Monday, November 8, 2010
I do not believe that we arrive at a state of complete emotional maturity with no further need for growth and development. Rather, emotional maturity is a life-long process. We continually grow in our experience of love, acceptance, stability, adaption, and so forth.
Following is the list (underlined) of Criteria of Emotional Maturity by William C. Menninger, psychiatrist and co-founder of the Menninger Clinic along with some of my thoughts and comments. As we grow and develop in the following areas, we become more emotionally mature with greater mental and emotional stability, healthier relationships, and improved lives.
1. The ability to deal constructively with reality
To deal with reality in a constructive manner, we must face truth, the facts, rather than deny them. Running from problems or hoping they do not exist does not make them go away. Regardless of how unpleasant they may be at times, facing the facts is the first step to dealing with any situation. When people have difficulty facing reality, they resort to all sorts of unhealthy ways to deal with the unpleasant feelings and pain. They try to soothe themselves with alcohol, drugs, or any other way that temporarily masks their reality and pain. There are healthy and constructive ways to cope that lead to greater emotional maturity and growth. It may not be the easiest path to take, but it leads to healing, lasting comfort and hope.
Set up as an ideal the facing of reality as honestly and as cheerfully as possible. ~Karl Menninger
2. The capacity to adapt to change
Change is not always easy. It can turn our world upside down at times and cause a great deal of stress. Whether the change is minor, like having to change our plans for the day, or more significant, such as moving to a new home, changing jobs, getting married or divorced, adapting to change is to make necessary adjustments. Sometimes the most important adjustment is in our attitude. Change can annoy us as it disrupts our routine and expectations, but we can choose to accept it and allow ourselves time to get comfortable with change.
3. A relative freedom from symptoms that are produced by tensions and anxieties
The symptoms produced from tensions and anxieties can include physical distress (headaches, stomach problems, rapid heart rate) and emotional distress (worry, restlessness, panic). Anxiety is a major mental health problem affecting millions of people every day. It negatively affects all levels of people's lives--their mental and physical health, relationships, work. To live free of its destructive symptoms and consequences is to cope with life stress in a healthy manner, learn to relax, release worries, and develop inner peace.
4. The capacity to find more satisfaction in giving than receiving
People who give of themselves--their time, attention, help, finances, or what they are able-- are generally more fulfilled and happy than those who do not. People who are primarily takers are more likely to use others for their own personal gain and are often considered selfish, stingy, and/or greedy. Like the old scrooge, they end up miserable. Givers, on the other hand, want to contribute and make a positive difference in this world. It is healthy to give cheerfully and willingly as it contributes to our sense of purpose and helps us connect with others and our society.
5. The capacity to relate to other people in a consistent manner with mutual satisfaction and helpfulness
Like I always say, life is all about relationships. We relate to others every single day--whether it is a relative, co-worker, neighbor, or stranger, our lives are intertwined with others. Love and respect are two key factors to relating successfully to others. Unlike dysfunctional relationships, healthy relationships are stable and provide deep satisfaction and joy. For more on healthy relationships, go to: The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships.
6. The capacity to sublimate, to direct one’s instinctive hostile energy into creative and constructive outlets
If we were to release all our frustrations and anger on the world, we would have a hostile existence. Instead, we can take that energy and direct it into something good and productive. It has long been said that sports is a great outlet of extra energy. Anything that is positive, constructive and creative can redirect our energies and put them to good use. A basketball player once told me that the court is where all his angry energy was released. He redirected his hostile energy in an acceptable way within specific guidelines and limits. It gave him a constructive outlet and helped him to really enjoy what he was doing without hurting others and/or himself.
7. The capacity to love
Love is the greatest power in the world. As humans, we are born with the capacity to love. The greatest differences between us are how we communicate our love. To learn much more about the power and capacity to love, I highly recommend The 10 Keys to Happy & Loving Relationships.
Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. ~Karl Menninger
One does not fall in love; one grows into love, and love grows in him. ~Karl Menninger
Self-love is not opposed to the love of other people. You cannot really love yourself and do yourself a favor without doing people a favor, and vise versa. ~Karl Menninger
Experience is not what happens to you, it's how you interpret what happens to you. ~Aldous Huxley
Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had, and what you've learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated. ~unknown
In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships. ~John Gottman (from Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child)
Let's not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it. ~Vincent Van Gogh
Copyright © 2010 Krystal Kuehn, New Day Counseling. All Rights Reserved.
Criteria of Emotional Maturity by William C. Menninger, MD (1899-1966), Co-founder of The Menninger Clinic, Copyright © 1966 The Menninger Clinic
Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family couples counseling, children therapy and teen counseling center, BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & words of inspiration to change your life, and Baby-Poems.com where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayings & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy! Check out Krystal's other blogs: Give Thanks Journal, Baby Poems blog and Words of Inspiration blog!
<< Back to Be Your Best New Day Counseling Center home
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sincerity is most evident when we are honest and truthful with others. It requires us to be our true selves rather than manipulate others into believing we are someone we’re really not. No one likes to be lied to or deceived. Lies and deception destroy trust. Betrayal of trust is probably the worst relationship pain we can experience. Without trust, relationships do not have a strong and solid foundation upon which to be built. Without trust we may question and doubt that we are truly loved. It is only when there is trust that we feel safe enough to open up our hearts to others and grow more sincere in our love.
Sincerity communicates love. When we are sincere we:
* Can be counted on to be honest and trustworthy
* Remain faithful and keep our word—making only promises that we can keep
* Are dependable and consistent in our words and actions
* Mean what we say and do not mislead with lies
* Are motivated by love that is genuine
* Can be our real selves and not be phony
* Will not deceive others for our own selfish means
* Do not flatter others to get our way
* Do not take advantage of others’ ignorance or innocence
* Have integrity and exemplify good morals
Love that is sincere is the real thing. It remains faithful in the face of betrayal. It is trustworthy regardless of others’ dishonesty. Its motives are pure and not corrupted by self-centeredness. Sincerity is a profession of love that is true.
What does it mean to be loved sincerely or genuinely?
Do I believe I am sincerely loved? By whom? How do I know?
Can love be true without honesty? Why or why not?
What motivates me most to say and do the things I say and do for others?
In what ways am I not my true self and give a false impression of who I am?
Can others trust me to mean what I say when I compliment them or share my thoughts and feelings?
Think about people you would describe as sincere. Does their sincerity enable you to trust them more? Why or why not?
EMPOWERING THOUGHTS & AFFIRMATIONS:
A relationship built on anything but trust and sincerity is like a house built on shifting sand.
I can be true to myself and others.
I choose to keep my promises or not make them if I cannot keep them.
I choose to be real because people who really like me will like me for who I am.
I choose to faithful and not compromise my values.
I choose to be honest in my compliments and avoid flattery and insincerity.
Character is much easier kept than recovered. ~Thomas Paine
It's impossible to be who you're not, so why not just be who you are? ~unknown
This above all: to thine own self be true. ~Shakespeare, Hamlet
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings
The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others. ~Erich Fromm
Click here for Free Printable Worksheet.
Taken from The 10 Keys to Happy & Loving Relationships Part 11 (Love is Sincere) by Krystal Kuehn, BeHappy4Life.com
Copyright © 2006, 2010 Krystal Kuehn. All Rights Reserved.
Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family couples counseling, children counseling and teen counseling center, BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & words of inspiration to change your life, and Baby-Poems.com where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayings & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy! Check out Krystal's other blogs: Give Thanks Journal, Baby Poems blog and Words of Inspiration blog!
<< Back to Be Your Best New Day Counseling Center home