Generations commonly value and abhor conflicting attributes from their predecessors. What was prized amongst the Boomers is often taken an offensive trigger word by Millennials. Traits that were commonly worthy of praise amongst generations past can now be considered downright insulting.
This list will examine why Millennials take offense to particular terms and why they should reconsider doing so. The way we use language reflects the values that we prize and therefore the behavior that we, as a society, encourage. Unfortunately, many of the descriptors that young people frown upon could be valuable and positive traits.
This is not to say that these labels exclusively have a negative connotation among twenty to thirty year olds, rather their bad reputation is more pronounced within this age group.
The following list contains eight terms that Millennials consider offensive:
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Why It Is A Good Thing: Someone needs to be in charge. Not everyone can cave into the wishes of the masses. These are the people willing to take the lead and they could care less what others think. Leaders are never too caught up on other’s opinions. They take charge and do what needs to get done. Hopefully, they have good direction and a kind heart.
Why People Hate Them: People only call someone bossy when they feel they are under their thumb. Basically, they feel inferior. Humans hate that, so they resort to name-calling rather than aiming to emulate their positive traits.
Why It Is A Good Thing: Relationships are about compromise. Both parties should give in to help attribute to the happiness of the other. A man who opens the door or brings his woman flowers is today considered whipped, yet years ago this would have been a gesture of love and adoration. There is nothing wrong with kindness towards the people that you love the most. Good relationships involve sacrifices and the humbling of one’s self for another’s interests.
Why People Hate Them: Gender equality, while a good thing, has created a shift, and therefore a struggle, in the balance of power. Since now power is within the grasp of both genders in a relationship, they fight for dominance in various aspects of the relationship. Who controls various aspects in the relationship is not as fixed as it was in the 1950s.
In decades past the man was more frequently in charge of the finances and the woman more frequently in charge of the home. Now, every part of the relationship is fluid. Both parties should have equal say on all fronts. While this sounds ideal, it does breed conflict. Giving in to one’s partner is a conflict is now considered a bad thing. But both sexes being flexible for a sake of a relationship is what makes a healthy union work. Now the partner who is kind is considered “whipped”. When we use language like this it discourages compromise. No one should be a pushover, but in relationships, both partners need to aim to help and appease the other if they are to have a lasting relationship. Relationships should be about two people who become one, not where each keeps score.
Why It Is A Good Thing: There is nothing wrong with working hard to play hard. In fact, it should be encouraged. People who work hard for nice stuff conversely like to enjoy what they have. They are proud of their accomplishments. The participation trophy generation has a natural dislike for trophies that signify superiority.
Show offs can often be the hard-workers, movers, and shakers of the world. Are there spoiled brats out there? Sure. But not everyone who has a Mercedes or a Rolex is a jerk. Some have earned it.
Why People Hate Them: Is it really necessary to explain why most people dislike those who have nice things? It boils down to jealousy. People hate to see others doing well, even if they worked hard and earned what they have.
Millennials were born in an economic boom, but entered adulthood in the recession. They resent nice stuff because it seems unattainable. They’ll either accuse hard-workers of being “dull” or possessors of luxuries as being “spoiled”. It's the economy. It’s their parents. It’s corporations. It’s the government. Whoever is to blame, some Millennials believe that it’s just not realistic to expect having luxury things and that those who have nice stuff, have obtained their possessions from taking from the working class. This boils down to a simple Marxist battle; It is the haves versus the have nots argument reborn.
In today’s economy, it can seem unfathomable to some young people that someone is deserving of such extravagances. The Occupy Movement, is just one of the Generation Y groups that pressed for a “hate the rich” ideology. The narrative of the American Dream has been displaced by a hate for corporate greed.
Why It Is A Good Thing: These people are passionate and driven. They see an end goal and want to achieve it. There’s nothing wrong with working hard in and of itself (unless someone begins to sacrifice the other things that matter, like friends, family, and faith). Maybe these people don’t know when to turn off their “work mode”, but maybe some people aren’t meant to. Work can be a healthy outlet to expend energy, so long as it is not taken to extremes.
Why People Hate Them: Not everyone is programmed to work hard. Most are not. The people who are workaholics either own the company or are moving up within the chain of leadership. The workaholics end up being in positions of authority towards those who do not work hard.
These two-types of individuals have different worldviews and priorities. It is hard for them to see eye to eye. Employees are frequently annoyed by their bosses or their peers who are moving up in the company and many times rightfully so. Employees may feel like there are more important things in life, while bosses don’t feel that employee’s care enough about their work. Some people live to work while others work to live.
Why It Is A Good Thing: These people don’t party, drink, and get high. If you’re not busy doing these things, you’re more likely to be doing something productive. People should hang out with prudes if they want to go far in life. Prudes aren’t depending on society’s standards. These folks stick to their guns.
Why People Hate Them: Prudes are boring by society’s standards, because they don't have the same priorities. What are people supposed to talk to them about? World events? Art? Travel? Someone who is a prude has a more conservative morality than the masses. A prim and proper lady is thought to be judgmental; whereas the girl spilling out of her tank top at the beer pong tournament is a good time.
Why It Is A Good Thing: Perfectionists take the extra care in all matters, whether it's a precaution or a finishing detail. When you are dealing with a perfectionist you are in good hands. They are never caught unprepared and you don’t have to subsequently review their work for errors. Whatever task has been set before the perfectionist has already been meticulously completed. When your life depends on someone else, like a doctor, a perfectionist doesn’t sound like such a bad thing.
Why People Hate Them: The main reason people hate perfectionists is that they make the masses appear lazy and apathetic. Their efforts highlights other’s inadequacies, so in response, people put perfectionists down. They may joke that the person sufferers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). To a Millennial perfectionism is neuroticism.
Demanding perfection in a task is an attribute possessed by over-achievers that frustrates team members. Obsessing over details is outright annoying to most. Many Millennials in the classroom believe that students should strive for doing alright, or maybe even well, but anything beyond that is superfluous.
Giving quality work can be time consuming. Having grown up in the digital world that produces instant results, Generation Y lacks patience. They crave an immediate answer rather than a thorough one. People who are long winded are annoying, even though they may be accurate. There is nothing wrong with wanting someone to get to the point, but Millennials may miss some critical details in the process if they are too rushed.
Why It Is A Good Thing: Obesity is unhealthy. Some people are big, some people are small; There is nothing wrong with that. Can there be such a thing as too skinny? Sure. Eating disorders are a real problem. But this term isn’t usually used to address a disorder it is made in reference to someone who maintains a healthy weight.
Why People Hate Them: Most people aren’t skinny. The size of the average woman has gone up over the years, but that doesn't mean its okay to insult those who haven’t. Just because someone feels bad about himself or herself for being larger, doesn’t mean they have the right to make others feel bad about being small. “Real men want curves not bones” is just as offensive as “real men want models not rolls”, yet only the latter is considered politically incorrect. It shouldn’t be more appropriate to call someone anorexic, than it is to call them chubby.
Why It Is A Good Thing: Work hard. Play hard. These guys know what it takes to put effort and passion into something. They are proud of what they have done.
Why People Hate Them: Their work sheds light on lazy people’s excuses. It proves that with hard work that dreams are possible, the economy isn’t ‘that’ bad, and obstacles can be overcome.