Facilitation Antipattern: Infantile

Posted by Doc
Feb 26 2009

infantileMotto: I want you to pay attention to me right now right now right NOW!
: Everyone else is supposed to pay attention, and do and say what I want them to, and I will behave however I want until they do because that’s the way it works.
: Takes things personally, and makes things personal, while behaving in attention-grabbing, discussion-dominating ways.
Characteristics: Childish, selfish, self-focused, loud, intrusive, dominant, manipulative

I thought about calling this one “Tantrum” or “Baby”. They all describe the same thing, regardless.

“Why aren’t you listening to me?” followed by attention-grabbing, self-destructive behavior. The equivalent of rolling around on the floor, screaming and kicking.

We’ve all met an Infantile. Somehow, no matter what the topic, if you don’t listen to them – and, of course, agree with them – somehow things turn personal and emotional. They make it clear that your failure to listen (the way they want you to listen), and your failure to understand (that is, agree), expresses your disrespect for, and even hostility toward them.

Infantiles have never learned proper socialization. They don’t share well, and they’re not usually interested in dialogue. Their focus is on what they want when they want it, or else.  The “or else” is not usually targeted at a single individual. Rather it’s aimed at getting everyone to pay attention to them, and then to give in to their demands because dealing with their behavior is too annoying/painful.

Of course, once they get their way, Infantiles can be most charming and pleasant.

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