Emotional Maturity


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.


On an unexpected meet with an ex-colleague

Just a few days ago, I got a bliss to be contacted by an ex-colleague who worked with me at the research institution during my first few months joining it. He is now a researcher for an international NGO, having a business trip here in Saigon. I was quite surprised receiving his call, saying he would like a catch-up. It was quite a long time since we last met, in his wedding in Hanoi and since then, I almost had no news of him.

Despite knowing nothing in advance about the topic that we are going to catch-up over, I am so thrilled to meet with and to talk to him (this is not so strange, given I am thrilled every time an old friend dropped by the city and made an effort to contact me, which is a great pleasure during these boring days).

Exactly his old style, punctual and well-prepared, he got to the building where I worked at 12 p.m., maybe just even before the time. As I got down the lobby to see him, he was waiting outside, turning to see the road, carrying his black back-pack. Usually, each time a friend came to my place, I would have to rack my brain, trying to pick a place to eat. This time, nevertheless, to my surprise, the guy came prepared. He told me there was a place just nearby that he already researched and got recommended and we just walked straight there, smoothly without any juggling of choices.

Crossing the road, just across the building lies Nu bistro, situated on top of a popular Korean chicken restaurant. The bistro has impressive decoration, with its wall painted in a blue kind of lagoon color. Some chairs at the entrance were modeled after bird cages. Stepping inside the room, he looked around with the waitress attending just beside for his decision of seat before doing her job. As we got a table near the window rear of the room, the lady handed out the menu to us.

He did not look any different from his image in my memory, which I think must be at least 2 years ago. His calmness, level-headed and somehow seriousness do not fade away. But I sensed some deep mental transformation he had undergone over the last couple of years (which should be revealed through his wisdom advice during our conversation later).

As we started the conversation with some getting-to-know questions about workplace and general well-being, we also looked at the menu to choose the course for today’s lunch. Let’s see! I thought the menu look nice and obviously, significantly more expensive than the places where I usually had lunch. I was a bit hesitant on  selecting a dish, scanning over pages of the main menu and had some intention of glancing over the “lunch menu”, which I thought would be surely more affordable. Dishes here ranged from around 180 to like over 300 thousand dong, a big deal for my tight pocket and I definitely had no thoughts on getting paid for by my colleague.

My colleague, nevertheless, looked firmly into the menu, picking up one dish – seared duck breast on cooked red rice. Oh alright, this dish sounded delicious and was in the prices’ mid-range, like 220 thousand dong. Meanwhile, I had not got my dish selected yet, juggling between salmon and another dish I cannot recall. He immediately encouraged me to take the fish, which I realized to cost 320k. OMG, that was totally out-of-budget. So I tried to scan thru the menu again to see if there’s any other more reasonable dish, which I ended up with a duck leg over risotto rice. On top of that, he ordered a salad and tea for him while I asked for a watermelon juice as my drink.

While we were waiting for our food to be served, we got into the conversation with full attention. He briefly told me about this new workplace, the structure, the time when he joined it and what he was doing here in Saigon. Then he got to ask about myself. Apart from the general information which I may pass on to anybody about my workplace such as my division, the kind of work that I am doing and when I started with it, I accompanied it with some complaints. To my amazement, his wife used to work for the same company as mine, just different division. Hers was in financial advisory while I was in performance improvement, a type of management consulting.

As the surprise unfolded, he seemed to got lots of insider information to offer me. That was when I got really excited and felt blissful as I got to meet him during my cry for help on my aimless workdays. First, I told him about how my bosses were so ignorant to drive us in projects. He gave me the advice from his experience: Out of all the places he have worked, there were none entitled to be a “good and satisfying environment”. What he learnt from that was despite the work environment, he had to be in control of his own work, setting clear boundaries of his tasks, clarifying with the managers. It was his “personal brand” that he had to protect and build. Nothing else matters.

When I told him about how good and capable I were and that bosses would not listened to me but to those ignorant sugar-coated persons, he advised me to “be original”, just need to adapt to fight for “the personal plan” – which I should have for myself to reap all the benefits that the workplace can offer me to my advantage. That is it! To have my own plan, use the environment as a tool to support my plan, fight for my benefits or any thing that affect my plan but be myself, be the good version of myself.

Aha, that is mind-blowing and eye-opening to me. That may answered lots and lots of questions. If I ain’t have a plan for myself and if I ain’t have a goal, whichever way does not matter. The same like work, where do I seek the perfect work environment? None? The only thing in my control is my plan – (1) the plan I have to actively craft for myself and live up to it. 

OK! The first, foremost and fundamental advice: Take control of my life and have a plan for it.

Now on to the tricks at office. As I got less serious with the advice that may change my life, I got to the next little tricks that help me navigate easier at office. Starting from the point that we were both very serious persons, he offered me really down-to-earth tips that he, I thought more intelligently, realized while I seemed not to. For instance, he told me about the tricks of find the soft spot of the managers to kick-in. Haha, that does not mean literally. It was meant that I should find away around to soothe the boss, but how I do my work is up to my way. Secondly, telling lies is of no harm, if used wisely. He gave me one example: his colleague, during the peak of a very busy period with fired discussions and decision making, suddenly dropped out by asking for a leave day with the excuse that her daughter was sick. Despite not doubting the validity of the reason, he told me she smartly got away with the heated up debates and storms of anger from the boss and only returned when things were already settled. Yeah! Second lesson is “to leave at the right time” rather than being the upright person who was always there, waiting to help and support and…be stormed at with fury and displeasure. Now you know, and you just need to be the upper-hand person (so unethical as a serious person like me and him could think). But this is life, and you want to protect your (1) PLAN.

He even gave me tips of being market-ready by always in constant state of spreading my applications to different workplace, to get insider information on a company long before the insider person realized my intention of applying to it, to go networking and to play the game of “finance people” who seemed to excel best at selling themselves in talks.  All great tips I must say.

My head swirled around with all these great advice from the person who I thought may have been in the same situation. I thanked him a lot for showing up at the right time, for spending his valuable 1.5 hours talking to me and to treat me at this very nice bistro.

Sometimes I questioned whether I have not been lucky these recent years, been struggling with finding a direction for my life. But I think I have all I need. I even have the bliss of meeting these people, who were kind and giving out love and care and showing humanity. That is too enough. The other part – it belongs to me to realize all the wisdom I have been granted.

That is how I am counting down to my 28, a year I am courageously looking forward to. Thank you and I hope I can share my blessings to all the people who suffered out there cause love is the thing people cling to to live by.

Saigon, July 29, 2017.