If you’re reading this article, you’re open to self-reflection on some level. If you’re curious about this world of emotions and feelings, you’re moving toward emotional maturity with intention.
You have to be willing to move into the unknown, into vulnerability. Instead of avoiding feelings or running away from them, commit to welcoming them, feeling them, and working through them.
You can become emotionally stronger. You can be more open and vulnerable.
Men have a difficult time talking about their emotions because they aren’t at ease with vulnerability or interpret it as weakness in themselves. Part of emotional maturity is the understanding that vulnerability requires strength. It’s okay to be seen in fear or fright. You must be willing to break through the ego and get comfortable with being a beginner.
2. Acceptance of feelings.
Emotionally mature men don’t hide from, resist, or suppress their feelings. Instead, they welcome their feelings, which ebb and flow naturally. Discomfort is a great teacher. Once you’ve fully experienced the intensity of uncomfortable feelings like pain or sadness, they will naturally ebb. Your feelings won’t kill you. But running from them will cause your discomfort to endure even longer.
3. Willingness to have difficult conversations.
An ability to discuss your feelings openly in a safe space is followed by open communication in romantic relationships. Having vulnerable and emotional conversations is hard for everyone but especially people who are sensitive or inexperienced in the language of emotion. The way to learn, as with everything, is to practice. Maintain some ground rules — keep any arguments on the topic of the current disagreement and always speak respectfully to one another. Setting the intention to have a difficult conversation with these parameters is the first step.
4. Openness to learning and growth.
If you choose to remain in your old patterns once you recognize that they’re unhealthy, you will continue to experience the same problems. If, instead, you see this as a way to become a better person, you can begin to take the necessary risk of being more open to feelings and emotions. This leads to increased maturity, stronger relationships, and a more fulfilling life.
5. Sharing without hiding.
Emotional maturity requires sharing feelings that might initially make you feel ashamed, bringing up the hidden feelings you’d rather not bring up. It’s trusting someone else enough not to hurt you and trusting yourself to be able to recover if you do get hurt.
6. Open communication of their feelings.
Once you accept and invite your feelings in, you might not know what to do with them. It can be overwhelming. Try journaling or discussing your feelings with someone you trust. If that doesn’t put you at ease enough to continue through the feelings, consider talking to a therapist or counselor. Communicating your feelings helps you label and appropriately deal with them.
7. Being compassionate and empathetic.
Emotional maturity means trying to understand someone else’s feelings. It means shifting your perspective so you put conflict resolution above your desire to be right, and not attacking her when she expresses emotions that may frighten you. It’s practicing tolerance and patience.