10 Signs Your Girlfriend Is TOO IMMATURE For You
How to Deal With an Overly Immature Person
Whether we like it or not, we will all eventually meet, perhaps in a work or volunteer situation, an impossibly immature person. It can be damaging to your emotional life, social life, and your entire perspective. With some understanding, self-restraint, and practice you'll be able to deal with that person with ease.
Understanding Immature Behavior
Consider the person's age.The word immature means “not fully developed.” By nature, the person may not understand how to respond to typical situations. The younger the person is, the more cognition may be difficult.Be more understanding of immaturity in younger people.
- A young boy might, for instance, show immaturity by joking about boobs and penises, farting on his friends, picking his nose, and generally acting like a child.While obnoxious, this may simply be normal behavior for someone his age, and should probably just be ignored. Allow younger people space to grow up and mature before you get too angry.
- On the other hand, a grown person who otherwise seems mature (i.e. someone who has moved beyond fart jokes) may still lack emotional maturity — she may be inconsiderate, unable to accept blame for her mistakes, or try to make you jealous or angry on purpose.
Identify emotionally mature and immature reactions.Extreme situations can sometimes trigger emotionally immature reactions, something called age regression, which can blur the lines between adult and childish emotions. React more thoughtfully when you recognize someone is reacting maturely. There are a variety of ways to glean whether the reaction is an adult or childish/immature emotion.
- A person who is emotionally immature will: be reactive; see himself as a victim; act out his emotions (intense or gut reactions, like explosive anger, sudden crying, etc.); be self-centered and concerned with self-protection; appear to always be justifying his actions to himself or others; be manipulative; be motivated by fear or a feeling that he "has to" do something," as well as a need to avoid failure, discomfort, and rejection.
- A person who is showing emotional maturity will: be open to hearing others' perspectives; be proactive; be motivated by growth and act with a vision or purpose; act because he chooses to, not because he feels he must; act with integrity, meaning his actions will align with his values.
Understand why a person might be emotionally immature.People who are emotionally immature find it difficult to cope with their emotions, and often experience a learned helplessness, or feeling that she cannot change her situation or improve her life.This may be because she never learned how to face and handle difficult emotions. While her immature behavior is not appropriate, it may help you to be more understanding if you realize that she is acting from a place of fear, feeling that she must protect herself from these uncomfortable emotions.
Acknowledge potential mental health issues.The person you’re dealing with may be dealing with ADHD or a personality disorder.Some disorders of this type may appear to be immaturity, and can manifest in various ways.
Method 1 Quiz
Why might a person be emotionally immature?
Dealing with an Emotionally Immature Person
Understand that you can't force someone to change.The truth is, this isn't your battle to fight — if the person is not willing to recognize his behavior and take steps to change it, there is little you can do. It may be particularly difficult for an emotionally immature person to realize he needs to change, as a hallmark of emotional immaturity is blaming other people or circumstances for one's bad behavior.
- The only thing you can control is your behavior — how you react to the person, and how much time you spend with him.
Try to limit your contact with the person.Depending on the severity of the person's immaturity and her willingness to change, you may need to cut her out of your life. If the immature person is your significant other, you may need to end the relationship if she is not willing to change. If the person is someone you can't remove from your life, such as a boss, coworker, or family member, then try to limit your contact as much as possible.
- Keep your interactions as brief as possible. Excuse yourself from conversations firmly but politely, saying something like, "I'm sorry to cut this short, but I'm in the middle of a huge project and I really need to get back to it."
- In a social setting, do your best to simply avoid her, talking to your other friends or relatives.
Communicate assertively.An emotionally immature person can be manipulative and self-centered, so if you must communicate with him, try to do so clearly and assertively. Assertive does not mean aggressive — it means being clear, respectful, and stating whatyouneed, while at the same time being respectful of other people's needs, feelings, and wants.In short, you state what you need, and let go of the outcome.
- Understand that even if you maturely communicate your needs, the immature person may not respond maturely.
- Learn more about being assertive by reading this wikiHow article: How To Be Assertive.
Talk to the person.If you think the person is open to hearing feedback, and she is someone you want to keep in your life, then you may want to try and talk to her about her behavior. Prepare yourself for her to become defensive,which may interfere with getting your message across. You might even suggest she talk to a counselor or someone who can help her learn how to communicate maturely.
- Name the behavior that is immature and what effects it has on you. For instance, "I feel overwhelmed when you don't take on more responsibility in the house. Would you please help me out every week?" Then give the person specific things she can do every day to help out.
- You might remind her that change can be extremely difficult, but you want to be there with her and help her grow and mature, if she's willing.
Method 2 Quiz
Which of the following is the best example of how to address an immature person?
Reacting to Aggressively Immature Behavior
Ignore the person and disengage.It's the easiest way and simplest reaction when the immature person is trying to get your attention or a reaction. By responding to the behavior, you're giving in to what she wants and reinforcing her immature actions. Ignoring her will likely make her frustrated with her unsuccessful attack on you, and cause her to give up.
- If the immature person is losing her temper or trying to pick an argument, it's important for you to disengage from her efforts to upset you.
- Look away from her. Turn your head or avert your eyes. Just don’t acknowledge her presence.
- Turn your back to her. Even if she circles to face you, turn around again.
- Walk away. Move with a purpose, avoiding her as quickly as possible until she stops following.
- Try an e-ignore approach. Talking to someone or bothering someone who is constantly on their phone or tablet is very difficult. You’ll be so engaged you won’t notice them.
Ask the person to leave you alone.If the person won’t see reason or won't go away, you may need to be slightly confrontational and tell him that you cannot engage with him any further. Gather up all your courage and politely ask him to leave you alone, while simultaneously removing yourself from the caustic environment. Try one of the following approaches:
- Let him off easy by deflecting, “Please leave me alone right now. I’m not in a good mood.”
- Get to the point and tell him what you’d like, “Leave me alone.”
- Try a forward approach, “I'm not arguing with you. This conversation is over.”
- Use the broken record technique. Simply repeat your refusal to engage over and over, "This conversation is over." Remain calm while employing this technique and try to walk away.
Inform the person of her actions.It is possible the person doesn't realize she is being immature. Part of maturing is learning to deal with younger and/or less mature people. Confronting the immature person bothering you and letting her know her actions are inappropriate may cause them to avoid you.
- Being straight-forward could help, “I do not appreciate your behavior. Please stop.”
- Simply inform her of her behavior, “You’re being very immature. Stop bugging me.”
- Form your reply as a question, “Do you realize how immature you’re acting right now?”
Resist the urge to fight fire with fire.While you may be tempted to respond to the person immaturely as well, giving him a taste of his own medicine, this could seriously backfire. If you are interacting with this person in a work situation, your immature behavior could getyouin trouble. In addition, it might actually be dangerous to egg on an immature person who is also aggressive or has a temper. When you feel tempted to react to the person, be the mature one and disengage and walk away from him.
Get help.If the person is aggressive and won't stop bothering you, consult with a lawyer or the police. No one is allowed to harass or touch you. These people need outside influences to stop bothering you, and they probably won't until someone is able to exert influence they can't deny. There are a few possible options:
Method 3 Quiz
What should you do if an immature person loses their temper?
QuestionWho is the best kind of professional recommended for my immature daughter? Counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUnless her issues are caused by a medical disorder which needs medication, a counselor or therapist can help her manage her behavioral issues.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the person speaks like a baby?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCome right out and say, "Can you please stop talking like a baby?" If the person refuses to stop, then ignore him or her.Thanks!
QuestionI have this super annoying and immature classmate that keeps bothering me. I don't want to be rude, what should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust politely tell him you're busy when he tries to talk to you. If you make excuses every time he bothers you, he'll probably eventually stop. If he's bothering you during class, tell the teacher, he/she might be able to move your seat.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I speak to my girlfriend about our relationship issues without her acting like she is the victim?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerChoose your words wisely. Prepare what you're going to say ahead of time so you don't get flustered or angry in the moment. Use "I feel" statements, i.e., instead of saying, "You always _______" say something like, "When you _______, I feel upset and hurt."Thanks!
QuestionI have a friend who is very immature and very not responsible. She never listens to her parents. Her attitude pisses me off. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to initiate a proper conversation with her and remain calm. Let her know how her attitude is making you and others around her feel. Assure her that you care about her and are telling her this because you want to help her be her best possible self.Thanks!
QuestionWhy is it so hard for me to mature mentally?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPeople mature at different times and rates. Try not to worry too much about it. Just practice being respectful of other people, their space and opinions, keeping your composure when you're upset, and fulfilling your responsibilities. You'll be fine.Thanks!
QuestionMy daughter is 34 and married with 3 kids. She yells at her kids and says things to them that I don't think she should say. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry talking to your daughter in private about how you feel. Be specific and don't attack her. For example, don't say, "You were treating your son badly," say, "I feel like this comment you made the other day was inappropriate." Be aware that she may get angry or refuse to listen, so make sure you know exactly what happened and really listen to what she has to say about it. She may have a justified reason for it. If this goes well, observe her actions in the future. If she doesn't seem to have changed, try again. If the conversation doesn't work out, try talking to her partner, one of her friends, or anyone else you think might get through to her.Thanks!
QuestionMy bff is 9 years old and she is very spoiled. How do I make her mature?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerShe is only 9. It is unlikely that you will make her 'mature', because of her age. She will change as she grows and learns, but you cannot change her, she has to learn on her own.Thanks!
QuestionA good friend of mine cut off all contact off with me without anything happening that would have caused this behavior. Afterwards, the person is mad at me for not running behind and asking what's wrong.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIgnore the person, who it seems was just doing it for attention or to try and force a reaction from you. Start hanging out with other people; this one seems toxic.Thanks!
QuestionMy best friend turned out to be an immature prick who used my most embarrassing secrets as gossip fodder. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't stress over that person. Talk to them. Unless they are the rude and immature type of person, be straight up. Tell them how they are acting is unacceptable. If things continue, delete them from your life.Thanks!
- Take deep breaths. Don't take out your anger on this person, or you've sunk to their level and let them win.
- Don't act on the moment. Give whatever reaching you take a decent amount of time before you make a decision or say something.
- It's important to work through disagreements while remaining calm. Do not raise your voice. Calmly let the person know that you do not want to fight, but perhaps it may help to talk about the issue. Apologize if, for example, you started to yell. Be sincere and it may break down their defenses enough to allow logic back into their responses.
- There is a difference between a person generally not acting their age, and someone being an abusive bully. If you feel you’re being bullied, seek further help.
Sources and Citations
- Murphy, J. (2011). Introduction. In Assertiveness: How to stand up for yourself and still win the respect of others. Kindle Books.
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