Today we will talk about a pretty common issue in today’s world – Infantilism.
What is infantilism?
In short, it is a delay in a person’s psychological development. That is, when a person is 30 years old, but their mentality is at the level of a teenager aged 13–18 years. This does not affect intellectual abilities, but primarily manifests in behaviour.
With each year, there are more and more such people in society who are focused on living their lives by taking the path of least resistance. And, it would seem, there is some logic to this. Why complicate everything? But looking deeper into the situation, you understand that without occasionally shouldering the heavy burden of responsibility, it is impossible to become a psychologically mature person. Avoiding responsibility and pain is a path to stalling the development of one’s personality.
What leads to infantilism in an adult person? Here are several of the most common factors.
Avoiding personal fears
Each of us is filled with a large number of fears. Some we are clearly aware of, while others are hidden deep in our unconscious. But it is important to understand that you cannot run away from fears. You need to face them and start acting in spite of them. And it is at this moment that you receive a push towards maturity and psychological development.
Avoiding psychological pain is natural – to a certain extent. But if a person prefers not to leave the house just to avoid criticism or rudeness from passers-by, this is already unhealthy. There is an important fact – our psyche becomes more complex through experiencing pain. That is, by facing a difficult life situation and going through it, suffering through it – you will no longer remain the same person. You will definitely become more mature, capable of deeper life analysis. This is how wisdom is acquired.
This is the most common thing I have observed in infantile people. Important life decisions for such people are often made by their parents or partners. They may not agree with all the decisions, but they do not want to take responsibility for their lives into their own hands. The reason is often fear of criticism. If you make a decision, and it turns out to be wrong/bad/unprofitable, you will have no one to blame but yourself, and there is also a chance that others will start blaming you as well. Moreover, such people often live with an imaginary self. They embellish the image of themselves in their own minds. They are smart, beautiful, successful, and interesting there. If they take responsibility and face a difficult situation, there is a great risk that an unsuccessful resolution of this situation will make the person doubt themselves and their abilities. And that is a great fear. And how to deal with fear, you have already read above.
In conclusion, It is important to point out a few things. Sometimes, infantile behaviour can be a consequence of a more serious disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder, psychological trauma, anxiety disorder, etc. In severe cases, it is essential to consult a specialist.
And also, often over-aged children are the result of INTENTIONAL parenting. That is, parents have their own benefits from having an adult child who is not independent. We will talk about this next time.