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Friday, 05 July 2013 15:56

Emotional Maturity = Growing Up

Written by 
parents lgbt
Dear Sappho,
I’m at a lost at how to deal with my parents and their reactions to their adult children’s choices and lifestyles. I’m a lesbian and they seem to think they have a role in choosing my girlfriends. One sister is straight with five kids but they try to tell her how to raise her kids and live her life on a daily basis. Another sister is divorced with no intention of ever getting married again and every conversation they have with her revolves on finding her a husband. We laugh about it when we aren’t pulling our hair out. Life choices they don’t approve of are ignored or boycotted.

Without realizing it they use emotional blackmail and judgmental tactics in an attempt to control our behaviors. Which might explain why none of us is married, or in a traditional relationship. They don’t realize they are teaching us through negative example, and the most important lesson we seemed to have learned from them is to not repeat their mistakes or follow their advice regarding relationship and career choices. Any choice we make is open to their unwelcome criticism and judgment. It is of particular concern that they proclaim anything or anyone they don’t approve of as crazy or mentally ill. I’m getting tired of waiting for my parents to grow up….

Dear Waiting for My Parents to Grow Up

Growing up is a euphemism for emotional maturity. Emotional maturity is the conscious choice and ability to control one’s emotions, manage your reactions, and basically act for the greater good for all concerned. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to perceive, control, understand and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.

Not getting what you want and reacting badly because you did not get it is a sign of emotional immaturity. There are many adults who appear to be successful grown-ups who still act like self-centered self absorbed children. Blame, avoidance, and lack of acceptance, are all signs of those who have not yet emotionally matured. Emotional maturity is a conscious choice to take control of one’s reactions and learn how to manage one’s feelings. It is the process of learning how to respond to failure, stress, and life’s uncertainties.

Human emotions are formed out of the two basic emotions of love and fear. From love stems the noble emotions of kindness, charity, joy and happiness known as the seven virtues. Fear creates the destructive habits of greed, anger, frustration, and selfishness, sometimes referred to as vices or deadly sins. Symptoms of emotional immaturity include explosive behavior, temper tantrums, unreasonable jealousy, the unwillingness to forgive, and unpredictable moodiness. Other signs of emotional immaturity include the need for instant gratification, emotional neediness, and co-dependence. Egocentricity is a major form of selfishness. Egocentric people demand attention, make unreasonable demands, and are insensitive to the needs of others.

Growing up is a conscious act of emotional maturity and it does come with rewards. It is a measure of the ability to face reality. It involves more than being able to provide and take care of one’s self; it is reciprocal in its ability and skill to give and receive love, compliments, and contributions to society. Easier said than done? Yes, it does take effort and is not the result of luck, fate, moods, or the moon.

Many people have learned and yearned for emotional maturity as a result of mistrust, abuse, or being subjected to overwhelmingly dominant forces. It is a reaching out of the status quo and a struggle for inner strength and self-confidence. Your parents had the opportunity to live their lives as they desired, but they do not have the right to live your life as they wish you would live it. I realize that it is hard for some parents to let go of their children after they are old enough to make decisions on their own. 

Because we learn best by modeling good or bad examples, sometimes this kind of emotional control behavior continues for generations until someone is strong enough or wise enough to make the break from family bondage and pressure. If you are in a position to model emotional maturity please make sure you accept and understand yourself. Do not lie to others about who, what, or why you love what you love.

Practice and model unselfish behavior, it is a virtue in itself and includes kindness, charity, faith, and promotes joy and happiness in others. Don’t dominate instead cooperate with others to bring about what is best for the highest good of all involved. Avoid people and situations which bring out the worst in you and expose yourself to people and situations which bring out the best in you. One of the best ways to do this is to seek perspective and strive to live a meaningful life. But make sure it is meaningful to your values, instincts, and spiritual growth. (

Sounds like you are the grown up here.)

Good Luck!



Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.