… so says this story HERE.
The gist of the article is that as adults, we are retaining the more childlike aspects of our personalities as we age — an ever-growing trend. The writer cites our fast-paced society and the need to be flexible in a increasingly flexible world as factors contributing to a never-ending emotional childhood. (That phrase “30 is the new 20” couldn’t be any truer … or more annoying.)
Lifelong learning, moving across the country — and the planet, changing jobs: all bullet-points for the positives of “thinking young” to handle these challenges. But what about the negatives? The effects of that unfinished childhood, called psychological neoteny by scientists, create these unfinished people, emotionally unstable outside of their jobs and education.
It’s not surprising; think of the people in your life who show erratic behaviors, flakiness, prone to temper-tantrums, lack of responsibility or empathy towards others on a regular basis. We encounter them in our daily lives — bosses, mates, strangers, internet trolls.
So can this be blamed — as the article states — on an increasingly changing world around us, being a continual learner and being flexible to adapt? Perhaps. I also think that we have become too lax in general, allowing for people to become indulgent in their childish behaviors. We have it too easy nowadays: life isn’t as hard as it once was thanks to technology, and because of that we are used to having our way, and faster — kind of like a child. Could you imagine having to wait for the newspaper or evening news for daily events? No way — a few clicks and there you go.
That attitude has crept into many aspects of our lives, including relationships. Trying to nurture a bond — be it between friends or partners — is time-consuming and never easy. But it seems the patience to maintain that tie is being strained, and people are more willing to let things fall apart rather than take the time to mend something worth fixing.
In the past year, I have seen a friendship evaporate into nothing, put my trust in people not worth the time and effort, reached out to those not willing to give back, and found myself at the very edge of misery. There were times I felt that my faith was failing me and my faith in the people in my life was being trampled on.
And yet, I have made some strong ties, strengthened a few more and experienced varying degrees of happiness. It’s life, and it is every day of every year for every person that lives.
I guess wanting to believe in people is my weakness and strength; the knee-jerk reaction to build an emotional wall ruled out to give someone another chance going against wisdom — all the signs of a lack of maturity in that aspect. But if it means being open to meeting great people, encountering someone special and having a blast in-between, being immature isn’t so bad.
(I wrote this in 2006, but it’s still relevant. Hell, it will continue to be relevant as long as there is a culture that increasingly enables narcissism and vajazzling. Hope you enjoyed it!)