What Is Emotionally Immature?

What is emotionally immature? Grown-ups are assumed to be more mature than their kids. So is it plausible children can come into the world and within a few years are more emotionally mature than their parents?

Here’s an assessment formulated after years of research. How many of these potentially describe your parent?

  1. My parent often overreacted to relatively minor things.
  2. My parent didn’t express much empathy or emotional awareness.
  3. When it came to emotional closeness and feelings, my parent seemed uncomfortable and didn’t go there.
  4. My parent was often irritated by individual differences or different points of view.
  5. When I was growing up, my parent used me as a confident but wasn’t a confidant for me.
  6. My parent often said and did things without thinking about people’s feelings.
  7. I didn’t get much attention or sympathy from my parent, except maybe when I was really sick.
  8. My parent was inconsistent–sometimes wise, sometimes unreasonable.
  9. If I became upset, my parent either said something superficial and unhelpful or got angry and sarcastic.
  10. Conversations mostly centered on my parent’s interests.
  11. The even polite disagreement could make my parent very defensive.
  12. It was deflating to tell my parent about my successes because it didn’t seem to matter.
  13. Facts and logic were no match for my parent’s opinions.
  14. My parent wasn’t self-reflective and rarely looked at his or her role in a problem.
  15. My parent tended to be a black-and-white thinker, and unreceptive to new ideas.

How many describe one or both parents?

I read that emotional neglect in childhood leads to a painful emotional loneliness and is as real as any physical deprivation. If emotional neglect is detrimental, how come nobody speaks about emotions as a necessity?

My cousin sent me a meme the other day and it read: [in Baby Boomer voice] Kids today are too soft. In MY day we were emotionally abused by our parents and we repressed our trauma so deeply we incorporated that abuse into a toxic system of values that prize a mythological ‘toughness’ at the expense of actually dealing with our pain.

Does this at all resonate with you? if so, maybe think about reading the book I’ve been reading. I cried so hard when I read the first 50 pages, for the first time in a long time I felt like someone understood. I’m going to try and write more about it but for now, it’s too painful. Sharing the questionnaire from the book just in case it helps someone else. 

I think it’s possible children come into this world more emotionally mature than their parents. I know a few.

Cultivate it.

Come be my friend on Instagram, I’m on Facebook but I think I play better on IG, lol. I also just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here.  


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