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Emotional Intelligence: Signs and Behavior of Emotionally Immature Adults

Updated on December 3, 2016
NateB11 profile image

I have been working in the Human Services field since 1996, primarily working with people with developmental disabilities.

"...immaturity is simply behavior that comes from someone who only thinks of himself or herself."

We often find ourselves contending with someone who is difficult and, in such situations, we might be at a loss for what to do. The first step in dealing with any difficulty is to understand what it is; if you can see it clearly, action is rather simple. But we must be able to see it clearly and understand it. Otherwise, we can't move from square one and are stuck, confused and still, contending with the difficult person.

The difficult person is essentially immature. Now, I don't use that word "immature" in the usual and customary sense. Most people judge maturity according to how much someone conforms to the social and economic order. That is not maturity at all. It could mean the person is the worst of the worst, insensitive, and cruel. In fact, the social order encourages and even coerces people to behave in such a manner, which is the height of immaturity.

So, for our purposes, "immaturity" is simply behavior coming from someone who only thinks of himself or herself. In other words, they are self-centered, self-absorbed, selfish, uncaring, feel they are better, think you are different, and so on.

Also, the use of "emotional intelligence" in the title is not the customary use of that term as used in psychology. The field of psychology tends to use that term to denote the ability to control emotions. I am not talking about that at all. Controlling emotions is another form of psychological disturbance. What I am talking about here in this article is lucidity, to be able to see the illusory nature of thought and pretense, and the behaviors that are their result.

I think you will see what I mean by all this in what follows. We will explore various signs that you are dealing with someone who is immature. Seeing it clearly is enough to take direct action, whatever that might be; I am not going to suggest what you should do about it though. That's up to you. We've had enough following and followers. I am only pointing out facts that will hopefully make it clearer when you are possibly already dealing with or might come across in daily life. Leaving someone, telling them off, or whatever action might be taken is totally something that happens in the moment.

1) Only Concerned With What They Want, Without Consideration of Others

They want everything set up to suit them and never consider the effect on other people. They seek to control their environment in order to fulfill their desires, in spite of the fact that it might be an inconvenience or even a harm to others around them.

The immature person is selfish and has no concern for others.
The immature person is selfish and has no concern for others. | Source

2) They Don't Care

Someone who is self-centered cares about what they want and does not care about others. They are not even thinking about you as a human being but see you as an object, at best. If you fulfill their pleasure in some way, then they might take a limited interest in you; but only so long as you satisfy them.

Do you deal with people who never listen?

See results

3) They Don't Listen

They are only concerned with what they think, what they can get, and their own ideas and identity. This means they really won't, even can't, listen. They are blocked by their own selfish thoughts and projections, their identifications, doctrines, and drives. Such a person can't listen or see what someone is saying, and they have no true, whole, and sane comprehension. It's like talking to a brick wall who behaves childishly and could destroy you.

Immature people are in love with themselves.
Immature people are in love with themselves. | Source

"...they see divisions and differences."

4) They See Objects Not People

They are still using that outdated filter of race, class, and gender. They don't just see human beings, but they see divisions and differences, and compare and weigh worth according to such archaic ideas. They see your status and favor those who are of a higher class than you and devalue your worth. They are simplistic in perspective, forced to categorize and label people, rather than seeing them directly and clearly because their perception is totally hampered by their lack of clarity and intelligence. This is the politicization of everything and the inability to be a simple human being because such a person has a complex and illusory identity filled with their fabricated and borrowed ideologies. Pure nonsense, yet commonplace.

They worship some people as heroes and become followers. They see others as subservient and so become overbearing. All due to their fantasies.

Story of Someone Unaware That He Is Full of Himself

5) They Avoid the Truth

If you call them on something, they are sure to deflect it, divert it, make excuses, or pretend they understand—and then continue their abusive behavior. They are impossible, stubborn for all the wrong reasons, and are completely toxic. Get away from their poison (which is them). They will hold on to their fantasies for dear life because their fantasies are them and their security. You exposing them for what they are makes them put up their defenses, and they'll never put them down. Say bye to the bad guy and move on.

Immature people are still looking for heroes instead of just paying attention.
Immature people are still looking for heroes instead of just paying attention. | Source

6) They Refuse to Seriously Consider Deeper Matters

Oh, there you go again, talking about the human mind, human behavior, and the mysteries of existence. They are thoroughly bored. They want to watch TV where they can see their favorite celebrities and favorite personalities. They are still thrilled by the manipulations of their base and simplistic emotions and would rather have the excitement of fighting with you than understanding themselves clearly. If you're smart, these are the people you avoid. They are shallow and full of themselves, will take you for what they want and what you have, drain you and try to confuse you. They are the thrill seekers that don't mind ruining lives for their own pleasure. Avoid them like the plague.

So, hopefully this article has presented you with enough pointers to spot the immature personality and what they do so that you can avoid them, stop them, or do whatever you must for your own health and well-being.


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    • GARH608 profile image

      Pathways thru life 4 months ago from Mid West

      Great hub. Sounds like people I have come across.

    • Michael Emery profile image

      Michael Emery 12 months ago

      Thanks,very good..and topic of our times

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 12 months ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, Blair. I agree, I think people can overcome these problems and these days I actually have more hope that people can make things better, no doubt.

    • Blair Runge profile image

      Blair Runge 12 months ago from Tampa

      Just wanted to say that I love the points you've brought up about people who are have emotionally immature tending to see division and people as objects. I find that to be common even in public from the way some can subtly discriminate.

      Also love how they are unable to seriously consider deep matters. It's a growing epidemic it seems.

      I'm optimistic still about people being able to grow out of that immaturity though and for emotional intelligence to garner more importance and popularity.

      Overall, great post!

    • profile image

      bud 20 months ago

      o think you wrote about 90% of woman

    • profile image

      The Ringtailed Panther 22 months ago


    • profile image

      tap 2 years ago

      This is true, but in my experience I found immature people because I was attracted to them because of my own immaturity. Its hard to look at yourself but there it was in my case, I choose these type if people in my life because it was easier to place the blame than to take action in my own life and responsibility.

      I realized I was immature thinking if only these people will change do this or that my life would be easier. Truth is, there are a lot of people in life, they can choose who they want to be , its their life, who will I be? Only I can decide.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 2 years ago from California, United States of America

      All very true.

    • profile image

      carr 2 years ago

      with a capital N... (Narcissist that is ). A long long road that ends with no closure. These people really are dangerous. emotionally, spiritually, even at times physically. Being in a romantic or close relationship with these types will make you crazier then you ever imagined you could be. And, not to be cynical, but there really is no solution. You cannot teach another person to feel empathy. If they cannot feel you, then they cannot care for you or love you in any authentic way. Some day I will publish my diary where I recorded my first hand experience of false love. I am now grateful for the understanding and healing , but it took years to come to that place. If you are attracted to these types of people, it is necessary to look at your own maturity and co-dependence issues. well at least that was true for me. I learned so much about myself the hard way :)

      nice article! Very important info

    • profile image

      Belinda 2 years ago

      My boyfriend is jobless, lives with his parents, and has a felony background, which prevents him from getting a job.. Since we have been together, he hasn't been able to take Me out not once.. Every time we go out, I'm the one paying for it.. Did I mention he Has no car or a driving license! He doesn't even know how to drive! He always seeks affirmation that I love him, and he's extremely insecure!! I'm 8 years older than him; which could be my fault. I'm 28, and he's 20.. Maybe I'm reading too much into this..

    • profile image

      Clau 2 years ago

      What if the person is myself?

    • profile image

      mrmx 2 years ago

      Well ,controlling emotions and deciding how to behave is a sign of maturity.

      There is a big difference between control and denial. Emotions are neither intelligent or mature in their self. You could say that emotions will eventually follow intellectual pattern of thinking and loose their impulsive aspect.

    • adevwriting profile image

      Arun Dev 2 years ago from United Countries of the World

      You certainly can't change emotionally immature people but we should take care not to make enemies out of them. Silence is best and we shouldn't give ourselves up to them. Voted up!

    • profile image

      Cindy 2 years ago're 24 and living at home? wow that's ridiculous! You should have moved out a long time ago

    • profile image

      nancy 2 years ago

      What if the case is my own mother ?We dont get along well right from my age of 7 .We always had difference of opinion and my mom gets into a rage and hits me whatever the place maybe.My father never gets involved himself into this problem and acts like nothing serious has happened.My mom always scolds and hits me for possessing characters like her In-Laws(she doesnt like them at all!).I am 24 and still she has not changed a bit and hits me til date. she never tries to understand my situation and so i dont share anything with her but she forces me to share things with her.If i share an incident which has hurt me ,she always creates a mountain out of a molehill and points that the cause of problem was me all along .I literally have no support and am feeling stranded at home.

    • profile image

      claudia 3 years ago

      What if that person is my sister in law (husband's sister) so I can't get her out of our life because my husband cares about her very much and he even gives her her way and doesn't make a change about his behavior and reflection towards her? She is very selfish and thinks that the world is going around her and her best weapon is SULKING! She even can sulk and ignore her whole family for months just to get her way and that is to give her all she wants specially all the attention and to be there for her anytime for anything, she doesn't do anything for her family and she doesn't take responsibility and she expects her family and even other people to take her responsibilities and if someone even says a word about it she starts sulking again, so she expects to do everything for her and not say anything, not even a small critic and she even can close her eyes on all you did for her and be unrespectful too you (even to her mother that did and does a lot for her)? When she starts sulking everyone goes after her, specially my husband, because he is too scared to lose his relationship with her, he does that even when she is in fault and he knows it! She expects everyone to understand her but she doesn't understand anyone, she even doesn't try it! What to do then? What to do with her? And what can I do so my husband would stop giving her her way and supporting her in this wrong way?

    • profile image

      JC 3 years ago

      My ex-fiance Jaclyn is exactly what is described here. Thank God I'm not with her anymore.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      No problem, I'm glad it clicked for you, Angela. It is best to get away from people doing these kinds of thing, for certain.

    • profile image

      angela 4 years ago

      Thank you. I kept doubting the signs I increasingly noted from a former friend. But the more the symptoms accumulated, the more reason to bail. Thanks!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, jello. I'm glad this article is helpful. Yes, it's good to know where immature people are coming from, makes it that much easier to deal with them and understand what is happening. And I do think such people are disturbed; they are unconscious and conflicted and it's why they do the bad things they do.

    • profile image

      Jello 4 years ago

      I have a mother(actually never lived here) and daughter(boyfriends brothers,19, girlfriend, 16) combo that were kicked out of my boyfriend dads house for these exact reasons but they are still showing up unexpectedly from time to time that is negatively impacting not only my boyfriends family relationship, but also my boyfriend and mine relationship. This article has helped greatly in understanding their mental position. I often wounder if they were actually just mentally disturbed.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      I know what you're trying to imply, Jeff. Quite a sneaky game. Quite ironic too.

    • profile image

      jeff 4 years ago

      Ok. Just note that bullies often label their victims as difficult.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Yes, maramerce, it' s good to get out of such situations, they create deterioration for everyone involved. Indeed, it's difficult to deal with such a person, the grip gets tighter, the hole gets deeper. And you're very right, in a relationship you think about the other person when you are mature. Immature people can't see that other people exist and that they ought to have regard for them and consider them.

    • maramerce profile image

      maramerce 4 years ago from United States

      I just got out of a situation with someone exactly like this. Actually, I find myself continually extricating myself from the situation because of the immature qualities he has of not listening and only going after what he wants for himself. In mature relationships, you want what is best for the other person even if that means it's not you.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, SandCastles!

    • profile image

      SandCastles 4 years ago

      Excellent Hub!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Yes, exactly, HattieMattieMae. Thanks for stopping by.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Narcisistic...grandiose behavior. Very good article.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, Chace. Yes, you're correct. The simple solution is to leave and not get sicker from their toxins. Good stuff to consider. I'm glad you stopped by.

    • NornsMercy profile image

      Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      "Say bye to the bad guy and move on." AMEN. So many people stick around toxic people thinking that they can "change them for the better". Ugh. Great hub, as always. I was just thinking about these kinds of people today while I was driving around.


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