We all remember what it was like to walk the halls of our high school. Surrounded by self-centered, irrational, emotionally immature people who looked grown but were far from it. None of us long to relive those “glory” days.
So how do you know when you have moved past the emotional immaturity of the past and moved into adulthood? When you have mastered emotional maturity, you will see at least five signs which are outlined in this article.
Recognizing When You are Wrong
Recognizing (and further admitting) that you are wrong is a difficult thing to do. It requires being humbled, honest, and communicating those feelings to other people. But when you can recognize and express that you are in the wrong, then you know you have moved beyond the halls of your high school limitations.
For example, if a spouse is wrong during an argument with their husband or wife, it is often hard to admit that. However, admitting that he/she was wrong and offering a sincere apology is a definite sign of emotional maturity.
Integrity is one my personal favorite characteristics. I like to surround myself with people who have integrity, and I long to be a person who is seen by peers to display integrity. Integrity is shown by people who choose to do the right thing even when they know they will not be recognized for their actions.
People who display integrity are without a doubt emotionally mature people. Integrity requires self-control, a strong understanding of moral boundaries, and even further it requires the strength to overcome temptation.
Dealing with Setbacks
There is no doubt that life is going to throw you a curve ball or two along your path. But the way that you respond to those setbacks will say a lot about your emotional maturity.
Overcoming setbacks is a major part of growing up. If you tend to give up when a set back comes your way, then that is a sign that you have not yet developed an emotional maturity yet. Further, if you are still running to others (your parents for example) to help you solve both major and minor problems then you also have not yet developed an emotional maturity.
Accepting Delayed Gratification
The pleasure in instant gratification is a real problem for young adults. What is worse is that the adrenaline earned through instant gratification can get some people into a financial bind. For example, people who become addicted to instant gratification tend to spend beyond their means and this habit can get them into debt.
Overcoming the temptation of instant gratification and instead practicing delayed gratification is a major sign of emotional maturity. People who practice delayed gratification often do things like make themselves save for a big purchase rather than using a credit card. These practices can pay off big time in the long run.
Mastering Effective Communication
Effective communication is the ability to communicate thoughts and feelings to others, but it is also the ability to listen to understand. If you can both effectively communicate, and actively listen to understand, then you may have become an effective communicator.
Effective communication is a sign of emotional maturity because the early tendency is to respond before you have really heard what someone is saying. Listening to understand is hard, but it is necessary for effective communication.
It is important to note that emotional maturity is developed over time. If you have not yet mastered all five of these signs of emotional maturity, it is not necessarily a cause for concern. Personal growth takes time.