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As I wrote in another article , it’s in your best interests to stay away from people who are too immature for their age. But the problem is — how do you decide whether or not someone fits that criteria?
This article is to help you do that.
But before I share with you seven of the most common signs of immaturity in adults, I must state that you will see them in most people at some point. Of course, it doesn’t mean they are all immature, and you should cut your ties with them.
Instead, I want to want to alert you against people who display a few or more of these traits on a regular basis. Most likely, they have not yet caught up with their age.
Also, given that the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain generally responsible for good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences, doesn’t fully develop until around twenty-five years of age, I wouldn't expect younger people to show much maturity. Even if I would want them to.
With that said, let’s dive in. Here are 7 traits of immature adults.
They Are Never on Time
Time is the stuff life is made of. If you don’t respect others’ time, it's difficult to believe you respect or care about them. But there’s more.
Everyone knows how annoying the habit of being late to everything is. So if someone is habitually late, they either don’t realize how annoying their habit is, or they don’t care about their reputation. Or they can’t help being late.
Whatever it is, it doesn’t say anything good about them. Unless, maybe, they are still teenagers.
They Behave in the Most Irresponsible Ways
Actions have their consequences. It’s one fundamental truth of life.
How we choose to act affects not only our lives but also those of others who depend on us or who are in any way connected to us. You would expect every grown-up person to understand this and act accordingly.
Unfortunately, for many people, it’s not true. It’s as if all they can think about is instant gratification for themselves. What their actions mean for others or even themselves in the long run, they either can’t see or don’t care about.
These are the people who often end up destroying multiple lives with their reckless behavior.
Again, nothing mature about it.
They Have Not Control Over Their Emotions
Look, we all have feelings and emotions. And sometimes, it can be overwhelming. But maturity is about being able to exercise restraint in the face of rising emotions. It is about prioritizing values and rationale before your whims and feelings.
It’s not okay to be throwing things around if you are upset. You can’t hurt others — physically or emotionally — just because you are not happy with them or with yourself. How you feel is no excuse to make life difficult for others unless they intentionally caused you pain.
People who don’t understand this much have a lot of growing up to do.
They Have to Be Right, Always
I am sure you have come across people who just cannot move on saying — “Maybe you are right. I am not sure.”
They have a non-negotiable need to have the final say. To turn simple discussions into arguments and then to win them.
They do not seem to understand that defeating or humiliating people is not a great way to convince them of anything (if that’s the goal).
They Are All About Themselves
Each one of us has a unique identity, a separate existence. Our circumstances are different, and so are our wants and desires. These differences make our relationships both interesting and challenging at the same time.
A healthy relationship requires people involved in it to be respectful of each others’ needs and preferences.
The problem with people who lack maturity is, they are usually very particular about what they want but are not willing to extend the same courtesy to others.
They Are Not Dependable
We are social beings. We work together to achieve shared goals. We conduct business with each other for mutual benefit. We join hands to make our lives better. But all that is possible only if we can count on each other.
Unfortunately, there are people who would not have the slightest hesitation in bailing out on their friends at the last moment. People who don’t take their commitments seriously. Or who you can’t trust with any responsibility.
Irresponsibility is immaturity.
They Take Everything Personally
An essential aspect of maturity is knowing that we are all flawed in many ways. And that even though it’s neither necessary nor possible to become perfect, we would do ourselves a lot of good by making improvements in certain areas.
But to grow as a human being, you must first realize that everything about you is not a part of your core identity (if there is anything like that). And that your personality isn’t something set in stone.
When you understand this, you are open to constructive criticism. Not just that, it becomes easier to identify your own flaws. You are able to see your actions and behavior-traits as external attributes. That, in turn, allows you to discard anything you don’t like and work towards personal growth.
Immaturity, on the other hand, makes people very defensive and unwelcoming of any form of criticism. The moment you say anything that can be perceived as negative, you can see them get tensed and ready to push back. It’s kind of sad because it only perpetuates their childishness.
Before we look for these signs in others, it would be wise to look for them in our own behaviors and take the necessary steps to get rid of them. That sure would be a sign of maturity.