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5 Signs of Emotional Immaturity

As children we are taught to please those around us. As we grow, however, we realize that many will take advantage of our kindness if all we do is aim to please. Sometimes there are people who will stay upset no matter how hard you try.

Don’t let them get the best of you! Here are 5 indicators that someone might be emotionally immature.

Not Taking Responsibility

PsychologyToday puts it simply, when something goes wrong, children look to blame others. Adults look to fix the problem. If a romantic partner always turns your complaints around on you, for instance, they are showing a large amount of emotional immaturity. They may also be trying to manipulate you.


If you know someone who is always the victim, always complaining about what other people are doing to them, then you probably know an emotionally immature person. Sometimes people are mean, it’s true, but if someone is always blaming others and never owning up to their own actions, they need to grow up.

Hot Temper

Children have little control over their emotions. If someone upsets them, they’ll scream. They might even try to hit someone. Many other kids will burst into tears at the drop of a hat.


Adults, however, rarely have these outbursts because they have learned control. Adults know that screaming or crying will only lose them respect from others. Such actions will not solve any problems. Solutions are needed when things go wrong, not loud noises or red faces.

Needing to be the Center of Attention

Kids love attention, even the bad kind. They love the game of trying to get away with stuff and they love the positive reactions of their peers. They also love telling others everything about some show or movie they like without considering that the person may not care for such details.


If someone you know always has to dominate every conversation, that is a sign of emotional immaturity and possibly insecurity as well. Attention seeking behavior may also manifest in one-upping people conversationally and doing or saying crazy, uncalled for things. Don’t give these behaviors attention. These people only deserve your gaze when it is appropriate.

Poor Impulse Control

Negative impulses may include interrupting, lashing out verbally or physically, and developing addictions. Sometimes it’s fun to act on an impulse, but in the long run we need to step back to see the full picture.


In childhood and adolescence, the impulsive types may seem fun. They’re unpredictable and often trying new things. In adult life, however, people who have learned to control themselves and meet personal goals are valued. Impulses are easy and childish. Self-control shows emotional maturity.

Immature Defenses

We all have defense mechanisms to help keep us safe and get us what we want. Adults use defenses such as listening to other’s concerns and planning for future problems. Children use defense such as blaming others, lying, and intimidating. If you know adults who still use these childish defense mechanisms… be careful. They’re emotionally immature.


In our personal and professional life, we will often have to deal with emotionally immature people. We should not go out of our way to, of course, but sometimes avoidance is impossible. When this is the case, we need to set boundaries and help the person communicate better. Do not tolerate any of their childish behavior and set the example of how things should be.
Of course, if you’re dating someone who shows one or more of these traits… it might be time to move on.

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