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When we say someone is emotionally immature, we mean that they lack specific emotions and social abilities, and face difficulty in interacting with or relating to other adults. Simply put, emotional immaturity manifests itself as impulsive behaviour.
Insecure attachments, trauma, untreated addiction or mental health issues, as well as a lack of deeper introspection or self-work, can all contribute to this behaviour. It might appear as narcissism, self-centeredness, and poor conflict resolution.
Emotional maturity is described by the American Psychological Association as “a high and appropriate level of emotional regulation and expression.” On the other hand, emotional immaturity is regarded as behaviour that is out of control or inappropriate for the situation.
HealthShots got in touch with Dr Sonal Anand, Psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road Mumbai, to know the symptoms of emotional immaturity.
They have poor emotional regulation and have outbursts frequently. They may have tantrums and angry outbursts over small things. They have impulse control issues and act impulsively in difficult situations. They do not analyse the situation properly because of their lack of control and impatience.
A person with emotional immaturity frequently seeks the easy way out by trying to shift the blame to others, has a hard time accepting responsibility, and plays the blame game. According to Dr Anand, “They prefer to keep their true emotional issues hidden and avoid talking about them. They use defensive mechanisms like projection and denial to calm themselves.”
They can face difficulty in maintaining true relationships, although they do not like to stay alone. Due to their overall lack of sensitivity, being in a meaningful relationship with positive outcomes can become difficult, and the other person might have to bear the brunt , mostly choosing to leave .
If an immature person does not get what they desire, what will they do? The exact opposite of accepting someone’s choice. According to Dr Anand, those who are emotionally immature, are unable to deal with challenging emotions and may instead turn to childish play strategies to get their way. This destructive behavior can destroy a lovely connection or relationship.
An emotionally immature person can have commitment issues and be irresponsible sometimes. They have a lesser sense of empathy towards others, which can be due to their egocentric thought process. They might not value other people’s perspectives and struggles. They might have difficulties in carrying out responsibilities due to poor time management and lack of priority setting.
People can grow and change. If someone close to you lacks emotional maturity, you might be able to teach them how to act more maturely. If they are unwilling to change, talk to a counsellor about self-care strategies for interacting with emotionally immature people. To determine if someone is genuinely emotionally immature or not, follow the signs and symptoms of emotional immaturity we’ve just shared with you!