I think this is kind of a loaded question. What it means will depend on perspective, context, and even cultural background. So one blanket definition doesn’t quite fit here. There has to be some context around what the question is really addressing.
It’s something on my mind and I felt I needed to write it out. Per our live-in landlord, there is a no shoe policy in the house. The official tenants in the house all happen to be Chinese, so we have a cultural preference for this. Its a rule that all residents and guests must follow. Besides for household respect, it’s a hygienic thing. Who knows where the shoes have been. It could have stepped on mud, urine, feces, spit, throw up, etc. Would you want your barefoot (or even your expensive shoes) walking on top of a floor that has that filth on there?
Now the landlord has a boyfriend that practically lives in the house, and yes he knows the rules. He decided it was OK to wear his shoes all over the recently mopped floor today. It bothered me when I saw that, but I chose not to say anything because it isn’t my house. In fact, if the landlord decided to change the rules, it’s fine by me. I just don’t want to be walking barefoot in the house or cleaning the floors if someone else is going to walk in with their shoes. If shoes are OK, then I’ll wear my shoes. So I deferred it to the landlord, and he said he’d take care of it by telling his boyfriend. After he sent the message to his boyfriend, the guy practically snapped, but not in front of me. He was right below my window that happened to be open. He raised his voice. He was angry that I didn’t tell him directly because he was “right there.” And I suppose there are some relationship issues because he was also angry that after being gone for a week, that was the only thing the landlord would say to him. His reaction showed his level of maturity. This is what I am getting at.
I get his point, I could have just told him directly. But I’m not a confrontational guy, plus I only rent a room, not the entire house. I don’t wear shoes into my room, but if the landlord is OK with shoes in other parts of the house, that’s really OK – that means I’ll just wear my shoes and take it off before entering my room. Even if I was a confrontational guy, I am not responsible for enforcing rules to guests of the landlord.
Plus, this guy already knew the no shoe rule. He just suddenly felt the rules didn’t apply to him. The mature thing for him to do is just stop wearing shoes in the house and not make a scene. The rule is clear and he knows it. Also, I don’t need an apology – I don’t care for it. But he needs to be more mature in handling these things. What mature person throws a tantrum after being told not to wear shoes in the house? Maybe it was a respect issue, since I didn’t say it to him in person.
Comments? Thoughts? I’d like to read some other opinions on these silly domestic issues. In this particular case, I think maturity is defined as keeping a calm composure, understanding he made a mistake, make the changes, and move on.