What is the difference between immature and childish?

With the shovel on your head: 5 childish behavior patterns that make you look immature in the office

Maintaining your inner child to a certain extent is definitely desirable. Sometimes you shouldn't take yourself or certain situations too seriously. An inappropriate reaction to the behavior of another can also occur. It's only human. One study shows that the following behaviors are even common among employees: whining, pouting, gossiping, and grimacing behind a colleague's back. However, there is a difference between showing humanity and being a child's head. Childish behavior can be observed in many adults in the workplace. And should you not be able to stop your immature actions, your career can suffer extremely as a result. What exactly is meant by "childish behavior", we want to clarify for you in the following sections.

1. Sloppy use of communal areas

One should think that adults have a basic understanding that communal kitchens and toilets should be treated with respect. After all, these are also used by other colleagues. But far too often it happens that the bathrooms get dirty like school toilets and dirty dishes are simply stacked in the kitchens instead of putting them in the dishwasher. As far as hygiene is concerned, one wonders whether the culprits behave the same in their own four walls or in their mother's house. But exactly this behavior can be a career killer for you. If you feel addressed now, you should change your actions quickly. Because colleagues will notice that you are often responsible for clutter and dirt. This is not good for your reputation, nor is it good for the working atmosphere. You will be seen as disrespectful and disrespectful. And even if you do a good job, your boss is unlikely to think about you the next time you get promoted.

2. Put the blame on others

Sometimes things don't go as planned. And especially when it comes to projects that are being worked on by a group or several departments, it is easy to find someone else to blame for the failure. But if you start by constantly rejecting mistakes, it will make you look childish and uncooperative. Not to mention the anger of your colleagues, which you draw on yourself. To give your career a kick, you need to show maturity. Take the blame for your own mistakes and stand up for them, even with group projects. This will earn you the respect of your colleagues and boss. Because something can always go wrong. However, keeping your head turned and learning from your mistakes proves greatness and takes you further. Founder Jason Patel explains:

This is a quick way to burn bridges. People will think you cannot be trusted and will avoid giving you work. No one will ask you for a favor if they think you’ll turn on them. The workplace is about supporting each other, and blaming others is the antithesis of that.

3. To be impulsive and offensive

Children find it difficult to keep their impulses in check. They say what they think or have a tantrum in the grocery store for not being bought candy. Granted, as an adult, you probably won't throw yourself on the floor and start screaming, but impulsiveness is different too. For example, by raising your voice against a colleague. Or worse, insulting them. Not only are you showing the most childish behavior, but you are also showing how little respect you have for your colleagues. It's probably even worse if you swear at your boss with swear words. As an adult, you should be able to control your impulses and analyze the situation in order to gain distance. Of course, sometimes you secretly think “idiot!” But you should never say that. Rather, you should find a way to defuse the situation.

4. Be unprepared and let your colleagues down

Team projects usually require the same level of commitment from everyone involved. And if someone needs help, they should be given a helping hand. However, if you don't see other people's problems as your problem, that's childish. After all, you have a common goal and it shouldn't be your ambition to distinguish yourself over the failure of others. Helpfulness should therefore be a quality shared by all employees and employers. Of course there are also limits here and you shouldn't say yes and amen to every request. But not bothering you at all is just as bad.

The same also applies to the hated meetings. You are probably not the only colleague who is tired of this. Still, you all have to go through it. And that is exactly why it is childish to take part unprepared out of spite. Even if you don't feel like it, you should take five minutes in advance and prepare yourself mentally and maybe even find points that you want to address. Just sitting around and shrugging at questions is similar to the behavior of a defiant student who hasn't done his homework. So show your mature side.

5. Play Gossip Girl at work

We all do it now and then. Something about the behavior of another employee doesn't suit us and that's why we run to our favorite colleague and gossip about it with him. Sometimes this desire cannot be turned off and is human to a certain extent. However, the gossip should not gain the upper hand or turn into targeted bullying. Children are sometimes cruel to one another - we adults shouldn't take this any further. Founder Justin Hussong also explains this:

People love to talk in the workspace because it makes the day go by quicker, but if those conversations veer toward the gossip side it will crater your perception in the workplace. There is a big difference between being the friendly co-worker who is always good for a quick chat and the sneaky troublemaker constantly spreading rumor.

Excessive gossip and bullying disturb the working atmosphere and also make you look childish and insidious. Of course, you don't get along with everyone equally well. But if you have a serious problem with someone, you should solve it in an adult way. Compromises can often be found in a one-on-one conversation. And if the relationship with a colleague cannot be saved at all, you should at least try to work with them on a respectful level. For an adult that should be possible.

Hold in a little childishness, but show mature behavior

You should never lose your inner child, otherwise you would miss out on a lot of fun in life. Sometimes you have to put reason aside and just be crazy and trust your gut feeling. But mature behavior in the workplace is particularly important for your career. In addition to the five points mentioned that you should avoid, here are five quick tips that will help you make a grown-up impression:

  1. Dare to speak your mind in meetings.
  2. Ask for help if you get stuck.
  3. Try to be on time.
  4. Stand behind your opinion or beliefs, even if others criticize them.
  5. Participate in office life, but don't get drawn into “schoolyard dramas”.

To be an adult does not mean to walk narrow-mindedly and with blinkers through life. It's more about contributing to a respectful coexistence and keeping your impulses under control. In kindergarten, problems are solved by hitting the other person on the head with a shovel - at work you should solve these with sensible conversations.