Why Are Millennials So Unhappy? A Response to "Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy"
There’s an article floating around on the Web right now that merits a response. It’s called, “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy” and it hits the nail on the twenty-something, ‘you can do no wrong’ head.
Wait But Why, a site that posts various op-ed articles two days a week, posted an interesting one recently that’s making a lot of headway amongst the Millennial community. “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy” gets into why Gen Y is downright depressed.
The article’s author gives an interesting nickname to those in Gen Y, GYPSYs (i.e. Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies). This nickname stems from Millennials thinking that they are “the main character of a very special story”. Turns out, they’re also quite unhappy.
Perhaps you’ve dealt with a few GYPSYs at work; perhaps you, yourself, are a GYPSY. Either way, you’ve come into contact with Millennials in one way or another, and you might have noticed that there’s some sadness behind those eager eyes.
GYPSYs Are Different
GYPSYs are different than their parents and their parents’ parents. Hard work leads to success. That’s what their predecessors were taught. Somewhere along the way though, that mantra lost its weight. According to the article, GYPSYs no longer possess the patience to wait for their hard work to pay off. They don’t understand why success can’t just fall into their laps. They’ve been raised being told that they’re special and that they’re unique.
The author of the article, however, makes a truly fantastic point: if all GYPSYs are special, then none are special. Being “special”, by definition, means that a person is “better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.”
This heightened sense of entitlement and self-worth can quickly depress someone when his or her expectations don’t line up with reality. The article states that,
Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has "unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback," and "an inflated view of oneself." He says that "a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren't in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.
Social Media is a Depressant
As if thinking you’re special and then realizing that you’re really not isn’t enough, Gen Y also has to deal with social media; something that their parents and grandparents never had to worry about. No one posts their failures on Facebook. No one wants their “friends” to know that they got fired, didn’t land the job, can’t afford rent, or broke up with their significant other. Because of this, all Gen Y social media users see is positive, exciting news via social media. They see that their friend from high school graduated from Harvard Law with honors. They see that their ex-boyfriend got promoted to Account Manager at a prestigious advertising firm in New York City. They see that their fraternity brother got married to the university’s cheerleading captain. Then, they see that they're barely making rent while all of their friends are "insanely successful".
For Gen Y, perception is reality. They perceive that others are doing better than they are. This is a recipe for unhappiness.
How to Deal
Whether you’re about to hire a Millennial or you are one, it’s important to remember that Millennials are valuable additions to the workforce. They’re eager to learn, curious, and enthusiastic. All they need is a little structure, a little patience, and little doses of reality periodically (i.e. life sucks sometimes. It’s okay.) to keep them on the right path to success.
Do you agree with Wait By Why’s article? Have you worked with Millennials who act a little too entitled? Are you a Millennial who disagrees with this entirely? Let us know in the comments section below and here is a link to the original article.