An infantile man - what does it mean, signs of infantilism

The most common thing you can hear from a married woman assessing her husband is: “He behaves like a child! When will my husband grow up? That is, she sees that her betrothed has never grown up and makes mistakes with childish naivety and does not try to correct himself. All this suggests that her husband is an infantile man. What should she do in such a situation? Is it possible to overcome a negative quality that interferes with family harmony, what methods exist, or will you have to come to terms with the fact that you are destined to be with an adult child for the rest of your days.

Types of infantilism

First, let’s figure out what types of infantilism we will be talking about. Depending on the area, this word has different meanings. In psychiatry, it is a pathological developmental delay when a teenager's behavior and emotional reactions correspond to those of children (or when an adult behaves like a child or teenager). There is also physiological infantilism - accordingly, physiological pathology, a delay in the development of organs and systems. In everyday use, it most often refers to psychological and/or social infantilism, which is not associated with pathologies. It is these types that we propose to focus on.

What psychologists say

The term “infantilism” came to psychology from the French language. "Infante" is translated as "child" or "prince". This is a 100% hit on the term, because infantile men behave like capricious children and heirs to the throne at the same time. In psychology, the concept of “infantilism” is characterized as an immature personality type in which the psycho-emotional traits of a child do not disappear with age.

Main features and signs of infantile behavior

In psychology, we talk about infantilism when adults (according to the passport) people in life exhibit traits characteristic of a child or, rather, a teenager. In such cases, they note that we have an immature, infantile personality. Moreover, we repeat, this has nothing to do with mental pathologies. This means that the hero of our story is generally healthy, but his way of thinking and behavioral patterns do not correspond to those of mature individuals. What exactly do you mean?

Let's look at the most obvious signs of infantilism.

  • First of all, this is the inability to make decisions and bear responsibility - for the choice made, for the work performed, etc. An adult realizes that every decision he makes leads to certain consequences - significant or insignificant, good or bad.

    The “adult child” categorically does not want to take responsibility.

  • This is also connected with another important feature of an infantile person: he does not know how to solve problems. If they do arise, our hero waits for a “grown-up” adult (parents, spouse, friends) to come and fix everything, or at least tell him what needs to be done to fix everything. This also leads to the fact that a person is not able to assess the true consequences of certain of his actions - after all, in general, such an assessment is made for them by others. Some people perceive the price of any offense at the “school level”: everything can be gotten rid of with lectures from the teacher and an entry in the diary. Whereas in adult life, sometimes everything is much more serious.
  • “Adult children” tend to shift responsibility - they almost always blame others. Such individuals cannot take responsibility not only for themselves, but also for others, and in addition, they can be quite selfish. This is a consequence of the inability to understand the thoughts, feelings, and point of view of other people. However, in this matter everything depends on the psychology of a particular person.
  • Many immature individuals will choose the latter between serious business and pleasure (sometimes regardless of the importance of the matter). “Adult children” are often unable to force themselves to do something and do not think about the consequences this may lead to. For the sake of momentary desires, they are capable of behaving very irresponsibly. They also rarely think about the future – both their own and other people’s.

Here we recall the opposition between the limbic brain and the neocortex in McLean’s “Three Brains” model]]>. “Mature” adults know how to tame the limbic brain and follow what the neocortex says. At the same time, infantiles often simply obey the limbic system and do not even make attempts to cope with its impulses.

So this is what you are...

It’s easy to recognize an infantile man, but first you need to explain the term: translated from French, “ infante
” means “
” or “
This is a direct hit on target, because infantiles behave like unreasonable children and capricious heirs to thrones at the same time


Loves mom

Everyone loves their parents, but there is a special story here, just like an unbroken umbilical cord.
The infantile mother is the smartest, she is an expert in all areas - from pickling tomatoes to rocket science. The health and well-being of the parent comes first; for the sake of a high goal, an obedient son will sacrifice his interests and even his personal life. In short, he is a terry mama's boy - a terrible phenomenon.

Runs away from problems

Or avoids responsibility.
He is never to blame for anything, anyone is involved, but not the “little prince”. At work he is surrounded by angry colleagues and a clueless boss - so how to get along with them? At home his neighbors pester him, so out of spite he drills into the wall until midnight. Along the way, the car splashed because the driver was stupid, and not because the infantile was walking along the roadway. The eternal boy runs away from relationships, marriage, runs away from alimony, and constantly changes jobs.

Doesn't know how to handle money

He earns a meager living.
Or he can squander his salary in one day. Capable of taking out a loan with draconian interest rates for some fancy gadget. Infants are generally controlled by momentary desires, just like children: “Now I want to go on the swing, but now give me some ice cream.” So God forbid you trust such a person with the family treasury.

Can't stand criticism

Well, purely a kindergartener!
Scold a person a little, he pouts his lips, hides in a corner and throws cubes from there. In the adult version it looks a little different.

He pouts his lips and says: “You don’t love me, now I don’t love you either, I’ll go for a walk in the cold without a hat.” Or to another woman.

Competes with children

With relatives. He seriously fights with his offspring for a big piece of cake, the right to play “tank”, a comfortable seat by the bus window, and the attention of his wife and mother.

Looks youthful

Although this is not at all a fact.
In general, lifestyle is reflected in appearance: the more hassle, the more serious the look, the deeper the wrinkles and the stricter the dress code. It is immediately clear that a person carries the burden of life entirely on his shoulders. It’s like being eternal teenagers: sneakers on your feet, a minimum of wrinkles on your face, a beard and a beanie hat have already been mentioned.

Social infantilism

Very close to psychological and social infantilism. It also assumes that we have a mentally healthy person who does not want to accept responsibility and solve problems. In this case, these are issues of socialization, adaptation to environmental conditions, and social values. Mainly - the reluctance to take on the responsibility associated with new “adult” responsibilities for such individuals.

It should be noted that social infantilism contains not only an objective, but also an evaluative component.

The point is that the starting point here is the values ​​and mores of society. Values ​​change - for example, from generation to generation, and with such a change in the eyes of parents, their children will be social infantiles.

For example, now some women do not see the meaning of life in starting a family and raising children (traditional values). In the eyes of one part of society, such ladies look, at best, as infantile girls who do not want to take responsibility. In the eyes of another part, the decision not to have children can be even more responsible than the decision to give birth if a woman understands that she is not yet ready for this from a financial or moral point of view.

Thus, if representatives of the older generation talk about young people as completely infantile, they most likely mean social infantilism (or people who use this word may not know its meaning at all, but that’s a completely different story).

Since the psychological and sociological types are, in principle, quite close, we propose to further consider them together.

Infantile in work and personal life

Infantile men and women strive for an easy life, in which there are no serious worries and problems - like in childhood. At the same time, an “adult child” can be a very successful specialist in his field, but in everyday life, in relationships, behave like a teenager (flexible or capricious). But it also happens that he has problems with his work. For example, some people turn off the path when faced with even a small obstacle. They immediately give up, transfer the project to other employees, refuse promising positions and tasks, for fear of not being able to cope. Others are too irresponsible to rely on because they think it's okay to quit their job because they get bored or want to do something else. All this, of course, complicates the career path.

Infantilism knows no gender: it occurs with equal success in both men and women. It should also be noted that this phenomenon is far from new, and “adult children” have existed at all times.

As for family relationships, the heroes of our story may well be in strong relationships. But they are not looking for a partner, but for a parent - someone who will solve all their problems for them. If their significant other is satisfied with this role, then this union can be quite harmonious. “Older children” are suitable for those who prefer to make their own decisions for themselves and for others and who like everything to be the way they want. An “adult child” also has children of his own. Often, these two “types” of children enjoy spending time together, playing, etc. It is important here that the boy or girl still had an example of a “grown-up” adult before his eyes.

Contrary to the opinion of some people, a passion for computer games, science fiction, films, books, comics, collecting toys, etc. in itself is not at all a sign of infantilism in adults. Just as individual character traits or attitudes to certain life issues that do not coincide with the public point of view (marriage, children, work) do not speak about this. In future articles we will look at this issue in more detail. In the meantime, let us note: to be an infantile person means to exhibit many of the above-mentioned traits in a complex!

Which women become “victims” of infantilism?

Men with a “childish” character themselves are not against “sticking” to a certain category of women in whom “motherliness” is clearly expressed. Such ladies are ready to groom and cherish their companion day and night, as if he were not a man, but a small child. There are three types of women: child, woman and mommy. So, an infantile man most often connects his life with a woman, mommy, and this is natural, because he is a child. And what is noteworthy is that such tandems are most often observed in Russia.

After all, our women first of all see themselves as mothers. The reasons are quite understandable - living conditions are much worse than those of their European and American “colleagues”, a measure of responsibility, brought up by equally responsible parents. And it is not surprising that when searching for a companion, she pays more attention to male children.

But there is a paradox in this moment - she does not know that her mother is “hiding” in her subconscious. And she absolutely does not want to look for someone who cannot be a “strong shoulder”, support and support. But the fact happened. And it won't be long before she realizes that she made the wrong choice.

Reasons for the development of infantilism

As you know, many personality traits stem from childhood. Social and psychological infantilism is no exception. Moreover, in most cases it is associated with educational errors on the part of parents. Among the most common reasons are overprotection, the desire to please the child in everything, to protect him from all problems and worries, to run to help even before he asks for it.

]]>Imposed feeling of guilt]]> is one unpleasant thing that appears as a result of mistakes in education

Completely ignoring the opinions and feelings of a little person, making all the decisions for him (what to wear, what to play and what to do), and trying to embody in a son or daughter what the parent himself failed to do has a negative impact.

There are other reasons why children grow up according to their passport, but not according to their personal development. However, education is too large a topic that should be considered separately. The most important thing: due to the fact that parents constantly and at the root “cut off” the child’s decisions, dreams, aspirations, desires, ambitions, emotions, intentions, in the end he simply stops thinking and deciding on his own. Why, if it will still be as mom or dad say? Because of this, the process of formation and maturation of personality in a young person is disrupted, and as a result, it never matures.

Having become an adult, such a person tries his best to maintain the status quo - that is, not deciding anything for himself, not coping with difficulties, doing what others say. This has its advantages too. Are there any disadvantages? Yes, and there can be quite a lot of them.

What are the problems of infantilism?

Is it possible to get rid of infantilism?

It is possible to get rid of infantilism. Formally, in order to stop being infantile, a person needs to realize that his life depends only on him, that he can change it himself, that he has the right to his opinion, his decisions, emotions and desires, as well as to implement everything he has planned in life. It doesn’t look too complicated - in theory, all this is given to us from birth. However, in practice, if a person of conscious age has never listened to himself and made decisions,

it may be difficult for him to adjust. Therefore, not everyone manages to overcome infantilism without the help of a psychologist.

The desire of the person himself to change is also important. Many “adult children” do not see the peculiarities of their thinking and behavior. Everything described above is present for them rather on a subconscious level. They don’t think that mom/dad/husband/wife will come and solve all the problems. They don't understand that they can't make a decision themselves. They think (and say) things like, “I need to get some advice before I give a final answer.” Such people are proud enough to consider all imposed decisions as their own.

In addition, outwardly it is very convenient to be under eternal care, and if before the hero of our story lived within the framework of the “parent-child” model, it means that he had such an opportunity. However, if a person feels lonely, unhappy, or has some problems or fears, he himself may want to change something in himself and in his life. And for “adult children” this is already a big step forward.

Relationship with such a man

How to find yourself and your purpose in life: what does it mean and where to start

Not every woman will immediately identify a man’s immaturity; she won’t understand what kind of behavior this is either. Often, at the dating stage, such individuals behave very nicely. An unconventional lifestyle quickly attracts.

Important! The girl may not even know what the word “infantile” means. In society, such people are treated condescendingly and are rarely condemned.

A man will demand that the woman bring money to the family and provide him with comfort. In sex he will express himself from a dominant position. He is not interested in his partner’s emotions and feelings.

The girl is unhappy with the guy's behavior

He will threaten divorce or separation; blackmail is a common thing for him. It will be difficult to live with such a guy, since he can completely spend the family budget on a game console or easily leave, leaving the child at home alone.

It is useless to quarrel with such a person, since he will turn any situation so that the woman is to blame. It is almost impossible to correct an infantile person, since he perceives any remark negatively.

Raising children will also be bad. The man is sure that his presence is enough, this is already a big favor.

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