Emotional maturity is a state of mind that teaches us how to effectively deal with our emotions. It can be difficult to learn this skill, but it’s well worth the effort.
You can practice emotional maturity by observing how others handle their feelings. You can also try journal prompts or ask close friends for help.
Emotions are Yours
Emotions are a reaction to events or situations. They are triggered by feelings, which are based on our personal experiences and beliefs that are linked to a specific emotion.
We don’t always understand our emotions, but they can be useful and helpful in certain situations. Take, for example, the emotion of fear: When you feel threatened by something or someone, your body goes into stress mode (fight or flight response).
In addition, when you are scared, your heart rate can increase and your palms can sweat. This is the autonomic nervous system responding to your emotional state, according to a theory that James and Lange developed for intro psych students.
When you are able to identify and fully express your feelings, you can learn how to work with them better and more effectively. This can help you in many ways, from your relationships to your career.
You’re Not Responsible for Your Emotions
If you’re not careful, you can develop a pattern of emotional projection. This is a defense mechanism, and it can lead to unhealthy relationship patterns.
For example, if someone makes you angry, it’s natural to blame them for your feelings. But you don’t have to.
It’s a lot more helpful to understand that the other person is in pain and has a difficult time expressing their emotions.
They may be feeling overwhelmed, scared, or even lonely.
Once you acknowledge and accept this, you’ll be able to move past the argument or confrontation.
You’ll also be kinder and more present with them because you won’t be as worried about how they feel.
If you’re struggling with this pattern, consider seeking a therapist to help you work through it. They can teach you how to become more emotionally responsible and to stop feeling guilty or blaming others for your emotions. They can also teach you how to set healthy boundaries so that you don’t have to take on other people’s feelings.
You’re Empathetic with Others
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes. It involves feeling what they’re going through and recognizing their feelings as your own, according to Psychology Today.
It’s also called emotional understanding. It’s sometimes referred to as somatic empathy, because it may involve physical reactions like blushing or having an upset stomach in response to what someone else is going through.
Generally speaking, people who have high levels of empathy are better at communicating with others and can form strong relationships. On the other hand, those who have low levels are less likely to trust and comfort others.
This may be due to a combination of genetics and socialization, which are passed down from parents to children. How people treat others and how they feel about them is often a reflection of the beliefs and values they were taught at an early age. Cognitive biases, dehumanization, and victim-blaming are some of the reasons why people might lack empathy.
You Forgive Yourself
The most important part of emotional maturity is self-forgiveness. It’s one of the most difficult things to do, but it is also a necessary step for your mental and emotional health.
Emotionally mature people are often able to forgive themselves for mistakes, and they understand that it’s important to focus on the positive things in their lives.
They don’t spend their time ruminating over the past, as this can lead to chronic anxiety and irritability.
Instead, you are able to communicate your emotions to others in a healthy way. For example, you won’t sulk over an argument with a friend and judge them by their reaction.
Research has found that practicing self-forgiveness leads to a range of benefits, including lower levels of depression and anxiety, higher productivity, focus, and concentration. It’s also linked to better mental and emotional well-being, positive attitudes, and healthier relationships.