12 Signs of emotional maturity

Emotional maturity refers to your ability to understand, and manage, your emotions. Emotional maturity enables you to create the life you desire. A life filled with happiness and fulfilment. You define success in your own terms, not society’s, and you strive to achieve it. Your emotional maturity is observed through your thoughts and behaviours. When you are faced with a difficult situation, your level of emotional maturity is one of the biggest factors in determining your ability to cope.

12 Signs of emotional maturity

Each person has a different level of emotional maturity. It is something which you can consistently work on and improve over time. You can use the following signs of emotional maturity to gauge your own level:

1. Flexibility

You are able to see each situation as unique and you can adapt your style accordingly.

 2. Responsibility

You take responsibility for your own life. You understand that your current circumstances are a result of the decisions you have taken up to now. When something goes wrong, you do not rush to blame others. You identify what you can do differently the next time and develop a plan to implement these changes.

 3. You understand that vision trumps knowledge

You know that you do not need to have all the answers. As long as you can identify the problem, you can visualise a solution and research the best way to implement that solution.

 4. Personal growth

Meeting the challenges of tomorrow requires learning and development today.  You have a desire to learn and a thirst for knowledge. Learning and development activities form a key part of your schedule.

 5. You seek alternative views

Knowing that the way things are done can always be improved, you willingly seek out the opinions and views of others. You do not feel threatened when people disagree with you. If you feel that their way is better, you are happy to run with it.

 6. Non-judgemental

Variety makes the world a more beautiful place. Even when you disagree with people, you do not feel the need to criticise them. Instead, you respect their right to their beliefs.

 7. Resilience

There will always be things that go wrong. There will always be setbacks and major disappointments. While you may initially be a little upset, emotional maturity allows you to express your feelings, identify the actions you can take, and move on.

 8. A calm demeanour

It’s hard to be calm 100% of the time but you are able to remain calm the majority of the time.

 9. Realistic optimism

You are not deluded. You know that success requires effort and patience. You do, though, have an optimistic disposition whereby you believe you can cope with whatever life throws at you. You also believe that there are opportunities out there for you, so you seek them out.

 10. Approachability

You are usually easy to get along with and people feel comfortable approaching you. Building relationships is never contrived; it comes easy to you.

 11. Self-belief

You appreciate when others praise or compliment you. It feels good when they approve. However, you know that there will always be people who disapprove but you are confident in who you are and what you do. If you believe that a particular course of action is right for you, you will do it, whether they approve or not.

 12. Humour

You don’t take yourself too seriously. You are able to enjoy a good laugh with friends and colleagues, even when you are the butt of the joke.

One of the greatest obstacles to emotional maturity is a lack of self confidence. If you feel that you may be lacking in self confidence, check out Unbreakable Self Confidence.

Emotional maturity allows you to take charge of your life. You have your own vision for your life and your own ambition for success. Focusing on realising your vision, you can create a happy, healthy life where you respect yourself and others. When you develop emotional maturity, life becomes a joy rather than a chore. Your happiness and fulfilment are in your hands. Emotional maturity doesn’t evolve overnight. It takes effort, practice and patience. If you can improve a little every day, you will soon be living a happier, more fulfilled life.

Sameer Patil - December 12, 2013

Thanks a lot for the good life lessons.

    admin - December 13, 2013

    Thank you Sameer, you are most welcome.

Rebecca - January 8, 2014

Great list!!! I have a question for you though. How do you reach emotional maturity?

    Carthage - January 8, 2014


    It is a good question.Emotional maturity is not something which you become; it is something which you develop. As you work on your emotional intelligence, you steadily become more emotionally mature. It is an attribute which you can continue to develop throughout your life.

Telmo Carlos - April 3, 2014


This is a good way to breakdown emotional intelligence. All the 12 traits are very “internal” and therefore may be hard to assess. How you would you asses humour for instance? I’m curious.

I also believe that what you “think” you are where you “actually” can be very different. Particularly in relationships where intimacy plays a huge role and therefore if you love someone that can bring great suffering if emotional intelligence is not understood.

    Carthage - April 7, 2014

    Thanks for your comment, Telmo.

    With regard to humour, it is very subjective. Along with assessing it for yourself, you should notice the verbal and non-verbal feedback which you receive from trusted friends and loved ones. With all relationships, it is important to maintain open channels of communication where you can provide each other with honest feedback e.g. if you are behaving in a manner which they do not approve of, they should be able to raise this with you.

      Telmo Carlos - April 7, 2014

      Thanks for your reply.

      I agree it’s subjective. And I’m curious is you can expand the verbal and non-verbal feedback? What would you notice (or not notice)?

      Regarding communication you are spot on. I use “Non-Violent Communication” myself as a model. Are you familiar with it?


        Carthage - April 7, 2014


        I am familiar with ‘Non-Violent Communication’. I have a copy of the book on my bookshelf.

        With regard to the verbal and non-verbal communication; as I said it is subjective. What you would notice would depend on the individual(s) with whom you are communicating. Each person has their own mannerisms.

        To use humour as an example, if you told an inappropriate joke:

        Verbal feedback might include them telling you that the joke was inappropriate or they may swiftly change the subject.

        Non-verbal feedback may include them rolling their eyes, leaning away from you, facial expressions, adopting a defensive posture such as crossing their arms.

        These are just some examples and the lists are certainly not exhaustive.

Idellah Ashllie - April 23, 2014

Thank you for posting this article on emotional maturity. I am better off than I first believed before reading this. Ever growing steadily improving, always moving toward that best version of me I can be. Emotional maturity is integral to that process. Thanks again.

Carthage Buckley - June 23, 2014


Thank you for the feedback and thank you for sharing.

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