It's one thing to baby talk when showing affection to a partner, it's another to throw a tantrum in the middle of an argument.
At first, being a 'big baby' in a relationship can be endearing and cute; women are guilty of this. Before you know it, though, you're stuck with someone who can't even hold a serious conversation—the immaturity can be unattractive.
This type of behavior will just go on, unless you have the guts to confront her, or better yet, understand where she's coming from.
Dr. Leon F. Seltzer, a psychologist who specializes in couples conflict and compulsive behaviors, says everyone has the tendency to act like a child “when present-day circumstances tap into old, unresolved doubts of fears.”
As he explained in Psychology Today: “When our buttons get pushed, when another person makes us feel threatened—especially someone we’re intimately connected to and so emotionally depend on, like our partner—we betray a strong tendency to instantly regress into our reactive child self.”
A woman who gets into a relationship with someone who shares the same trait as their father tends to exhibit this behavior, says Dr. Cely Magpantay, a psychologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Triad Psychological Testing and Review. They feel the urge to behave like spoiled, bratty princesses in front of their partner.
Apparently, the opposite sex has the “universal need” to be loved, and they assume that it would be more effective to ask for it in a childish manner.
While this is a common, Magpantay says this attitude keep a relationship from growing to its full potential. “When the other feels the burden and is no longer happy because of such behavior, that means it’s already too much.”
Talk it out ASAP if you feel the relationship's worth saving, Magpantay emphasizes, and “discuss it in a non-rejecting and non-judgmental way.”
Find a perfect timing to explain to your partner how her behavior has become troublesome. Tell her there are other ways to be sweet and intimate without being annoying.
“As a responsible partner, you need a listening ear and sensitive heart to meet her demands,” adds Magpantay.
Better yet, establish rules. Limit what you will and will not tolerate in your partnership. This helps manage her actions.
“You need to be tough in setting boundaries,” Magpantay notes. If you give in to her cries or tantrums, your inaction will only reinforce her conduct.
Most importantly, remind her that you love her as an adult and are not looking to be someone’s “daddy.”
Dr. Cely D. Magpantay, PhD, RP, RPm is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychometrician. She caters to different psychological services like neuropsychological, personality, forensic, and behavioral assessments, and psychotherapy and counseling for children, adults, and families. For more on this and other relationships concern, visit her at St. Luke's Medical Center in 279 E Rodriguez Sr Ave, Quezon City. You can set an appointment by calling 732-03-01 or (+63) 908-353-4862.
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