January 21, 2010

The 6 levels of emotional maturity


read this today….

be honest. where are you?


Level One Maturity -Basic Emotional Responsibility- When a person reaches level one of emotional maturity, they realize that they can no longer view their emotional states as the responsibility of external forces such as people, places, things, forces, fate, and spirits. They learn to drop expressions from their speech that show disownership of feelings and a helpless or victim attitude towards their feelings. Expressions such as: “They made me feel . . . , ” “It made me feel . . . ,” “I made them feel. . . ,” and any others that denote external emotional responsibility are first changed into “I” statements as opposed to “You” or blaming statements. They are, for example, changed from, “You make me so mad when you do that,” to “I feel mad when you do that because . . . .” People learn at this level to regularly use the following expressions: “When you did . . . , I felt . . . , because . . . .” “When . . . happened, I felt . . . , because . . . .” As time and maturity advance, they begin to use even more accurate statements that inhibit the Blame Game such as: “I chose to feel . . . when I did . . . , because . . . .” “I choose to feel . . . whenever . . . happens, because . . . .” “I chose to feel . . . when he, she, it, did . . . , because . . . .” “I am in the habit of choosing to feel . . . whenever my/your . . . says anything to me, because . . . .”

Level Two Maturity -Emotional Honesty- Emotional honesty concerns the willingness of the person to know and own their own feelings. This is a necessary step to self-understanding and acceptance. The issues of resistance to self-discovery are dealt with at this level. They are related solely to the person’s conscious and unconscious fears of dealing directly with the critical voices they hear inside. In the past, they have typically lost all interactions with this internal adversary, so their fears are justified. Now, however, they know how to choose to feel so that they can keep from being destroyed, or they can choose not to interact with their accuser at all. The realization of the old maxim, “To thine own self be true,” is the primary goal at this level. This means that we are always true to what we feel: we do not hide, stuff, suppress, or repress what we feel, but honestly experience it at this level of maturity. Here, you are at least honest with yourself about how you really feel. As a secondary goal on this level, people learn to locate others with whom they can safely share their real feelings, their real selves. Such work to never again accept self as behavior.

Level Three Maturity -Emotional Openness- This level concerns the person’s willingness and skills in sharing their feelings in an appropriate manner and at appropriate times. Persons at this level experience and learn the value of ventilating feelings, and also the dangers involved in hiding feelings from self and others. Self-disclosure is the important issue at this level of work. Yet, it will never be as important as the willingness of the person to be open to experiencing all of their feelings as they arise without the critical voices they hear inside trying to change, control, or condemn them. The dangers of suppressing feelings, and the values inherent in exploring and allowing all feelings internal expression are investigated further. At this level, one has the openness, the freedom to experience any emotion without the need, the compulsion to suppress or repress it.

Level Four Maturity -Emotional Assertiveness- The person at this level of work enters a new era of positive self-expression. The primary goal here is to be able to ask for and to receive the nurturing that one needs and wants–first from self and then from others. As a secondary goal, persons should learn how to express any feeling appropriately in any situation, i.e., without aggressive overtones. This person makes time for their feelings–they prize and respect them. Such understand the connection between suppressed feelings, stress, and illness. Level Five Maturity, Emotional Understanding, and Level Six Maturity, Emotional Detachment, are both covered in another booklet entitled, Self-Concept: The Enemy Within. For ordering information, please look at the end of this booklet.

Reprinted from THE SECRET OF MATURITY: Or How Not to be Codependent, Second Edition, by Kevin Everett FitzMaurice. © 1990, 1989 Kevin Everett FitzMaurice. Reprinted by permission of PalmTree Publishers. Order “The Secret of Maturity” LEVELS


Level Five Maturity -Emotional Understanding- Persons on this level understand the actual cause and effect process of emotional responsibility and irresponsibility. Self-concepts are known as “the” problem. They realize that it is not possible to have a so-called good self-concept without a complimentary bad self-concept. Such experience firsthand, that because of the nature of knowledge and the formation of self-concepts, that all self-concepts contain their opposites. Knowing that though we may hide one half in darkness (unconsciousness) it is still active in us; they begin to regularly leap beyond the pitfalls of self-concepts, self-images, and self-constructs. This knowledge of the Unity of Opposites (of self-concepts, of knowledge) is applied to new situations daily. Other understandings at this level include the following: attempts to capture a moment of self can only kill the self as the self is a living process and not knowledge or memory; to reduce self to knowledge is literally to kill it; one either has their self and is alive and experiencing, or one has found their self as knowledge and lost it. Self-concepts are always externally referented by their very nature, and thus forever the perfect targets and hooks for the Blame Game. (For a description of the Blame Game see The Secret of Maturity.) Knowing that self-concepts are the only hooks that can be used in the Blame Game, people at this level remember to work on seeing their own self-concepts and finding release from their own. Self-knowledge is used to free the self from self-concepts on this level rather than to form them and imprison the self in them. The main work here is a total shift from identifying with any self-concepts to identifying only with the true self. II Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, . . .” Matthew 10:39 “He that findeth his life shall lose it: . . .”

Level Six Maturity -Emotional Detachment- At this level the person lives without the burden and snare of self-concepts, self-images, self-constructs, and all group-concepts and thing-concepts. They are only aware of self as process, as a sensing being, as an experiencing being, as a living vessel, as unknowable and untrappable–because it is alive and not static or fixed. They have died to the life of self as self-concepts. True detachment from all self-concepts has occurred. Thus true detachment from others has also occurred, which means that absolute emotional responsibility has been achieved (actually discovered). Not having self-concepts to defend or promote, this person can remain unaffected by the Blame Game, and even experiences unconditional love for their enemies. I Thessalonians 4:4 “That every one of you should know how to posses his vessel in sanctification and honor;”


4 Comments on “The 6 levels of emotional maturity

January 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I love this article and i think you might be guilty of a true word or two here my ninja of light.

People are too quick with the tongue and too slow with the peace and understanding.

Reversal of this skill is what we should aspire too.

Mad Love

January 22, 2010 at 5:29 am

as always, food for thought Raoul….but do you need to move through them in order, or can you be a mix of several depending on your level of vulnerability with different groups of ppl, in different situations?
mad love

Urban Ninja
January 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

I don’t think there is an order for anything. Calvinistic as we are as a human race, I personally don’t believe there is always right and wrong.

There just is. The action, the reaction, it just is.

Choose which set of stimulus to respond to, and choose your peer group based on how they behave in certain situations. Surely that makes sense at some level.

We all enjoy being level 1 at times, and might strive to be level 6 most of the time, but where we are and how we choose to be at that moment is the really important thing, right?

Then make the choice to be whatever level you choose to be, and make the really tough decisions to stick to that decision, by making compound decisions that reflect that level of maturity. Just be that guy/girl…

January 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I know ………..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.