Five Signs That You're Emotionally Mature

As humans, we never finish maturing emotionally. However, there are certain attitudes and behaviors that indicate you've already traveled a good part of the way. Find out if you possess all of them!
Five Signs That You're Emotionally Mature
Elena Sanz

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

As a rule, we think that maturity is a matter of age and that the passing of the years makes us more aware, assertive, and determined. However, being emotionally mature has nothing to do with passing time, but about the experiences we have and, above all, what we do with them.

At a physical level, maturity designates the moment at which an organism has completed its development, especially at the level of size, weight, and sexual maturation. At a cognitive level, it concerns the point at which the brain has completed its evolution and mental functioning is optimal, especially in terms of higher mental functions.

These two processes usually take place during adolescence and adulthood and don’t require any deliberate effort on our part. On the other hand, emotional maturity can take much longer to acquire and, in this case, it’s up to us to work on it.

Do you think that you’ve completed this process and are a mature person? Take a look at the following signs of emotional maturity and work out to what extent you identify with them.

Woman wondering if she's emotionally mature.

Five signs that you’re emotionally mature

Here are the main indicators that you’ve matured emotionally.

1. You’re capable of making decisions

Your ability to make decisions is an excellent way of measuring your autonomy and emotional maturity. In fact, it reflects the degree to which you’ve learned to fend for yourself. Making a decision implies choosing an option, giving up the others, and accepting the consequences of this act. For many people, it’s a real challenge.

Research claims that those who tend to be indecisive take longer to choose a path, need more information to do so, and are reluctant to make decisions. In reality, they feel overwhelmed as they perceive situations as more threatening than they really are. In addition, they don’t trust their own resources to deal with them. Thus, it’s common for them to seek excessive support in their environment.

On the contrary, emotional maturity allows you to face uncertainty calmly and to take charge of it. In fact, you know that, even if your choice is wrong, you can accept the consequences and change course.

2. You know how to say ‘no’ and ‘enough’

This is one of the most valuable learnings in life. However, some of us take almost a lifetime to acquire it. That’s because saying “I don’t want to”, “I don’t feel like it”, “I don’t agree”, or “I don’t accept this anymore” can be extremely difficult. Because most of us grow up with the idea that we must please others.

You’ll know that you’re emotionally mature when you see yourself naturally refusing certain requests, situations, and events. Refusing to do a favor, declining the invitation to a meeting that you don’t feel like, leaving an abusive relationship, defending your rights… All of these small actions mean that you’ve done a great deal of inner work on yourself.

3. You take responsibility for yourself

Being emotionally mature implies taking responsibility for yourself and your own well-being and not placing that weight in the hands of others. It means you abandon the role of victim and stop blaming others or life itself for your situation. In fact, you take charge. This doesn’t imply that everything will go your way. Indeed, there’ll always be elements that are beyond your control, but emotional maturity does require that you accept an active role in achieving your goals.

If you’ve matured emotionally you’ve managed to find your own center within yourself. You don’t seek to change others nor do you expect them to bring you happiness. On the contrary, it means you’ve become a complete being who’s able to share your fulfillment with others, from a position of freedom.

In addition, you’re capable of accepting your mistakes and correcting them when necessary. You understand that you’re not a perfect being and you’re not afraid to work on your vulnerabilities.

4. You have a high emotional intelligence

Management of your emotions is a key indicator of emotional maturity. In fact, it’s one of the aspects that most influences your personal well-being and social relationships. The development of emotional intelligence depends to an extent on the early education you received, but also on the subsequent work you do to compensate for any possible deficiencies.

Thus, if you want to know if you’re an emotionally mature person, ask yourself how you relate to your own and others’ emotions. For instance, do you often feel held to ransom by extremely intense emotional states? Do you act in ways that later lead you to regret them? Do you know how to listen to yourself and act in coherence with what you feel? Last but not least, are you able to see, understand, and respect the emotions of others?

If you’re running away from your feelings with addictions, parties, compulsive purchases, sports, or any other activity that you use as an escape, you still have a job to do. The same applies if you’re not able to deal with the emotions of those around you and you’re uncomfortable being empathetic or showing yourself as vulnerable by giving in and negotiating in your relationships.

5. You’ve integrated your past

Finally, in order to identify if you’re an emotionally mature person, you must analyze the vision you have regarding your past. We’ve all made mistakes and been damaged and hurt. We’ve all faced frustration, disappointment, and failure. However, maturity allows us to understand, integrate and release that painful past.

If you’re mature, you no longer remember your past with resentment, anger, or sadness, but as part of a great learning. With the passage of time and introspection, you’ve managed to extract a lesson from each event and have been able to forgive others as well as yourself.

Therefore, you don’t carry around unresolved hurt, entrenched hatred, or pathological guilt. In fact, looking back, you can perceive a noticeable change in yourself and you’re able to thank, to a certain extent, how all those experiences contributed to making you who you are today.

Woman with crystal ball thinking about personality accessories

Emotional maturity is constant growth

Do you think you’ve reached most of the above points? If not, don’t worry, because, in reality, emotional maturity isn’t a destination, but a path. We all have something to learn, some areas to improve, and a new version of ourselves to develop.

Thus, it’s not about seeking perfection, but enjoying the path of growth, appreciating, and celebrating your progress. Above all, it’s about enjoying the peace that comes with emotional maturity. Indeed, this is the true basis of happiness.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.