Emotional maturity is not common and does not occur to everyone. It is a skill that is practiced consciously by only a handful of people in humanity. It is a constant effort of being aware and empathetic towards the other person’s state of mind to behave appropriately.
Whether at work or in family relationships, the ability to understand and acknowledge the other person’s emotions is essential.
The effort comes from within and the will to become compassionate to oneself as well to others. Hence, most people, including myself (at some point), tend to give up.
My journey towards attaining emotional maturity began in my childhood.
Although subtle and unintentional, early on, I knew the importance of understanding others’ reactions and how responding accordingly was important to maintain peace.
However, from time to time, I failed to maintain that because I tended to respond from lack.
One may argue that practicing emotional intelligence, which leads to emotional maturity, often provides excuses for others’ behavior.
Indeed, it is true that we may end up being on a slippery slope while doing so. People may misuse the opportunities, and we do get hurt by sitting on the pile of apologies.
However, being compassionate does not support being gullible and brainless.
The first and most important step is to acknowledge our own emotions when we face an incident. This step requires — Pause and Breathe.
Most often but not, our responses are impulsive to certain scenarios. Simultaneously, the degree of impulsiveness depends on our state of mind; in other words, our mood, in that given moment.
When I first began learning about emotional intelligence, I was confused. To me, the concept was not new. However, what never made sense was how to imply scenarios that may not be in our favor. Since also, our minds become reprogrammed based on past experiences. Hence, our responses arise from that perspective.
Breathing helped, and it does help.
The split-second pause actually restarts your mind. Sometimes, you may want to walk away, think, and return. Other times, you may give your best shot.
One inculcates by practicing breathing and refocusing on the present—the characteristic to value each individual and each event as its own and unique from the past.
This attitude can only be achieved by ensuring we pause, breathe, and then proceed to analyze. Our actions are measured yet, authentic.
It is okay to walk away from people when someone constantly makes a wrong turn.
Emotional maturity does not mean one keeps carrying the emotional unhealthy baggage of someone else’s.
Yes, life can be unpredictable, and we all change over time while facing different experiences. Acknowledging that the person next to you may be going through several independent events and change is inevitable is a key aspect towards building a happy relationship.
I have many failed relationships. However, today when I sit and look at my failures, they appear to be due to three reasons: 1) failure to accept that most people lack emotional maturity. So, my actions were never read and reciprocated well; 2) failure to understand that emotional maturity is a constant effort. It can not be done one day and forgotten on the other, and 3) self-compassion is important in emotional maturity. The way we behave and treat ourselves, we set an example for our surroundings.
When we start being empathetic towards ourselves, we know how much we can take from the other person as a response. Walking away and letting go of a toxic environment is a good decision when executed carefully and harmlessly.
Emotional maturity and secured attachment style go hand-in-hand.
I am an anxious-ambivalent, although I am transitioning into a more secure attachment style. Feeling secured does not come from outside; instead, it is developed with our own self.
When we acknowledge our emotions and reactions, we tend to get more closer to ourselves. We become our own parents, and we treat ourselves with compassion and attention. Being observant and alert, the relationship with ourselves evolve, and we celebrate who we are.
When our mind is stable, attaining emotional maturity becomes easy. Since, to understand the person in front, we first need to be comfortable in our body.
A secured attachment involves — consistency, availability, responsiveness, reliability, and predictability. Executing these aspects in a relationship requires one to be observant, caring, and attentive to the other person as much as to themselves.
We often seek satisfaction and validation from others and outside events to make us feel good about ourselves. Emotionally mature people tend not to seek happiness from the outside world. They know what will make them happy and not. As well, they secure that happiness within themselves rather than depending on others.
Emotional maturity brings so much peace of mind and happiness.
Yes, it does.
The reason being, the ability to comfortably react to situations is a perk. Even if we may get disturbed by unprecedented events, permitting us to feel and realize what’s happening provides a lot more space to slowly and steadily spread our emotions.
We avoid lashing out; instead, we end up behaving with kindness with everyone around us.
A significant example of my progress has been in building friendships, dating, and meeting new people. My past self would be devasted after rejections, abuse as well as embarrassments.
Somehow, practicing empathy showed me how to understand people’s behavior and attitude and decide how I want to be involved in the scenario. Whether to stay or walk away. And if I want to stay then how.
It is easy to move on from relationships, even if it hurts. It is also easy to welcome new opportunities with confidence.
Emotional maturity helps to become your own best friend and source of support.