Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeLiving 2RelationshipsWhat Is It to Be Emotionally Mature: Part Two

What Is It to Be Emotionally Mature: Part Two

Part One of this film is here:

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“Emotional maturity is a state few of us ever reach – or at least not for very long. But it may help us to try to lay out what some of the ingredients are so that we have an idea what we might aim for:

If we were to grow into emotionally mature people, this is some of what we would have learnt how to be:
– We would strive to understand the specific ways in which our childhoods had made us crazy. We would accept that most of what we are is shaped by relatively small events that unfold before we are ten. We would find a good therapist.
– We would notice the patterns. Perhaps we wouldn’t need to keep trying to impress older figures of authority; or to fall in love with distant people who were involved with someone else. We would acquire a (low-resolution) map of our neuroses.
– There would be a little more delay between feeling something and having to act on it. We might even at times simply observe a feeling and do nothing.
– We could bear to listen. We would no longer cut across and say, ‘That reminds me of something…’ just as another person started to share their story. We would soothe our own wounded egos into silence, look warmly into their eyes and say, ‘Tell me more, this sounds so interesting…’
– Fewer people would strike us as being either very good or very bad; we would sense the struggle in everyone to keep afloat. We would judge that we were all a mixture of the good-hearted and the egoistic. We would have less of an impulse to stone wrongdoers.
– We would take measures to stay pessimistic about how things turn out; we would remind ourselves on an hourly basis that all relationships are riven with pain, all business ventures are maddening, and all families are demented. We wouldn’t feel so persecuted; this is how things universally are (it’s just that other people carefully omit to speak about it). We would get less hopeful and – therefore – less bitter and less furious. Of course, things are often slightly disastrous, of course, we have made some terrible mistakes, of course, we have been betrayed and treated badly. It would all feel eminently and supremely normal…”


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Produced in collaboration with:

Hannah O’Brien

Title animation produced in collaboration with

Graeme Probert


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