I recently wrote an article for a towing and transportation industry publication addressing these issues, and quickly realized how talking to business owners about these same personality types and traits and doing things like interviewing, supervising, and working beside emotionally immature people differs 180 degrees from dealing with them as daily contacts in law enforcement. Even further from those contacts and experiences are the newly-formed and nearly-overwhelming political alliances against the law enforcement community by the members of the far left.
I’m not trying to turn anyone into a psychologist, and I’m not one myself, but over the years I’ve learned a few things that may help you interact with people, make quick assessments of what type of person you’re dealing with, and adjusting your tone and actions accordingly.
Without being overly obvious, emotional maturity is much different than physical maturity. I’ve known 50-year-old men who threw temper tantrums like a 4-year-old. I’ve also known 12-year-olds that because of their experiences and level of responsibility, they were far more reliable and trustworthy than many adults. I’ve seen a direct correlation between emotional maturity and the amount of responsibility someone has held. Someone who fits the first set of characteristics has often had no real authority or liability assigned to them.
In reference to the 50-year-old, I certainly don’t mean to make light of this serious topic, but I’ve heard them referred to as 50-year-old adolescents. You may know a few.
Here are some signs of a lack of emotional maturity:
- Escalation – a person may take a petty or minor situation and blow it out of proportion and either become exceptionally angry or sad.
They may also become what I call “injustice collectors” where someone gathers several seemingly minor issues, like someone looking at them wrong or some perceived/imaginary act of disrespect, and when they’ve “collected” several small things, they erupt in a meltdown.
- Name-calling (identity politics) – a person may not be able to respond to a situation with reason or logic, and their temper bests them, resulting in accusations or name-calling.
This is where someone’s self-control (or lack thereof) takes control, for example, where someone allegedly cuts in a waiting line and a person bursts out with a racial comment or comment about someone’s weight or general appearance.
- Blaming – it may sound familiar to you to hear, “Why are you blaming (or asking) me? You always blame me. I never do anything wrong, but you’re always messing with me.”
An emotionally immature person frequently uses the words “never” and “always”. As anyone who practices reason and logic, there’s virtually no such things as never and always in most situations. Mature people don’t use absolutes. Immature people constantly see themselves as victims, so that they “never” do anything wrong, but you’re “always” blaming them is their go-to position.
Additionally, these folks never take the blame or responsibility for anything. They don’t own up to mistakes, but they’ll take credit for something good they didn’t do. And they absolutely cannot take criticism – it is internalized into anger and fear.
- Lies – another thing my mom said about someone was that they “would lie when the truth would do better.”
It is exceptionally easy for an emotionally immature person to lie. Their sense of honor, character, ethics, and honesty, as well as knowing right and wrong – none of these things have matured with their bodies.
- Poor impulse control – financial issues, always robbing Peter to pay Paul, frequenting the pawn shops to sell items and pay regular bills, blowing a paycheck before the weekend is over.
Being materialistic is very common in this group. They may not be able to pay their light bill or rent, but they’ll brag about their new watch, gold chain, tattoo, or sneakers – or all the above.
- Narcissism – this is a whole subject by itself, but I’ve found that most people who aren’t emotionally mature display narcissistic behavior.
Narcissistic behavior usually includes being erratic, abusive, self-centered and very manipulative. Typical behavior can be described as the young man whose girlfriend breaks up with him, he wants to fight any guy looking at her, but when he realizes she’s done, he threatens suicide to garner attention. His huge ego would prevent him from harming himself – he just says that for the guilt trip reaction.
- Bullying – emotionally immature people are usually very insecure in every aspect of their lives, demanding constant praise and affirmation to the point of bullying to get it. They also attempt to make others look dumb or inferior.
- Center of attention – another narcissistic trait is always wanting to “perform” or be the center of attention. When they don’t get the attention they think they deserve, extreme anger or depression may result.
- Denial – yet another narcissistic trait shows itself after the person has hurt or angered someone. They immediately deny that they hurt you, dismiss your feelings, often attack again, and then turn it around on you like it’s your fault.
These attacks and blame games can happen to a girlfriend, boyfriend, manager, boss, company owner, or just about anyone in contact with the person. The more authority you hold over someone, the more explosive the outbursts. That may sound strange to you, but weaker people in their lives, or people they are close to and they can bully or take advantage of see their behavior every day during daily micro mind games. Someone in authority may cause them to restrain themselves from daily or hourly manipulations and attacks, but when they let loose, you get it with both barrels. They’ve held back, have been counting their injustices, and often resort to violence to make their point.
Once you see these traits, and most of them show up within the first few minutes of contact, you can adjust your game accordingly.
An area that I thought law enforcement wouldn’t have to deal with is politics. I was wrong.
I have been amazed to see many adults, even older adults, regress in maturity, especially on certain subjects like political beliefs.
An example is an older woman I know who was always strong both physically and mentally, had huge amounts of common sense, good levels of compassion and empathy, and was very active outside with gardening and other projects.
Two things made her regress in emotional maturity: First, her health deteriorated a bit, especially involving her back and circulation, and she dropped her activity by probably 95%. Secondly, instead of catching a blip on the news about something and listening to the weather forecast, she now spends hours at a time glued to the television, watching leftist cable news channels – and thanks to our 24-hour news cycle and countless “experts” pontificating about everything political, and journalists who are now 99% editorial opinionists and 1% reporters, she is continually bombarded by hate-filled statements about anyone conservative, especially the president. And that includes most of the law enforcement community and the military.
She has gone from loving the president when he played on The Apprentice, to frothing-at-the-mouth full-on hate for the guy. In two years.
With those two factors in mind, it’s easy to see how people can be brainwashed into hating the current administration, especially since most people younger than this woman are very active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other mainstream social media sources – it’s easy to spot, too, since the language used by most folks who are in this mindset are the same words and phrases that are regurgitated ad nauseum.
I feel sorry for them, actually. These previously intelligent, educated people have given up their free will and ability to think for themselves, being railroaded into this liberal mindset.
Let’s take this a step or two further. Left-leaning junior high and high school teachers and college professors repeat these leftist chants during student instruction and reinforce the student’s beliefs. The students then become activists, showing open hate against anyone conservative – or in authority – and bad things happen. You only need to look at the issues with conservative speakers like Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulis, or Ann Coulter. Recently, Hayden Williams, a conservative student at Berkeley, was assaulted while recruiting for a conservative organization on campus.
The further step I’m talking about is strongly political, in that city council members, mayors, our own police administration members, state government officials, and of course, many Democratic members of the House and Senate have taken strong stances against law enforcement. Sure, most of their statements and positions aren’t directly attacking law enforcement, but it’s easy to read between the lines when things like civilian oversight committees, use of force policies, de-escalation policies, and disarming many school resource officers and other special units – all designed at giving the soft-touch approach to a criminal element while hog-tying our officers from action, and their very oaths of office. Combine that with immediate response to any officer-involved action where race-baiting social and government leaders are quick to denounce any officer…and you have a veritable hurricane of hate and entitlement thrown our way.
Social media groups and journalists have been quick to “dox” police officers and conservatives in order to do them harm, harass their family, or at the very least drop personal information in the public domain.
Most Democrats can’t even say something nice about a conservative in public. Recently, Joe Biden said of Vice President Mike Pence that Pence was a “good guy.” A “good guy.” That’s it. That assumed support of Pence by Biden was met with a harsh attack from actressCynthia Nixon, who slammed Biden fifteen different ways. Biden was attacked on Twitter and Instagram to the tune of thousands of hate-filled messages for him having the audacity not to say something hateful about Pence.
It has never been more blatantly obvious that the party that was once liberal, passive, tolerant, welcoming, and diverse is now adversarial and violent, especially if you don’t walk their line.
On another law enforcement front, there is a rallying cry against our border protection people, and harmonious attacks against them for “separating children” and making them out to be devils of humanity. When you reduce someone or an organization to something that’s easy to hate, it’s easier to get the populace to turn against them, and at the very least not offer cooperation and respect.
Again, emotional maturity plays a large part in their words and actions, since they want to incense our country against these departments for separating and killing children in their custody, but all the time being strongly supportive – demanding, in fact – of at-will free abortion to the tune of over 2,400 abortions per day in our country.
Stay strong, and please understand that correctly and initially evaluating your contacted subjects can make a huge impact on your daily duties and career. And understand that groups like ANTIFA, Black Lives Matters, and the Women’s March use emotion, and the associated loss of emotional maturity, as a weapon against you.