Are You Emotionally Mature?

This one is personal. 

Let me go through a brief synopsis of a conversation I had a couple weeks ago. I was sitting with a group of friends, all of whom have had been in transition,when one interjected and said to me, “You’ve had it easy compared to when I was looking for work.” I sat for a moment and chewed over this harsh statement. Calming my boiling blood, I moved on with the conversation. 

Let me stop here. It was not the person’s gender or that I thought any less of this person. I understand that we had different backgrounds and different circumstances and we were both exhausted from our own job search experiences. This person landed a great job that they still enjoy 8 years later.  But still, there was something more to this for me than “having it easier” because I didn’t. What was it?

The answer came from a career coach I absolutely admire and respect. She made a comment I will never forget, “Perhaps you were more emotionally mature and equipped to handle this.”  Was she right?  Was I more emotionally equipped to handle the job search?

What is emotional maturity and what does it mean?

Emotional Maturity is the way in which you control your emotions without allowing your emotions get the best of you.  Your emotional maturity is characterized as your capacity to manage and balance your emotions even to evaluate others emotions and perhaps an ability to persuade others emotions and actions.  A key discernible factor in assessing your emotional maturity is measured in your relationships. What do your relationships say about you?

  • Are you able to control your emotions or do you let your emotions control you?
  • Are you able to express yourself in a way that it engages, influences others? 
  • Are you able to think before you act?
  • Are you able to tackle life when it hits rock bottom?
  • Are you staying true to your principles and acting with honesty and integrity in thought and action?
  • Do you have the sense of self reliance and the capability to take responsibility and accountability for your life and actions? 

Emotional maturity is not characterized by, or found in, age. In fact, I believe it isn’t at all and the statement, “youth fades but immaturity lingers,” appropriately summarizes this psychology.

In their purest form, relationships are the most transparent gauge of emotional maturity and I am going to take relationships a step further. Relationships can be between ideas, thoughts, your leadership style, how you express yourself and how you trust. 

How do you achieve emotional maturity? You learn to direct your energy through positive healthy channels. You accept responsibility and learn from your mistakes, respect feedback when given, surround yourself with others that support you, become aware of your inner strength and, above all else, honor yourself. 

Take a good hard look at yourself. Are you displaying emotional maturity?

Photo credit iStock Photo

About the Author

Michelle McLaren

Michelle McLaren, PHR is a Human Resources Business Partner for Wincor Nixdorf, a Global IT organization and has over 18 years progressive human resources experience. She is the Chair for the Austin HR Management Association Certification Committee, blogs regularly for AHRMA on various HR topics and lends her talents to other HR projects and initiatives. You can connect with Michelle on LinkedIn.

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Tamkara Adun

Hello Michelle,

Thanks for the very insightful post.
I definitely agree that emotional maturity cannot be attributed solely to age. After all it is very possible to get older but not any wiser.
Emotional maturity is something we should strive to attain and the benefits will be evident as we develop stronger relationships and lead more productive lives.
Thanks again for pointing us in the right direction with your very thought provoking questions.

Tamkara

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