When you can handle challenging situations positively, it is a sign of emotional maturity.
Your level of emotional maturity determines how you react in unpleasant and unexpected situations. Maturity results in positive reactions, whereas emotional immaturity causes negative behavior that negatively affects your relationships.
Emotional immaturity can manifest in several ways, including being unable to understand the feelings of yourself and others. However, even mature people feel lost and struggle with emotional immaturity sometimes. Everyone’s strength will waver occasionally, and recognizing what triggers it for you can help you overcome it.
When times get hard, and you start to feel lost, remember that these are the times that will help you grow. As you navigate obstacles and hardship, you will become more mature and develop emotionally.
15 Ways to Overcome Emotional Immaturity
If you feel lost and like emotional immaturity is taking over, there are ways to overcome those feelings. The methods aren’t always easy, but you will become more skilled as you make it a habit.
By recognizing your flaws, you can acknowledge your shortcomings and prepare for them. You know yourself better than anyone else, so learn to manage them and make them work for you. Your faults don’t have to hold you back, but they will if you don’t recognize them.
You can’t stop there, though, because you should also work on correcting your flaws. Perfection is impossible, but continued self-growth is always helpful for overcoming emotional immaturity.
2. Stop Striving for and Expecting Perfections
No one is perfect, and striving for perfection will only cause disappointment. Emotional maturity requires that you understand this concept and avoid thinking as a perfectionist. You are always getting better, but you accept that mistakes still happen.
You also must avoid thinking that you perfect because perfection is impossible. In fact, Dr. Jennifer Kromberg, PsyD., describes perfectionism as
“A continual treadmill chasing the elusive feeling of having everything in their lives be ‘right.’ But even when the brief satisfaction of “right” is achieved, it’s temporary.”
Instead, remember that you can keep improving by prioritizing self-discovery and growth.
3. Break Free of Your Ego
Being egocentric can hold you back and make you feel lost. Recognize that the world doesn’t revolve around you, and you have to do things for yourself. If you can’t have this mindset, you will blame others and push away any opportunity for improvement.
Luckily, you can switch your thinking and break free of your egocentric behavior. When things happen, take responsibility for your part in it, even if other people don’t.
4. Be Conscious of the Present
If you have frequent thoughts of the past or worry about the future, you can’t embrace the present. Make a conscious decision to stay focused on right now, both within you and in your environment. Being present, or practicing mindfulness, helps you react appropriately and positively no matter what happens.
The researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) agree. They describe how mindfulness also contributes to a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression.
Thus, a conscious effort will control your responses and decisions and improve your mental health. You must be aware of what is happening around you and alert to any sudden changes.
5. Be Careful with Money
If you exhibit impulsivity with money, it is a sure sign of emotional immaturity. Your behavior interferes with the way you manage your finances, and your desires overpower your willpower. If you find yourself missing payments but splurged on new shoes, you might need to address your impulsivity.
To overcome this type of immaturity, begin by developing a budget and following it. As you get better at following your budget, start making adjustments as you notice certain impulsive habits. Paying attention to these things can go a long way with overcoming immaturity.
6. Stop Holding Grudges
You might hold a grudge when someone criticizes you or belittles you for having a different opinion. Or, it could happen when you feel like someone used you for personal benefit. Holding a grudge won’t change the person’s mind, however, and it doesn’t help you overcome the situation.
Instead, try to have a conversation with them about what they said or did to hurt you. Be clear about how it made you feel, and if the person cares about you, they will change their behavior. You can’t force the person to change their ways, but you can try to make them understand, helping you overcome when you feel lost.
7. Learn to Apologize
If you struggle to apologize when you need to, it is a sign of emotional immaturity. The next time you are in this situation and know you were wrong, speak up and say that you’re sorry. You might even deny your responsibility to yourself, but spend time reflecting and admitting your faults.
As you apologize, keep your mind open to learning opportunities, too. Ask questions and figure out how to do better next time. When you can live this way, you will overcome immaturity when you feel lost.
You can’t work toward a goal if you haven’t figured out your vision and values. When you feel lost, your first action should be determining what you are working to accomplish. With clear goals, you can overcome immaturity and work forward positively.
With a clear vision and focused sense of values, you can keep working hard without immediate gratification. You will have the discipline to make strong and positive choices even when desire tries to pull you away. Having a clear vision will help you control your impulses during the life journey.
9. Develop Healthy Relationships
Troubled relationships are a sure sign that you are emotionally immature. Focus on developing healthy relationships instead, and you will quickly overcome immaturity. Sometimes a healthy relationship requires time apart, so keep that in mind as you move forward.
10. Accept Reality
You can’t control everything in life, so sometimes you must accept things that you’d rather ignore. Acceptance leads to peace, which can help you overcome emotionally immature moments. Choose happiness and joy at this moment because the present is the only current reality.
When you find yourself in a difficult situation, you must also accept it for what it is. Take a moment to look over all the details and come up with a plan. Once you have a plan, follow it through and take a deep breath because, for now, you’ve done all you can.
11. Show Integrity
By showing integrity, you will get things done without giving excuses or complaining. You do what you say you will do, and the things you do align with what you want in life. If you show integrity, you will behave consistently with your values and vision in mind.
With integrity, you will exhibit commitment, discipline, and patience as you move forward on your life journey. Making integrity a habit will result in emotional maturity to help guide you through.
12. Use Kind Words and Think About What You Will Say Before You Speak
To develop emotional maturity, you must use kind words when you speak, even when you are upset. Don’t blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, but think about your comments before saying them. If you take just a couple of seconds to consider it, you will likely come up with something kinder to say instead.
Sometimes you will need more than a couple of seconds to think about what to say. In those cases, take a break away from the other person to consider your words carefully. Taking a moment to yourself will give you a chance to cool off and truly process your feelings.
13. Make Responsible Choices
Overcoming emotional immaturity requires that you make responsible choices. Think about how the things you do affect the way you think, feel, and act. Consider how your actions will affect your life as a whole.
When you feel lost in life, it could be that you’ve made bad decisions that hindered your progress. To overcome this feeling, begin making better choices moving forward. Consider what is best for yourself long-term and let that overrule your current desire.
14. Don’t Get Defensive
An emotionally immature person will become defensive rather than handling a problem. They would rather avoid conflict by denying that they said or did something. When they are wrong, they tend to become defensive rather than owning up to it.
If you are guilty of this, make a conscious decision to change that about yourself. Pay attention to this type of behavior, and change it right then to help you overcome it.
15. Don’t Put Too Much Weight on First Impressions
First impressions are given too much credit because there is more to a person than you first see. Get to know people before forming an opinion, and it will help you overcome your immaturity.
If you feel lost, try getting to know those around you. Don’t criticize people, even in your mind, and don’t label anyone before you take time to understand.
By learning to live an emotionally mature lifestyle, you will reap many rewards that help you live meaningfully. When you can make the most out of unexpected or unpleasant situations, you will have overcome emotional immaturity.
Emotional maturity offers a fresh perspective on life, freedom, and resilience. Plus, you will have an easy time living in the present as you learn to let go of other things.