It seems as if a week does not go by in my life without upsetting somebody. For a person whose life purpose is to help other’s this is a fairly disturbing trend, and one I am desperate to break. I hate it when I am the reason somebody is upset, particularly when I care about that person. So why does it keep happening?
I think it is happening because I am not emotionally mature enough to handle a lot of the problems that arise in my interactions with other people. This is a startling revelation and one that makes me feel a little bit sorry for myself. You see, I have always thought that I had more emotional maturity than most people. So to discover the truth, even though it will lead to better things, is a bitter pill to swallow.
One area where I lack emotional maturity is responsibility. When I get involved in a problem with an individual that descends into an argument, or some other form of upset, I find it really difficult to apologise. I hate to say sorry unless I actually believe that I am truly sorry. To determine whether or not I am sorry I go through a process of blame, and it is this process that stems from a lack of emotional maturity. When I am considering apologising to another human being I weigh up whether or not I am in the wrong. I turn the apology debate into a, who is right or wrong debate.
If you can remove the right or wrong debate from the equation, then making an apology becomes that much easier. I need to learn to make an apology based on my actions and not the incident as a whole. If I continue to focus on the incident as a whole than I am always looking for the other person to accept equal parity of apology. I need to start learning to take responsibility for my own actions. So am I just a pigheaded human being who just always needs to be right all of the time? Well, I don’t think I am, and this is why I am connecting my behaviour to a lack of skill. I don’t deliberately set out to upset someone, I do it out of habit, and I lack the skills to change my behaviour.
Another problem that I have is my over inflated ego and seemingly fast-paced urge to get to the top. I think that I display all the characteristics of a person who has a learning deficiency. Stephen Covey says in his excellent book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that in all of life there are sequential stages of growth and development. I think that I try to take too many shortcuts in my eagerness to get to the top. This was very prevalent in my process to become a professional poker player. All of my friends were professional poker players. It seemed so easy and all it needed was for me to have them teach me how to play the game like they did. But I had omitted the most important lesson. I didn’t even start at the beginning and I was devoid of all fundamental poker principles. I was acting like the people on the television with no clue what I was doing. Mental Game Coach, Jared Tendler, said that I displayed all of the characteristics of a player who suffered from a Superiority Complex. The type of guy who reads a book and then believes he controls all of the information it contains. In life, I lack a lot of fundamentals when it comes to emotional maturity.
But having an understanding of my failings, being honest and authentic, having great feedback channels and taking time to reflect, is helping me understand that I have so much to learn. Writing is a fantastic way for me to understand and learn more about my life and in turn help other people to gain a better understanding also. So in the meantime, I am going to continue to keep writing about my screw-ups and hopefully they will lessen week by week as my habits start to change and I start to display more emotional maturity.
Where do you think you place yourself on the emotional maturity scale? Does any of this resonate with you? Tell us about it if it does.
Photo courtesy of Butupa (cc & flickr.com)