But it’s probably most important.
Growing up, there comes a point where we begin to learn important elements of adulting in preparation for entering the real world. We learn how to manage money and be more responsible. We start to take school more seriously. We get jobs and may even pay a couple of bills. Our behavior evolves. Eventually, our decisions become more logical and we do fewer stupid things.
We grow as individuals and mature in most areas. One area that often goes unnurtured during this process, however, is our emotional maturity. It’s frequently overlooked, though I’d argue it’s one of the most vital aspects of our being. Our emotional state influences so much of the person that we become.
In being taught the fundamentals of managing our lives, rarely is a focus on emotional development among the lessons. But it should be. We need to learn to maturely express ourselves. And be comfortable having open, honest, respectful communication about the way that we feel.
Being emotionally immature is a hindrance in romantic relationships. It leads to people playing games and being dishonest, while unable to ever have a serious discussion about anything. These are usually the ones who consistently bolt when feelings get “too real.” We do this when our emotional maturity isn’t at a level that can handle giving and receiving love. Such depth of connection is too much.
Communication is key in any type of healthy relationship. And emotional maturity is the key to effective communication. When underdeveloped, we avoid heavy conversation. It feels foreign and unnerving.
Emotional maturity affects our ability to accept criticism, as well as respond appropriately. If lacking in this area, it is tough to handle difficult situations without escalating them. When told that we’re wrong, need to work on something, or anything else undesirable, emotional immaturity will respond by growing defensive and placing blame elsewhere. Everything is taken personally, as a slight. The capability to assess the situation and take responsibility for fixing what’s broken is nonexistent.
I’ve been in relationships, all kinds, where you’re almost afraid to tell the other person that they hurt or angered you because you know that no matter how…