Picture this! It's Saturday morning and Raman and Deepak arrive at work only to discover that their Director needs them to work late to finish a proposal for Monday morning. This means that both of them would have to cancel their evening activities.
The two co-workers spend some time complaining. Raman then gets back to work, his disappointment fading as he concentrates on getting his work done. Deepak, on the other hand, is furious and feels victimised by his boss. He catches hold of another co-worker and spends some more time in complaining. He finds it tough to concentrate on his work. He decides to retaliate against his boss by doing a mediocre job.
What did you figure out from this scenario? Well, in the face of disappointment, Raman showed flexibility while Deepak did not. And you know what? Being able to handle life's ups and downs without overreacting is a hallmark of emotional maturity. That's what the psychiatrists say. What's more, academic intelligence has got little to do with our emotional maturity. People with very high IQ's can be stunningly poor pilots of their personal lives. Read on
The immature person!
Like Deepak, such a person reacts to difficulties with bitterness, resentment, despair or anger. He'll feel victimized and disempowered. He'll let go of his dreams and will give up somehow. No doubt, he'll get over the situation but the recovery process is quite long and he'll end up wasting a lot of precious time.
The mature personality!
Who's a mature person anyway, you say? Psychologists define psychological maturity as being able to accept reality as it is without feeling the need to change it. You should have a realistic attitude towards life. You should possess the art of living in peace with that which you cannot change.
Apart from being realistic, you should also possess some other traits. You should possess the ability to know what you want and the capacity to make it happen. You should also have a certain amount of self-control. Do not be impulsive and just think before you act. Be self-reliant and capable of taking responsibility for your life and actions. Be patient.
This is not all! You should also possess the ability to sustain intimate relationships and establish positive connections with others. And of course, you should possess a sense of balance and equanimity in dealing with stress. Perseverance, decisiveness, humility and the ability to admit that you're wrong are other hallmarks of an emotionally sound person.
Maturity begins at home!
It's not surprising that many of us fall short of the noble attributes that I've outlined below. We're not to blame for this. It may be because we grew up in less than ideal circumstances. Of course, no one is born mature. Our parents and life experiences shape our emotional development and there is no denying the fact that mature parents rear mature children. A child who successfully struggles with failures, disappointments and heartaches will develop greater maturity than one who is pampered and indulged.
So you're feeing that you're not mature enough. Hey! Don't lose heart because it's never too late to cultivate the mature qualities you may lack. And we'll tell you how to go about it. Just read on
Therapy: Psychotherapy or group therapy can be very helpful in resolving childhood issues and gaining greater acceptance of your parents and yourself. By making peace with your past you move to a place of inner serenity and acceptance and no longer spend so much time fighting, suffering and struggling.
Activities: Life experiences are also valuable in developing maturity. Group and community activities that foster creativity, collaboration and empowerment can be very transforming. Being involved in sports or a theatre company, for example, can help you gain confidence, develop new skills and learn to work cooperatively with others.
Getting beyond yourself: Helping others is a time-honored way to transcend your own difficulties and experience the satisfaction of service. Being a Big Brother or Sister can be valuable growth experiences. So can any situation where you pitch in and help or assume responsibility. Getting beyond yourself is a step towards gaining the perspective that leads to the accepting attitude of a mature adult.
Emotional Maturity and YOU
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