“When will I grow up…?”
As toddlers, we all had this one genuine problematic thought running in the fleshy mass inside our skull. Wouldn’t we go insane when we couldn’t see the man at the ticket counter of the merry-go-round? How struggling was it to keep holding the huge palm of our dads while we constantly collided with the on-comers in the market! Remember how hard was it to squeeze through the crowd which, in my personal opinion, felt no less than a stampede? “Ah, when will I grow up?”
Now that time has flown with its famous derogatory speed and brought us ages ahead, we’ve grown up. Or have we? What exactly is growing up?
I’ll not put this as the common interrogative sesssion, but rather let me simply jot down the obvious statements to this question. First, it does not mean growing up in mass and size. Biologically, yes it does mean that but psychologically it doesn’t. You know, growing up is correctly attributed to being matured. We humans have a unique gift of understanding. Understanding situations, circumstances (do both the words mean the same?), feelings and most importantly, people. When was the last time you won someone over with your compassion and understanding? Psychologically speaking, everyone loves getting attention – even if some people say that they don’t like being in the limelight or that they don’t like getting attention, deep down they do. Now think about this: do you ever try to fit in someone’s league by agreeing with them on some facts, but in reality you yourself don’t really believe in it? That’s called Nomative Social Influence. What did you do here? You got their attention turned towards you because you wanted to be liked by that person. So in a nutshell, people like attention (even you did in the above scenario!). If you give your attention to someone albeit you aren’t interested in listening to them, it can level up your respect in that person’s eyes. That’s growing up.
Secondly, I know reading people’s mind can be a difficult task, but not always. People speak a lot when they don’t speak at all. Charismatic people are an exception though. Although their world might be fallen apart, they manage to put a smile on their face. But not all people are strong enough to do this. Each indivudual has their personal life, which obviosuly includes personal problems. Imagine you are pissed off at something and bump into someone who is pissed off as well. Would it be a mistake to fake a smile to him? Who knows, your smile could be an ice on his fire. That’s growing up.
Growing up is when your mind thinks in a practical way. Again, I would like to impress upon the fact that we are humans (don’t call me a stupid!). When you grow up, your relationships with people grow; at times it doesn’t. Let’s keep the growing part. So naturally, there comes trust and relaince on each other. There’s a saying “give generously whatever is possible to someone; don’t expect anything in return”. That’s far from the truth. In a healthy relationship with someone, one automatically desires that our input be returned in some way. It is the Reciprocity Norm. If there isn’t any effort from the other side, you know it’s time to leave. Leaving is not easy I know, but acknowledge your feelings and let it go. For God’s sakes, effort is beautiful. That’s growing up.
Stop chasing people, stop begging to people. Knowing that your self-esteem is something you’ve earned while you grew up and that you can’t just sell it off for anyone is growing up. Not everyone needs to know what you’ve been going through, barring a few closed ones. Stop posting it on social media (I personally hate this). Accept failure, embrace success. Modesty is beauty. Arm yourself with knowledge – it’s the only undefeated knight in your shining armour. Let the world know that you are a knowledgeable person, but without bragging about it. Because knowledge is attractive, isn’t it? Make people feel good about themselves – they’ll love you for that. Acknowledge people’s feelings, even if it is for you. Show confidence, kindness, respect and love. I mean what’s the harm in that? Understand and be understood. Know your goals. Try. Fail. Try again. Succeed! That’s growing up.