Let’s play this like a quiz, see how your answers give you additional insight into your current level of emotional security.
1. How often are you able to come up with an answer, no matter the question?
Being able to admit you don’t know something is a big step toward emotional maturity. And, if you pair that with a willingness to learn, you’re doing really well.
2. Do you feel connected to others or unique?
We all start out feeling pretty special and unique, and then as we grow, we realize that every person is unique in their own way. Seeing the individual value in others is a great way to feel connected–even if you’re connected by your differences.
3. Describe love.
This is a tricky one because love is an emotion and a feeling, but when you’ve reached a level of emotional maturity, you realize it’s so much more. Mature love is more about your actions toward those you love than your feelings for them.
4. What’s most important to you–yesterday, today, or tomorrow?
Obviously, there will be outliers when there’s a big event, but being emotionally mature means being able to live in the moment and appreciate your life the way it is right now.
5. When something goes wrong, who’s at fault?
Some people simply cannot accept blame for things that don’t go right. It can be a big thing like failing a class or getting fired (if the teacher or your boss is to “blame” you’re probably not at a point of emotional maturity) or a little thing like arriving late. No matter the event, acknowledging your part in it shows emotional maturity.
6. When something goes wrong, how do you react?
Knee-jerk reactions are a sign of immaturity, as is being overly emotional. With maturity comes the knowledge and acceptance of the problems that come. Developing composure, endurance, and even grit can help you deal with problems in an evolved way that gets you to the other side in the best way possible.
7. Black, white, or shades of gray?
Having rigid rules and an inflexible attitude is a sign of immaturity. Mature people begin to see that there are exceptions to the rules. Taking it a step further, understanding both sides of something often leads you closer to the truth than holding the line–this is especially applicable in politics.
8. Can you stick to your own rules and boundaries?
If you swear you’re not going to eat the brownies or call a certain person again, and then you call them while diving into a whole pan of brownies, you are still dealing at an emotionally immature level. With maturity comes the ability to set your own boundaries and then live within them.
As a side note, it also means recognizing when they might not be working and giving yourself permission to redefine your boundaries.
9. When do you feel you’re most confident?
When we’re younger. we tend to feel confident and better than the people around us. As we grow and mature, we see that everyone has good and bad points, and that confidence comes from accepting your flaws as well as your assets. Just knowing that everyone has flaws goes a long way toward making most people feel good about themselves.
10. Is perfection your goal, or is it an illusion?
Letting go of the desire to be perfect can not only help you mature, but it can also improve your happiness almost instantly. Life is rarely perfect, so while striving to do your best is admirable, having unrealistic goals simply sets you up for failure.
11. How do you deal with negative emotions?
Do you acknowledge and express your emotions, or do you turn them off? Being overly emotional is obviously not a great way to show your maturity, but it is okay to feel sadness, fear, anxiety, and other emotions that make you feel bad. The key is accepting that you’re having these feelings and then determine why so you can find an appropriate response and reaction.
12. How do you go about getting the things you want?
Do you order it online immediately, charge it, work to earn money to pay for it outright, save the acquisition for a special day or event? Or do you decide you don’t even need it in the first place?
Delayed gratification is the key here. Emotionally mature people can see when buying something is not a smart move and can wait until they can afford it, or the time is right.
13. You’re having a small group conversation–how do you engage?
Do you listen to understand? Do you mentally prepare your argument? Do you look for ways you agree? Do you daydream about something else?
The emotionally mature person will intently listen to other speakers and may have points they agree and disagree on, but their argument will be more informed because they listened.
How do you think you did? If you’re emotionally mature, you’ll be okay with the results and might actually find some areas where you need a little work.
The great thing about reaching a stage of emotional maturity is that you give yourself permission to be who you are. If you have flaws, it’s easier to accept them or to decide you’re going to address them and come up with a way to improve.
Once you begin to see how being emotionally mature can help you, you’ll see how it helps the relationships you have with others. Whether those relationships are with friends, romantic partners, or even with your co-workers, having a deeper understanding and acceptance of life makes it easier to enjoy other people and, in turn, you may notice that they like you better, too.
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