Maturity

I wanted an answer to the question – What is maturity? So, I went in search of answer to this question by first consulting a dictionary.

Maturity as per Cambridge dictionary has 3 different contexts. In the context of mental development, it defines maturity as

  • The quality of behaving mentally and emotionally like an adult
  • A very advanced or developed form or state

I was surprised to see the word emotion used in defining maturity, so I turned to psychology to check what does emotionally behaving like adult mean. I found the answer in Transactional analysis – a piece of work done by Eric Berne (& thanks to Mr Jayaram for this beautiful article here). He says that our personality is made up of three components, the parent, the child and adult.One part is dominant in every situation.

In the  parent and child mode you can have a negative or positive frame depending on your upbringing. For example if you had controlling parents, you will behave like a parent to partner having specific rules, dominance  and controls. Or you may a nourishing parent being just a guide.If you are using  a child’s frame of mind, you are likely to over-react to events that are not very significant. You will see world you as dangerous and dominating and handle a situation with uncontrolled emotions.

But as an adult you have just one frame and will always use experience, analysis and rational thinking. It is not necessary to use adult frame all the time, but as long as we do not use the negative sides of child and parent frame then you will have better emotional control.

Adult life should be more simple, your objective of showing adult maturity is to move to the path of happiness, peace and love wherever environment, situation or mind wants to takes you. You need to be like a pendulum. Your balance is in the middle. Whichever way you are pulled you need to return to your balance in no time. That is the real safe state. That is the state of no suffering. A state of love. That is maturity.

Transaction Analysis also documents  various relationship problem patterns that can happen in a relationship when different frames are used by two people. Eric calls it games people play. I will explain that in another post. I believe that these games will also happen when you are stuck in the  love/belonging level of Maslow’s hierarchy.

Maturity is when you learn not to broadcast your emotions for sympathy.

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Negativity

Dear Wife,

I have spoken to you many times about negativity. I want to explain  what is negativity and how it wrecks your body. Emotions are energised thoughts.

Emotion = Thoughts + Energy.

It can be used constructively as well as destructively.

We base our life on our desires. When a desire is not fulfilled and if mind interprets it negatively then it generates negative emotions. Anger, Fear, Greed, Jealousy, Guilt, Sadness, Anxiety etc are negative in nature.

  •  Anger – Feeling that you get when there is an obstacle to our desire
  •  Jealous – If we have/ dont have something that we desire and someone else has little more of it
  •  Sadness – If we loose something that we desire
  •  Guilt – Desiring or doing something against your moral

Desire is necessary for life but not compulsory. Desire should not become a need. This is where ego takes control of your thoughts. Ego will generate noise in your head like – I am the most unlucky person in this world or why should it happen to me always. You may start thinking that  he does not care for me because, He is not fulfilling my asks. Your mind takes that as a conclusion. If you give importance to these thoughts you are energising your thoughts.

If you get what you desired or if you do not consider that important your brain forces production of what is called happy hormone – serotonin and dopamine. This is sent into your blood stream. Any organ on receipt of this happy hormone relaxes itself. You feel a sense of happiness and achievement. Body works at its best optimum levels. This is what is human body is built for.

If you do not get what you desire and if your mind interprets it as a compulsive need not met – brian forces adrenal glands to generate hormones called cortisol and adrenaline also known as stress hormones. When this reaches your body parts through bloodstream they become rigid, alert, makes muscle stiff ready to fight. Your fight or flight mode is switched on.

For the body to be prepared for fight or flight it does various things when it sees cortisol

  • It releases a gush of glucose into blood stream, preparing energy for fight or flight
  • Suppresses immune system and diverts resources
  • Activates sympathetic nervous system which in turn suppresses digestion and food absorption as it has higher priority work to do
  • Constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure preparing for delivery of higher dose of Oxygen for fighting or flying.

In Summary, your body starts working in a emergency mode. As long as the episode is short ( for Eg you will be sad when you loose a loved one ) you come out of it. But if this thought continues for days, months and years together then your body is always on emergency mode. Your body  is not made for that. It cannot focus on fighting bacteria and virus. It continues to remain alert every second. Muscles are stiff all the time. Lot of energy is spent on keeping the body running in this mode. Obviously you will fall sick easily. You will get spinal pains, cramps, knee aches when your muscles refuse to relax. You will feel tired more easily. This is depression. You will start depending on synthetic forms of serotonin and dopamine  that psychologists prescribe.

This is self harm. You poison your body yourself. You harm it with every negative thought.  This will lead to vicious circle of generating more negative thoughts.

To say that I do not meet your desires is like saying “I will only love the person who meets my desires”.

When desire becomes need and need becomes important than a being, love will die.

With Love,

Venting Vs Complaining

Dear Wife

I was reading about what is complaining and venting and it is very interesting to understand its difference.

In dictionary venting is defined as expression of negative emotion in a forceful and often unfair way, however I like the definition that Natalia tells in her blog here

Venting: A cathartic release of thought and emotion with no malice or harm intended to any other party. A venter does not wish to change the core of their world, merely express how it affects them at that point in time.

Complaining: A negative monologue regarding either the self or another, usually with the wish to alter some aspect of one or the other. A complainer may often be repetitive and resistant to positive feedback and the idea of change.

Venting is very positive thing if you become aware of doing it and stop when you should. It should never become a personal attack. it is just taking the pressure out of your head without having any expectation of change and as an acknowledgement of letting your frustrations out and closing that topic.

  • Never vent for more than 10 minutes. Have a clear timeout in head
  • Focus on your feelings and avoid negative emotions and tell how and what you feel
  • Do not expect anything to change
  • Never make personal attack
  • Venting can be done alone – talk to yourself
  • More productive way to vent is to go do some activity that you like (like go for a Jog, Walk or Make / Cook or even eat good food)
  • Venting should remove your pressure thoughts. It should never ever transfer that pressure to someone else as a push to change
  • It is never a good idea to vent to a person who you want to vent about – You will increase the stress than relieving as there will always be defensive or counter attack and venting would become session of fault root cause and fining out who is right and who is wrong.
  • Venting is not a solution to the problem you are facing. It will not go away until you change your thought or circumstance or reaction

But isn’t it much better not to let the pressure build in the head first place. There are very basic things that can be done to avoid the pressure build up

  • Understand that happiness is a choice and acceptance is a solution
  • Miracles happen only by being positive and having faith. There are so many examples of people recovering from life threatening illness only by being positive. There cannot be even one story of recovery through complaining.
  • You cannot change other person unless it comes from their own mind. It is a mental tilt of balance that should happen within based on their judgement and assessment of the world
  • Awareness is a great solution, when you hear a negative mind chatter just become aware and tell yourself that it is not true. Understand that mental noise is created by ego.

What you normally do when you don’t like a thing is try to change it. If you can’t change it after a few tries, it is better to change the way you think about it. Complaining only creates negativity which is nothing but suffering.

With Love ,