When we think of someone who is emotionally mature, we usually imagine that person must have a good understanding of who they are.
Even if they don’t have all the answers, an emotionally mature person exudes a sense of “calm in the midst of a storm.” They function well under stress, so they are the ones we look at when we’re going through tough times.
They know how to deal with difficult situations while remaining calm. This is a skill set that they can consistently work on for the long haul.
What are classic signs of being emotionally mature?
Here are a few characteristics of emotionally mature people;
1. They are not afraid of taking up responsibilities.
Emotionally mature people are aware of their privilege in the world and seek to take steps to change their behavior.
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This means that if something goes wrong, they don’t blame others (or themselves).
They have a spirit of humility: instead of complaining about their situation, they become action-oriented. They may ask, “What can I do to improve this situation?”
2. They are empathetic.
Emotionally mature individuals approach life by giving their best and supporting the people around them.
They know how to put themselves in others’ shoes. In other words, they often feel more concerned about others and try to find ways to help.
3. They own up to their mistakes.
They know how to apologize when they do something wrong. There are no excuses. They acknowledge their mistakes and try to find a way to correct the situation.
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Also, they don’t always want to be right. Instead, they will almost certainly admit that they don’t have “all the answers.”
4. They are not afraid of vulnerability.
They are always willing to open up and share their struggle so that others do not feel alone.
Also, they don’t care if they are considered “perfect” or not. Finally, emotional maturity means being honest with your feelings and building trust with those around you without any agenda.
5. They recognize and accept needs.
Emotionally mature people may admit they need help or are exhausted. For example, they can see when they need a break and know when to ask their boss for a vacation.
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They can also communicate clearly with their partner to ask for extra help at home.
Is being emotionally mature the same as having emotional intelligence?
When someone talks about how to manage their emotions, two terms usually come up: emotional intelligence and emotional maturity. These skills are essential to creating and maintaining personal and professional relationships.
What is the difference between emotional intelligence and emotional maturity?
Emotional intelligence (EQ or EI) is the ability to identify and understand the emotions of oneself and others. Emotional maturity is the ability to apply emotional intelligence insights appropriately, depending on circumstances and the people involved.
Emotional intelligence and maturity are very complex and change as we grow older and are exposed to different environments. However, understanding the differences and knowing where we are at, can pave the way for us to build, maintain and save relationships.
What makes someone more likely to be emotionally mature?
Many factors can affect a person’s maturity. One factor is exposure to a broader range of experiences at a young age.
According to a study, smoking and drinking also play an important role in adolescent brain development and can ultimately affect their maturity.
Important brain parts, such as the prefrontal cortex, which helps control risky behavior, don’t fully develop until age 25. This may explain why many adolescent emotions often seem unpredictable.
However, a person’s maturity is not related to age, but to emotional intelligence or the method chosen to face difficult situations.
Even grown adults can be less mature. This is why sometimes you meet much younger people who seem wise for their age.
Actionable tips for growing emotional maturity
1. Identify your emotions.
Acknowledging your feelings, such as sadness, anger, and shame, helps you understand why you are reacting the way you do now.
As an exercise, record in your journal the number of times you got bothered by others a week. Then try to identify the underlying emotions.
This gives you a better idea of how you can react to the situation and your emotional needs.
2. Don’t be ashamed of yourself.
Being aware of when we feel bad about ourselves can allow us to make a difference.
By letting go of shame, you are free to manage your life and live on your own terms, not the expectations of others.
3. Set boundaries.
Being emotionally mature means not letting anyone cross your boundaries.
For example, if you always hang out with someone who demands your time, setting boundaries shows that you’re not hurting your self-esteem.
4. Take ownership of your life.
Look at your life and take full responsibility for the good and the bad. Exercising this type of ownership can help you control your choices.
Learning to recognize that you made a mistake can give you ideas to prevent it from happening again and to make other poor decisions.
5. Observe, don’t judge.
When someone gets dramatic, instead of reacting mindlessly, be patient and understand where they are coming from.
Take an interest in observing others and avoid judging their behavior. For example, instead of reacting to someone’s offensive comments, you might determine it’s time to end an unhealthy friendship.
6. Follow someone’s lead.
Finding a trustworthy role model can go a long way in helping us develop a higher level of emotional maturity.
Seeing someone we admire handle setbacks seamlessly makes it much more likely that they will model their behavior.
They let us know that there are better ways to manage our emotions and how we can react to tragic events.