Relationships, A Different Perspective is our 5 part series which will take us to Sunday.
Perspective 2: Age is not an indicator of emotional maturity.
Unfortunately, we often use age as a proxy for many things, for example:
- She is 25, she should know how to budget and organize her finances.
- He is 30, he should know how to effectively communicate his feelings.
- She is 35 she should be married with at least 3 children.
- He is 40, he should have been put up healthy boundaries with his parents! My goodness, he is the CEO of X company!
Age merely reflects the passing of time. Age would mean more if the ONLY way you could advance to the next age is by mastering particular concepts, benchmarks, etc. similar to matriculation through academia. For example, within academia, the collective standard is all kindergartners must master X, Y, Z before progressing to first grade. If a student has not mastered these ‘building block’ components, they may need to repeat the grade or obtain additional tutoring, tools, etc before advancing. This is NOT the case with aging, which results in there being a significant gap between physical age and emotional age.
Emotional maturity (EM) does not just happen, it results from being very present in your life and making a conscious decision to grow, evolve, expand and learn.
Emotional maturity is to be accountable and responsible for YOUR energy at all times, especially the energy you bring to other people. To become your own case study of sorts by using your historical experiences, behaviors, perspective, etc. as a gauge to identify what works and does not work for you. Emotional maturity results when you realize it is no one else’s responsibility to heal, save or fix you and that YOUR emotional well-being is YOUR responsibility just like your hygiene. EM results by seeking and USING the appropriate tools at the appropriate time. Emotional mature people realize when they need new tools and make the acquisition of these tools (including a therapist) a priority, because they know they are the common denominator in all of their relationships, in their life and are ultimately responsible for the quality of both.
Age is simply a number. Emotional maturity is not correlated or associated with age. Is YOUR emotional maturity aligned with your physical age? Hmmmm…. – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS