Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, you may have lingering feelings of anger, loneliness, betrayal, or abandonment. You may recall your childhood as a time when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of responsibility in an effort to compensate for your parent’s behavior. These wounds can be healed, and you can move forward in your life.In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood. By freeing yourself from your parents’ emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you’ll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.Discover the four types of difficult parents:The emotional parent instills feelings of instability and anxietyThe driven parent stays busy trying to perfect everything and everyoneThe passive parent avoids dealing with anything upsettingThe rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory 

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents Details

TitleAdult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2015
PublisherNew Harbinger Publications
ISBN-139781626251700
Rating
GenrePsychology, Nonfiction, Self Help, Parenting, Health, Mental Health, Relationships

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents Review

  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Hands down one of the best Psychology books I have ever read. I love this book so, so much. As anyone who has read my blog knows, I grew up with pretty awful (i.e., abusive) parents, so this book validated my experiences in such a profound way. I appreciate how Lindsey Gibson honors the emotional experience of growing up with an emotionally immature parent through her immense empathy and compassion. She makes space for the suffering and the painful yet necessary transformation of a helpless chil Hands down one of the best Psychology books I have ever read. I love this book so, so much. As anyone who has read my blog knows, I grew up with pretty awful (i.e., abusive) parents, so this book validated my experiences in such a profound way. I appreciate how Lindsey Gibson honors the emotional experience of growing up with an emotionally immature parent through her immense empathy and compassion. She makes space for the suffering and the painful yet necessary transformation of a helpless child to a self-aware adult. She writes like a warm therapist or friend who stands by your side, as opposed to a cold or detached professional. Throughout the book, she provides a ton of important research-based information too, like the four types of emotionally immature parents and various findings about attachment patterns.I most loved how Gibson provides specific, tangible strategies for improving your ability to handle difficult emotions as well as techniques to develop healthy, reciprocal relationships. I believe that everyone could benefit from reading these sections - and this book as a whole - as Gibson's insights apply to handling all emotionally immature people, not just parents. For example, she provides a thorough list of traits and behaviors of emotionally mature people at the end of the book that amazed me with its accuracy and understanding of humans.Ten out of five stars to this gem. I know I will come back to it both for my personal life and for my work as a mental health professional.
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  • September
    January 1, 1970
    Two words: Life altering. It's hard to review such a book without getting personal. I'm not interested in sharing my dirty laundry or my family's, but this book has completely changed my life. I learned I wasn't alone, and I learned many "whys." More importantly, beyond explaining the "hows" and "whys," the author gave tools for interacting with family, finding and making new emotionally mature relationships, inner change, and more. I would pick up more of Gibson's work in a heartbeat. I'm etern Two words: Life altering. It's hard to review such a book without getting personal. I'm not interested in sharing my dirty laundry or my family's, but this book has completely changed my life. I learned I wasn't alone, and I learned many "whys." More importantly, beyond explaining the "hows" and "whys," the author gave tools for interacting with family, finding and making new emotionally mature relationships, inner change, and more. I would pick up more of Gibson's work in a heartbeat. I'm eternally grateful.
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  • Beth Frost
    January 1, 1970
    Agh! I want to give this book five stars soooo badly, but there is one thing holding me back. The book talks in detail about emotionally immature parents, and how to recognize the behaviors. It also talks at length about internalizing and externalizing as responses to those behaviors. What it doesn't talk about is recognizing those same emotionally immature behaviors in yourself, and what you can do to mature in those areas. Of course, we'll have reactions to the behaviors of our parents, but ma Agh! I want to give this book five stars soooo badly, but there is one thing holding me back. The book talks in detail about emotionally immature parents, and how to recognize the behaviors. It also talks at length about internalizing and externalizing as responses to those behaviors. What it doesn't talk about is recognizing those same emotionally immature behaviors in yourself, and what you can do to mature in those areas. Of course, we'll have reactions to the behaviors of our parents, but many of us adopted those same behaviors, and would like to avoid making those same mistakes in our relationships now. I would've loved a section just before the end summary of each section that had 2-3 concrete exercises to help not behave in those emotionally immature ways.Why does this seemingly small criticism knock it down a full star? Maybe I'm an extreme internalizer ;-) but I found it sometimes hard to focus on the sections about why I deserved more while I was too busy worrying, "but I do that. And that! Oh no..." But, that being said, it's absolutely worth reading, I loved it. It was so helpful and has a really good balance of non-emotionally identifying immature behaviors and offering new attitudes and behaviors. I am so hoping that there's a sequel about not falling into emotionally immature behaviors ourselves.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book you pick out for a very specific reason, and it is hardly possible to review it in a neutral way. So I won't.I hope that I don't have to recommend it to anyone, as it means opening up a Pandora's box of unresolved issues with major impact on who you are and how you deal with life.Let's just say this: if you have the feeling that something was missing in your life, and that you were distinctly different from other people with regards to your family relationships, this book may help This is a book you pick out for a very specific reason, and it is hardly possible to review it in a neutral way. So I won't.I hope that I don't have to recommend it to anyone, as it means opening up a Pandora's box of unresolved issues with major impact on who you are and how you deal with life.Let's just say this: if you have the feeling that something was missing in your life, and that you were distinctly different from other people with regards to your family relationships, this book may help you to understand your defence mechanisms, your responses and guilt trap feelings. It may show you a way forward to realise your own potential, and a way to accept the limitations of relationships with emotionally immature people in your environment. It may help you develop a stronger sense of self and new confidence in your right to live your life according to your own wishes and dreams. It may cause pain. And it does contain nuts :-) But no worries - if you are a classic internaliser (externalisers usually don't read self-help books), you will have developed a strong sense of humour as a vital survival skill. This book is the apple Eve ate to gain knowledge of her all-consuming, emotionally immature parent.
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  • Angel
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I had read this book sooner! Finally validation that my family's repeated claim that I am "too sensitive" is more a reflection of their own emotional deficiencies than my own! Even though I knew my parental relations were not entirely healthy, they were still my primary model for relationships and, consequently, I had unwittingly come to see some dysfunctional behaviors as normal. This book made me realize that much of what I thought was just my personality were really defense mechanisms I wish I had read this book sooner! Finally validation that my family's repeated claim that I am "too sensitive" is more a reflection of their own emotional deficiencies than my own! Even though I knew my parental relations were not entirely healthy, they were still my primary model for relationships and, consequently, I had unwittingly come to see some dysfunctional behaviors as normal. This book made me realize that much of what I thought was just my personality were really defense mechanisms that commonly develop in response to emotionally immature caregivers. The descriptions were so on point that I teared up a bit reading it, but that's a sensitive internalizer for you! This book filled the much-needed role of clearly and compassionately showing what healthy behaviors I should expect in relationships and what healthy behaviors I need to work on adopting. Some of this I had discovered through life experience. I could have recognized and avoided some emotionally abusive situations if I had read this book earlier.
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  • lov2laf
    January 1, 1970
    This book has a long enough title as it is but it could also tack on..."How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, Self-Involved Parents, or Parents Who Never Parented You But You've Always Parented Them and They Expect You To Do So Until the Day They Die...and Is It Me or Are They Getting Even More Infantile in Their Old Age?"I'm guessing anyone that reads this book could slap a picture of one, both, or all of their parents into the book as the very definition of an Emotionally Immature Parent. I cou This book has a long enough title as it is but it could also tack on..."How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, Self-Involved Parents, or Parents Who Never Parented You But You've Always Parented Them and They Expect You To Do So Until the Day They Die...and Is It Me or Are They Getting Even More Infantile in Their Old Age?"I'm guessing anyone that reads this book could slap a picture of one, both, or all of their parents into the book as the very definition of an Emotionally Immature Parent. I could, at least, because this book breaks down that there are actually four types of emotionally immature parents and just nails it: Emotional, Driven, Passive, Rejecting.The book does a great job of distinguishing the difference between what it's like growing up with an emotionally mature vs immature parent (because if we haven't grown up with a mature parent it's hard to know what it's *supposed* to be like), the affect that has on the child and their development, the struggles and hard-wired characteristics that now grown up adult deals with, how to shake up and out of it (as best you can), how to deal with your parents in present day, and how to recognize healthy mature people, in general, so you can have healthier connections in your adult life.It basically reads like a definition and how-to guide and I feel like I'd need to walk around with the book as a reference for the next few years.What I took away from the book was validation of the f'ed-upness of my upbringing, clarity about *how* my parents are emotionally immature, the fact that they have absolutely no ability to be introspective and understand their behavior's impact (that's super enlightening), that your emotionally immature parents will NEVER change so it's important to give up the fantasy of having the parent you want from them, strategies for dealing with parents/emotionally immature people in present day and an understanding of "Oh crap, I have some of these characteristics myself." ::face palm::There's a wealth of information here delivered in a well-written, broken into clear sections kind of way that allows for easier digestibility and reference.Very good book. Recommend.
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  • Rosie Campos
    January 1, 1970
    Truly amazing. There's no shortage of self-help books in my house, all of which I've purchased in a feeble attempt to pinpoint that *thing* that's not quite right.I've suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life. I've also found it very difficult to connect with anyone on more than a superficial level, and most interactions left me drained. I couldn't be myself when I interacted with anyone. I was always preoccupied with being judged than establishing a friendship based on intimate comm Truly amazing. There's no shortage of self-help books in my house, all of which I've purchased in a feeble attempt to pinpoint that *thing* that's not quite right.I've suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life. I've also found it very difficult to connect with anyone on more than a superficial level, and most interactions left me drained. I couldn't be myself when I interacted with anyone. I was always preoccupied with being judged than establishing a friendship based on intimate communication. That requires a level of vulnerability that, until now, has remained elusive. I was truly surprised at how well the author was able to capture the many nuances of relationships with emotionally immature parents, and the myriad impacts that they have on their children. I know that change is going to be a process, but this book has made me feel adequately equipped to at least start the journey toward healing. And finally, FINALLY, I realize that it wasn't me after all. I'm not fundamentally flawed and unloveable. I thank the author from the bottom of my heart for her dedication to writing this book. I hope that countless others find strength and healing in its pages.
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  • Kenzie Swanson
    January 1, 1970
    Good introduction to the concept, helps you see your parents clearly. Not much there, though, on how to overcome the defenses you built in response and change your own thought process/behavior. It's discussed, but it's very high level and not very helpful. "Do this," not "Here's how you can do this." This isn't necessarily a book for people who recognize their parents as emotionally immature already and want to know how to overcome that influence in their own lives. If you're already on board wi Good introduction to the concept, helps you see your parents clearly. Not much there, though, on how to overcome the defenses you built in response and change your own thought process/behavior. It's discussed, but it's very high level and not very helpful. "Do this," not "Here's how you can do this." This isn't necessarily a book for people who recognize their parents as emotionally immature already and want to know how to overcome that influence in their own lives. If you're already on board with that, this won't be very helpful.
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  • Russelle
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! Very insightful to the point that I think the author followed my mom around and took notes for the book. In all seriousness, very eye opening.
  • Rachel Robins
    January 1, 1970
    This is an EXCELLENT book if you deal with emotionally immature people. The emphasis is obviously on adult children recovering from poor parenting but it was applicable in so many areas of my life. Just.Wow.
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I found this book to be extremely helpful for my life. Currently, I'm in a position where I'm re-evaluating relationships that have failed and identifying why.As the books says, it's common to find parents that fulfill your physical and financial needs without fulfilling your emotional needs. This applies to my parents. In this kind of position, this is confusing to understand because while growing up, there might have been a tendency to imagine that there is a infallible, understanding, loving I found this book to be extremely helpful for my life. Currently, I'm in a position where I'm re-evaluating relationships that have failed and identifying why.As the books says, it's common to find parents that fulfill your physical and financial needs without fulfilling your emotional needs. This applies to my parents. In this kind of position, this is confusing to understand because while growing up, there might have been a tendency to imagine that there is a infallible, understanding, loving part of a parent's personality that they are intentionally withholding from you. There is also a belief that this will change if you do enough. Whether it's through trying to help, listen, console, or beg for attention, there was a part of you that believed that they were going to show you this secret side of themselves they've been holding back. On top of this, it would mean that you will finally have your needs met.This book gives a hard truth: a lot of times, your parents are people who haven't healed their emotional issues. They can't offer you emotional intimacy or show genuine emotional interest for who you are as a person. In whatever way that has caused this, their relationship with you will always be preoccupied by their emotional scars. Whether it's through temper tantrums, rejecting you / showing you distance, letting someone else control them, losing track of time and consistency in their relationships -- they aren't emotionally capable of having that close parent-child relationship that you've always wanted.I liked that this book was written in an objective way. This book isn't intended to teach you that you are right and they are bad people. It isn't intended for pointing fingers. This book tells you the truth: sometimes your parents are emotionally immature people that haven't healed and they take it out on their kids and everyone else around them. As a child with both parents like this, I have the objective understanding that it won't be possible to develop a genuine intimacy with them. A lot of times with people like this, if you are close, it's more an enmeshment (you feeling as though you have to take care of your parent rather than the other way around). Every time you approach the relationship functioning from your inner child and with the expectation that if you did something differently, they will become the parent you want - you're going to feel disappointed every time.Basically every time you change yourself to fit your parent's expectations by helping out with their kids, walking on eggshells, becoming more of what they want rather than who you are -- all these behaviors are self-defeating. You're setting yourself up to fail in other relationships in the long-run because you're accustomed to overvaluing someone else's perceptions rather than your own. Eventually, you will feel your inner voice creeping on you and telling you that something feels wrong with these learned behaviors that you have picked up.This book basically provides long explanations of how a parent is an emotionally immature person, how you should let go of the dream of finally changing them, and how to stay objective and keep a relationship with them without expecting an emotionally fulfilling relationship back. It provides a good outline for other emotionally immature people, being mindful of people's maturity level before you get engaged about what you can expect from them, and suggests being objective as possible with people like this.This book helped me understand friendships, relationships and my relationship with both of my parents. It taught me where I learned to value other people more than myself, why I was doing this behavior, and how to make better decisions about who to have relationships with. It teaches you how to identify emotionally immature people and to keep your perception open for emotionally mature people that can reciprocate. By choosing emotionally immature people as friends or partners, it's likely that you're setting yourself up for failure because they tend to externalize themselves and their problems. People like this aren't likely to learn from mistakes and are more likely to repeat mistakes rather than learn from them. They tend not to self-reflect because they think that answers / circumstances to heal are outside of themselves.You will know if you are dealing with an emotionally immature person if:1. They are narrow-minded (once they have an opinion, they've made up their mind)2. Doesn't deal with stress well3. Have problems admitting mistakes, discount facts, blame other people4. Expect other people to soothe them by doing what they want5. Make decisions based on what feels good in the moment6. Subjectively analyze things (based on how they feel rather than what is actually happening)7. Egocentric without joy or openness (more from the perspective of insecurity and pain)8. Likes to be the center of attention9. Have intense but shallow emotions10. Have low empathy / are emotionally insensitive (have a good ability to read other people's intentions and feelings but are superficially sentimental at most)I've had both friendships and partners that resemble these traits and I understand why they were drawn to me. As more of an internalizer personality, I gave them a way to calm their stress down and make them feel like the center of attention. However when people are like this, they don't learn to self-reflect or consider how their actions / lifestyle contributed to their problems. Unfortunately being accommodating to people like this can be learned behavior from managing your parents with these same types of behaviors.The point of this book is to let go of the dream that your parents or anyone in your life will change because you want them to. Be discerning of people and keep an eye out for people that can provide emotionally happy and reciprocal relationships rather than repeating learned behavior.
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  • Laszlo Mag
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic piece of work. I've been stacking up on psychology books lately but this one gave me perspectives I haven't come across anywhere else. If you've been dealing with anxiety or any type of emotional distress for most of your adult life you might find some clues to the origins of your pain in this book. Some sections felt a bit thin and I would have loved to see the exercises dig a little bit deeper to facilitate further emotional awakening, but this book provided so many revelations and a Fantastic piece of work. I've been stacking up on psychology books lately but this one gave me perspectives I haven't come across anywhere else. If you've been dealing with anxiety or any type of emotional distress for most of your adult life you might find some clues to the origins of your pain in this book. Some sections felt a bit thin and I would have loved to see the exercises dig a little bit deeper to facilitate further emotional awakening, but this book provided so many revelations and aha moments that it deserves nothing but 5 stars from my personal point of view.
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  • Dorotea
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not sure that the knowledge that their hurtful behaviour is unintentional helps. However, this book was helpful in accepting the reality of the relationship with my parents. I now notice and understand their behaviour more clearly. It also sheds some light on why I loved some stories as a child, stories that at the core were about how children must fend for themselves after their parents have neglected or abandoned them. I was already familiar with many of the effects of EIP on children beca I’m not sure that the knowledge that their hurtful behaviour is unintentional helps. However, this book was helpful in accepting the reality of the relationship with my parents. I now notice and understand their behaviour more clearly. It also sheds some light on why I loved some stories as a child, stories that at the core were about how children must fend for themselves after their parents have neglected or abandoned them. I was already familiar with many of the effects of EIP on children because there’s an overlap with type 9s in enneagram theory, who often feel unseen by self-preoccupied parents and end up assuming role-selves and neglecting their own needs. So, my journey towards free self-expression began earlier and I can now say that I am better (but with big room for improvement) at being myself, expressing and taking care of my needs, asking for help, and sustaining emotional connections. Yet, I still cling to the healing fantasy that they will change. I still hope my dad will prosper without my mom’s influence (there’s evidence of partial, but not sufficient, improvement). I still hope my mom will eventually embark on a journey of self-reflection. I know I should suspend contact, set limits and move towards a relationship of relatedness. But I’m not sure of what I want. If I can’t have emotional intimacy from them, then what purpose could there be for having a working rapport? I don’t know what level of relationship might be possible. There’s decent prospects with my dad, while with my mother sometimes the situation seems hopeless, especially since it’s not just emotional immaturity, but it’s full-on narcissism. I only know that I want to be okay.
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  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    A good co-worker of mine bounced up to me excited, shoving this book in my hand, and said,"Gurrrrl, if your Filipino mom is anything like my Filipino mom, then you should read this. It's amazing and so true."So I read it and really liked it! I appreciate the discussion it created between my husband and me, as the book breaks down emotionally immature parents into four categories. His mother was clearly two strong categories and my mother was of the other two, and as a result we both were shaped A good co-worker of mine bounced up to me excited, shoving this book in my hand, and said,"Gurrrrl, if your Filipino mom is anything like my Filipino mom, then you should read this. It's amazing and so true."So I read it and really liked it! I appreciate the discussion it created between my husband and me, as the book breaks down emotionally immature parents into four categories. His mother was clearly two strong categories and my mother was of the other two, and as a result we both were shaped completely differently, amongst other cross cultural reasons. What I took away was appreciation for my younger self recognizing a lot of this early on, and identifying how I work with my emotionally immature parent as an adult child, and how I separate myself. I appreciated the details of how children mature in different ways at young ages, in order to cope with these parents. I for sure will read this again if ever I become a parent.The one thing I skimmed over were the little exercises peppered throughout the book, as I'm not a fan of those, and I was able to easily identify the conclusion the writer was trying to guide readers to. Overall, it's a heavy but really easy read! I even told my therapist about it and she wrote down a little note to check it out.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was extremely validating. It felt good to have a professional description of behavior and patterns I recognized in my own life put in writing and allow me to think about them in a more objective way. Secondly, the last few chapters of the book are about how to change your way of relating to your parents and partners and work on yourself with awareness of what emotional maturity and immaturity look like in action. Anyone who thinks they recognize themselves in the title of this book sho This book was extremely validating. It felt good to have a professional description of behavior and patterns I recognized in my own life put in writing and allow me to think about them in a more objective way. Secondly, the last few chapters of the book are about how to change your way of relating to your parents and partners and work on yourself with awareness of what emotional maturity and immaturity look like in action. Anyone who thinks they recognize themselves in the title of this book should read it.
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  • Ingrida
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, it's a nice, warm, validating guideline for changing the way you relate with your emotionally immature parents, so that that relationship does not further damage your well-being, does not hinder your growth anymore, etc. Full of very specific pieces of advice on how to react to provocations, guilt-tripping and such - one being to set a goal of what you want to say, expressing yourself and then letting go, not expecting for a parent's behaviour or view to change (one of the importan First of all, it's a nice, warm, validating guideline for changing the way you relate with your emotionally immature parents, so that that relationship does not further damage your well-being, does not hinder your growth anymore, etc. Full of very specific pieces of advice on how to react to provocations, guilt-tripping and such - one being to set a goal of what you want to say, expressing yourself and then letting go, not expecting for a parent's behaviour or view to change (one of the important steps is giving up on such healing fantasies).When you understand better, what constitutes emotionally immature person's traits (and Gibson does a great job at giving an exhaustive list of such examples), you can take a step towards forging healthier relationships outside your family, as you can then know what to look for if your goal is surrounding yourself with emotionally mature people or learning to be this way yourself.A very very useful book, that I'm sure I'll keep on coming back to - surely can give it 5 stars.
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  • Fritz42
    January 1, 1970
    This was an interesting read for me. I initially picked this one up in order to get further insight about some of the students we work with at our school that have emotionally immature parents. What I didn't expect was insight into my own family and how one of my parents fit the same category. I learned how I responded during my childhood - internalizer - and how that impacted things with authority figures and my relationships with my siblings. What I really appreciated is seeing how my older si This was an interesting read for me. I initially picked this one up in order to get further insight about some of the students we work with at our school that have emotionally immature parents. What I didn't expect was insight into my own family and how one of my parents fit the same category. I learned how I responded during my childhood - internalizer - and how that impacted things with authority figures and my relationships with my siblings. What I really appreciated is seeing how my older sibling fit into the category of externalizer, which explained why she made my teenage years difficult. This book goes through and explains the different types of emotionally immature parents. It explains how each one reacts and why. It then goes into explaining the type of reactions that evolve in children of these types of parents. But it doesn't leave you there. It gives you ways to overcome the roles that you were put in as a child so that you can become a self-aware and healthier adult. It's definitely one that I will be lending to some people that could benefit from these insights and recommendations.
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  • Sterling
    January 1, 1970
    A beneficial read which sheds light on the behaviors of parents who don't quite seem to know how to parent -- either by placing the expectations too high, or by assuming the child can parent themselves, or by demanding the child take on parental roles themselves. The author uses examples from her own practice to better illustrate the scenarios she describes.A fair amount of what she recommends for learning how to grow past it is material I learned already through trial and error, but that means A beneficial read which sheds light on the behaviors of parents who don't quite seem to know how to parent -- either by placing the expectations too high, or by assuming the child can parent themselves, or by demanding the child take on parental roles themselves. The author uses examples from her own practice to better illustrate the scenarios she describes.A fair amount of what she recommends for learning how to grow past it is material I learned already through trial and error, but that means I can already tell you that what she says is effective. This book filled in some holes in my understanding, too, so I came away feeling enriched for the effort of reading.
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  • Travel Writing
    January 1, 1970
    Just.Wow.I may have lifted that from another reviewer, but it is appropriate to say it a couple more times in reference to this work.Gibson writes a book so practical and clear that anyone who has dealt with an emotionally immature person will repeatedly say, "Oh yep. Yeah. That's happened. Oh, and that. I always felt that way and couldn't pin it down, but there it is."I am going to give it a few days and read it again. It truly is that useful and practical.
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  • Maya
    January 1, 1970
    If you look at the title of this book and it makes you squirm a little (like it does to me) or if you have even a flash of thinking it might apply to you, I recommend giving it a chance. Not always easy for me to read/face, but It is SO helpful (and not just for parent relationships). After reading this, I now think all humans are probably at least a little bit emotionally immature, but awareness and handling of it is what counts. Read it!
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  • Bryn Hammond
    January 1, 1970
    Rules of thumb for how to deal with an emotionally abusive parent who cannot communicate on an adult level. Useful knowledge to avoid being self-defeating. Main practical takeaway: Only disconnect, as E.M. Forster didn't say. When it came to ways to rescue yourself from a situation, I found it only outlined strategies. But that's what the sequel is for: Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy and Find Personal Happiness.The author is a psychologist in Rules of thumb for how to deal with an emotionally abusive parent who cannot communicate on an adult level. Useful knowledge to avoid being self-defeating. Main practical takeaway: Only disconnect, as E.M. Forster didn't say. When it came to ways to rescue yourself from a situation, I found it only outlined strategies. But that's what the sequel is for: Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy and Find Personal Happiness.The author is a psychologist in clinical practice in this area.
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  • Bianca Elena
    January 1, 1970
    Really helpful, oriented to emotionally imature persons as an example. Easy to understand, since English is not my native language, and The abundance of examples in The book makes it very relatable, therefore, it is really powerful and empowering. Great book!
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  • Jessie
    January 1, 1970
    Great starting point for anyone who is healing from being emotionally &/or physically abandoned in childhood. The author is fair & I appreciated how she doesn’t want to just point the blame but wants us to empathize if we can and then shows us how to let it go & move forward.Would recommend.
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  • Abbie
    January 1, 1970
    That was rough but probably good for me
  • Rachel Nabors
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I’d read this years ago. I understand why I had the burn out, the divorce, and now this sudden feeling of “waking up.” I understand the loneliness I’ve felt through all of my life. And I know what to do going forward. Child of an absent narcissist father and borderline mother here. If your parents were messed up and you feel lonely all the time, this book is for you.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    3.5--The extreme sensitity with which Gibson approaches the topic of this book is its greatest strength. Reading it felt very much like sitting in a therapist's office, chatting about your day and receiving validation and encouragement. The tone was almost uniformly gentle, but with valuable and necessary firmness. The structure is logical and easy to follow, with just enough anecdotal interludes and scholarly references.I say "almost uniformly gentle" because there were moments of clear author 3.5--The extreme sensitity with which Gibson approaches the topic of this book is its greatest strength. Reading it felt very much like sitting in a therapist's office, chatting about your day and receiving validation and encouragement. The tone was almost uniformly gentle, but with valuable and necessary firmness. The structure is logical and easy to follow, with just enough anecdotal interludes and scholarly references.I say "almost uniformly gentle" because there were moments of clear author bias. According to Gibson, children of emotionally immature parents either become internalizers or externalizers to cope with their trauma, but Gibson expends far more attention and genuine affection on the internalizers. Inernalizers receive an entire chapter devoted to them, and all tips for relating to the EI parents are centered around an internalizer's unique struggles with the parent. Externalizers, on the other hand, are pretty thoroughly brushed over and even a little maligned. Gibson says more than once that externalizers - being themselves emotionally immature -aren't likely to read her book because they have no desire to change or self reflect, and perhaps no capacity for it (a ridiculous and obviously biased outlook). She speaks pretty harshly about their personalities and then summarily dismisses them.I'm largely an externalizer, and I sought out and read Gibson's book. So to say the least, I was hurt and disappointed in this tonal shift, especially towards the end of the book. I wished the same softness and understanding had been extended to externalizing children who are struggling from the lasting affects of their childhood deprivations, albeit in a less healthy way. Yeah, we may be fucked up, but we're trying, too. Nevertheless I still see the value in this work, and I'm buying it for my internalizer best friend for Christmas.
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  • J.
    January 1, 1970
    This book sent me on a rollercoaster of recognition. Before it, I had tried being a better daughter, being smiley and content no matter what I was experiencing emotionally and basically sacrificing my own needs only to have it return in an ineviable cycle where I couldn't take it anymore and my true feelings would come up. "Respect your parents" in the ways they wanted me to required keeping your mouth shut, listening to their opinions and personal struggles and letting them be fallible while yo This book sent me on a rollercoaster of recognition. Before it, I had tried being a better daughter, being smiley and content no matter what I was experiencing emotionally and basically sacrificing my own needs only to have it return in an ineviable cycle where I couldn't take it anymore and my true feelings would come up. "Respect your parents" in the ways they wanted me to required keeping your mouth shut, listening to their opinions and personal struggles and letting them be fallible while you take all the emotional brunt. I would be met with disregard as soon as I decided I couldn't fake it anymore and as usual I was told I was too much(too sensitive often), was seeing things wrong or needed to forgive and forget, which only left me more unraveled and confused and wanting to stay away. I was happier that way.This book helped me to see that I wasn't a cold-hearted person as I often felt I was for feeling this way, but that I was simply taking care of myself. My needs were met with inconsistency and it is okay that I took it upon myself to meet my own needs and steer clear of that hurt at the time. This book helped me to re-engage understanding that I can let go of my expectations for my parents, set the boundaries that make me feel comfortable and give myself the things I need. It showed me that it's okay to feel sad about those missing pieces, but that ultimately, I am working towards breaking whatever cycles of emotional immaturity and unavailability for future generations by tuning into what I need now. I am so grateful for this book. I listened to the ebook late last year and I'm listening too it again now that I live closer to my family temporarily. Highly recommended for anyone who recognizes themselves in these patterns as well.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    This book hit close to home and certainly had a lot that I could identify with, having been raised in a home with two very emotionally immature parents trying to do their best. I give them a lot of credit for what they did right, but the truth is a lot of the immaturity persists to this day. Fortunately, books like this can be of aid in my quest to break the cycle.The problem I had with this book is that the author speaks authoritatively but without much citation to research. Her primary sources This book hit close to home and certainly had a lot that I could identify with, having been raised in a home with two very emotionally immature parents trying to do their best. I give them a lot of credit for what they did right, but the truth is a lot of the immaturity persists to this day. Fortunately, books like this can be of aid in my quest to break the cycle.The problem I had with this book is that the author speaks authoritatively but without much citation to research. Her primary sources are her own clients from her own practice and her own experiences. Sure, life experience counts for a lot, but it was apparent that the author's own bias often came into play. And I felt like the author had a tendency to victimize her clients even though obviously the therapist was typically getting one side of the story during counseling sessions.My wish for myself and for others is that adults take primary responsibility for their own emotional health and well being, and own up to the fact when they fall short. But this assumes a certain level of emotional maturity and therein lies the problem. This book provides a few tools for handling key relationships with people who are simply incapable or unwilling to manage their own emotional health. And for that it is useful.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    I would highly recommend this book to anyone in a difficult relationship, but particularly those who struggle with a parent. I would agree that this book is a life changer. Not only was it extremely validating and reaffirming in what I already knew, but it also helped me with coping techniques. If you feel like you can't have a productive or meaningful conversation with someone, and you know you will always be the one to blame while the other person is the perpetual victim and will never take a I would highly recommend this book to anyone in a difficult relationship, but particularly those who struggle with a parent. I would agree that this book is a life changer. Not only was it extremely validating and reaffirming in what I already knew, but it also helped me with coping techniques. If you feel like you can't have a productive or meaningful conversation with someone, and you know you will always be the one to blame while the other person is the perpetual victim and will never take a look at herself (or himself), then this is the book you have been looking for. I felt like Gibson knew my life when I read this book, right down to the fact that I left home at a very young age because I knew I had to take care of myself. 5+ stars.
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  • Kjerstin
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone should read this! Learning to gauge the "emotional maturity" of the adults you encounter in everyday life helps keep the frustration level manageable with realistic expectations. Emotional maturity is not a question of natural maturation - it doesn't just "happen" with age. Many otherwise capable people are quite immature/insecure emotionally, and it will affect their ability to get along with others.
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