What Does A Mature Person Do?


Too hot to go outside this afternoon so I finished reading a book by the psychoanalyst, Michael Eigen. The book is a transcript of three days of psychoanalytic lectures Eigen presented in Korea, 2007. The text kept my interest as it included questions and answers from the people who attended.

I wanted to share with you a tidbit from Day 2 and ask for your opinion:

“The mature person is one who can compromise, one who can lie, and one who can be flexible and not too hard on oneself for one’s failings.”

I was surprised at the part that says the mature person can lie. I didn’t want it to say that.


In your mind, does a mature person lie? Under what conditions? What other characteristics would you say a mature person has?

Thanks for letting me know. Your responses are helpful and appreciated.

  1. Hi Nicky!

    That bothers me too! People of every age can lie! As we mature, I hope we find less pressure to do so! Maturing, IMHO, means becoming more comfortable with our authentic selves and, thereby, more willing to take risks–like truth-telling in situations where telling the truth might be difficult.


    1. Diane – here’s to truth-telling when necessary!
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Hi, Nicky! I have a fast answer for this one. I think the mature person knows how to lie properly. “Do you like the gift I gave you?” “Do you want to do this for me?”
    I have to lie because I love you. I guess it’s called tact. Otherwise, be as honest as you can, because it’s easier in the long run. He gave a pretty good description of a mature person. I am not always mature – but that’s okay! Enjoy these beautiful days – wow!! Peace, Jeanne

    1. Jeanne – I love your fast answer that is summed up with the word tact! Brilliant. I love your example – one that we face at times.

      Thanks so much for helping me clarify how a mature person can tell a lie and for reading!

  3. Hi Nicky,

    Maybe the lies of mature people are not lies of commission but lies of omission.

    First reactions about anything (Do you want that last cookie? Or how do you really feel about Trump?) can lack maturity, but a mature person knows her reaction is immature and says the mature thing (lie) then works internally to reconcile her first reactions.

    1. Chris – What a good way to untangle the confusion that is possible in hearing that mature people lie!
      Thank you so much for your words of omission and commission. Very helpful!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Hi Nicky,

    This whole definition of a mature person feels flimsy to me.
    Without the full context, perhaps I misjudge.
    There is so much more depth that needs to be considered here.

    Five year olds can compromise given the right bargaining chip.
    Who ever thought lying was ok? Has anyone noticed how well that went during the last administration?
    Flexibility is a necessity of life, and I think most figure
    that out pretty early.
    And finally, in a perfectionist culture, it takes a lifetime to learn to forgive oneself for one’s “failings”.

    If I were to define a mature person, I would say things like…

    One with enough body experiences that they are able to open their mind in order to engage compassionately with others.
    They are able to express truth in love.
    They accept and function with what is.
    And finally, they learn the names of their shadows
    and invite them in for tea so they can work on
    healing and wholeness for others and themselves.

    So the short answer…no to lying.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      I love your word flimsy. I can see that – especially once I read your definition!
      So much to think about – learning the names of the shadow, what is, truth in love.
      Thank you so much for all of this!

  5. P.S.
    Regarding your picture…
    Maybe that tangle of broken trees is what your stomach feels like
    when some say something you don’t want to hear.
    (I know mine does!)

  6. The meaning of maturity which we should develop in ourselves is that we should strive always to become simpler, kinder, more honest, more truthful, more peace-loving, more gentle and more compassionate.”

    I like this quote from Albert Schweitzer.

    I don’t like the idea about being able to lie.

    1. Hi Nolan,
      Nothing flimsy (see Nancy’s message) about Schweitzer’s quote. I like every word in it!

      Thanks for reading and letting me know that you are bothered about being able to lie too.

  7. This is a topic that I’ve just recently been thinking about……I lie at times. Or I could say, I “hide” what I really feel. People are so politically charged these days, on both sides, that I often hide my true thoughts. I cannot say if it is right or wrong, but it keeps the peace within me. And anyway, my thinking is, why argue over politics. Empires rise & fall. Who is right & who is wrong? I don’t know. I also don’t always speak my truth if I think it might hurt someone’s feelings. I’m guilty of lying by omission too. Yes, I’m guilty of lying at times, but I forgive myself:)

  8. Hi Nicky. I suppose the definition of mature must be explained. I believe an emotionally healthy adult need not lie because they have emotionally matured and are able to express themselves with transparency.,

    1. Debra – I keep being reminded that defining terms is important so thanks for helping me hear that message again. I like the idea of maturity being aligned with transparency.
      Smiles back at you!

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like