Sep 14, 2012 - Character, Mental Health    No Comments

Our Sense of Self

Everyone grows at different rates. Becoming mature and finding a sense of self or identity is something that everyone goes through. Knowing who we are and becoming aware of ourselves is natural and normal. It takes time and can be a difficult process. Struggling to find your own identity can be very depressing and frustrating.

Maturing and developing a strong emotional core is very important to the development of our identity.  It’s important to have positive interactions with others, be able to access situations, predict the thoughts and feelings others, and to engage in appropriate tones of empathy. Having a strong emotional maturity will help influence your career and everyday life. Emotionally mature people have the ability to earn the trust of others, make people feel valued, and build respect from those around them. The earlier in your life that you start to work at learning how to relate to others the better off you will be. Here are some key points that can help you develop an emotionally mature mind and help you identify a very important and needed sense of self.

1) Practice Listening to Others:
There is more to listening to other people, than just sitting there like a cone with a smile on your face. Listening to others requires that you not only nod your head but also that you give feedback to what they’re saying. This will show the other person that you’re sincere and really understand their point of view. People tend to disclose more information to others when they know they are truly listening. This will help you see the world through their eyes and give you a different perspective on what you think and feel; which in turn will help you develop a stronger sense of self.

2) Learn Empathy:
The ability to predict and relate to other people’s feelings can be very challenging. Understanding another person’s state of mind can help you know what to say or know what kind of support you can give. When you learn how to help others you learn how to help yourself at the same time. Always try to be gentle.

3) Control your Impulses:
We are impulsive by nature, however impulse control plays a surprising role in emotional maturity and developing your identity. People who can control their immediate reactions have an additional moment to think about another person’s feelings. They’re also less likely to say things they regret. Try to avoid yelling and always apologize when you’re wrong. This will help you take the time to really think about your actions and if the outcome from those actions is the kind of actions you want to be identified with.

4) Engage in Group Discussion:
Some people are hermits and struggle with shyness which can be a hindrance to developing an identity and building emotional maturity. Be someone that can talk openly and honestly with others. Be open to different viewpoints. Work at taking small risks with conversation. You might be surprised at the response you get.

Whether you’re rooted in who you are and are comfortable with the person you’ve grown into, or you’re unsure of yourself and you don’t know what you want to do with your life. These are a few things that will be very helpful to you. Everyone has room for growth and improvement and I hope this helps you in whatever your struggles are.

~John

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