I’ve seen it posted a million times, I’ve heard people complain about us, I’ve read articles: Millennials are lazy. We’re narcissistic. We’re “even a bit delusional”. Basically, we’re the worst. And our parents? They fear for the future.
But, I have a question for these people who feel so strongly about us millennials – how did we get here? It’s silly to think that we created this problem ourselves… We’re basically still children in the timeline of life. If you’re going to point a finger at us, always remember there are 3 pointing back at you… (actually, you taught us that!)
I saw a video on Facebook which was initially what set me off. I get humor, I really do, but there comes a time when you hear the same things enough that people are no longer funny and instead become serious. And when the people posting these videos are our parents, and they’re saying things like “spot on!” or “so so sad and true”, it starts to feel a little personal.
We grew up in a world where technology reigns over all, where people (especially us) are trying to find ways to make things easier, faster, more convenient. Instead of using the word “lazy” to describe us, why don’t we try “innovative”? We’re some of the biggest advocates for entrepreneurship. We have ideas, and we’re ready to turn them into reality.
Narcissism is an actual personality disorder, so unless we all have the same exact disease, I believe the word you’re looking for is “vain”. And yes, we are all extremely confident in ourselves and our abilities. Why, though? Because our coaches, teachers, and parents growing up (all the people crying “narcissistic”) told us we were. They said we were very smart. They gave us praise just for tying something. They told us how special we were and that anything we wanted to achieve was possible. Participation trophies and over 4.0’s in school were the foundation on which we built our lives. So, absolutely we turned out the way we did… It’s all we knew.
Now, obviously not every parent/teacher/coach was handing out praise like suckers at the doctor’s office, but enough of them did to create this stigma around millennials. There were plenty of people who raised their children, us millennials, with the understanding that hard work will take you farther than any other characteristic. If only we could focus on those millennials instead of the ones living in their parents’ basements.
And honestly, I think the funniest part is that the people complaining about millennials are the exact ones who have their kids still living in their basements, and instead of kicking them out to fend for themselves, they continue to be coddled and taken care of… and so the stigma prolongs….