Episode 91 – Growing Through Developing Emotional Maturity
Emotional maturity is a super power, but very few people have this super power because no one teaches us how to develop it. We rarely have seen emotional maturity modeled for us, so we don’t even know it’s something that is available to us and a trait we can work to develop.
Growing yourself up emotionally is a skill that if you develop, it has the possibility to positively affect your life and the lives of your family more than any other skill you can work to develop.
Listen to this episode to recognize how emotional immaturity is showing up in your life and how to begin working on developing the skill of emotional maturity.
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When you begin to see parts of yourself that you haven’t seen before, you get to choose what to do with that information. You can decide to judge yourself for not being better and sweep it under the rug, so you won’t have to look at it. Or you can accept yourself right where you are, and decide to take steps to act on the information you’ve discovered. This is the KNOW LOVE GROW Model. This is what is required to spiral up in your own life. Because life doesn’t get easier, you get stronger.
Join me for part four of grow month as we talk about growing up emotionally. Because emotional maturity can become your superpower.
This is grow episode number four, number four in the Grow month of the KNOW LOVE GROW Model from Aimee Gianni. Now, this is really a model for developing a more mature and healthy self, and a more mature and healthy relationship with other people. You know, relationships are so tricky. But relationships also are such a huge contributing factor to our experience in our life. And yes, we need to have healthier relationships, not just with others, but with ourselves. It is so important to have healthy relationships.
Now maybe you have been following along and you love what you’re learning. But you don’t know how to actually get this model. There’s KNOW LOVE GROW Model into your life, then you’re probably like most people, because it’s really easy to consume information and love what we’re learning. And think this is awesome. And then get stuck in the application of anything that we’ve learned. So common.
And if this is you, I want you to set up an appointment with me, we can work on this together, I’m going to show you how to get these concepts out of your head, into your heart and in out into your life. It’s only $25 for a 60 minute appointment, we meet on Zoom, we can meet right from your house online. And you can bring your questions about this model. The KNOW LOVE GROW process, you can bring your hardest challenge right now. And we’re gonna put it into this KNOW LOVE GROW model. We’ll just plug it right in and see how is this working for you. So that you can begin to start applying this into your life.
Now, emotional maturity is so important. It’s one of the things that Amy and I talked about on the first episode this month in GROW month.
It’s a superpower, when when I hear things are a superpower, I think, Oh, if it’s a superpower, that that’s something that I need. But I don’t always know how to get that thing that’s a superpower. So I’m going to talk today about what does it look like to have this superpower? What do we need to start developing it?
So emotional maturity has pretty much zero to do with your physical age. It has to do with your own emotional development, which is not something that usually people will anyone in school, your family, your parents, anyone will teach you how to do because they probably don’t know how to do it themselves. We have very few emotional mature people in this world.
Your body is going to grow and develop automatically. Your emotional self will not do that. Unless there’s something that comes into your life that pressures that growth, or you decide to tackle it on your own. Developing emotional maturity means that you recognize your own emotions. You take responsibility for your own emotions, you value your emotions, they are valuable and important to you. They are not a weakness, and they don’t control you.
You know you can tell the difference between someone who’s emotionally mature and being emotionally immature by what a person does with their emotions. And which one of these sounds more like you?
The emotionally immature person lets their emotions be in the driver’s seat. They tend to blame their emotions on other people, or other circumstances. This person doesn’t consider them to have really responsibility how for how they’re feeling and for dealing with their emotions. They tend to spill their emotions out onto other people and just react very badly and then feel bad later, for not being more in control of themselves.
They tend to cover up their emotions with food or staying really busy by doing lots of things or working a lot. Sometimes there’s porn involved. or alcohol, or pills or some other substance that numbs yourself numbs your emotions. These are big signs of being emotionally immature.
Now, an emotionally mature person is in the driver’s seat. Imagine if those emotions were in the car with you, the person is in the driver’s seat and the emotion, the emotion is sitting next to you in the passenger seat, you don’t kick it out of the car, it can still be there, but it’s not in charge. In fact, you want it to be there, because it has a lot to teach you.
So this person takes the responsibility for their own emotions, they allow those uncomfortable emotions to be there. And they don’t have to cover them up. They allow the pain of them, because they know that emotion is a teacher. And they can learn from that teacher.
Now, which one sounds more like you? My guess is that at least 90% of you are going to say I’m that emotionally immature person. Because that’s probably about the percentage in the world of emotionally immature to emotionally mature people. And if you find yourself gravitating more to that towards that emotionally immature person, that description that I gave you don’t feel bad, you probably have not ever been taught how to do this.
And most likely, you’ve never even had someone model, what it looks like to be an emotionally mature person, you’ve probably had the opposite modeled for you many, many, many times in your life. So don’t beat yourself up over this. No one teaches us handle how to handle our emotions.
I think we should have a class in school, from beginning at kindergarten, just a little few minutes a day, here’s how to handle your big emotions. You should be required every single year of school until you graduate. And then maybe we’ll be able to grow up emotionally as we grow up much in physically physical ways to you know, that would teach us to be more mature with our emotions.
And our emotions are so important because this is how we experience our life. The imagine the very way that we experience life, no one has taught us actually what to do with it. So no wonder we just let it drive us around. And we tried to numb it and, and all that really unhealthy things that we do with our emotions.
So I got this list from the there’s an account I follow on Instagram that I really love. She’s got millions of followers, she is awesome. She’s called the Holistic Psychologist. And I took this list from her, this is her work. And I really loved it. So I’m going to share this with you.
These are signs of being an emotionally immature person, just some examples.
Getting really defensive, when you can’t listen to another person’s thoughts or feelings without becoming emotionally reactive, or taking things personally. In fact, you might even say something or think something like, Well, I guess I’m just a terrible person.
Another way that we do this is we dismiss another person’s feelings. We tend to invalidate deny, or try to change the way another person feels in order to make ourselves more comfortable. In the conversation. It might look like saying something like, well, you’re so sensitive, you can’t even take a joke.
A really common way that I see this emotional immaturity show up is in black and white thinking. In fact, I’ve heard black and white thinking referred to as the junk food diet of the brain. I can’t remember where I heard that. But I thought that’s pretty accurate. Our brains gravitate towards black and white, it loves black and white, it loves to see everything as absolute, because that gives us a feeling of certainty. And our brains just need the feeling of certainty.
But when we open ourselves up, to realize that everyone and everything is not all good, and not all bad. And we realize that we have the ability to handle multiple realities, or multiple nuances of something that we thought was so concrete, and black and white. And then we open ourselves up to being an emotionally mature. But the emotional, immature part of this might look like saying, well, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Or you just have no idea what you’re talking about. That’s what that looks like when we cast that black and white thinking, and that emotional maturity onto another person.
Another way that we do this is we oh, and this is a big one by the way. We bring everything back to ourselves in our own emotions. So you don’t have the capacity or the ability for empathy, or curiosity about another person’s internal world. So it might look like someone sharing their emotions with you and you respond with something like, well just imagine how I feel. Or he might even hijack the conversation by then bringing that back to yourself and talking about your experience of maybe going through something similar. Hijacking conversations is a big one.
Another thing that we do is we take everything personally, anyone expressing emotions expressing something feels like a personal attack and a threat. And we say might say something like, well, maybe your life would just be easier if I weren’t around. Or well, I’m not perfect, you know. That’s what that looks like.
Here’s just a list. A quick list of some other ways this shows up being uncomfortable and expressing your emotions, having a difficult time tolerating someone’s opinion, who’s different than your own, shutting down or lashing out when you’re in conflict with another person, blaming others when things go wrong, having a lack of communication skills, avoiding conflict, over explaining yourself, dumping your emotions onto someone else, and passive aggressive behavior.
Now, the root of all of these actions these behaviors is the inability to regulate your own emotions, or to sit in emotional discomfort.
I have taken a class from Thomas McConkie called Transformations of Faith. And I liked how he talked about this concept. In the house, he talked about becoming emotionally mature, he didn’t really use those words, he said it in different words, but it was the same concept. And he called it waking up to the wisdom of the heart.
So our heart is the emotional center of our body. And we have numbed our hearts and our emotions for so long, that we don’t even realize that we’re numb, because now it’s just the water that we swim in, it’s the air that we breathe, we’re used to just going around with cold numb hearts. Have you ever spent time outside, in the cold, it’s really cold outside, and maybe you lost feeling and your fingers and your toes, maybe your they get so cold, your fingers and toes gets so cold that you can’t feel them at all. think we’ve all had that experience at least one time in our lives.
And when you come inside, and you begin to warm yourself up, your fingers and toes start to hurt. It feels like little pins and needles going through them. It’s so painful. I know you understand what I’m talking about right now we’ve all had this experience. But when we’re going through that pain, we understand, yeah, this is the process that I need to go through, for my fingers and my toes to get feeling in them again, for them to be warm, and to be comfortable and to have a feeling we live today in such a comfortable society.
Think about it, we can keep our houses at a constant temperature year round. No matter what the temperature is outside, we can control our inside temperature, we can go to the store and get food whenever we want. We don’t have to be hungry. We have so many comforts that were not around just a few decades ago, that we’ve become accustomed to being comfortable all the time. So having time were uncomfortable. We don’t know what to do with that. And our emotions, especially the painful difficult ones, are very uncomfortable.
And we don’t know what to do with them. So we numb them. And when we begin to realize that we’ve been numbing, and we start to thaw them out, it’s painful. It’s the process that we go through to begin feeling again, we began to open ourselves up to the wisdom found in our emotional centers, which is our heart.
Now imagine if you were going through allowing yourself to open up to those uncomfortable emotions, feeling the pain and able to tell yourself, just like when your fingers and toes are thawing out, oh, this is the way it’s supposed to be. This is the process that I need to go through to wake up to wake up my emotional center my heart again. Imagine if we didn’t make it mean something was going wrong by us feeling the pain of difficult emotions.
You know I can’t help but think that this is part of what is meant by the scriptures when they tell us that in the last days men’s and well and women’s I’m going to add that on there that men and women’s hearts shall fail them. So if we’re numbing such an important part of as a part of this, it has great wisdom because it’s too painful and too uncomfortable. We are not letting ourselves part of us grow and mature, and we are letting our heart fail us, our emotional center, we are letting that fail.
Now, it’s very common to think that other people can control the way that you feel. But no one else actually controls the way that you feel. we perpetuate this idea that they do all the time. And we pass this on to our children. And it was passed on to us by our parents, it’s just one of those things that we pass from generation to generation. But now the no one else actually has the ability to control the way that you feel.
And when you give them other people or circumstances outside of yourself, you give that power to something else besides you, you become a victim of that person or that thing. So you’re giving your someone else the power to control your feelings, you are no longer in the driver’s seat of your own life. The other person is, the emotion is the situation is you become a victim of all of it. And victims have no power to act for themselves.
When you take responsibility for your own emotions, you allow the uncomfortableness to be there. Then you become a person who is acting for themselves and not being acted upon. This is exercising your agency, it’s an important part of exercising your agency that is often not acknowledged, or it’s very looked over.
When you can’t see your own contribution to the problem, and you don’t see your own power to overcome it. You’re a victim, you’re a victim of other people, you’re a victim of circumstances, you’re a victim of yourself, when you let the emotion be in the driver’s seat. And when you stay in that position, you will stay stuck. Because you can’t change something that you don’t acknowledge. You’re not going to grow. And this is grow math, right, we want to grow, we want to know how to grow.
But when you’re stuck, you don’t ever get to the Grow part of the KNOW LOVE GROW Model because you’re stuck in not able not being able to access the love and acceptance part, which remember connects the no part to the Grow part, you get stuck in that middle section. And you’re going to suffer because you will be at the mercy of other people. And you will want to control how they think of you so that you can feel good, you will want to control the way that they act so that you can feel good. You may even separate yourself from them for a time because you can’t control them.
And you don’t know how to handle the emotions that come to you when you’re around them in that relationship. And so you just separate so you don’t even have to deal with it. Well, let’s just go through what becoming emotionally mature would look like in this KNOW LOVE GROW Model. The no part is I recognize I’m feeling an emotion right now. The love piece is, this is okay. I can handle my emotions. I’m creating this emotion with how I’m viewing this person in this situation. And it’s all okay. There’s nothing wrong with this. I know what to do with it.
And the Grow part is I can handle this discomfort. It’s an emotion and it does not need to be in charge. It’s uncomfortable. And I’m don’t really it’s not really pleasant. I don’t love it. But it can’t actually hurt me. And by allowing it to be here, I get to grow stronger. So in a real practical sense, it might look like this. You will allow yourself to listen to another person’s opinion that is different than yours. And you don’t try to convince them that they’re wrong and that you’re right. Instead you become curious, without judging them for the way that they’re thinking.
Or you recognize there are times when you are more emotionally susceptible. Like when you’re tired or you’re hungry or you’re stressed or bored. And instead of lashing out at another person and just spewing those amount of emotions out on the other person. You pause. You take care of yourself. And you give yourself what you need in order to get back into a regulated state.
It might also look like you putting yourself in another person’s shoes. You try to see things from their perspective, you exercise empathy, even when you disagree, perhaps especially when you disagree. Me Maybe you even pause before you react. This is a big one because most people I get asked this all the time they don’t know how to pause before. All of a sudden they’re reacting and then they feel bad for how they reacted. But you’ll learn how to master that pause. You give yourself space to make an informed choice rather than an emotional choice that you later regret or feel shamed about.
Maybe you realize that your reality is not the only reality, you know that you don’t see the world as it is, you see the world as you are, and so does everyone else. Another person’s reality doesn’t invalidate your reality. And your reality doesn’t invalidate theirs. And you begin to wake up. And you recognize sooner when you are reacting from emotions, and you’re letting them be in charge.
And then you know how to bring yourself back into a regulated state, into a regulated state quicker, because you’ve practiced it. And the more times you practice this, the better you get at it, and the sooner you recognize, oh, I’m dysregulated right now, and I know what to do with this. The emotional mature person owns their own feelings, they deal with their own feelings, and they learn from their own feelings. I really hope this episode doesn’t send you into shame about how you’ve been dealing with your emotions up to this point in your life.
I know it has a high possibility to do that. But this is not what this episode is meant to do. Instead, I hope you listen to this episode. And you see what is possible that it is possible to get into the driver’s seat, and put that emotion in the passenger seat, that you don’t have to give your emotional life over to anything or anyone else outside of yourself.
That you can become a person who is emotionally acting. Rather than being emotionally acted upon. You can take charge of your emotional life. This is work. And it takes time. Think about how many years your physical body took to reach its mature adult state. Now give your emotional life time to develop to don’t allow this to overwhelm you.
All you ever have is one moment one decision one step at a time, one pause, one refusal to numb and uncover an uncomfortable emotion. One decision to stay in conversation with someone when you’re feeling uncomfortable with their opinion, one step at a time. And all of those one step at a time decisions to allow your emotional center your heart to wake up and to grow, to feel a little bit of pain as it wakes up. Will those all of those one times are going to accumulate. It’s like compound interest.
And eventually you begin to notice a difference in yourself, it really doesn’t take long for you to notice the difference, it might take longer for other people to notice the difference. But you will start noticing the difference. Quite soon, you will notice how you feel more grounded. You feel less blown about in the wind by your circumstances and you feel more in control of your own life.
A good place to start working on this is to download my free training this month. This free training on developing emotional maturity. This is a worksheet that will walk you through a difficult situation with another person. And it will allow you to go into into some deep reflection on what was happening for you. And you get to began taking on responsibility for yourself in that situation. This worksheet will walk you through that process. I think it’s a really valuable worksheet and a really value really valuable exercise to go through.
So go to the show notes. download this free worksheet.
We’re almost done with the KNOW LOVE GROW series. And by the end of this month by the end of March, this series will be over. I have a couple more really important episodes for you.
So make sure you come back next week for the wrap up.
This is a really important series and if you’ve continued to show up for yourself through this entire thing. I want to thank you if you found value for yourself in this series, consider sharing your favorite episode with your friend. Send them the one episode that was the most meaningful to you and tell them why they will thank you for it because we all need to go through this KNOW LOVE GROW process.
I’m looking forward to wrapping this series up with you next week. Until then, take care. And remember it’s only one step at a time.