10 personality traits that show you’re emotionally mature

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Emotional maturity is a good thing to have. We all know this.

But how do you know whether you’re emotionally mature or not, and what is it even about anyways?

To help you along, here are personality traits that show you’re emotionally mature.

Check out how many you see in yourself.

1. You take your losses gracefully

Most people have issues with accepting “defeat”, especially in public where bowing out can easily be taken to mean shame and weakness.

There’s a reason why some people often double down or throw around flimsy excuses (or even blame others) when they get called out for something. They simply find it embarrassing to lose.

It takes plenty of confidence and emotional maturity to resist that temptation and keep yourself from taking your losses personally and getting too upset about them.

It takes even more maturity for you not to feel any offense at all and actually be quite happy to be proven wrong.

2. You know when to choose your battles

That is to say, an emotionally mature person knows when something is worth being mad over, and when it’s not.

Take, for example, you have a friend who failed to show up for a date you planned for weeks because a major storm hit their town.

Now it’s certainly possible to get mad at their friend for not following through. But on the other hand, it would be simply petty of you to hold it over them.

So you let go and just plan another date to meet.

This applies to big, important battles, too. You know when you’re way out of your depth and should not engage even though it’s an otherwise important issue to you.

3. You actively seek out and listen to others’ perspectives

One of the scariest things a person can face is having to consider that, just maybe, their entire worldview and personal beliefs were wrong.

It’s so hard, in fact, that kings used to silence their critics rather than entertain their perspectives.

But you take the opposite path and instead of trying to affirm your own biases, you would openly look for evidence and arguments that might convince you otherwise.

That way, you can see things clearly and make better decisions.

4. You can stay friends with your exes

One good way you can tell if someone is emotionally mature is if they could manage to remain friends with their exes.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Breakups are full of emotional tension, whether or not it was amicable.

It takes a lot of maturity not to try to “win back” your ex, or to get consumed by envy when they’re doing well in life, or jealousy when you see them dating someone sexier, smarter, and richer than you.

Being emotionally mature means being able to talk with your ex with no hard feelings, and to be genuinely happy for them.

Of course, this is very hard to do. It’s a tall order. It might take years for you to achieve this kind of maturity.

But as long as you’re not lashing out and plotting revenge on your ex, and you’re not creating a scene when they’re around, you’re good.

5. You can deal with complex issues

You must have heard of the saying “there are two sides to every story” at one time or another.

And it is true—every conflict has at least two sides and most have even more if you were to look closer. On top of that these conflicts tend to be quite messy as well, with both sides seemingly having their merits and faults.

It’s easy enough to just throw your hands up and go “ah, both sides are bad!” since it’s hard to just deal with that mess. On top of that is the added flavor of being the cool contrarian.

But emotionally mature people won’t bother doing that. Instead, they’ll acknowledge that even if there’s a mess on both sides, sometimes one side is simply worse or less coherent than the other by far.

If you know not just to practice moderation, but to also take moderation in moderation, then that’s likely your sign.

6. You’re not afraid to make yourself vulnerable

Nobody really wants to be vulnerable, not in this world where there are people eager to take advantage of every little bit of weakness they could find.

But that only makes it more special when people have the strength of will to be honest and raw to others.

And what I mean is that, for example, being unafraid to admit that you were a worse person in the past or that even in the present you can’t be sure that you’re necessarily the “best” person in the room.

It also means telling people not to listen to you blindly and to instead verify for themselves because you know you can and do make mistakes.

A less emotionally secure person will not do that and admit that they’re definitely trustworthy.

7. You set healthy personal boundaries (and are not offended when others do the same)

You don’t compromise your own personal comfort for the sake of sucking up to people or having people like you.

For example, if you don’t like it when people who barely know you borrow money from you or share gossip with you, then you will say so even if it makes you look “unfriendly” or a “killjoy.”

You know your boundaries, and you would happily remind people of them if they ever want to remain in your good graces.

You’re no paper tiger either, because you aren’t afraid to cut off people who insist on violating your boundaries anyways.

And when others set their own boundaries, you don’t get offended. You don’t take it to mean that they don’t care about you or that they’re simply selfish because for you, boundaries are key to make relationships sustainable.

8. You don’t break down when things get rough

There’s a saying that goes “when the going gets tough, the tough get going,” and that explains emotionally mature people, too.

You persevere even when things get rough… not necessarily because you’re “tough”, but because you have learned how to cope with adversity.

Many of the things I have already described—like knowing when to choose one’s battles—are instrumental in helping emotionally mature people handle hard times.

But on top of things like that, it’s also because you actually know how to recharge and replenish. You make time for enjoyment and leisure even if (or especially if) you’re going through something. You meditate and reassess the situation…and make sure you’re ready to go back to the arena.

And because of this, it’s much easier for you to keep going.

9. You can commit to hard decisions

Hard decisions are called so because, well… they’re not easy.

Think of having to cut off contact with your best friend after they tried to scam you. It’s difficult because you do love them… but you need to do it not just for your sake, but for theirs.

Think of having to fight for your long-distance love—even if friends and family are against it—because you know deep inside that they’re the one for you.

Most people would balk at these decisions, even if they knew what the right choice would have been.

And that’s why it takes emotional maturity to make hard decisions and commit to them.

10. You know and accept who you are

There is one person whose opinion of you matters—and that’s you, yourself.

In being emotionally mature, you no longer feel the urge to either tear yourself down for being “imperfect” or build yourself up because you’re “too good.”

You’ve accepted who you are FULLY and have made a vow to love yourself no matter what. Of course, since you’re mature, you know you have a lot of flaws and you still have a long way to go to become the best version of yourself. But it doesn’t mean you love yourself less now.

This self-confidence leads to healthy self-love, which then leads to well, everything else I mentioned above.

Conclusion

It should perhaps be no surprise that the many things that give away your emotional maturity are intertwined.

An improvement to any one of them is an improvement to all of them.

So if you find that you don’t quite tick off all the traits I’ve described, don’t fret—you’re already halfway there, and you simply need to introspect and learn to become even better.

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Justin Brown

As co-founder of Ideapod, a digital publishing platform reaching millions, and creator of The Vessel, a new platform for self-knowledge, I bring a unique perspective to the world of culture, politics and psychology. With a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and M.A. (First Class Honours) from the Australian National University, I've dedicated my career to understanding and sharing new ideas and perspectives for a new generation.

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