Connecting with the Millenials

Today I was a hypocrite.
I stood in a long line waiting for a ticket while I watched the 20-something-year-old behind the desk chew his gum and work at a leisurely pace while several other employees walked by without offering any assistance. The other “older” people in line said things like “I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes!!” and “You would think someone else would offer to help” but the employee continued at his own pace, moving casually through his tasks. I felt my aggravation grow. I looked at him with annoyance.
Then I called myself a hypocrite.
This employee personified so many of the clients I see in my office, who Joel Stein in a May 2013 Time Magazine article called the “me me me generation.” Contrary to how the term sounds, there is much we can learn from this narcissistic generation.
Stein acknowledges the entitlement, arrogance, and addiction to all things screen. And despite this, he sees what I observe and confirm daily. These millenials are earnest, optimistic, and want approval, often from their parents just as much as from their friends. Self esteem seems to be higher than self confidence perhaps because their expectations for themselves are so high. Perhaps the constant comparisons from daily Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter updates take a toll. But they want to feel better. They come into their session, take off their shoes, lie down and say “I have so much to tell you” followed shortly by, “I feel so much better now”. They are genuine, kind, caring and sweet. And remember, our parents’ generation complained a heck of a lot about us too!

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Lynn Zakeri

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