This was first published on KSL.COM
My husband is a wonderful person, however, I think I need some advice. He points out all the things he does and has done all the time. While they are true, I’m puzzled at how he pats himself on the back ALWAYS and says this is what he does, and tells the story of when it happened, etc. He gives himself credit and brags all the time. He often tells these stories to his peers too if the subject surfaces. How healthy is this?
Your sweet spouse may just be suffering from fear of not being good enough — a fear many of us struggle with. He might brag because he needs some validation that he is a good person and has value. When you can see his behavior accurately, you may also see that what he might need is more validation about what a great guy he is. If he is less afraid, then he might brag less often. You are right to think this behavior may not be psychologically healthy.
In a recent study from the University of California at Davis, researchers identified specific personality traits that a psychologically healthy person usually has. The report was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and it asked 214 psychologists to identify the traits that a psychologically healthy person would possess.
They concluded a psychologically healthy person is capable of experiencing, processing and expressing emotions in a healthy way. The study said these people are "straightforward, warm, friendly, genuine, confident in their own abilities, emotionally stable, and fairly resilient to stress."
We can all find areas in that definition that we may need to work on. Your husband may need more confidence, but I believe becoming psychologically healthy can be a lifelong journey for all of us.
Here are 14 simple tips for anyone looking to be more emotionally mature and psychologically healthy:
1. Practice a pause
Try pausing before you respond to any situation. Let go of your first emotional response and ask yourself, “Are there any other options that might produce better results than this first reaction will?" Put your options on paper and think through what each one will create and if that's what you want.
2. Remember that we all have the same value
Work on being less judgmental and remind yourself that everyone is in a different life journey than you are, but that we all have the same intrinsic worth.
3. Practice putting yourself in another person’s shoes
Figure out what they might be afraid of and see how fear may be driving their behavior and what they need to feel safe. If you can give reassurance or validation first to help quiet their fears, then the rest of the interaction might go better.
4. Practice forgiveness
Holding onto anger is only hurting you. When you choose to see another person's offense as part of your perfect classroom and as an experience that's here to serve you or others in the end, forgiveness gets easier. If you let go and send blessings to those who hurt you, you might feel better immediately.
5. Let go of your need to be right
It is very immature to need to win every argument. Practice agreeing to disagree and not needing to have the last word.
6. Be more flexible
When you don’t get your way or when things go wrong, don’t react from that fear of loss. Whenever you are overly attached to your expectations or a specific outcome, you are setting yourself up to suffer. Be more willing to trust the universe in whatever experience it brings. Every experience in your life is here to serve you in some way. When you see life this way, you suffer less.
7. Choose gratitude
In every moment of your life, there will be things to complain about, but even more to be grateful for. Your mood depends on where you focus, so choose to focus on what’s right in your life more than what’s wrong.
8. Be quick to apologize for any bad behavior
The more real, authentic and vulnerable you are, the better your connections with others might be. Don’t try to look perfect, as it might push people away from you. People want to know you’re flawed and genuine because they feel safer with you if you are.
9. Work on your self-esteem and how you value yourself
This is the most important thing you can do for better relationships because fear of failure can create immature behavior. Choose to see your intrinsic value (and everyone else’s) as unchangeable and equal no matter what happens.
10. Be committed to personal growth
Accept that you will always have more to learn, so try to be open and teachable in every moment. The universe is constantly conspiring to educate you. When you see every experience as a lesson, you show up wiser and more mature.
11. Handle disappointments with grace
Life is going to disappoint you — and often. Get used to it. Choose to trust that there is a reason for every experience and that the universe knows what it’s doing. The less you resist “what is,” the less you might suffer.
12. Be more personally responsible
When you own responsibility for whatever you are experiencing in life, you also own the power to change things. Don't be a victim of circumstance, instead, claim the power to create something different in your life.
13. Be a thinker, not a reactor
Nathaniel Branden wrote an amazing book called "The Psychology of Self-Esteem." In his book, he explains that as human beings we are destined to be thinkers and not instinctive reactors. When we react without thinking, with little awareness of others or from a place of fear, we end up hating ourselves. Branden believes it is only when we gain control of ourselves and our emotions and learn to think through situations rationally that we like ourselves.
14. Understand being upset is a choice
No one can make you feel inferior — you choose your state in every moment. Create a “to be or not to be offended" worksheet if you struggle with getting upset too often. Learn how to find other options for yourself in any upset moment.
Don’t try to work on all of these at one. Start by picking one to work on this week. Set a reminder for yourself whether it's as a wallpaper on your phone or a Post-it note somewhere you look often. If you work on yourself one small piece at a time, you will get where you want to be.
You can do this.
Get Coach Kim's worksheet called "To be or not to be Upset Worksheet" Here. Coach Kim Giles is a human behavior expert and people skills trainer. She is the author or three books and a sought after speaker and coach.
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.