Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

How Is Your Emotional Maturity?


Though he is thirty years old, he has the mentality of a fifteen-year-old, or he is only fifteen, but he has the maturity of a thirty-year old. Many of you have probably come across references like this about yourself or someone you know.

Being human has many interesting aspects. It is possible to be fifty and still act like a teenager when it comes to emotional impulses. Physical aging does not necessarily correspond to emotional development.

It is not difficult to monitor how we age, but how do we monitor how we grow emotionally?

Here is a small test you can give yourself to see how emotionally mature you are. 

How do you usually react when a loved one lets you down, disappoints you, or leaves you hanging and uncertain?

Emotional maturity does not mean that you do not feel anything. Instead, it is in how you deal with the pain of someone hurting you.

In general, anyone who feels hurt typically reacts in three ways. 

One-You Sulk

You are upset, but at the same time, you refuse to explain the problem to the person who upset you. You adopt a morose body language and hope to make the other person notice your sulky behavior. I have been guilty of adopting this behavior sometimes with my spouse or my kid when I find myself unable to deal with the issue rationally.

Two- You Get Angry 

You get disproportionately agitated and furious with the person. Hiding behind your anger and fury, you think you are powerful. So you lash out at the other person and think, “how dare you.”. Your anger is a way to mask your fragility.

Three- You Go Cold.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that the other person has emotional power over you, enough to make you feel upset. Rather than acknowledging the problem, you hide behind a fa├žade of indifference even though you are hurting inside. You try to distract yourself, hoping that you will feel better, but you don’t. I have seen a lot of this at the workplace, where colleagues behave like strangers to each other.

Emotional Maturity

When you grow emotionally, you learn to avoid these three immature responses whenever you experience hurt.

Instead of sulking, you develop the ability to explain why you are upset to the person who offended you. You find the right words to convey why you feel upset without antagonizing or aggravating the other person.

You learn to stay calm without jumping the gun and realize that your power is in giving the other person the benefit of the doubt and not assuming the worst. Eventually, you learn to like yourself enough not to feel slighted and angry at the smallest provocation.

You develop the capacity to be vulnerable. Emotionally mature people understand and accept that there will always be situations where the people close to them can hurt them. As a result, they are unafraid of expressing their raw emotions and don’t hide their tears.

Being able to communicate your issues without being hijacked by emotions, staying calm when dealing with others, and revealing your vulnerability without fear- These three would be the hallmarks of your emotional maturity.

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