“Pull yourselves up by the bootstraps.” “Pound the pavement.” Those are common phrases that are floating around our lexicon in our society, and that have been for some time. Many would say they describe the values that we hold dear in our American society, such as being hard-working and having a humble nature when doing so. With these being values that are so established in our country, how can we deal with those who may appear to be challenging them? This is the common question that many have with regards to the “millennial” generation.
Who Are They?
Millennials are said to be born in or after the year 1982 and are known as the “Generation Me” generation, due to being seen as mostly self-absorbed. This is in sharp contrast to the “Generation We” generation, which describes the prior Generation X and baby boomer populations, and that is mostly thought of as less selfish and more collective in their thoughts and actions. Many factors are considered to explain the differences, including the prevalence of social media, more positive parenting styles, and other means in which millennials use to build their self-esteem. They are regarded by many as people who may not respond to challenges as well as their predecessors, to where they experience intense emotional struggles. Many may say that extra effort is required to redirect them in many areas of life, such as the workplace.
How Relevant Are They?
As of 2015, there were 77 millennials living in the United States, which is a quarter of the total population. About 43% of them were non-white, as well as 5 out of every 6 of them were connected onto at least 1 social media sight. Millennials touch their smartphones an average of 45 times a day, while they wield about $1.3 trillion in buying power. The bottom line is that whether we like it or not, millennials are quickly growing in influence, including in the social and economic realm. Society is ever changing to meet the needs and wants that they present, such as the latest technology and ways of purchasing goods and services. They are on a natural collision course with the Baby Boomer generation, which has forced everyone to find ways to work together.
What Are Their Strengths? What Challenges May Be Seen?
Every generation has its pluses and minuses, and they all have to be taken into consideration by those around them. With the statistics highlighted in the previous section, it can be concluded that millennials have new forms of knowledge that can be shared with older generations. With assertiveness comes the debate, and the quality of discussion of ideas between millennials and others can become intense in nature. The impression of them being too egotistical and argumentative becomes a factor, which may get in the way of any thoughts and ideas being shared. Another strength of this generation is the ability for them to use technology in ways never done before, which opens up a variety of good possibilities. A challenge that millennials may inhabit is the opinion that they spend too much time with technology, and that they lack the social skills necessary to interact in the “real world.” There may also be a perceived deficiency in their abilities to cope with distress, due to perceptions that they may have never been told that they are wrong about anything.
How Can We Blend In With Them?
The answer? Take advantage of the positive qualities that exist within this population, and find ways to minimize personal biases and stereotypes at play. There are many positive parts of the millennial person, including their pride in their individuality, their ability to bring technological knowledge to areas where it is needed, as well as their motivation to keep finding the next challenge. Even though it is natural to have innate biases regarding millennials (and other groups of people), being open to learning about them can help close any ideological gaps that may exist. Whether in the workplace or elsewhere, most millennials are willing to build positive rapport with all sorts of people, so they will most likely create conversation for that to happen. Meeting new people can be viewed as opportunities, as opposed to burdens. In this case, it is a wonderful opportunity to expand one’s sense of self through learning through the perspectives of others and feeling a sense of positive reinforcement from self-improvement.
How Can Perspectives Help?
The clinical professionals at Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers can help with relational issues such as those with millennials, as well as any other mental health concerns related to it. The clinical therapists are well versed in how issues like these can affect a client in various life areas, such as the workplace and in their home life. Clients that come to Perspectives can expect to discuss concerns like these in a confidential manner so that positive self-exploration can take place. Treatment modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be utilized to help clients gain the positive coping abilities necessary to handle such relational concerns.
If you are someone that would like to speak openly about such concerns, without thinking about negative judgments from those in the workplace, home, or elsewhere, then consider the services at Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers. Call 248-244-8644 for more information and to set up an appointment.