By Samuel Titim
Healthy relationships are a fountain of happiness. Two people bringing their dreams, values, and goals together. Growing together and helping each other grow.
Nothing comes even close to that. But what happens when one of them is emotionally immature?
Then, it becomes a breeding ground of fear, anxiety, insecurity, and resentment. But take heart. A person can always change if they have an incentive to do so.
But what happens till then? Do you just take it all lying down? NO! You need an arsenal of strategies to survive.
Strategies that keep you grounded. Strategies that don’t let immaturity stick to you. And strategies that don’t make you stoop to their levels.
So, here are eight (8) ways on how to deal with emotional immaturity in your partner.
1. Stay Aware of your Emotions
Become aware of when your buttons are being pushed. Stay mindful of when their behaviour starts to cross a line. Build a daily meditation practice to be more mindful. Then start thinking of the best way to deal with them. This is the first step.
2. Don’t Normalize their Behavior
Immature people use their tantrums as a weapon. They use it to get what they want. People give in because they want peace and quiet.
But it’s like rewarding their bad behavior. It gives you short-term relief. But it also sets you up for long-term strife. So put your foot down.
3. Call Them Out with Tact.
When you feel your boundaries are being violated, call them out. But do it assertively. Do it with tact.
Flinging accusations at them will only fan the fire. Instead, just state what you see. “I’ve noticed you seem angry. Is something upsetting you?”. “I think you look bored. Do you think what I’m saying is unimportant?”
Statements like these disarm immature people.They are not used to getting called out. Use it to your advantage. Maybe this leads to them changing their behavior.
4. Learn Assertiveness
Assertiveness helps you stand up for yourself. And It helps you do that while being respectful. Never give in to their whims. Immature people need a supply. When you call them out and they realize it’s not coming from you, they leave you alone.
5. Build Boundaries
Just because you live with someone immature doesn’t mean you have to invite chaos into your life. Rise above their behavior.
Refuse to play their games. Build solid boundaries on what you will and won’t allow. Do that with intention and with agency. Do expect push backs. And be ready to hold your ground when that happens.
6. Recognize Induced Guilt
A favorite strategy of immature people is to induce guilt. They use it to manipulate you. They weaponize your sadness or disappointment and turn them into guilt.
The script plays out like this: They will narrate a miserable condition of their life, usually of their own making. Then they pin it on you by saying that you did nothing to prevent that.
Do not fall for it. It is sad that they are in that condition. But, you are not at fault. They need to figure out a way or ask for help if they want their condition to improve.
Do not let that induced guilt take hold. Save your guilt for when you have actually done something wrong.
7. Don’t Let Them Limit Your Joy
You can’t control what an immature partner says to you. But you can always rob them of the power they have over you. Don’t let their comments get to you.
Make your truth so powerful that their opinions don’t get to put a dent in it. Your achievements, your pride, and your worth come from within. Allow no one to define them for you.
8. Expect the worst
Immature people usually don’t change. Not unless they realize how their behavior is pushing everyone away. You cannot change them.
Don’t let your ego trap you in this misconception. Do that and you set yourself up for additional disappointment. Don’t set up your expectations high. Wake up to this painful reality that it’s not in your power.
You can hope that they will change. Just don’t expect it.
A word of caution. Work on a relationship but, make sure that the effort is from both sides. If you feel it’s not working out, then don’t feel obligated to stay.
You don’t owe that to anybody. Figure out if it’s time to walk away or to bring some of the above strategies into play. You have more power than you know.