How To Handle Haters

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In May of 2013, TIME magazine released a cover story titled ‘The Me Me Me Generation: Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists, who still live with their parents; Why they’ll save us all’. Now, I’m not a millennial, but I had two thoughts when I saw this. First of all: “Rude. If you’re going to insult an entire generation, at least try to hide it better than that”. Second: “Huh; that’s not where I saw that ending”. As a millennial, I’m sure you’ve heard both sides of this argument. It seems like half the population thinks that 20-Somethings are the worst thing to ever happen on Earth and the other half think that your technological savvy and eco-friendly prowess will be the things that save the world.

Unfortunately, for every 1 person who thinks you’re incredible (myself included!), there appears to be 10 who feel the need to vocalize everything that they see going wrong and blame it on you.

Some people say it’s because of social media, others say that the culprit is the smartphone. Either way, these are things that are associated with, you guessed it, millennials. So how do you deal with it? How do you deal with the seemingly constant barrage of negative feelings toward your entire generation?

Well, the solution is 1) fairly simple and 2) easier said than done. My advice to you: ignore it.

Now, before you dismiss me and say “Tess, how do you expect me to ignore it when it’s literally everywhere?”, let me clarify what I mean by “ignore”. I don’t mean close your eyes, cover your ears, and start singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic at the top of your lungs until it passes, mainly because you’d look really silly. What I mean is that you have to acknowledge it, then take a step back from it.

With the progression of technology has come a forum for everyone to express their opinions. Whether it’s their opinion on coffee vs tea, Coke vs Pepsi, or Millennials vs Baby Boomers, anyone can vent their thoughts via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.. Many of these people are just doing it to gain “friends” or followers. So, when I say to ignore it, what I mean is to take it with a grain of salt. Yes, social media and smartphones have been a large part of your generation’s identifiers, but so have things like LGTBQ equality, the first African-American POTUS, “going green”, and political activism.

There’s a quote from Beauty and the Beast that comes to me at times like this: “We don’t like what we don’t understand, in fact it scares us…”.

As one generation passes power and control onto the next, there are always a myriad of things that are not understood by the older of the two. This is natural. The only thing that has changed is that there is now a place for people to talk about it. As you hear these complaints and criticisms, I want you to remember that you are enough. You are doing the best you can with what you’ve been given to work with. For the record, I think you’re doing a hell of a job!

Kate Rufener