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Expecting adults to be adult

Posted Feb 29 2008 11:52am 3 Comments

Right off the bat I’m going to say my bar is raised, my standards are high, my expectations escalated.

But isn’t it odd how we begin to expect others to act like adults as we get a little older. Isn’t it odd how we expect people to be more truthful, more open, more revealing, more respectful? Damn we are so high maintenance.

How dare we expect such things? Can’t we see that there are those who don’t WANT to grow up?

Can’t we see that there are those who would prefer to stay in their stroller having mommy push them around and feed them and dress them up all pretty?

Can’t we see that engaging another adult, let alone the entire world, is just too difficult and fussy and unreasonable?

Can’t we, can’t we, can’t we????

When I turned 40 (that’s right I turned 40 so get over it) for some reason a light switch snapped on. And I realized that I wasn’t growing up (enough) and was still playing “little boy” in life. Now this doesn’t mean having fun, recreating, or find joy in life. What it means is getting out of an emotional adolescence and engaging. It means being real with people - especially the one’s you call “friends” and have known for a bit of time.

Listen, if you want to cast off some stranger in a coffee shop, that is one thing. But when you’re a friend with someone over time then don’t you owe them the real thing, honesty. I mean who better to tell you that there’s something dangling from your nose than your best friend? The reason they’re your best friend in the first place is so that they can tell you what no other would.

So please, if you’ve got a friend, shift your priorities so that tippy-toeing around their feelers is second and being honest with them is first, eh?

Comments (3)
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Hahaha...very amusing post. Well, I'm not quite 40 and I still have a hard time thinking of myself as an adult. I watch TV sometimes and think, "geez, I'm older than that person but they seem so 'adult' to me." But in that context, I mean adult as in, having that somewhat cold exterior that people express sometimes in their jobs, that "polished" thing that often television doctors have. (Except, notably, for "House.") I do, however, expect people to grow up at a certain point and stop doing stupid things, like, oh, getting sloppy drunk and puking up all over their friends out at a bar on a Friday night. Save that stuff for your 20s. If you are still doing that by your mid-30s, you probably have an addiction.
I agree--it's important to be truthful and honest and open with your friends, but I sometimes wonder if dishing everything that's on your mind regarding this person is really effective. One of the things I've learned to develop with age is tact, which I think should always be balanced with truthfulness. Honesty is important, but never at the expense of being a complete a**hole and talking from your ego rather than a place of sincerity.

That's a very sound point Nirmala (by the by, did you get my message a while back?)

I don't think of "honesty" as running on at the mouth, though I'd bet I'm guilty of it at least a time or two (thousand). There are absolutely times to say nothing at all. My favorite quote..."it is better to be silent and thought the fool than to speak and remove all doubt". A lesson I'm still learning.

I suppose I think in terms of three choices...truth, falsehood, and silence. Tact, to me, is a "how" it is delivered rather than an "if" it is delivered.

I'm merely saying that if you and I are friends for 5 years I'd expect to get a level of honesty from you that was earned over those 1826 days. Not the level that seems to be socially acceptable among acquaintances.

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