14 signs you’re dealing with an emotionally immature adult

Sadly, maturity does not simply come with age.

I know way too many 50-year-olds with the emotional maturity of a 12-year-old…and they’re almost always more stressful to deal with than actual grade schoolers!

Ever wondered if you have someone in your life who’s emotionally immature?

It’s time to find out!

In this article, I will give you 14 signs you’re dealing with an emotionally immature adult.

1) You feel like you always have to be the “bigger person”

Do you feel like you have no choice but to be understanding and patient all the damn time?

Then you’re probably dealing with an emotionally immature adult.

Emotionally immature people are like babies trapped in adult bodies. They will cry “Waaah waaah”, and it’s always your job to pacify them.

You can’t tell them off, or try to shut them down—ever!

The moment you try, you might as well start preparing for World War 3, because they have no issues turning even the smallest arguments into full on shouting matches.

2) They’re “good”, you’re “bad”

An emotionally immature person is always the “good guy” of their life story.

They can’t ever conceive of a world where they’re the “bad guy”—not even once.

Disagree with them, turn them down, or burden them with the smallest shred of inconvenience and you immediately become a hell-sent villain, tasked to make their life miserable.

It never crosses their mind that most people can be “good” and “bad” at the same time.

In fact, most of them don’t even grasp that other people have lives of their own, or that almost everyone wants to be good.

3) You’re always the one trying to fix the relationship

Whenever something happens, you’re always the one who has to chase after them and try fixing your relationship.

It doesn’t matter to them whether they’re your partner, your aunt, or your grandpa. 

They expect you to be the one to walk up to them and say “Hey, whatever it is I did, I’m sorry. Can we talk?” 

Whether it’s because of their sense of pride, or because they simply could never acknowledge ever being wrong, they’re never the one to try taking the first step.

4) They throw tantrums (and expect you to understand)

They just randomly get mad. 

And when they get mad, they kick, squirm, and yell “I hate you, I hate you!”

They might even make a mess in the middle of a busy library, and not care that they’ll get you both kicked out.

The only thing that matters to them is that they’ll get to vent their anger—and they expect you to understand and accept that because…feelings.

It’s unreasonable!

But if they understood that, they wouldn’t be called “emotionally immature” now, wouldn’t they?

5) They get offended by every little thing

If you don’t respond to their questions right away, they’ll think that you’re deliberately ignoring them.

And if your reply to their invitation is not enthusiastic enough based on their standards, they’ll go “Oh never mind, I don’t want to bother you.”

People who are like this aren’t just petty or insecure, they also lack the capacity to handle their emotions properly.

Being annoyed by people who can’t pay attention or those who give unenthusiastic responses is perfectly normal. 

But the thing is that emotionally mature people know that things like these just happen and so they’d just let them slide.

The emotionally immature adult takes these day-to-day interpersonal annoyances too damn personally!

6) Their goal is to win, not to come up with a compromise

Emotionally mature people negotiate for a compromise or a sense of mutual understanding

Immature people, on the other hand, try to argue their way into a victory!

They don’t care about finding a middle ground that makes everyone happy, and they don’t care even if you’ve proven to them that you’re in fact right.

The only thing they want is to win. 

It’s almost like their dignity is on the line!

7) There’s no such thing as “constructive criticism”

As I had mentioned earlier, they are so quick to take offense that even onions pity them for how easily they bruise.

They might ask for your honest opinion, but then get mad at you when you actually give them your honest opinion.

Mention that their plants aren’t getting enough sunlight or water, and they’ll snap at you.

They’ll blurt out things like “Oh sure, it’s because you’re THE expert here right?” or “Oh gee, you’re the best at everything!”

Emotionally immature people don’t have the capacity to process criticism because all they care about is their ego.

8) It feels like you’re always walking on eggshells

They’re like a ticking bomb—all ready to go off at the slightest touch. 

Anything can set them off!

They can explode from you using the wrong word, the wrong tone of voice…or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And even simply being sad or upset while they’re also in the room can frustrate them.

All of this makes it incredibly hard for you to ever feel relaxed around them.

You might accidentally say something that’ll set them off. Or maybe you’ll do something that will make them assume that you’re disrespecting them.

You feel like you have to walk on eggshells when they’re present and know full well just how uncharitable they can be with your “mistakes.”

9) They make empty threats

Because they don’t like the feeling of losing control.

Because they feel like they have to hurt you because you hurt them.

Because they’re desperate to win every argument.

They’d threaten you.

They’d say obvious threats like “Say that again and I’m leaving!” or not-so-obvious ones like “How come I feel like you don’t want to work with me on this project?.”

If they have any kind of power over you—emotional or otherwise—they’ll make the most of it to make sure that they always come out on top.

10) They can’t handle it when you don’t take their side

You take their side almost all the time, but they don’t care about that!

The only time they care is when you “side with their enemy” or even hint that maybe—just maybe—you understand the other person’s side.

All of a sudden all those times you defended them don’t matter at all.

They’d see it as betrayal…and they’ll take it so personally in fact that they might never talk to you again.

11) They love getting dramatic instead of talking things out

Passive-aggression is the favorite form of communication of immature people.

Stonewalling. Vagueing. Guilt-tripping.

Saying that they’re “fine” while slamming doors.

They love doing all of that because it’s like they’re reenacting their favorite soap operas!

They wouldn’t be THAT painful to deal with if only they knew how to sit down and talk over things calmly like adults.

But they don’t, and you could swear that it’s almost like they’ve made it their life’s calling to be as annoying to handle as possible.

12) They’re harsh with their words

They can’t seem to control their tongue—or rather, it’s almost like they feel like they always default to using the most hurtful words possible.

For example, they might yell “You good-for-nothing slob! Why do I even tolerate your filthy a** if you can’t even keep this place clean?”

A more reasonable person might just go “Can you PLEASE be more responsible?”

They might act remorseful afterwards, when they’ve calmed down.

But that apology remains meaningless. They’re probably going to try blaming you for their own actions by saying things like “I wouldn’t be so harsh if you were only more responsible.”

And the next time you piss them off, they’ll just do it all over again.

13) They’re vengeful

They have a long list of people they hate. 

They grumble all the time about teaching every single one of them a “lesson” or making them regret offending them.

Sometimes it’s easy to dismiss their ramblings as ultimately meaningless venting…and sometimes you might feel tempted to call the police.

There’s no “mature adult” explanation for this behavior.

If they’re the kind to do this, then there’s no doubt that they’re emotionally immature. 

No self-respecting human would obsess over “revenge” past high school.

14) They get offended when you set boundaries

Tell them that you can’t call them past nine and they’ll start accusing you that you’re not a true friend.

Tell them that you don’t want them staying in your room while you’re not there and they’d go “Oh, so you don’t trust me?” 

And, if they happen to be your parents, they might even go “How dare you! After everything we’ve done for you!”

A well-balanced mature adult will have no problems when people around them set boundaries.

But immature people believe that they’re entitled to intrude on these boundaries just because of who they are. 

Boundary-setting is, in their eyes, about you denying them something that they’re entitled to.

Final thoughts

So, do you know someone who checks all these boxes?

Congratulations, you must be a really patient person with a big heart!

But as tempting as it would be to stay away from them because they’re “toxic”, don’t—at least not without trying to help them first.

People who are emotionally immature are not necessarily evil, even if it might be tempting to call them such sometimes. 

They’re just a big pain in the arse.

And that’s because they simply never had the opportunity to grow.

And what that means is that as long as they’re willing, they can still learn how to become more mature.

If they’re someone really special to you, hold their hand and be there as they work on themself.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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