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Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy and Find Personal Happiness
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Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy and Find Personal Happiness

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  671 ratings  ·  77 reviews
In this important sequel to Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, author Lindsay Gibson offers powerful tools to help you step back and protect yourself at the first sign of an emotional takeover, make sure your emotions and needs are respected, and break free from the coercive control of emotionally immature parents.

Growing up with emotionally immature parents
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by New Harbinger Publications
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Morgan Blackledge
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a supplemental guide that supports author Lindsay C. Gibson’s other book Adult Children Of Emotionally Immature Parents.

That being said, this book totally stands alone on it’s own merits. So go ahead and start here if you’re so inclined.

I’m like a Lindsay C. Gibson fan boy. I’m amazed by her empathy, breath of knowledge, originality and skillful presentation.

It’s real live practical magic.

Her books are LOADED with wisdom, insight and actually extremely useful and spot on advice on ho
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emotional immaturity is a far more useful and less pathologizing framework than a lot of what I've found in the pop emotional abuse literature so far. Not everyone who treats people badly is a psychopath, and I think Gibson does an excellent job explaining what might drive emotionally immature - and sometimes abusive - behavior, without excusing it or minimizing the impacts.

Also, Recovering from EI Parents had by far the most direct, concrete advice and tactics I've seen for coping with and prot
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wholeheartedly recommend this book, particularly to those whose childhoods included induced guilt or shame.

I found so much useful information in this book. The author is wonderfully matter-of-fact yet kind: "Here's what's going on, here's what you may have had to deal with, here's many of the ways you might feel, there's no shame in feeling any of these things, and here's some compassionate support and strategies for moving forward."

The book deals both with emotionally immature (EI) parents
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting learnings and reflections. The only caveat is Authors lack of consideration for cultural differences. What she describes as emotionally immature parenting is considered normal and status quo in Asian culture. I struggle with this since what she described as “immature” has been the norm all my life as well as the lives of friends and family with similar cultural upbringings. Not saying she’s wrong but seems a pretty big statement and huge oversight. Nevertheless this is an interesting ...more
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
While the first half of the book was great in providing understanding as to why your parent may be the way they are, I felt the second half of the book was lacking. An assumption is made that the child wants to maintain a relationship with the parent. It felt like all the work is still being put on the child but with coping mechanisms. I had been hoping for more on direction to distance yourself from an EI parent, while maintaining a relationship with other family members. This was not the book ...more
Sugarpuss O'Shea
While Dr Gibson's 1st book, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, put into words & defined what Emotionally Immature parents are, this book answered the question I had after reading that 1st book: But what do I DO / How do you deal with EI Parents without losing a piece of your soul? This book helps answer that question.

My 1 quibble: This book is mainly geared towards those folks who want to have an active relationship w/ their EI Parents. I am not one of those people. I was hoping to
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolute life saver

Clear, concise descriptions of behaviours seen in people with emotional immaturity. To know that these are real and not imagined behaviours saved my sanity. I’m taking this knowledge forward to help to mould my relationships to ones that I can exist in, but not be consumed by. Absolutely brilliant.
Shontal Cargill
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend for anyone who identifies with the title. Very practical advice and empowering language. Will definitely read again from time to time as a refresher.
While “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” (Gibson’s first book) goes into introducing the concept and the types of parents that are likely to be EI and validating the mental and emotional experience of what it was like for the adult child to grow up with the EI parents, this sequel goes into greater depth about the relationship dynamics that make having a mature healthy relationship (at the very least, for yourself) with EI parents challenging.

I like how Gibson does a fine balancin
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book came at the right time, right place, right moment from me and it taught me nitty gritty and effective ways of challenging the difficulties I had struggled with all my life. It works for ALL emotionally immature relationships and it will help you clock them and not let you fall into their traps ever again.
This has been hands down the best self-help book I’ve ever laid eyes on and I have read, owned, bought, borrowed a lot over 30 (!) thus far.
Do yourself the favour and read this. Espec
Kate ( Earth Heart's Pages )
5/5 This book made me stare blankly at a wall, bending over with a long exhale out of pure RELIEF that my feelings are valid, that my experiences were real and that my stupid behaviour sometimes has actually a reason behind it.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for EVERYBODY and I mean EVERYBODY to read it. Emotional immaturity is probably the worst sickness in our society. If you are looking to heal yourself and not screw up your children like your parents did you, this book is for you
Kendra Strand
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful, full of practical actionable steps to take for standing up for yourself in difficult one-sided relationships with parents. The thing I most appreciated is how humane it is by not pathologizing or demonizing the emotionally immature party. Instead the focus is on creating a strong loving relationship with yourself in order to disrupt the cycle of emotional manipulation and abuse.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Recovering From Emotionally Immature Parents" offers practical advice for anyone in a relationship with an emotionally immature person. It's an important book for children, parents, friends, co-workers, spouses, and neighbors. In fact, I learned numerous tips that have helped me develop better boundaries with others in my life, and I am adapting tips that will help me build stronger relationships with the people in my life.
I also saw myself in many of the descriptions of emotionally immature p
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a continuation of the author’s previous book, which I really enjoyed, and this one is also very useful. If the title resonates with you, you will likely get a lot out of this valuable resource.

Specifically, her advice to face shame like a feeling and to dig down under it to my deepest held beliefs about myself has been life changing.

I also really benefited from her clear description of the drama triangle. Now I can see what is going on and refuse to be swept up into my assigned role
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was really useful to put my relationship with my parents (both EI. one volatile/one passive) in perspective and offered good tips for my own development and interactions with them. Unlike most psychology books, the author doesn’t add a lot of fluff so it is direct and practical.
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must-read. Great follow-up to her first book that delves deeper into the topic. I personally found this book more helpful than the first though I highly recommend both.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help, 2020
This is an excellent follow-up to Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature parents. What I love about this book is that she encompasses all relationships and refers to emotionally immature people in her discussion rather than just parents. This is very helpful because so many of us with emotionally immature parents end up with other relationships in our lives that are equally frustrating for all the same reasons that we end up frustrated in our relationships with our parents. We end up in ...more
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
I didn't realize going into this book that it was a sequel, but it stood pretty well on its own. I did learn quite a bit but it wasn't very polished and some of the exercises were a little too vague for me. Still, I don't regret reading it. ...more
Emma Jane
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Practicle advice on how to set boundaries with those around us that 'drain' us. I find myself in the centre of people's lives who are emotionally unstable and need someone to depend on. I don't consider this a bad thing, however I recognise that for me it is a mixture of myself being drawn to these people in the hopes of helping them become better and less insecure, and those people being drawn to me as someone who can provide unconditional love. The downside to this is that I am often drained f ...more
Liz C
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Could also be titled "Have you decided to blame your parents for everything? Read this book!"

This book was incredibly helpful though, even beyond the parental context. Recognizing emotionally immature behavior in peers, managers, anyone really - is important. Once you recognize these patterns of behavior and how you've reacted to them in the past, this book helps you set effective boundaries.
Angela Longerbeam
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Five hundred stars. ⭐️
Felix Maclean
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A nice follow up book, although I found the acronyms a bit ‘fixed’ at times? I like to think that people can hopefully grow up emotionally. I found this very useful nonetheless.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Whoa. This explains a lot. Also, this book is plain helpful for dealing with anyone who has emotionally immature people in your life.

Some call these(emotionally coercive acts) manipulation, but it’s more like survival instincts on their part, doing whatever makes them feel in control in the moment, regardless of you. They stick to comfortable conversation topics for them, etc.

They define reality based on how it feels to them. This is called affective realism. We all do this. When we feel good,
Tori Thompson
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so applicable and useful, and I'm deeply grateful that I had it available to read right now, just when I need it. I've read Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents a couple of times now, and referenced back to certain points in it many times; it's been an invaluable resource to help me examine and understand many of the points of contention in my relationship to my parents. And there's plenty of that same insight present in this follow-up, enough so that I think anyone j ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is about parents or other people in your life whose emotionally immaturity is taking a toll and how to deal with it. I try not to fall into these patterns myself and I was/ am having difficulty not being sucked into others’ cycles of poor behavior.

I read this book hoping to help myself understand someone else’s behavior, and how to react to and help this person if I could, and dang was it effective. It gave me insight into setting boundaries, the Karpman Drama Triangle (seriously, loo
Sandra Bollow
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for people wanting to heal from the damage done by having emotionally immature parents. Gibson does a great job of explaining, breaking down, and debunking hurtful behavior patterns and thought processes that occur in adulthood as a direct result of the way we were treated in our youth. This book is extremely beneficial and empowering; by understanding why we feel and act the way we do in certain situations, we become aware and can learn to consider alternatives that are mor ...more
Susan Kerr
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Even though it is only March, this is my favorite book for 2021! If I had a time machine and could only take 1 thing back, I would take this book and give it to my 20 year old self. I have underlined, highlighted, and dog eared so many pages! When I was halfway through, I quickly ordered her previously written book about EI parents. Living in a religious community where we are taught to love, honor, and obey our parents, I have felt the weight of guilt and shame for the constant internal battle ...more
Andrew Mitchell
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: menaura
Really enjoyed this practical and easy to read book, complete with exercises and life examples (whether real or not).

For someone brought up in a restrictive religious environment, full of emotionally immature adults, this was a great help in skills and techniques to handle my controlling and manipulative mother, and understanding why she is the way she is.

Taught me ways to take back my power and approach demanding and disempowering, E.I. parents, and to understand the dynamic to positively chang
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am 31 and 1/2 years old and I just discovered my family's dysfunction less than a year ago. It was absolutely devastating but the truth has finally set me free. This book just like her other book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents changed my life. She validated all of the emotions and feelings I had buried deep inside, she gave me words for everything I had been feeling my entire life. This book is invaluable and key to healing if you have felt unseen, unimportant, or unloved as a ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lindsay Gibson is a master at describing what it's like to have an EI parent and how best to manage it. This is one of those rare books that will be be an underlined, dog-eared reference on my shelf. I love that it has exercises at the end of each chapter for self-reflection too. I'm planning on using this with my volunteer work with the homeless. I feel like this book will be really validating and helpful to many readers. ...more
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Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in individual psychotherapy with adult children of emotionally immature parents. She is author of Who You Were Meant to Be, and writes a monthly column on well-being for Tidewater Women magazine. In the past she has served as an adjunct assistant professor of graduate psychology for the College of William and M ...more

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10 likes · 0 comments
“Feeling inferior or unworthy is like a flashing red light letting you know an EIRS or a drama triangle may be sucking you in. If you learn to interpret inferiority sensations as warnings that someone is trying to use you for their own self-esteem needs, you can step back and maintain your autonomy and positive self-concept.” 3 likes
“Fear of shame controls us long past childhood because we haven’t been taught that it’s just an emotion. We don’t realize we were treated badly, and instead we think the sensation of shame is a fact of our badness (Duvinsky 2017). As one client said in a moment of insight, “I believe I’m worthless because I feel that way.” Shame feels like reality because it’s such a compelling emotional experience. However, if parents help their children recognize and label shame as just another feeling, they won’t end up with such sweeping self-condemnation. However, EI parents have so much buried shame themselves, they can’t help their children understand it.” 2 likes
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