In the spirituality/self help world, there is a LOT of talk about becoming emotionally mature - and all the benefits of doing so.
We're taught how to witness our emotions instead of 'reacting' to them, how to deeply connect with what we're truly feeling in any given situation and how to communicate that effectively, how to regulate ourselves so that we can more effectively figure out what we want and need and how to get it and so on. We're given lots of tools that genuinely DO help us lead better, more productive, more harmonious lives.
We're given the tools we need to see the innocence in ourselves and others - giving us the capacity to empathize with and have compassion for everyone we interact with - making again for more harmonious and effective relationships.
But there is a potential dark side that comes with developing this emotional maturity that a lot of people don't talk about.
That dark side being that with this emotional maturity comes the capacity to - and the demand from others to - do a LOT of emotional labor for those who are less emotionally mature than we are.
With this emotional maturity comes the capacity to see deeply into what's going on for others in a way where they may not even be seeing what's going on, and a capacity to then attempt to manage the emotions, feelings, thoughts, perceptions and reactions of others during times of conflict or in conversations about boundaries and other 'triggering' topics.
There can be a HUGE desire to do this emotional labor for others in an attempt to keep ourselves safe from the negative reactions of others. There can be a huge drive to do this emotional labor in an attempt not to 'hurt' others where they aren't able to receive feedback without going into shame/guilt/blame. There can be a huge desire to emotionally bend over backwards for others in an attempt to keep a relationship alive while also trying to tweak the dynamics of the relationship towards a dynamic the other person may simply not be ready for. There can be a tendency to over-empathize with others and to move into territory where we are simply allowing immature behavior to continue because we see the innocence and don't want to upset others.
There can be a massive drive to over explain, to pad our communication with lots of compassion and over extension in an attempt to explain how we've been hurt/harmed, to coddle the feelings of the other person and to try to explain to the other person what's going on for THEM in an attempt to try to get them 'up to speed' with what we're seeing/experiencing/view as the solution to the conflict were in - and this is actually not healthy.
Today we're going to take a deep dive into another level of emotional maturity - the level where you see the innocence in others, but you're also able to hold strong boundaries and let others go when/if they aren't able to meet you in a mature way.
We're going to talk about how to step out of the codependency that can come with deep empathy and understanding, and how to take your emotional maturity to a healthy place with strong boundaries.
We're going to explore why you don't owe anyone your emotional labor, and why sometimes if the relationship demands that you're constantly having to 'be the bigger person' that it may be MORE mature to create space/let the relationship go than it is to continually try to meet the other person where they are at.
This is a big topic, so this won't be a 'catch all'. This is the beginning of an exploration.