective, be aware of triggers that evoke a sense of anger, aggression or despair and learn to process them in a way that will be healthier. We should be able to express our wishes and needs and not belittle others. Maybe we will not manage this always, but this behavior should prevail. An adult should be able to admit his own weaknesses and their defenses and stop the wrong doing immediately.

• Be impulsive

In adolescence parties, drugs or sexual experiments come as fun or as an enriching experience, something new, revolt against society or parents, or just exploring the possibilities and expanding horizons. However, if during adulthood nothing changes and we continue to organize endless parties, and we are not able to be faithful to our partner or overuse marijuana or other drugs, then that behavior is to be reconsidered. We can hardly create a happy life or family if we cannot avoid unhealthy lifestyle, which has an enormous impact on our psychological health.

• Don’t acknowledge our mistakes

As small or teenagers we do not have enough experience to know that we are responsible for our own problems. Probably in the beginning we blame others, but with gaining experience, we get insight into our own behavior and should be able to reflect on our own mistakes and learn from them. Also, we should learn that however others treat us, it is always up to us how we react to it. As adults, we should be able to recognize our mistakes and apologize for them, not endlessly repeat them.

• Care only about ourselves

As children, we can be egocentric and request everyone to take care of us. In adulthood, however, we should be able to not only receive, but also give. From a child’s self-interest we should grow into empathy and give back to our parents all what we got from them or others as kids. If we stay in the children’s self-centeredness we will grow into narcissistic manipulators that will suck and thrive on others and only take advantage of them.

• Have no goal in life

It is okay during adolescence to not have a clear goal in life, to live from day to day, to have fun and not think about the future. The older we get, the more we should learn not only to experience the present, but also think about the future. Being in our thirties and missing a decent job or education, not knowing what we want from life, seems not exactly satisfying. Of course, it is not just about materialism, but rather the ability to be self-sufficient and live a happy life, whatever purpose we’ll choose.

• Complain and never change anything

As adults, we should know that our actions speak louder than words. It does not mean that we must always act without having our problems or feelings discussed first. On the other hand, if we constantly talk about the need to break up with our boyfriend, stop drinking or smoking, start to exercise, lose weight or learn a foreign language, and we do nothing about it, sooner or later we probably annoy others. We all know what is good for us, the point is to make it happen.

• Blame our parents for our falls

I am constantly seeing how a lot of people still in adulthood blame their parents for all sorts of hardships that happened in their life. Even despite the fact that they helped them many times. It is understandable that we, as children, perceive it as injustice if parents are unfair. We have a problem to cope with it because we want to see our parents as perfect. The older we get, the more we can perceive parents as ordinary people, which in fact they are. Only few of us had really bad childhood that was so affected by maltreatment, that they have the right to condemn them for it. This applies particularly to emotional abuse, physical abuse and similar inexcusable injustice. The rest of us, however, should be able to cope with the acts of our parents ourselves. Maybe our parents were not able to properly express love, maybe they were too authoritative, workaholics, alcoholics, materialists or hypersensitive hysterics. We should bear in mind that no one taught them how to raise us. Our parents did mostly what they knew or could best. Therefore, at least in adulthood, we should have an understanding for them and be able to forgive them for the wrong things they did to us. All the above are behaviors which I see very often in people already in adult age. I write about it because, in my opinion, it has quite a significant impact on our psychological health. Of course, we’ll never be perfect, and probably sometimes we‘ll sway by minor transgressions against our good intentions, but it’s more about not be dragged thru life without a direction. We should have insight into the behavior that harms us, we should be able to affect important events and live our life as we wish.