How to know if someone is being immature with you and why

12 Mar

I am going to post a few more topics about men if you don’t mind too much…
Through much reading, I stumbled across this article and find it really interesting
so going to share it with you..



Developmentally Stuck

Sometimes guys and girls, as they move through life get stuck. They may continue to age but developmentally they remain caught in a particular developmental stage of life.

Now, to be very clear… I am not talking about people who retain a youthful attitude, remain healthy and alive, who live a vibrant life, or who look and appear younger than they are.

I’m talking about a psychological phenomenon consistent with developmental theory where men get stuck in a phase of life and do not move forward, mature, and/or live an emotionally healthy life.

Psychosocial development is a theory articulated by psychologist Erik Erikson dividing a human life span into eight distinct stages.

Very simply, during each stage of life, a person has specific problem or challenge to confront. Erikson calls each challenge a, “psychosocial crisis”. The person will either complete and master the challenge, or remain stuck in the stage which results in an unhealthy approach to life in the future.

In addition, each psychosocial stage has a focus or a main question that must be addressed. When answered appropriately, the person moves into the next phase of life. If the question is ignored, not answered, or answered inappropriately, again the person may become stuck resulting in limited ability to move forward through life.

Erikson’s eight stages are as follows:

1. Infancy Birth 1 1/2
2. Early Childhood 1 1/2-3
3. Play Age 3-6
4. School Age 7-12
5. Adolescence 13-20
6. Young Adulthood 20-45
7. Adulthood 45-65
8. Old age 65-death

Let me address the final four stages more specifically.

During Adolescence the crisis is, role confusion versus identity. In other words, a boy is trying to figure out who he is. You may notice grown men still acting like teenagers? This is a result of staying stuck in this stage of life. Not really being able to find or identify himself, he may indulge in all sorts of attention getting behaviors or even unhealthy behavior as he tries to figure out who he is.

During Young adulthood, a man is learning how to make a commitment to another as a spouse, partner, or parent. During this time he faces a crisis of, intimacy versus isolation. For those who manage this crisis they are able to have a healthy relationship, commit to one person, and have an emotionally intimate partnership. For those stuck in this stage, they seem unable to make a commitment, they may hold onto their childhood life, they may not feel ready to be in a relationship or marriage.

Adulthood moves one into a phase of life where they find value and joy in being productive. The crisis is one of “generativity or stagnation”, meaning that if a man doesn’t find value in his life through family, career, and community he will be left with an empty feeling of stagnation, which may lead to depression.

Finally, Old Age(many psychologists have moved this stage to a much later time in life), is the time when adults review their lives and either feel a sense of accomplishment and enjoy a life lived with integrity, or if they are unable to manage this, they feel despair for a live not lived well.

The stages of life may not be like an arrow, direct and clear but may be more circular in nature, meaning we adapt and adjust as we grow and mature. However, generally, it is felt by most therapists that the idea of moving through life appropriately and healthfully means we expand, move forward, adapt to each new stage of life with dignity and grace.

Grown men who remain stuck in Adolescence are not ready to make a commitment or have a healthy relationship. Similarly a fifty year old man who still doesn’t know how to create a productive life may be unable to be an emotionally mature partner to a fifty year old woman.

While we all learn and grow at different rates, noticing the big red flags that wave as we see men getting stuck in a psychosocial developmental stage may help a woman realistically come to terms with what is possible in a relationship with a particular man.

A man who has gone through the developmental stages appropriately brings a maturity and emotional health not seen in those who are unable to master the particular challenges of life stages.

Psychosocial developmental stages apply to women too!

Also note, the ages presented are recent adaptations to Erikson’s original theory given humans live longer today.


21 Responses to “How to know if someone is being immature with you and why”

  1. watcat 16/03/2009 at 11:59 pm #

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  3. justbarbara 19/03/2009 at 7:22 pm #

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  5. Danielle18 31/05/2011 at 9:47 am #

    hello. i like this blog. I am 18 years old and my parents have once said that i am childish. But now i am acting more mature than my best friend. Her behaviour the other day was childish. She said that i wasnt a good friend that i was never there for her. I was there for her. She says my problem is that i dont go out as much. she says i prefer to be in all the time. i can stay at home if i wish and yet she says ” I can’t do this anymore. Goodbye2 and hangs up the phone. I acted very maturely and she is just acting silly.

    I dont know whether to be her friend? or just forget about her?
    Justbarbara what should i do?

    • justbarbara 28/11/2011 at 1:50 am #

      Hi Danielle – sorry for the late response. Glad you like the blog. I am sure you are a v good friend to her so first thing to do would be to not let any of this bother you. I know easily said than done. Second of all, whether you want to remain friends with her not is entirely your choice. I think she is simply upset that she is not seeing you as much as she would like but she has also got to understand that your life is busy too and you have to live your life. You can still be friends as long as she understands that you can only meet her when you are free and that she shouldn’t take it personally. My friends never complain to me that I don’t see them enough even when I don’t see them enough. But we are still really close. We always look out for each other no matter how far or near. She is lucky to have you looking out for. I would remind her that you are there for her always even when you are not free. If she is still unhappy then let her go..if she comes back you know she is a real friend..if she doesn’t then you have your answer. Friends come and go but real friends stick around no matter what the issue is.

  6. rocky 08/07/2011 at 7:54 am #

    imma guy and im 19 rite now and im definitely facing the identity/role confusion thing right now
    this is a really late reply to this blog (just googled this) but yeaaa anyone who reads this comment and is in the same situation… build ur identity!! 🙂

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