While watching a friend pout like a five-year old, I was reminded that everyone attains levels of personal growth at different times, and age has nothing to do with it. Particular circumstances, too, can bring out the child in people — even if they are mature sometimes, or even most of the time.
The media is responsible in large part for complicating our journey towards self-actualization. We're being given mixed messages about what a mature adult looks and acts like.
Reality TV has elevated the prestige of drama kings and queens to celebrity status. We continue to encourage men toward adolescent behavior such as treating women like trophies. Women are told their self-esteem should be attached to the broadness of their booty and the depth of their cleavage. These cultural values (and others!) can lead to behaviors and choices that result in stunted personal growth.
Our personal progress on the growing up path is particularly important when we try to assess whether someone else is a mature adult or a child in an adult's body. At times it's a difficult distinction to make and we end up wasting time in unhealthy friendships and dating relationships with people whose maturity is lagging behind their chronological age.
However, before you can make sound decisions on whether or not someone else is mature enough to be invited into your heart or your bed, you may first want to assess your own maturity level. Here are 25 signs that you're a mature adult:
- You're not an ask-hole (someone who asks for advice and then ignores it).
- You're not afraid to fly your freak flag on occasion.
- You don't think sex is all about you.
- You get turned on because your partner is turned on.
- You do your own laundry.
- You don't expect someone else to complete you any more than you'd expect them to make you happy.
- You get your sweat on, in some way, frequently.
- You use sunscreen, moisturizer and dental floss.
- You understand that the universe is not coming at you and it's not happening to you.
- You value self-awareness (self-reflection is a daily occurrence — at least!).
- You don't think something is true just because you think it.
- Your clothing is not just a billboard for catchy sayings or designer names.
- You don't resort to blaming your parents, siblings, and close friends for everything that goes wrong in your life.
- You embrace failure: it's an indication of where you will make adjustments on your next try.
- You do say "I'm sorry" and you don't say "I told you so."
- You accept that you're a work in progress. You're not "broken" and you don't need to be fixed.
- You don't write hate blogs about your ex.
- You're happy for your friends' success.
- You're not searching for your life's meaning. You're creating it.
- You don't think farts and burps are hilarious.
- You have a broad repertoire of emotions, reactions and responses. None of them create drama.
- You can laugh at your mistakes and weaknesses, but also acknowledge your strengths.
- You don't eat junk food at 2 am.
- You can be silent, even in an argument.
- You've started listening to your mother, or other mentor.
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