6 Ways You Know You're An Independent Millennial

6 Ways You Know You're An Independent Millennial

Delegation is my prime weakness.
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Independence, and no I am not talking about the Fourth of July. Nor am I talking about living alone, I am talking about our way of being. As the years go on, our society has younger generations become more self-indulged and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

While some tend to be more co-dependent on another person or a group of people, there are a lot of people now that have come to the reality that they need to be there for themselves and add purpose to themselves, not wait around for someone else.

Not all independent people do all 6 of these notes, but here are some to make you aware of what they are like or to give yourself a sense of identity when having them laid in front of you.

You can go a whole day without/barely touching your phone

It is now 2018 and many millennials have some form of technology and an account to social media. We are constantly connected, and most people would admit to needing a form of public validation. Either that or in constant need of talking to someone. An independent person does not feel that way. They mostly see their phone to look at a clock or be an instant contact to organize a meet up with someone.

The world moves on and independent people understand that, so they tend to be involved in what is happening to them instead of being glued to their phones. Independent people tend to fill up their day with things that bring purpose to their own lives rather than to please others or to compare with others. You could probably go extended amounts of time without talking to your friends and not feel like they do not like you, you guys are just taking a pause and that is fine. You understand that because everyone must live their own life.

When it comes to dating, the person must compete with your solitude

I am a person that is known to say this to people:

“When it comes to me, guys do not compete against other guys to get my affection. They compete against me to gain my attention.”

We are constantly busy and that takes out a lot of energy for us. Independent people can pretty much do anything by themselves because they learned to stand for themselves in life, this can also make them more desirable in someone’s eyes. So even having a person (especially someone who wants to be involved romantically) would have to be better than me being by myself and my relaxation. We make our lives good enough without a significant other. It’s like a pancake, pancakes are already good, if you add chocolate chips or blueberries It would make the pancake taste better, but if there isn’t any chips or berries, the pancake is still good and will be eaten.

You would rather just do something yourself than rely on others

Delegation is my prime weakness. People have told me time and time again to delegate to people to make my life easier. But here is the thing, I do not want to. You must rely on others to get the job done in your name. Yes, they might do the job correctly and make you look good. On the other hand, there is the possibility of them screwing up and then causing a bad reputation to you and you would rather just do it yourself and if you mess up, well at least you earned it yourself. There is a constant sense of nervousness on of the person that you trust to do the job will do it or if they forget or not show up that makes you hesitant to relinquish responsibility to others. In the end, we all know the saying,“If you want it done, you have to do it yourself.”

You get awkward when someone pays for you

This recently happened to me. You are out with a friend, having fun and then they give their order. They look at you as if you are giving yours too and then they say, “Oh what do you want?” and then you look at them saying “You don’t need to buy my stuff!” But then they do it anyways and you have this weird feeling like you are now reliant on that person or you may think you are less of a person because you did not pay for your own stuff. Please do not think that way. Your friend was just trying to be nice and you might have done the same for them. Some people, have the idea in their head when they work for their money and they spend it, it gives them a sense of pride and when someone else does it for them, they may feel like it was just handed to them, that it was not earned by them.

You probably do not have a certain group

When it comes to being independent, you probably have a pretty good sense of yourself and your identity. That being said, you probably have a wide variety of things that can characterize you. In result to have many characteristics, independent people are known to have friends that are different from one another. There is not one group that can keep the independent person from being bored, so they tend to drift to multiple people in order to cover the entertainment/social aspect of their lives. All the little groups of friends help mold you into who you are and can keep you at balanced, compared to just having one group of people have a major impact on your life. Independence does not equal solidarity or being lonely. By having multiple groups of people that you could consider to be acquaintances or even friends can truly be evidence in displaying that independent people are just more well-rounded.

People come to you all the time

While being an independent person, it only makes sense that they may appreciate some time by themselves. Whether it be to calm down or do reflection on themselves. Independent people tend to be more self-aware compared to people who are more reliant on others. Independent people discover their strengths and weaknesses faster because they want to make sure that they are fully capable of whatever they must do, and do not want to have someone else do it for them. Since independent people are self-aware, they give off a sense of stability and purpose. This would attract others to want to come to them for advice. The advice could be about careers, relationships, faith or even just overall in life. Independent people are known to be wise and can make things a teaching lesson for others, even when they do not think that they are doing so now.

In the end, being independent is having your own support. It does not mean you do not hang around other people nor does it mean that you "all grown up" and doing "adult things" but rather it is more about being comfortable with yourself to the point where you do not need anyone else. When you have finally reached a moment in your life when you are truly proud of what you have done and the fact that you did it all by yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Deb Greengold

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

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So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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