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One of my favorite morning shows “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg is so real and authentic to me. “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”-Whoopi.
I’m tossing this to you. I’ve heard people offering their opinions of the Millennial generation. Let’s try to give some contextual concepts to generation structure. There is frequently some confusion, however the Pew Research Center is looking to give more structure to generational nicknames with a new set of guidelines that establishes where each person belongs depending on their birth year. This is what they’ve come up with:
• The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (73-90 years old)
• Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (54-72 years old)
• Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (38-53 years old)
• Millennial's: Born 1981-1996 (22-37 years old)
• Post-Millennial's: Born 1997-Present (0-21 years old)
As a parent of Millennial's, I am frequently trying to understand their behavior and my responses to their behavior, placing both into context. In so doing this, I looked to Psychology Today. According to Psychology Today:
Entitlement is an enduring personality trait, characterized by the belief that one deserves preferences and resources that others do not. Like boundaries, we recognize entitlement chiefly by its effect on us: envy, anger, and frustration. "Why they think they deserve it any more than I do?" We wonder. And then, "Is it them, or is it just me?"
Sometimes we mistake entitlement for a sense of self-confidence projected by competent, assured, often charismatic others. Sometimes we confuse it with narcissism, in which it's often associated, or self-absorption, which occasionally looks like the same thing. And sometimes, according to recent research a bit of a fleeting, situational rush of entitlement can be a good thing; it can increase creativity and lead to novel, unusual solutions to problems, the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that organizations and employers encourage. Whether deserved or not, a sense of entitlement enables people to think and act differently from others, and the more they do so, the more willing and able they are to generate creative ideas. On the negative side, a chronically entitled disposition may diminish the motivation to put in extra effort. When we talk about lazy, entitled millennial's, particularly those who haven’t earned their A’s or promotions through their own hard work, those are the people we mean.
Pejoratively labeling an individual or a generation as entitled sometimes reveals more about us than it does about them—our unwillingness to recognize another’s meritorious worth or hard-earned success, which indicates how often we think with our beliefs rather than about them. (A good example is the way Hilary Clinton was viewed as entitled when she ran for political office, but not when she was actually in it.)
Whether deserved or not, highly entitled people are less concerned about what is socially acceptable or beneficial, according to researchers at Harvard and Cornell whose studies of 99 undergraduates and 98 MBA candidates yielded another finding: Entitled people don’t follow instructions because they see them as unfair. “They would rather take a loss themselves than agree to something unfair,” said the authors, who correlated high scores on entitlement measurements with difficulty complying with the “rules” of the experimental task. Attempting to understand why students ignored them (selfishness, control, or punishment), they found that fairness was the primary reason.
When people feel entitled, they want to be different from others. But just as frequently they come across as indifferent to others. That’s why they often provoke such negative responses in those they encounter, especially those they don’t personally know. That may be the most significant fact about entitlement; that silent signal that our negative feelings have been triggered by it. Recognizing when our own sense of entitlement is driving us helps us understand our need to balk at social convention, rebel against limitations on our autonomy or prohibitions on our preferred behavior. Marching to our own drummer is one thing; knowing when that sound affects others like chalk on a blackboard is another.
It's often said of the baby boomers that they felt privileged and lucky rather than entitled, while their kids and grandkids feel entitled, whether they are or not. And frequently parents are blamed for fostering that trait in their kids by giving them everything they want, when they want it, and colluding in the belief that they deserve it. It's an unfair rap to those who want their kids to be successful and do the best they can. It's not up to us to tell them their dreams are unreachable, or their expectations are too high. Instead, we would be wiser to support their efforts to achieve them.
What I realize is that I am responsible for this generation workforce. They say all we learnt, we learnt in Kindergarten. Here is a quick list of behaviors of Children who may be developing entitlement issues for those with younger children:
1. Expects bribes or rewards for good behave for.
2. Rarely lifts a finger to help.
3. Is more concerned about himself than others.
4. Passes blame when things go wrong.
5. Can’t handle disappointment.
6. Needs a treat to get through the store.
7. Expects to be rescued from his mistakes.
8. Feels like the rules don’t apply.
9. Constantly wants more…and more. The big picture is that you are raising adults for the workforce, our next business owner, and political leader etc.
“There are some things that money can’t buy, like manners, morals, and integrity.” Terry Price