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Posted Mar 04, Reviewed by Devon Frye. In my clinical practice, I primarily treat folks struggling with depressionanxietyexcessive angerand marriage difficulties. Very often, an underlying issue is that for one reason or another, the client never quite grew up. So many people reach chronological adulthood without having mastered the core elements of adult emotional functioning. How can you assess if an adult functions emotionally more like ? As a therapist who works extensively with couples, I have learned that almost any client can look reasonably "adult" when I meet with him or her individually.
By contrast, seeing the same client in a couples therapy session where spouses are interacting gives me vastly more data.
Mistaken, immature, and pathological behaviors all become much more visible. I also see the extent to which each partner's actions are rude, hurtful, or even dangerously childish—or calm, respectful, and maturely adult. A psychologist from Africa with whom I once spoke at an international psychology conference explained to me that in his country, it was common to assess people in terms of both physical age and emotional age.
Physical age can be counted by of birthdays. Physical age, especially with children, also tends to correlate with height, strength, and cognitive functioning.
14 s of immature people who really need to just grow up
Psychological or emotional age, by contrast, becomes evident in emotional reactions and habits. For instance, adults can stay calm whereas children tend to be quicker to anger. Adults exercise careful judgment before talking whereas children may impulsively blurt out tactless, hurtful words.
If toddlers want a car or doll that another child is playing with, they are likely to reach out and take the item. Most preschoolers get mad or cry multiple times every day, even if they are basically well-nurtured and happy. The rules of adult play, like taking turns or not grabbing, have not yet begun to shape their behavior. Youngsters do not act in a consistently civil manner because they have not yet internalized the rules of "civilized" adults.
One way to think about how young children differ from emotionally mature adults is to picture kids you know—maybe even your own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and neighbors. How do these children differ from adults that you know and respect? Before reading my list of characteristics that I look for, you might want to jot down a list of the traits that you noticed in your visualization.
How to recognize and deal with emotional immaturity
Please share with other readers in the comments below this article if you spotted some traits that I missed. If you or someone you know functions more like than like a grown-up, what are your options? It's easy to love children who act like children. It's harder to love someone who acts like in the body of a grownup. Still, most childlike adults only act childishly when they feel under threat.
Therefore, if you love someone who has childish sides, one strategy is to focus primarily on the more adult and attractive aspects of the person.
If you are the childlike one, love your strengths— and pay attention to growing in your less mature habit areas. Another strategy is to cease being surprised when the childish patterns emerge.
15 common s someone's immature, according to reddit
Accepting that the behaviors do occur is a first and vital step toward change. Third, if you are the receiver of childish behaviors, beware of trying to change the other person.
Instead, figure out what you can do differently so those patterns will no longer be problematic for you. Your job is to keep growing yourself, not to change others. Lastly, learn the skills of adult functioning. Much of what grown-up "children" do can be considered as a skills deficit.
If you tend to be childish, learning adult skills can move you into grownup-ville.
And if you generally function as a grownup, the more clear you are about what constitutes grown-up behavior, the more you will be able to stay a grownup—even when you are interacting with someone who is acting like. Susan Heitler, Ph. Back Psychology Today. Back Find Counselling.
Back Get Help. Back Magazine. The High Cost of Calm Why relaxing is so much work. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Susan Heitler Ph. Some people are developmentally delayed in the management of their emotions.
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