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  1. #1
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Default Can people who've reached maturity actually *regress* as they get older?

    I'm not talking about accidents or illnesses such as Alzheimer's, but actually regressing to less mature behaviors.

    Can a person who has actually reached emotional and mental maturity and demonstrated it consistently over the years actually regress back towards less mature behavior? Does it actually happen?

    I'm also not talking about a one-off thing, but a developing pattern.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    faze (v.): to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; to stun

    phase (n.):
    a stage in a process of change or development

    Get it right, people.

  2. #2
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buried Alien View Post
    I'm not talking about accidents or illnesses such as Alzheimer's, but actually regressing to less mature behaviors.

    Can a person who has actually reached emotional and mental maturity and demonstrated it consistently over the years actually regress back towards less mature behavior? Does it actually happen?

    I'm also not talking about a one-off thing, but a developing pattern.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    Depends. Do you consider a mid-life crisis to be a one-off thing?
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  3. #3
    Elder Member Winslow's Avatar
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    yes


    . . . . .

  4. #4
    internet pope howyadoin's Avatar
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    Wouldn't surprise me at all. Especially if the people in question are in environments that encourage immature behaviour.
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  5. #5
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    Depends. Do you consider a mid-life crisis to be a one-off thing?
    Probably not, as midlife crises tend to go on for years.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    faze (v.): to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; to stun

    phase (n.):
    a stage in a process of change or development

    Get it right, people.

  6. #6
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howyadoin View Post
    Wouldn't surprise me at all. Especially if the people in question are in environments that encourage immature behaviour.
    That answers a great deal for me, actually.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    faze (v.): to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; to stun

    phase (n.):
    a stage in a process of change or development

    Get it right, people.

  7. #7
    internet pope howyadoin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buried Alien View Post
    That answers a great deal for me, actually.
    Hah. I was mainly thinking of a typical day in advertising, but I'm sure we haven't cornered the market on such behaviour.
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  8. #8
    Life Sucks! OverMaster's Avatar
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    Yes, it can happen. One member of my family is a prime example of that.

    Emotional development can also go the negative/regressing way depending on the circumstances of life.

  9. #9
    Be Right Back... Spike-X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buried Alien View Post
    I'm not talking about accidents or illnesses such as Alzheimer's, but actually regressing to less mature behaviors.

    Can a person who has actually reached emotional and mental maturity and demonstrated it consistently over the years actually regress back towards less mature behavior? Does it actually happen?

    I'm also not talking about a one-off thing, but a developing pattern.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    You haven't spent a lot of time around old people, have you?

    Oh, wait. My mother was never emotionally mature to begin with.
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  10. #10
    Big Hairy Member JeffreyWKramer's Avatar
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    Yes, it happens, for a number of reasons.

    Sometimes people regress in response to trauma or stress; when what they're doing now doesn't handle the stress of today, they fall back on old patterns of behavior, and often of thinking and reacting to things.

    Sometimes it happens because a person has had his or her confidence rattled - by failure, by age, whatever - or is in psychological denial of the present, or making a futile attempt to avoid the future. This can be a midlife crisis, but it can also happen earlier - in someone who resents the restrictions imposed by marriage or the burdens of being a parent, for example.

    Sometimes it happens in response to situational factors, including - as others have noted - situations or environments which encourage immature or dependent behavior.

    If a person is a recovering alcoholic or addict who relapses, the person's behavior almost always regresses.
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  11. #11

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    I smell the moral judgement!

    We all contain all the selves we've always been, and the seeds of all the selves e might be.

    Some younger versions of ourselves are more appropriate to certain situations -- being a little kid alongside your own kid, or enjoying childish entertainment with your children, or so on.

    For that matter, being able to summon up the childish relationship to the outer world -- what psychoanalysis calls the "animist" stage -- is the key to a great deal of religious experience; not to mention the infantile stage that holds what Freud calls "oceanic bliss".

    So it's not necessarily a bad thing to "regress" -- you might just be using an appropriate skill set for matters at hand.

    Or indeed, as Jeffrey points out, one might fall back on the old patterns because they're a safe haven in times of stress.

    Or then again, one might fall back on the old patterns because they represent a time of less responsibility, and that way you get to duck the stress that's at hand; or deny the call to greater responsibility that one's current situation is offering.

    Or something inbetween, oscillating between the two until one is ready to take control of a situation that at first overwhelmed one; one step backwards, two steps forwards.

    Or one might be a hopeless case who just doesn't want to grow up.

    I know I am!
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  12. #12
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McEnery View Post
    Or one might be a hopeless case who just doesn't want to grow up.

    I know I am!
    I also remain happy in Neverland.
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  13. #13
    Elder Member Winslow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McEnery View Post
    Or one might be a hopeless case who just doesn't want to grow up.

    I know I am!
    My in-laws have called me Peter Pan before while watching me interact with my kids.

    At the same time, I know I have a responsibility as their father to provide and protect them.

    If I embrace the former and shirk the later, I have emotionally regressed to destructive patterns of behavior.

    It's entirely appropriate at times to embrace your inner child and enjoy wonder. But if you do so at the expense of your adult responsibilities and commitments, you need to be slapped. And if that's moral judgement, so be it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by howyadoin View Post
    Wouldn't surprise me at all. Especially if the people in question are in environments that encourage immature behaviour.
    I wonder where one could find a place like that?

  15. #15
    Rita's Rincewind Jared H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Omega View Post
    I wonder where one could find a place like that?
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