Emotional childhood is when an adult believes that other people cause their feelings. Emotional maturity, or adulthood, is when an adult realizes that they are in charge of their emotions, and that they take full responsibility for them. They have come to understand that they can choose thoughts that will create more desirable and appropriate emotions. There are many adults who are still living in emotional childhood. I do this occasionally myself, though I’m trying to do better.
Being in emotional childhood as an adult is actually very common, and it gets passed down from parent to child. When we are young, we often are taught that we are the cause of other people’s feelings. Our parents might say that we shouldn’t hurt other people’s feelings, or console us when someone else “hurt our feelings.” When a couple gets married, they are encouraged to “make one another happy.” This implies that we are responsible for other people’s emotions, and they are responsible for ours. This is simply not true. We become so much more empowered when we become an emotional adult and take responsibility for our own lives and feelings.
Whether we realize it or not, we are always responsible for how we feel. We can control what we think, and thus we are also in charge of how we feel, both good and bad, because our feelings are a result of our thoughts. When we are functioning as an emotional child, we blame other people for our emotions, our actions, and for the results they create in our lives. We feel victimized. In this way, we give other people some of our power. If we take the journey into emotional adulthood, we let go of feeling like a victim, and become the director of our thoughts, feelings, and outcomes.
Let’s try to become emotional adults and take responsibility for our own emotions. Together we will feel stronger and more in control of ourselves. This doesn’t mean that we completely ignore others’ feelings because they are responsible for them. It doesn’t mean we should act mean or cruel. Usually when we are mean and yell at others, we’re trying to control them. When we’re emotional adults, we know we only can control ourselves.
To learn more about how thoughts create our feelings, actions and results, please sign up for a free 45-minute consultation mini-session with me. I’m so excited to share what I’ve learned with you.