It seems that we as a society have forgotten some important values, and are generally becoming more immature as a result. There doesn’t seem to be a differentiation between manliness and egocentric chauvinist behavior in a lot of people’s minds, which is truly sad. You have people saying things like 30 is the new 20, and grown men acting like entitled spoiled children. The truth is that once you’ve stepped into your mid-20s you should have gained enough life experience to be able to behave like a mature adult.
The thing is, few young people – and too few older people as well, I’m sad to say – don’t really know what it means to be a mature man. A truly mature man is a strong and confident individual, a diligent provider, passionate and caring lover, brave protector, problem solver, careful listener, a safe port in a storm and a friend you can depend on.
Being a confident individual who knows a thing or two about life, understands that others depend on him and has his priorities straight, a mature man will never exhibit behaviors associated with inexperienced, immature and weak people. Here are the things that mature men don’t do.
1. They don’t let fear keep them from achieving happiness and success
Fear – whether it be fear of failure, fear of being reprimanded or fear of being rejected – is something that keeps most men back. Living in fear means being docile and never seizing big opportunities, which can negatively impact your career, love life, interpersonal relationships and mental well-being. A mature man knows that fear is always present, but he knows who to deal with it.
He doesn’t hesitate to put himself out there and take some risks, particularly when the only consequence to taking an action will be a slightly bruised ego or a bit of discomfort. Mature men live on the very edge of their comfort zone and take frequent trips into the wilderness that lies beyond that edge.
2. They don’t go do things just to please others
You often see young guys who start working out to impress girls, men who read up on wine tasting or art just so others perceive them as classy, and you also have those who go out of their way to come across as smart, so that their boss and coworkers will respect them more. Mature men are not motivated by what others think – their actions are motivated by a sincere desire to improve, learn and develop in a direction that they themselves have chosen.
They train to be healthier and stronger, they read books and take classes to expand their knowledge and develop skills in areas that they find useful or interesting. In other words, they know who they are and what they want, and although they respect others’ opinions, they are only governed by what they believe is the best choice.
3. They don’t create an idealized image of a woman in their mind
Many relationships fall apart when immature men realize that the image of the ideal woman that they have put on a pedestal and have been admiring all this time doesn’t really sync up with reality. Many guys go from zealous admiration to misguided misogyny when their deluded expectations aren’t met by real women. Women are just like men – they have their strengths and weaknesses, admirable traits and forgivable faults, desires and fears. A mature man knows this and feels much more at ease with women, seeing them as his equal, and can thus develop sincere and healthy relationships.
4. They don’t get baffled by a woman’s words or actions
Even though mature men treat women as equals, they are aware of the simple fact that men and women are fairly different on a number of levels – e.g. from a biochemical, psychological and social standpoint. We are brought up differently and our brains are wired differently, and a mature man understands that women communicate, argue and are emotionally affected by things differently than men are.
This is why such a man is not easily baffled or angered by a woman’s words or actions, and is more than capable of seeing things from a different perspective and picking up on subtle cues – it’s not about mind reading, just about developing a deeper understanding of the female psyche and body language cues.
5. They don’t hold grudges
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. – Buddha
Arguments will happen between family members, friends, lovers and coworkers, it is inevitable if you spend a lot of time with someone. However, a clear sign of maturity is the ability to cool off after an argument and let go of all the negative feelings. You will hear the phrases “I’m sorry,” “forgive me, I was wrong to do that,” “oh, just forget about it, it’s nothing, really,” and “water under the bridge” spoken by mature men, as they give and receive apologies and move on with their lives. Harboring resentment will poison your relationships and lead to unhappiness.
6. They don’t feel insecure about their appearance and style
Another big issue many men have is that they feel insecure about the way they look, dress and act. Insecurities lead to fear, anxiety and anger, which will negatively affect your life in many different ways. Insecure men are afraid to experiment with fashion as they don’t want to be considered feminine, and they don’t feel comfortable in their own shoes.
The world has evolved, and fashion sensibilities have drastically changed. There are a number of fashion accessories that can be worn by both sexes, and you don’t even have to sacrifice utility for style. A mature man is confident in his appearance and unique fashion sense, and doesn’t care about a few people disapproving or making negative comments.
7. They don’t distance themselves from their family
As the years go by and we mature, keeping strong family ties becomes more apparent. There are some instances where it is not possible for a family to stay close, but most of us can afford to spend a bit more time with our parents, relatives, wife, and kids. Quality family time strengthens bonds and a mature man sees himself as being part of a larger codependent group.
8. They don’t allow people to bully them
There is a difference between being confrontational and being assertive, and it is not something that immature guys really understand. Mature men have the self-respect, self-control and confidence to set and enforce boundaries – if others try to push too far and bully them, these men will stand their ground and project a strong dominant energy. They cannot be coerced into doing something that they don’t want to do, nor will they sit by and let someone walk all over them. There is no need for them to resort to violence or shouting in most cases, as they can solve problems by standing tall and speaking up for themselves in a strong stern voice.
9. They don’t moan and despair when faced with challenges
Defeatism and moaning are things that a mature man sees no need for, and has no time for. When faced with challenges this type of man will remain collected, even helping calm others and keeping their spirits up, and work on finding the right solution. Often sacrifices have to be made and plenty of hard work put into solving big problems, but this is not something that men should shy away from. It is a simple rule that these men abide by – either put forth a constructive solution or stay quiet until you can find one. This makes the people around them feel safe and stay positive.
10. They aren’t afraid to take action and make difficult decisions
There will be times in everyone’s life where hard decisions need to be made, and to overcome adversity you often need quick thinking and the ability to take action at the right moment. A mature man will make reservations in advance when he wants to take his date out out, talk to his boss about a promotion opportunity, sit his friends down and talk them out of doing something stupid even if it means that they will get mad at him, put himself in danger to protect his loved ones or sacrifice his comfort to ensure their happiness. This doesn’t mean that mature men always know exactly what to do or have the ability to handle any situation, but they will try to the best of their ability to ensure a favorable outcome.
11. They don’t set unrealistic goals
Some people will often get disappointed and quit because they have set unrealistic goals for themselves, right from the start and are then unable to achieve them. An important aspect of maturity is being able to correctly gauge your capabilities and be honest with yourself, which allows mature men to set more realistic goals. They are patient enough to dedicate themselves to slowly making progress in the long run and understand that the ultimate goal isn’t attaining quick results, but sustainable results.
12. They don’t let their ego get the best of them or act on impulse
In the end, the mark of a truly mature man is his ability to keep his ego under check and actually think things through before doing something. They understand that their actions might have undesired consequences and look past the immediate moment, planning their actions by anticipating what is to come, like an experienced chess player.
For example, they know that going on a shopping spree will put them in dire financial straits come the end of the month or that holding a grudge and starting a fight over little things will only make them feel miserable in the end.
And there you have it – the things that a man must learn not to do before he can be considered a mature adult. No one is perfect, and we could all probably work on some of these things in our own lives, striving to become better men overall.
Source: “12 Things Mature Men Don’t Do,” from lifehack.org, by Ivan Dimitrijevi