Whether it is laughing at poop jokes or insisting on having your favorite junk food on hand at all times, there are some things that can be classified as immature, which carry negative learning connotations – despite being totally benign regarding how we operate the world. Certain signs of immaturity can have a huge impact on your life in all the wrong ways, and you might not even be aware that they are an issue that could be seriously holding you back.
You might be holding onto these immature behaviors because of many reasons including; being rewarded for immature behavior, being surrounded by immature people, having a bad childhood, or not having good role models around while you were growing up. Regardless of how they surfaced, if you don’t realize they are a problem, there is no way to face them head-on.
According to psychiatrist, Monida Seawell, MD, “To change a deeply ingrained behavioral pattern, a person must have some level of awareness that the behavior is problematic and that it is resulting in negative consequences.”
Let’s get rid of the guesswork and dive straight into the signs of immaturity that are holding you back:
Difficulty with emotional regulation
One of the most common signs of immaturity is difficulty with emotional regulation. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including frequent outbursts of anger or frustration, difficulty handling criticism or rejection, and an inability to manage stress. Therapists suggest that individuals who struggle with emotional regulation can benefit from learning mindfulness and other techniques to manage their emotions in healthy ways.
Another common sign of immaturity is the tendency to blame others for one’s problems or mistakes. This can take many forms, from refusing to take responsibility for one’s actions to constantly pointing the finger at others when things go wrong. Therapists suggest that individuals who struggle with blaming others can benefit from learning to take ownership of their mistakes and work on building healthier relationships with others.
Impulsivity is another sign of immaturity that can cause problems in one’s personal and professional life. This can include acting without thinking, making decisions based on emotion rather than logic, and engaging in risky behaviors. Therapists suggest that individuals who struggle with impulsivity can benefit from developing better decision-making skills, practicing mindfulness, and seeking out healthy outlets for their energy.
Lack of empathy
Empathy is a key component of healthy relationships, but individuals who struggle with immaturity may have difficulty putting themselves in others’ shoes. This can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and a lack of connection with others. Therapists suggest that individuals who struggle with empathy can benefit from practicing active listening, learning to communicate effectively, and seeking out opportunities to volunteer or help others.
Inability to handle criticism
Finally, an inability to handle criticism is another sign of immaturity that can hold individuals back in their personal and professional lives. This can include becoming defensive, refusing to listen to feedback, and taking things personally. Therapists suggest that individuals who struggle with handling criticism can benefit from practicing self-reflection, seeking out feedback from trusted sources, and learning to separate their sense of self-worth from external validation.
Change is possible! However, like with any bad habit or habitual behavior, the person has to want to change, in order for changes to happen.
If you recognize any of these behaviors in your own self, and you want to actually do something about it, it is worth trying to connect with a trained, licenses and reputable mental health professional. They can help you to identify where you are going wrong and help you to put a plan into motion to be able to fix things.