Millennials are much more self-aware than is generally assumed by their crotchety grandparents.
They view themselves as more narcissistic than previous generations, but not as narcissistic than older generations think, according to Live Science.
A new study fleshed out how millennials view themselves; unsurprisingly, “millennials do not appreciate being called narcissistic and entitled,” Joshua Grubbs, a doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University who led the study, told Live Science.
Youth who take offense when charged with narcissism is telling; when narcissistic millennials get called narcissistic, it doesn’t bother them. Aside from the inanity of labeling one generation as narcissistic, those who reject the label tend to be more self-aware.
When baby boomers call millennials narcissistic, they’re indicting themselves as well.
“Although this narcissism is often pinned on millennials alone in the popular press, research going back to the early 1900s suggests that these forces have been in play for at least a century,” Stephanie Pappas noted.
The rise of individualism in American culture, over decades, has stoked the flames of narcissism. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Restrictive social structures had tampered a narcissistic impulse, but it also restrained individual rights and a general freedom to live as someone saw fit. A rise in narcissism in exchange for greater personal freedom doesn’t sound like a bad exchange.
If anything, baby boomers could use some humility. On a 100-point scale, millennials rated their narcissism as 61.4 and boomers’s narcissism as 38. Boomers ranked millennials as 65.3 and themselves as 26.5. The selfless boomers might need to change their tune if they want their entitlements to be funded. Berating the youth only works for so long; at some point, resentment could triumph over humility.