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  • Writer's pictureAdaeze Chiwoko

Are You Emotionally Immature?

Emotional immaturity can be a heavy burden on a relationship, causing a disconnection between an otherwise loving couple. The question is, what is emotional immaturity and how do you know if it is something you struggle with? Do you need to grow up emotionally?

This topic is very close to my heart because it is something that I had to understand and deal with pretty quickly because the impact this was having on my relationship was very concerning to both myself and my husband.

So what exactly is Emotional Immaturity?

Well, I describe it as “an inability or difficulty in being aware of, understanding and managing your emotions.” In other words, you really struggle with getting to grips with what you are feeling, rationalising and controlling those feelings so that you can make wise choices that are not driven by wild emotions.

How can Emotional Immaturity Impact Your Relationship?

When one person in the union is emotionally immature, it can have a number of negative implications. But if both members are unable to successfully manage their emotions, the relationship can often be explosive with huge highs and devastating lows.

In general, Emotional immaturity will:

  • Create insecurity

  • Hinder vulnerability

  • Cause a communication break down

  • Block deepened intimacy

Traits of the Emotionally Immature

There are a number of traits that can be placed within the Emotionally Immature category but I have highlighted 8 that are easily identifiable. If you look through the list and resonate with one or more of the traits, I would advise that you begin to become more aware of it and make a conscious decision to grow in that area.

Again, I was someone who could tick off most of the traits on this list and had to really work hard to increase my self-awareness, understand my emotions, and choose to manage them instead of them managing me.

So here are 8 traits of an emotionally immature person:

  1. You Are Selfish: You tend to only see things from your point of view and want things done your way. You like to get what you want and leave little room for the desires of your spouse.

  2. You Don’t Own Your Mistakes: You’re accountable to no one and struggle with admitting when you are wrong. Even if you admit that you are wrong, you will still blame someone else for your wrong actions so it’s still never your fault!

  3. You Take Everything Personally: In your eyes you are the victim and your spouse is out to get you. Ok, that might be a little over the top but you do tend to make everything about you. If your spouse makes poor decisions or takes an action that is not favourable to you, you will turn the situation into being about them trying to hurt or disappoint you, even if you were not involved in the equation at all.

  4. You Are Overly Defensive: Not only do you struggle with taking any level of criticism, but you are also hyper defensive. Your guard is up and you’re always ready to fight back without really hearing your spouse out. This stops you from being self-reflective and growing. Remember, it’s never your fault anyway…is it?

  5. You Always Feel Misunderstood. Don’t get me wrong you are unique, we all are! But you have this sense that no one understands you. If they understood you, they would know why you took everything so personally and got defensive right? Well, not really. The truth is, most people who are emotionally immature don’t understand themselves and therefore deflect that confusion onto other people and blame them. It’s also a great position to take if you want people to feel sorry for you. This desire for pity is like a ‘spin-off’ trait of the emotionally immature.

  6. You Hold Onto Grudges: You may expect people to forgive your misunderstood and sometimes irrational behaviour but you do not let others off the hook so easily. You struggle to forgive and tend to keep a record of all your spouses' wrongs, ready to use as ammunition when the need occurs.

  7. You Don’t Take Responsibility For Your Emotions: If you’re happy, it’s because of someone else. If you’re sad it’s because of someone else. Someone else made you angry and someone else gave you a bad attitude. You don’t realise that you have 100% control over your emotional state. You leave that into the hands of others as it gives you another reason to blame them for your behaviours.

  8. You're Easily Stressed and Moody: Your inability to manage and take responsibility for your emotions, leaves you feeling quite stressed very often. You express this stress by being moody, grumpy and just not so fun to be around. This can last a few hours or days depending on the level of immaturity.

Now would be a great opportunity to do what emotionally immature people really don’t like to do - self-reflect. How many of these traits do you see in yourself and can resonate with? Are you prepared to improve, grow and become more mature? Accept that your ability to understand and manage your emotions better will not only have a markedly positive impact on your marriage but it will positively impact your other relationships. Your ability to make better choices in life, take ownership over your actions and forgive can only be a good thing and work in your favour.

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