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13 Things Mature Men Don’t Do

13 Things Mature Men Don’t Do

It seems that we as a society have forgotten some important values, and are generally becoming more immature as a result. There doesn’t seem to be a differentiation between manliness and egocentric chauvinist behavior in a lot of people’s minds, which is truly sad. You have people saying things like 30 is the new 20, and grown men acting like entitled spoiled children. The truth is that once you’ve stepped into your mid-20s you should have gained enough life experience to be able to behave like a mature adult.

The thing is, few young people – and too few older people as well, I’m sad to say – don’t really know what it means to be a mature man. A truly mature man is a strong and confident individual, a diligent provider, passionate and caring lover, brave protector, problem solver, careful listener, a safe port in a storm and a friend you can depend on.

Being a confident individual who knows a thing or two about life, understands that others depend on him and has his priorities straight, a mature man will never exhibit behaviors associated with inexperienced, immature and weak people. Here are the things that mature men don’t do.

1. They don’t let fear keep them from achieving happiness and success

Fear – whether it be fear of failure, fear of being reprimanded or fear of being rejected – is something that keeps most men back. Living in fear means being docile and never seizing big opportunities, which can negatively impact your career, love life, interpersonal relationships and mental well-being. A mature man knows that fear is always present, but he knows who to deal with it.

He doesn’t hesitate to put himself out there and take some risks, particularly when the only consequence to taking an action will be a slightly bruised ego or a bit of discomfort. Mature men live on the very edge of their comfort zone and take frequent trips into the wilderness that lies beyond that edge.

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2. They don’t go do things just to please others

You often see young guys who start working out to impress girls, men who read up on wine tasting or art just so others perceive them as classy, and you also have those who go out of their way to come across as smart, so that their boss and coworkers will respect them more. Mature men are not motivated by what others think – their actions are motivated by a sincere desire to improve, learn and develop in a direction that they themselves have chosen.

They train to be healthier and stronger, they read books and take classes to expand their knowledge and develop skills in areas that they find useful or interesting. In other words, they know who they are and what they want, and although they respect others’ opinions, they are only governed by what they believe is the best choice.

3. They don’t create an idealized image of a woman in their mind

Many relationships fall apart when immature men realize that the image of the ideal woman that they have put on a pedestal and have been admiring all this time doesn’t really sync up with reality. Many guys go from zealous admiration to misguided misogyny when their deluded expectations aren’t met by real women. Women are just like men – they have their strengths and weaknesses, admirable traits and forgivable faults, desires and fears. A mature man knows this and feels much more at ease with women, seeing them as his equal, and can thus develop sincere and healthy relationships.

4. They don’t get baffled by a woman’s words or actions

Even though mature men treat women as equals, they are aware of the simple fact that men and women are fairly different on a number of levels – e.g. from a biochemical, psychological and social standpoint. We are brought up differently and our brains are wired differently, and a mature man understands that women communicate, argue and are emotionally affected by things differently than men are.

This is why such a man is not easily baffled or angered by a woman’s words or actions, and is more than capable of seeing things from a different perspective and picking up on subtle cues – it’s not about mind reading, just about developing a deeper understanding of the female psyche and body language cues.

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5. They don’t hold grudges

Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. – Buddha

Arguments will happen between family members, friends, lovers and coworkers, it is inevitable if you spend a lot of time with someone. However, a clear sign of maturity is the ability to cool off after an argument and let go of all the negative feelings. You will hear the phrases “I’m sorry,” “forgive me, I was wrong to do that,” “oh, just forget about it, it’s nothing, really,” and “water under the bridge” spoken by mature men, as they give and receive apologies and move on with their lives. Harboring resentment will poison your relationships and lead to unhappiness.

6. They don’t feel insecure about their appearance and style

Another big issue many men have is that they feel insecure about the way they look, dress and act. Insecurities lead to fear, anxiety and anger, which will negatively affect your life in many different ways. Insecure men are afraid to experiment with fashion as they don’t want to be considered feminine, and they don’t feel comfortable in their own shoes.

The world has evolved, and fashion sensibilities have drastically changed. There are a number of fashion accessories that can be worn by both sexes, and you don’t even have to sacrifice utility for style. A mature man is confident in his appearance and unique fashion sense, and doesn’t care about a few people disapproving or making negative comments.

7. They don’t distance themselves from their family

As the years go by and we mature, keeping strong family ties becomes more apparent. There are some instances where it is not possible for a family to stay close, but most of us can afford to spend a bit more time with our parents, relatives, wife, and kids. Quality family time strengthens bonds and a mature man sees himself as being part of a larger codependent group.

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8. They don’t allow people to bully them

There is a difference between being confrontational and being assertive, and it is not something that immature guys really understand. Mature men have the self-respect, self-control and confidence to set and enforce boundaries – if others try to push too far and bully them, these men will stand their ground and project a strong dominant energy. They cannot be coerced into doing something that they don’t want to do, nor will they sit by and let someone walk all over them. There is no need for them to resort to violence or shouting in most cases, as they can solve problems by standing tall and speaking up for themselves in a strong stern voice.

9. They don’t moan and despair when faced with challenges

Defeatism and moaning are things that a mature man sees no need for, and has no time for. When faced with challenges this type of man will remain collected, even helping calm others and keeping their spirits up, and work on finding the right solution. Often sacrifices have to be made and plenty of hard work put into solving big problems, but this is not something that men should shy away from. It is a simple rule that these men abide by – either put forth a constructive solution or stay quiet until you can find one. This makes the people around them feel safe and stay positive.

10. They don’t see their job as something boring that they have to put up with

While some people just view their jobs as something they need to push through mindlessly, so that they can go home and do what they want, the mature way of going about it is to give your best at your job and look for opportunities to improve and take your career to the next level. Mature men realize that others depend on them, so their career is a very big priority. Constantly improving and striving to earn more so that you can provide for your loved ones and still be able to afford some luxuries that will make you happy – this is the goal that these men set for themselves.

11. They aren’t afraid to take action and make difficult decisions

There will be times in everyone’s life where hard decisions need to be made, and to overcome adversity you often need quick thinking and the ability to take action at the right moment. A mature man will make reservations in advance when he wants to take his date out out, talk to his boss about a promotion opportunity, sit his friends down and talk them out of doing something stupid even if it means that they will get mad at him, put himself in danger to protect his loved ones or sacrifice his comfort to ensure their happiness. This doesn’t mean that mature men always know exactly what to do or have the ability to handle any situation, but they will try to the best of their ability to ensure a favorable outcome.

12. They don’t set unrealistic goals

Some people will often get disappointed and quit because they have set unrealistic goals for themselves, right from the start and are then unable to achieve them. An important aspect of maturity is being able to correctly gauge your capabilities and be honest with yourself, which allows mature men to set more realistic goals. They are patient enough to dedicate themselves to slowly making progress in the long run and understand that the ultimate goal isn’t attaining quick results, but sustainable results.

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13. They don’t let their ego get the best of them or act on impulse

In the end, the mark of a truly mature man is his ability to keep his ego under check and actually think things through before doing something. They understand that their actions might have undesired consequences and look past the immediate moment, planning their actions by anticipating what is to come, like an experienced chess player.

For example, they know that going on a shopping spree will put them in dire financial straits come the end of the month or that holding a grudge and starting a fight over little things will only make them feel miserable in the end.

And there you have it – the things that a man must learn not to do before he can be considered a mature adult. No one is perfect, and we could all probably work on some of these things in our own lives, striving to become better men overall.

Featured photo credit: Handsome man silhouette via shutterstock.com

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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