6 reactions of immature men when they don’t get their way, according to psychology

Have you ever seen a grown man sulk or pout, leaving you wondering if it’s just typical behavior or a clear sign of immaturity? 

Feeling disappointed or upset is perfectly natural when things don’t go as planned. 

But, it’s a whole different scenario when a man consistently reacts in ways that seem more fitting for a child than someone his age.

It’s extra confusing when you’re very close to the situation or the person. It can be hard to tell if you’re just assuming the worst or if the reactions you’re seeing are genuinely immature. 

But don’t worry, you’re not the only one feeling this way, and you won’t have to keep guessing.

Today, we’re diving into 6 reactions that, according to psychology, unmistakably signal immaturity in men. 

How many of these behaviors sound familiar to you? Have you noticed them in your partner, brother, friend, or another man in your life? 

Let’s explore these signs and shed some light on what they really mean, helping you understand the men in your life just a little better.

1) He gives you the silent treatment

Almost all of us know what it’s like to get the silent treatment from a guy, right?

When a man chooses silence over discussing issues, it’s not only annoying and childish but also unproductive. 

Rather than resolving the conflict, the silent treatment stops communication and lets the issue fester.

If you’ve ever thought that a guy was being immature for giving you the silent treatment, you’re absolutely right.

Psychologically speaking, giving the silent treatment is a form of passive-aggressive behavior which is a big sign of immaturity. 

As outlined by psychologist Ashley Olivine Ph.D MPH, “Passive aggression is seen as an immature defense mechanism in which people suppress feelings of conflict (like anger).”

So, if you’re noticing that silent treatment is a go-to reaction for a man in your life when things don’t go his way, it’s a clear sign of emotional immaturity. 

Recognizing that it’s a problem is the first step to finding better ways to handle stress and conflict. 

2) He refuses to accept responsibility and blames others

Have you ever dealt with a man who just can’t seem to take responsibility for his actions, pointing fingers at everyone but himself? 

It’s pretty frustrating when a man refuses to be accountable and tries to blame others instead. 

This behavior is another reaction that is common among immature guys. It’s their way of dodging the responsibility instead of owning their mistakes. 

When addressing how to spot immaturity, Healthline notes, “Instead of being thoughtful and admitting when they’ve messed up, they’ll place the blame on other people or circumstances beyond their control.”

When a guy’s go-to reaction to not getting his way is to avoid responsibility and blame everything on others, this reaction tells you a lot about his lack of maturity.

3) He sometimes resorts to manipulation tactics

Did you know that manipulation happens on a scale? It’s not as black and white as simply labeling someone a manipulator or not. 

When immature men don’t get their way, they sometimes resort to manipulative behaviors.

Take guilt-tripping or gaslighting, for example. These are tactics that immature men might use to sway situations in their favor. 

Guilt-tripping involves making someone feel guilty to get them to do something, while gaslighting is a more sinister form of manipulation where the manipulator tries to make someone doubt their own reality or perceptions.

Clinical psychologist Jessica Del Pozo, Ph.D., points out, “Exaggerated drama, fits of rage, selfishness, and emotional manipulation are hallmarks of emotional immaturity.”

I’m not suggesting that if your guy occasionally uses minor manipulation tactics to get his way, he’s a master manipulator and you should cut ties immediately.

However, it’s undeniable that this kind of behavior is a clear sign of immaturity.

4) He uses sarcasm and starts to mock or belittle you 

signs youre dealing with a really emotionally immature person according to psychology 6 reactions of immature men when they don't get their way, according to psychology

Ah, sarcasm, one of the classic go-to reactions for guys who don’t get their own way.

We’re all familiar with sarcasm, right? 

We’ve all been on the receiving end at some point, and let’s be honest: we’ve probably dished out some sarcasm in moments of immaturity, too. 

The same goes for mocking and belittling; as a kid didn’t everyone imitate their siblings in a voice that sounded nothing like them just to win an argument?

When we hear sarcasm or witness mocking and belittling, we recognize them as signs of immaturity

Guys who often show these behaviors likely don’t have the maturity to express what they really feel, so they resort to these tactics instead.

Not only do these behaviors signal immaturity, but continuous defensive communication like this also spells trouble for your relationship. 

Psychologist Dr. John Gottman’s research shows that these things raise the chance of relationship failure, big time.

So, if this sounds like something you’re experiencing, it’s important to recognize these behaviors for what they are: clear indicators of emotional immaturity.

5) He loses his cool

It’s not unusual to see or hear a toddler throwing a tantrum in a grocery store when they don’t get their way, right?

Believe it or not, when men are immature, they often react in a similar fashion. We might not call it a temper tantrum, but many of the same characteristics are there:

  • They lose control of their emotions.
  • They act impulsively, without thinking things through.
  • They display a lot of emotion, which might manifest as aggression or anger instead of toddler tears.

In psychological terms, this behavior is linked to emotional regulation. 

If a guy lacks emotional maturity, he has a hard time understanding and controlling his emotions, causing them to spill out uncontrollably.

Eri Nakagami, Ph.D., LCSW, clinical director of Embark Behavioral Health West LA Outpatient Clinic, explains it well: “Emotionally mature people are self-aware, attuned to their emotions, and know how to manage them.” 

When losing his cool is a common reaction for a man, it’s a sign that he might need to work on his emotional maturity.

6) He makes sweeping statements and uses absolute language

You know when you’re having a disagreement with someone or you’re not getting your way and you say things like “You always take his side” or “You never let me have my way”? 

You’ll hear these statements between friends, lovers, parents, children, and siblings.

Making sweeping statements and overgeneralizing like this is another sign that someone struggles to regulate their emotions, a hallmark of immaturity, and it can actually make them even angrier.

Imagine this: you’re having an argument with your man about the dishes. 

Instead of discussing why they weren’t done this time, he blurts out, “You always leave the dishes to me!” 

This not only escalates the argument but also moves it from something small and specific to a broad, all-encompassing accusation. 

Statements like this can derail a conversation and deepen the conflict, indicating a lack of maturity in handling the situation.

Remember, everyone might slip into this behavior now and then, but frequent overgeneralizations in tense situations are a clear indication of emotional immaturity. 

Final thoughts

This article is not about letting you know the signs of immaturity in a man so that you can point fingers or place blame. 

As you learn to spot these behaviors, you equip yourself with the tools you’ll need to foster better communication and understanding.

Recognizing the signs of immaturity is the first step toward healthier relationships with the men in your life.  

Picture of Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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