8 Phrases Boomers Need to Stop Saying to Millennials (According to Millennials)

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When it comes to generational divides, boomers and millennials go at it like two squabbling siblings. Boomers just don’t understand why this younger gen can’t do things the way they did, while millennials are saying the old ways don’t all work, so can we open our minds a bit? From marriage, to pregnancy and even punctuation, these two generations are always at odds. And while millennials don’t mind taking advice from their predecessors, here are 10 phrases boomers just need to stop saying to millennials.

1. “That's just how the world works.”

Millennials came of age through 9/11, endless wars abroad and a recession and housing market crash that made graduating from college and joining the workforce seem, well, futile. Climate catastrophe, toxic politics, racial violence and inequities, an exhausting gig economy and a global pandemic have given millennials a front-row seat to systemic failures that many boomers didn’t experience. So maybe it’s millennials who see boomers as having an unrealistic view of the world.

2. “Just take whatever job you can get.”

With raging student loans and high costs of living at the forefront of their minds, the fact that millennials are actively looking for higher-paying jobs may come off entitled to boomers who came of age in a starkly different job market. However, with the average millennial owing $38,877 in student debt, they simply want to make sure compensation matches the job description.

 3. “Why are you still renting?”

The prospect of making a comfortable living and being able to buy a house in your 20s or 30s just isn’t a reality for millennials. A 2017 study conducted by Young Invincibles found that millennials have a median household income of $40,581 and that they earn 20-percent less than boomers did at the same stage, despite being better educated. And that’s not even touching on the wildly inflated housing market. So, yeah, it’s much harder to save money for a home when you’re still paying off ridiculously high student loans. 

4. “You need to have tougher skin.”

We can go right ahead and put this one to bed because the idea that millennials are “snowflakes” who crumble at the smallest advent of adversity or criticism was actually disproved. A study focusing on levels of hypersensitivity found that people in the baby boomer category are generally more sensitive than certain younger generations—including millennials. And you can’t argue with science. Right?

5. “I never went to a therapist and I turned out just fine.”

A study by Sanford Health found that 53 percent of millennials admitted that health and wellness was a priority in their lives. And who can blame them, considering this is the generation that grew up seeing the long-term effects of unhealthy eating (Super-Size Me anyone?), excessive smoking and extreme drinking. Millennials also grew up learning about the consequences of unresolved emotional traumas and mental health conditions so yeah, mental health is a priority. 

6. “All this pronoun stuff is ridiculous.”

We could get on our soapbox about how gender is a social construct, but let’s keep this short and sweet: If you identify as the gender you were assigned at birth and you feel as though your pronouns suit you, great. However, you don’t dictate how someone feels about their gender and their pronouns, so be respectful and use their preferred pronouns.

7. "Can you explain cryptocurrency and NFTs?"

We get that millennials are the generation that ushered in the technology age, but the concept of cryptocurrency and NFTs is way too complex and trips up even the most tech-savvy, digitally in-tune millennial. Some of us peaked during the “customizing your Myspace background” era so stop asking, we really don’t know.

8. “You're a little too obsessed with your dog.”

First of all, that’s my son, and that was rude. Secondly, since this generation is taking their time when it comes to having children, dogs and cats are the next best thing if plants aren’t cutting it. Give us all the matching Halloween costumes and canine ring bearers!

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Resident Hufflepuff, Beyonce historian, self-proclaimed tea sommelier

Steph is a native of Zimbabwe who is both enamored and genuinely baffled by the concept of silent letters. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Associate Editor at PureWow covering...