3 Things You Realize When You’re Emotionally Mature
If we’ve gone through stressful events in our lives, we can often see that our coping strategies have made us more mature and, sometimes, more fearful and fragile.
To deny that we are emotional beings is to deny a large and important part of what makes us who we are.
Rather than ignoring situations, or trying to control them without sufficient consideration, we’ll try to differentiate the situations in which you act with emotional maturity from those situations in which maturity is notable for its absence.
1. Thinking of yourself is not selfish; it’s essential for your happiness, and for the people around you.
Be selective about those with whom you become emotionally involved. A negative person in your environment can unleash a wave of pessimism and a lack of energy that is contagious.
Even though you may be a friend, daughter, colleague or boyfriend, you’re not a professional psychologist, gifted with tools to help another person escape from their depressed state.
Sometimes, it’s very healthy to know when to end certain conversations, close the door behind you and take a walk, play music or concentrate on improving your own life rather than focusing on someone else’s.
If you try to take care of everything, and you’re overly sensitive to other people’s situations, you’re the one who will probably need help in the future.
You must recognize that you too are a person who has emotional limits.
The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are.
2. Going over and over a problem does not mean that you’re solving it.
We’ve always been told to reflect on our problems and find our own solutions, but where’s the limit to being busy within our minds? Aren’t we neglecting life?
Here’s a metaphor to help you understand:
“Imagine that you fall into a hole and you have a blindfold over your eyes.
You have no tools to get out of the hole except a shovel, and no valid strategy to determine the right direction in which to get out.
You can’t think of any way out of the hole except to dig and dig.
Even though you’ve been doing something to get out of the situation, the reality is that the hole is getting bigger and you’re sinking deeper and deeper.”
In applying this metaphor to the use of excessive mental activity to solve a problem, we realize that our thoughts are no longer an ally, but increasingly submerge us in this unpleasant situation.
Think and ruminate in moderation.
3. Unpleasant events must not be denied or forgotten at all costs. We must accept them, let them be and let go of the negativity they evoke when they return to us.
Many people argue that life would be much easier with an “internal reset button” to eliminate anything painful that’s happened to us and makes us sad.
So, if we had that magic strategy, we’d go through life like big kids lacking grace; making mistakes over and over.
We wouldn’t be unique individuals, but copies of what society defines as a peaceful and happy person.
Peace and wisdom don’t come from an absence of mistakes, the effort to hide them, or from the resentment and bitterness of letting them make a hole in our psyche.
It’s self-defeating to remember those mistakes over and over again and allowing them to poison our peace. Being immature is not seeing the importance of the mistakes and learning from them. Being emotionally mature is accepting them and learning from them, and not only to not repeat that particular mistake, but to apply this general lesson to other aspects of your life.
Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values.
-Joshua L. Liebman-