One of the hardest things to understand about emotionally immature people is that they think differently from the more mature person. If you assume that your emotionally imamture parent follows the same mental rules of logic or consistency, you will be dumbfounded when they suddenly go off topic, change the subject, or flatly refuse to acknowledge the facts.
If you encounter such avoidances in a conversation – especially in an emotional conversation – you will feel confused and stopped in your tracks. It won’t make sense. When you try to pin them down, it will feel like squeezing water. It can’t be done.
If you value the truth and are able to think logically, even when upset, this avoidant type of conversation will be incomprehensible. That is because your mind probably developed to a point where you could think abstractly and keep a train of thought going in order to deal with an unpleasant reality.
However, an emotionally immature person is dominated by emotion and anxiety, even in their style of thought.
Logic and staying on point will fly out the window as soon as they feel threatened, especially by perceived criticism or efforts at emotional intimacy. Like a child, they will change the subject, walk out, start blaming, or effectively end the conversation with a useless platitude. They simply don’t have the complexity of character to deal directly with anything that emotionally challenges them.
Watch how this happens, and you will be amazed at how their honesty and clear thinking seems to fall apart if you bring up something they find unpleasant. Once they go into avoidance or blaming, you can bet the conversation is essentially over for the time being. The best thing to do when you see this happening is to note their mental regression, chalk it up to their childlike anxiety, and plan to revisit the topic another time under calmer circumstances.