Physical maturity is not hidden easily. But emotional immaturity can certainly exist with all the trappings of what should be an “adult” life. You may have a brilliant boss, but come to realize that emotionally, he is an infant. So, what does single out an emotionally immature person?

More often than not, she does not think about who she really is, or what she has experienced in life. If we strive for some sort of maturity, we tend to examine our lives and allow ourselves to feel our feelings, even when they cause us discomfort. I know: National Stress Awareness Day is the only holiday you celebrate 365 days a year. I get it.

However, if he is underdeveloped emotionally, he will constantly look for something or someone who can prevent him from the risk of understanding his own mind and emotions. If you ask him about his past or childhood, he will tell you that he scarcely remembers it. Let’s be honest, sweet friends. Challenging things unfold in all of our childhoods.

What? You never really think about those kinds of things? Hmmm. No one’s life was idyllic. We all get somewhat bruised along the way. Have you processed your pain at all? Heavy conversations will encourage you to draw on the knowledge of yourself or your history. This kind of person doesn’t actually live the life he is living. And no, everything is not always “fine.”

Life is not one-dimensional. When she feels threatened, and you try to offer a deeper meaning, she may accuse you of talking “psychobabble,” or tell you that you simply think too much.

Do you carry an inner shopping list of what your friends need to be like in order for you to love or trust them? Speaking of shopping lists: These days, my idea of living dangerously is going grocery-shopping without a list. Then again, what is a grocery list? Something you spend a half an hour writing, then forget to take with you to the store.

But truly, perhaps you’re drawn to kind or funny or generous people. Listen, it’s hard to find a friend who is generous, loving, and caring. My advice to y’all is: Don’t lose me. But seriously, it could be that you are only enticed by people who are selfish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited. Are all of your friends really “good for you”?

Most of us are simply tuned in to the familiar. If you learned about relationships at the hands of those who were troubled, you may look for that when you seek loving connections. Why should they guide or govern the type of friends or loved ones that you choose? Yes, we tend to repeat things in our lives that were deeply unpleasant because there’s a degree of familiarity, knowledge, and attachment.

If the guy you met reminds you of a trait your cold, distant father had, he may seem very off-putting to you, as you associate that attribute with the pain or rejection you felt from your father. Do you find yourself attracted to people with those negative traits? Have you made any genuine efforts to free yourself from the demands of the inner voices in your head?

Liberate from the traumas and disappointments of your childhood, sweet friends. You know what they say: Childhood is like being drunk. Everyone remembers what you did, except you. Oh, your favorite childhood memory is your back not hurting? Sheesh.

Do not stay hijacked by the rigidity of your mind or ideas. Being too tough has many unfavorable consequences. You may get stuck in your ideology and view the world by placing everything or everyone in boxes. They say that life really does begin at 40. Up until then, you are just doing research.

Be more flexible and be willing to yield at times. The universe is about constant change, after all. It’s not always about faster and bigger. Be agreeable to changing your views. Alter your approach if need be. Water takes many forms. It can evaporate, freeze, and it survives by adapting. Strive to be a bit more like water at times.

Don’t waste your precious energy by resisting change. Believe it or not, one part of your mind may actually lie to another part. Of course, you want to think well of yourself, and do not want to feel inadequate. To avoid inner confrontation about uncomfortable things, we distract ourselves or tell others that: “All is fine.” You tell yourself that you just “don’t care” about many things that deeply trouble you.

The lying may offer short-term solace. But the truth will emerge through physical symptoms, anxiety, or depression. Perhaps feeling offended takes up all of your attention. Please try to confront your “real” nature: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Discover your precious inner world.

Do not let shame or blame color your view of life. Our perceptions remain biased, but do not maintain a naive view of reality. Strive for wisdom despite a difficult past. Learn mental maneuvers to deal with the chaos.

Wiser voices within us will teach us how to react when we lose perspective. Don’t allow your inner world to make the outer world even worse, please. Listen to the soothing sentiment within you. Imagine the loving presence taking you in their arms and repairing the damage.

Call on that voice when you need it. Everything is made better with serenity and good humor, sweet friends. You are not on your own. See past your sins and tell yourself that you are still lovable.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at