Emotional maturity refers to being able to manage your emotions in any given situation. Being emotionally mature is key to maintaining healthy relationships, whether they be romantic or not.
If you wonder what this trait looks like, picture that friend or family member that is always able to keep a cool head, no matter how tough the situation. That individual is able to perform well under stress because they understand how their emotions affect them, and are able to deal with it effectively.
Here’s a look at 5 steps you can undertake to improve your emotional maturity.
Before we even start to think about improving how we regulate our emotions, we need to be able to correctly interpret them. Without any emotional awareness, we would simply be grabbing in the dark.
Here are a few steps to take to become more emotionally aware:
- Know the feeling is present
- Acknowledge it
- Identify the feeling
- Accepting it
- Reflecting on the experience
- Being able to forecast emotional responses
Browse our site for a more in-depth explanation on how to cultivate emotional awareness.
The trademark of someone who carries emotional responsibility is that they realize that feelings are only controlled by the person experiencing them. Regardless of how badly someone may treat you, understand that only you are in control of how you let your emotions affect you.
Carrying this responsibility also greatly improves your communication skills. Instead of saying “You make me so mad when you do that”, try saying “I feel so angry when you do that because…”. This puts less emphasis on blaming the other person, and more on creating a heart-to-heart conversation on the issue at hand.
This way of communicating is also one great way to enforce the fact that you and only you are in control of your emotions, both how you experience them and how you portray them to the outside world.
Another great method to cultivate emotional responsibility is to journal about how you experience emotions and how you project these on your partner, friends or family.
If you know examples from the past when you got really upset or angry at someone, reflect on how you dealt with the situation. If you don’t know any past examples, just observe how you react in future situations and reflect on that.
How did you handle that situation? Do you think you reacted justly? If not, figure out a more appropriate response and keep it in mind for next time!
Although self-discipline isn’t often associated with emotions, it can be a real lifesaver in stressful situation.
We have all experienced moments where we let our emotions get the better of us. This can be lashing out at a loved one or punching a wall out of pure frustration.
Fostering self-discipline is one of the most straight forward methods to get these kinds of outburst under control. You can create self-discipline in any aspect of your life, and it will transfer over to how you manage your emotions.
The main steps for creating self-discipline:
- Know the area you need improvement in
- Set goals
- List and remove temptations
- Make a habit out of it
For a more detailed look into self-discipline browse out site.
Emotional honesty is all about expressing your true feelings to the outside world. Emotionally mature people will always let others know of their true feeling and never put up a fake front.
Practicing emotional honesty can also make us learn about ourselves and help us become more self-accepting. Other people might notice this and in turn will be more honest with you as well.
It is an all around great way to improve you as a person as well as enhancing relationships with loved ones.
Despite it’s vital importance to our mental well-being, I am of the opinion that society actively discourages emotional honesty. And it is a big problem. If you would like to read more about this issue, please read my dedicated article on the issue!
Reflect, reflect and reflect
Once you have made a plan to work on your emotional maturity, the only way to know if you’re making progress is to reflect.
I suggest you journal about your feelings every evening before you go to bed. Lets take an example and say that you want to focus on being more emotionally honest. Before you go to bed, write and reflect on the examples throughout your day where you had to express your emotions. Did someone ask you how your day was going? Did you respond honestly? This way you can gain some insight into your progression journey.
I think it is important to mention that it is not important where you are right now. If you work on the 5 tips above, you will see yourself grow. You just have to stick with it.
I wish you all the best on your road to improvement!