The question I would like to discuss with you today is “Do people think I’m childish?” Imagine having someone called you childish right in your face. That must not feel good, right? Some people find this label very annoying, since it is not just an attack to our direct personality but it might also feel degrading at the same time. When someone calls you childish, they are basically saying that you are not at the same level as them. You are lower. Not always true, but at least that is how it makes us feel. But, as we probably have heard several times now, who you are is not defined by other people. So, just because people assume that you’re childish doesn’t mean that you actually have a kid-like personality. Sometimes, it is just the small things or habits that you do. One habit doesn’t define your complete personality. Who you are, is self-defined. When people call you childish, rather than being mad and defensive about it, take it as an opportunity to validate your self-definition by asking an introspective question towards yourself. The question is, if I disagree with what they say, then what are the things I did that can make people mistakenly see me as childish?
Well, there are some. I can only share the ones I know, and I can start with the easiest one. Maybe, your jokes are childish. Yes. Sometimes it’s just the jokes that you tell. Humor is different in adults and in kids or teenagers. When you like making jokes that are usually made by humans in the non-drinking age, it can make you appear a bit childish. Let’s face it, every one of us can spot childish jokes from regular jokes, but not all of us want to see it. Especially when it happens internally, or in other words, when we are the one doing it. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. It is harder to see the flaw in ourselves compared to the one in other people. As humans, all we can do is train ourselves to do so. List out the types of childish jokes you can possibly think of, keep a mental memory of it. Later, when you are in a social setting and you casually said a joke, make a habit of taking a few seconds to check whether the joke belongs to one of the childish jokes types.
Besides jokes, another easy reason why we can seem childish is due to our childish hobbies or social preferences. For example, if you can’t stop talking about that new action figure you just bought, or that favorite cartoon you are watching, expect people to see those interests differently. To you it’s just a hobby, for to others with assumptions, it defines your personality. Not fair, but true. The same bias is applicable on our social preferences. Statistically, extroverts are more likely to be perceived as childish by people around them. And this is for many reasons, but one of them is for how extroverts prefer activities that involve a lot of people. Usually, they don’t like doing things alone. Sadly, our society perceives independent people as more mature, even though it is not always true. For the opposite type, which is the “dependent” people, the likelihood of being perceived as childish is significantly higher.
The third possible reason is slightly deeper than just jokes and hobbies. It can be, because you are known to be ignorant towards advice. I’m not saying that you are definitely stubborn, it’s just that maybe you don’t seem to actively try changing something when someone advises you to. It is not always because you reject the advice, but perhaps you just don’t feel it’s major enough that you need to actually put an extra effort and do what is expected. But, you need to be aware that other people’s standards are not always the same as you. You may think it’s not a big deal, but it probably is for some people. One thing I’ve learned from life is that it’s always better to overdress when attending an event with no predefined dress code. The same custom is applicable in this case. It is better to take it more seriously than it is supposed to be, and save yourself some good credibility towards others.
Another possible reason for the childish label is, you like to break the rules. Too much. Every one of us breaks the rule sometimes. Some people more than the others, mostly because they prefer to do things their own way and learn from it rather than being told to do something. But even these type of people has two different subtypes. First are the ones who break the rules not because they don’t want to follow them, but because they question the validity of the rule. It doesn’t make sense to their values and knowledge. This type of people will not be seen as childish by society, because they have reasonings behind the rebellious attitude. Simply put, they use their mind. Second are the ones who like to break rules just because they want it. Most of the time, they see rules as a threat to their freedom. We probably know that this attitude is most prominent among teenagers, considering that teenagers are in that phase of life of seeking self-identity. So, when an adult does it, it is seen as childish. Simple association.
Finally, I’m saving the worst for the last. Childish labels can emerge due to our egoistic behavior. As we all know, the younger a kid is the more we adults have to cater to what the kid needs. With babies, we even do it with no questions asked. Changing diapers, feeding soft food, holding them so they would stop crying. We can’t tell them to be quiet and expect them to do what we want. In other words, babies and kids are entitled to be egoistic. They are not expected to care about others, that is something they will learn by time. You see where I’m going here? Whether we like it or not, egoism is associated with childishness. In the case of egoism, it is different from rule breaking. As I said, rule breaking is acceptable when you’re doing it cleverly, but egoism is just plainly frowned upon. No matter how smart and rich you are, if you don’t care for other people at all, people are not going to see you as an adult. Caring doesn’t mean you have to be Mother Theresa. Caring can be as simple as acknowledging that the world doesn’t revolve around you.
So, do you think you are childish? I would love to hear what you think! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, connect with me through my website in LifeForExperts.com, my Twitter in @lifeforexperts, or my Instagram in @lifeforexpert without the letter “s” at the end.
Thank you for trusting Life For Experts. Never stop learning to become an expert in life. I’m Dannis, and I will see you next time. Bye!