Every single day, you face life problems that could require you to make important life choices. Some decisions need your cognitive abilities, while some need emotional justifications.
What Emotional Maturity Means
If you are one of those emotionally mature people, you can make positive and healthy decisions during rough times.
When you constantly make good choices, you become more confident, trustworthy, and enjoyable to be with. On the contrary, if you constantly make poor choices, you become emotionally immature and less productive.
What Does Emotional Maturity Look Like?
Being emotionally mature means, you have a deep understanding of yourself. At the same time, being an emotionally mature person, you display a calm and relaxed persona.
If you have problems, you always talk to an important person with a high emotional maturity level and seek advice from them. They may not have all the answers but they can give you calmness of mind and understanding.
Three Stages of Emotional Development
There are three stages on how emotions develop. You may find it hard to reach the last stage, but the good news is, reaching it is not impossible.
This is the first stage of emotional development where your self-worth and happiness are dependent on others. When you were younger, you didn’t have physical maturity and were dependent on your parents.
By the time you got older, you become emotionally dependent on your friends, colleagues, and partner. If you are still in this stage, expect that you will often feel frustrated and betrayed by those around you.
The second stage is when you realize that your well-being is connected with that of others. In this stage, you should be able to show care and concern for others. You are happy if you can give to others with the hope that they too will show the same kindness towards you and others.
This is the last stage of emotional development, where you have a realization that your emotions are not dependent on others. Rather, it is entirely dependent on you.
In this stage, you should understand that you have the choice on how to respond to your life’s situations. You have control over your feelings; thus, you are not easily triggered. You have formed a deep relationship with yourself.
Characteristics of an Emotionally Mature Person
Here are the key characteristics of emotionally mature people:
You Take Full Responsibility
Taking ownership of your actions is one of the signs of emotional maturity. You don’t put the blame on other people or situations if something goes wrong. Furthermore, you look for solutions to the problems instead of complaining. You are action-driven, and you always aim to improve.
You Show Empathy
You strive always to do good and be supportive of others. Since you are emotionally stable, you show concern towards others who are not emotionally mature by helping them out emotionally.
You Admit Your Mistakes
You know how to ask for forgiveness when you are at fault. Not only will you accept your own mistakes, but you also correct and learn from them. Additionally, you admit that you are not perfect and you don’t know everything. You don’t argue to prove that you are right.
You Are Not Afraid of Vulnerability
You can easily share your struggles with someone who needs to hear comforting words. Also, you are honest about what you are going through. This makes it easier for others to trust and confide in you.
You Set Healthy Boundaries
You have respect and love for yourself. This means you set clear, realistic, and healthy boundaries. Furthermore, you know when to speak up when you are put down. In other words, you also know when to keep quiet and listen when reprimanded.
Does Maturity Come With Age?
Emotional maturity is not a piece of clothing that you can put on once you turn 18. Your age may not necessarily determine your level of emotional maturity. Even full-grown adults can be emotionally immature.
Several factors need to be taken into consideration to determine if you are mature or immature for your age. One important factor in determining your maturity level is your range of life experiences starting at a young age. You are emotionally intelligent if you can effectively deal with your emotions and manage them well.
If you have high emotional intelligence, you are most likely to have a high level of maturity. Emotional intelligence has nothing to do about the age. The prefrontal cortex of your brain is responsible for problem-solving, reasoning, and impulse control mechanisms. This is not fully developed until you reach the age of 25.
How to Test Emotional Maturity
If you want to get clinically reliable tests, you have to be seeking support from professionals. You can initially assess your maturity by honestly answering the questions below:
What was your reaction to a recent stressful situation?
Did you snap at the person next to you because you are stressed out or did you calmly address it? If you couldn’t acknowledge your shortcomings and blame the people around you, you definitely need to develop emotional maturity.
How did you handle big news and unexpected changes?
Do you feel happy or annoyed when you hear others talk about their life circumstances, such as their upcoming wedding, pregnancy, job promotion, or business expansion? If you find yourself feeling pissed about this news instead of expressing joy for others, you are definitely one of those emotionally immature people.
Do you have enough of everyone and everything?
Can you count how many times a day you complained? Can you also count how many times you got annoyed because of the people and things around you?
Do you count your blessings instead of comparing your life with others? If you don’t want to be one of those immature people, you have to show gratitude or appreciation for the privileges that you have.
Who gets all the blame when things go wrong?
You are allowed to have bad days. But, if you find yourself constantly blaming others or yourself for those bad days, it is a sign that you need to work on your emotional maturity.
Tips on How to Be Emotionally Mature
You become an emotionally mature individual through experiencing life’s troubled waters. You can’t become mature by being in your comfort zone.
There are so many things you can do to reach emotional maturity. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid being an emotionally immature person:
You should identify your emotions
You should be able to name your own emotions. Whatever emotion you are feeling, your positive or negative behavior is profoundly affected by your environment. You should be able to identify them, for this is the only way to understand yourself and your reactions better.
You could try writing in a journal the emotional triggers that made you explode. You will eventually see the old patterns and determine the underlying cause. This could give you insights into how you can better respond to the situation in the future.
You shouldn’t be ashamed
You shouldn’t feel ashamed of making mistakes. You should learn how to gradually free yourself from the feeling of embarrassment, for this is the only way you can control your life and live it according to your own terms.
You should have healthy boundaries
You should be able to protect your own personal space. Being an emotionally mature person, you should know when, how, and who can enter your boundaries. Having healthy boundaries means you have self-respect and self-control.
You should own your reality
This is your life and not someone else’s. You should be responsible for the good and bad events of your life. You have to have emotional control to be emotionally mature.
You should see others with curiosity and understanding
If you are one of those emotionally immature people, you have to learn how to be more patient, understanding, and forgiving towards others. If you find yourself pissed at the reactions of others, relax, and take a deep breath.
You should be more conscious of your approach and the judgments of others. If you have extended your patience, but others are still giving you a hard time, be the bigger person and step aside. It is no longer good for your mental health.
You should have a significant role model
Having an exemplary role model can help you fully develop your emotional maturity. You have to look for someone who you can admire and imitate. The person you look up to can handle difficult situations smoothly.
It Is Time to Let Go of Emotional Immaturity
Maturity is not something that has to be forced on you. You have to desire to become more emotionally mature and be willing to work on it every single day. If you want personal growth, you have to acknowledge your self-worth, be able to ask for forgiveness, and ask for help and support if needed.
Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) will help you develop your emotional maturity. KCC will help you make meaningful connections with yourself and others so you can have a fulfilling life. Book an appointment now!