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“Emotional maturity is hard to maintain without maturity in other aspects of your life. Thus, if you are not in control of the situation, it is easy to become overwhelmed by life.”―Charlotte Maloney
As a kid, I was told that you become a man as soon as you reach the age of eighteen. Once you were old enough to buy a drink at the bar, you had reached full-status manhood. If you could do that, you could do anything.
But once I started to navigate the world as a fully-grown adult, I noticed a massive problem with my previous way of thinking: a lot of men still act like boys.
Sure, a lot of adults might have an awesome beard and a driving license. Heck, they may also do drinking with their buddies at the bar every weekend as a means of escape from their daily life.
But in my view, none of those things truly makes them men. Why? Because an essential aspect of manhood is emotional maturity. Without that, they’re just boys in a grown-up’s body. So without further delay, here are five rare traits that separate boys from men.
Boys Crave Respect. Men Earn It.
Boys are on a mission to make others respect them. Instead of doing something out of the kindness out of their heart, they often do things because there is a potential reward at the end — usually in the form of respect from another person.
I was having a conversation with a high-school friend last night on Zoom. He told me how he’d buy groceries and then film himself giving them to homeless people on the streets of his hometown. He told me how he craved the respect that other people gave him for doing those things.
So naturally, he did them whenever he got an opportunity.
In contrast, men earn respect. They hold the door open, smile at strangers in the street, and do many other little things that can create a big impact. Respect from other people isn’t something they actively seek. Instead, it’s often a byproduct of their daily actions.
Boys Are Insecure. Men Are Confident.
Boys often spend a lot of time obsessing over their appearance. They find validation in compliments from other people, and thus, they do whatever they can to obtain them.
I’ll give you an example. I used to have a friend who posted pictures on Instagram every day of his abs just to receive comments from women saying, “how hot he looks all the time.” He found validation in that and craved it.
Men do the opposite. Instead of finding validation from other people, they find it in themselves. They have the confidence to succeed in everything they do — without needing attention or validation from other people.
Boys Chase Women. Men Look After Them.
I’ve recently noticed many guys treat their dating life like a venture capital fund. In essence, they talk to ten women at once, with the hope that one of them will stick around for an intimate relationship. But as a result of not investing sufficient time or energy into anybody they talk to, that strategy rarely works out. Hence why it’s a dating strategy for boys.
Men do the opposite. Instead of chasing a woman, they support her in whatever they can. Whether it’s something small like cooking breakfast or going on a nice day trip, men try to look after their partner to the best of their ability.
Boys Argue Over Problems. Men Find Solutions.
Boys often love fighting over little things. Whenever they disagree with someone, they’ll regularly focus on the differences in opinion instead of making an effort to find common ground.
Admittedly, I used to be like this. During my teenage years, I had a terrible habit of arguing with people because I had an inner desire to be right all the time. I was pretty stubborn.
Now, I’m different. Whenever I encounter an obstacle, I figure out the easiest and most efficient way to overcome it. In essence, I do whatever I can to find solutions during every moment of adversity.
That’s how men try to act every day. Instead of arguing why a branch is in the middle of the path, they climb over it and keep walking.
Men earn respect and do their best to find solutions whenever they face obstacles in life. They have confidence and actively try to make their partner incredibly happy.
If you take a moment to think about it, none of those things are incredibly complicated. However, once implemented, each of them has the power to make a huge impact. Luigi Pirandello said it best:
“Anyone can be heroic from time to time, but a gentleman is something you have to be all the time.”