For as long as we live, we will always be on the journey to becoming more mature. We are not meant to be static human beings. It’s expected that we are constantly evolving and growing in our lifetime.
It’s a given that we all want to be better people. But what exactly does it take to be an emotionally mature person?
If this is something you’re interested in, we’ve prepared 10 awesome traits all emotionally mature people have in common. Can you truly see yourself exhibiting the following traits?
Having a humble heart is all about accepting that you can’t be the best at everything. It is believing that you can’t possibly be a master at every single thing that you pursue. You know that there is always going to be someone that is better than you in some skill or talent.
And that’s all perfectly fine! This is not something that a mature person will overly stress or think about. You know that no one is expected to be perfect. We are all made with different strengths and capabilities, and the sooner we recognize this truth, the more content we can be.
If you’re a mature person, asking for help is not an issue for you. You don’t see it as a sign of weakness at all. It just means that you acknowledge other people’s talents and knowledge.
This humility makes you more open-minded. You are able to respect other people’s opinions and perspectives. A mature person will not automatically judge others for having different beliefs.
This also means that you can own up to your mistakes. When you are proven to be wrong, you are humble enough to admit your error. You don’t feel the need to constantly prove that you are right. It’s important that you take criticism constructively and strive to improve based on the feedback given to you.
You are not boastful or arrogant about your accomplishments. A humble person does not delight in constantly tooting his/her own horn. You recognize other people’s contributions and give credit where credit is due.
Emotionally mature people also accept that we are all part of a grander plan that is far greater than any individual human being. They accept their place in this world.
But all of these don’t mean that you think less of yourself. As the popular quote goes, being humble is all about thinking of yourself less. It’s more about having a realistic view of ourselves as fallible human beings.
Humility actually goes hand in hand with contentment.
A content person is someone who accepts what has been given to him/her with open arms. You’re happy with yourself and where you are currently in life
You are at peace with your internal and external realities.
Let’s talk about internal realities first. You are aware of all your inborn talents and gifts and you are thankful for every single one of them. An emotionally mature person shows gratitude by fully taking advantage of these attributes.
But this also means that you are mindful of the limitations of your capabilities. Again, you are humble enough to accept that you can’t be a genius at everything.
On the other hand, being at peace with your external realities is all about coming to terms with the circumstances that you are put in. Sometimes, life will throw things at you that aren’t the most favorable. There may be unexpected trials and challenges that are out of your control.
Each person is also given varying resources and opportunities. Some countries have more access to education than others. In some cases, other states may have more available opportunities for training and mentorship.
With all of this, a mature person is strong enough to accept his/her particular circumstances and resources. But to be clear, it doesn’t mean that content people don’t try to change their respective situations. All this means is that you recognize that acceptance is the first step toward making the most out of what has been given to you.
It’s also important that you’ve stopped placing your absolute hope on things that you know will never make you fully happy. This may be your career, wealth, relationships, or any other idol.
These are obviously good things, but you know that they can never complete you. You wholeheartedly believe that you can be fulfilled on your own and that these are not the only sources of your joy and happiness.
All these things considered, you have made big moves that have changed your life for the better and helped you become more content. This may not be how the rest of the world thinks, but you’re willing to go against the current for a more fulfilling life.
Self-awareness is often an underemphasized trait that is necessary for our overall growth and improvement. It means having a deep understanding of yourself that goes way beyond initial impressions or face value.
You are aware of your various strengths and weaknesses. It is your mission to highlight your advantages and slowly overcome your disadvantages.
You often review your past not because you want to overly dwell on it, but because you want to see how these experiences have shaped you.
There are many factors that have contributed to making you the person that you are today. You look back at how your parents raised you and the values that you’ve learned through them. A self-aware person will also try to understand how he spent his childhood and the role models that he was surrounded by.
All of these factors play a role in determining your specific tendencies and triggers in different aspects of your life.
In romantic relationships, you are aware of how you want to be loved and valued. You know what you specifically want in a potential lifetime partner.
When it comes to friendships, you know the kind of friend that you strive to be. Perhaps you’re known as the spontaneous and outgoing type. Or maybe you’re more laid-back and relaxed. Either way, your friends know what makes you unique and they love you for it.
On the other hand, you also know which types of people you want to attract. Maybe you are often associated with the adventurous and the daring. Or maybe you like being with a more introspective and intellectual group of people.
In terms of your career path, you are mindful of which fields and industries you truly enjoy working in. You also have an idea of the overall trajectory that you’re heading towards. In the workplace, you also know how to maximize your own productivity depending on your personal preferences.
At home, a mature person is also conscious of the kind of parent that he/she is striving to become. You are also familiar with the type of home environment that you are trying to create and build.
The value of self-awareness lies in not just the knowledge of the facts, but upon acting on it too. This deep understanding of yourself should lead you to become more genuine in your actions.
Your goal is to act in accordance with who you are as a person and how you view yourself. It is your conviction that you will not act like somebody that you are not, and that you will fully embrace your authentic self.
4) Discipline and Self-control
An emotionally mature person also exhibits the discipline and self-control that is needed to make wise and deliberate choices.
You do not often act on impulse.
This is often applied when you are making major life decisions. In these types of situations, you consider every possible perspective, angle, and outcome. You take into account both arguments and counter-arguments. A mature person will also write down his/her thoughts carefully and speak them out loud.
Before making any big decision, you also consult first with your trusted friends, colleagues, and advisors. A disciplined person will seek out people who have a proven track record of making wise and sensible decisions.
It’s also important that you genuinely listen to people’s advice. You don’t immediately dismiss opinions that disagree with your own.
If the decision is not urgent, you take your time to create a well-informed basis for your stance. You don’t just jump to conclusions without carefully analyzing the available facts, information, and credible sources.
But you do not just depend on all this factual information to make your decision. You also heavily consider your intuition.
When you trust your gut, it may seem that you’re not making the most logical decision in the eyes of other people. But in some situations, your gut feeling may actually be grounded on significant observation and experience that just cannot be simply explained. This intuition then becomes a very valuable tool in making smart decisions.
Practicing self-control also means that you are comfortable with delayed gratification.
You are not addicted to immediate rewards that come from endlessly scrolling on social media or binge-watching the latest Netflix show. It is truly an essential life skill to be more focused on your long-term objectives, rather than your short-term gains.
You are also capable of keeping commitments for a long period of time. Someone who is disciplined honors his promises even when the going gets tough.
This also means that you are able to control and manage your emotions in a healthy way. You are the kind of person who can show restraint even if you are emotionally charged or triggered.
It’s not like you to act on your anger or any intense emotion immediately. You have the ability to wait for these extreme feelings to pass first before you respond to the situation at hand.
Gratitude isn’t something that a mature person just magically wakes up with one morning. It is something that you regularly cultivate in your everyday life.
This starts with creating little habits that could compound in big ways. A grateful person may keep a gratitude journal where he/she writes down every single good thing that comes to mind. A good practice would be to look back on these pages when it’s hard to be thankful.
But this gratitude doesn’t necessarily have to be expressed only through writing. Maybe you prefer acknowledging the good in life through quiet meditation. Or perhaps you like sharing your thoughts out loud with a friend. The point is simply that you set aside time every day to recall all the blessings that you have.
It also doesn’t matter if what you take note of seems trivial or not. A mature person doesn’t take anything for granted and believes that there is no blessing that is too small.
It’s also best practice for you to avoid just going through the motions. You know that this could be a certified gratitude killer. Pausing and interrupting your day is essential to building a good gratitude habit.
You also don’t focus on the negative things. This doesn’t mean that you don’t acknowledge that unfortunate events exist. You know that you can be realistic but still grateful at the same time.
A grateful person doesn’t want to focus too much on negative thought patterns. It is your desire to keep moving forward and set your heart on better things.
This gratitude should also be apparent to the people around you. You constantly express this gratefulness through your words and actions in visible ways. People see you as a shining light of hope and optimism.
You love savoring the good moments, no matter how quick and fleeting they may seem. Living in the present makes you feel much more gratitude for what you have.
A mature person also doesn’t feel the need to live excessively. You are able to find beauty in the simple things that you have.
Being empathetic means having the ability to put yourself in the shoes of other people. You constantly think of what other people need.
You are sincerely curious about the lives of others, and you want to continually learn about different cultures, perspectives, and backgrounds. A mature person puts himself out there and immerses himself in his community so he can better engage with other people.
Empathetic people do not judge others based on widely held stereotypes and assumptions. You have an intolerance for discrimination and you will never treat other people differently because of their race, gender, religion, or any other attributes. The focus is shifted to one’s character and inner self rather than these outward things.
You do not stay in your own little bubble. It’s your goal to reach out to others in a meaningful way. You want to listen and let their voices be heard and understood.
After realizing these varying perspectives and experiences, you also help inspire social change. You want the world to make way for new ideas, beliefs, and mindsets coming from people who are different than you.
This empathy also leads you to have a natural love for the people around you, your community, and the world at large. Instead of being self-centered and self-absorbed, you are wholly other-oriented.
In your heart, you ultimately want to be of service to other people. You make sure that others find you reliable, loyal, and trustworthy.
With these new insights into the lives of others, you are more motivated to show kindness and compassion. You do not take advantage of or manipulate people for your own selfish gain. In fact, you are willing to sacrifice your own comfort and convenience for others.
Being empathetic also means that you are not jealous of the people around you. You’ve accepted that all people are created equally. A mature person can genuinely support other people’s successes without thinking that their win is your loss.
Here’s the main takeaway: You’ll know that you are truly empathetic if you’re willing to treat other people in the same way that you want to be treated.
Grit is one of the strongest predictors of a person’s success.
Yes, accomplishments can definitely be attributed to your natural talents and advantages. But a mature person would focus more on developing the habit of perseverance and hard work in order to attain his/her goals.
Being gritty means that you fully embrace the challenges that come your way. You know that setbacks and trials are necessary for your journey to success.
A true mark of a gritty person is his ability to bounce back from perceived failures and mistakes. Yes, it’s a given that you will be discouraged from time to time. But at the end of the day, a mature person will try his/her best to recover from difficulties.
You are also able to set specific and realistic goals, and you are not the type to quit easily on these dreams. Planning is something that is crucial to the success of your projects and ventures.
Grit means believing in yourself when no one else does. It is trusting in your own judgment and vision even when others can’t see the full picture that you’re imagining.
You know that it might even be better if other people don’t understand what you’re up to. It’s a sign that you’re doing something creative, innovative, and revolutionary. It’s unique and is something that has never been seen before.
You are also hopeful and optimistic for the future. A gritty person dreams big and achieves great things. He can see the silver lining in every situation.
You are also aware of how patience is key. It’s expected that you won’t be able to achieve all your goals as soon as you start preparing for them. You know that in order to be successful, you have to build a solid foundation first and this takes a lot of time.
Another sign that you are mature is if you’ve fallen in love with the journey rather than just the goal. You are working hard not for the sake of the destination alone, but because you genuinely enjoy the process of getting there.
It is the journey that makes you feel most alive. This truly stimulates and excites you like nothing else.
8) Willingness to Grow and Improve
Your willingness to grow and improve says a lot about your maturity as a person. Humans are not meant to stay the same for as long as we live. We are dynamic creatures, and we should expect to become totally different people in the course of our lifetime.
One sign that you are mature is when you are willing to change your mind about your beliefs. As we grow older, we are undeniably exposed to a world of different experiences and perspectives.
No one is born being absolutely perfect. It’s natural and even expected that we will change. A mature person accepts that we may have a lot of limiting beliefs that have been passed on to us since childhood. This may be from our schools, the media, and the prevailing culture.
It’s not our fault that these are the belief systems that we’ve inherited. We don’t get to choose which beliefs we get exposed to. However, mature people feel that they have the responsibility to unlearn ways of thinking that are not helpful and fulfilling. These kinds of people want to make a stand for what is right.
In terms of skill level and proficiency, you also give yourself permission to become less than average. You know that all the experts of today also started as beginners.
Mature people also have a strong sense of accountability. They are able to admit their wrongdoings and are able to learn from them.
Carol Dweck also talks about this in her concept of the Growth Mindset. In a nutshell, having this kind of mindset starts with having a persistent belief in your ability to grow. You also believe that you can continually improve despite challenges. Lastly, you have the ability to learn from the constructive criticism of others.
There’s no doubt that life is full of unexpected surprises. With this, we all have to learn how to be more flexible with the circumstances that are given to us.
The first step to becoming a flexible person is to accept that you cannot have control over everything. Rigid people often feel that they have the power to change whatever they want, which just isn’t true. The truth of the matter is that there is only so much that we can do as human beings.
A flexible person is comfortable with changing timelines and schedules. He/she knows that it’s okay if you haven’t accomplished all your wildest dreams by the time you reach 30 years old. There’s still a lot of time left to grow and explore.
A mature person may also be used to accepting uncertainties and taking risks. This kind of person will not allow the possibility of failure to deter him from working towards his goals. You always expose yourself to new experiences and ways of doing things.
This may translate to your love for traveling the world. Or maybe you constantly have a new list of hobbies to try out. You may also love meeting new people and celebrating diversity.
For you, nothing beats the thrill of experimenting and exploring what life has to offer. You feel like you’re not truly living if your life does not have adventure and stimulation.
Mature people are also flexible in their thinking. When solving problems, they always strive to be innovative and creative in their solutions. They love thinking outside of the box and being resourceful.
These types of people do not limit themselves to what is perceived to be possible. There is simply no idea that is too crazy for them!
You may also enjoy learning from various fields and applying these skills and knowledge to different industries. All in all, it makes for a more collaborative and insightful environment.
It’s also a sign of maturity if you’re flexible enough to adapt to what life throws at you. You are a master of pivoting and adjusting depending on the situation at hand. If there’s a newfound problem or complication, you are quick to find a solution for it.
In general, you’re not one to panic once things change. You recognize that life is not meant to be a straight path with no complications. There will be so many detours along the way but you know that you just have to trust in the process.
It’s clear that all of these traits are very valuable to an emotionally mature person. But perhaps what’s even more important is the ability to stick to these values no matter what.
The question you should ask yourself is this: Are you able to commit to living these out every single day?
This all begins with making a conscious decision to be consistent. All of your actions naturally flow from your inner thoughts, so this is an essential first step to becoming a more consistent person.
You also make it a point to surround yourself with like-minded people. After all, you truly become the people who you are always with. It is crucial that you immerse yourself with the right thoughts, mindsets, and beliefs.
You want to find people who will keep you accountable and who are willing to talk to you when you step out of line. These are close friends and family who can guide you towards the right path when you make a mistake.
You also have a clear motivation for why you are aiming for constant personal growth. Do you want to finally quit toxic and inaccurate ways of thinking that are just holding you back? Is it because you want to finally move forward with your life with more fulfillment and satisfaction? Or do you want to stand up for values that are much greater than yourself?
This may seem simple and obvious, but asking yourself these questions is essential. When it becomes difficult to consistently live these values out, you can always go back to your personal reasons for why you want to become a better person.
A mature person is also not swayed by external sources. When it comes to decision-making, you trust your own discernment and wisdom. You make decisions based on whether or not they are aligned with your values.
The key to consistency is staying true to your convictions. You are not the type to easily give in to peer pressure.
We’re all in this together
As you’ve probably noticed, these traits all seem interconnected in one way or another. You can’t be empathetic if you’re not humble. In the same way, you can’t have consistency if you are not first self-aware. All of these combined truly make a mature person.
We think it’s safe to say that if every single person on earth had these traits, the world will surely look so much better than it is now.
But don’t forget that at the end of the day, we are all still human. It’s a fact that we will never get to a place where we are all perfect and flawless in exemplifying these traits.
Despite this, what’s important is that we are constantly striving to become better people, no matter what that looks like for you. We may fail from time to time but we will always get up and try again. Progress is certainly more valuable than perfection.
This road to maturity may be difficult, but let us offer you some comfort:
You are never alone in your journey of self-growth and development. We’re all in this together and we can derive hope and inspiration from one another’s stories.
If you believe this with of your heart, you are truly one step closer to becoming an emotionally mature person.
Putting yourself first
Hey, Lachlan from Hack Spirit here.
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever it is, you’re not going to get there, unless you’ve got a plan.
And even then…plans fail.
But I didn’t write this to you to be the voice of doom and gloom…
No, I’m writing this because I want to help you achieve the goals you’ve set.
I’ve recently been taking part in a workshop called Life Journal created by teacher and career coach Jeanette Brown.
Covering all the basics and more on what’s needed to reach your goals, Jeannette tackles everything from creating habits and new behavior patterns to putting your plans into action.
She doesn’t mess around – this workshop will require effort on your part but that’s the beauty of it – Jeanette has carefully designed it to put YOU in the driving seat of your life.
So…think back to that important goal I asked about at the start of this message.
How much do you want it?
Are you willing to put the effort in to get there?
If so, check out the workshop here.
If you do take part, I’d love to hear how your Life Journey goes!
All the best,