Do you find yourself surrounded by people who are not emotionally mature?
Emotional maturity isn’t quite the same thing as standard maturity. Instead, it specifically refers to one’s ability to manage negative or stressful situations without causing unnecessary escalation.
It sounds simple. But if you’ve ever been in a tense environment with multiple less-than-happy people, then you know that it’s much more challenging to diffuse a bad situation than it is to wind up saying the wrong thing or letting your feelings get the better of you.
Emotionally mature people also tend to have healthy, positive relationships with others, and they tend to be happier overall. Combined, all these factors are enough to make anyone strive to achieve this maturity. Here are six behaviors that reveal emotionally mature people.
Six Behaviors Emotionally Mature People Display
1 – They Are Aware Of Their Needs And Emotions
To be emotionally mature, one must be aware of their feelings, needs, and thoughts. Here’s how emotionally mature people can do this with ease:
They Recognize Needs And Feelings
It’s easy to close yourself off when you feel negative emotions. But it’s essential to be aware of them in the first place. Denying emotions will only cause internalized issues, or will explode later.
They Put Things In Perspective
Emotionally mature people know how good they have it, and they regularly check themselves and shift their perspectives to realize they’re lucky compared to everyone else. Of course, suffering and sadness are not competitions, and no matter how “good” your situation, you are allowed to be upset when things go wrong. But it can also help to remember all the good things in one’s life when dealing with strong feelings.
They Don’t Take Things Personally
Emotionally mature people never fall into the habit of thinking that the world is out to get them. Their egos aren’t so vast as to believe the world revolves around them!
They Don’t Make Things Personal, Either
When an emotionally mature person runs into conflict, they don’t jump into a defensive mode where they take everything as a personal attack. They put aside their pride (within reason, of course) and communicate with honesty and empathy, to solve the problem well.
They Don’t Let Their Emotions Rule
When someone is aware of how they feel, they can keep those emotions from running the show. Bottling emotions up instead can cause them to subconsciously influence you, which is something that doesn’t happen to the emotionally mature.
Optimism is beneficial in everyday life, and emotionally mature people tend to favor positive thinking over a doom-and-gloom mentality. They’re bright and happy lots of the time, which makes them enjoyable to be around, and they don’t let anything get them down for very long.
But this doesn’t mean that these individuals are hopeless idealists with their heads in the clouds. It’s quite to the contrary! They’re realistic about the situations that they’re in and see them accurately. Still, they use positive thinking to focus on the right sides, or on how to work towards solving problems and improving situations. They don’t get stuck wallowing in their sadness! Instead, emotionally mature people:
- Keep themselves grounded in reality, with their heads tilted to the sun
- Understand that life cannot be anything but positive or negative occurrences, but balances of both
- Look forward to the future, prepared for the good times and for the challenges that will undoubtedly arise
- Are intent on making the best out of bad situations and finding the silver linings in every troubling time
- Assume the best of those around them, barring those who have proven themselves untrustworthy before
- Naturally feel thankful for small things in their everyday life
3 – They Are Flexible and Open-Minded
An emotionally mature person knows that their views are not the be-all and end-all of truth. They stay flexible and are always open to hearing new ideas and opinions, even those that clash with their thoughts.
Research has shown that open-minded individuals are often happier overall, with better positive thinking as well as improved conflict management skills. If that sounds like something you’d like to be a part of your life, then emotional maturity is the solution.
Of course, there’s a limit to open-mindedness. We’re not saying that emotionally mature people tolerate those who are intolerant, for example. But even in those situations, they maintain a degree of curiosity. They aim to understand the causes behind these points of view so that they can better speak for or against them.
You may know people in your life who talk and talk and talk, but always seem to fail to listen accurately. These people are not emotionally mature, as they are more interested in themselves than in other people, putting themselves above others.
On the other hand, an emotionally mature person listens and observes before reacting. They always think before speaking or acting, gathering context clues and facts from people’s speech and the environment before making a carefully considered move. They control their impulses, which prevents any emotional outbursts.
On top of that, emotionally mature people don’t listen to add their points in – they try to understand and to relate. The fact that listening is twice as complicated as the act of speaking is one of the reasons why many individuals don’t successfully perform this positive trait.
5 – They Are Honest
When someone is emotionally mature, they are also emotionally honest. Because they’re so in tune with themselves, they have no trouble being in touch with their feelings, and they are therefore able to understand themselves and be honest about their sincere thoughts. They also see that others appreciate honesty from them and that honesty is crucial for effective, positive communication. Here are some ways emotionally mature people are honest:
An emotionally mature person is committed to a life of integrity. They want to work with the truth, and nothing but the truth, even if that truth hurts. As such, they are honest with others and themselves, working with facts. They also expect honesty from others, so they have an open mind to listen to all sorts of feedback and information.
An emotionally mature person is sincere. They do not feel the need to pretend to be someone they are not. They don’t wear masks. Indeed, they show their true selves and are proud of their own identities.
For many people, being honest about needing help can be difficult. But admitting that this help is necessary is part of living honestly, and emotionally mature people don’t let their pride stop them from seeking help. Don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance, whether of a physical or emotional kind. People will appreciate that you’re open to them!
No White Lies
Emotionally mature individuals tell it like they see it and don’t try to preserve the feelings of others by lying. However, this doesn’t mean an emotionally mature person is tactless. They can be kind and let someone know the truth gently, but they see no benefit in white lies.
Being vulnerable is scary, but an emotionally mature person has learned to overcome that fear. They are comfortable with their good sides, bad sides, and flaws, and they aren’t afraid of being open about their lives and who they are. They can be real with you and build trust with those around them by opening up. The vulnerability can also help positive thinking, allowing for better mental health.
When someone lacks emotional maturity, they may be unable to accept when they are wrong and take responsibility for whatever they caused or whatever has happened. Someone who lacks that maturity may:
- Jump into a defensive mode
- Deflect blame
- Point fingers
- Make excuses
- Focus on protecting their egos
But this shows a massive lack of maturity because it means that this person isn’t willing to make things right, all for the sake of their pride. It’s a selfish action and is the mark of someone who hasn’t become emotionally mature. Here are some ways that those who have become emotionally mature react to their mistakes:
If someone suggests they’ve done something wrong, an emotionally mature person considers the subject seriously. They don’t have an interest in fighting to prove their innocence and will offer a polite apology. They don’t feel a supreme need to be right all the time that often plagues the less mature, so they don’t waste their time trying desperately to be believed.
Sometimes, emotionally mature individuals notice far ahead of time when their actions are less than savory. They have a level of self-awareness that allows them to see and admit fault quickly, so they can acknowledge the issue and promptly make up for it in a positive way.
Emotionally mature individuals never blame others for their problems. They don’t blame traffic or the weather, they don’t blame the people around them, and they don’t even blame those who are also partially responsible. They hold themselves accountable and take ownership of their wrongdoings, no matter how minor.
Unless an explanation is warranted, or if there’s been a misunderstanding, an emotionally mature person never uses reasons as a crutch. They know that it doesn’t matter why they did something wrong – all that matters is that they did it in the first place.
Emotionally mature people know that they have innate preferences and that they, as humans, can be irrational and imperfect. Prejudices are often internalized and can be challenging to break. So mature people keep these in mind when interacting with others and are sure to check themselves and be more careful around topics that tend to push their buttons.
Emotional maturity is sadly not as typical as it likely could or should be. You may have overlooked this trait as the one you should seek to emulate. Luckily, it’s never too late to start!
These behaviors that reveal emotionally mature people are ones that you can slowly incorporate into your everyday life. Though it may be difficult at first, you will gradually become more adept at them, and soon they’ll feel natural to you!