Millennials – people who are now in their 20s or early 30s – are a special type of people, brought up in the era of fast-developing technological progress and liberal approach to politics as well as economics. We can divide them in two groups: ‘the lost generation’ and those who managed to get on board of the modern tech cult.
According to Marie Christine Brown R.P., Gestalt Psychotherapist, ‘millennials have several potential paths to a sense of ‘not good enough’ which results in low satisfaction with self, relationships, careers, possessions, accomplishments, etc. Many of them were raised by caregivers who used shame , guilt and comparison in an ill advised attempt ( sometimes with a cultural component ) to motivate their children to achieve. Conditional love is a certain route to a sense of NGE ( not good enough). Increased exposure to advertisements inundates millennials with yet more shame as advertisers attempt to persuade them to buy, buy, buy. Social media encourages narcissism and the misrepresentation of self. The real self rarely measures up to the projected self, and the consumers of these social media projections are left with image envy. Rampant cyber bullying can add to the vulnerability of the millennial, compounding feelings of NGE. Partly because of the readily available distraction of technology, millennials do not learn how to be resilient or self compassionate. They do not learn how to stay with their discomfort and come to accept a real version of themselves, one that includes neither being on the top of a mountain or in the bottom of a deep well. NGE result in thwarted unsatisfied relationship goals. Some take the approach “Why try since failure is inevitable?”. Others say ” I’ll be the exception” and then when they experience challenges in combination with their low discomfort tolerance, they get divorced or simply engage in serial monogamy. When all these issues coalesce, it’s hard to feel satisfied – with anything.’
This is kind of similar to the ‘Lost Generation’ after the First World War, widely described by Ernest Hemingway and popularized by Gertrude Stein. The high rates of depression, stress, suicidal thoughts, and melancholy are common to most people now and then.
Nowadays, graduating from college, searching for a decent job, and dealing with the emotional ups and downs of relationships create stress for many millennials. Due to the wrong upbringing, when parents and school don’t give you any real life skills, a solid number of people cannot deal even with minor problems, as it causes them too much stress. The demand for Xanax – pills to treat anxiety and panic attacks – has grown crazy fast in the last couple of decades. The hardest thing for millennials is to find that inner resource to motivate them towards successful goals.
According to Tammy Laber, professional Relationship Counsellor, ‘millennials have grown up with divorce, and that may have an impact on their not rushing to settle down. They also spend longer in school than previous generations, and more time setting up a career.’
But, of course, not all millennials are the same. Many of them are really career-oriented, with the traits of confidence and tolerance. But there is also a sense of entitlement and narcissism, as some experts say. When it comes to starting a family, some of them are not sure yet if they want to have kids. They don’t want extra commitment and responsibilities. It is more important for them to make money and enjoy life, though, work-life balance and social consciousness play a big role in their lives.