How can you tell if you are all grown up? Many people with lots of children are not adults. They think only of themselves, viewing the child as some sort of appendage. Necessary, comfortable, but not a person they love and care for. Some people are too immature and self indulgent to parent well. Thus parent is no hallmark of maturity, healthy relating or adulthood. How can you tell if you are all grown up? Is it your age? Some people reach the ages of 70, 80 and beyond retaining strange manipulative behaviors.

Things You Will Need

You will need some introspection to be an adult. You will need to open the doors of your perspective. You will need to be able to see things from another person's point of view. Narcissistic people are essentially never grown up because they can not think beyond themselves. They do what's good for them no matter how it harms others. Drug addicts fall into this category. They may be aged in years, yet they are still incapable of being accountable. Everything is someone else's fault. Nothing is under their control. They run red lights, they run up bills, but some how nothing makes sense to them.

To be an adult you need to get past yourself. You need to stop taking anything personally.

Step 1

Stop taking ANYTHING personally. Not just the bad things, the good as well. A grown up, a mature person knows nothing is personal. You may receive fine service because the service person is ethical, or in a good mood, or not very busy. It also may be because you are good looking, but it isn't personal. It isn't because you deserve or don't deserve anything. The universe is quite clear about this. Bad things happen to people in Chile, and Haiti and to you and to me. Good things happen to, we may not pay as much attention. And none of it is personal. It just is.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic think of five possible explanations for that action. Sure may be the person is a moron, or drunk, unable to drive, a child, or someone under a great deal of stress. There is a chance the person has your number and got up that morning hoping to tick you off, but that is a slender possibility isn't it? In your work if you have a lousy co-worker or an unhelpful boss it isn't personal. It may not even be under your control, except to leave, or call that person to the carpet. Would it do any good? I work with two of the most useless people on earth. Really.

Between the two of them they have half a personality. They can't make conversation, help with the line, make change. They can't acknowledge a customer. They can't acknowledge me. But it isn't personal. It just is.

Step 2

You can tell if you are grown up if you are accountable. If you are grown up you take responsibility for your actions. IF you make a mistake you own up to it. You apologize. You make amends. Immature people do not do this in their personal nor professional lives. They attempt to hide mistakes at work thus making it impossible to make amends. They blame others. This is not mature behavior. Sometimes they are oddly manipulative. They will encourage you, for example, to borrow their hammer. Then, upon realizing they would rather you NOT borrow their things, they will complain to you about using their stuff. A mature person, in a healthy relationship would calmly state, "I regret encouraging you to borrow my tools, please stop."

Step 3

You know you are grown up when your word becomes your bond. You no longer need binding contracts, although you may use them, to make you do right. You no longer need the fear of punishment or the promise of reward to make you do the right thing. Your ethics are in place. Religion is nice, but mature people do the right thing even if no one is looking. Mature people KNOW the right thing with out a lot of fancy complex doctrine. They treat people right. They keep their word, unless, upon learning more information, it becomes clear that is the WRONG thing to do.

Step 4

You know you are a grown up when you like yourself. You no longer need an outside source judging you. You no longer need praise or blame to divert your actions. You no longer self adjust based on gossip and others perceptions. You relate to your family and strangers with honesty and authenticity. You no longer wear a mask. You don't stay where you don't want to be.
The world needs more mature people. Back in the 1940's people prided themselves on handling issues in the same way people today pride themselves on passing the buck. It is now hip to be dumb in lieu of wanting to learn. It's admirable to make more money proportional to less work. At least compared to actors, dancers have a skill, but they don't get paid as much. By comparison models do the least of all, so you can guess which one kids most want to be: models. Don't be a kid. Find your inner "adult" today.

Tips & Warnings

People will try to tell you there is a difference between praise and blame. There really isn't. Either way you have handed over your self image to someone else. That's weak, not mature.