Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Young People...Sigh...

This is just about my thoughts. No need to comment :)

I'm 33. I obtained the highest degree one can get and it was hard work. I have studied human behaviour in more depth than most. Yet I still know that there are so many things I need to learn. I know that what is right in one situation may be very wrong in another. I know that people operate based on their past experiences and knowledge that can vary greatly from my own. I know that sometimes my thoughts and actions are wise while sometimes they are not. No one is perfect and no one knows everything.

The thing is, a lot of young people don't seem to think that way! I think that because I am not that young a lady anymore, I can see it. But I wasn't like a lot of other young people growing up either (maybe I don't remember lol). Maybe because I was never like that I am the way I am and I've done well for myself when compared to the people I grew up with. Well once I have the husband and kids I will have achieved my life goals...wow I'm so close!  I was always cautious, weighed the pros and cons, and I always left room for the possibility that I was wrong, misinterpreting things, or missing something. Why are some people so different? I actually know someone like that who just states her opinion about what I should do, or what's going on in my life, when she barely knows me. She just says "he's just not that into you" with no tact at all. Or "young guys are awful, you won't be happy unless you go for older guys" and cuts me off when I say anything positive about younger men. She tells me "don't buy that because my sister read an article about it" and discounts all the articles I have read to the contrary because she "knows".

I wonder what that's like to always think "I know", "I'm right", and "other people don't know what they're talking about", and "that person is biased and making it personal while I am perfectly objective". Did their parents teach them that? Is it just some people's personality? Is that a coping/defense mechanism? Or is it youth (well the woman I was talking about before was my age but we studied different things. She is very opinionated and she isn't Black either). Back to the young people... I think I have always observed them with puzzlement even when I was young. I wondered what was wrong with them when they smoked, did drugs, got into fights, picked on others, skipped school, didn't do school work etc. I'm guessing there was something wrong that I didn't know about that they hid very well. I wondered why they didn't think ahead about the long term consequences of their actions or the possibility that they made a horrible choice. Based on some of the mistakes I made with boys I know I was like those young people in some ways but in a lot of ways I was not. I didn't take things as far as they did to fit in and even though I was often miserable my home life was probably not as bad as theirs. Maybe it's because I always tended to look at the bigger picture, see things in the long term, and delayed gratification. There were things I wanted more than being popular, getting attention, being right, putting people in their place, or proving a point. I knew that those people mattered at the moment but they wouldn't be around once I finished high school. So when they were out partying and getting into trouble I stayed home, went out with friends and came home at night, and I studied.

Where is this going with this...I guess I was just thinking I didn't get most young people then and I don't get them now so why engage with them? Yes they may have new and innovative ideas, fresh eyes, or even highly intelligent thoughts, but is there wisdom behind that? For example, I was talking to this guy once who wanted to use an old song in the chorus of a new song he was writing. I told him that had already been done and played the video for him. He was 22 so he didn't know. The young people I talk to don't know what I know or that many of the things I think are based on research and courses I have taken. So to people with a similar background (unlike the young person) what I'm saying makes sense and fits with the thinking of people who actually write the books on effective thinking! Do young people know what they are talking about? It reminds me of the post I did about something sounding good theoretically but not working at all when put into practice. Young people have a lot of ideas but they don't have the experience or wisdom to know if their theories will actually work. When they look back on their behaviour and opinions with wise eyes they will better see where they were misguided and made poor choices. I mean what grown woman takes someone 10 years younger seriously? That statement could get young people up in arms saying "I have a right to be heard and taken seriously", "My thoughts are just as important as anyone else's". Those objections would be valid if I was your coworker, on a committee with you, representing you in government, working with you in a social or activist group or some other collective activity, or if you were a client telling me what you need. It would also be true if you were trained in a field and published or presented work based on a body of shared research. But outside of that I'm really not obligated to take you seriously especially when I don't have the power (or desire) to do something about your concern.

Do I really have anything to learn from you? Be open and bombarded with potential nonsense or be closed minded to alternate views? Be ageist and assume young people have nothing worth listening to or be open and respect that they may have intelligent ideas or be right sometimes? Decisions, decisions...I think when it comes to taking advice or having discussions I will entertain the ideas of people who have expertise or special knowledge of the issue (e.g., medicine, business, finances, fitness, politics, car repair, nutrition, shopping locations, maybe parenting etc.) because those people may actually be younger than myself. I'm the science type and I trust experts, degrees, and specialized training over the advice of laypeople with "street knowledge" (unless we are talking about how to survive on the street lol). I think the opinions of such people should always be listened to over the speculation of others who are far removed from the situation with no specialized training. For any other issues (e.g.,subjective things like how to live life, what to do with my life, how to act etc.) I think it would be unwise to listen to people 10 years younger than myself. Seriously, what 33 year old person would take advice from a 23 year old about dating, fashion, beauty, life goals, values etc? Why would I take their advice over that of someone my age or older? I think that is the most important point, when choosing to take the advice of someone 23 versus someone 33 I would prefer listening to the person who is 33. Conversations are fine and all but when it comes to advice, evaluating my life, telling me what I should or should not do I should stick to listening to my peers. I feel confident that I know better than younger women about most things so there's no need to worry about them.

P.S. This site called The Problem With Young People Today is so funny! The list of problems with young people is hilarious!
Oooo good article about dealing with people who think they know it all. Maybe the article, people who act like they know it all lack humility. That's against my nature but some people just don't have it.
How to handle the think they know it alls
How to deal with people who think they know everything
Another how to deal with people who think they know everything
How to deal with impossible people (really good actually)