Are we afraid to be adults? A psychological point of view. Part 1

30 September 2019

It seems that nowadays nobody knows what an adult is and when a person becomes one. There are many of us who would like to live a life without taking it seriously.

The source:
The source:

How and when did I become an adult? I have no idea! Although I don't consider myself a child or an infantile, the philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville writes. But this transition took place very gradually and imperceptibly. It was not an event, but a process, a work, a long recovery. I never felt that childhood was a happy time. Becoming an adult meant finally choosing happiness as opposed to childhood. Perhaps we want to part with childhood, but are we ready to be adults? Which one of us (no matter how old we are) is not sometimes covered by the fear of not being able to cope, not being able to stand up for ourselves, the desire to hide under the blanket? Among those with whom we discussed this "Dossier", many exclaimed: "Adult? Me?". Fortunately, no. Don't adults turn into an endangered species, into a club with fewer and fewer people to join? Should we be surprised at this time, when seriousness and maturity are not too much - are they valued?

Life brands

Adulthood is, of course, a fact of personal biography, an inner feeling that can come at any time. Public opinion is inclined to the fact that we become adults between 16 and 24 years old. "In general, for the majority of our fellow citizens, the adult state lasts from 16 to 60 years", says sociologist Alexei Levinson. These boundaries roughly coincide with obtaining a maturity certificate at the beginning and a pension certificate (for men) at the end. However, 29% of young people aged 18 to 26 do not consider themselves adults, and in the next age group (26-35 years), there are also many such people - 10%, but there is another perception, less tied to the passport age. "Nowadays, adolescence has become a significant factor in the adult population, and teenagers are considered to be children up to the age of 20", says social psychologist Margarita Zhamkochyan. I would even say aggressively and at the expense of adulthood, youth lengthens before our eyes. Many predict the gradual disappearance of this concept in general: adults do not age, children do not grow up. Many of those who are already under forty sincerely believe that to admit to being an adult means to surrender...

Advertising is tirelessly reaching out to young people and has reached the point where young people have become the main reference group. It is difficult for creative employees of advertising agencies living in the artificial world, which Frederick Begbeder described in the bestseller "99 francs", and Victor Pelevin - in "Generation P", to get used to the idea that the purchasing power is now the farther, the more goes to older people.

Mixed landmarks

Are we able to give an exact definition of an adult ourselves? Until we grow up, he seems to be a kind of "man in a case" reasonable, but boring character, embodying the rules, restrictions, prohibitions. For example, Peppy Long Stocking from the children's book Astrid Lindgren thinks: "Adults are never really fun. And what are they doing: boring work or fashion, and talk only about blisters and income taxes ... And they spoil their mood because of all sorts of stupidity ... Or is it about being an adult, having your own joys, your own harmony? "An adult man is one who does not need parents, argued the Hindu mystic Osho. Adult person - the one who does not need to cling to anyone and rely on anyone. An adult person is the one who is happy alone with himself. But the definition of André Cont - Sponsville: "Growing up means loyalty to childhood and at the same time the rejection of the desire to stay forever in childhood".

This refusal is not easy for many of us. We are witnessing the disappearance of the common boundaries between teenagers and "young adults" who continue to listen to the same music, wear the same jeans and sneakers ... Meanwhile, children are increasingly unable to afford to leave their parents' homes because of the high cost of living or, after leaving, soon return to their nest. Many adult children continue to receive financial assistance from their parents because they study longer and start working later. And why rush when many people think life is just beginning at the age of 40?

To be continued in the next part: