The Misconception of Immaturity
This is one of the most misconceived topics we come across almost every single day. While there are different definitions of “maturity,” how most people think of the word is intuitively wrong in our eyes.
How do you define someone who’s mature? Seriously, take a second to recollect the last time you legitimately thought to yourself, “Wow, they’re mature.”
Done? Okay, good. Now ask yourself why you thought of them as mature. Was it because of how they looked? Was it because of what they knew? Or was it because it’s been engraved in your head by society that people who act a certain way should be automatically viewed as mature?
So often we have preconceived notions of what should be considered mature or immature and we don’t really know why.
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Many in today’s world relate immaturity with children, teenagers and young adults. They say that we don’t know any better so once we become mature, we’ll stop our “childish” behavior. We believe that all immature acts actually have one of two characteristics:
1. The person does not have enough self-awareness to realize that what they’re doing is immature.
2. The person is self-aware of their decision but decides to proceed anyway.
For this article’s sake, we’re going to be using a fictional character named Tom as an example.
Tom is a recent college graduate whose family is struggling financially. His mom is working two jobs to pay the rent and feed her children. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Tom accepts a job at a corporation with an annual pay of $60,000.
On the weekends, Tom spends his time and money going out to New York’s hottest clubs getting drunk with his friends. He isn’t aware that he can help his family out by bringing in some extra cash from a side-hustle because all of his time and money goes into the pockets of the club owners.
This is an example of the first characteristic of immaturity. Tom lacks the self-awareness to realize that he can help his family therefore making his actions immature.
Now let’s say Tom was offered a job as a bartender on Thursday and Friday nights. In this scenario, Tom realizes that this could help relieve some pressure off his mom financially but then remembers that it’d mean giving up his Friday night at the clubs.
The recent college graduate decides to decline the offer because Friday nights at his favorite watering hole are always too lit.
This is an example of the second characteristic of immaturity. Tom has the self-awareness to realize that he can help his family but chooses his own happiness over it.
Immaturity isn’t a term that should be automatically attached to someone who makes prank calls, plays video games or lives at their parents’ house at 30 years old (all of which society deem “immature”), it should instead be a characteristic of people who aren’t wise enough to make the right decision.
Someone who lives with his parents at 30 because all of his income is going towards keeping his family in that house shouldn’t be viewed as immature but should instead be celebrated. They may not go out every weekend and post 30 Snapchat stories of them drinking alcohol wearing the latest Adidas drop, but they’re deliberately making the best decision for them and the people they care about which is what we all strive to do.
Self-awareness is the name of the game. If you’re aware of what you’re doing and consciously choose the right thing, you’re mature no matter what you find funny, how you dress or where you live.
Think about this the next time you subconsciously view someone as immature.