Have you ever felt frustrated when you are expressing negative emotions ie anger or sadness, and someone says “Oh.. grow up!”
Have you ever asked yourself the following questions?
- Why is it that people assume the older we get, we have to control our emotions better?
- Why is it that when a 5 yr old cries everyone baby and fuss over him, but when a 28 yr old cry ppl say “Get a grip of yourself”
- Why is there a saying “Big girls don’t cry”? Errr…. Why not? Are we that ‘big’ that our tear ducts are blocked by our fats now?
- Is the amount of emotions allowed to show relative to our age? If yes, what’s the matrix like? 10 year olds fall is in pain – cry and wail all they want. 20 year olds – ok to tear up and sob, but suck it up quick, 30 year olds – Ok to just grimace a lil, 40 year old – smile and dust yourselves? 50 year olds – Laugh out loud? 60 year olds – Shout FML? Really!??!!?? Is there a unspoken matrix how much emotions we should let out when we hit certain age?
- Must our hearts toughen up over the years as we aged automatically? How? Are there pills to help us harden up inside? Are there eye drops to prevent tears? Are there masks that look like our smiley face to put on to hide negative facial expressions? Maybe we all need Botox.
- Must we ignore our emotions and suffocate ourselves with it just because we are older now?
If you have asked yourselves this question, then you are going to like what I’ve researched. Cos things makes so much sense to me now.
It all started when I’ve begun opening up to more friends and family about what I’m feeling inside, and eventually, after running through the usual script of advices, a lot of them say to me the cliché stuff, “Be an adult”, “That’s life”, “Suck it up”, Be Strong/tough”. Don’t get me wrong, those are really good and sound advices I’ve been getting and I’ve been trying to practice them. But yesterday night, I caught myself wondering, BUT WHY???? Is it true that we can magically aged emotionally as well? Then why do I feel like I am facing the ‘Failure-to-launch” syndrome?
Did some quick lunch time goggling and found this.
A research was conducted by National Institute on Aging (NIA) in 2009 with the objective to discover if there is a co-relation between age and emotions.
Full article here -> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304114240.htm
This is what they had to do. 2 Groups of ppl were chosen
- 72 ppl aged between 20 – 30
- 72 ppl aged between 60 – 75
Task 1: To memorize a series of numbers from a computer game and recall those numbers
Task 2: To watch a clip of a gal eating something really gross on Fear Factor
Both groups were asked to do Task 1 first. Memorize and recall some numbers. Both groups fare relatively well, almost similar results
Next, both groups were ask to do Task 2. To watch that very disturbing clip.
And were immediately asked to repeat Task 1. To memorize and recall numbers.
The group with older people fared better then the group with younger people.
When they were interviewed, the younger folks admitted that they were still disturbed by the clip they watched, while the senior citizens merely took it as another task (no, their memory is not failing them yet..)
It is proven, scientifically, that with age and experience, comes better ability to control your emotions.
*the stubborn me still refuses to accept this fact. Yes yes…. the science never lies, it has been proven that’s just the nature of life. But.. but.. but.. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??*
I finally found my answer on this site
“In other words – as we age we develop more experience dealing with emotional events, and we tend to be less emotionally reactive than when we are younger. We have also spent much of our lives constructing environments (such as home and family) that support us emotionally. All of these factors may play a role in the decrease in negative emotions as we age.”
So. A 12 year old boy ia facing a death in the family for the 2nd time may take it easier than a 40 year old who is facing it for the 1st time ever.
YAY!! I’ve finally found my answer!
Now it makes a lot more sense. I’m not a case of ‘failure-to-launch” anymore. It’s not about the age. It’s about what you have been through. If you have not been through certain events in life, you are only experiencing it for the first time, it’s natural to react like a kid facing it for the first time. Yes, we should try to take it like an adult, but at least now we know why some things aren’t as easy for us as they are to others.
SO yeah…… Quit telling people to ‘grow-up’ or ‘be an adult’ or ‘you are too old to cry’. They are just what they are as we all took different paths of life. They may be able to take certain things better than you do! You’ll be surprised when that happens. You’ve just not been put into the right context just yet. Situations that seem ‘conventional’ to you, or perceived as ‘facts-of-life’ to you, may not be to others who have not been through the same paths you have.
Guess the fine balance is to feel free to express what you feel inside when you need to, but try to stay sensible about it, and be thankful for the group of moral support you have around you.
As for me…
Let me take my time to grow up to what everyone expects me to be, cos I know….. in some very unconventional ways, I am stronger emotionally than many others out there.
I’ll rest my case.
Now… what’s for lunch?