Oct 142008
 

Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 2 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity?]

I think I’m (mostly) right there are (practically) no book titles with the words “emotional maturity.” There are a few self-published books about this topic. Strange.
And, there are quite a number of books on “emotional intelligence” and on “emotional health“. 2 that makes the vital connection between spiritual life and emotions are Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.

Turning to the web, here’s a couple things I found on how to develop emotional maturity. When looking at information on the web, it’s not automatically reliable, even if it is in the wisdom-of-crowds moderated Wikipedia. Or, shall I say, especially if. Caution aside, here’s what the wisdom of the world wide web turned up about developing emotional maturity.

eHow‘s has this article with 4 steps to emotional maturity:

how to become emotionally mature

  1. Avoid getting easily offended.
  2. Stop giving your joy away.
  3. Use reason to govern your actions, instead of emotion.
  4. Do not bite the bait.

I’m being facetious, and I hope they are too, because emotional maturity is much more involved than 4 easy steps. How about 7 steps? [from adoption.com]

7 Steps to Emotional Maturity
1. Eliminate Magical Thinking
2. Learn to Tolerate Your Anxiety
3. Learn to Recognize and Appropriately Express Your Anger
4. Learn to Cope With Pain and Hurt
5. Facing Your Guilty Feelings
6. Learn to Live With Your Failures
7. Put Your Feelings in Perspective

From another perspective, How to Develop Emotional Maturity (from iLoveIndia)

Anyone can develop emotional maturity in oneself by keeping a track of certain points, given as follows.

  • Work hard to achieve your goals. Life is not a fairy tale where magic wands do wonders.
  • Start accepting your tensions and worries. Don’t avoid it just to get momentary relief. Work over your stress and anxiety, and handle them.
  • Start recognizing and expressing your anger. Otherwise, you’ll become afraid of yourself after a certain point of time.
  • Learn to bear pain and hurt because life is full of uncertainties. You never know what lies in store for you.
  • Face the consequences of the things you’ve done. Understand your responsibility and learn from your mistakes.
  • Learn to accept you failures and engage yourself in better actions. Keep a positive approach and be helpful to others.
  • Make your own viewpoint from your feelings. Comprehend that the world is really big and one can actually not identify with the things, people etc.

Um, so what does emotional maturity look like, and where does doing the above things get you? The traits and characteristics below seem to be good descriptions:

Emotional maturity is not something that is automatically given to someone when they turn 18. Emotional maturity is something that we must develop in our lives by knowing how to respond to situations in a mature and responsible manner. Three factors that define emotional maturity are:

  • Ability to Face Reality — Acceptance
  • Ability to Relate Well With Others
  • Willingness to be Honest with Ourselves

This list below has 10 traits of emotional maturity, from a dating site called bookofmatches.com:

How do you recognize emotional maturity? An emotionally mature person will have many of the following traits:

  • Knowing what one wants and making it happen
  • Thinking before acting and having control over one’s behavior
  • Self-reliance and the ability to take responsibility for one’s life and actions
  • Patience
  • The ability to connect with others in a cooperative and positive way
  • Genuinely caring about others and demonstrating that ability
  • Honesty and living by one’s principles
  • Having moderation and balance in all things
  • Having the ability to follow through, even when it is difficult
  • Humility and the ability to say, “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

Other ideas perculating for future posts on emotional maturity: how about emotional intelligence? How about emotionally healthy spirituality? why we’re so emotionally messed up? relationships forge emotional maturity. Anything else you’d add?

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