The Problem With Millennials

millennials narcissism

Amidst an awful season full of failed expectations, the owner of the Phoenix Suns had some disparaging remarks for one of the team’s best, yet struggling, players.

“My whole view of the millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks, and Markieff MorrisĀ is the perfect example. He had a setback with his brother in the offseason and he can’t seem to recover from it.”

In the interview, this owner named Robert Sarver went on the explain much of his opinion has to do with social media because millennials spend too much time on those “fantasy” lands, as he called them.

Aside from whether Sarver is actually a good basketball team owner, and aside from whether Markieff Morris does indeed deserve some flack for his play this season, I want to discuss millennials as a punching bag for older generations.

As a matter of definition, millennials are understood to be those born between the years 1980 and 2000. They make up the majority of the American workforce, as of 2015. No doubt, you haven’t been able to ignore the numerous studies and reports explaining how lazy and narcissistic millennials are. I’m sure they have upheld your suspicions about this arriving-at-adulthood generation.

In fact, I’ve yet to speak to anyone outside of the millennial generation who referred to this generation first in positive terms. “Millennials are so authentic,” or “I love that your generation values life satisfaction over making hordes of money.” Those words have never been spoken to me, even though studies and reports show them to be generally true as well.

It would never be appropriate or charitable to approach anyone by saying, “well your generation is shown to think more highly of themselves them they ought to, so you’re clearly arrogant.” Yet, it seems this is typical of how people think of and approach millennials.

With this is mind I have a charge to you, if you are outside the millennial generation in age (with a short note to millennials at the bottom):

  • Studies might be helpful in understanding wide-ranging generational differences, but they are not helpful in getting to know an individual, so give the millennials you know the benefit of the doubt rather than an assumption.
  • Get to know a millennial for who they are, rather than what the studies may say. Generalizing an individual based on a study is never helpful.
  • Instead of reading studies about a generation, invite someone from that generation over for dinner. Serve them. Value them. Give them the benefit of your time and conversation.

Short note to millennials: prove the stupid studies wrong.