Emotional maturity is defined by the ability to control your emotions and take full responsibility for your life along with its opportunities and dramas. A large part of being emotionally mature is having the ability to handle anger, disappointment, guilt, resentment, fear, jealousy, disappointment, grief, insecurity, and a myriad of other feelings appropriately. Emotional maturity is defined when you have the ability to experience these emotions and then quickly let them go. People who are immature seem to remain stuck in these negative emotions, unable to get past them.
Emotional maturity is the ability to see life clearly and accurately, and to deal with it. If you expect life to be easy or comfortable all the time is to be naïve. It means you must live your life in the present, not in the past or the future, and definitely not in make believe. If you allow negative emotions more time or energy than they deserve they will take a lasting toll your life and possibly subsume your future.
Emotionally immature people can be extremely challenging to deal with, because their ability to interpret and react to the variety of life’s challenges is often impaired. If you are married to someone who is emotionally immature you probably face great challenges in dealing with their moods and behaviors. They tend to try to control their world around them making it what they idealize rather than accept it for what it is and work toward positive change.
This belief is a strong indicator of self-centeredness or narcissism. Self-centeredness and self importance are normally characteristics of children. Children demand special treatment, make little real contributions themselves, and complain that life isn’t meeting their demands. Over coming this mind set is a normal and an important part of growing-up. When those characteristics manifest chronically in a “grown-up,” they are indications that person is not in fact a mature, responsive adult, but rather still reacting out of their self centered child self rather than as a mature adult. The person may look mature, and have many adult responsibilities, but emotionally, they are still a child.
All human minds require a basic need to feel in control. We were born with this need. This need helps propel us through various stages of emotional development. Without at least some sense of control, we would feel lost, desperate and broken. We become unable to cope. With maturity we discover we are not able to control of as many things as we thought we could and so we learn how to cope.
Relationships are often the most obvious places where our lack of control shows up. When we are without significant people in our lives, we are able to glide through life on our own terms, addressing our needs and wants. We are rarely confronted by the needs of others in a meaningful way. Outside of a relationship we do not have a need to have to listen or to contemplate the workings of someone else’s mind. As a result, we feel in control most of the time.
When we become more intimately involved with people, we are forced to deal with other peoples wants and needs. This is when our control issues show up.
Emotional maturity is an important skill to have in life. Emotionally immature individuals walk through life blaming their problems on the people in their lives or their situations and circumstances. They blame others for their anger, sadness and depression, but rarely look inwardly. Instead of assuming responsibility for how they feel, they expect others in their life to see their points of view. They attempt to control others which is something you cannot control.
Emotionally immature people are emotionally dependent. They seek to find reasons to justify their feelings and often are skilled at manipulating others. Rather than accept what is, emotionally dependent people tend to obsess about how to get others to think like them. They will resort to unhealthy behaviors to get their way, even if it cost them what was once a loving relationship.
Whatever is impermanent is subject to change. Whatever is subject to change is subject to suffering. — The Buddha
The only sure things in life are that you will be born, and that you will die. Everything else is a just a bowl of chocolate. Life and people are supposed to change. Emotionally healthy and mature adults have integrated that fact into their psyche and learned to surrender to circumstances beyond their control and learned to do so, with a sense of peace. Surrendering requires that we are emotional independent and emotional mature. Although we may want another person to see things our point of view, we acknowledge the fact that the other person has a right to have a different point of view.
When we learn to accept the needs and wants of others around us, in spite of what we may want, we learn to remove unnecessary drama from our lives. Being mature means that we accept what we simply cannot have. We learn that letting go of what we want is the most loving thing we can do for ourselves and for the person we love. Sometimes relationships need space to work themselves out. Unfortunately, the emotionally immature person sees this space as a threat to themselves because this is something in which they have no control and therefore they feel helpless.
When emotionally immature people do not get their way, they often respond to their circumstances in ways that are irrational. They need to control and this lack of control motivates them to act out. They pout, whine, cry manipulate, or violate the object of their obsession, all the whilst believing they are entitled to behave this way. They are in complete denial in regard how destructive this behavior is to their relationship, and now they are actually sabotaging their own goals.
Part of the process of maturing is that we learn to surrender to situations that we cannot control, especially when they involve others. People are entitled to live their lives the way they see fit, to not like us; to leave us. They are entitled to speak badly about us, or even to hate us. An emotionally mature person accepts these facts without the need to change what the other person is feeling or enact revenge. A mature individual does not lose control and succumb to irrational thoughts simply because they haven’t gotten their way.
Insecure and emotionally immature people are often bullies and employ many techniques to get their way. Bullies and harassers have the emotional age of a young child and will exhibit temper tantrums, deceit, lying and manipulation to avoid exposure of their true nature and to evade accountability.
Below are some signs of emotional immaturity.
- When things go wrong, it is always someone else’s fault. One of the easiest ways to spot emotional immaturity is finger pointing. People who are emotionally immature rarely assume accountability for problems in their lives. It is always everyone else’s fault. It is difficult to talk sense into someone who always blames others. They refuse to see things from someone else’s point of view or own up to their role in things. They think they are right and the world is against them.
- Emotionally immature people are highly sensitive to things done to them, but are blind to the things they do to others. If they perceive you as wronging them in any way, they retaliate. Yet they expect you to deal with whatever they dish out, including rude and moody behavior. You must accept them as they are, but they cannot accept you you are. More than likely, they often feel persecuted by any behavior they deem as unfair or insensitive. Unfortunately, their perceptions are often very skewed and inaccurate.
- Emotionally immature people are victims. Bad things happen to them, but their poor choices play no part. Emotionally immature people enjoy playing the role of victim. They refuse to see how their poor choices often lead to consequences. As victims, they will often greatly distort reality, omitting certain things that happened or take words out of context. These emotionally challenged people will often pick partners who will side with them no matter what. They often seek drama because drama allows them to reinforce their victim role and to seek revenge over things that did not play out as they had hoped.
- Relationships are often short lived. For the emotionally immature, it is challenging to maintain relationships of any substance. The reason is that such people often turn their friends into enemies-over the smallest perceived slight or threat. Compromise is almost impossible for the emotionally immature. They will cut off ties with people who will not give into them all of the time. Or people will distance themselves from the emotionally immature, as they tire of their unreasonable demands.
These are only a few signs that someone is emotionally immature. While you may have compassion for such people, it’s important that you recognize that you are dealing with someone with emotional issues.
You may feel that you can fix this person. But in reality, the issues are often deeply seeded, and you may find it highly challenging to have a fair and balanced relationship or friendship with someone who is emotionally immature.