Wisdom is the foundation of maturity, and to achieve personal growth or the development of a healthy relationship, you need to have both to guide your thoughts, views, and decisions.
But if you notice that your conversations with someone are a little bit strained or you’re bothered by the perspectives or attitudes of the person you’re with, it could be a sign that they’re lacking maturity.
How can you be sure?
Listen to the phrases they use in conversation. If they frequently disagree with your opinion or don’t like to be criticized, they’ll say things like, “That’s just the way I am” or “You’re wrong.”
Their responses create confusion and frustration and can be downright hurtful. So, to help you become aware of their tactics, if someone uses these 10 phrases, they lack wisdom and maturity.
1) “That’s just who I am.”
When you hear the words, “Well, that’s just who I am,” it’s usually in response to criticism. As soon as you point out a problem or limitation with the person’s behavior or opinion, they feel the need to defend themselves.
The phrase “That’s who I am” is an immature response. It means that the individual isn’t interested in taking responsibility for their actions and is unwilling to change.
To gain wisdom, you need personal growth that you achieve through life experiences. If you aren’t willing to recognize the importance of change and growth, then you can’t mature.
It was only a few years ago when I remember asking a friend who was living with me at the time for assistance with cleaning the house. Rather than help, she stood around, staring at her phone. When I confronted her about procrastinating, she said, “Well, that’s just the way I am.”
What does this mean?
Rather than admit her lack of motivation to help out, she became defensive to protect herself from criticism.
If someone cannot acknowledge their shortcomings by acting defensive or dismissive, it’s a sure sign they lack wisdom and maturity.
2) “I want it now.”
Have you seen a toddler having a tantrum? It usually happens when they want something they can’t have, and they’ll shout and pout to get their way.
Well, think of an adult as having a similar type of reaction.
Someone who is wise and mature is patient and understands when things don’t go according to plan. But when you’re impatient and easily angered, it’s usually a sign of immaturity.
Hearing someone say, “I want it now,” indicates that they don’t quite grasp that life isn’t about instant gratification.
3) “I just don’t care.”
Telling someone that you just don’t care is a very childish way of communicating. It’s dismissive of the other person’s feelings or perspective and shows a lack of empathy.
It’s an immature response in a discussion or an argument.
When your partner tells you that they don’t care, you feel angry and confused. It’s a hurtful thing to say, especially when it’s someone close to you. This creates a disconnect that strains the relationship.
Rather than take the time to understand where someone is coming from, an immature person will act like they don’t care about your feelings or what you think.
4) “You’re wrong.”
Using this phrase in the heat of the moment could be a defensive strategy to protect oneself from criticism. But when someone frequently uses it, this approach becomes frustrating to deal with.
When someone constantly tells you that you’re wrong, it’s dismissive of your opinions. They struggle to accept that you think differently from them and won’t take the time to try to understand your views.
Individuals who are wise and patient accept differences in views and opinions. They are mindful of others and participate in constructive conversations rather than behave childishly by being dismissive.
5) “That’s stupid.”
This is such an immature response! It’s another way of dismissing your ideas or opinions because the person using this phrase doesn’t agree with something that you’ve said.
“That’s stupid” is another way to invalidate your opinion or views. It is disrespectful and inconsiderate.
If you’ve heard these two words in conversation, it’s not a reflection of your intelligence or because what you’re saying is wrong, so don’t doubt yourself. It’s a sign of their immaturity and sheer lack of wisdom.
Mature individuals are respectful of your ideas and emotions. They don’t have to insult you to get their point across.
6) “You never understand me.”
This could be an attempt to gain your sympathy, to get you to agree with them, or to give them what they want.
“You never or don’t understand me” is a way to control the conversation. They believe that you can’t see their point of view or empathize with them. You may think that you’re being too harsh or have failed to show them that you care, and you feel guilty about it.
When someone repeatedly tells you that you don’t understand them, particularly when you confront them about a problem, it’s a way of defending themselves against further criticism.
It’s a sign of emotional immaturity and could also be a manipulation tactic, especially in a romantic relationship.
7) “I don’t know.”
Doesn’t it just frustrate you when you’re trying to have an insightful conversation, and all the other person can say is, “I don’t know?”
Don’t get me wrong, we all have moments when we genuinely don’t know something, but the continuous use of this phrase shows a lack of interest in a conversation.
If someone isn’t prepared to learn or isn’t motivated to broaden their knowledge and skills, they certainly lack wisdom and maturity.
Even the wisest people will tell you that having an open mind and acquiring new skills are the keys to personal growth and success.
8) “I’m fine on my own.”
It’s great when you can stand up for yourself and live independently, but if all you can emphasize is how great it is to be on your own and not depend on anyone else, that’s a red flag!
Everyone needs someone at some stage in their lives. Whether you need support during challenges or simply to maintain healthy connections, we all benefit from rewarding relationships.
An attitude that “you don’t need anyone” is unhelpful and immature.
9) “It’s just not fair.”
There are many instances that make us feel like life isn’t fair. Things happen that are out of our control, and when you get the raw end of the deal, it’s as if the world is against you.
Wise and mature individuals understand that there are ups and downs in life. It doesn’t mean that they don’t get upset about it, but they know that you cannot lose perspective and believe that you are the only one going through hardship.
Mistakes happen, and challenges become our reality when we least expect it, but they should always be seen as an opportunity for growth and development rather than an injustice.
Unrealistic expectations and an inability to accept when things go wrong are immature takes on life.
10) “I know what’s best.”
People with the mindset that they have all the answers are probably going to deal with a fair amount of conflict in their lives.
That’s because nobody likes a “know it all.”
If you always know what’s best, there’s no room for personal growth. It means that you aren’t open to the perspectives and ideas of others, so you don’t learn alternative solutions that could enrich your life.
I know, from personal experience, that an attitude of “knowing what’s best” stops you from living life to the fullest. If I had a know-it-all attitude when I traveled to foreign destinations, I would not have had an open mind to experience different cultures and learn new things from the people I met along the way.
An unwillingness to learn and grow prevents you from gaining wisdom and viewing the world from a mature perspective.
The above-mentioned phrases are meant to improve your awareness of what people will say when they lack wisdom and maturity.
Remember to look out for frequent use and over-reliance on these phrases.
I know from personal experience that trying to have a conversation with someone who always “knows best” or who continuously says, “I don’t know,” is tiring and frustrating.
So, if you’re feeling frustrated in your relationship because of your partner’s lack of insight or you can’t quite understand a colleague’s mindset at work, maybe it’s time to look for signs that they lack wisdom and emotional maturity.