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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 April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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