Emotional Intelligence or Maturity?

awareness battles communication discomfort emotions energy growth Jun 04, 2023

A while ago, a friend asked me the difference between emotional intelligence and maturity, and, while explaining this to him, I straightaway knew that this would be the new topic for my ‘Solo Sunny Sundays,’ so here we are. 

As much as we may think that we are thinking beings, we truly are emotional beings and we really experience emotions in every moment of our lives – which is why it’s very important to truly do the work to understand your own emotions, and those of others, as this has a massive influence on your own health, happiness, relationships and successes in life.

Emotional intelligence stands for the ability to manage both your own emotions, and, at the same time, understand the emotions of the people around you. 


Examples of an emotionally intelligent person are being able to:

  • take corrections
  • take criticism
  • hold your own boundaries
  • observe your own emotions
  • move on after a mistake, hurt, pain or shame
  • allow your emotions to simply be (without judgement)
  • voice, share and communicate your feelings with others
  • build relationships with others
  • be compassionate and empathic towards others
  • hold space for others

 (Self-reflection question: Are you an empathic or compassionate person?)


Whenever you’re lacking emotional intelligence, you have a hard time recognizing and understanding your own emotions and those of others. Oftentimes, you also have a difficult time achieving your goals or keeping relationships, as you have poor emotional regulation. That said, I do want you to know that your emotional intelligence can develop and grow, the more awareness, attention, energy and time you give to your emotions and your surroundings. Which is why, I have some questions for you:

  • Do you truly pay attention to your emotional states and how do you do this?
  • Do you value your emotions and what does this even mean to you?
  • Do you listen to your emotions and the messages they are trying to give you?
  • Do you often feel out of control, uncomfortable, anxious or stressed? If so, explain where this comes from.

(Please write your answers to these questions with further explanation out on paper to truly create a deeper level of self-awareness. Also, a great journal tip is starting or ending each day by answering the following question: How are you REALLY feeling today?)


Emotional maturity, on the other hand, is not only your personal intelligence to regulate your emotions or understand those of others, but it’s a higher emotional level of (self) awareness. Emotional maturity is the way you respond to certain emotions or feelings. Think about your personal, emotional level of self-awareness, self-regulations, self-management, self-reflection, self-control, empathy and social skills.

An emotionally mature person values all their emotions and allows them to be there, while they also pay attention to understanding and managing their emotions (instead of simply hiding them). An emotionally mature person truly takes ownership of their emotional state of being. 

Emotionally immature people aren’t able to accept their emotions or aren't able to self-reflect. Instead, they deflect or blame others in order to cope with their own emotions. Emotionally immature people often project their own issues onto others. Therefore, they basically find a way to bring the uncomfortable emotions outside of themselves, which means their emotional experience is no longer an internal situation but it becomes an external (unpleasant) experience.

Emotionally immature people hold on tight to their own perceptions only. (They aren’t empathic at all and lean more into selfishness.) That being the case, whenever dealing with emotionally immature people, be truly prepared and ready for their commitment to misunderstanding you.


Examples of things emotionally immature people could say are:

  • You’re too sensitive.
  • Why are you always so dramatic?
  • You truly don’t understand the real world.
  • It's your fault I'm acting this way.
  • You’re so stupid! 
  • You're so needy. (When asking for healthy communication.)
  • I guess I’m just a shitty person, why do you want to be my partner again? (Victim role)
  • That’s not what happened and I never said that. (When they did.)
  • Well, I don't like this feeling so you have to fix it. (Not taking any responsibility for their emotions.)
  • Never mind, I won't contact you again. (As a cry for help.)

Other examples are:

  • Passive aggressive comments
  • Ignoring messages or calls
  • Cutting someone off in the middle of a (digital) conversation 
  • Deflecting through moving the focus from themselves to others
  • Playing the complain & blame game 
  • Not taking responsibility for their actions
  • Invalidating your perspective (gaslighting)


Emotional maturity has nothing to do with age but it says more about your emotional growth and your ability as a person to create space for others and their emotions while you self-reflect and regulate your own emotions too.

I want you to know, there is no way you can truly connect and communicate with someone who is not willing to do their own part or who doesn’t want to take responsibility for their own emotions. Whenever you realize somebody is not able to support you, hear you, respect you or hold space for you, please don’t try to be heard. (Been there, done that.) Simply stop sharing experiences with them (send love – peace out – move on) and connect with those who can.


Thus, to sum it up: emotional intelligence stands for your ability to deal with your own emotions, and those of others, while emotional maturity stands for your willingness to take ownership for your emotional state, situation and its consequences.

May this help you on your journey of connecting, in a healthy way, with your emotional self and others. 


Want to dive even deeper into your emotional self-awareness journey?
Check out my blog post: 



Are you ready to feel empowered to follow your own heart?


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