Psychological maturity or mature personality seem, a priori, a main objective in the individual development of human beings. This is defined as the phenomenon that helps direct personal life in a way that promotes the achievement of psychological goals and outcomes.
However, according to Rojas (2001), mature personality should be understood as a dynamic and change-prone process in which a person’s experiences continually shape their own character and personality traits.
Psychological maturity is composed of very diverse and complex characteristics, in which the combination of affective and intellectual or cognitive aspects becomes a main point.
Thus, the mature personality can be defined as the set of skills that denote the provision of appropriate knowledge about affectivity, as well as the ability to form an opinion and to have a reasonable, sane criterion based on solid and valid arguments. All this allows a satisfactory development in the various personal fields: family relations, social ties or the academic-professional field.
What is affectivity and why is it important to know how to manage it?
Knowledge of affectivity and its proper expression is a very relevant component of a mature personality. But what is affectivity? This concept is defined as the ability of the individual to react psychically and subjectively, through emotions and feelings, to internal and external stimuli.
These affective reactions produce changes internal to the person which are described according to the following dimensions: pleasure-displeasure (whether the stimulus is pleasant or unpleasant), arousal-tranquility (whether the stimulus increases the individual’s nervous response or attenuates it. ), tension-relaxation (if the stimulus creates an alert or distended response in the subject), approach-rejection (if the stimulus generates an attraction to attachment or distance to the person) and activation-blocking (if the stimulus pushes or prevents the individual from acting).
Understanding and effectively managing effectiveness is defined by an essential skill which is to understand the role of emotions and feelings, as well as the belief that these are transient phenomena that can be regulated and controlled by psychological resources and strategies.
This fact is crucial as it is considered to be a fundamental factor in establishing healthy and satisfying interpersonal relationships.
Consequences of emotional immaturity
Ignorance or ineffective management of affectivity in people can lead to a number of deficits or problems that make it difficult for them to relate to the environment.
For example, in romantic relationships or intimate relationships, emotionally immature people tend to build romantic relationships on weak and inconsistent foundations, so that an idea of the relationship (or love) is too idyllic and irrational.
In such cases, the likelihood of developing an emotional dependence on the partner may be higher, since the other part of the relationship is conceived as “the whole”, and no space is generated for individual vital intrigues outside of this sentimental realm.
Thus, the way of offering and receiving affection (or love) becomes dysfunctional either by excess, as happens when emotional dependence or idealization of the couple is established, or by default, when there is ignorance and an inability to understand and properly express affectivity. .
Another consequence, perhaps more in the medium and long term, linked to emotional immaturity, is linked to the significant difficulty in setting up a partner project with a level of commitment that allows forging a bond where experiences, affinities and common objectives are shared.
Establishing this lasting commitment requires the willingness of the parties to nurture this link and maintain it over time. Thus, it may be possible that after falling in love (more emotional and subjective) the person is emotionally immature. may not be able to perpetuate a sentimental union on appropriate terms at the same time.
Indicators of emotional immaturity
According to Rojas (2001), there are a number of specific indicators that may be useful in identifying a pattern of emotional immaturity:
- The existence of a gap between the chronological age and the mental age of the person.
- Lack of knowledge of one’s own being, which involves ignoring how situations influence an individual’s cognitions, emotions, and final behavior.
- A significant level of emotional instability, so that the fluctuation of different emotional states is excessively disproportionate and deregulated.
- Lack of capacity to take on personal responsibilities, low autonomy and tendency to depend on others.
- A distorted, irrational, or biased perspective of reality, where there can be egocentric and non-empathetic approaches.
- Lack of a vital long-term project, which implies a lack of ability to analyze, reflect or make balanced decisions.
- Low level of knowledge of emotions, as well as an insufficient degree of emotional intelligence which underlies a healthy and fair criterion.
- Under the power of sacrifice or the will to set goals and objectives of their own, short, medium and long term.
- A low or incongruous level of internalization of moral and ethical values.
- Rojas, E. (2001). Who are you? From Personality to Self-Esteem (4th ed.). Topics of the day: Madrid.