Adult children live life from the low vantage point of fear and insecurity. Understand you are not low level: the vantage point is low level.
We often tie up our self-image and self-esteem with our words, thoughts, and deeds. If we think or behave wrong, we are wrong, and less than. So as a defence, we decide our way of thinking is the way of thinking. This narrows down choices and options and seems to reduce our feelings of insecurity.
This behaviour only seems to reduce feelings of insecurity. On a conscious level we feel in control. We have set the rigid boundaries, we have our opinion. If someone thinks differently to us we ignore them or bludgeon them with our way of thinking. This can manifest in many ways - deciding what a partner should wear, who his friends should be, even going as far as signing him up on courses that you are sure will enhance his life. This behaviour gives us a sense of purpose - it is our duty to make other’s lives right. There would be world peace if the world only saw things the way we do.
Or we use the avoidant tactic of staying away from people who think differently. Usually because they make us feel emotions we associate with inferiority. But these are feelings not facts. Also, because we are so closed off to our feelings and have such a limited feeling vocabulary, the emotion may not be inferiority... It may remind us of a time when we felt small and less than: this time would have been accompanied by fear and insecurity, or fear of insecurity.
Our behaviour towards our self is also all or none. We are very hard on ourselves. We both push ourselves too hard and fall into workaholism and perfectionism, or we decide we are incapable of normal adult behaviour and procrastinate, or we start projects with gusto but have an inability to follow through once the initial excitement has passed and we get into the deep work.
This behaviour negatively permeates all relationships - work and personal. It is complex. We can be successful in the career world but have a crazy home life - or the other way. Or we can have it all from the outside. Ultimately, though it is what is inside that counts, and we cannot fake that.
We always have a nagging feeling things are not right. Identifying and working on black and white thinking by training ourselves to allow others to have different opinions is a first step.
We can start small and read newspapers we would not usually be interested in. Be aware of your feelings of confusion, anger or petulance while not doing anything about them i.e. writing a letter to the editor.
We can also stop offering solutions to another capable adult’s problem, no matter how much we want to.
Just allow yourself to be right or wrong, but not involved.
It will hurt you because, for instance, you may feel selfish - especially if it seems you could help. However, remember you are in training, and as you get stronger you will be able to help people from a constructive standpoint rather than interference or self-centred feelings of being a know-it-all.