I was with my friend last Sunday and while we were lunching on fruits inside my parked car, she asked me a random question,
“Sha, how do you define emotional maturity?”
Let’s hold that thought for a moment.
Last Monday, I attended a Toastmasters virtual meeting via Zoom. My purpose was to give moral support to some friends who I, my brother, and sis-in-law encouraged to guest in Toastmasters.
I messaged the President and VP of the club and the Table Topics Master (the one who would randomly call people to give impromptu speeches), to please not call me as I was there to silently accompany our guests and my camera will be kept off.
I got called to deliver an impromptu speech anyway. Hahaha!
The topic given to me was about self-mastery.
Talk about emotional maturity in action!
I wasn’t prepared because it was impromptu, yet, I was also prepared because I used to be an active member of Toastmasters for 11 years.
While I was a member, I attended our meetings regularly, served as an officer in various capacity, and joined speech contests. Before I left the organization, I was awarded as the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award, the highest award given by Toastmasters International to its members worldwide.
Back to emotional maturity… How do you define emotional maturity?
For me, it’s two things:
(1) being able to regulate your own emotions
(2) creating a safe space for yourself and others.
When things don’t go our way, how do we respond?
Do we blame the circumstance or the other person?
Do we try to change the other person or do we look within and see how this is growing us?
Or do we know how to acknowledge our own emotions and regulate them?
Let me share a funny story.
This morning, a courier went to pick up some books for delivery.
I carefully placed some chocnuts (a local chocolate brand) in my pocket so I can give them to the courier, a simple token to make him feel seen and appreciated, and bring a childlike smile on his face.
I met the courier cheerfully and asked for his name.
The courier didn’t even smile at me.
When I suggested a certain way of folding the package, he cut me off and said it’s not possible.
I felt a little off and I thought to myself, “Will I still give him chocnuts?”
Going back to my definition of emotional maturity,
(1) being able to regulate your own emotions
(2) creating a safe space for yourself and others
I took a deep breath to regulate my own emotions. I didn’t judge myself for feeling a little off and for even considering not giving him the chocnuts. Hahaha!
Then in my mind, I made excuses for him, “Maybe he’s just tired. Or maybe he has a lot going on in his mind. I’ll give him grace and still be kind to him.“
I said, “Thank you for picking up the deliveries, (insert his name). Here are chocnuts for you.”
Looking back, I am grateful for that courier’s unfriendliness toward me because it gave me an opportunity to exercise emotional maturity. I don’t always do it well but I’m glad I passed the test this morning. What a blessing! 🙂 This is just a simple example.
In life, we experience so many circumstances wherein we get tested.
A boss overlooked you and didn’t give you proper credit.
Your manager scolded you in front of your colleagues and you felt humiliated.
You were wrongly accused.
You went out of your way to help a friend and you didn’t even get a simple ‘thank you.’
Someone was talking badly about you behind your back.
Emotional maturity doesn’t mean you don’t get affected, hurt, or offended.
It means you may feel all these painful, uncomfortable emotions, and you know how to regulate them.
You don’t let your emotions run your life or ruin your life.
You also create a safe space for yourself to be curious about what you are feeling and why you are feeling what you are feeling, and you also create safe space for others to be themselves.
Emotional maturity is a necessary skill we need to learn as individuals and leaders.
Thankfully, this is a learnable skill.
The more I am learning to love myself, the more I am learning to be more emotionally mature.
This is why I highly advocate healthy self-love.
If you need help learning how to love the most amazing and important person in your life — yourself — you can read my latest book Love Yourself Today.
I hope this message is helpful to you 🙂
I wish you love, joy, and peace today and everyday! 🙂
Keynote Speaker & Author
P.S.1 We got a few requests to extend the sale of my latest book Love Yourself Today. Request granted. You can buy yourself, your friends, and your team copies of this book at a discounted rate. Simply go to bit.ly/WriteUniversityShop
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Sha Nacino is a motivational speaker, TEDx speaker, author, and adjunct faculty at the Asian Institute of Management. For speaking invitations, visit shanacino.com or email us at email@example.com