Emotional Maturity

The process of growing up – maturing – and becoming a civilized person is the process of training one’s innate emotional reactions to be appropriate in both object and intensity. Consider the Terrible Two’s – “terrible” because the child’s emotional reactions are completely untrammeled, uncontrolled; natural. A screaming toddler is doing exactly what “feels right” at the moment.

Thus all the pain that comes from a culture that tells people who ought to be adults to “do what feels right” and never, ever to attempt to train their emotions because that would be “repressive.” The temper tantrums just get a little more sophisticated, but that’s really all they are; temper tantrums of people with the vocabulary of adults but the emotional maturity of a toddler.

Given this, I read with interest SarahsDaughter’s blog post about how female emotions swing negative. I don’t have statistics to back this up at fingertip, but in my personal life I can attest that this is true for the women I know; and the fact that women have gotten progressively unhappier precisely in conjunction with the rise of the cultural attitude of “do what feels right” leads me to think that this is spot-on. If women weren’t naturally given to negativity, they’d be getting happier in a culture of “do what feels right,” not more unhappy.

However, this is a Logical Argument. It’s not going to convince any Blue Pill women, as it’s too straightforward. The problem is, how to you convince someone who’s unhappy – deeply so – to train her own emotions, when she’s clinging to a “my emotions are to be validated at all times!” mentality as if it were a life preserver in a storm? And how does one even talk about training one’s emotions? It’s all very well to say “train them” but it’s easier said, than done.

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About pancakeloach

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