What Is Emotional Maturity And Why Is It Important In Relationships?
Emotions and relationships usually go hand-in-hand. Although logic in relationships is vital, the relevance of emotional competence may often be overlooked. In all relationships, but especially in romantic relationships, a certain degree of emotional maturity is valuable for the relationship to be strong and successful. Throughout a relationship, emotional maturity often grows and may become a natural progression as each individual learns new relationship and emotional skills.
What Is Emotional Maturity?
Some specific traits and behaviors indicate emotional maturity in an individual. These traits and behaviors include:The key point to remember when it comes to understanding emotional maturity is that an emotionally mature individual will usually take responsibility for their actions. Whether a positive or negative action with a positive or negative effect, a person with average or high emotional maturity will usually acknowledge what they’ve done and its effect on the people and the world around them.
- Being flexible and adaptable – An emotionally mature person may understand that things don’t always go as planned and accept this and move forward.
- Taking ownership and responsibility – An emotionally mature individual will hold themselves accountable for their actions and behaviors, good or bad.
- Accepting they don’t know everything – An emotionally mature person may realize they don’t know everything, and they will respect and keep an open mind to other individuals’ thoughts and opinions.
- Take experiences as an opportunity to learn and grow – An emotionally mature individual will look at experiences and situations as a way to learn, grow, and ultimately improve themselves.
- They’re resilient in difficult situations – An emotionally mature individual will be resilient in times of upset or disappointment. Instead of holding onto the negativity of the situation, they will find solutions and ways to move forward.
- They have a calm disposition – Emotionally mature individuals are familiar with and experience a wide range of emotions. However, they don’t let negative emotions dictate their response or reaction to things. Emotionally mature individuals are usually able to regulate their emotions effectively.
- Approachability – Emotionally mature people, maybe more understanding and able to talk about a difficult subject that otherwise, emotionally immature people would potentially get upset about.
- Strong sense of self – An individual who exhibits emotional maturity will typically have a strong sense of not ego-based self.
Being honest, grateful, and optimistic are all common signs of emotional maturity, as in the ability to stop and think before acting on a feeling, set healthy, reasonable boundaries, and notice one’s own emotions and needs. Emotional maturity encompasses a variety of behaviors and internal mechanisms of control.
Why Emotional Maturity Is Important In Relationships
Relationships typically involve a wide range of emotions and feelings, especially those of a romantic nature. When a partner does or says something contrary to what you believe, you may have strong emotions that may translate into an argument or a long, fulfilling conversation (or, perhaps, both). Suppose both partners have a level of emotional maturity. In that case, that may help create a strong bond and facilitate healthy communication in the relationship, which may help resolve issues that could arise.
Emotional maturity in each partner may help the couple reach a compromise during disagreements or conflict. Both partners must take responsibility for themselves and their actions to recognize the other person’s point of view and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. Emotionally mature people are also more likely to regulate their impulses and emotions, not letting a fight get excessively out of control. In this way, emotional maturity can be an essential glue that binds two people together in a strong, healthy relationship.
In a relationship, taking responsibility for yourself and your actions is possibly one of the biggest gifts you can give to your partner. When both partners take responsibility for themselves together, they’re able to take responsibility for their relationship and give each other mutual respect and understanding.
How To Know If You Or Your Partner Is Emotionally Mature
Here are some ways that partners may exhibit their emotional maturity:You may be wondering, how is it possible to recognize emotional maturity in yourself or your partner? Suppose you’re in a long-term committed relationship that feels healthy and fulfilling and doesn’t have toxic qualities to the relationship. In that case, it may be likely you and your partner both have some degree of emotional maturity. However, there’s almost always room to improve and grow.
1) They hold themselves responsible for their part. For example, they’re comfortable enough to apologize for any behavior that contributed to the situation. During difficult times, an emotionally mature person will exhibit resilience and adaptability, attempting to make the best of the situation.
2) They can provide emotional support to their partners. Emotional support comes in many different forms, including everything from providing a shoulder to cry on to celebrating a happy achievement. An emotionally mature partner will likely be able to take on their partner’s emotional ups and downs and will be there for them to offer encouragement and consolation when necessary. People with average or higher levels of emotional maturity may have a reasonable amount of control of their own emotions to handle other people’s feelings.
3) They communicate effectively using an appropriate communication style during arguments (and during peaceful times). A partner with emotional maturity seeks to resolve conflict rather than contribute further to conflict. Instead of blaming, using insults or abusive talk, or speaking poorly of themselves or their partner, an emotionally mature person will likely take responsibility for their part of the problem and consider possible solutions that will work for both partners. An emotionally mature person recognizes that conflict has value and strives to find a positive outcome.
4) An emotionally mature person typically will have a attachment style in connecting to the people around them. A person’s attachment style develops from a very young age and continues developing throughout life based on previous relationships, both close and distant. A partner with a attachment style will be confident in their relationship and their partner. They will feel connected and trust their partner, comfortable with each person in the relationship having their independence while expressing love. A attached partner will offer support when needed and ask for support when they need it.
When both partners in a relationship have emotional maturity, it may help to create a stable and balanced relationship dynamic. Emotional maturity can grow and develop over time. An important component to a healthy, emotionally mature relationship is that both partners wish to grow as a partnership and that they’re both committed to the relationship.
What Emotional Immaturity Looks Like
If you’re wondering what emotional immaturity looks like, there are also traits and behaviors to look for. Here are some common traits and behaviors of emotional immaturity.
1) A partner does not handle alone time well. Emotionally immature people typically will not deal with solitude very well, no matter the period. In contrast, an emotionally mature person may recognize that they enjoy being around other people, but they acknowledge that they’re also perfectly fine being alone sometimes.
2) They immediately discount and shut down discussions that are challenging or that make them feel uncomfortable. The “shutting down” of the discussion can be dramatic and harsh, or it may be more subtle and maneuvering, depending on the individual nature of the emotionally immature person. Emotionally mature people can confidently handle conversations about somewhat uncomfortable topics or go against their beliefs. Emotionally immature people will usually struggle with these topics and work to avoid them.
3) An emotionally immature person may tend to avoid difficult thoughts or feelings because they bring about complex feelings that the person may find difficult to manage. Instead, they may suppress these feelings. Emotionally mature people are more likely to have worked through their emotions and have more consideration about the situation.
Emotional maturity can be developed over time and with practice and dedication, so if you notice that you may show signs of emotional immaturity, it may be something you can work on. If you recognize that you have something you want to change or improve, you have the power to do so. You may not be changing other people, but you can always change and improve yourself with a little willpower, dedication, and support. Developing emotional maturity takes time and is a lifelong process of learning and self-improvement.
Luckily, emotional maturity can be nurtured and developed. People who may exhibit emotional immaturity over time can grow and mature emotionally with practice and care. Working with a licensed therapist to learn skills and strategies for emotional maturity is an excellent place to start. If you want to improve your relationships with others and improve your overall well-being and happiness, talk to a professional therapist at ReGain to start your journey toward emotional maturity.Emotional maturity is an extremely important trait to have in relationships of any kind, especially romantic ones. Being able to take responsibility for oneself and handle one’s emotional ups and downs and those of other people can help build a long-lasting, strong and healthy relationship. When choosing a life partner, emotional maturity may be a very important quality to look for.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you develop emotional maturity?
There are many ways you can begin to develop emotional maturity. It may first help to learn to identify your emotions and accept them instead of repressing them. This may give you a better insight into your needs and triggers and better respond to your feelings during certain situations. It's also important to set healthy boundaries with yourself, as well as other people. You can also begin to develop emotional maturity by holding yourself accountable for your behaviors and actions, both good and bad. It may also help you not make any important decisions or immediately react when you feel strong or negative emotions. Instead, it may help to practice the pause and wait until you have a peaceful state of mind before reacting. It's also important to remember that no one is perfect, and we all have things we probably improve on. It may be helpful to observe yourself and see what you could begin to improve. Being self-aware is incredibly important when it comes to emotional maturity.
What are the signs of emotional immaturity?
People with emotional immaturity are likely to have difficulty appropriately expressing themselves or respecting other people's emotions. Emotionally immature individuals may not understand their actions' impact on other people, or they may push away their loved ones or create conflicts.
Here are signs to look for that may reveal someone's level of emotional immaturity:
- They do not take responsibility for their actions.
- Instead of admitting when they have made a mistake, the emotionally immature individual may blame someone else.
- They revert to defensive tactics when something that makes them uncomfortable or vulnerable is brought up.
- Reverting to defensive tactics often turns the problem back on the accuser and only separates the individual in question from the actual problem. Individuals who exhibit these tendencies likely are not holding themselves entirely accountable for their negative behavior.
- They may make their loved ones feel lonely.
- If emotionally immature people are not honest with their partners or others in their lives, their loved ones may feel alone or sense a gap in their relationship. Emotionally immature people might not recognize when their loved ones need their support or may have difficulty uplifting others.
- They don't like talking about their feelings.
- An emotionally immature individual may find it difficult to talk about their feelings. Processing emotions may seem difficult for them, and instead, they may shut down or withdraw.
At what age do you reach emotional maturity?
There is not necessarily a specific age at which an individual reaches full emotional maturity. Instead, maturity is a sort of spectrum that individuals can drift across over time. As we get older, we tend to mature in many ways through learned experiences, but plenty of grown individuals may exhibit emotional immaturity concerns.
Some people may become mature individuals early on in their lives. They may attain a higher level of maturity because of the experiences and environments they've lived in or simply due to personal differences.
Others may not reach maturity until quite sometime later in their lives. The most important thing to remember is that it does not matter how long it takes you to become emotionally mature. Emotionally immature individuals have the chance to acknowledge their mistakes and become emotionally mature through self-improvement.
To a certain extent, maturity may be a choice. People do not simply grow up and become emotionally mature right away. Emotionally mature individuals are usually those who have reflected on who they are and what they need to do in the present moment to become better in the future.
How do you test emotional maturity?
You can test your emotional maturity by asking yourself how you respond to emotional situations. For instance, what is your response during an argument or high levels of stress? If someone lets you down, what is your initial response? Do you feel angry, or do you try to understand their side? How do you react when you're angry? The answers to these questions can vary, but the only way to find the answer is to be completely honest with yourself. Self-reflection and honesty is essential first step toward change and growth.
What are some major factors that contribute to emotional maturity?
Major factors that contribute to emotional maturity are typically based on your situation and background.
Experts commonly cite environmental factors as some of the most significant for influencing emotional maturity. If you grew up in a loving home, you might already know the basic principles of emotional maturity. By watching your parents care for one another and showing your love, you may also replicate their positive behavior by learning these behaviors in your adulthood.
On the other hand, those who have grown up in homes where their parents neglected them or paid little attention may not know how to become emotionally mature right away. Other factors may include family size, schooling, peer group, and socioeconomic status. Maturity is a complex idea, and no two individuals will grow at the same rate.