What Are Your Struggles in Life? These are some of the thoughts and questions posed by Millennials and we figured we would help find answers to make life easier to navigate.
- Inability to communicate about conflict
- Budgeting Issues (see #7)
- Find a job with meaning
- Cheating is much easier with the internet
- Social media jealousy
- Anxiety about the future
- Financially fragile (good education + no jobs + college debt)
- Need to suspend judgement and emotional reactions
- Psychological safety
- Work and life balance issues
Every generation has had surveys done to show marketers how to sell them products and services. With that in mind they always try to show differences in each generation but in reality most are very similar.
I will respond to the questions in a way that will help you find what you might be looking for if any of these questions relate to your thinking. Actually, I hope they do so I can be helpful and not just answer some random questions.
- The inability to communicate about conflict relates to every generation. The best advice I can give as an evangelist is to figure out the conflict and decide it you even need to be involved. I have been in many conflicts and in the past found out that a negative reaction never solves the problem. If the conflict starts, take a little time to figure out why it started. It doesn’t matter who started it but how it can be resolved.
However, the biggest piece of advice I can give is to first figure out why it even started. I got caught up in an conflict many years ago about a family member and defended them (almost going face-to-face) not knowing that the information I got was completely wrong! Yes, I was in a conflict that wasn’t even necessary to have started. Boy, I was an ass, embarrassed and truly annoyed at myself for not taking the time to understand what was happening.
If the conflict is immediate and not of a violent nature you can always walk away. If it is violent and you have the chance to leave, do it without saying anything. It is better to keep quiet than to spark the incident with some random remarks.
- Budgeting has always been a problem for me for years. Why? Because I was crappy with keeping checkbooks and a decent bank balance. You can only budget what you actually have and that may not be much but it’s a time when you need to be spending very smart. Pay your most important bill first which include rent, utilities and food. You may need to suspend going out for a while.
I did but I am not really sure how I got through that time period but I did. I have a family member who is struggling and refuses to ask for any help. How dumb is that, especially when you have people willing and able to help! Why struggle if you can get help. Right now it is tough but you will prevail and there are people out there that are willing to help as long as you are not the stubborn “I don’t need help” type. Who are they? Family? Friends?
- Finding a job with meaning has never been easy, but I guess it depends on what you mean by “meaning”? My first job was in the advertising/marketing field and it had meaning because I went to an art school. Get this… I have an opportunity to get a good job after graduating and I turned it down because of ego and “I will do it myself” attitude. How did that work out? I regretted it. My advice is if you have connections for a job use them but don’t disappoint them by not working hard. Of course, job searching is much different today than in my time. I actually went to the interviews. Today you have to do it on-line and be sure they will actually so what you sent.
But there are many tricks to getting noticed in the job market. The first thing is to be sure the job you are looking for has that ”meaning” you are searching for. I can’t help you with that, but once you find it let me know and I will see how to help you actually get the job. No guarantees though.
- Ah…cheating. A time honored tradition. Only kidding. I know cheating is easier today with the internet but it is just as easy going to a store or anywhere else for that matter. You need to look at your relationship and decide if it is right for you. Or, you need to figure out what’s wrong and fix it. Don’t use the simplicity of the internet as an excuse for cheating in a relationship. Fix it or leave it. It’s that simple. I can’t really comment about on-line dating, because my generation met face-to-face first. I know it’s old fashioned but you could see facial expressions and postures to know if you are going in the right direction.
- Social media jealousy. Jealousy has been around as long as mankind has existed. The only thing that can resolve jealousy is trust. A relationship needs trust to survive. Without it you might as well walk away because it will only get worse if not resolved. It is the same as question 4 with the same results and outcome. Another suggestion is to avoid as much social media as possible until you fix the relationship and if that doesn’t work leave the relation as amicably as possible, just in case things change in the future and you don’t really want someone that hates you..
- Anxiety about the future. Unfortunately we have all lived in that bubble. As a kid, I remember thinking about the practice of hiding under the desk at school when everyone was concerned about atomic war. The one thing I have learned in my years its to not worry about anything you don’t have control of in your life. I can control the things I do but not my family, friends or society. They control their own lives and so do you and society moves forward no matter what you do. We can worry about the Covid virus but that won’t stop you from getting it or not getting it.
If you look at the future for yourself as being bright, you will move through life much easier. I quickly learned that the more crap you pile on your back the harder it is to move forward. Lighten the load and the anxiety will lessen and fade away.
- Financial fragility. This one is difficult for everyone, young and old. But you finished college and are ready for that high paying job to help pay off your bills and unfortunately, Covid put a kink in your plans. So, what do you do? I guess that same as any other generation. If possible find a job that will help get through this tough time until things settle down.
Every generation has been strapped with college debt, but yours has been hit with a pandemic to make it even harder. Questions 2 & 3 may give you more answers.
- Suspending judgement and emotional reaction. Wow! That’s been a problem for every generation and as long as I can remember. No, I am not old enough to have seen the pyramids being built; in case you are wondering… but close.
Of course, I do remember getting very judgmental about a lot of things. Things that I look back on today and wonder why? There was no reason or gain to be prejudiced and most of it was politically motivated. It’s hard to not judge because we were around those with some kind of prejudice that caused instant judgement. As you get older you start to gain some wisdom and see these things differently. Unfortunately, not everyone changes, but we all have the ability to do so if we choose.
I know some older folks that are still living in the past…way past because they never opened their eyes to see the truth of what they believed. As young people, you have that ability to change that thinking before it becomes so ingrained your mind has no way out.
About emotional reaction? Another time bomb. I have been involved in those time bombs and regret them to this day. However the human condition is also used to having emotions get out of control. So, what do you do? My advice is to step away from the problem initially until you get a better understanding in your mind about why you are upset. Take the time to “relax before reacting” and try to mentally count to 10 and that usually defuses your reaction.
Sure, there are time when we might not be able to walk away, but if you try to understand that an emotional reaction is not really going to help the situation. Oh yeah, I just wanted to mention that the TV or social media news is another bad emotional trigger.
I know it affected me until I stopped watching everything except the local news and weather. It also affected my neighbor who was spewing obscenities (I am not a prude about cursing but I do try to avoid it) at his TV and he did apologize and decided to stop watching.
- Psychological safety. A tough one since we live in a social media age. Back in my day we used the old rotary dial telephone. You are probably not familiar with this device but your Grandparents will know. So, how to you maintain psychological safety? Limit your exposure to the internet, especially social media. What are you doing there anyway? Is it necessary to let everyone know what you ate or where you are going, who or what you don’t like or bad mouthing someone?
- Work and life balance issues. This one is not easy. Balancing work with daily life is difficult, especially if you are in a relationship and you have different schedules. It becomes difficult to connect, so you need to devote the time available to being together with no outside interruptions. You might also consider getting away when possible for a change of scenery.
Balancing acts are very difficult and take a lot of time to resolve themselves. Try this: grab a bunch of your Mother’s dishes and see if you can balance…never mind. Of course, if you try everything and there are still problems you may want to reconsider your relationship or job.
This advice is coming from someone who knows most of these issues and dealt with them over the years with good results. My life got much better after accepting Jesus into my life, but that is another post. I’m just hoping you can get something out of this to make things better for you.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions of something to add just put it in the comments block below. You may be helping someone yourself.
John & Jean
Our Divided World