Emotional adulthood is taking full responsibility for ALL of your emotions and feelings.
Emotional childhood is thinking that your husband, friend, sister, mother, or even the weather is responsible for how you feel.
Are you operating from emotional childhood?
You might want to ask yourself if any of the following sound familiar:
"My husband makes me so mad when..."
"My kids are driving me crazy!"
"My mom is very manipulative."
"My sister-in-law brings me down, she's so negative."
"My friend hurt my feelings when she didn't invite me to her girls' night."
Can you relate to any of these thoughts?
you are in emotional childhood.
You're giving the responsibility of how you feel over to someone else.
Why would you want to do that?
no one can "make" you mad.
No one can "drive you crazy."
No one can "manipulate" you.
You are a grown woman for crying out loud!
No one can "bring you down."
and no one can "hurt your feelings."
You hurt your own feelings by what you make other people's words and actions mean.
It's time to take control and responsibility for all you feelings.
Because it's a much more empowered and intentional way to live.
It's a hard pill to swallow.
Believe me, I know.
I have swallowed it over and over.
but it's so worth it.
The following steps help me get out of emotional childhood:
1. I recognize that I'm acting like an emotional child.
"I notice that I'm blaming my sister-in-law for how I feel."
2. I take responsibility for ALL my emotions.
"I'm angry right now, not because of what my sister-in-law said to me, but because of what I'm making it mean."
3. I get curious.
"I wonder why I got so upset when she spoke to me. What am I thinking that's causing me to feel so much anger?...do I believe she doesn't respect me when she gives me advice on how to parent my kids?"
4. I decide how I want to feel instead.
"When my sister-in-law gives me parenting advice, I want to feel capable."
5. I start thinking thoughts that help me feel the way I want to feel.
"I bet she means well, but I like the way I'm parenting my kids. She can do it her way, and I'm going to continue to do it my way because I know it's what is best for my kids."
See how, when we take responsibility for how we feel,
we get to feel better whenever we want,
without ever changing the people around us?
That is the best news ever, sister.
That is emotional adulthood.
Brooke Castillo first taught me the concept of emotional adulthood. Listen to a great podcast on the subject here.