This was first published on KSL.com
My mother is extremely dramatic and easy to offend. She creates drama and problems in our family all the time because she handles things so immaturely. I can see that in some ways I’m starting to become like her too. But I’ve watched this my whole life and I don’t want to behave that way? How can I break the cycle and learn to handle life better than she does?
You are talking about being an emotional mature person, who responds to life appropriately with strength and wisdom. Some people were lucky enough to have emotionally mature parents, who taught them how to see situations accurately, process emotions logically and respond maturely, but it sounds like you didn’t get that, so you will have to find better tools, skills and techniques to help you break the cycle.
Your mother is doing the best she can with what she knows though, she just doesn’t know a better way to handle herself. She is running on autopilot with her subconscious programming running the show.
Neuroscientists tell us the 95 percent of our choices we make subconsciously. This means most of the time instead of consciously choosing our behavior, we are just unconsciously reacting. The scary part is that most of our reactions come from ideas, conclusions, procedures and rules we learned before we were 7 years old. They say from 0 to 7 are the formative years where we set our beliefs about ourselves, people and life. Then the rest of our lives we can react the way we learned as a child.
You can break the cycle of immature behavior, though, and learn how to respond more accurately and appropriately. You can develop what we call CLARITY (the ability to see yourself, other people and situations accurately). You can gain better techniques, tools and skills in the area of human behavior, but you might need some professional help to get you there.
You can download an Emotional Maturity Test on my website to see where you are and what skills you need to become more mature.
Here are 14 ways to strengthen your emotional maturity:
Set a small goal to work on one aspect of your emotional maturity each week. Put a reminder (as your wallpaper on your phone) to remind you. If you work on it one piece at a time, you will get there. I also recommend you find a coach or counsellor to help though. A little professional guidance goes a long way.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
FOR MORE FREE
Coaching is less expensive than you think - If you need help we can find you a coach you can afford.
Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.