Most people grow out of their immature behaviors as they age. However, here are 12 childish habits that can sabotage adult lives.
Poor Impulse Control
Poor impulse control is an immature behavior that can get someone in a lot of trouble. Examples of acting first and thinking later can range in severity from deadly road rage to simply spoiling a meal by eating dessert first.
Being able to stop and think before acting is critical for adult behavior. Impulse behaviors can often be self-destructive and ultimately make us feel worse about ourselves.
Blaming others is a common behavior for children but can cause problems in adult lives. When using blaming as a defense mechanism, it’s easy to gloss over your flaws and shortcomings.
However, you can’t grow as a person, either in a relationship or in the workplace, until you stop blaming others and face your problems.
Emotional escalation is when you express emotion that is disproportionate to the situation. A good example is a child falling on the floor crying because they were told they couldn’t have candy at the grocery store checkout.
An outburst of emotion like that from a child is one thing, but in an adult, it could cause irreparable damage to relationships that they’d likely regret later. Keeping emotional expression contained to a situationally appropriate level is a key component of emotional maturity.
Not Accepting Responsibility
Many major milestones in an adult’s life involve taking on responsibility. Taking on a managerial position at work, buying a home, and even having children are all activities that require someone to be responsible. Avoiding or shirking responsibility can be a sign of emotional immaturity and make it hard to enjoy adult life.
Commitment issues can be a sign that someone is dealing with immaturity. Continually switching jobs and relationships can mean that someone has a hard time committing. This can make someone be always on step one of whatever they’re doing, and never progressing any further.
Bullying is a well-known flaw of children on playgrounds but is inappropriate behavior in an adult. Calling names or using positions of power to torment others is a sign that someone is emotionally immature. Bullying can make it hard to work with someone or build adult relationships.
Kids like to be the center of attention, but it’s a trait that it’s important to grow out of to achieve full adulthood. Whether it’s not paying attention to the needs of others such as a partner or customers at work, or inappropriate attention seeking behavior at events such as funerals or weddings, demanding attention can be a sign that someone is immature.
Taking Things Personally
Taking criticism is never fun. However, taking it personally and lashing out or becoming despondent can be a sign that someone hasn’t fully matured.
An adult needs to be able to discern if criticism is valid and use it to improve themselves if so. It’s important to learn that most criticism isn’t a personal attack.
Difficulty Accepting Rejections
Similar to criticism, rejections are a part of life that an adult needs to able to handle gracefully. Whether it’s being turned down for a promotion, a graduate program, or even in a personal relationship, an adult needs to be able to accept rejections.
It’s fine to feel sad or disappointed, but the emotion must be proportional to the situation and not controlling the person’s response.
Holding grudges is an unhealthy emotional response to bad situations and is common in immature adults. Whether it’s from a small slight or a significant betrayal of trust, hanging on to anger and resentment means you let emotion, rather than rational thought, determine your actions.
If someone can’t let go of their anger, it can harm relationships or burn bridges that could have been repaired.
Most children are selfish to some degree, and it’s important that they grow out of it as they reach adulthood. Selfishness can make it hard to empathize with partners in relationships, preventing the relationship from growing.
It can also make it hard to work as a team on the job and become an issue in the workplace. If someone has a hard time considering the needs of others, it can be that they’re immature.
Adults are expected to be financially responsible. They must pay bills on time and budget their money appropriately. If someone constantly makes impulse buys or is perpetually broke, it can be a sign of immaturity.
Financial problems are a common cause for the breakdown of relationships, so it’s important for adults to mature enough to be financially responsible if they want to have good relationships with others.
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