An emotional mature and self-determined individual is able to decide and choose what kind of feelings s/he prefers to experience!

Emotional maturity - also referred to as emotional intelligence (EQ) - is essentially the ability that we have to recognize, manage and use or apply our emotions in a healthy, balanced and constructive way to maintain a harmonious environmental fit. Emotional maturity is also about our capability to recognize the emotional states of others and engaging them in ways that feel good to all and create an environmental climate of mutual safety, trust, loyalty and confidence. Emotional maturity consists of the following four essential capabilities…

  • Self-awareness – the ability to be acutely conscious of our own emotions and recognize the impact of our feelings on our everyday behaviours an actions (i.e. our habits), while utilizing our gut feeling (i.e. intuition) to direct and guide our decisions. Self-awareness mainly originate from self-empowerment, which serves as a solid platform of our umwelt.
  • Self-management – the ability to exercise control over our emotions and feeling in such a manner that it allows us to deal with or adapt to changing circumstances in constructive ways (e.g. to productively deal with future shock). Self-management are steered by efficient psyche management strategies.
  • Social awareness – the ability to sense, understand and respond (i.e. NOT reacting) to the emotions of other people and to feel socially comfortable and at ease when interacting with others.
  • Relationship management – the skill and ability to inspire, influence and interact (i.e. to connect) with other people in harmonious ways, while managing conflict and/or different points of view in a constructive and productive manner.

It is quite difficult - if not impossible - to accurately assess or determine an individual's level of emotional maturity, because our perceived level of emotional maturity - sourcing from past experience - differs from moment to moment and context to context, mainly depending on the circumstances that we are presently confronted with.

For example… Using the stress barometer as a guiding indicator, it is quite evident that our “perceived level of maturity” will be determined by whether we are confronted with a “change in social activities” measuring 14 life change units, or a “major personal injury or illness” measuring 77 life change units. Presumably, the level of emotional maturity to deal with a “major personal injury or illness” is far greater than to deal with a “change in social activities”. However - for argument sake - lets assume for a moment that a “major personal injury or illness” should be dealt with, within the context of a “successful cure” available, and that a “change in social activities” happens in the context of a bloody revolution…

  1. Think about it! How will these changes in context, influence life change units?
  2. Think about it! What is the impact on personal stress, helplessness and frustrations experienced?
  3. Think about it! Which - depending on context - will require the most control of emotions and feelings (i.e. emotional maturity)?

For a clearer understanding of what emotional maturity is all about, please watch the following TED-talk delivered by Lisa Feldman Barret regarding an emotional maturity research project conducted by a number of neuroscientists.

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  • Last modified: 20 August, 2018 @ 8:12pm
  • by Jan Viljoen