Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Emotionally All Grown Up

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I’m almost finished reading Pete Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. It’s such a good book that I’ve volunteered to teach it as a class this Fall. Our churches are full of emotionally immature people. You will see people you know in this analysis of stages of emotional growth.
Emotional Infants
  • Look for others to take care of them
  • Have great difficulty entering into the world of others
  • Are driven by need for instant gratification
  • Use others as objects to meet their needs

Emotional Children
  • Are content and happy as long as they receive what they want
  • Unravel quickly from stress, disappointments, trials
  • Interpret disagreements as personal offenses
  • Are easily hurt
  • Complain, withdraw, manipulate, take revenge, become sarcastic when they don’t get their way
  • Have great difficulty calmly discussing their needs and wants in a mature, loving way.
Emotional Adolescents
  • Tend to often be defensive
  • Are threatened and alarmed by criticism
  • Keep score of what they give so they can ask for something later in return
  • Deal with conflict poorly, often blaming, appeasing, going to a third party, pouting, or ignoring the issue entirely
  • Become preoccupied with themselves
  • Have great difficulty truly listening to another person’s pain, disappointments, or needs
  • Are critical and judgmental
Emotional Adults
  • Are able to ask for what they need, want, or prefer – clearly, directly, honestly
  • Recognize, manage, and take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings
  • Can, when under stress, state their own beliefs and values without becoming adversarial
  • Respect others without having to change them
  • Give people room to make mistakes and not be perfect
  • Appreciate people for who they are – the good, the bad, and ugly – not for what they give back
  • Accurately assess their own limits, strengths, and weaknesses and are able to freely discuss them with others
  • Are deeply in tune with their own emotional world and able to enter into the feelings, needs, and concerns of others without losing themselves
  • Have the capacity to resolve conflict maturely and negotiate solutions that consider the perspectives of others
 That’s enough to think about for now. The peace of Christ to you.


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