#Adulting is trending all over social media. “Officially a home owner!!! #adulting,” “Didn’t think I’d spend my entire Saturday at a home improvement store. #adulting”, “Increased my 401k contribution. Only 40 more years until retirement. #adulting”.
There are two components to adulting: 1) the action and 2) the humble brag. The action of adulting, as defined by the journal, American Speech, “is to behave in an adult manner; to engage in activities associated with adulthood.” Adulting typically applies to behaviors related to one of three areas: finances, home ownership or household duties, and career. After the adulting action occurs, the next step is #adulting, the social media humble brag. #Adulting is a badge of pride. It’s a pat on the back for making responsible decisions, a virtual high-five for being mature. You receive instant positive reinforcement, in the form of “likes”, that congratulate your efforts in adulthood.
In conversations with friends and clients, I’ve noticed a similar want for positive praise when it comes to taking care of our well-being. I call this Emotional Adulting. Being emotionally mature is difficult! Resolving a conflict with conversation is harder than by text. Ghosting (ignoring calls, texts, and emails) is easier to do than letting someone know you aren’t interested in them. Most of us can agree that we do not want to be on the receiving end of this behavior, but still may engage in it. This is why emotional adulting deserves praise, too.
Ending a dating situation with respect, constructively confronting your lazy coworker, or starting a daily meditation practice are all examples of emotional adulting. You deserve to be proud! So, why not share your #EmotionalAdulting experience.
I’ve created a list of 10 behaviors that are examples of praiseworthy #EmotionalAdulting to post about.
- Accept feedback without being defensive.
- Make eye contact.
- Avoid avoiding.
- Be direct with others when sharing your feelings, don’t sugarcoat, or play games.
- Prioritize your health.
- Work on your work/life balance.
- Cope with your feelings without alcohol.
- Keep your anger in check – shouting and swearing are not your best self.
- Use an “I statement” and assert your feelings, instead of blaming others for them.
- Address conflicts with your voice, not by text or e-mail.
Kate N., MS, CEAP, joined Empathia in 2005 as an EAP Counselor, then became a Performance Specialist in 2012. Kate has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology and is devoted to helping individuals determine how to make lasting changes. Prior to joining Empathia, she worked in the social work field as a case manager for Child Protective Services. Kate enjoys baking, yoga and escaping into the woods of Northern Wisconsin.