"Oh for God's sake, grow up!"
Not physically looking like a child, except perhaps in mannerisms.
Not dressing like a child.
Not showing the intelligence of a child.
But becoming like a child - emotionally.
A recent conversation took place between me and some business colleagues. The subject
of the behaviour of colleagues was mentioned. We all came up with examples of incidents we
had witnessed. Discussing it further, I suggested that while the phrase, 'behaving like a child' would
accurately describe the behaviour observed. There were different reasons behind the immaturity described.
They are not gender specific.
He did this regularly. His boss was never really able to manage him properly and tended to give into
anything less than perfect.
dramatically, went out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
4. This is not quite 'a tantrum', but bolshy, immature behaviour. A woman being quietly disruptive, when someone is presenting or speaking.
of the room. I'm sure that most of all have experienced this. In fact, I'm embarrassed to admit that I am
position in a university. He regularly had tantrums in the workplace. Generally, shouting, screaming,
banging the table and walking out of meetings. Most of time, he succeeded in getting his on way.
presented as a man/boy. He had grown up getting his own way by having tantrums and was indulged
by staff members. Unless someone was able to draw boundaries and be consistent in their non
acceptance of his behaviour, it was likely to carry on.
Achievements that they are generally not satisfied with. For every document they produce, there
have been ten, twenty, thirty drafts. They cannot be satisfied with their work.
to this fact, they are driven by childhood experiences of their work not being considered good enough.
their EQ in delivering work, is stuck in childhood.
When I did my training, I was taught that 'perfectionists achieve nothing'. That's not quite true.
But they probably dispose of some really excellent work and ideas on the way to producing the final
piece of work. Productivity is low and time-wasting is high. This can add to the stress of deadlines.
People with perfectionist tendencies, often have high levels of anxiety. It's not good for general health
to have cortisol coursing through the body constantly. It's wonderful in small doses.
3. I remember this well, though it was 28 years ago. I behaved in a sulky (childish in itself) way in the
meeting, wound myself up and then made a dramatic exit. Why? Because I didn't feel I was being
included. Someone had forgotten to inform me of the meeting. I found out at the last minute. I felt ignored
and left out. It wasn't fair! I resorted to an attention-seeking behaviour. It worked in so much that I drew
attention to myself, but ultimately the people left in the room, were rightly, not impressed. Fortunately,
I wasn't indulged and never did it again. There were more adult ways to communicate. I know I was
resorting to the child, who wasn't listened to or opinions acknowledged. But that was then and this
was now. I needed to 'grow up'. I did.
of little interest to them, it may be boring, it may being poorly delivered. We've all been in meetings
like that. The person quietly, but noticeably, shows their dissatisfaction. They feel they are superior
in some way, to the speaker. They start to engage a neighbour in low level asides. Just like being
in the back row at school. I know, because I was that 'back row' child. The worst case I witnessed was
perhaps, not surprisingly, between two members of staff from a young persons exclusion unit. They
behaved like their students. In my most recent observation of this behaviour, the person involved was
retired. They are experiencing difficulties not being wanted professionally anymore and 'should have
known better'. Isn't that what you say to a child? I felt an enormous urge to tell them to 'grow up' and
stop being so rude. At 70?
tantrum giver, with hindsight. To repeat my mantra, ' Childlike is okay at times, childish not okay
Enjoying childlike moments of joy, fun, wonderment, innocent curiosity and simple pleasures, is to be recommended and encouraged until the day we die. We can still behave as an adult, remain in control and it is not boring.
What certainly is boring and a pain for everyone involved, is childish behaviour. A child takes control of our thoughts and actions and the results can be extremely damaging and long lasting.
do it." Another well-used expression from childhood. Others won't change because they gain something
from their actions and don't want to lose that control. It's known as secondary gain in therapeutic work
and difficult to work with sometimes.
These adults had been emotionally hijacked. While they were being adult in their body, their minds
had been hijacked by their emotionally needy child from way back when.
A child who had a need to be heard, a need to be liked, a need for healthy attention, a need for
listen to the old voices, past their sell-by date.
It's time to 'grow-up'.