You’re Getting Older But, Are You REALLY Getting Wiser? 7 Steps Towards Emotional Maturity

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Emotional maturity is defined as our ability to understand, and manage, our emotions.

Last year, on a radio interview, I heard Deepak Chopra talk about ‘the shadow’ -which is the absolute worse inside every single one of us. It made me zone in on my own emotional maturity and that of those I associate with.

I’ve found myself to be impulsive at times. I think about the times I’ve been upset with someone else or with a situation in my life. I’ve learned however to seek to find the root of the discomfort.

I’ve realized that it is unfair -and unloving- to ask another person to meet you where you are emotionally. If you’re in a disagreement with a person and emotions are coming into play, it is your job to disengage.

My father had me read “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman when I was in college. I have to admit not acknowledging its power then, and after rereading it last year, I do so even more.

Having emotional maturity is what enables you to create the life you want. Your emotional maturity can be seen through your actions, what you say, what you speak about, your thoughts, and the people you surround yourself with. When faced with a conflict, your emotional maturity is one of the biggest factors in determining your ability to handle it and consequently, resolve it.

An emotionally mature person has experienced the spectrum of emotions. He/she understands what the consequences of each one could be and knows the benefits of being in control of them. To say, “I lost my shit over X, Y, Z,” is really a loss of control in  X, Y, Z emotion. Make sense?

I’ve lost my shit over many things in my lifespan And today I completely understand that it’s our job to mend the relationship with our shadow.

According to Phycology Today, here are 7 things you can begin to do to work towards your emotional maturity:

1. Be able to keep long-term commitments.

One key signal of maturity is the ability of delaying gratification. It’s to commit to continue doing what is right even when you don’t feel like it.

2. Be unshaken by flattery or criticism.

Sooner or later in life you begin to understand that nothing is as good or as bad as it seems. Mature people can receive compliments or criticism without letting it ruin them or sway them into a distorted view of themselves. They are secure in their identity.

3. Be humble.

Humility parallels maturity. Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less. Mature people aren’t consumed with drawing attention to themselves. They see how others have contributed to their success and can even sincerely give honor to their Creator who gave them the talent. This is the opposite of arrogance.

4. Be able to make decisions based on character not feelings.

Mature people live by values. They have principles that guide their decisions. They are able to progress beyond reacting to life’s options, and be proactive as they live their life. Their character is master over their emotions.

5. Expresse gratitude consistently.

The more I seek to know, the more grateful I’ve become. Immature children presume they deserve everything good that happens to them. Mature people see the big picture and realize how good they have it.

6. Prioritize others before self.

I am a huge self-care advocate, but my personal agenda does not revolve just around myself. I understand that if others around me are well, I will be well too. Feeding into your ego is a sure sign of emotional immaturity.

7. Seek wisdom before acting.

Finally, a mature person doesn’t presume they have all the answers. The wiser they get the more they realize they need more wisdom. They’re not ashamed of seeking counsel from adults (teachers, parents, coaches) or from other sources. Only the wise seek wisdom.

Look to improve your relationship with your shadow and bliss will follow.

Emotional maturity begins with knowing that thoughts aren’t actions. 

Having a bad thought isn’t the same as carrying it out. Guilt doesn’t recognize the difference.  

—Deepak Chopra

How would you rate your emotional maturity? Test yourself HERE.

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