Teenagers and young adults are often told to “act your age, not your shoe size.” No teen or adult likes to be told they’re immature. This word sounds rather degrading. They expect each of us to behave like a mature adult, but what exactly does that mean?
We all know immature people. They’re the ones who act childish, don’t think before they act, and generally just don’t have their life together.
The Toy Store Scenario
Two temporary workers, Vince and Leroy, are hired to unload trucks and stock goods for a new toy store that will be opening soon. As the trucks deliver the merchandise, both must unload the merchandise off the trucks and into the store back room, using forklifts.
While unloading, Vince is careful to make sure he doesn’t damage any of the toys. He knows how important removing and stocking them on the appropriate shelves the day before the store is scheduled to open. Because the deadline is soon, he must work diligently, as there is no time to goof off.
Leroy, on the other hand, is real delighted he was hired too. He feels no matter what happens, they can always get the work done. He loves driving the forklift and playing on it all the while. Also, he does donuts around the dock area each morning while waiting for the trucks to arrive. If they’re late, he gives the drivers a hard time. If their boss should get mad for not meeting the deadline, Leroy will just blame it on them.
Once unloaded, the merchandise is unpacked, scanned, and sorted onto large, flatbed carts. Vince carefully opens the boxes and gently places each toy on the right cart. Meanwhile, Leroy jumps up and climbs on the boxes, pulling the items out and tossing them in piles on the floor. He’s not so worried about breaking anything because everything seems to be so well packed.
Each behaves differently on their breaks. Vince takes breaks as scheduled and may return early if the workload is great. Leroy, overextends his break time, wanders around the mall chatting with shoppers and sneaks out on company time to smoke on the docks.
If their boss was to hire only one of them, who do you think it will be? I hope you said Vince, because he acts like a mature adult.
What Does It Mean to Be a Mature Adult?
First, we must know what maturity means. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as: Of or relating to a condition of full development. An even better meaning is offered in the Cambridge Dictionary. Their meaning is worded as: Those who behave in a way that shows they are well developed emotionally.
Still, we give little thought to its true meaning and assume that young people already know it. A dictionary only says so much and thus, a child or teen can’t fully understand its concept just from a short definition. No classes teach adolescents how to become mature adults. Very few teens know all the true characteristics of a mature adult. It seems like nobody tries to analyze what it really means.
Most people think of maturity as a physical state – being an adult, or looking like an adult. But maturity is more than just physical changes. It’s also about emotional and mental changes. A mature person is someone who is able to control their emotions and behaviours, and make decisions that are in their own best interests.
Maturity is something that comes with time and experience. As we grow older, we learn from our mistakes and we become better at managing our emotions. We also gain a better understanding of the world around us, and this helps us to make more informed choices.
There are certain things that can speed up the process of maturity, such as taking on responsibility, making decisions, and facing challenges. But ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide when they are ready to become more mature.
11 Ways Mature People Think and Act
First, no matter what happens, a mature adult sees reality as factual. Likewise, each has their own self-worth that remains stable, no matter what happens around them. So in bad circumstances they couldn’t control, they don’t blame themselves whatsoever. They don’t feel victimized or cursed. Mature adults can keep their cool when the going gets tough. Deep down they know whatever kind of problems should surface, they can be fixed somehow. They’re willing to do anything to make things better regardless of how much effort is required.
Second, there will always be times when tasks must be done. Such tasks may be changing the baby’s diapers, mopping the kitchen floor, doing the grocery shopping, etc. Any mature adult knows the needs for doing these chores and does them without making a fuss.. Hence, they’re willing to do them as needed simply because things happen in cycles and can’t be avoided.
Third, they are willing to take on responsibilities as they see fit. That means working their jobs satisfactorily, maintaining their cars, paying the household bills, doing home maintenance, raising their children, cooking, and the list goes on. Anything they have use or access to, they vow to take care of it as needed to make sure nothing goes terribly wrong. These things don’t bother them because that’s the way things are.
Fourth, they are willing to help those in need when they can. If they spot trouble in a public setting, they’ll try to fix the problem rather than ignore it. Say, they find a wounded person lying on the ground, they’ll apply first aid and get them medical help. Others tend to just walk on by like they didn’t see it. If a troubled mother needs someone to watch her kids for an hour, they’ll volunteer.
Fifth, they know they’re not perfect and can admit when they’re wrong. They can take criticism constructively without the feeling of being attacked. If they are blamed for something that wasn’t their fault, rather than attack or seek revenge, they will calmly explain what went wrong and suggest how it can be fixed.
Sixth, they can accept their own shortcomings, weaknesses, and failures. If they fail to do something well, rather than sulk or get angry, they can accept what they’ve done and vow to do better next time. No matter how badly they mess up, they’ll take ownership for their mistakes and not try to blame others.
Seventh, mature adults aim to accept all individuals with mental or physical flaws. They know most everyone has character flaws, but they cannot correct through their own free will. While some have cosmetic defects, others have physical or mental disabilities. Likewise, handicapped people may not always be so pleasant to interact with, mature adults still treat them with respect. They’re willing to help impaired people as needed rather than get angry at them or avoid them altogether.
Eight, mature adults are understanding towards those less fortunate. For example, they don’t see homeless people as wrongdoers but people who fell across hard times. Likewise, they won’t scoff at the elderly because of their declining health conditions. Also, they won’t criticize couples who underwent divorce or children from one-parent families. Rather than condemning unfortunate people, they realize there was some legitimate cause to make these things happen.
Ninth, mature adults don’t prejudge people of different cultures, beliefs, tastes, religions, lifestyles, and the like. Everyone is different and has the right to choose to live as he/she pleases. Hence, they won’t stereotype people based on things like how they dress, musical tastes, hobbies, behaviors, LGBT, etc. Even if they strongly disagree with what someone says, they are not going to try and change this person. People are people and all you can do is let them be.
Tenth, mature adults are honest. They treat people as they want to be treated. Hence, they won’t deliberately deceive, cheat, or take advantage of another. Likewise, they will partake in illegal activity or steal from others. They have respect for others and find no good in hurting anyone.
Finally they will not adopt a negative attitude toward anything. Such people have their own self-esteem and no matter how people treat them or how unfortunate things turn out, their egos won’t be destroyed or even affected.
So How Do Immature People Behave?
There are plenty of immature people in the world, and you can usually tell them by their behavior. Here are some signs that someone is immature:
- They’re always late or forgetful.
- They’re usually ready to party and can’t seem to take a moment to relax.
- They tend to start arguments or create drama
- They come up with excuses for inappropriate behavior
- They’ll try to get an upper hand over the other person.
- They strive to be the center of attention,
And for the more deep and vivid behaviors they might exhibit:
- Playing with objects or using them for their own amusement. This is most common with objects with moving or spinning parts. For example, one may spin around as fast as he can on a stool that spins.
- Torturing animals for their own amusement.
- Driving recklessly, speeding, or doing “donuts” on icy roads for the thrill of it.
- Resorting to screaming or violence when upset.
- Messing with hazardous chemicals, flammable liquids, or explosives for fun.
- Making obscene gestures in public.
- Pulling pranks on others.
- Engaging in personal harm or vandalism as a means of getting even.
- Treating people rudely.
- And the list goes on and on.
If you know someone who exhibits any of these behaviors, chances are they’re immature. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Immature people can be fun and carefree, and they often don’t take life too seriously.
Five Basic Satisfaction Needs
As humans, we have specific needs that must be met to make us feel accepted and valued by the society we live in. These five needs are:
- Acceptance, love, and respect – We all need to feel validated by those around us and to fit in. As we play our roles in society, (ie: worker, parent, club member, etc.) we desire feedback from others so that we know we’re acting properly and doing a good job. Likewise, we want people to help us out rather than work against us.
- Happiness – We desire to be happy as much as possible. Nobody likes to be surrounded with boredom or frustration. We strive to do things that will bring us fulfillment and entertainment. Furthermore, we need some forms of amusement to assure us that living life is worthwhile.
- The ability to accomplish the things we value – We all like to be as independent as possible. Everyone has certain things they’d like to do to make their lives even more efficient and enjoyable, than they are now (ie: remodeling homes, obtaining job promotions, losing weight, making friends, etc.). We need to know we can reach our goals with reasonable effort. Nobody wants to be faced with resistance or deal with people who will sabotage them.
- The need to be treated fairly – When we must give, we expect to receive something of fair value in return. Nobody likes to be short changed, harmed, or stolen from. As we do good deeds, we need to know they’re being done for a good cause. This is especially true for any exchange where money is involved. Finally, nobody likes to be excluded, uninvited or left out.
- Our personal privacy – Everyone has a right to their own privacy. If we find someone is trying to violate our rights, it upsets us. We all like to function without the fear of someone interfering with us. For example, browse the internet or shop online without people stealing our credit card numbers or hacking into our computers. No one likes to be stalked or spied on.
There may be other needs I haven’t mentioned, but these sum up most, if not all our daily activities quite well.
Mature Adults Vs Immature People
What might happen if an immature person finds one of these needs violate? Some will likely become angry, offended, feel sorry for themselves, or even sustain damaged egos. Others will tend to seek revenge as a means of getting back at the offending persons or party. Pursuing attack as defamation or violence is very likely a means of seeking justice for the wrong that has been done unto them. As a rule, immature people demand all these needs be met when dealing with others.
And as for mature adults, they don’t see these unmet needs as personal attacks. They seek out ways to remedy bad situations by means of dealing with the offending person(s) in a constructive manner.
However, if reasoning and compromising doesn’t work, they seek the help of professionals or authorities (ie: police, therapists, or lawyers, etc.). They know that violence or defamation will not solve anything. If they still can’t resolve their matters, they simply cut ties with the offender and find someone to replace them. Meanwhile, their ego remains unaffected since they know they are not at fault for being treated badly.
15 Types of Immature People
First is the person who craves action. Such people absolutely hate boredom period. They love to see unusual things happen and perhaps, will even play with danger. Why? Mainly to create bizarre experiences they can share with others. As they act recklessly, they compromise the safety of those affected or even stir up trouble.
Some may even be thrill seekers. Once these people experience something really astounding, something that gives them a thrill, doesn’t matter what it is, they want repeat that same experience again and again. They’ll do anything to make it happen until they’re thoroughly convinced that such an experience cannot be repeated.
A second kind is the win or die person. It’s like accomplishing what they want is a matter of life or death. These people can’t handle losing games or contests or failure too well. Bad results or failed attempts just seem to devastate them. If they fail, they’ll look for others to blame for their misfortunes or even create a form of revenge to fight the system. Others become so discouraged, they refuse to try anything similar again.
A third kind is the I‘m better than you character. They have an inflated ego and believe they are superior over everyone else in their group in some way. With their false sense of entitlement over everyone else, they’ll attempt to control others and monopolize commodities that should be shared instead. Children typically measure their self worth by their physical size and ability to beat up their peers.. That’s to be expected. Adults who act the same way have never really grown up. Unfortunately, this form of behavior exists among people of all age groups and professions. Traits that influence this behavior may be intelligence, power, beauty, seniority, and the list goes on.
A fourth is the victim of circumstance. This is the “oh woe is me” person. True, we all suffer the bad consequences of things that go wrong in which we had no control over. A mature adult knows that these mishaps are only reality and will try to find solutions for the problems they create. An immature person will likely feel victimized or cursed and will likely throw a fit. Some become discouraged so easily they blame their problems on the system they’re working under. A chronic complainer can also fall into this group.
A fifth is the greedy character. They’re out to profit or gain and thus, look for ways to swindle others. Likewise, they don’t care who gets burned or how badly. They’re simply dishonest, selfish, and deceptive. Any form of inside knowledge or access to sensitive information they have, they’ll use it to their advantage. Because they have great technical skills or legal expertise that average people lack, they feel all the more entitled to have what they want. For example, such people can be cyber hackers or investors who do inside trading.
A sixth, is what I like to call, the captain of the world. Everybody should do things his way. If the captain encounters people who say things against their personal beliefs,, he’ll argue and fight with his opponents until they finally give in. Those who argue about political figures, especially around election time, are captains. Others may simply be know-it-alls. No matter what you tell them, they’ve been there, done that and they know more than you do. If they don’t like the way you’re doing a particular job, say remodeling, they’ll tell you and insist your do it their way.
A seventh is the gossiper. This type of behavior is commonplace in the workplace but can happen in any type of group. Such a person falsely raises his/her self worth by putting others in their group down. They want to be well-known and grandiose. Most of all, they try to impress others how sharp and observant they are by spying on and sticking their noses into certain people’s business. Likewise, they may exaggerate the flaws of others or make up things for the sake of starting rumors.
An eighth is a rebel. Though deep down, they may see the truth in what others say, they refuse to let on that they agree. They don’t like to be “goody two-shoes” or ass kissers. Most of all, they refuse to conform to popular beliefs or trends. For some reason, going with the flow is against their personal grain.
A ninth is the clown or dork. Here is the type that will put on an act just to make people laugh. They’ll do asinine things just in hopes of getting the attention of others. Dorks don’t necessarily mean harm to anyone, but just like to dazzle others just to show how clever they can be. For example, they’ll do things like change the wording of signs to provoke obscene humor, alter a song’s lyrics to generate a silly message, or tease others, especially those with inferior intelligence. High school students who do silly things in class to arouse amusement fall in this category.
A tenth is the laid back person. Such people are lazy and won’t stand on their own two feet, unless they absolutely have to. They feel that life has short changed them and thus, the world owes them something.
If there’s a way they can get out of work, they’ll do their best to find it. Rather than doing a job the way it should be done, they seek shortcuts just to save themselves effort.
Also, there are people who procrastinate and don’t stay on top of things. They’ll just let work, emails, regular mail, or the like just pile up until something goes wrong. These people are usually disorganized or slobs and look for quick, easy solutions to all their problems. Many will become overly dependent on others, hoping their victims will pull their weight indefinitely. And they’ll do so until that person puts their foot down.
An eleventh, the get even person. These people are likely to jump to conclusions. Whenever someone does something they don’t like, they assume the perceived offender is doing it deliberately to make them angry. Once they become upset with that person, they seek revenge, rather than discussing the issue head on. They are the type who will coerce or threaten others to ensure they will do right by them. Those who throw tantrums or have outbursts do so because they feel ignored or forsaken.
A twelfth, the jealous one./ sabotager. OK, “sabotager” is not a real word, but is rather fitting. We all envy someone sometimes. However, there are some who take this a bit too far. That is, those who seek some form of revenge on that person. Envy is just a thing that happens to everyone, one time or another. There is nothing we can do about it.
This person got what they received because it was available to them and they were right for it. Say a promotion opened up through his employer and he was the one chosen to fill the job. But, that doesn’t mean it has to happen for you. Sorry, but we all suffer this sometimes and there’s just no cure for jealousy. For more insights on this, please see my blog Comparing Yourself to Others: Why It’s Harmful.
Thirteenth is the boaster. This person wants you to think they’re cool or superior to others and thus, lies about his good fortunes or heroic deeds. A great number of teenagers do this, but adults can be guilty as well. They are simply compulsive liars and will do anything to cover up for their tiny egos. Many of them crave action or might even come across as know-it-alls. Because they are dishonest, you simply can’t trust them and it’s best to avoid them.
A fourteenth, the runaway. A runaway can be anyone that encounters a problem that he/she is afraid to deal with. Just like children running away from home, they hide instead of dealing with the authorities.. People who commit crimes, accrue heavy debts, or rack up several DUI’s don’t want to face the consequences for their actions so they move out of town, state, or to another country as a means of escape. Spouses in marriages that have gone bad may just leave home to get away from their significant other.
A fifteenth, the bully. Some grade school kids become bullies as a means of gaining control over their peers. Their physical size and fighting ability are their means of appearing superior to the rest. Since they’re only kids, that’s to be expected. But some adults act like bullies as well. They do so as a means to manipulate people, or simply trying to convince others they’re more powerful or smarter than they are.
Relationships With Immature People
There are a lot of problems that can come with having a relationship with an immature person. For one, they may not be as ready or willing to commit to the relationship as you are. This can lead to a lot of frustration and feeling like you’re always the one doing the work in the relationship.
Another issue is that immature people tend to be much more self-centered than those who are more mature. This can lead to a lot of arguments and conflict, as they’re not always considering your needs and feelings.
Lastly, immature people are often more prone to drama and mood swings. This can make it very difficult to have a stable, healthy relationship. If you’re constantly having to deal with their drama, it can be very exhausting.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to try to have a relationship with an immature person. But be warned that it can be a lot of work, and it may not be the most stable or healthy situation.
For more insights on immature romantic relationships, please see my blog: Teenage Marriage: Wait and You’ll Be Happy.
How Being a Mature Adult Can Increase Your Odds of Success In Life
By being a mature adult, your odds of scoring success are much greater than they would be if you acted like a child. People see mature adults as those who are mentally stable and honest. Bosses truly value mature employees as they are likely to serve as a valuable asset to their company. They need people who are serious about their work and the welfare of their employer. Now consider the story at the beginning of this post. If you were the HR manager for the toy store and chose to hire on one of the two men: Vince or Leroy, who would you choose. Of course, Vince would be your better choice. Say if you chose Leroy, the future of your company would be at risk. Considering his behavior, one can never tell what damage he might do.
For more insights on securing a successful job, please see my blog: Why Good Work Ethics Pay Off in the End. One good employee can really contribute to the success of a company, but a bad one can really hurt it.
In a nutshell, mature people have great humility and can accept reality and the way things are. They are willing to do what’s necessary to solve problems and prevent them. Furthermore, they accept individuals for what they are and aim to treat everyone with respect. Whatever they need to do, they take full responsibility to make sure it gets done properly. They can own up to their own mistakes and flaws and don’t make excuses or blame others for things that go wrong.
On the other hand, immature people have trouble facing reality. Primarily, they’re after their own pleasure and don’t want anything to interfere with it. Many have inflated egos and want to appear grandiose to others. When faced with opposition, they seek revenge any way they can. They have trouble accepting reality as it is, so they see it the way they choose. Furthermore, they lack discipline and dislike hard work or challenging tasks. Their main incentive is to have maximum enjoyment in life with minimum effort.
Do you agree with everything I said? Did I miss anything? Please feel free to comment. No spam please.