Marriage Counseling Self-help
Relationship Toolbox

15 Attitudes and behaviors that are signs of emotional immaturity

Successful marriages or committed relationships require two emotionally mature individuals. Only a mature person has the sensitivity — the awareness — to recognize the needs of another person and then respond accordingly.

The measure of a mature person is that he or she can regulate his or her self-serving impulses and can put his or her partner first. Only when a person has this self-control and sensitivity can he or she make an emotionally fit partner.

A personality with an immature ego that screams: “ME, ME, and ME” has a difficult time to be part of a successful couple-team.

Children are immature. They perceive themselves as the center of the universe, deserving everything good, and believing they and their needs come before everyone else. This is normal and healthy for children. However, as children grow up and mature they learn to control their selfish egos and eventually adjust to the existence of others. They learn to cooperate, share, and compromise.

Unfortunately, some adults still believe that they are the center of the universe. Even as adults they are self-centered, egotistical, and selfish. Their bodies grow and mature, but their emotions remain rooted in childhood selfishness.

Take the maturity audit

You may want to print this exercise for ease of use. Click the Print Friendly button below the article. From there you can also format this exercise into a PDF file or email it to a friend. Note: Printing from a computer works best.

Below there are 15 attitudes and behaviors that are signs of emotional immaturity.

Read each one then write down if either you or your partner ever exhibits the behavior. Write your impressions and feelings about yourself and your partner for each item.

When done, you and your partner should exchange lists.

Take turns discussing what you and your partner wrote. Ask curious questions to understand and learn more about your partner.

Then leave it at that. You cannot demand ‘maturity’ from your partner nor he or she from you. Maturity is something that evolves over time. Hopefully, each of you will becoming more aware of possible maturity deficits and will then be sufficiently motivated to seek the appropriate means to grow-up.

1. Has a pattern of behavior that puts oneself first?

2. Impulsively seeks pleasure?

3. Can’t compromise?

4. Thinks he or she is always right?

5. Is insensitive to the feelings of others?

6. Gets into arguments and fights?

7. Is selfish?

8. Indulgent with material pleasures such as food, entertainment and /or sexual activity when the interest is not mutual?

9. Can’t understand another person’s point of view?

10. Has a difficult time listening to an opposing opinion?

11. Is often angry when people don’t agree?

12. Is rejecting of others?

13. Is judgmental of others?

14. Likes to argue?

15. Are there other examples of attitudes or behaviors that point to immaturity?

If some of the above immature attitudes and behavior are true for you or your partner, know that without emotional growth it will be difficult to form a healthy relationship. Putting your partner first is necessary for success in a marriage or committed relationship and if at this time doing so is difficult, you need to work on yourself until it becomes easy.

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