Lindsay C. Gibson (Psy. D.) in her work, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, discusses how to recognize emotionally mature individuals and incorporate their traits into our own lives for better communication, work ethic, and holistic personal development. The book is an exploration of emotionally healthy people and how they function in society. The following are characteristics that Gibson suggests are signs of emotionally mature individuals:
1. They are Reliable and Realistic
Because these individuals are stable and consistent with their behavior, they are extremely reliable. They have something known as an “integrated sense of self” and will not surprise you with turbulence or irate behavior. These people can be reasonable and reasoned with, making it easy to trust and communicate with them. Most importantly, they work with reality instead of fighting it. One simple mistake will not lead them to the conclusion that they are a failure or just straight up unloved; they have successfully learned not to take themselves too seriously and work on problems they can fix instead of ideating on the ones they can’t.
2. They Feel and Think at the Same Time
We tend to fixate on the idea that thinking and feeling are two in-congruent things that go just about as well together like oil and water. However, emotionally mature individuals are able to rationalize and reason through a situation, even when things fail to go their way. Introspecting and understanding their emotions while they are going through them helps these individuals understand different perspectives of a situation. It also helps avoid irrational outbursts and unnecessary arguments.
3. They are Even Tempered
Emotionally mature individuals deal with anger in a productive and healthy way. They don’t guilt-trip you or sulk for long periods at a stretch; they communicate with their loved ones and take initiative to figure out where it all went wrong. If they can figure it out, they get around to fixing it. Emotionally healthy people don’t fixate on behaviors that are unproductive and unhealthy – both to themselves and those around them.
4. They are Capable of Empathy
Emotionally mature individuals don’t just recognize their own feelings – they can detect and comprehend those of the people around them. Empathy is one of the core factors of emotional intelligence. Being able to view someone’s life from their perspective helps understand them better and might subsequently build compassion for them. It becomes impossible to resent people and society as a whole once you develop empathy.
5. They can Reflect and Apologize
These people can be influenced by the opinions and arguments of other people. That’s not to say that emotionally mature individuals are easily swayed – it simply means that they are willing to listen and reflect, even with people they initially disagree with. Instead of refusing to give in, even when they’re wrong, they know how to apologize and reflect on the consequences of their actions. Emotionally mature individuals recognize when they can be wrong and can appropriately learn and develop from it.
6. They Respect Other’s Boundaries
Emotionally mature individuals don’t invade others’ personal spaces – be it physical or mental. They know when to step away and allow people to retain their individuality. They don’t cling, control, or whine when the people they interact with need a little bit of a break. These individuals don’t attach their sense of self-worth to whether or not people want to be around them, making them independent and respectful of other people’s choices – even when those choices don’t gel with what they want.
7. They Support Without Judgment
Emotionally mature individuals don’t pretend to know any better than you do. They understand how crucial support systems can be, and hence offer comfort when their friends are in need of it. They might tell you when you’re wrong, but they also know how to empathize and understand you when you have been wronged.
8. They’re Truthful
Individuals who try their level best not to lie excessively find themselves more emotionally stable and balanced. They don’t have to worry about keeping up a façade or living a fallacy; they try to live up to their truest standards – even if it can be difficult, uncomfortable, or straight up ugly. They face and tell the truth in equal measure, refusing to back down in the name of a “white lie.”
9. They’re Kind
That’s not to say an emotionally mature individual will be mean to you in the name of telling the truth. These people are good communicators, giving you the truth in a way that doesn’t warrant you to be upset or lose your self-esteem. Emotionally mature people know when the truth is required and when it is unnecessary. Their compassion allows them to be good friends in the lives of the people they care about.
10. They are Enjoyable to Be Around
At the end of the day, these people know how to have fun. They can laugh at themselves and the world around them and they know how to see the good in life. Their positivity radiates around them, making them easy and fun to be with. These people recognize the importance to stop and smell the roses. They enjoy life, making you enjoy it with them.
Do you know any emotionally mature individuals? Are they similar or different? Let us know in the comments!
Read Also: Dealing With Difficult People: 7 Effective Tips.