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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

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Last Updated on June 12, 2018

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

You know how this looks:

  • Parents constantly comparing children.
  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Adultery…
  • And many others.

For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

How to fix a dysfunctional family

In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

Dysfunctional… Or just average?

Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interest and time spent together
  • Sexism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unequal or unfair treatment
  • Disrespect towards boundaries
  • Control Issues
  • Jealousy
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

The link to productivity

You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

How to turn it around

When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

Correction is possible

In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

Verbalize it.

All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

Putting it to work in real life

In real life it would be something like this:

“OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

Or:

“Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

Or:

“Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

This is what you have to remember:

1-Stop.

2-Why it’s wrong?

3-What you need.

And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

It’s a family thing

A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

In other words, you will need cooperation…

So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

It’s not a free-for-all battle

In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

The method

1. Drop the ego

Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

2. Not blame, but responsibility

When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

You will do something like this:

“Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

What happened here?

We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

3. Doing the work

What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

“When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

Love is all you need

You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

And what happens if it simply is not there?

What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

There is only one thing you can do:

To break away.

Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

“We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

Putting distance

So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

What do I mean?

Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

I choose my peace of mind.

And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

How to prevent it

There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

Priorities and clear thought

You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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