If You're An Entitled 'Cry Baby,' It's Probably Not Your Fault
I've been sent Rachel Foote's Generation Cry Baby: Why Millennials Are a F*cking Joke rant many times, and I can't get enough of it. It was pretty insightful for someone who, as a Millennial herself, shoulders an equal amount of blame with the rest of our slacker generation.
And while it's true that you really can't share an opinion online without starting a firestorm, Rachel's observations are absolutely spot-on, even if her prognosis is still a little off.
Guess what? It is our parents' fault.
We've been thrust into an economy with more student loan debt than there are jobs to repay it, and college left our entire generation ill-prepared for a slow climb up a corporate ladder that we're not even sure is worth the struggle.
It seems as though sometime in the 1980s, parents began behaving in a way that signaled that their kids were friends, not offspring, and things started to go awry. Helicopter parents in particular spend enormous amounts of time investing themselves in becoming their child's get out of jail free card, in an effort to make sure their special snowflakes don't have to experience the harsh realities of living in the real world.
Millennials get a bad rap for expecting this pampered treatment, but we didn't get here on our own. It's our parents that should shoulder the blame.
Think about it: When something bad happens and the perpetrator isn't an adult, you don't blame the child; you blame the parents who raised the child. Tell me why Millennials are held to such a high standard when most of us have only been adults for four to five years, and independent for even less.
But we're still on the hook.
Rachel sums up the reality of life in 2015 well:
Although honestly, I could say just about anything and it would offend you. Because that's just how our generation is. Newsflash: Not every single criticism is an attack on your character. Sometimes, you just suck. And people tell you so that you can improve. Not so you can go home sobbing about how the world is unfair and you're such a victim and you're so depressed now.
I'll admit, I'm as much a part of the problem as anyone else my age, but in the extreme cases, the major complaints levied against our generation are shockingly spot on.
We complain at the first sign of inconvenience.
Hypersensitive people spend a disproportionate amount of time reacting to external stimuli like perceived aggression, imaginary attacks and commonplace slights because they've grown up in a world that tells them that as long as you complain loud enough, someone will make it all better.
It used to be that only the rich and royal expected white-glove treatment everywhere they went. But when you grow up in a country where all of our basic human needs are met, first world problems become the only problems.
This swift response by companies to save their public image from being tarnished comes across to older generations as pandering, unnecessary and unfair.
Baby Boomers usually saw annoyances as challenges to be overcome, opportunities as undeserved gifts and failure as a teaching tool. Shockingly, instead of allowing their kids the same chance to learn these life lessons, they robbed them of their autonomy by threatening teachers over low grades, demanding awards for every member of the team and bailing their kids out any time they made a mistake.
We can't handle constructive criticism.
In work and in life, it's impossible for everyone to be good at everything, so it's vital to surround yourself with people whom you trust can tear you apart when you deserve it. If you're willing to be open to it, constructive criticism is the fastest, most effective way to improve areas where you're still rough around the edges.
Most often, an unwillingness to hear and apply valid critiques (especially from people that know you best) is a sign of unexplored insecurity about your social standing, worth or abilities. Insecure people can be ticking time bombs just waiting for an excuse to lash out at others in a deranged attempt to extract assurances that everything about them is just fine.
Alternatively, people who practice extreme responsibility taking know that in every single circumstance, the best outcome is to always shoulder the weight of your own actions and most often, even the ones that happen to you as well. In a nutshell, extreme responsibility separates victims from people who grow and improve, and while it may be painful at first, the results are worth the effort.
We believe being above average is our birthright.
Calling a Millennial "average" is enough to send a shiver down the spine of most young adults. While it might have more than a little to do with the fact that getting into a good college was the only goal we had growing up, it's impossible for the majority of us not to be actually, and completely, average.
People tend to believe they're more attractive, more intelligent and more aware of their surroundings than their friends and neighbors. When asked, people tend to judge themselves by their intentions and others by their actions.
This leads to a false sense of superiority, when in reality, it's statistically unlikely that any of us are unique, special or more worthy of praise than anyone else. While it's true that some people are born with quantifiable abilities far above the norm, above-average adults only get there by practice, experimentation and a willingness to sacrifice for something better.
Ask Baby Boomers how they got to where they are today, and nine times out of 10, the reply will be "by hard work, and by never giving up." How many 20-somethings can say the same thing?
This article was originally published on SmartMillennialBusiness.com.