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Oh Grow Up! Do you know someone who still behaves like a child?

arthurThe parent, child or adult? Where are you coming from?

In the iconic film ‘Arthur’ starring Dudley Moore, there was a fantastic line where the butler played by the inimitable Sir John Gielgud says to his charge “Oh for heavens sake Arthur, grow up.” Dudley Moore who was around 5ft 2in (1.9m) and plays a spoilt, reckless, playboy drunkenly replies, “that’s alright for you to say, you haven’t got 10 pairs of short trousers hanging in your wardrobe!”

Arthur is a man who has never grown up. His childlike lack of responsibility, whilst endearing, doesn’t bode well for his taking over the family business and its fortunes.

Have you ever had a situation where you think you’re having an honest adult conversation with someone – your spouse, partner, friend or colleague – to have them suddenly turn it around on you and play the victim, the martyr or the child?

Or perhaps they become critical and judgemental, playing the dictator, the bully or the disapproving parent? Do you stay grounded and grown up in the face of this or do you get confused and shrink inwardly into child or morph into some critical, judgemental imitation of  a grumpy parent?

We can probably all recall situations where we have reacted unreasonably or in a way that we don’t quite understand and can’t shake ourselves out of.  Why is that?

In the therapeutic approach of Transactional Analysis, we are encouraged to view the psyche as having 3 main programs, a child part, a parent part and an adult part.

The Child

As a guideline, the child part may be identified more easily by ‘feelings’. As an example, strong feelings of being picked on or bullied,  feeling little and unable to speak out or stand up for  yourself  may manifest as fear  in the body maybe making it difficult to breathe. The feelings can be paralysing to the extent that we are unable to respond in a confident adult manner.

Related: Stop Letting Your Inner Child Rule your Life.

The Parent

Again only as a guideline the parent part could be identified by the word ‘should’ you should do this or that. Parents and teachers spend a lifetime telling children how to behave, so the inner parent part can sometimes translate internally as  quite stern, critical or judgemental.

The parent part maybe a very demanding part constantly wanting more or better from us. So as a marker when you identify the word ‘should’ in your inner chatter, you may have slipped out of an ‘adult’ who actually has a choice.

The Adult

In exploring this model you be forgiven for thinking  ‘I don’t know if I know who my adult part is!’  The adult part is who you really want to be and who you are when you feel more comfortable with yourself and a little  more self-accepting. It’s the you who is comfortable with your truth even if that truth differs from other people’s versions!

So how can we grow up? One way is to learn some assertive skills, read a book, take a course, google it and practise the techniques.

A short cut to assertiveness is to communicate honestly within ourselves first, in order to discover our truth.

Find a quiet moment and ask yourself ‘what do I really want, need or believe in order to totally honour and respect myself first in this situation?” Listen carefully for your answer  then when you’ve worked out  what you need to do,  pick a time to communicate that as openly and honestly to the other people involved. Preface it with the opening lines… “can I be honest with you?”  Let’s face it, it’s unlikely anyone will say, Oh no would you lie please!

Other people are not responsible for how you feel and you are not responsible for other people’s feelings – although naturally it is kind to employ tact, diplomacy and consideration for others.

One of my mentors Liz, always says ‘when we do what is right for ourselves, it is usually what is right for the other person in the situation’. Remembering this tip may help us to remain adult when others around us are behaving irrationally.

Anyhow one things for sure, as you get to know your assertive adult self there sure will be plenty of opportunities for you to practise staying in that state.

Enjoy and remember we love to hear your feedback.

Suex

PS. If you enjoyed that, you might like this: Why do I revert to child-like behaviour?

Recommended Reading & Listening:

Healing your inner child – This short and gentle program will guide you to empower yourself by showing you how to heal your inner child from past wounds.

Can’t Get Your Work Done? Here’s How To Hit Those Deadlines – A look at how your Inner Parent and Child can make getting your work done harder than it needs to be – and some tips on how to deal with it.

HEALING YOUR INNER CHILD

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These are my essential survival tips for a stress-free family Christmas

How to cope with ChristmasAs Christmas approaches it can be a time of mixed emotions. There’s such a lot of schmaltzy advertising and just about everywhere you look there are images of perfect Christmas scenes.

This is not the reality for many people. Over the years I have worked with clients who dread being thrown together with relations they clash with or can just about tolerate. The struggle for these people is to honour themselves without becoming too accommodating and acquiescent in the process.

Continue reading These are my essential survival tips for a stress-free family Christmas

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Growing up emotionally. Why childlike behaviour in adults can be a sign of emotional immaturity.

Have you ever been around someone seemingly bright and knowledgeable only to notice them behave badly in a childish manner? Chances are something has stopped them growing up emotionally…

heal your inner child - adults behaving like children - Growing up emotionally. Why childlike behaviour in adults can be a sign of emotional immaturity.

Emotional Growth

Collectively we still fail to understand the difference between intellectual intelligence and emotional intelligence. While we grow up intellectually and chronologically, we do not always grow up emotionally. We can have gaps in our development for all kinds of reasons, but it’s often due to something that happened in childhood. For example, a child — let’s call him John — has has five blissful years on the planet when his father suddenly dies. His mother, in her grief, plummets into a depression that she never really recovers from.

John is effectively orphaned at that point. With neither parent there to attend to his emotional needs. This trauma and loss will likely effect John’s ability to learn. Unless that’s picked up at school, he could remain in that ‘state’ for the rest of his life. His development stunted, much like a scratch on a record, or a rogue program that keeps replaying. Years later, John is unresponsive and unemotional toward his partner, going through the motions but never fully connecting.

Continue reading Growing up emotionally. Why childlike behaviour in adults can be a sign of emotional immaturity.

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What Would You Achieve If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

Zig Ziglar

I frequently get asked by leaders and managers how they can stay motivated. This week, I was talking to a sales director who was asking why he had to constantly motivate his teams and I was reminded of this quote by Zig Ziglar:

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

In these challenging times, motivation is critical for personal, family and business success. Getting and staying motivated — both individually and as a family or team — is essential. People often see motivation as something that happens to you, either you are or you aren’t, but it doesn’t work like that.

Motivated employees produce better results. Motivated teams are more productive. Motivated families feel more content. Getting and staying motivated is something you need to work on consistently. It is something that you need to work on every day, every week and every month.

Finding your why

Individuals can motivate themselves more effectively by better understanding why they do what they do. They already know the ‘what’ of their role and the ‘how’ they do their jobs but what is their core ‘reason’?

What is really essential is to question the ‘why’ or the ‘reason’ you do what you do. Check out this amazing TED talk by Simon Sinek to find out more.

So, start to inspire yourself by setting your goals in writing (journaling your successes gives you a different relationship with your goals, is easy to do and reaps massive rewards) and remember to reward yourself every time you achieve a goal no matter how small. It makes a difference.

The business of happy teams and families

And remember, this is about your personal life as much as your working life. There’s a growing “Family Inc.” movement at the moment: that is, families that are run like businesses. Bruce Feiler recently wrote about the “business of happy families” in the Wall Street Journal and Patrick Lencioni’s “Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family” explores how many business principles can be brought into the home.

Teams and families can be motivated through inspirational meetings, team building exercises and development, to name just three easy methods. Happy teams and families are more productive and feel more valued. In fact, individuals who feel valued at work give around 18% extra discretionary effort.

Whatever strategy you choose it is not something that you can do once and then forget. It’s something you have to work on every day and every week. Regular meetings, updated business plans and goals  (yes, even with your family) will help to keep you on track and identify where further motivation is needed.

What can you do now to improve your and your team or family’s motivation levels today?

Recommended reading:

Change ONE thing in your relationship today. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything else at all.

The importance of positive people. Why it’s time to do a friend inventory.

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How to Lose Your Baggage and Lighten Up: Thought Hack

Lose baggage and lighten up

What lurks in the shadows? All that stuff we put to the back of the mind to look at sometime later – or perhaps never at all…

Back in the early 90s when I first started my practice the subconscious mind or the unconscious mind as it was often called, was also known as the dark side or the shadow.

What lurks in the shadows? Among many things the shadow houses our memories, perceptions, unresolved issues, and parts of ourselves that we are not too comfortable with.

It’s all that stuff we put to the back of the mind to look at sometime later, or perhaps never at all.

Continue reading How to Lose Your Baggage and Lighten Up: Thought Hack