7 signs a man hasn’t emotionally grown up yet, according to psychology

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Do you ever feel like you’re talking to a teenager rather than a fully grown man?

Have you ever heard of the term ‘man child’? 

It’s basically what it sounds like. A man who still acts like he’s a child. An emotionally immature man. And unfortunately, they seem to be more common than you’d think.

I’m sure you’re aware that we all mature at different times, as each person is on their own unique journey, and we learn and grow as we go on it. 

However, at some point, all men need to grow up and begin to take responsibility for their actions. If not, they won’t be able to live their best lives and they may find themselves alone because others are sick of putting up with their childish behavior.

So, if you’d like to find out what psychologists have said are some signs that a man hasn’t emotionally grown up yet, read on.

1) Lack of independence

Have you ever met a man who seems useless and someone else has to look after him all the time? This shows a need for more independence.

I have a friend like this. He’s always losing and forgetting things. We went out on a boat trip one day, and I looked over and his keys and credit card were just out on a chair near the edge of the boat. He didn’t even own a wallet!

When a man shows that he can’t look after himself, even though (this one was in his thirties) he is at an age where he should. This is a big sign that he hasn’t grown up emotionally yet.

This psychologist says that the lack of independence can also be seen as them not helping out. They expect someone else to do everything for them. 

This can be more evident if you live with the person and you’re always running around after them or doing all the household chores while they do what they feel like.

2) Poor emotional regulation (mood swings)

Do you know a man who you have to walk on eggshells around because you don’t know what mood they’ll be in? Maybe they’d laugh at a joke one day and snap at you for telling the same one the next. They’re very unpredictable.

Poor emotional regulation and mood swings are other telltale signs of emotional immaturity. Often in these cases, the man hasn’t been taught how to regulate his emotions. He’s not sure what to do when he’s feeling a certain way.

This can be quite common with older men as they have lived in a time when men weren’t allowed to show emotion because that showed weakness.

Here a psychologist explains that men might use things like alcohol, drugs, or unconscious acts of aggression when they are frustrated, upset, or angry.

3) Fear of commitment

Another sign you might have noticed, especially if you’re close to this man, is that he might be scared of commitment.

This might not just be with relationships, but also with their job or even with their friends. He may say he’s coming out to something and then never show. This is a big sign he’s not thinking of others and therefore, hasn’t emotionally grown up.

However, Dr Eva Malanowski explains there is a link between being emotionally immature and having anxiety. So this may be the reason for the fear of commitment and why these men often don’t turn up when they said they would.

She continues by saying that this creates a huge lack of confidence in a person and often comes from something that happened during childhood.

4) Lack of boundaries

As you might have guessed, a man who doesn’t think about how other people feel or how what they say might affect someone is probably not going to have or respect other people’s boundaries.

Emotionally immature people think of themselves more than clothes so that’s why, according to psychologist Kat Day, they don’t care for the boundaries of others. She says they either feel threatened by them or just blatantly don’t care. 

She finishes by saying, “They won’t understand why you can’t just be like them, think like them, and have the same beliefs and values as them”. This is a big sign to look out for.

5) Impulsive behavior

Do you notice when someone behaves impulsively? We all can at times, but if this man is acting like this frequently, then it could be another sign he’s not quite grown up emotionally yet.

This article shares more about how a man might act impulsively if he’s not yet matured fully. It explains that he may do things such as spend money or book trips without thinking of the consequences.

Sometimes it might be that he says something that he regrets because he hasn’t thought about how it will affect the person he’s speaking to before saying it.

This psychologist explains that people who are still impulsive in adulthood are still behaving like children.

She says that children have to learn to rein in their impulsive behavior as they grow up or otherwise if they say something without thinking of the consequences they’re likely to offend or upset people.

6) Avoids responsibility

Psychologist Kat Day continues to explain that emotionally immature men often avoid responsibility because they may not have a good sense of the future or know how to plan for it.

So, because of this, it is easier for them to leave the responsibilities to someone else. She says it’s often called ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ because they seem like they don’t want to grow up!

It’s said that instead of being responsible these men will avoid accountability and that they will claim that nothing is their fault. This psychologist thinks you’ll be lucky to ever get an apology out of one of these men’s mouths.

So if that sounds like a man you know, yep you guessed it, he needs to grow up a bit.

7) Sense of entitlement and attention-seeking behavior

As well as not being responsible for their actions, you might have noticed that this man may think he’s the most amazing person in the whole wide world. Sound familiar?

Just as a child will be up in your face all the time wanting attention, so too will the emotionally immature man. He will try to dominate the conversation and bring everything back to him.

He will also try and get everyone to do what he wants to do, but will never compromise and do what others want if he’s not interested.

Have you noticed that your needs have to be set aside for the things they want, but never vice versa?

Here, Psychologist Chris MacLeod shares that these immature men think that they deserve the world and that it should just be given to them. And he says that just as kids do, they may even misbehave just to get attention!

So if a man you know seems to be acting like a spoilt child, it may just be because he’s not emotionally grown up yet.

Louisa Lopez

Louisa is writer, wellbeing coach, and world traveler, with a Masters in Social Anthropology. She is fascinated by people, psychology, spirituality and exploring psychedelics for personal growth and healing. She’s passionate about helping people and has been giving empowering advice professionally for over 10 years using the tarot. Louisa loves magical adventures and can often be found on a remote jungle island with her dogs. You can connect with her on Twitter: @StormJewel

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