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Generation Me is Narssistic?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17349066/

I read an article similar this while getting my oil changed this morning. I have to say, I do see their side of things.

While I think it is good to be an individual and have you're own thoughts, I think way too many people are expecting someone else to do what they don't want to.

what do you all think?
post #2 of 28
I think a lot of the younger generation feel that they are "owed" something (not sure what yet).

There are no longer consequences to bad behaviour and they can do pretty much whatever they feel like doing. Even our justice system seems reluctant to hold the really bad ones for very long, or better yet, gives them a slap on the wrist and lets them go.

Our generation didn't get anything unless we worked hard and earned it - this generation expects we'll just hand all that we worked so hard for over to them because they are "special" and "deserve it".

I realize there are always exceptions but I see a more greedy, self-absorbed individual these days with little or no respect for parents, supervisors or authority.
post #3 of 28
There are quite a few exceptions, but I don't disagree with those findings. Perhaps the "Gimme Generation" would be a better description. I've been teaching teens and twenty somethings for over a quarter of a century, as have many of my colleagues, and I/we are definitely under the impression that many (or, worse, most) young people today feel that they are "entitled" to what they want, and rather self-centered. Parenting plays a big role, and probably smaller families.
post #4 of 28
There will always be exceptions, but I too agree with the article.

One of my group of interns recently told me that they didn't care about the group as a whole and was here for their own benefit only, without realising that by being so pushy they were hurting their own chances as well as the groups.

However, the intern director tells them they are wonderful all the time and then they have a hard time working out why things just don't 'fall into place' for them without them doing the work to deserve it.
post #5 of 28
[quote=Yosemite;1641411]I think a lot of the younger generation feel that they are "owed" something (not sure what yet).

Yea that.

they been teaching this everyone is something special to the point that people do get the idea they should just be given stuff,

like i said on here before.
my sisters kids where asking me to get them, xbox360, ps3, and a laptop for xmas.
and are mad at me now that i did not.
post #6 of 28
[quote=theimp98;1642889]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I think a lot of the younger generation feel that they are "owed" something (not sure what yet).

Yea that.

they been teaching this everyone is something special to the point that people do get the idea they should just be given stuff,

like i said on here before.
my sisters kids where asking me to get them, xbox360, ps3, and a laptop for xmas.
and are mad at me now that i did not.
Do you think it's the parents though? When my SIL's girls had their first dance recital she asked me to bring gifts for them. They are four and three now, so I think it may teach them that it's okay to demand gifts for anything that they do.
post #7 of 28
Yes they are a bit to into themselves...

As for authority this is what grandma taught and I live by... Respect your elders but question authority
post #8 of 28
Honestly, I do not consider myself part of the generation my age would put me in. My parents are a good twenty years older than most other college students, and my only sibling nearly ten years older. My whole life I have identified more, and made friends with, people who were older than me and never younger than me by more than a year. I also don't think I fit in to the ideals most of the "other kids" seem to have, who have always been confused of how to categorize me, even friends who didn't mean anything bad by that.

So, as an outsider who is technically an insider in this generation... I totally disagree with that. I think we were taught to be the way we are by, well, the people who raised us. When I was growing up, the whole "You're so special" thing was on the verge of beginning. It was ALWAYS the parents who pushed that crap. Everyone had to get a trophy, everyone had to win... because the yuppie parents couldn't stand for their children to not be better than everyone else's just like their house and car and dog had to be better than everyone else's. Sorry if that's your generation, but it's true, and I have felt this way since I was a kid. When I started out in what they called the gifted program, there were nine people in my class. Starting right after I left, the class became basically an advanced social studies class because the parents couldn't stand that their kid wasn't in it. My teacher quit because, well, she wanted to teach gifted kids not just the kids whose parents wanted them to be gifted.

We have had more pressure than anyone before us to be the best at everything we do. We had to win, we had to be popular, we had to be smart, we had to be perfect, we had to be athletic, we had to be pretty. But it was never for us. It was for our parents. It is different though. Some people's parents can't tolerate failure, etc, and would be upset or angry about it. Our parents didn't know how to deal with it, and blamed it on the teachers, the coaches, other parents, the referees, whoever. It wasn't our fault that we did bad, because, well, our parents always said someone cheated us out of something. And so, if we don't get what we feel we deserve, it is someone else's fault because we have no idea what to do if it is our own fault and would never admit it anyway.

So if we are narcissistic, self-centered, holier-than-thou... it's because we were taught to be. And I notice these studies are usually done by people who don't really know what they're talking about. They should be looking at themselves. We were raised to be stellar material possessions by our parents, to be something to brag about, and to not mess up. Ever.

(as always, there are as many exceptions as there are people who aren't)
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Honestly, I do not consider myself part of the generation my age would put me in. My parents are a good twenty years older than most other college students, and my only sibling nearly ten years older. My whole life I have identified more, and made friends with, people who were older than me and never younger than me by more than a year. I also don't think I fit in to the ideals most of the "other kids" seem to have, who have always been confused of how to categorize me, even friends who didn't mean anything bad by that.

So, as an outsider who is technically an insider in this generation... I totally disagree with that. I think we were taught to be the way we are by, well, the people who raised us. When I was growing up, the whole "You're so special" thing was on the verge of beginning. It was ALWAYS the parents who pushed that crap. Everyone had to get a trophy, everyone had to win... because the yuppie parents couldn't stand for their children to not be better than everyone else's just like their house and car and dog had to be better than everyone else's. Sorry if that's your generation, but it's true, and I have felt this way since I was a kid. When I started out in what they called the gifted program, there were nine people in my class. Starting right after I left, the class became basically an advanced social studies class because the parents couldn't stand that their kid wasn't in it. My teacher quit because, well, she wanted to teach gifted kids not just the kids whose parents wanted them to be gifted.

We have had more pressure than anyone before us to be the best at everything we do. We had to win, we had to be popular, we had to be smart, we had to be perfect, we had to be athletic, we had to be pretty. But it was never for us. It was for our parents. It is different though. Some people's parents can't tolerate failure, etc, and would be upset or angry about it. Our parents didn't know how to deal with it, and blamed it on the teachers, the coaches, other parents, the referees, whoever. It wasn't our fault that we did bad, because, well, our parents always said someone cheated us out of something. And so, if we don't get what we feel we deserve, it is someone else's fault because we have no idea what to do if it is our own fault and would never admit it anyway.

So if we are narcissistic, self-centered, holier-than-thou... it's because we were taught to be. And I notice these studies are usually done by people who don't really know what they're talking about. They should be looking at themselves. We were raised to be stellar material possessions by our parents, to be something to brag about, and to not mess up. Ever.

(as always, there are as many exceptions as there are people who aren't)
I'm going to respond by quoting my own earlier post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Parenting plays a big role, and probably smaller families.
While I'm very much in favor of zero population growth, at the very least, I find that it must be a tremendous burden on those growing up as only children or with just one sibling to have to fulfill their parents' hopes/dreams/expectations. It must have been easier to share the burden with 2, 3, or more siblings, as I did. And those very same parents should think about the consequences of overindulging their children.
I wonder what role the media plays? Or, quite simply, modern technology? The parents of most young people today are either "late" Baby Boomers, or younger, and have been far more exposed to the media than those who grew up with three major TV networks (in the U.S., that is to say), a limited number of local radio stations, no Internet, etc.. If you're not aware of certain products, services, or "standards", I imagine that your desires will be a bit more modest.
Nowadays there's so much instant gratification that didn't exist earlier. Want to see a particular film? Go online, and download it. Need to tell your friends that you're stuck in a traffic jam, and will be a little bit late? Pull out your cell phone.
I don't think that study is "attaching blame", but merely commenting on a recognizable trend.
post #10 of 28
Overall, this is just noticing a trend in our society. Labeling an entire generation is an irritating thing (I'm at the end of the Baby Boomers but instead of being ready to retire like the magazine articles are telling me, I still have another 30 years in the work force and I never understood the show "30 something" when I was just getting my first job out of college ).

Interesting that the "Me Generation" is the one that raised the "Generation Me". What I have noticed more is: a lot of parents didn't teach personal responsibility. Instead they blame everyone else for their kids problems. Instead of teaching them how to handle adversity, they taught "blame someone". Competition is a fact of life. Trying to pretend it doesn't matter for the first 18 years of their lives, does not teach them how to handle the competition itself, failure, and moving onto new opportunities. With parental support and guidance, a child learns a lot more useful skills from losing, figuring out how to get better, and learning about his abilities than from the "everyone wins" philosophy (because in reality, they really know there are winners and losers; they just can't make informed judgments about their own abilities).

These are the parents who didn't teach their kids to stand independent and rely on one's own. They are the ones who escort their college senior to the job fairs and to interviews. The ones to follow up for the child. How are these children going to handle reality with an employer who expects them to be responsible adults? It is one thing to be job hopping to move into new opportunities, it is another to be job hopping because one gets bored and can move home again.

But then each generation will change and grow. I saw an article on the "Me Generation" and how there are trends there towards volunteering and charity.
post #11 of 28
I think it does, in some small ways, attach blame, and if the study itself doesn't, it will pretty much always be used in that way. The title of the article is "College Students Think They're So Special" not "Growing Trend of Narcissism".

Who first became attached at the head to their cell phone? It was the generation who raised us, once again. It's not just our parents. Somehow we keep being used as the model for what's wrong in society today by the very people who taught us those behaviors. If anything, we're less impatient, less rude, less demanding, than them... as we saw all the negative reactions to that type of behavior and didn't mimic it.

Think about public interactions in general, and imagine someone in front of you in line flipping out about the temperature of their coffee or demanding to speak to a manager over pretty much nothing. How old is the person you imagined?
post #12 of 28
As a college student, I see a lot of that narcissism. Honestly I think a lot of it boils down to the parents, though.

For instance, my parents made it a point to make sure I didn't turn into someone like that. I've been making my own money since I was 12 (I'm 20 now). Are my parents paying for my college education? Yep. But the condition is that I have to do the same for my future kids. I appreciate that they're doing this, so for the present I make sure not to screw up and I always aim for, and usually make, Dean's list.

Some of my friends were raised differently, though. One of them, I'm not close with her anymore, but I'll call her Jen, she's almost 23 and her parents still pay for her gasoline, her apartment, etc. They aren't well-off by any means, and she never seems to appreciate what they do for her. She expects everything and needs to be the center of attention all the time (one of the reasons why we aren't close anymore).

So from what I see, how you were raised as a child really affects how you act as you get older.
post #13 of 28
Meh, I think it's human nature. Every "generation" will find previous as too stifling, conservative, uptight, and the next "generation" as weird, spoiled, tainted, so on. People randomly group people of specific age groups into these "generations" and ruminate over them as if they understand everything. That's human nature as well, we like to categorize and identify things.

I usually ignore stuff like this, just live with it and not fall into the mass hysteria. There's nothing wrong with doing things your own way, especially when it comes with kids. If your kids do strange things now, they'll grow up to wonder why they did all those strange things and laugh about it.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
I saw an article on the "Me Generation" and how there are trends there towards volunteering and charity.
It may not have mentioned it in this article, but studies have found the rise in volunteer and charity...this began when school began to require volunteering and charities as part of their grad or school requirements.

I do agree that a lot of it does start with the parents. Parents that didn't get what they wanted growing up (i.e. maybe their own personal TV) will hand their kids whatever they want so that they won't risk being made fun of in school for not having something. When I was a kid, no one cared if you wore Kmart clothes...most kids my age did. Today if you aren't wearing name brand you're made fun of.

Heck, I even saw it in my own class...I guess I'm the older part of Generation Me. There were still a lot of people my age that was taught responsibility, but there were also many, many spoiled selfish brats.

My 10 year reunion was last year and one person on the committee sent out an email for us to post updated pictures of ourselves. One girl posted 54 photos all of herself. I even found her on myspace before the reunion, and the whole myspace was just self absorbtion.

Another girl I knew who was a year younger than me played the "I'm adopted" card with her parents all the time. If she didn't get what she wanted, she would cry and bawl about what cruel adoptive parents they were, etc, and by the time she was 15, before she had her permit, she was driving around a brand new Chrysler LaBaron convertable.
In fact most of the kids I went to high school with it was a "right of passage" to have a car by the time they were 16. Brand new I might add too...

One guy at work, he makes me sick the way he's raising his kids. They EACH have their own iPod (all under 10 years btw), their own DVD portable player, their own separate copies of the same movie, etc. Why? So that they won't ever have to fight over something. *A-hem* Umm...so you're not teaching them how to share or how to properly interact with people. You're teaching them to be the bully when they grow. Excellent parenting skills. Brilliant
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
One guy at work, he makes me sick the way he's raising his kids. They EACH have their own iPod (all under 10 years btw), their own DVD portable player, their own separate copies of the same movie, etc. Why? So that they won't ever have to fight over something. *A-hem* Umm...so you're not teaching them how to share or how to properly interact with people. You're teaching them to be the bully when they grow. Excellent parenting skills. Brilliant
One thing I noticed with people my age (mid-40s). Growing up, our parents acted like parents, but a lot of my peers want to be their kids best friends so they don't do what good parents should do such as telling their kids "no" and not giving their kids everything under the sun. A person will have many friends in a life time, but parents are a special class of people who must do the tough things to make their kids better. Their children may not like them at times, but will grow to respect and honor them.

As painful as it is to hear "I hate you" from the children, it means that they are having to deal with life and not always getting their way. Giving in to that just makes them learn manipulation.
post #16 of 28
It is a lot of the teens and college students, and the ones that are children now are going to be even worse if the trend continues. My part time employer's grandchildren are such spoiled little monsters it is unreal. They will do anything they please and scream and throw things at their grandma and mom right in the salon. I went in to work one day and my boss had the nerve to tell me if my room was a mess to blame it on Steven, he was in there doing his homework. I went in to the massage room, and it was a wreck. Muddy footprints on my table and blankets, footprints on the walls, several broken cds. I refused to clean it up. I am not responsible for her rotten little brats. They will demand that the employees do things for them and then kick and scream if anyone refuses. I saw the boy belch in his mom's face because she did not get up from a client and fix his lunch immediately. Pardon my rant! I can't stand those little demons!
Some of the calls I take at work are just unbelievable. We had a new policy implemented that if your service is cut off for non payment, you must pay the entire billed amount before it can be restored. I spent the day yesterday listening to twenty-somethings whining and screaming that nobody told THEM that they could not just pay the past due amt. Like we were supposed to send them an engraved invitation to pay their bill. It does not pertain to most of our customers because most of them pay their bills, so the company did not feel the need to spend thousands of dollars to send out notices of the policy change. Anything that is important to most of our customers is printed on the bill if they would just care to read it. I got a call form a guy that had been paying for a unit that he had not had deactivated for almost a year before he caught it. I was floored that he actually said to me "you people think it is my responsibility to look at what I am being charged on my bill every month?" I am glad I had a mute button, because he would have heard me laughing at him. And the ones I am surrounded by are just as bad. I had to speak to my team leader about the language and content of the discussion going on around me between calls, because it was so offensive. I am not easily offended, having spent my entire adult life in biker bars and tattoo shops, and these kids offended me to that point. I really felt for the minister's wife sitting in the middle of it all. They all seem to be relly surprised that they are expected to come to work on time, properly dressed, and actually do their jobs. I will get off my soapbox now, I am sure you are all getting bored with my rant!
post #17 of 28
As someone who is of the generation that article talks about, I think all humans are self-centered to some degree. Some more than others. I don't think you can point to a whole demographic as being self centered. Teens and college students don't have a monopoly on being selfish. How do you think they learned to be that way?
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2 View Post
he actually said to me "you people think it is my responsibility to look at what I am being charged on my bill every month?"
Did you ask him for his social security number too? That guy sounds like an victim just waiting for ID Theft (if it hasn't happened to him already!)
post #19 of 28
Ironic, isn't it? All of those who are self-professing to be a part of this generation are all blaming someone else for their generation expecting others to do for them, and blaming someone else when things don't go well.

I'm not disagreeing that the parents are doing a grave disservice to their children by not being parents (wanting to be friends). Even more than that, it's a crying shame that they are pushing their "self-esteem" agenda to the point where their children cannot learn in school because bad grades and red marks on papers might damage that precious self-esteem. Frankly, it's disgusting IMO.

I was part of a generation where all the adults seemed very concerned for the future of the world falling into our hands - us horrible metal-head, drug using degenerates. Somehow, a lot of us ended up OK. I hope that holds true for this generation as well, but considering the lack of education that many of this generation has, as well as the lack of work ethic, it does concern me. Nothing in life is free, and these people won't always have their Mommies around to fix their messes. I hope they can still learn the hard life's lessons a little later in life. Better late than never.
post #20 of 28
To be honest, this is nothing new. I called my Mom and talked to her about this, and she said that when she was growing up that her parents thought that the peace loving, drug induced, hippy generation would destroy this country at its very core.

Now, that generation is criticizing mine for having too much self esteem.

It's a never ending cycle.

EDIT: I just had to look up what generation I am in. Apparently I'm in Generation X, therefore I should be living at home with my parents and brooding about neo-realism. Ahhh... I love labels.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Ironic, isn't it? All of those who are self-professing to be a part of this generation are all blaming someone else for their generation expecting others to do for them, and blaming someone else when things don't go well.
I knew that would come up as I was writing mine

Maybe it is blaming others for what's wrong with us, but I'm not anything like the stereotype of my generation and my parents weren't anything like that either. My mom and I used to talk about the parents of the kids I went to school with from as long as I could remember. She was older than pretty much all of them, except the few fathers who were remarried to younger wives. She taught me from as early as I can remember that the eighth-place ribbon doesn't mean a darn thing, and not everybody can be the best or first. And most importantly, she was never my friend, always my mother. Maybe most of my opinion is from her, but having grown up with and still knowing quite a good number of people whose parents really did act like that... they really do fit the stereotype, and I don't believe it's an accident.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
To be honest, this is nothing new. I called my Mom and talked to her about this, and she said that when she was growing up that her parents thought that the peace loving, drug induced, hippy generation would destroy this country at its very core.

Now, that generation is criticizing mine for having too much self esteem.

It's a never ending cycle.

EDIT: I just had to look up what generation I am in. Apparently I'm in Generation X, therefore I should be living at home with my parents and brooding about neo-realism. Ahhh... I love labels.
I have to agree ... Cept I am a Gen Xer who lives with her mom...I do take care of her in some way s...I got lucky and got to be a caregiver before "finding myself"... Off to look up whe Neo Realism is:L)
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
As painful as it is to hear "I hate you" from the children, it means that they are having to deal with life and not always getting their way. Giving in to that just makes them learn manipulation.

i guess it means i am doing my job then,
I mean really when i was going up, if i wanted something, i was told go make money and get it. if i acted teh way i see my frieneds kids acting,now, i would have been buried someplace in the back yard. and mom and dad would have made a new me.

and yea, my father was very bad, used to kill family pets etc,,
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bemyonlyone View Post
As someone who is of the generation that article talks about, I think all humans are self-centered to some degree. Some more than others. I don't think you can point to a whole demographic as being self centered. Teens and college students don't have a monopoly on being selfish. How do you think they learned to be that way?
Yea that!

I laugh to think that older generations think my generation is so selfish. I seriously want to meet someone who was NOT selfish in one way or another when they were in their early 20's....

I do, in ways, fit into this article though. I do believe that everyone is special in one way or another, HOWEVER, I do not think that grants them anything they haven't earned or worked for.

I know I am very idealistic and young, but I've also had many life experiences that much older people haven't had....ie. living on my own at age 15, having a child at age 16, working and going to school full time as well as raising a child as well as being extremely involved in my community (and not just because some school requires me to, but because I CARE! ). I also know that I have accomplished great things because I know I am a good hearted person, but I am also willing to work towards goals, plus I'm stubborn hehe. My one downfall is that I am not willing to sacrifice someone else to get to those goals. Stupid? maybe, but I'd rather be stupid than live my life only for myself...how is that going to help anyone?

I have many friends of varing age groups, but my closest friends are 35 and 37 years old to my 20 years. I notice that these people have been in the work force for a period of time come back jaded and bitter and it's so sad. I'd much rather live my life with idealism than live my life jaded and bitter. Just because things do not work out all the time doesn't mean everyone has to be so pestimistic (sp?). I notice that my older friends in their 30's are more willing to sacrifice who ever need be, including close friends and family than the people around my age.
post #25 of 28
It's not the generation you come from that makes you what you are, it's the lifes experiences and how you deal with them that makes you who you are!!!!
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
It's not the generation you come from that makes you what you are, it's the lifes experiences and how you deal with them that makes you who you are!!!!
Word! But, people are conformists. They have what's called herd mentality. They must do what everyone else does. It's those few "troublemakers" that look at everyone else and wonder what the heck is wrong with them, and everyone else looks at this heretic, pointing fingers, shouting names, and acting all snooty like they know what they're talking about, but completely blind to the faults of their own ways. Common sense gets thrown out the window.
post #27 of 28
Oh yeah the generation growing up is narcisitic (ack can't spell it) - ya know what i mean. It's basically people are like *me me me I I I* and the rest of you can go straight to hades.

We are a greedy horrible country. The $$$$ rules us over all. Don't get me wrong, there are good people still out there but it's getting harder to find them.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
Word! But, people are conformists. They have what's called herd mentality. They must do what everyone else does. It's those few "troublemakers" that look at everyone else and wonder what the heck is wrong with them, and everyone else looks at this heretic, pointing fingers, shouting names, and acting all snooty like they know what they're talking about, but completely blind to the faults of their own ways. Common sense gets thrown out the window.
This is a society that points fingers rather than each individual taking responsibility for their own actions!

One of the biggest lessons in life is to take responsibilities for your own actions.
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