I hope your day has gone well so far.
We are still trying to remove the vagaries and vagueness in the definition of the term Maturity.
Last time we looked at emotional connections and pointed out that people who exploit such connections in their relationships, romantic or otherwise are immature. I do hope you checked yourself to be sure you’re not failing in that regard. If you are, you can make a deliberate effort to change that.
This time, I’m looking at Communication skills as a basis for assessing Maturity.
Where else is it more true that the strength of a chain is dependent on its weakest link than in communication? If your objective is to communicate and not just to speak, you will find that you have to break your information down to the level of the person with the weakest capacity for comprehension.
Have you ever tried to teach children? (Again, much respect to children’s teachers) You will find that the simplest of concepts takes much time, patience and skill to pass across. And if your target audience is actually a baby, you have your work cut out for you and I don’t envy you the slightest bit.
Depending on the age, your only recourse could be the reward-punishment approach… a sort of binary code of good-bad.
Then there is the issue of the short attention span. This is perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects for some of us. Getting a child to pay attention to you for the duration of your speech is tough and usually involves some form of restraints or threat of punishment to keep him still in one place. Then, keeping the body on lock down is totally separate from having his attention as his mind might be with you one moment and out the window with a butterfly the very next.
It’s a major mission trying to communicate with babies.
On the other hand, imagine a baby trying to communicate with you. Most of us might have forgotten but truly when your baby is crying, it’s actually trying to communicate with you by drawing your attention to something. The problem is, you have the task of figuring out what that something is. “Is he hungry or has he soiled himself? Is he cold or is he hot? Is he crying because it’s too dark in here or because he’s got light streaming in on his face through the window?” And after you have run through your checklist of possible options, you find out he stops crying when you pick him up and you go “oh… he just wants to be held” but a few minutes later, he’s crying again and you realise, you have to pace the floor while holding him to calm him down.
You would agree that even for a baby to communicate with you, you have to do all the work of “blindly” figuring out what he’s trying to say.
So, if you find yourself with someone who does not know how to listen, cannot pay attention to understand you (whether he would agree with you or not is a different matter) and when he wants to express himself to you, it’s still a matter of guess work on your part to have an idea of what he is trying to say, then I tell you this person is not mature no matter how old he is. This is Point #2.
If this picture describes you, then you also have to accept the fact that you have work to do on yourself. If you do not know how to express yourself clearly without having to go off the handle emotionally with anger and rage and hatred, you’re still a child.
If the only time your company is tolerable is when you’re happy and in a good mood … if whenever you’re upset, you impress your personal state on everyone and everything around you and bring everything to a standstill until your personal needs have been attended to and resolved… you’re still a child – you’re immature.
In fact, that takes me to the next point but for now, suffice it to say that if this is who you are right now, you’re not ready for a healthy relationship cos we have come to find that a major factor for success in any relationship is communication.
More to come.