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Emotional Maturity, and the challenges from the lack of it

How often have we heard of stories or know of people in our lives who refuse to grow up emotionally?

The thing is there are few immediate clear signs of someone who is emotionally immature until you know them on a deeper level, and the signs become more obvious.

Of course, the immediate clear signs would be those who easily have emotional outbursts, or they lose their temper easily. Sometimes, people think that these are people with strong personalities when in truth they are just emotionally immature. What people are really afraid of is handling an adult who is having a childish temper tantrum, and this is so common in the workplace and in the public arena.

Here are some indicators of emotional immaturity:

  • Inability to own their feelings/emotions, and would rather project their problems onto other people, which means the problem is always with other people, but never themselves
  • Taking every word, action, from other people from the surface level and not able to get the nuances
  • Fear of feeling their emotions, and would immediately want to get rid of them, or suppress them
  • Thinking that having emotions is a bad thing, or is a sign of weakness
  • Allowing their feelings to control and dictate their behaviours and expecting other people around them to conform
  • Unhealthy boundaries with other people thereby sending wrong signals to people around them
  • Inability to ask for help or admit that they need help, thinking they can handle it on their own
  • Lacking emotional understanding in situations, or in people and trying to intellectualise everything
  • Lacking emotional stability and has an emotional maturity of a child or a teenager, thereby behaving like one in destructive ways
  • Lacking accountability for their own actions/behaviours and blaming others for the situation they are in
  • Making rash decisions and regretting them after, without processing the emotions or learning from the situation
  • Constantly looking for outlets to release their pent up emotions through overtalking to an audience of one or two, or even a crowd. Or releasing pent emotions through porn, food, alcohol or any other addictions
  • Feeling victimised in a relationship
  • Have a definite line drawn in what others should or should not do, and not understanding that everything is situational
  • Inability to handle feedback from others, and seeing it as an attack or criticism
  • Inability to filter other people's words, projections, behaviour towards them in order to accept or not accept them internally
  • Keeping scores in relationships, eg. logging in their minds what their partners have done and remembering them even after years, inability to let go
  • Vengeful actions, and words
  • Limited range of emotions expressed, and rigidity in worldviews 
  • Constantly waiting for someone to save them from their problems, issues, challenges, lacking self-empowerment 

Here are just some examples, perhaps this list is a useful one for you to use as a checklist on how you can better handle yourself emotionally and in your relationships with others.

Now bear in mind that having emotional maturity doesn't mean that your life is all boring. One can still experience spontaneity, fun, joy, humorous, and you can continue to be fun-loving but you do this with much more purity without the emotional baggage that comes with emotional immaturity.

The irony is you become purer and lighter emotionally when you become emotionally mature. And this makes for a happier and more fulfilling emotional life.


©2021 Shamala Tan

Let me know how I can assist you if you have any questions [email protected]
Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly level.

One of her success stories as an author is to being featured alongside New York’s bestsellers Sonia Choquette, Robert Allen, Arielle Ford, Marci Shimoff as well as Christine Kloser in the book Pebbles In The Pond.

Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.


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