How to Deal With Immature People
Recognizing an Immature Person
By immature people, I mean those who are willfully irresponsible and unable to conduct themselves with any sense of maturity and responsibility. I am not taking about those who are "young at heart," like to have fun, have playful spirits or those who like to watch cartoons and play with Legos. I am talking about grownups who cannot manage their own lives.
Immature grownups are people who:
- fail to honor their commitments
- pout when they don't get their way
- refuse to be professional in a workplace setting
- stop talking to you even in an emergency or critical situation
- crave your negative attention
- think of themselves as "special" and believe that regular rules do not apply to them
- cannot be depended upon to complete any task
What Can You Do?
It can be very frustrating to have to deal with people on a regular basis who are very immature. Working with an immature person means you cannot count on him/her to complete a job. Living with an immature person means that you will be making the bulk of all the decisions and doing all of the work to maintain the household.
Immature people are not going to grow up and start acting mature just because you want them to grow up. They have to decide to do that on their own. Maybe when they see that being immature is not getting them anywhere in life, then they may decide to change. However, there are no guarantees that this situation will ever happen.
Meanwhile you have to learn to deal with the immature. Here are some tips on how to deal:
- Ignore them. Never entertain their attempts to get your negative attention. Once you start playing their game, it will never end.
- Never cover up for them at work or in life. If you are always covering up for them, than you are okaying their behavior. People will never learn their own life lessons if you are always protecting them.
- Try not to sink to their level. Continue to be who you are and don't stoop to their level. You will only end up exhausted.
- Don't let immature people make you feel bad about yourself. Don't take their actions personally and internalize their actions. They are not even mature enough to acknowledge your feelings.
- Distance yourself from people that continue to hurt your feelings and disappoint you.
Life is full of immature people who may or may not ever really grow up. They depend on the responsible to get them through life. Spare yourself the grief. If you really care about an immature person, allow them to mess up, learn lessons and develop room to decide for themselves to change.