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Mark Goulston, M.D.: Election 2010: Will You Be a Good Sport on Wednesday?

By Huffington Post
November 2, 2010

Will you go gently and cooperatively into Wednesday after the elections, or will you rage against the winners you didn’t vote for?

If immature love is loving people for what they do right and mature love is loving them in spite of what they do wrong, will you be able to give your full support to whoever is elected and help them succeed in their position even if you didn’t vote for them?

If you are able to do that, you are not only mature, you have “object constancy.” Object constancy is the ability to maintain a positive connection to a person, a goal and in the most important category, hope, in the face of disappointment, hurt, frustration and upset.

It is sometimes a matter of temperament, because there are those lucky individuals who by nature see the good in the bad and the half filled cup. Often, however it is a matter of maturity, in that the more immature you are (as with many kids and people who refuse to grow up that you and I know all too well), the more likely you are to respond to disappointment or even a simple “No” with “I hate you!” “You’re not my friend!” “Let’s just get a divorce!” “That’s okay, because I just might as well kill myself!”

I am not advocating that one should tolerate physical, sexual or mental abuse without fighting back or cutting your losses. In that regard I try to follow the wise words from one of my late mentors, Walter Dunn: “Confront evil at the earliest opportunity, but for everyone else who is just flawed, cut them some slack.”

From The Huffington Post