What is emotional immaturity? How do you recognize emotional immaturity and what causes it?
If you have been asking yourself these questions, it’s great that you came across this article. I’m going to tell you all about emotionally immature people, and you’ll get to find out how to recognize them.
The thing about these people is that they never really grow up, they are stuck in a dependent relationship and act childish. Don’t be surprised if your immature partner starts acting like a baby, as it’s what they do.
Being immature is a problem, especially when it comes to having a healthy relationship. You will see by the signs I’m going to mention that these people don’t know how to behave in a relationship. Instead of making compromises, they will always try to do whatever they want and get their own way but when it comes to taking responsibility, they will start pointing fingers. Everyone’s to blame for their problems except for themselves. They don’t know how to say they’re sorry and make amends for what they did wrong and what’s more, they’ll never even admit it.
Possibly the most significant problem these people have is that they are incapable of talking about their feelings. It dates back to when they were a kid, and they will never open up completely and it’s also hard for them to make plans for the future because they live in the moment.
There’s not much difference between emotionally immature men and emotionally immature women, so immature adults are all similar, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a male or a female. This information will come in handy in any case, so make sure you read the whole article.
What is emotional immaturity?
The most crucial trait of emotional maturity is that it makes you able to see things clearly and deal with problems in a healthy way. Unlike immature adults, as a mature person, you’re able to control your emotions as well as take responsibility for your life. You can handle resentment, fear, grief, anger, insecurity, guilt, disappointment, and other emotions and feelings.
So, what is emotional immaturity? Emotionally immature people can’t handle negative emotions and they can’t make sense of situations or even defend themselves appropriately. It’s likely because they were discouraged from talking about their feelings in childhood and that they were also discouraged from dealing with problems or seeking help when they were children.
Relationships with emotionally immature men are hard to maintain because they aren’t capable of reacting to life’s difficulties appropriately and the same goes for the case of an emotionally immature woman.
If you are struggling with emotional immaturity, consider your lack of coping skills that might cause you to fall into depression. Don’t be focused on negative things and instead look after yourself by eating well and getting regular exercise.
Try to work on your ability to foresee stressful events and don’t hesitate to ask for support from your family and friends. Stop blaming yourself for everything, and always try to see the good side of everything.
What causes emotional immaturity?
So what causes emotional immaturity? Like many things, it dates back to when you were a child. When you were going through the developmental stages, your parents thought it was okay to move ahead but you weren’t ready so it left you emotionally stuck in the early stages.
If your parents were very critical of you when you were developing, this is what caused your emotional immaturity. Instead of applauding your efforts, your parents criticized them. Whenever you would try to do something, your parents would take over because they knew what was best. This is what made you anxious that your progress and abilities could narcissistically wound your parents and their self-esteem.
That’s the simplified explanation… but in any case, emotional immaturity in adults is caused by the wrong approach by the parents when they were children.
The causes of emotional immaturity happened when you were a kid but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to change. You can always work on yourself to become more emotionally mature.
16 signs of emotional immaturity
When it comes to the symptoms of emotional immaturity, there are many of them, but once you see the whole picture, it will be easy to spot them. So, if you’re looking to find out whether your loved one shows any symptoms of emotional immaturity, be sure to read on andI’ll tell you all the signs.
If it turns out that you’re in a relationship with an emotionally immature person, it won’t be easy. These people aren’t really good at relationships because they have stayed a kid and they don’t have the maturity it takes to have a healthy relationship.
So, what if these signs show that you’re in a relationship with an emotionally immature person? Don’t worry, it’s not the worst thing in the world but you’ll have to realize that your significant other has some emotional growth to do.
Talk about how you would like for you two to grow as a couple so you can be a stronger team. Don’t single them out as emotionally inept because it will make them defensive.
Praise them when they do something you like and let them know when you feel connected. It’s important to give them positive feedback. Of course, there’s always couples therapy that will help you develop emotional intimacy.
There are ways you can help your partner if it turns out that they are emotionally immature. For now, let’s see whether they are showing signs of emotional immaturity to know for sure.
Signs of emotional immaturity
1. They find it hard to talk about how they feel
It seems like emotional immaturity causes you to become ‘allergic’ to feelings. Everyone has feelings, and it’s isn’t mature to pretend otherwise or choose to ignore them.
Emotional immaturity in adults causes them to be unable to process or explain complicated feelings. It’s overwhelming for them so they often withdraw or shut down because of the shame or vulnerability that they feel.
If you’re like this, you have to understand that it’s important to talk about your feelings. You can’t have a healthy relationship if you shut down as soon as the topic of your feelings comes up. Your feelings are a part of you, and you need to learn to accept and express them.
2. They don’t want to talk about the future
Is your partner showing signs of emotional immaturity? If they can’t commit to any future plans with you, even the smallest ones like a spa weekend, it’s a major red flag.
Emotional immaturity makes it hard for people to think ahead and make any plans for the future. Instead, they tend to live in the moment and see how it goes. Even if this person sees a future with you, they will find it hard to communicate their vision.
You don’t need me to tell you how important planning the future is, especially when you are in a relationship. It shows that you are committed and that you have an end goal for your love but these people find it hard to think that way since they are just living day to day.
3. Their partner feels lonely in the relationship
What’s the point of a relationship? It’s to make you feel loved, respected, and supported. So, it’s awful when you feel like you’re alone in your relationship.
One of the signs of emotional immaturity in a relationship is a lack of emotional intimacy, which will always leave you feeling disconnected. The reason for this is that your partner isn’t capable of bonding on a deeper level.
Relationships are built for two, so both partners should participate equally in it. You shouldn’t be feeling alone when you’re in a relationship so you need to address this problem from the start.
4. They can’t move past a surface-level relationship
When you’re trying to connect on a deeper level with your partner, it can be quite disappointing to find out they keep things on a surface-level. You try to open up to them, but they are always holding back.
Maybe your partner is entertaining to be with, but when it’s time to get more intimate, they can’t go there. Intimacy is all about opening yourself up, connecting, and sharing and it leads to affection, familiarity, and a sense of closeness.
So, if you have a problem with a lack of intimacy in your relationship, it’s likely because of the emotional immaturity of your partner. Try to help them and work on the intimacy in your relationship. Your partner might enjoy a surface-level relationship, but it has to get deeper at some point.
5. They distance themselves during the hard times
Do you know what’s best about relationships? Being in a relationship means you have someone by your side during the hard times but if you’re in a relationship with someone who has a problem with emotional immaturity, it’s not so easy.
They don’t really know how to be there for you or support you in times of stress, whether it’s a family crisis or a work-related problem. You will notice them distancing themselves when you really need them, and that has to hurt.
It’s hard when your partner isn’t there for you when you’re going through something. You need someone to be on your side, and they are not capable of it but that will have to change in order for your relationship to work out.
6. They are unable to compromise
We all know that compromise is the key to a successful relationship, but your partner doesn’t seem to get it. They find it hard to find a middle ground when you’re arguing. If your significant other throws tantrums just so you won’t get your way, you have a severe problem on your hands.
People who have this problem always have to have everything their way. They won’t hesitate to lie, blame, and guilt their partner just so they can get things their own way, which is a big problem in a relationship.
You can’t be happy with someone who always has to win every argument. Your partner has to learn how to compromise for your relationship to have a chance.
7. They are defensive over small things
A mature person will never get overly defensive at a little criticism… even if their feelings get hurt. Healthy relationships are all about talking about problems and finding ways to work on them together. It’s isn’t healthy when you have to walk on eggshells so you won’t upset your partner.
The thing about emotional immaturity is that it makes your partner extremely defensive, even over the small stuff. The more they’re in the wrong, the more defensive they will get. If you step on their toes, they will throw a tantrum and won’t hesitate to use name-calling.
If you have a problem like this with your partner, they will have to start working on it. You can’t go through life with a fear of upsetting them. They will have to find a way to change.
8. They expect you to do everything for them
Of course, it’s good to do nice things for your loved one… but do they do the same for you? When you’re constantly doing everything for your partner without them lifting a finger for you, it’s a problem.
This sort of thing can only lead to a one-sided relationship, and you don’t want to be stuck in something like that. The thing about immature people is that they expect you to do everything or when they have to do something, you will have to ask them multiple times.
That’s not all, because even when they actually do something, they will do so grudgingly and even make you feel guilty for making them. You’re not your partner’s parent, and the sooner they realize it, the better.
9. They don’t take responsibility for their actions
Being mature means acknowledging when you have made a mistake, it’s about doing what you can to make amends and apologize. Those who aren’t mature, however, won’t admit when they have made a mistake. They don’t like to be held accountable and would rather place the blame on someone else.
This type of person doesn’t take responsibility for their mistakes and actions and when there’s a problem, they will blame others for it. It seems like it’s never their fault, and there’s always someone else to blame.
This is very childish behavior and a person like that is not mature enough for a healthy relationship. They have to start taking responsibility for their actions and learning how to say sorry.
10. They are selfish
If you’re looking for a helper-type of a partner, keep searching. People who have a problem with emotional immaturity will not help you unless it benefits them too.
Let’s make perfectly clear the difference between knowing their self-worth and being selfish. This person would step on others just to give themselves a leg up. Such people only do what benefits them. Unless giving you what you need benefits them, they won’t do it.
Selfish people are the worst romantic partners so it’s time for them to introduce a little selflessness into your relationship.
11. They hold grudges
It’s perfectly normal for something in the past to still be bothering them. A healthy way to deal with it is to communicate your feelings to your partner… and find a way to work on it together in order to move on. Holding grudges isn’t healthy, especially in a relationship, where it leads to resentment.
Immature people aren’t capable of controlling their emotions and reactions toward their partner, which results in lashing out and even holding grudges.
There is no place for holding grudges in a relationship. It only leads to fights and resentment, which are hard to let go of later.
12. They are egocentric
What is growing up? It’s actually the realization that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Babies don’t understand that, so they cry in the middle of the night when their parents are sleeping.
As we grow up, we learn that we can’t always get what we want. We learn that other people exist and have needs of their own. It’s all about freeing ourselves from the chains of our ego.
When we lose the illusion that babies live in, we start gaining understanding. We learn how to explore other people’s worlds but preserve our ego. Those who are emotionally immature have trouble with this because they are egocentric.
13. They have trouble with commitment
Children are incapable of going without a thing they have right now in order to achieve greater things in the future. If you offer a child one candy now or two later, they will always choose now.
Mature people know that sacrifices and restrictions are necessary in order to achieve a particular goal. We realize that committing to a person or an objective doesn’t limit the freedom we have; it’s merely something we agree to for the long-term goals we have.
If your partner has trouble with commitment, it could be because they are emotionally immature. They would rather have the thing they have right now than wait for what they could have in the future.
14. They have dependent relationships
An immature person will not need you because they love you, but simply because they need you and this is why they tend to have very dependent relationships.
Autonomy is necessary for a healthy relationship that is based on freedom. The problem is that immature people don’t really understand the concept of independence and most of the time, they think it’s about doing whatever you want. Still, when the time comes to take responsibility, they will run away from it and they are stuck in a dependent relationship.
15. They are irresponsible with money
Immature people are always impulsive and you can see that impulsivity in the way they handle money. This is the type of person who will always spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need and this is because they mostly care about satisfying their desires, and as fast as they can.
This is the type of person who won’t hesitate to take on financial risks that seem crazy and they have trouble with objectively evaluating investments. Also, they aren’t good at making long-term projections and this is why you will often find them in debt. They end up in debt because of the desire to satisfy their whims.
So, if you’re in a relationship with a person like this, you might have to help them out financially from time to time. Still, that’s not the solution, and they will have to start working on themselves.
16. They don’t like spending time on their own
Immature people don’t like spending time on their own, without any distractions. They can’t be alone to think about who they really are and all the things they have experienced.
Those who are mature can examine and really feel their feelings, even when they aren’t pleasant. Those who are immature, however, can’t be alone with their thoughts. They will always search for someone or something that will prevent the risk of being alone because they are afraid of being alone with their thoughts and understanding their own mind.
Mature people know how to enjoy their own company, and they would rather be alone than in the wrong company. If your partner is immature, they are constantly running away from discovering themselves.
Did you discover that your partner is emotionally immature? It’s time for them to snap out of it and start working on themselves. Emotionally immature people don’t have it easy… but neither do those who are in a relationship with them.
The first step is to realize that they have to make a change in their life. The rest isn’t so hard as long as they are determined to grow and advance and you can be there to help them with that.
If you two can’t do it on your own, you can always try couples therapy. The problem started when they were a kid so it might be useful to talk about their childhood with a professional as it will help them get a clearer picture of what exactly they’re doing wrong.