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Discussion Starter #1
I'm frustrated. I try to stay away from the chronically immature whenever possible, but it's not always easy to do. I'm talking about adults here, people who by their age, I would expect to be more mature. These people generally shun responsibility, resent being accountable, get defensive, passive-aggressive, etc., and often have a sense of entitlement or feel the world owes them something without requiring any (or much) effort on their part. They are often very sensitive as well and perceive slights or criticism where there is none.

What if circumstances are such that you can't avoid these people . What if in other respects, they have a lot going for them and you really like them as people, just not some of their behavior? How do you deal with the antics?

Anyone else have trouble with this, or better yet, experience dealing with it?
 

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I guess you would have to wonder why they were emotionally immature or what made them that way. I'd point it out to them because there's no way I'd ever bypass this if it weren't someone I was really close with it. There's no harm in self improvement. I'd probably point out then fix or tolerate.
 

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How I deal with one? I talk to them. If they are willing to work with me, then cool. Otherwise, it's not my job to fix them, and I feel I am in no position to elicit feedback unasked for. At the same time, I know it's hard not to think about it, but really, why give so much energy to those who drain you? Why not focus all that time and effort on something more positive?

I know. Easier said than done, right?

My answer is to take care of myself. In the end, that's all we can do. A person will not change unless they really want to, which also goes to the person who is also dealing with the negative situation. It's tough, but yeah, I ask myself how I am feeding into the situation myself.
 

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If people are emotionally immature I try to just ignore their more annoying qualities and appreciate what good they have to offer. I can be immature in certain ways myself.
 

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Good question. It seems like the more emotionally healthy I am, the easier it is to deal with other's immaturity. I'll be more inclined to choose the words I say carefully (in a less emotionally charged way), when I should leave the room to cool down, and get offended less often. Since we can't control other people's behavior, the only thing we can do is adjust how we react in the moment.
 

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I agree with Walkingtiptoed. As soon as you added that they were family, my mind started flipping through snapshots of experiences. When it's someone I care for deeply and can't write off (I wish I was capable of more writing-off, btw. I think I'd have have less muscle tension. lol), I try earnestly to prepare myself mentally before having to interact with them by releasing expectations and replacing them with positive intentions on my part such as 'I intend to remain at peace when I talk to this person today. I intend to let their reactions, whatever they are, be simply interesting - something to observe. I intend to let this person be at their own level of emotional maturity.' I am only capable of following through on this if my own mental and emotional stores are full, which isn't often right now since I am a little overwhelmed by my small children. It's liberating to have a certain level of maturity and also frustrating when not everyone can be there with you to return the favor. It can be lonely sometimes. I can only imagine what life is like for people with so much more wisdom and practiced patience than myself. I cringe to think what they see when they look at me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thank you all for your comments, I appreciate them. I'm quite aware of the fact that I can't control anyone's behavior but my own and that I should always remain calm and collected and try to be classy, etc., no matter what the other person does. It's very easy to say that in theory but how exactly should one respond?

Maybe an example will help: some friends (four or five) have an agreement to meet at one of the friends houses for dinner at 6pm. Your friend's house is a 30 minute drive, so you get ready at 5, drive out there and arrive on time but find no else there yet. You knock on the door, no answer. Doors open, so you go in, find the host was taking a nap, just woke up, the place is a mess and the dinner is not even started. You're really hungry so you look unimpressed. Your friend sees this asks if everything's OK (like, what would you be thinking?) - but you say nothing, to keep the peace. They insist, so you say, well look, I had to be ready a while ago and drive half an hour, and I'm really hungry, so how about we do this another time, I need to eat.

If I were the host, I'd apologize... profusely. But this person can never admit to any wrongdoing, so starts getting very defensive, even though you haven't criticized, you're just hungry and unimpressed. Excuse this, excuse that, blah, blah... you say I'm gonna go get something to eat and even invite your friend with you. How nice.

A week later your friend, now miffed that you prefer to make other dinner plans this week (?) blasts you via email and accuses you of "freaking out and making a scene" the week before "just because I was a little late, what's the big deal?!!" The "scene" they accuse you of making is almost entirely fictional.

Now tell me, what's the appropriate reaction?

You may be tempted to think, from my description, that this person is mentally unstable, but no, they are just immature. Instead of owning up to their part in the problem, they would rather defend their fragile ego (I'm assuming) by projecting onto you, to make you the bad guy, so they don't have to be.

At the same time, this person is normally one of the coolest, most fun people to be around. Not evil, not psycho, just immature. It's not an easy answer.
 

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Based on your example, I would recommend that you just try to avoid any hardcore P types, and especially __FP types, because it sounds like we would likely clash with you pretty hard. Case in point: I sided with your friend when I read your example.

Sorry. That's the best advice I can offer. I know how hard it is to have to deal with conflict over personality clashes, but I think you are confused about what it means to be immature. I don't personally consider lateness a sign of immaturity, unless it happens frequently or is done for hostile reasons. I would be more likely to consider inflexibility the bigger problem, and would be offended by any accusations or condescension if I were in your friend's position. I would feel very wronged if I believed you thought less of me for minor accidents like that.

But then, I'm not a J type, so I don't know what it feels like for that sort of thing to be a big deal. I know that some people get upset about it, so I just try to be good about not messing up things like that when I'm around my J friends. Even so, they don't expect me to be perfect any more than I expect them to be spontaneous for me. They joke that I'm a flake, and I joke that they're just being anal. It's something we can do because we have mutual respect, which is probably the surest sign that we aren't immature. We just try to get along, understanding that there will be times when we have different approaches to things.
 

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There were always be immature people who are in your life. It is very difficult to handle them at times, but it is true that you cant control their behavior. I think sometimes we may even have people whom we really care about, who are a little emotionally unstable (immature as well), and we just have to learn to have an abundance of patience. For me, it's really hard at times to be around immature people, and to handle them. It's really about just having a positive attitude and outlook on the situation, and handling it gracefully. Just try and have peace about it, and learn to just be patient with them. I mean maybe you should try and remove yourself from being around immature people a lot. Also people can look to you, and see your maturity, and you can be an example for people who struggle with maturity. It's even hard for me to remain mature in ceratin situations, but when I see someone else handling that same situation with ease and maturity, i'm more prone to think of that next time a situation of the same sort presents itself. I know it's a difficult task, but I'm sure you can totally handle it. Try and set yourself as an example, and just try and handle those situations maturely. You never know who may be looking up to you.
 

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Based on your example, I would recommend that you just try to avoid any hardcore P types, and especially __FP types, because it sounds like we would likely clash with you pretty hard. Case in point: I sided with your friend when I read your example.

Sorry. That's the best advice I can offer. I know how hard it is to have to deal with conflict over personality clashes, but I think you are confused about what it means to be immature. I don't personally consider lateness a sign of immaturity, unless it happens frequently or is done for hostile reasons. I would be more likely to consider inflexibility the bigger problem, and would be offended by any accusations or condescension if I were in your friend's position. I would feel very wronged if I believed you thought less of me for minor accidents like that.

But then, I'm not a J type, so I don't know what it feels like for that sort of thing to be a big deal. I know that some people get upset about it, so I just try to be good about not messing up things like that when I'm around my J friends. Even so, they don't expect me to be perfect any more than I expect them to be spontaneous for me. They joke that I'm a flake, and I joke that they're just being anal. It's something we can do because we have mutual respect, which is probably the surest sign that we aren't immature. We just try to get along, understanding that there will be times when we have different approaches to things.
@snail,

Thank you for your input, it is always valued, but I wonder if there is something about me that really irritates you - maybe I remind you of someone else - because you don't seem to want to give me any benefit of the doubt or empathy. Firstly, the example I gave was grossly oversimplified - there is a lot more to it that I couldn't get into and a lot of details had to be changed. But the key point is that it is not lateness that I consider immature - I'm married to a perceiver so believe me, I understand the concept - what bothers me is her lashing out about it one week later as if I were the one who put her out. Besides, even if you are not an anal judger like me, what's wrong with being apologetic when you put other people out - it is just the diplomatic thing to do and costs nothing.

Snail, I want you to try to understand that what I'm talking about is not some minor irritation that I lack the patience and understanding to get over. The incidents that have been happening to me cause me an intense amount of pain. I just want to live in peace and harmony and some of those close to me are causing a lot of unnecessary emotional drama over things which can be resolved civilly without need for tantrums and emotional outbursts. As an INFJ, I understand these impulses - I have had to work at it for years so that uncontrolled Fe doesn't ruin my life. I understand being emotional sometimes. But getting defensive over little things and making a big scene that causes other people (not just me) a lot of grief is hardly a sign of maturity.
 

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@snail,

Thank you for your input, it is always valued, but I wonder if there is something about me that really irritates you - maybe I remind you of someone else - because you don't seem to want to give me any benefit of the doubt or empathy. Firstly, the example I gave was grossly oversimplified - there is a lot more to it that I couldn't get into and a lot of details had to be changed. But the key point is that it is not lateness that I consider immature - I'm married to a perceiver so believe me, I understand the concept - what bothers me is her lashing out about it one week later as if I were the one who put her out. Besides, even if you are not an anal judger like me, what's wrong with being apologetic when you put other people out - it is just the diplomatic thing to do and costs nothing.

Snail, I want you to try to understand that what I'm talking about is not some minor irritation that I lack the patience and understanding to get over. The incidents that have been happening to me cause me an intense amount of pain. I just want to live in peace and harmony and some of those close to me are causing a lot of unnecessary emotional drama over things which can be resolved civilly without need for tantrums and emotional outbursts. As an INFJ, I understand these impulses - I have had to work at it for years so that uncontrolled Fe doesn't ruin my life. I understand being emotional sometimes. But getting defensive over little things and making a big scene that causes other people (not just me) a lot of grief is hardly a sign of maturity.
I didn't mean to come across as unsympathetic. Admittedly, I wasn't there and don't know the details. I don't think you remind me of anyone I dislike, so it's not that. It's more that I believe I am probably the kind of person you dislike.
 

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Thank you for your input, it is always valued, but I wonder if there is something about me that really irritates you - maybe I remind you of someone else - because you don't seem to want to give me any benefit of the doubt or empathy. Firstly, the example I gave was grossly oversimplified - there is a lot more to it that I couldn't get into and a lot of details had to be changed. But the key point is that it is not lateness that I consider immature - I'm married to a perceiver so believe me, I understand the concept - what bothers me is her lashing out about it one week later as if I were the one who put her out. Besides, even if you are not an anal judger like me, what's wrong with being apologetic when you put other people out - it is just the diplomatic thing to do and costs nothing.

Snail, I want you to try to understand that what I'm talking about is not some minor irritation that I lack the patience and understanding to get over. The incidents that have been happening to me cause me an intense amount of pain. I just want to live in peace and harmony and some of those close to me are causing a lot of unnecessary emotional drama over things which can be resolved civilly without need for tantrums and emotional outbursts. As an INFJ, I understand these impulses - I have had to work at it for years so that uncontrolled Fe doesn't ruin my life. I understand being emotional sometimes. But getting defensive over little things and making a big scene that causes other people (not just me) a lot of grief is hardly a sign of maturity.
I am sorry that you are experiencing a lot of grief in your situation. I do not know all the details, but based on the fact that your wife becomes explosive, it sounds like she has a hard time asserting herself when she feels that she needs to, and/or it could simply be a clash in temperament.

Withdrawing and then becoming defensive could be her way of coping, because she feels she is unheard or spoken in a way that she feels disrespected or let down.

What is it about the way that she reacts that causes you much frustration, besides lashing out? What are some of the real issues that infuriate you when things do not go a certain way? How can you communicate with her in such a way that your position is understood while validating hers as well? These are just some thoughts to keep in mind when you feel as though things are escalating, because it is a marriage and an intimate relationship, I can see why it's really affecting you so much. Tell her it bothers you and that you want to understand her more, but it's gottabe genuine/felt from the heart when you say it. Otherwise, it becomes defensive/stonewalling again on both sides.
 

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Just look at them for what they are, say what you want, and don't let it bug you.

I'm a schizoid INTP living with an eccentric epileptic ADHD lady--it stopped being frustrating when it started being interesting. It mostly started to be interesting cuz I started busting her out on everything ridiculous she said/did/believed in (we've been good friends for almost 4 years now).
 

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I thank you all for your comments, I appreciate them. I'm quite aware of the fact that I can't control anyone's behavior but my own and that I should always remain calm and collected and try to be classy, etc., no matter what the other person does. It's very easy to say that in theory but how exactly should one respond?

Maybe an example will help: some friends (four or five) have an agreement to meet at one of the friends houses for dinner at 6pm. Your friend's house is a 30 minute drive, so you get ready at 5, drive out there and arrive on time but find no else there yet. You knock on the door, no answer. Doors open, so you go in, find the host was taking a nap, just woke up, the place is a mess and the dinner is not even started. You're really hungry so you look unimpressed. Your friend sees this asks if everything's OK (like, what would you be thinking?) - but you say nothing, to keep the peace. They insist, so you say, well look, I had to be ready a while ago and drive half an hour, and I'm really hungry, so how about we do this another time, I need to eat.

If I were the host, I'd apologize... profusely. But this person can never admit to any wrongdoing, so starts getting very defensive, even though you haven't criticized, you're just hungry and unimpressed. Excuse this, excuse that, blah, blah... you say I'm gonna go get something to eat and even invite your friend with you. How nice.

A week later your friend, now miffed that you prefer to make other dinner plans this week (?) blasts you via email and accuses you of "freaking out and making a scene" the week before "just because I was a little late, what's the big deal?!!" The "scene" they accuse you of making is almost entirely fictional.

Now tell me, what's the appropriate reaction?

You may be tempted to think, from my description, that this person is mentally unstable, but no, they are just immature. Instead of owning up to their part in the problem, they would rather defend their fragile ego (I'm assuming) by projecting onto you, to make you the bad guy, so they don't have to be.

At the same time, this person is normally one of the coolest, most fun people to be around. Not evil, not psycho, just immature. It's not an easy answer.
I am not sure there is a right way to handle these situations. This is probably why you are getting simplified answers. Lol no one has a clue. Since there are so many uncontrollable variables in our environments, it can be helpful to find actionable ways to adjust them. Even if they are small.

There are always going people we interact with that use up all of our energy. Ideally, you can cut them out of your life or cut down on the amount of time you have to spend with them. But, another option is to find amazing people that "fill you up" to balance out the exhausting ones. I have a few friends that I will call and feel so much more sane and “seen” by after dealing with people who make me feel like I am nuts.

In your example you mentioned frustration with emotionally immature people… maybe balancing those relationships by spending more time with someone you know who may be "one of the most dependable and mature people you know" instead of “one of the coolest people you know”.

Another random self-help tip: You mentioned how this person projecting their part of the problem onto you. It might be helpful to look at how you are projecting your personal issues onto this person. Part of the concept of projection is that the things we love about other people are things we love within ourselves and what drives us crazy about other people is also usually what drives us crazy about ourselves. So, journaling about it could be insightful.

Good luck. Hope everything works out for the best.
 
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I don't know if this will work for you, but for me I just revel in my matureness. I mean if they are immature like children, then you should treat them like children. And by that I don't mean look down on them, but I guess you have to learn to be patient with them? I imagine when you were younger and immature as we all were or still are, your parents wouldn't terrorize you for being immature, they knew you had to learn. Okay, obviously parents aren't always like that, but ideally they would be.

This might sound extremely condescending, and it probably is, but I just start to treat those kinds of people like dogs. So I think to myself, well my dog doesn't behave because I didn't teach him well, but I can teach him to be better, and the same goes for other people. You just have to try to be calm, patient, and understanding when you try to convince them to see things like you do, or at least to understand how you feel.

Like someone else said, there might be some underlying aspects of the situation like low self esteem etc..
 
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