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5 Actual Signs Someone Is Being Emotionally Immature During A Conflict With You

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Man and woman arguing face to face.

Have you ever been in an argument that feels unproductive? It’s a feeling most of us know all too well — but sometimes it can be frustrating to pinpoint exactly why you can never resolve your disagreements.

Julia Woods, a couple’s coach on Instagram, revealed there are several ways to spot the true issue and it might be that your partner, friend or colleague is emotionally immature. 

Here are 5 signs that someone is being emotionally immature during a conflict.

1. 'Blaming'

Nobody can describe the frustration you feel when you’re constantly “in the wrong,” even when you know you’re not. For example, if you have a friend who constantly plays the victim, no matter the situation, you probably notice yourself feeling guilty at the end of every conversation. 

According to The UK Therapy Guide, deflection is more common than many believe. When a person is confronted by their shortcomings, they try to remove the bad focus from themselves and place the blame on others. Instead of owning up and taking responsibility, they make you feel worse. 

As Woods shared, "This is immaturity because it is out of touch with reality and no new results can be produced." She continued, "Maturity is recognizing that the results of any situation are based on what each person involved contributed."

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2. They’re acting selfish 

It’s no surprise that selfishness can ruin a good relationship. During an argument, someone making the discussion all about themselves means they're likely not worried about how their actions affect you. 

   

   

“It’s a problem if you hurt someone and you don’t care about the damage you’ve caused,” self-help expert Suzan Dalia explained to Medium. “You can’t hurt people and not expect consequences in return. You can’t be rude to people and wonder, ‘Why do people treat me badly?’” 

Therapists suggest a variety of ways to combat selfish behavior in your relationships including creating distance, considering joint therapy, or investing in healthier connections. Most importantly, if you’re dating or searching for new friends, take self-centered behavior seriously, because you never know what it can escalate to. 

3. Being 'emotionally unavailable'

Emotionally immature people often find it difficult to express genuine emotions in the face of conflict. As Patrick Gaudet explained on TikTok, “They’ll show intense emotion and affection one day,” but then completely shut down during arguments or more tumultuous times.

   

   

The Berkeley Well-Being Institute noted that emotionally unavailable people tend to “shy away from conversations about their emotions, avoid displays of affection, and might even make you feel wrong for being ‘emotional.’” 

Typically, this behavior is a result of previous trauma that makes it difficult for them to be vulnerable or even makes them feel discomfort in the face of others’ genuine emotions. 

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4. 'Being controlling' 

“When a toxic person isn’t able to gain control over a situation … then you’re going to get backlash,  essentially an ‘adult tantrum,’” life coach Stephanie Lyn advised. 

   

   

Emotionally immature people try to gain control and take power over a narrative, especially in highly escalated situations. As a partner, they might threaten to leave or make you feel less than for expressing your emotions. By trying to control the argument and your feelings, they put themselves in the position of the perpetual victim. 

5. 'Being vague'

Lastly, Woods explained that emotionally immature people tend to shy away from conflict and never own up to exactly what they said or did, instead confusing their partner with vague language. 

Once you recognize the signs, you can distance yourself from unproductive arguments.

When you start to notice these tendencies in your conflicts, it’s time to take a step back.

“The point of a healthy argument is to get cooperation or compromise if not agreement,” clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus told Well+Good. “When you’re arguing to be right, to flex on someone or to prove them wrong, it’s going off the rails.”

So, create some distance from these toxic relationships, or at the very least, try to have an open conversation with the person exhibiting emotional immaturity that helps them understand how their behavior harms you. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture and human interest stories.