06 Oct Emotional Maturity
This week’s blog posts will discuss Emotional Maturity. What it is, the characteristics of someone who is emotionally mature, and how we can develop it to improve our lives and regulate our emotions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single, in a monogamous relationship, or partake in an open-style relationship. Emotional maturity is crucial to develop and maintain healthy and happy connections with others, and more importantly – ourselves.
What is emotional maturity?
Emotional maturity is basically how we both manage and understand our emotions. Being emotionally mature helps us to cope with the difficult situations that life enjoys flinging at us from time to time.
Emotional maturity is realizing that not everything can be one-sided all the time. There’s very little in life that is really Black and White. The person who is emotionally mature is able to clearly see the middle ground. Having a sense of understanding and compassionate awareness is the key to gaining emotional maturity.
Our upbringing, life experiences, and our natural disposition all shape the way we respond to difficult situations.
Characteristics of Emotional Maturity
1. Taking responsibility for your words and actions. – Being emotionally mature is understanding that your current circumstances are a result of the decisions you have taken up to now. Being accountable for what you say and do is a strong characteristic of being emotionally mature. It helps you realize that by making better decisions, you can improve the outcomes you achieve.
2. Showing empathy towards yourself & others. – Things go wrong. How you deal with what life throws at you will depend on how emotionally mature you are. When something happens for the worse, showing yourself kindness and understanding that you are allowed to feel what you feel is another strong characteristic of emotional maturity. When something goes wrong by the hand of another, putting yourself in that person’s shoes and trying to understand their perspective and what led them to make the decision in the first place is another telltale sign of an emotionally mature person.
3. Owning & Admitting your mistakes – It can be hard to admit when you’ve royally fucked up. However, as stated in number 1, being emotionally mature is understanding that your current circumstances are a result of your decisions. An emotionally mature person will admit a mistake, be held accountable for it, and try to change that behavior in the future.
4. Not being fearful of vulnerability – Someone who’s emotionally mature knows that they’re not perfect because nobody is. They allow themselves to be open and hornets with others, even though it might make them feel vulnerable. Accepting who and how are you will allow you to express yourself without the fear of judgment. In the same way that an emotionally mature person is aware of their own prejudices and biases, they are also able to see when specific circumstances and challenges affect the actions of others.
5. Setting healthy boundaries – We need boundaries for emotional peace. Setting healthy boundaries is a form of self-love and self-respect. Knowing when and how to set a boundary with another is another strong characteristic of being emotionally mature.
6. Understanding & accepting needs – Someone who is emotionally mature, knows that when they need help, it is not a sign of weakness. Learning how to ask for what you need instead of belittling yourself and others for needing anything at all, is a strong emotionally mature characteristic.
How to become more emotionally mature.
So what can we do to become more emotionally mature people?
- Practice mindfulness. – Mindfulness can help you to become more in tune with your thoughts and feelings and help you to gain control of them. Being mindful of how you think and talk about situations will show you where you might need to reflect and change.
- Reflect on previous reactions to stressful situations – This can be uncomfortable to do, as we often feel shame when we think about how we acted in certain situations. But it can be truly beneficial to think about these situations and consider what we could have done better. Through personal reflection, we can gain an awareness of our patterns, and more importantly – how to change them.
3. Be open to learning – and being wrong! – An emotionally mature person understands that they don’t know everything and that there is (always) so much more to learn and gain from others around them. Opening your mind to others will allow you to grow in more ways than one.
4. Focus on responding, rather than reacting. – This is a hard one for me, and I really like to blame my amygdala for this one! When you react, you don’t allow yourself to listen or fully understand the situation you’re reacting to. Taking the time and reflecting before reacting in a situation, will help you take heightened emotions away from how you respond. You’ll come across calmer and your point will be clearer.