Narcissist or emotionally immature?
The word narcissist gets thrown around a lot lately. It comes with a list of behaviors that are real and truly damaging to those exposed to them. I’ve been researching how to help my clients understand behavior patterns of these emotionally immature people and what they can do to stay out of the emotional trap they are too often drawn in to. Here’s a summary of what I’ve been learning.
Character traits of an emotionally immature person
According to Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD, a psychologist who specializes in therapy with adult children of emotionally immature parents, there are certain characteristics of Emotionally Immature Parents/People or EIPs. Here are a few:
- Personality – EIPs are the center of their world. They are not self-reflective, consistent, complex, or flexible with others.
- Reality – EIPs live in their own interpretation of reality and it is centered on what pleases them to the exclusion of everything else. Reality is what they feel it is at the moment.
- Emotions – EIPs sit in shallow, intense emotion with an underlying tone of irritability and impatience. They act to relieve their own stress with little regard for the emotions of others.
- Reactions – EIPS react to stress and to the needs of others with defensiveness, criticism, impatience, and close-mindedness. They dismiss the needs of others and either do not take responsibility for their actions or act like they are a victim of others unfairness.
- Relationships – EIPS show little empathy or awareness of others emotions, rejecting others point of view and demanding to be taken care of. People are often angry at them because they come across as mean, jealous, and demanding.
Emotionally Mature Reactions
- Keep an Active Mind – Create emotional distance by observing what’s really happening.
- Pause before reacting – Consider your needs, wants, and desires by pausing before reacting. Take your time to decide what you want to do about what is being said, done, or asked of or to you.
- Remember your needs are as important as theirs – Write down what they are asking of you and what you are willing to do. Statements are more effective than a conversation. It is non-negotiable.
It’s not easy but it’s possible
Read more about Emotionally Immature Parents/People here. If you need to work through the pain of what you’ve been through and how to move beyond it we can help with that. Make an appointment here:
https://believehopeinspire.securepatientarea.com/portal/calendar/weeks/ or give us a call at 850.450.7223 today.
P. Dianne Presley LCSW
Believe Hope Inspire Wellness Services LLC