5 phrases only emotionally immature men use, according to psychology

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We talk a lot about communication here at Hackspirit, and for good reason. 

Communication is crucial in navigating all kinds of relationships, from those with friends and romantic partners to those at work. 

Research published by Forbes, for instance, suggests that communication problems lie at the root of many divorces. Here are the facts: 

  • 31% of people said incompatibility was a reason for their divorce. 
  • 31% also said there was too much conflict or arguing. 
  • And 6% put it down to opposing morals. 

How would this happen with good communication? 

Couples who love each other could surely work many of these things out. Surely, with good communication, a couple would know that they are incompatible or have opposing morals before getting married. 

Communication is equally important at work. Some researchers, for example, have stated, “Communication is one of the most important levers of management that a company can implement for the formation of teams and achieving valuable performance.”

Basically, understanding our own and others’ words can help us foster better relationships. 

With this in mind, today we dive into five phrases commonly used by men who have some growing to do in the EQ department. 

If you find yourself using these, it might be time for a little reflection. 

And if you’re on the receiving end of such phrases, well, it’s a window into their emotional maturity that you best be aware of.

Let’s get to it. 

1) “You’re too sensitive.”

When a man says, “You’re too sensitive,” it’s usually when he is trying to shift the blame to someone else

It’s an attempt to deflect attention from his actions or words and place the onus on the other person’s reaction. 

It shifts the focus from the original issue to the other person’s response, suggesting that the problem lies not in the action itself but in how it was received. 

Experts in the field recognize this behavior as a key sign of a lack of emotional maturity. For example, those at Care Counselling have noted that with emotionally immature individuals, “Blame is often placed on others rather than taking responsibility for their role.”

More than that, most people (quite understandably) detest being on the receiving end of this phrase. In a Preply survey, this topped the list of the worst passive-aggressive phrases. 

2) “It’s not my fault.”

Let me share a story about a roommate I had in college. Let’s call him Ben. 

Whenever something went wrong, from failing an exam to forgetting to pay the electric bill, he would always find someone else to blame. “It’s not my fault; the professor didn’t explain it well,” or “The electric company didn’t send a reminder.”

In a similar way to “You’re too sensitive”, “It’s not my fault” is a classic sign of shifting blame and avoiding responsibility for one’s actions and their consequences.

Emotionally mature men (and women) don’t do this. They own up to their mistakes and learn from them instead of playing the blame game. They understand that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s part of personal growth and development. 

If you are guilty of using this phrase a lot, if there’s always someone else to blame, it might be time to take a long, hard look in the mirror and start taking responsibility for your actions.

3) “I can handle it on my own” or “I don’t need to talk about it.”

Too often, the last thing many of us men want to do is open up or ask for help. 

This is backed up by research. A report by Eharmony and Relate found that just one in five men in the UK feel comfortable being vulnerable in romantic relationships. 

I don’t have a figure for this in working environments, but I’d imagine it’s as low, if not lower. 

However, as noted by Healthline, vulnerability is an essential aspect of emotional maturity. They state, “Emotional maturity means being honest about your feelings and building trust with those around you because you don’t have an agenda.” 

The phrases, “I can handle it on my own” or “I don’t want to talk about it” are usually clear indicators of an unwillingness to show such vulnerability.

By ‘being independent’ in the face of challenges or emotional situations, a man might believe he’s showcasing strength and self-sufficiency. However, this reluctance to be open not only limits personal growth but also inhibits the deepening of relationships. 

4) “I’m not angry.” (when he clearly is)

To be honest, I’ve been guilty of this one in my previous relationships. 

Basically, I sometimes found myself engulfed by anger but lacked the tools and understanding to process and communicate these feelings effectively. This often led me to deny the anger altogether, hoping to sidestep the discomfort it brought. 

I know it sounds pretty unhealthy when it’s written on a screen, but at the time, it made sense and often, I was doing it unconsciously. 

Anyway, as you might have guessed, this is a big sign of emotional immaturity

As noted by the folks at Care Counseling, “An emotionally immature person struggles with effectively communicating their emotions. They may become easily overwhelmed with emotions and shut down…”. 

The phrase “I’m not angry” exemplifies this almost perfectly. 

Does this sound like you?

The next time you feel your temper flaring up, try acknowledging it. 

It’s okay to be angry. The key is understanding why you’re angry and then dealing with it in a mature and constructive way.

5) “Why aren’t you paying attention to me?”

So, let’s say you’re in the middle of a big project at work, and your partner sends this message out of the blue: “Why aren’t you paying attention to me?” 

Sound familiar?

This phrase epitomizes a need for attention, which experts, such as Dr. Smitha Bhandari (recent WebMD post), have noted as a hallmark of emotional immaturity. 

Emotional maturity, in contrast, involves a secure sense of self and an understanding that while human connection is essential, it is a give-and-take dynamic. 

The mature approach is to communicate openly about one’s needs and desires without making demands or placing undue pressure on others for constant attention. This balanced approach fosters healthier, more respectful, and mutually satisfying relationships.

The bottom line

That just about wraps it up for today, folks. 

Consider these phrases as signposts that could indicate where you or someone you know is on the road to emotional maturity.

If you find yourself using these phrases a lot, don’t beat yourself up. Awareness is the first step towards change. We all have room for improvement.

As always, I hope you found some value in this post. 

Until next time. 

Mal James

Mal James

Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business.

As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys.

In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

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