Identifying 13 Symptoms of Immaturity

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Theme: It’s good to grow up! ?

Heading to Denver Int’l Airport to pick up daughter, Tara, and her 6-year-old, McKenna, I texted Tara—again—to find out where they were at that moment.

Because I’d asked “Mama Tara” to keep me informed so we could have a well-timed curbside pick-up, her response was purposely over-the-top specific:

“We just got our luggage and walked to the elevator on floor 5. When the doors opened, we entered. Now standing in said elevator watching McKenna press the elevator button for floor 4. We will depart the elevator shortly and exit the building to meet you on the curb.”

Funny, Tara, very funny. ?

When I saw her text, though, my mind flashed to parenting days gone by when my wife, Karen, and I served as referees in elevators because all the kids wanted to PRESS THE BUTTONS! Just like granddaughter Kenna did.

It’s what first-graders do. It’s expected and acceptable.

Back in the day, we had our children take turns. Now, our seven offspring (21 to 37) have lost interest in pushing those all-important elevator buttons. They leave it to their kids to do it. Why?

They grew up.

As we mature, we give up childish ways. We become “grown-ups” who care not one lick about elevator-button-pushing. Honestly, if you and I entered an elevator together and I shoved you aside so I could push the buttons, you’d view me as a crazy and immature guy — right before you called security.

Bottom line, my behavior would be totally unacceptable.

Of course, there are countless other actions, attitudes, and approaches to life that would also reveal I’m behaving like a child and would be equally unacceptable. Let’s explore a Baker’s Dozen of them right now …

13 Symptoms of Immaturity

1. Not taking responsibility for my actions.

2. Needing to be the center of attention.

3. Refusing to admit I’m wrong.

4. Spending money I don’t have.

5. Blaming my feelings, actions, and results on others.

6. Belittling people through name-calling.

7. Whining about working.

8. Thinking the QBQ! book is for everyone else. ?

9. Being easily/routinely offended.

10. Not listening to criticism.

11. Feeling entitled to what others have.

12. Picking <verbal> fights; starting arguments.

13. Being a sore loser — or winner.

Pretty cool list, don’t ‘ya think? ??

Now, how do we grow out of these? How do we cure these 13 symptoms to become mature adults? Many won’t like the answer —

By choosing to eradicate them today.

Yes, the process of learning and changing over a lifetime — what we call “growing up” — really is just that simple.

Which of our 13 do you struggle with most? Can you add a 14th? Share a comment!

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11 Responses

  1. The item that immediately comes to mind as a 14th is:
    –Apologizing, but not really meaning it.

    We are taught to apologize as kids, and we go through the motions, but inside, we don’t yet even know what we’re doing or why. Many folks never outgrow that. They know they should apologize (or they may feel some peer pressure or even pressure from the customer or the boss), and they go through the motions, but one or more of your 13 is much more symptomatic of what’s inside their head and heart.

    Thanks for the list!

    Dennis Hooper

  2. John, Another great list of items to think about. Perhaps your list could become a book in itself–while the list is valuable, the bigger question is how do we work on such issues and are we ready to accept that the work may continue for years and more likely decades. For example, in regards to being easily or routinely offended, what tools can we use to reduce this habit? Just telling ourslves to STOP IT is usually not enough because this does not address the problem behind the problem which could be a number of things. Most likely this includes a poor self-image, flaky boundaries, the lack of perspective, or the neurotic need to always be right. Working on these issues is complex and takes a lot of time. I would welcome seeing such a book by you John in the future if you are so inclined. Keep up the good work!

  3. Can you please make an attempt to send this list to our current President? It seems to me he exhibits all of these traits of immaturity. How about it John, a training seminar at the White House.

    1. Ha! Well, Jeff, now we know who YOU didn’t vote for! 🙂

      Of course, all things QBQ! are for me, not some man in a Washington, DC where lots and lots of immature peeps make their living!

      But I’d be happy to make a QBQ! presentation to any POTUS and staff anytime!

      Be good!

  4. I think I’m right here but my list is waaaaaay better than yours! I still race my boys to the elevator so I can push all the buttons. My wife has always called me “one of the boys” (We have 5). In fact, I still pick on them all. I’m soooo tired of trying to be the mature one. It’s just too much work and who likes work anyway? Our kids behavior is clearly all my wife’s fault. She never joins in on any of the name calling or rough housing. I think she needs to be a better team player. We all have chores that we are suppose to do everyday but they get in the way of our video game time. Many of my friends who make more money buy their kids all kinds of cool stuff. Just because I can’t afford it all doesn’t mean we can’t have it too……right? That’s just not fair since we all deserve it the same. Please don’t be critical of us. It would really hurt my feelings. We all live once so you might as well live it up! Just wait till my kids get in college. They will be the cool ones. If our progressive leaders get their way college will eventually be free too. It’s about time all those people who work hard for THEIR money share it with us.

    The World we live in Today,

    Attention CENTER Attention

    PS – How much longer can a nation survive when the people are encouraged to live this way? Thanks for your ministry John!!!

  5. I definitely still enjoy pushing the elevator buttons, which makes me a kid at heart – but I WON’T push someone out of the way to be able to do so. I’m a kid at heart, not in body.

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