emotional immaturity vs. emotional maturity

Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 5 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity? part 2: how to develop emotional maturity; part 3: how emotionally maturity is connected to spiritual maturity; part 4: emotional intelligence and emotional maturity]

I confess I’m not exactly sure where to go with this series. I don’t have a road map or content schedule planned out. So I’m going with what’s at my fingertips. This chart comes from Soulwork Systemic Solutions, a coaching system developed by Martyn Carruthers:

And, Guy Kawasaki twittered this online Emotional Intelligence (EQ) test over at about.com. Taking the test just now (there were like 15 questions; I lost count), it told me, “Your results indicate an above average score on emotional intelligence.”

The people there wrote that Emotional Intelligence “refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while other claim it is an inborn characteristic.”

Notice the 3 parts: (1) perceive — being in touch with one’s own emotions; (2) control — which I think means one doesn’t have to impulsively act on one’s feelings, and is not saying that one could or should control one’s feelings; (3) evaluate — which is the ability to discern why one feels that way, or what I like to say, getting at the feelings under the feelings.

Maturity or immaturity isn’t such a binary categorization. One author describes 6 levels of emotional maturity (excerpted from “SELF-CONCEPT: The Enemy Within” by Kevin Everett FitzMaurice):

  1. Basic Emotional Responsibility
  2. Emotional Honesty
  3. Emotional Openness
  4. Emotional Assertiveness
  5. Emotional Understanding
  6. Emotional Detachment

Read the full article for descriptions of these six levels of emotional maturity.

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5 Responses

  1. ilona says:

    This is interesting- I wonder how the results compare and fit with a model like Myers-Briggs.

  2. Paul Kuzma says:

    DJ….Just came across your blog here. Cynthia Ware mentioned you may be attending our Catalyst Road Trip Pastor's Breakfast at Reagan Library Tuesday. It would be awesome to get to meet you.

    I am putting the breakfast together and really sense this is going to be a God-thing. Pieces keep felling into place for it that I hadn't even planned on. Last minute, mid-December, and we have 40 people coming, some driving (like yourself) quite some ways!

    Anyway, another parallel we are sharing is that I noticed you mentioned my Emotionally Healthy Spirituality teaching series in one of your blog posts on the emotional maturity topic.

    On top of that, I actually work with Pete Scazzero and the EHS network that is growing out of this book. I serve as a volunteer Ministry Representative for EHS and Coordinator for our newly released EHS Church-wide Initiative.

    This Fall, 13 churches across the US and Canada piloted the series with their congregations. Another 12 or so are lied up for the Winter. And, the series you referenced on our church website is actually from 2005. We are just now also finishing up our EHS Church-wide Initiative, meaning the newer messages are on our website as well.

    I don't want to sound “sales-y” because in truth, sales is not our thing with EHS. We are doing what we are because we believe deeply in the need and viability of Scazzero's EHS message. In my opinion, words can't express the need there is for all Christians to integrate their emotional maturity with their spiritual health. We have separated them too long, and in some ways have completely denied the need for discipleship in our emotions.

    Anyway, already too long for a blog comment …. looking forward to meeting you Tuesday!!

  3. djchuang says:

    @Paul, thanks for your comment.. glad to hear of your connection to the emotionally healthy resources, it's so valuable to the church, and to having a more complete and holistic spiritual life. Look forward to meeting you!

    @ilona, my sense is that emotional intelligence is a whole different category than Myers-Briggs, which is more about personalities and styles. The way I think of it, and it's just a guess, a person can have any personality profile, and be immature (or mature).

  4. Ivana says:

    My husband and I live in Bosnia. We were going to get divorced, mostly due to his immaturity. We met Martyn Carruthers in Croatia and our entire relationship has benefitted. I am now married to a man – not a teenager in a 48 year old body. And I am probably a lot easier to live with.