Dr. David B. Hawkins, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Director of The Marriage Recovery Center, discusses the 5 qualities of emotional maturity (“growing up”) and how we respond to stressful situations. He covers the five areas of emotional maturity: connection and empathy; responsibility and ownership; insight and self-awareness; resilience and flexibility; and healthy self-confidence.
5 Qualities of Emotional Maturity
Has anybody ever said to you, “You need to grow up”? Now, of course, nobody ever wants to hear those words, but whoever said them had something really important to say to us, didn’t they? They meant that in some way, we were acting childish, not handling frustration effectively, and responding to stressful situations in an immature manner. We’ve all been there, and we all need to grow up in certain ways. Emotional maturity, or growing up, involves learning how to handle situations in a more mature and healthy way that connects us to others rather than creating disconnection. Let’s explore the five qualities that comprise emotional maturity:
Ability to Connect
An emotionally mature person has the ability to connect with others. They possess empathy, genuinely care about other people, and consider the impact their actions will have on those around them. They understand the importance of relatedness and recognize that the world doesn’t revolve solely around themselves. Instead, they embrace the idea of being part of a team or partnership, valuing the needs and feelings of others.
Ownership and Responsibility
Taking ownership is a vital quality of emotional maturity. When an emotionally mature person hurts someone, they quickly acknowledge their mistakes and take responsibility for them. They don’t make excuses or try to shift the blame onto others. Instead, they genuinely own their actions and make a genuine effort to change. Others can tell when someone has truly taken ownership of their behavior, and it reflects their commitment to growth and improvement.
Insight and Self-Awareness
Insight and self-awareness are key traits of emotional maturity. Emotionally mature individuals have a deep understanding of how they function in the world and the impact they have on others. They have “aha” moments, where they recognize their mistakes and the consequences of their actions. Through self-reflection, they gain insight into their behaviors and patterns, allowing them to make positive changes. It may not always be easy to confront our own shortcomings, but it is an essential part of personal growth.
Resilience and Flexibility
Emotional maturity involves developing resilience and flexibility. Instead of dwelling on past hurts or getting stuck in negative emotions, emotionally mature individuals have the ability to bounce back and adapt to challenging situations. They roll with the punches, understanding that life is full of ups and downs. Rather than holding onto grudges or seeking revenge, they choose to let go and move forward. This resilience allows them to maintain healthy relationships and navigate life’s inevitable setbacks.
Lastly, emotional maturity encompasses having a healthy level of self-confidence. It is not about thinking of oneself more highly than deserved, but rather having a balanced self-assurance. Emotionally mature individuals own up to their mistakes and imperfections while also recognizing their growth and progress. They approach the world with confidence, caring about others and themselves, striving to be better individuals.
In conclusion, emotional maturity involves cultivating five key qualities: the ability to connect, taking ownership and responsibility, having insight and self-awareness, developing resilience and flexibility, and maintaining a healthy amount of self-confidence. Growth is a lifelong journey, and it is never too late to embark on the path of emotional maturity. Let’s strive to be better individuals for the sake of our relationships and our own personal well-being.
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.