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Dutchess_III's avatar

Why do you think some people never seem to grow up?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42453points) January 26th, 2017

We all know the word “immature.” We’ve all applied it to to some adult or another in our lives. What causes some people to just never really grow up?

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16 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

How are we defining immature? How can we be sure your definition and mine are the same? How can we be sure about why some people seem immature to others?

I am not immature, but I am very childlike. People have complemented me on my ability to keep a childlike playfulness in my life. I’m sure some people look at me as immature for this.

Zaku's avatar

Something including such ideas as:

1. Lack of good healing practices. When traumatic shit happens to children, human coping mechanisms tend to set it aside and make up a coping mechanism, which (because our culture mostly doesn’t know about this) tends to get forgotten and treated as truth and becomes part of them. (This can be obviously major stuff like abuse, or stuff that just seemed too had to deal with to them at the time.) They develop with the coping mechanisms forgotten but used as a foundation for their identity and/or habits and outlooks. When related stresses come up, people tend to subconsciously revert to reaction patterns developed at a young age, and their capabilities and orientations tend to reflect the child’s developmental abilities at the time those incidents occurred. Only psychiatrists and other good healers tend to have any idea about this. Instead we tend to have a lot of shaming bullshit that just reinforces it and keeps people hiding their dysfunctional crap rather than getting it healed.

2. Over-emphasis of the masculine over the feminine, and resulting deficient numbers of actual mature emotionally intelligent/healthy adult males.

3. Lack of respect and sovereignty for children and for adults. Our culture (especially culture in the USA) tends to emasculate, shame, and disempower people, from our parent-child relationships to our school systems to our work environments to our banking and legal systems. Treat people like children, and disallow people to be responsible independent people, and encourage obedience and deference to authority, and you get childish adults.

4. Lack of initiation rituals. The few initiation rituals we have are pretty lame and unimpressive and not thought of as such. Since we don’t really grant a lot of authority to our adult people, and require that they surrender to our economic “gotta grovel for a job” and “think you can afford a house? bwahahaha!” expectations, our coming-of-age rituals are pretty lame, and don’t involve a shift to independent respected autonomous self-validating adult.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hmm. I keep a childlike playfulness in my life too @tinyfaery. I don’t think that makes me immature.

You wanna hear a story? OK. Went to Exploration Place with the twins and their mom for their 4th birthday. Of all the things there, the coolest by far (to me anyway) were the airplane simulators. I let the kids get flying out of their systems and it was MY turn!
“OK, Savannah! Buckle up!”
With the 5 minutes practice I’d had an hour earlier, I almost had the hang of it. Savannah goes, “You’re really good at this!”
Yeah, I’ve had SO many more hours flying experience than you have.
So we flew over the hills and the water.
I said, “See that water down there? Yeah, we’re gonna do a water landing.”
“But the airport’s right there!” She said,
“I know. That’s Teterborough. But we can’t make that.”
“Why not?”
“Birds hit the engines. We have no engines. We have to land on the water.”
She scratching her head, trying to figure out how a bird could knock the engine off of a plane.
Man, I was really proud of myself! I gently guided it down, down, down, keeping it quite level. Just above the water I tilted the nose up, ever so slightly, then determined the time was right and shut my thrusters down. She just dropped gently, and settled like a feather on the water!
Then we piled everyone out on the wings. It was tricky because each wing only holds about 4 people and there were 155 souls on board.
Then we got rescued, made a movie and and went and looked at other stuff.

Then I came home and paid bills.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Zaku Wow. That was awesome.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Because the people saying whoever has not grown up has not lived up to a standard their accusers felt they should have reached or act in a way their accusers do not believe in. Grown up, acting their age, etc. is arbitrary at best, like what is truly obscene.

Dutchess_III's avatar

IDK about that @Hypocrisy_Central. When you have two adults, and one of them leaves messes laying around for the other to clean up, doesn’t put stuff away, refuses to discuss household budgets, throw fits if they don’t get their way….that’s not arbitrary to me. It’s obscene, to be sure, but not in the way you mean.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Let’s see where this goes.

kritiper's avatar

Because it’s just too darn much fun being a kid!

JLeslie's avatar

Many different reasons.

Alcohol or drugs. There’s a saying that goes something like the person gets stunted at the age they become dependent on a drug or alcohol. For many people that’s during adolescents.

They never had a good example.

Some people just seem to be born with selfish personalities I think.

They were never taught to take ownership of difficulties or how to handle difficulties in life.

I don’t think of having fun and enjoying silliness and new things as immature. Those are positive things to me. Immature has a negative connotation in my JL dictionary.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, I’ve long thought that about the drug thing @JLeslie. Don’t know if I read it somewhere, or if it’s something I noticed as I got older, and old school mates didn’t mature.

ucme's avatar


jca's avatar

I think people get stuck in their patterns – alcoholism, stupidity, drama, dysfunction, and it hampers them from many things, including maturing emotionally.

Pandora's avatar

I don’t know if this was already mentioned but my biggest guess is, they were never forced to grow up and some are just born lacking to understand that they should grow up. Much like Peter Pan.
Some people are born mature and some have never been put into a situation where they had to grow up, so they don’t. Their maturity level is low and often people around them compensate for their lack of awareness.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III When you have two adults, and one of them leaves messes laying around for the other to clean up, doesn’t put stuff away, refuses to discuss household budgets, throw fits if they don’t get their way….that’s not arbitrary to me.
It still is, because the aforementioned lists are things based on your expectation of what an adult should do. I have met men who thought being a man was how many litters of children he can plant in the world, being there to care, raise or direct them was not part of the process, but that was their idea of manhood.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That logic could be applied to any circumstance @Hypocrisy_Central. According to that, there is no such thing as immaturity.

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