If you're a millennial, it's likely there have been instances where you've had a bad day. Maybe your parents are getting on your every last nerve, or you got into a fight with your best friend, or maybe even you got yelled at by your boss. Most likely some combination of all three. It happens to the best of us. The only problem is, as millennials, we aren't allowed to feel bad about it. With the size of the world's population, for every unfortunate event that occurs in your life, there are about four billion people suffering as well.
That's why every baby boomer's favorite phrase is "Suck it up; people are going through much worse." Every time the phrase is spoken, one of two things happens. Either you do suck it up, keep it bottled in, and hold it until something minor causes you to break down. Or, you stand up for yourself, and come off as selfish, entitled, spoiled, and whatever else society says you are. We're trapped by the time we live in, in which the cost of living has skyrocketed. We're trapped by the time we live in, in which technology provides everything for us on our fingertips. We're trapped by the generations before us, who like to remind us at every given opportunity that nothing we do will ever match the struggles they had.
You're broke? Your parent worked three jobs in order to provide for you. You're tired? Your classmate is taking five classes, working two jobs, and participates in three different volunteer organizations. You're sad? Too bad, because there are kids at this very moment who are dying of starvation, who are being ushered into refugee camps like cattle, who are growing up in abusive homes or without parents. How dare you complain about how bad you have it when other people have it so much worse?
The important thing is to not let anyone get to you. It's easier said than done, I know. The guilt trip is one of the most difficult things to escape. Here's how you deal with it. The next time someone tries to invalidate your experiences with their own or with those they read about briefly on the internet, do the same. How can you be happy about your promotion when someone is getting their first big break as an actor? How can you be happy about your relationship when someone else is marrying the person they've loved since high school? How can you be happy about your niece or nephew when an orphan somewhere is being adopted by a loving family?
Chances are, your words will have the same effect that theirs did on you. While it's effective, it is important not to go down that same path that you so vehemently hated. Empathy is one of our greatest qualities as human beings, and we should put it to use. Always be grateful for what you were blessed with and empathize with people who were not blessed with the same.