Emotional manipulation-emotional blackmail II.

I wrote about how emotional blackmail works and described typical types of blackmailers in my previous post. No, they are not monsters, of course what they do, especially how they do it is wrong but there is always a reason why and how they developed this strategy to get what they want. How is the internal world of an emotional blackmailer? How do they think and feel?

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We all have learnt that we cannot get everything what we want and whenever we want. Faced with several bitter disappointments but we accepted them with feeling sad or angry for a while.

Autocrats cannot bear frustration because to them frustration means more than a temporary hindrance. When an autocrat is becoming frustrated it activates a deep fear of loss and privation. Autocratic people seem like everyone else, often are very effective in one part of life. Completely apart from which type of autocrat they are or which means they use, they suffer from a privation, and they do everything to avoid this feeling.

They sense and feel even small tensions as catastrophe and attach great importance to resistance. Often they feel, if they don’t get what they want, they got refused as a person and not what they wanted or asked. They believe if they don’t react aggressively their partner privates them from something which is vitally important. These are the basic believes of an autocrat who is an emotional blackmailer.

These believes can develop by long term anxiety and suspense but also often we can find relation between childhood determinant happenings and the fear of privation in adulthood. Unfortunately sometimes we can’t find any relation.

Autocrats focus their attention on their own needs and wishes and often seems like they don’t care about other’s feelings and how they make others feel when they use pressure or threats. Autocrats are self-centred and it can come from a belief that the attention and love what they have now is limited and can be gone. Often they react like small problems or arguments will end the whole relationship. They experience very intensive emotional disappointment and frustrations when they face with even small resistance and try to make small problems appear as if they are unsolvable.

We must understand that, the autocrat mainly doesn’t respond to the actual situation, responding to a situation which symbolizes something from past happenings. Typical in autocrats’ exaggerated responses that comes with so much noise and emotions but usually the internal deep primary feelings don’t come up to the surface . If they could have known and expressed those primary emotions they wouldn’t need to use emotional manipulation or blackmail to get what they want or they would be able to make a difference between them as person being refused or their request got refused which is a big difference indeed.

Autocrats can’t see the long term outcomes of their behaviour because their urgent compulsion to satisfy their needs or wishes befogs their logical consideration. Often seems like autocrats want to make the victim feel bad. Often they demand and humiliate while trying to make their intention looks if it’s good. They completely see their intention differently as they are in real.

Like the punishers see, they don’t punish their victims, just keep order or control the family’s life properly. The end justifies the means. However there are autocrats who feel or see themselves like victims.  Punishment also helps autocrats to get into an active and aggressive position, in this case they feel strong and invulnerable. With this method they are able to calm down the believed fear of privation. Basic truth is, what we don’t word that appears in our actions. If the autocrats could have been able to look into themselves for a while, probably they would be horrified at their own fears and weaknesses. Unfortunately they just rarely do it, or face with their own fears, they hurt and attack others instead. The harshest punishers mainly those autocrats who lost someone who was important. Lost because that person became emotionally unavailable, left physically or a distance developed in the relationship. Angry punishers often disparage others because it eases the pain of coping and the pain of possible loss. Punishers also often can believe, actually they just help the victim. Instead of feeling guilty after hurting someone, they are proud of their acts because they just make a man of the victim, like teaching.

The most important thing is, it’s not about the victim and there is nothing to do with him/her. It’s all about correction and strengthening those huge suspense what the autocrat has deep inside. Emotional blackmail more often has something to do with the past than with the present and even more often it’s all about the satisfaction of the autocrat’s needs and not about what the victim did or did not do.

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Emotional manipulation-emotional blackmail I.

We often might experience manipulation or worst cases emotional blackmail. What is the difference? Why do some people use it?

Manipulation is to avoid open and clearly stated asks or wishes because it doesn’t seems that aggressive. The manipulative person doesn’t need to be afraid of refusal or anger because actually didn’t state or phrase what exactly wants.

Why don’t they say clearly what they want? Largely people who use manipulation have not learnt that they can state their needs or wishes clearly or they are not able to accept a fact (or deal with it) which is their needs or wishes might be refused.

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Manipulation becomes emotional blackmail if it’s used repeatedly to get the victim to do what the autocrat wants and the victim pays its price like giving up own needs and well-being.

Emotional blackmail has 6 typical signs which helps to identify it, it’s kind of a circle or procedure.

  1. Demand – the autocrat wants something from the victim
  2. Resistance – the victim is resisting
  3. Putting pressure – the autocrat is putting pressure on the victim
  4. Threats – the autocrat states the consequences of the victim’s resistance
  5. Surrender – the victim surrenders to the autocrat
  6. Repeating – together they established the base of demand-pressure-surrender circle

Often these steps are not so obvious and the victims don’t know that they are victims of emotional blackmail.

There are four types of blackmail, blackmailer, using different tools to get what they want.

1. The punisher

They can be easily recognized, identified. What they do and how they do it is very visible and obvious. Every even small resistance can make them upset immediately. Some of them express this anger aggressively with using clear threats they are the active punishers, the passive punishers don’t express their anger so openly but the victim knows that the autocrat is upset for a fact. In an emotionally tense interaction the punisher is becoming blind by the intensity of own needs. They are sure what they want is right and don’t care about the other’s feeling.

– Active punishers: they use serious statements and threats, they are very effective and openly expresses what is going to happen if the victim doesn’t do what is demanded. Their threats can be very serious so they keep the victims continuously in fear (what if the autocrat carries out the threat). Also the victims of active punishers are between the devil and the deep sea, if they try to stand up to protect their interest, they risk the punisher carries out the threat or if they surrender (maybe trying to win time) they experience anger toward themselves not being enough strong to resist but also towards the autocrat for the oppression.

– Passive punishers: they don’t express their anger verbally or using threats. They sulk and don’t say anything, showing their disapproval, often for a long time staying in silence. This silence is cold and harsh, very difficult to take it without emotional reaction. They hide behind impassable wall and refusing any responsibility how they make the victim feel.

2. The self-destructive: they threat their victims with holding out the prospect of committing suicide or self-destructive action. Their aim is intimidation and the victim feels there is no other choice than surrender. These type of autocrats mask themselves weak.

3. The martyr: they expect that their needs should be satisfied by others what they don’t express openly and clearly. They expect people around being a mind-reader and know what they need. If those needs are not satisfied the victim must suffer and it’s the victim’s fault-accusation. They are continuously busy with how bad they feel and identify the lack of mind-reading capacity with a lack of care. In the mirror they see themselves as martyrs-victims, hardly ever undertake to make situations clear or asking something. Their outward can be weak but in real they are silent dictators. They are always the victims of circumstances. The reason of their unhappiness is that the victim didn’t give them something very important which is missing to be happy. Usually they take aim at the saviour-solicitude instincts of the victim. They really seem like need so much care.

4. The torturer: the most sophisticated autocrats. They promise a lot of “awards” if they get what they want but actually their promises never become real because the victim never can be enough good for that. They take aim at the acceptance-family intimacy instincts of the victim.

Every types of emotional black mail undermine the victims’ self-esteem. In my next post I write more about this topic.

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Emotionally immature parents

In one of my previous post I wrote about emotionally immature people, how they think and act. Now I’m giving you more information how they act as parents. There are four types of emotionally immature parent which is based on a scope of sensitivity-insensitivity; acceptance-refusal; cooperation-intervention and availability-ignorance.

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First type is the too emotional parent. This is the most infantile type, small things can upset them and everyone in the family must make every effort to calm them down. When they are going to pieces, the child (who is around) feels the despair, anger or hate of the parent with full intensity which causes a kind of walking on eggshells feelings to the family members, because they never know when the next breakdown is going to happen. These people are very unstable emotionally, in serious cases there are personality disorders in the background, like psychosis, bipolar disorder, narcissism or borderline personality disorders. Their uncontrolled feelings often can cause attempted suicide or hurting others physically or abusing emotionally or verbally. In their environment everybody is very nervous or anxious, especially the family members. These people’s mood can change easily, good and bad mood alternation. They are controlled by their own emotions and they see the world just in black or white and recording experienced offences. They are emotionally very manipulative what they use as a control on others. Since they have extreme mood alternations, family members think and feel, these people are scary and unreliable. (The sign is often very simple and recognizable, the child or children in the family is/are afraid of this parent.) These parents have a big difference in behaviour between home and work. (Home is safe to release anger and tension) Their children often learn to subjugate others.

Second type is the determined parents. They focus on tasks, which must be done. Their self-centrism is not so visible but their children suffer from lack of initiative and self-control. They have rigid opinions about human values and know what is good for others. They direct their children (sometimes partners as well) aggressively instead of accepting their development of interest and decisions. Continuously intervene in their children’s life and bustle without stopping, goals are more important than others’ feelings. They are proud of their own successes but feel shame if their children can’t or not able to achieve the same. They are not able to give unconditional acceptance which hinders their children in developing confidence which is one of the requirements of success. Most of the times they make their children feel being tested or evaluated which hinders their children asking support or help in the future. They remove autonomy and not able to attune their children’s continuously changing (which is normal) emotional needs but pushing them into a direction which they believe is correct. Their children feel they should do something else or more (always) to be enough good, to be loved. “Be successful” – destruction of autonomy

Third type is the passive parents. They are available emotionally till a certain level but become passive by experiencing intensive emotions. They don’t provide guidance and don’t set up borders. Usually children feel close these parents but if their needs clash with their parents’ need, they lose. These parents’ self-centrism appears in the need of being in the centre of attention. They easily can “go down” to their children’s maturity level but with exchanging of roles, their children shows unconditional acceptance and attention which also has negative consequences, like lack of guidance, support from the parent. The key point here is, the child is providing what the parent needs but the parent doesn’t give what the child needs, like protection, guidance and boundaries.

Fourth type is the refusal parents. These type of parents don’t feel good with interacting emotionally with their children. These children grow up feeling that would be better not being alive. These parents’ irritated reactions teach their children not getting close. They refuse every efforts which requires emotional involvement. They are susceptible to use corporal punishments and parents in this category has least empathy. They avoid eye contacts, rule the whole family and just their own needs and wishes are important. Every family member feel anxious and pay attention not to incur the hatred of this parent. A typical dictator type, centre of the world. Children of these type of parents struggle to express own basic needs.

Of course, not all of the emotionally immature parents show exactly the same or all of the characteristics as described above but they have patterns in common which are, basic emotional immaturity, self-centrism, narcissism, emotional unreliability, insensitivity, lack of empathy, disability of developing emotional intimacy, having distorted reality picture, low level of frustration tolerance, problem with respecting-keeping emotional boundaries (enmeshment or keeping too much distance) and using emotional manipulation.

Emotionally immature parents’ already grown up adult children suffer mainly from emotional loneliness and a feeling of deep emptiness.

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Relationship conflict spiral

Very often couples experience that situation when in the heat of the argument they keep repeating the same phrases and they can’t talk about the real problem, just repeating their own offenses and the other’s faults. How can we break this spiral?

After a while the pink cloud is gone in a relationship and that time appears when not everything is nice and loveable in a our partner. We are able to see our partner’s shortcomings and also we don’t pay that much attention to the style how we express our problems. To communicate our needs or desires is not a problem by itself but how we do it is crucial.

Conflict spiral

There are 4 typical ways how we obviate negative stress in a conflict. I’m sharing with you and explaining why it could have developed in this way and how you can react to it effectively, to improve the relationship instead of damage it.

  1. The blamer

“I don’t want to believe you can’t manage your time better!” There are people who react to the own negative emotional frustration with blaming attitude, blaming others. This person believes the other is the responsible for it, shifts the responsibility on the partner, and becomes angry what he/she works off on the partner. It doesn’t make the partner feeling better obviously and switching on a painful button and rolling over the conflict.

Why do we blame others instead of looking for our own responsibility for our negative state? It happens mainly in those families where the members learnt that expressing pain or negative feelings is not allowed because it was punished, denied, ignored or minimized. The child learnt that: don’t show your vulnerability because they will not understand it anyway.

How can we react effectively to offenses from a blaming partner? Help the partner to express what caused the negative feelings, let him/her talk about the negative feeling itself and encouraging to find the own role in the situation instead of blaming others or highlighting others’ faults. Pointing the finger, never helps.

  1. The conciliator

“No problem, it can happen!” This attitude can result stuck conflicts if someone very often react to uncomfortable situations with attempting to calm the partner with not expressing own needs. This person is so much afraid of the possibility of hurting the partner (can happen) and to avoid that withdrawing instead of taking confrontation.

The background of this attitude usually is to express anger openly was not acceptable in the origin family. Children try to be adaptive so they learn to hide negative emotions even if this kind of coping style is not healthy at all.

If our partner is this type try to encourage him/her to express negative feelings and to phrase needs with more confidence.

  1. Mechanical

“This is not logical!” Also a typical conflict management strategy is to handle conflicts without emotions just with rational logical mindset. In this case one side tries to handle own frustration with lack of information and logical arguments which can be very annoying to the partner, especially if the partner is very emotional. I used to say, emotions are on ice, keeping the strong, often unhealthy emotional control.

The dominant feeling in the background of this strategy is fear. Fear of sharing feelings which can make the person vulnerable in front of another. Often even their voice becomes cold, rigid and the communication is very objective which can often cause a rejection feeling in the partner. The experience of listening and understanding of emotions was missing in their origin family. They missed deep emotional closeness and in setting up intimacy they struggle with lack of confidence.

If we use this strategy, the solution is to try to be (more) empathic, putting ourselves into the partner’s shoes and trying to see and understand his/her point of view and discuss if our perception is correct or not.

If your partner uses this strategy, try to express how your emotions are important as well to you not just the facts and try to express what you feel with using examples.

  1. Changing the conversation

“If you knew how the new neighbour is so annoying!” People who change the conversation when they experience emotional distress sometimes change the discussion with using irrelevant topics. They keep a big distance from their own emotions and they have difficulties to attune to others that’s why it’s difficult to establish emotional intimacy with them.

 Who uses this strategy physically experiences anxiety, can show nervous or panicking symptoms. The feelings behind are loneliness and incompetency what this person can’t deal with. In a situation with emotional pressure they try to change the topic and the conversation or using manipulation, including using several destructive tactics, like aggression or making the partner to feel guilty.

Worth to assure the partner (who uses this strategy) that she/he is safe with us, problems can be discussed and solved together. Instead of using manipulative techniques, we can ask to use opened expression of needs because this way of solution can improve the intimacy and the feeling of being an ally, exactly what our partner misses and running away from.

How can we stop the conflict spiral?

When we are able to recognize our own and our partner’s typical reactions and able to understand the emotional motivation in the background, we can find solutions to set up constructive discussions in a conflict. We can intensify the trust and the relationship, also we can improve our belief, that we are able to maintain a working relationship with healthy and constructive dynamics.

Very important to recognize and understand first our own conflict management techniques in the beginning of the relationship. Love is a connecting link, a helping force to make clear misunderstandings or destructively used conflict management techniques and it’s better to do it before the passionate love is gone and having “grey” everyday life.

Worth to choose the understanding way what with we know and accept our partner’s background motivations. Help our partner to understand his/her own reaction to anger, anxiety, pain and fear. Also important to make our partner to know and understand how it influences us, how we feel. With this technique the emotional closeness improves. The way out from conflict spiral is; real understanding, acceptance and intimacy.

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Prejudice – locked into box

“Blond women are stupid, politicians are corrupt and psychologists are lunatic.” Where do our prejudices come from? Why it is so difficult to quit on this method? What can we do about it?

Who are those people being more susceptible to use prejudice so often?

Prejudice is a kind of an opinion which is not based on expreiences but has a very strong emotional charge. Prejudicial people don’t consider facts. If they heard something which is the opposite of their opinion, they would disregard or using creative argument method. In this case they try to include the information into their world concept by creating absurd explanations.

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Where does our prejudice come from?

Most of us believe in the power of righteous world, so we blame victims for bad things which happened to them. Like when we hear about a raped woman, immediately prejudicial people think, probably that woman were dressed and behaving too provocatively. This kind of mindset leads to being unrighteous to the subject of prejudice. In our case we truly believe never can happen with us. When we are watching the news and hear terrifying things we believe those things are so far from us even tough according to statistic data it could have happened to us as well. This is an optimistic bias.

The reason of using prejudice can be a self-justification as well. Like when we want to believe that member of a group is more inferior to us. In this case we easily can associate negative characteristics to them and easier to discriminate. If we see a person or a group negatively it’s easier to reject them as well. Like if we think people with glasses are ruthlessly ambitious people, we can think that we have the right to behave with them badly because they deserve it, they are the favorites of teachers anyway.

Using prejudice is very common if we are in the low social class because in this case it’s important to know that there are people, groups even lower than us. Also common if we are not “okay” with ourselves, like having a fragile and low self-confidence or being emotionally immature.

The base of using prejudice also can be in a situation of competition. For example if in a country there are no enough jobs, people often start to blame minorities for it. This’s used so often by politicians in their campaigns.

Also common that we are looking for a scapegoat. In this case we are not able to release our frustration on that person or people who we are really upset with and we are looking for a “weaker opponent”. We are not able to wreak our anger on that person because that person is too powerful or the consequences might be so serious. For instance, if someone gets offended by a boss, this person high likely is going to release his/her anger on a waiter or on a child. Unfortunately releasing anger on a child is very common even if that child is not a direct causing of the anger. Releasing anger in a family and on its members is kind of a safe movement for parents. No visible consequences as they see. Innocent children are the perfect victims for it, perfect punching bags, first because they are not able to defend themselves, second easily can take a role of being the scapegoat because they don’t have the ability to see what the real problem is behind the abuse.

There are people who are more susceptible to use prejudice and stereotypes than others. They like to find the answer first for everything, but very often they don’t collect enough information to have an objective view and wrongly pigeonhole others. If they got an information which doesn’t support their previous conjectures, they would ignore those information. If they became a boss (not leaders), they would most likely behave autocratically and using a very typical sentence – Because I said so!

How can we resolve prejudice?

We must see that very prejudicial people have one thing in common, it’s that they have a little information about that specific group or people and not having connection with them. When they get more information or get in touch with them personally that prejudice can be slowly dissolve. It requires an opened mindset, which can be learnt.

Don’t hide behind your prejudice because most of the times you just cover your fears and ignorance with it and becoming blind for being objective and not being able to see the reality.

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Emotionally immature parents

Children or already adult people who grown up with emotionally immature parents have two things in common, deep internal emptiness and emotional loneliness, which are the results of emotional abandonment-emotional deprivation. These children or adults have difficulties to establish emotional relation and emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy means I can be who I’m and I’m acceptable like this.

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Emotionally immature parents (EIP) are not able to give appropriate feedbacks to their child/children’s feelings, intuitions and because of the lack of accepting reaction, those children learn to doubt own inner voice, but learn to accept others opinion as their own. When these children can hear their own inner voice, the sense of guilt appears because they learnt their own needs is equal egoism. According to the coping style also they can become very dependent on others emotionally.

EIP basically are not able to satisfy their children’s emotional needs. Our emotional needs are basic; need of being wanted, being loved, being important for someone, being taken care.

Last week I wrote about emotionally immature people and now I’m giving you more characteristic of emotionally immature people how they act as parents, how their emotionally immature personality appears and influences their function as being a parent.

Lack of emotional reflection to the children. Reflection helps children to feel and see that, their parents listen to them and respect their own personality. EIP expect the opposite. They expect their children to reflect their own emotions but it’s a “mission impossible” for children. EIP hope when they become parents they will find peace inside but when they face with that children have their own needs and demands (being individual) these parents become very anxious. They use punishment, love deprival and humiliation to get back their control, re-establishing their self-esteem.

EIP’s self-esteem based and depends on the children’s obedience. They feel peace when everybody does what is expected and gets what they want. In real EIP’s self-esteem is very weak and they bear their children’s emotional world very badly. Often they blame children for their own failure. Every interaction is an exam to EIP, which is all about how much are they worth. They react very extremely for even slight resistance or reproach.

EIP consider family member functions and their places in the family as untouchable, intangible. They expect unconditional obedience and respect.

EIP expect things from their family members follow from their functions, (parent-God) they can do everything as parents because their parent function excuse them from taking into consideration others.

Forced functions. EIP force their children to behave, think and feel according to their given function. They achieve that using love deprival, humiliation and sense of guilt. The persistence in functions is rigid and inflexible and this is a rude querying of the child’s autonomy and right of own decisions. If they can’t reach this outcome they believe there is something wrong with the child.

Enmeshment is when two emotionally immature people look for their own identity and self-fulfilment in an intensive relationship based on mutual listening. They reach sense of security and foreseeing by the other person functions as known and expected. It causes a very strong emotional interdependence between them.

Favouritism. If an emotionally immature parent practice favouritism with one of the child most likely that parent is on that emotional level as the child. If the child has a strong independent personality that induces the parent to see this child as a small adult without need and not as a small vulnerable has to be taken care of child. In the case of dependence the child is unadaptable and has difficulties and when it comes to that the parent takes a victim or saviour function.

Substitute family members. When the child experience its own internal independent functions through someone else outside of the family.

Sense of time. EIP have a fragmented sense of time. The presence moment is immeasurable. Because of their momentary desires they are not able to set up a consistent future image. Consistency is not a value to them. For them time is not a continuous uninterrupted course but flashing isolated moments and that’s why they get very upset when someone is making an allusion to a previous happening in the past.

Limited sense of time – limited liability – limited calling to account. EIP can focus just onto the moment and that causes their lack of self-reflexion (objective self-assessment). They leave every each moment behind without connection between them and they don’t understand how others are not able to do the same, leaving behind problems, offenses without mentioning. The relation between action and consequence is a hardly perceptible concept to them because the fragmented sense of time.

It may be stated that emotionally immature parents are basically self-centred, narcissistic, emotionally not trustable and predictable, insensitive, incapable of real intimacy, having disfigured picture of reality and strong and inflexible emotional boundaries. They get too close to their children or keeping too much distance, they have difficulties handling frustration. They are emotionally manipulative or have threatening attitude.

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Emotionally immaturity

We all have experience about emotionally immature people, maybe we just couldn’t have put a proper word onto their behaviour. We often feel it’s so difficult to cope with them and most of the time we feel they are kind of unavailable. How do they act differently? First let’s see what means emotional maturity.

Emotionally matured people are able to think objectively and in a figurative sense while maintaining deep emotional connection with other people. They are not ashamed of own feelings. They undertake and share their feelings and they are honest. They admit when they are wrong or did a mistake and have a clear view about their own weaknesses. What this exactly means?

They are realistic and trustable, able to see the reality and not using manipulation or negation, able to think and feel in the same time, predictable and (self-) consistent. They don’t take everything personal, their relationships are based on respect and mutuality, respecting others’ boundaries, and they are flexible and able to make a compromise with others. They are well balanced but not immutable. They are honest and able to ask forgiveness, self-reflective and empathic (not sympathy!). They are opened minded and willing to change for better, they are playful and being with them is a very good feeling.

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Emotionally immature people’s mindset is different and their acts and mental world as well. Often these characteristics are strongly entrenched and really hard to change them.

Emotionally immature people:

  • Rigid and narrow-minded way of thinking schemas. They are rigid and impulsive, narrowing down the reality for a level where they still can control it. They are not opened to change their opinion, according to them there is just one answer or solution (their answers/their solution) and they become very defensive if someone thinks differently.
  • Low level of resilience (stress management). They don’t assess a situation and project the possible future, they are susceptible to deny, twist and re-writing the reality. They don’t admit (or just rarely) when they are wrong or did a mistake, most of the time they blame others. They have difficulties with emotional self-control, often over-reacting things. They calm down very hardly and they expect reassurance from others by others do what they want.
  • Their actions are ruled by emotions mainly. They often make decisions according to their own feelings in the moment, what the best is for themselves in the moment without considering others’ and usually move in the line of least resistance.
  • Strong subjectivity. They are not able to assess a situation coolly, in their situation assessment is more important what they feel than what exactly happened. They are not to be tempted to consider a situation objectively.
  • They respect differences a little. Those behaviours which are different from their own or dissenting opinion make them usually upset. They think and believe that everyone should agree with them and they don’t accept that everyone has the right to think differently. Their social tolerance is very low and judging others and backbites them.
  • They are very self-centred which is imbued with compulsion, this compulsion is caused by anxiety and suspense in the background. Their self-confidence is weak (sometimes over-compensate it – arrogance) and protect it with strong high walls. Their self-defence mechanisms keep their anxiety on a subliminal threshold, that’s why they often don’t recognize it.
  • Their thoughts are mainly about themselves. Anxiously ruminate on things about themselves, their attention is on the satisfaction of own needs and if they got any offense. Their self-esteem depends on feedbacks or reaction of others. They can’t take criticism and deny their weaknesses and mistakes. Continuously paying attention to themselves and that’s why others’ feelings are pushed into the background or completely minimized.
  • Self-admiration instead of self-reflection. In every situation they reflect just to themselves, they don’t do it to improve their self-knowledge. They don’t pay attention to their talking partner, don’t consider their own role or responsibility in a problem and they don’t consider their behaviour either.
  • They like to be in the centre.
  • Low level of empathy. This the main characteristic of an emotionally immature people. They are good at “reading” other people’s will and feelings but instead of connecting, they use it for manipulation.
  • Inconsistent and unpredictable. Their self-image are from small but often un-matched elements which get conflicted often with each other – Inconsistent. Often expressing contrary feelings and there are sharp changes between – Unpredictable.
  • Fear of emotions. They are afraid of their own and other’s emotions and honest emotional reactions. They react with anxiety when they feel their feeling can come up to the surface. They don’t like if they have to get out of the rut or routines and they refuse to talk about emotional life.
  • The importance is on the physical needs instead of emotional.
  • Celebration or joy crashers. When somebody is feeling happy around them, they are not able to share anybody’s joy, using diversion to talk about something else or projecting something negative is going to happen.
  • Intense but superficial emotions. They easily can get into intensive feelings but they feel uncomfortable about it and it can get expressed by showing annoyance. When they talk their feelings don’t fascinate the partner.
  • Difficulties with conceptual way of thinking. A little stress is able to block their abstract way of thinking process that’s why most of the time is useless to try logical arguments. In emotional topics they are able to think just in black or white.
  • Emotional contamination. They don’t talk about their feelings, they put it into actions so that’s how they reach the others to know how they feel – emotional contamination.
  • They don’t do emotional work, they don’t try to understand others’ emotional experiences.
  • To give is not easy for them, they expect the others to react their needs, but they are not opened to get helpful solution advices. They expect others being a mind-reader and become very offended if others can’t figure out what they exactly want.
  • They don’t ask forgiveness but they expect others to do immediately and often they can manage that the innocent partner feels guilty. For them forgiveness means the others being blind to their offense and they pretend as nothing happened. Their offences are trifles.

Emotionally immature people have difficulties to recognize these characteristics on themselves and even if they get significant feedbacks from their environment about their behaviour it’s difficult for them to admit it because of the lack self-reflection. Of course not all of the characteristics appear in one person, some of them work and visible and others don’t.

What happened to them? How did they become like this?

The reasons are in the early ages of development in the relation between the child and parents. In early ages (6 months old) a baby is already able to detect the mother’s emotions and their badinage. Prohibitions restrict the child to develop his/her own personality. Like: Don’t exist! Don’t be yourself! Don’t be close! Don’t trust! Don’t feel! Don’t express your needs and emotions!

Very often the parent itself is also emotionally immature and most likely the child will be as well, and later they become parents too, like an endless circle.

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