Do you ever have moments when you feel like a boy trapped in a man’s body?
We all do at some points in our interactions with others.
You find yourself picking a fight over something insignificant. Or feeling jealous of another man’s business success. Or becoming whiny when your partner says she’s not in the mood.
But if boy psychology is responsible for your actions more often than your mature masculinity is, then you might want to switch up your ratios.
By learning to live your life from a place of maturity you will feel more grounded, masculine, and attractive in your intimate relationship.
Here are the five ways you can more fully transition between boy and man psychology in your thoughts and actions.
1. Victim Mentality / Accepting Responsibility
Victims feel like the entire world is plotting against them. Their life sucks because of other people. Victims are often heard uttering phrases like, “This always happens to me,” “Why bother?” or “She left me!”
They’re broke because the economy sucks. They don’t have a girlfriend because girls in their city are snobs. They’re out of shape because their workout buddy moved away.
Men who live with the victim mentality are exhausting to be around and have yet to begin the process of emotional maturation.
Mature men accept responsibility for their lives. They realize that everything in their lives is a by-product of the decisions that they made at some point.
Not only is a mature man responsible for the problems in his own life, he also takes on the problems of those closest to him. Just like an ancient tribal leader, a mature man realizes that his friends and partners problems also affect him and his life… so he seeks to ease the problems of his entire social circle.
Your health? Your responsibility. Your financial situation? Your responsibility. The state of your love life? You guessed it… also your responsibility.
When you find yourself trapped in any situation, you should ask yourself “How did my decisions get me where I am today?” followed by, “What can I do to influence this situation for the better?”
2. Passive / Decisive
When you are young, the majority of your decisions are made for you. Decisions regarding your clothing, food, and life’s schedule are largely decided by your parents.
Even if you were given the chance to make choices, you don’t have a lot of preferences when you are young because you haven’t yet had the opportunity to sample different kinds of experiences.
For many men, a lifestyle lacking in experience ultimately produces an indecisive man. Passive, immature men are often found using the phrases “I don’t know,” “I don’t care,” and “You decide.”
A mature man knows what he wants in life. He has goals and intentions that he is confidently striding towards. And when you ask him what he wants to do on Friday night’s date… he has a plan.
People gravitate towards a man who can confidently state his preferences. He makes clear, actionable decisions that he knows are not necessarily final, but is comfortable making his preferences known.
Leaders are decisive. As you grow older, you are given many windows of opportunity to become a leader within your life.
It’s a window when your date asks you, “What would you like to do tonight?” It’s another one when your boss asks you “What do you think?” at the group meeting. And the more you act on these moments of potential leadership, the more moments you will be given.
In the animal kingdom, the highest status leaders have the most responsibility, and they also have the most access to resources.
If you grew up with a masculine role model who shied away from decision making or leading others, you might feel like it’s wrong to (what feels like to you) boss people around. But the truth is, people love a good leader. They don’t love a tyrant or a jerk, but if you are able to take decisive action and make group decisions more often, people will continue to look to you for guidance.
If you find yourself lacking in your decision making ability, start by practicing small.
Decide that you’re going to get up half an hour earlier than normal tomorrow, and then do it. It’s non-negotiable. Once you have said you are doing it, it’s the law. Failure to implement your goals will always result in a loss of your internal sense of integrity.
Other exercises to increase decisiveness: order a meal at a restaurant with three different modifications to your order (be picky, and resist the urge to apologize for it), plan your next date a week in advance but keep it a surprise, and the next time you and your friends/partner are trying to decide what to eat or what movie to see, be the first one to make a suggestion.
3. Needy / Independent
You have needs. You have physical, emotional, and psychological needs that will never go away.
But younger people in particular are especially helpless. They rely on others for everything. For some men, this sense of needing to have someone take care of them never fully goes away.
As a child, my grandma once told me, “You better make sure you know how to cook for yourself, otherwise you’ll marry the first woman you date.”
Mature men are independent. They have no problem relying on others when they need help, but they know that no matter happens, they will be able to take care of themselves.
And I don’t just mean you know how to bathe and clothe yourself. If you were dropped in the middle of a forest and had to find your way home… or were threatened in the street by a mugger… or you had to walk thirty kilometres into town to get a can of gas when your car breaks down… would you have a bone-deep belief that you would be able to take care of yourself?
For the evolved man, independence goes far beyond simply taking care of yourself… true independence comes from knowing in your heart that you are a survivor and that you would do whatever it takes to continue thriving in your life.
4. Value Taking / Value Giving
It’s highly likely that in the first six years of your life you didn’t do anything of real value.
You slept, and played, and offended people who were more socialized than you and that was about it.
In a boy’s younger years, he takes resources (or value) from his environment. He is self-involved and doesn’t do much of anything to contribute to the people around him.
As the boy matures into a man he contributes increasing amounts of value to his society.
If you often find yourself being a drain on people financially, emotionally, or otherwise, you should consider switching value taking for value giving on a more consistent basis.
How often do you selflessly help others in your life (expecting absolutely nothing in return)? How often do you come bearing gifts to the dinner parties you attend? How often do you contribute your time or money to charitable causes?
A mature man exists to serve… his friends, family, loved ones, and society at large.
5. Validation Seeking / Self-Assured
We all need both internal and external validation. We like to set and achieve goals (which boosts self-esteem and gives you internal validation) while also receiving praise for our successes (external validation)
But is your overall self-esteem or mood dependent on other people’s verbalized feedback on how awesome you are?
External validation can act like a drug for immature men. You will say or do nearly anything to get another hit. It starts off with you fishing for compliments on the work you did from your co-worker, and next thing you know you’re sitting on the street corner begging for someone to tell you that you’re handsome.
Mature, confident men are self-assured. They give themselves the majority of their validation because they are already proud of the person that they are becoming. They don’t need someone to constantly tell them “good boy” because they already know they are a quality, valuable member of their society.
I’m going to bet that you, being someone who is interested in developing themselves, are sometimes a bit too hard on yourself. The root cause of your need for external validation could be that you are so busy beating yourself up inside your head that you need someone else to tell you that you really aren’t as bad as you tell yourself you are.
To counteract this need while building self-esteem and self-compassion into your life, make it a habit to occasionally write down all of the things that you have done lately of which you are proud.
Did you promise something challenging and then deliver on that promise? Write it down. Did you hit a new fitness goal recently that you had been chasing for a while? Put it on the page. Did you hit a new career or financial milestone recently? Take note.
The more you give yourself praise and recognition, the less dependent you will be on others to receive it as often.
Boy And Man Psychology: Where Are You?
Many of the world’s problems can be traced back to masculinity… specifically boy psychology.
It isn’t that masculinity itself is to blame for society’s problems… it’s that the men who are running the world haven’t transitioned from boys to mature men.
True mature masculine energy wants what is best for the community and the world at large. Immature boy-like energy is selfish to a fault. It is this greed and emotional immaturity that causes the world to stagnate on many levels.
So, which is it going to be?
Are you going to live your life as a stuck, emotionally passive victim… or as an evolving, self-assured creator whose main intention is to help the world grow and expand?