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What causes a person to develop emotional maturity?

  1. Aug 10, 2017 #1
    In this thread, I am not asking what emotional maturity is. I am asking what causes a person to develop emotional maturity. I used to think that suffering & hardship causes a person to develop emotional maturity. Then I read that incarceration or institutionalization can delay emotional maturity. Incarceration generally is a hardship. So I think that rules out the idea that hardship alone will automatically, on its own, cause a person to develop emotional maturity.

    What causes a person to develop emotional maturity?
     
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  3. Aug 10, 2017 #2

    Pythagorean

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    You'll have to define what you mean by emotional maturity to talk about how it develops. Its not rigidly pre-defined for us.
     
  4. Aug 10, 2017 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Moved thread to General Discussion.

    You could read Abraham Maslow on socialization (hierarchy of needs) for some ideas on where to go with the discussion.

    https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
     
  5. Aug 10, 2017 #4

    DS2C

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    Was thinking this also, with self actualization being at the top- knowing what you stand for, your worth, morals, and purpose.
    As far as the emotional aspect of maturity, I would say that it still applies. If you know whats important to you, you will act in a way that benefits that worth.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2017 #5

    russ_watters

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    Mature: "having completed [or to complete] natural growth or development."

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mature#h1
     
  7. Aug 11, 2017 #6
    After reading countless books on topics encompassing Emotional Maturity (I call it, self-ownership). I would like to chip in my two pennies. I would describe 'emotional maturity' as:
    "Ones ability to mindfully and objectively react to external stimuli (Pleasure or Pain) with resilience and self-growth in mind". - Thats not official in any way, purely based on my research and experiences. I also would like to hear whats your take on it.

    In regards to how people develop this maturity. I believe its (Backed by research) down to an individual exposure to certain situations and social interactions. There is one quote that I really like "Adaptation rather than rationality animates change". - Social Adaptation Theory in Consumer Behaviour

    I think of it this way, If you lock someone out from all external stimuli and only expose them to a certain thing. They can't do much about it as they don't know any better. This could be from food to something basic as how you travers (Move/Walk). - Research on "Genie Wiley" is interesting, she was locked away for I believe 13 or 14 years of her life.

    So how does one develop it?

    Well it could be what you read, watch or your social interactions. Example of certain mental maturity that is confined to only a certain demographic is the Bullet Ant ritual where "Boys" from the Satere Mawe tribe only become "Men" when they past the ritual. Then when spoken to, the "boys" only understood this as being the only way of being a man and doing things that men can do. Which in our social circles would be bizarre.

    Now if you would like to develop your own emotional maturity and more, I would recommend "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. Really nice book if you want someone to burst your bubble. You will understand when Marcus starts referring to beings as sacks of rotting flesh and bone, thats only for starters. Another good book I would recommend is "Influence- The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini.

    That is only scratching the surface but, I hope that gave you some food for thought :)
     
  8. Aug 11, 2017 #7

    Fervent Freyja

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    Deviation from norms in childhood development within a child's society or a crisis within a society can hinder emotional development. Many places differ. Two children can experience similar childhoods of struggle, but if those around the struggling child aren't experiencing similar events, then a cognitive dissociation from those around them may occur; essentially, preventing them from developing a similar theory of mind that enables them to connect, empathize, and simply function alongside others within their group. This is why we can find mentally healthy children in undeveloped nations undergo grueling experiences, while children in developed nations can experience only a fraction of that trauma, yet can begin to deviate both emotionally and cognitively from norms. In other words, when there is extreme inequality concerning basic survival and decency in a nation, children suffer. I might also add that there is no set definition on what constitutes maturity. It's a matter of perspective, I think. Being from an individualistic culture myself, I would say that I think that people from honor-based cultures are emotionally immature as a whole. The majority of the US prison system is filled with people that were raised in an honor-based culture within the US. I think that cursing and screaming at your boyfriend in a parking lot, as if he's killed someone, then recklessly speeding up near my child & I is incredibly emotionally immature. But, many in the US would disagree with me, and say it's perfectly normal to them.

    Suffering and hardship would be a primary cause for emotional immaturity, not an outcome. Maturity from trauma is actually not typical. Sometimes, it breaks people. You have to remove the stimulus and cause of suffering firstly. The conditions thereafter would determine whether or not those learning experiences can be utilized later on. But, it is a very painful process and requires a person to transcend to a place of forgiveness and acknowledgement. The price is sometimes so high that they still cannot fit in when they do begin trying to catch up.
     
  9. Aug 11, 2017 #8
    Senility...
     
  10. Aug 11, 2017 #9
    I think it is achieved by doing self-reflective work, I have worked on myself for over 20 years and I believe I can now say I have reached emotional maturity. I had Adversive Childhood Experiences to work on.
     
  11. Aug 13, 2017 #10
  12. Aug 13, 2017 #11
    Children in developed nations can experience only a fraction of that trauma, yet can begin to deviate both emotionally and cognitively from norms in what way? Deviating to be more mature or less mature?



    The majority of the US prison system is filled with Americans. Isn't America considered to be an individualistic culture?

    Fervent Freyja, you had a lot of interesting things to say, but you never really answered how a person develops emotional maturity.
     
  13. Aug 13, 2017 #12

    russ_watters

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    The verb form of the word is the act of achieving it, and the definition tells what the act is/how it is performed.
     
  14. Aug 13, 2017 #13

    phinds

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    I believe that statement to be a non-starter. Huge swaths of the human population do not respond at all objectively to external stimuli. To take my point of view further would require going off in religious and/or political directions that are not allowed on this forum, so I'll have to just leave it there.
     
  15. Aug 13, 2017 #14

    jim mcnamara

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    @Tracey3 - Lots of cultures have rites of passage. Kinaldaa is the one for Navajo women. Traditional Navajo culture is matrilineal. Anyway, because of a lack of definite boundaries between child -> adult in our society (other than legally mandated age values) other rites have evolved, example: 'beating in' a new member of a gang. The rite of passage is a trial, usually nasty, to prove your worth or mettle as an adult. Like you mentioned. Remove that and replace it with our culture and you get undefined boundaries because of no real change of perception of the person (See Cushing below). This has already happened to the Navajo. A small section of the population adheres to the old ways, most others are westernized and no longer speak Navajo well enough to function in an adult context. They cannot transition to adult and be accepted. Lose your language lose your culture.

    This rite of passage requirement is not my concept, although I think it has some limited merit. The Navajo thing is my example - I lived on the Rez for years, left, and came back 30 years later to see a radically different culture.

    Cushing - based on research in another cultural context:

    See: Pameala Cushing (1999) Translating Transformation into Something Real (Rites of Passage), Pathways: Ontario Journal for Outdoor Education, Vol. 12, No. 1 Sept.-Nov; pp 26-30.
     
  16. Aug 13, 2017 #15
    I have never stated that emotional maturity is prevalent and/or common within the populous. I would argue that, millennials in particular are exhibiting strong indicators of narcism which isn't necessarily a contributor to developing emotional maturity.

    To further back this up I will give a common example of emotional immaturity, grieving over passing away of someone. Firstly, crying and emotionality is normally to be expected initially as its one of many human coping mechanisms. Generally the next morning after such incident, physically the body is capable of operating nominally, however most people will grieve for long periods of time, mainly due to social norms and neural associations of pain if not grieving.

    Thats explaining it in short but this is also why I refer to emotional maturity as 'Self-ownership'. Anyways I still would love to hear your point, as you might have some different insights or I'm overlooking something. I would be happy to hear you out over PM or alternative places :)

    P.s. @jim mcnamara Thanks for the journal information, its an interesting read.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  17. Aug 13, 2017 #16

    phinds

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    You're missing my point. Regardless of the % of the population that you consider emotionally mature, I find your statement that object responses to stimuli is a prerequisite for maturity to be wildly optimistic. I know LOTS of people whom I consider emotionally mature but they clearly do not respond objectively to a great many things. We all respond subjectively to many things, some more than others.
     
  18. Aug 13, 2017 #17
    Ahh right, ok well there is no solid marker for whats mature or not. However would you consider rephrasing it to use 'grounded'instead of 'objectively' as more appropriate? Then again I considered using 'Unbiased' but most of the subjective mind is a product of factual propositions which have been effected by our biases (Egocentric bias or even Cryptomnesia).
     
  19. Aug 13, 2017 #18

    phinds

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    All of the terms you are using are so not-scientifically-meaningful that I don't find the conversation helpful.
     
  20. Aug 13, 2017 #19
    emotional maturity: to manage one's emotions rather than let one's emotions control one's behavior.
     
  21. Aug 13, 2017 #20

    phinds

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    So psychopaths are immature but sociopaths are mature. I'm not in favor.
     
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