Adulthood comes with a large set of responsibilities and complex tasks to face on a day-to-day basis.
This class of challenges also includes the way in which as adults we must relate to our own emotions. And it is that doing everything possible to enhance our psychological well-being without totally depending on our parents is part of a healthy adulthood.
Of course, no one is able to fully control their emotions, but it is possible to gain dominance in the modulation of feelings and affections (oriented towards others and towards oneself). The experience of being adults contributes to us making important progress once we have reached the age of majority, but there are always exceptions and moments of weakness. In this sense, throughout this article we will do a review of the most important psychological pillars to cultivate good self-esteem in adulthood.
The main pillars of self-esteem in adults
Self-esteem is not a psychological element that is already given to us and in which we cannot do anything. Even if we don’t realize it, we are constantly participating in its evolution, since what we do and how we manage our emotions has an impact on how we see and value ourselves.
Of course, the way in which we influence our self-esteem varies depending on the stages of life we are going through. For example, being a child, adolescent, or adult has implications for the following aspects of life that shape our interpretation of events:
- What are our values?
- What are our interests?
- How many people do we associate with?
- What degree of autonomy do we have?
- What are our responsibilities?
- Who are our references?
- How many experiences should we incorporate into the concept of “I”?
- What is our capacity for abstract thinking in this phase of life?
This is just a sample of the variables that come into play in shaping a person’s self-esteem, a self-esteem that also varies over the years or even over the months. Definitely, it is a complex and unique process in each individual, and before which there are no infallible magic recipes in all cases. However, there are several key ideas or guidelines to take into account to maintain an adequate level of self-esteem, taking into account the lifestyle associated with adulthood in Western countries. Let’s see what they are.
1. Maintain the circles of friends
Many people allow adulthood to go hand in hand with a progressive loss of friends, by letting family, domestic and / or professional responsibilities occupy all their time and leisure is based on leisure or individualistic activities. This can have a negative impact on self-esteem, by leading to a poor social life associated with monotony, the lack of incentives and the scarcity of situations in which to discover new facets of oneself.
2. Don’t base everything on upward mobility
Go climbing positions in the amount of income and purchasing power becomes a kind of substitute for real self esteem in adult people with a very busy professional life. The moment this substitute for true self-acceptance reveals itself for what it is, life crises often appear.
3. Get involved in self-controlled projects
We must not let the demands of the labor market capitalize on all our efforts to achieve important in the medium and long term.
Also you have to know how to establish long-term goals and projects from the very terms, from the values that you yourself have. For example, write a novel, build a cabin in the garden for our children to play in, study a career for the pleasure of learning about it, etc.
4. Learn to say no
Diplomacy plays a very important role in adult life, but that does not mean that we are obliged to always say “yes”. You have to learn to be assertive and mastering the ability to say no so as not to be in tow of what others decide.
5. If you feel overwhelmed or overwhelmed by the situation, seek professional help
Knowing when it is time to go to counseling is also part of establishing a healthy relationship with adult roles.. And this includes not blaming yourself for suffering or not being able to properly manage your own emotions.
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- Sanz, LJ (2012). Evolutionary and educational psychology. CEDE Preparation Manual PIR, 10. CEDE: Madrid.